My friend and writing partner is putting out the first chapter of his comic, and I have done the cover for him. He gave me a lot of artistic freedom (but not a lot of time), so I went with the cover of the classic EC cover that so enraged Frederic Wertham and other 1950s denizens.
To get a change in my routine, I like to draw these large posters, and try out different coloring and shading techniques. Using a variety of subjects, I get a feel for how appropriate a particular technique might be in a particular situation.
Additionally, this is exercise is a great way to gain perspective (no pun intended) on your art style; drawing an object out of context helps me think about how I render the qualities that go into that object, ultimately helping me grow as an artist (I hope).
If you’re interested in doing a similar project, I suggest getting any large surface on which you would enjoy drawing. Leave it someplace convenient and add to slowly.
Always interested to try new rendering techniques, I have been playing with the saturation on some of my illustrations in Photoshop. I started with the goal of moving from purely black line work, and that has led me into some interesting territory.
Additionally, I’ve been playing with various methods of applying midtones. In the examples that I have provided, I used a mixture of halftone dots, mezzotint, and pointizing.
I’ve used this scissors design as an example.
Here’s the original image.
Since I’v been drawing so many astronauts and astroscapes, I thought I’d throw back the curtain a little and explain my process. I have skipped the penciling stage in this post, but, faithful readers, if you would like to see that stage, I’d be happy to oblige.
Here’s the astronaut sans wash.
This is the wash that I did on a separate piece of bristol. Once it dried, I used a brush to splatter white ink over it to resemble stars.
I touched up some of the shadows on the astronaut. I also tool parts of another wash to create the “depressurizing bolt” emitted from the astronaut’s cracked helmet. In the future, I’d like to ad another tone to the astronaut’s body, and maybe add some planets.