Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hup: Dark Crystal Age of Resistance Cover

Archaia is publishing a Dark Crystal comic series that ties in with the Netflix series 'Age of Resistance' and I fortunate enough to be asked to do some variant covers for it!

The series is made up of three 4 issue arcs, and the second arc is all about everyone's favorite brave spoon wielding podling: Hup!

 To the left you can see my finished Hup cover, but below I'll break down all the steps I took to create the cover artwork.

For these Age of Resistance covers, I've wanted to make more of a collage and vignette of characters or scenes from the comic rather than the full body profiles I did of the skeksis and mystics for my last cover-run. I started with pencil drawings of each of the characters I needed to include for this cover: Hup of course, and also a Gelfling bard named Barfinnious and the skeksis treasurer skekShod. All of those were drawn separately on copy paper, scanned in, and then moved, resized, and adjusted to make up a composition using a Froudian circle design as a framing mechanism.

I also did a quick color pass to help me see the characters, predict tangent or value problems, and to make sure Archaia and Henson could clearly see what I was going for.

Once Archaia and Henson both approved the layout above, I printed it out at about 10" x 15" (on two sheets of paper that I aligned and taped together) and then taped that printout to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. On my Huion light pad, I'm able to see through the surface of the bristol, down to the layout to use as my pencil lines while I ink. I used Copic Multiliner SP pens (the 0.3 & 0.7 nibs are my go-to's).

As I inked this I streamed the process on my Twitch Chanel.
And I found out that Victor Yerrid, the performer for Hup, watched part of the stream and was kind enough to reach out and compliment the artwork.

Flat Colors:
The inks were sent in for approvals before I could start on the first part of the coloring step: flatting. This is where I digitally paint inside the lines with flat colors what color everything should be. I had a lot of the color choices already figured out because of the reference material and my inital rough, but this was also an oppertunity to make any changes--especially in saturation (color intensity) and value (light/dark) of the piece.

I also added a few color holds on the lute strings and the leather band on Hup's arm. Color holds are where I can choose to paint the line art  color other than black.

Final Colors:
For the final colors, I use the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop to add highlights and shadows as well as texture. I added a little parchment-wash overlay to mute everything out and called the piece done.

Dark Crystal Age of Resistance: Hup begins this month, and my cover will be on next month's issue #6!

2020 Convention Appearances to be announced soon...

1 comment:

Dragon Dave said...

How did you convert your inked copy into a digital file? Do you have a large scanner?

Blog Archive