Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fraggle Rock Cover Process:

The first Issue of Fraggle Rock Volume 2 will be out tomorrow. My artwork is featured on the 'B' cover, and though I had posted the final cover art a while back, I thought I'd share the process. I had a different idea for the cover originally, with Boober and Junior and one Doozer being the only characters, but due to some similatrities in concept of a cover already turned in, I had to alter my plan.

I think one of the great things about Fraggle Rock is the three different species and their understanding and relationships to one another, so I really wanted my cover to have Fraggles, Doozers, and at least 1 Gorg with the size relationships being exploited. Unfortunately, there is no good way to show a Gorg at full height with a Fraggle AND a Doozer without the latter two being diminished and too tiny to draw well.

Forcing the perspective by showing the Gorg castle with Junior standing by it helped show that even though he is about the same height on the page as the Fraggles in the final piece, the scale to the castle and garden growth and tools we understand that he is a giant to them.

After I had sketches of all the components I would need, I scanned them and tinted them to assemble in a layout template for the covers's specs. This is a stage where I can play with proportion, nudge the characters closer together or further apart, rotate character's arms or legs, or the character altogether. I tint the different characters and elements differently so I don't get lost in the mess of sketchy lines.
The final layout was approved by Archaia and Henson, so I printed it out and used it as a guide while I inked on strathmore 300 bristol on a lightbox. This cover had so much going on, that I worried about how congested the inks were and without a lot of line weight variation, but for Fraggles, I didn't want to go too heavy on the inks and shadows, I wanted a lighter feeling to them than that and planned to fix the lack of focus in color.

While coloring I noticed that several of the overlapping characters and background/foreground elements had a similar color or value. I kept flatting the piece (establishing color areas, not necessarily final color choices) planning to deal with the depth of field issues once I got into rendering.

Here again is the final cover. In this rendering stage I did a few things to make sure that things popped off one another, I added a color hold and muted things in the background (relative to the Fraggles) I used a color hold on the grass to tone down the 'noise' on my inked grass lines. I altered some colors slightly pushing them to the ends of what makes them that color (the radish leaves are more blue green while the Doozers are yellow green...The Radishes themselves became more of a muted Red violet to pop them away from the more middle of the road reds on the Fraggles).

The issue is due out tomorrow, but you can check out a preview of the interiors here

2011 Appearances
MSU Comics Forum: Jan. 22
C2E2: March 18-22
Phoenix Comic Con: May 26-29
Cherry Capital Con: June 12-13
San Diego Comic Con: July 20-24
Baltimore Comic Con: Aug. 20-21
New York Comic Con: Oct. 14-16


AlphaWolf said...

Wow!! Seems like a very long and complicated process!! But I guess very rewarding in the end. It is a very nice piece of art! :)

Max West said...

It's looking good, Dave! I may have to get a copy of Fraggle Rock along with the Black Axe series. I was such a Fraggle fan as a child - my parents did one thing right when they got us wired for cable in the early 1980s. ;)

KMB said...

Hey Dave,

I just got into the Mouse Guard series. Love it. The blog is great as well. I was wondering about the process of the "color hold." I'm not a novice with photoshop, but I certainly don't know all of the tricks.

Thanks Dave

DPetersen said...

AlphaWolf: Thanks!

Max: While I had a cursory understanding of Fraggle Rock as a kid (we didn't have cable) I didn't really discover it until more recently. Glad you are thinking of trying it!

KMB: Essentially I have a layer on top of my line art that is getting the lineart to be a color instead of a black line. There are several ways to go about it with layer masks or layer modes. I did a blogpost tutorial of how _I_ do it back in '09: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2009/12/color-tutorial-color-hold-color-hold-is.html

KMB said...

Thanks Dave! I appreciate you getting back to me/giving fans an inside look at your process (Not to mention your superior work).

Thanks for everything,


CraftyAndy said...

fraggle rock never looked so entertaining. How long before I'm gonna see ya at Anthrocon one of theses days?

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