Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Legends of the Guard Vol 2. #3 cover process


With Legends Volume 2 in full solicitation swing, I'm back with another Legends cover process post. Last cover I mentioned considering having the main character be a musician...Well, I saved the idea for this cover and made the single musician a trio...a trio that could play so well, they'd call back the dead.

The cover started with some sketches and research into medieval instruments. After looking at several pages (and even listening to some recordings of people playing the instruments) I settled on bagpipes, an organetto, and something like a rebec. I took some liberties with them and the way they are played for the sake of being from mouse culture rather than man's. The dancing ghosts were also loosely sketched in my sketchbook so I could start to digitally compose a layout.

With sketches in hand, I worried about this cover and how it was going to work. Simply pasting together the drawings would not give me a full idea of this cover's final appearance or what pitfalls I would have to watch out for. So I did a bit more with tone and effects in the digital composite than I normally would. I played with some stock photos of trees in the background to give a foggy sense of depth.

The inks were a bit tricky because of the ghost effects...and at several times while inking I worried this cover wouldn't work the way I was proceeding with it, but I just pushed through figuring I'd make sense of it all in color. I inked this on two different sheets of bristol. The first was the 'real world' inks: ground, musician mice, and trees. The other sheet consisted of the mice and some sparkly effects I inked as dots. Before I started inking, I printed out the digital composite twice: one without the ghosts and one with just the ghosts. I added a few mice that were not in my initial rough, but I drew and inked them as I went.

The flats were rather quick, but took some advanced thought as to arranging the layers of them so I could achieve all the transparencies and ghost effects. I color held the trees and the ghost outlines on different layers. After the flat colors were established for the ground, sky, and musicians, I made some semi-transparent ghostly layers for the spirits' bodies. The ghosts are on multiple layers so that where they overlap there is a density change in their color. I kept the musician color choices fairly muted to make sure they didn't seem too out of place.

Here is a look at the final colors sans-text with all the rendering finished and the effects tweaked:
Issue 3 of Legends of the Guard volume 2 will feature stories by:
C.P. Wilson IIICory Godbey, & Eric Canete




Watercolor Wednesday: 
Ever since getting back from Spectrum Live, I've wanted to play more in the world of gnomes, elves, fay, sprites, cluricauns,  and brownies. I tend to do some work in that direction anyhow, but the next few weeks of Watercolor Wednesdays will be firmly planted there. The first up of last week's watercolor pieces was inspired by my design of a Fairy creature for a Mayfair game.

The other piece from last week I built up rather slowly with lots of layers of watercolor. The worried little fay seemed to be in the middle of telling me his story as I painted him. I figure he's some sort of late night watch who keeps his eyes and ears on the moon and heavens and will-o-wisps and even the humans and their farm beasts in order to make sure the world passes at it's correct pace, in sync with prophetic charts and runic almanacs. He frets a lot, but only jingles his bell soundly when real trouble (cosmic or domestic) puts everything in jeopardy.

Albuquerque Comic Expo: June 21-23
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21
Boston Comic Con: August 3-4
Baltimore Comic Con: September 7-8
New York Comic Con: October 10-13


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