Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winter B&W and Probamon!

Winter 1152 Black & White ed.:
Word has it from Archaia that 60 advance copies of the Winter Black &White limited edition will be available at their booth for the New York Comic Con this weekend! For new blog readers who are unfamiliar with this long overdue title, it's a limited edition black and white slipcased version of the Winter 1152 book.

The book is oversized so that the pages match the size of the original artwork used to create Winter 1152. Fans enjoyed seeing my original inked pages at conventions (and peeks here on the blog). I wanted any limited edition book of Mouse Guard to feel special and not a numbered reprint of the exact same material you already own, so the goal with this edition was for you to feel like you are holding a portfolio of all the original pages at their original size and before they were colored digitally.

Additionally, where I would use an overlay sheet to replicate snow or ice or sleet on the original art, the effect has been printed on vellum. It was the sheer number of these in Winter that has been a major factor in this book taking so long to be printed and available. The Fall 1152 B&W edition, had 1/3 the overlay sheets that Winter has, and the printer became very concerned with how to bind it properly (which I can happily report was solved). The snow effect appears black just as it did on my original overlay sheets that I made using black ink. There was talk about printing it in white, but I preferred the book to continue to feel just as the original art used to make the book appears before scanned and colored.

The edition is limited to 1,000 copies. As I said, 60 of those (shipped in advance of the entire order) should be for sale at the New York Comic Con this weekend. When the remaining stock arrive in the US, Archaia will have them for sale in their online store. This book was solicited through Diamond (and then canceled due to lateness) in the past, so the only way to purchase this book now is directly at conventions or the Archaia webstore. I know that may be frustrating to some, but our goal was to make it easier for fans all over the world to be able to purchase the book and for it to arrive undamaged. With this system, Archaia & I have more control over that than ever. I will try and do my best to update any info I have on these, as well as what conventions I'll be bringing copies to.

Reading with Pictures: Probamon!
As part of the Reading with Pictures' Graphic Textbook Kickstarter, I did artwork of a Pokemon-style creature. One of the stories in the upcoming Graphic Textbook is called Probamon (written by Geoffrey Golden & drawn by Nate Pride). It teaches kids about probability with scenarios of Pokemon type monsters dueling it out. As a reward for the Kickstarter, I agreed to draw the card art (because they are also releasing a set of Probamon trading cards) for a creature to be designed by a Kickstarter backer.

Charlotte Cheng (who contributed this Mouse Guard fan art in the past) was the lucky backer (and will also be drawn with her monster in the story by Nate Pride) and submitted these drawings of a "mushroom bunny" that takes this fungi form to become more stealthy and harvest special berries. So...I took a stab at it.

This is one of the rare cases where the rough matched the ink-work almost identically (so it's not worth scanning & showing the sketch). I didn't have much to do in terms of re-designing Charlotte's monster, it came down more to refining the shape and details into my own style of working. I tried to give the head less of a mask look and more that the mushroom cap was part of the rabbit's head. I made the nose go away fro the same reason...and the eyes smaller so it looked less like a Warner Bros. style rabbit and more of a creature.

The colors were taken from Charlotte's concepts as well. I gave the creature a swirling gas breath attack (mentioned as a line of defense generated by eating the berries in Charlotte's art & description) and I liked the nod to the mushroom/hookah/smoke tie in with the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. All of the lines received a color hold to soften the art a bit. The original and a color print of the creature will be making it's way to Charlotte's home soon.

Watercolor Wednesday:
In case you missed last week's Watercolor Wednesday paintings, here's another look. All three were purely from my own imagination and done for the fun of the imagery. First up is a wealthy king. I struggle with how to draw humans. I either fall into trying to be a slave to reference (and making something stiff and photo-referenced-looking), apeing another artist's style (and doing a bad job of it) or going with something a bit more of an animation design than I planned. The king was an exercise in embracing how I draw naturally while trying to push past the overly simplified animation design.

Next up is a bearded skull. I like skulls when they aren't being used as imagery for horror, evil, or some type of music/lifestyle. I like them as honest objects that link us to mortality in a healthy way...a scientific way.  So I started this painting wanting to include a skull...but then when I got to the jaw area, I just started drawing hair. I imagined the beard on this guy still being magically alive and moving like an octopus moves when it crawls along the bottom of the ocean...all the while dragging it's bone base along with it. The bowler was added to make the painting a bit more humorous and not so macabre.

And lastly is a new painting of a dragon from a project I started dreaming up with Jesse Glenn (real-life-Kenzie) on my 18th birthday. The dragon's name is Loden and was meant to be an unconventional dragon design that made it more of a land-based beast with body mass more like a rhino than your typical dragon. We figured his little wings wouldn't even get him off the ground (or only with immense strain.

Tomorrow I'll post more original watercolor paintings for purchase in the online store.

2012 Appearances:
Detroit Fanfare: Oct 26-28
Thought Bubble: Nov 17-18

2013 Appearances: Emerald City: March 1-3
Fabletown Con: March 22-24
C2E2: April 26-28
Spectrum Live: May 17-19
Heroes Con: June 7-9
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21
*more 2013 dates coming*


Bo Harris said...

This is wonderful news David. I look forward to ordering my Winter B&W soon.

bethany said...

the "snow on vellum" sounds magical. can't wait!

Blitz55 said...

With watercolor, do you ink them before or after you paint. My guess is after so it wont mess up the ink. But ive never done it, was thinking of trying it.

DPetersen said...

Blitz55: I ink after I paint. That has less to do with messing up the ink and more to do with getting the right amount of line. The ink I use is waterproof, so the watercolor won't effect it if I painted over it (I have, in fact, gone back and touched up a few places in watercolor after the inks with no ill effects). I want these watercolors to be watercolors, not painted-in ink drawings. So by doing the watercolor 1st and then only adding the linework necessary to get the image across, I avoid overworking the inks like I would if I did them first.

Charlotte Cheng said...

Looks great David! Thanks for interpreting my character :D

Blog Archive