"Jeff Smith is recuperating from a cardiac arrest, which he suffered on Sunday. There will be a long road to recovery, so regrettably we must cancel the remainder of his book tour this year."
Jeff's work, especially Bone, have been a guiding light for all-ages content in the comic & graphic novel space for decades. Jeff's always been a kind and generous supporter and friend, and I wanted to do a piece of tribute art while he's recovering.
So, I started work on my rough right away. I drew Phone Bone on a sheet of copy paper as well as a mouse arms stretched wide. I then scanned those assembled then in Photoshop and did a bunch of alterations and digital corrections as well as a quickly painted background.
The next step was to print out the above layout and tape it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore bristol. On my Huion lightpad I was able to see through the surface of the bristol and use the printout as a guide to ink from. I used Copic Multiliner SP pens (the 0.7 for most of it, but the 0.3 for the mouse's eye).
It was tricky to ink Phone Bone so cleanly and not add in more texture like I do for most of my contour inking. I then made up for it with the environment.
Most of the color choices were things I'd already decided on in my layout stage, but I certainly made some subtle changes in hue, saturation, and value to many areas so the whole piece worked together even before I started rendering it.
The original inks have been sent to Jeff, and I hope you all join me in wishing and praying for the best for Jeff's recovery.