I contributed a pinup for the collection, and today's blogpost is the process of how I went about making the artwork.
My first step was to decide what to focus on for a pinup. There are several characters, and while I was tempted to do a piece featuring the less prominent ones, I did in the end decide to feature two of the main cast Quinlan & Dakkan. With the Legends of the Guard connection between Alex and I, I thought it would be nice to have this pair in a tavern setting. Each of the characters and the background were drawn on separate sheets of copy paper, then scanned into Photoshop, tinted, and placed into a template for the pinup's specs. This allows me to shuffle around the pieces individually, resize them if needed, and get my placement just the way I want it. The Celtic knot was a low-res pattern I found online, modified and repeated as top and bottom borders.
The finished inks were then scanned and in Photoshop I started flatting the colors for the piece. Flatting colors is all about establishing color areas. Making one character's fur a different color than the others or than their clothes or than the walls. It's a grown-up version of coloring-within-the-lines. In some cases, I use really garish and wrong colors when I flat because I don't want to get bogged down with color choices when I just need to establish the different areas. In this case though, most of the palate was already there for me in Rachel's art in the series.
The last step was to render all the color. I added highlights, shadows and texture for the piece using the Dodge and Burn tools with a textured Photoshop brush. A few color holds and special effects layers were added to make the lanterns glow and Quinlan's sash look embroidered.
You can go now and read all of Beyond the Western Deep now for free on the website, but the physical copy (with pinup material etc) will be coming to print at Boston Con.
Motor City Comic Con: May 16-18
Comicpalooza: May 23-25
Phoenix Comic Con: June 5-8
Heroes Con: June 20-22
San Diego Comic Con: July 23-27
Boston Comic Con: August 8-10
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 5-7
NY Comic Con: Oct. 9-12