The Great Allentown Comic Con is August 4th and 5th at Merchant's Square Mall in Allentown, PA. I will be a guest there and I'm very much looking forward to it, since(as is illustrated on the cover) Jim Kelly, Joe Kubert, Cindy Morgan, and Jeremy Bulloch will also be guests!!!! find out where, when and learn about the other guests attending here: http://www.allentowncomiccon.com/
Lets take a detailed look at the process of illustrating the cover of Allentown Comic Con's program book
I start with a rough layout and gesture drawing.
I then lighten it using a rolling technique with a gum eraser.
This way when I refine the pencils the gesture lines aren't distracting.
I run the eraser over the final pencils, to lighten the lines so that the sometimes semi-translucent colours in gouache don't reveal pencils.
Then I mask all 4 edges --
--and begin with the background.
once that';s complete I can begin filling in the blacks for my foreground characters.
Filling in the blacks is a lot like inking only I add some grey tones for additional depth.
now I clean my pallette and work on the blues. I use 3 shades of blue with black and white and begin with the Tron figure.
Now I start with another pallette. Greens and Browns. Deep Green, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Lamp Black and Zinc White. The Yellow Ochre, black and white all work as mixers for the green and brown.
since Bobba Fett is all green grey with the exception of the copper parts, this pallette basically finishes him --
-- as well as Jim Kelly's skin tones and most of Sgt. Rock.
now its time for the remaining flesh tones. This is going to be a very full tablet, because flesh is never just one colour. All skin reflects light and this alone will affect colour, but the paler the skin the more translucent and that leaves alot going on with colour(damn white people being difficult again). With less pigment, comes blood, blemish, revealed capilaries, etc. In short, to get a realistic skin tone, you'll need lots of colour.
In the case of Cindy Morgan's Tron character, there are 2 main reflective colour considerations. The blue glow of the costume and the red/yellow glow from the background.
I started by lining the edges with yellow ochre then accenting lighter areas with lemon yellow
Now there's both lipstick, eye shadow and the general glow of the Tron lighting to consider. This is where the ultramarine blue came in.
vermillion red for the capillaries beneath the cheeks.
burnt umber for extra shadow
and then a semi translucent pale orange over the whole face to tie it all together
black for face detail. eyelashes, eyebrows mouth etc.
finally white for additional highlights.
this is probably the most gratifying part of the job; removing the masking tape!!
after scanning, I adjust the contrast levels and saturation to get a more vibrant picture
then some digital airbrushing.
now I bump up the brightness at the bottom to make it more suitable for text that will go there eventually. I add the logo and mask out space for the characters to appear over it. The lines are on a removable layer and mark the bleed and safe area.