Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hare 5x7 Print Process

For 2017 I'll be introducing a lot of new 5"x7" matted prints to my convention appearances and in my online store. Fans have been enjoying the Saxon, Gwendolyn, Sadie, and Kenzie prints in the same format, so in addition to adding more guardmouse characters for 2017, I'm also adding more animals/scenes.

In this post, I'll be sharing the process of creating the Hare & Piper-mouse artwork to the left from concept to finished colors.

I started by drawing the hare on a sheet of copy paper. Then to make sure I could easily adjust the layout and proportions, I drew the mouse separately. The mouse is Piper from the 2016 FCBD story "Piper the Listener". After I'd started assembling the two drawings in photoshop (tinting them both to help my eye see where one ended and the other began) and then I decided that the hare needed some kind of clothing. I only showed the hares in Winter 1152 with mouse-made saddles and harnesses for riding, no apparent clothing of their own. I dunno if I'll stick to this new fashion forward hare-look, but for the print, I thought it needed it.

I printed out the photoshop assembled layout and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol and inked on a lightpad. I use a Huion lightpad that allows me to see the printout through the surface of the bristol. This means that on the surface of the bristol will only be my inks, no pencil lines to erase (though sometimes, I do tighten up the pencils a bit as I work if the layout sketch is too loose). For pens I used Copic Multiliners, the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs. I fudged in the grassy silhouette while looking at photos of various grasses gone to seed.

Once the inks are scanned, I start the process of flatting the piece for color. This means laying in flat color (no concerns with shading or texture) to establish that areas like the hare's fur will be different from the collar, its eye, the rock,  etc.

Once the flat colors are in I start rendering each area using the dodge and burn tools (lighten and darken) with a textured brush. I also added some color holds on the hare's collar embroidery and the grassy background.

Here again is the finished colored artwork. This print and many more will be available at any of my convention appearances this year was well as in my online store.

For process posts on previous prints:

2017 Appearances: 
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

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