Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Scary Godmother Tribute for the Baltimore Yearbook

 For roughly a decade the Baltimore Comic Con has published a convention art book called 'The Baltimore Yearbook' that usually features a creator-owned character or property, where that creator is a guest of the convention. Selected guest artists are asked to contribute a piece of fan art for the book to celebrate the creator and property. It allows us to play in someone's world, and offers a chance for attendees to meet new creators as they go around the show floor collecting autographs in their yearbook.

This year's subject is Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother! To the left you can see my finished art, and below in the blogpost I'll walk through my process.
We are always encouraged to include our own characters into our Yearbook piece--to create a cross-over image that might not have otherwise happened. I'm always hesitant to add mice from Mouse Guard into these pieces––but a few years ago in the Blacksad piece I did add a mouse character as they would appear in that title. And here I thought it would be fun to add in some mice dressed for Halloween characters to form a border (and distract from the fact that the rest of the composition would be a character pile-up.

Once I had my border, I drew each character separately (starting with Scary Godmother herself) on copy paper while using a light pad (think of it as making Photoshop layers in the physical world.) I adjusted the size & position of the characters until I had a composition I was happy with (and adding some quick flat color helped me see if the composition worked in terms of light/dark masses.

With the pencils/layout done, I printed out the composition (on two sheets of legal paper that had to be registered and then taped back together) and then taped that to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 Bristol. On my Huion lightpad, I can see through the surface of the bristol down to the printout to use it as a guide to ink by. I used Copic Multiliner pens (mostly the 0.7 nib) to do all the inkwork.

The trick was balancing my normal texture work with the usually very open forms Jill has when she draws and paints these characters. The original inks for this piece will be up for auction at the convention.

Once the inks were finished, it was time to start coloring the piece. I scanned the inks and began laying in flat colors. This part of the process is called 'flatting' where the color areas are all established with flat colors (no shading, no rendering, no textures, no effects). Some of the color choices were done for me by needing to be on-model from Jill's comics, but I'd also made some choices for the saturation and values when I did my quick color blocking in the pencils stage.

In this step I also established all the color holds (areas where I want the ink lines to be a color other than black) like Boozle the ghost cat's outline, the border, and the glow inside the pumpkin.

The last step was to do the final rendering and lighting effects for the piece. I did this mostly using the dodge and burn tools and a stock Photoshop brush.

This piece will be published in the Baltimore Yearbook later this month. That book will be available for purchase at the convention and through the con's website afterwards. The original inked piece will also be for sale in the art auction at the con on Saturday.

No comments:

Blog Archive