Sunday, April 21, 2013
I tried a little experiment with my fan art exchange this week over at Untold Tales of Bigfoot. First, out of the blue, Wouter Goedkoop generously sent me some Bigfoot fan art that incorporated the characters from his comic, Cpt. Wayne & The Unexplained Dimension. And then, in response, I decided to "reverse the camera" on the whole scene and do a flipped version of the same moment in time. It was fun. I posted some of the steps below.
The pencils. Wouter's characters are very futuristic -- polar opposites to my earthy Bigfoot and Scout. So it was nice to step outside my comfort zone and sketch something streamlined and high-tech.
Once the pencils are scanned into Photoshop, I ink them. Wouter doesn't employ the traditional black outline/filled-with-color that many comic artists use. His is a more painterly style. I could've played around with that, but I really wanted to see Wouter's characters done in a classic comic book style.
In Photoshop, I drop flat colors behind the inks. Again, Wouter's characters stand apart from my own comic in that he uses very bright, very saturated colors that explode off the screen. I wanted to honor that so I didn't dull down his palette too much when I colored his figures. It makes for a nice contrast with the organic background. After this step, I just add highlights and shadows (image up top).
If Captain Wayne and Gina intrigue you, head over to Cpt. Wayne & The Unexplained Dimension to check out the work of Wouter Goedkoop. -v
Sunday, April 14, 2013
This week's fan art exchange over at my award-nominated (never get tired of saying that) webcomic, Untold Tales of Bigfoot was with D.M. Rolfe, a cartoonist who resides in the U.K. Rolfe is the creator behind The Mighty Monocle, a comic about a humorous superhero who protects Great Britain. Rolfe did this awesome Bigfoot gag for me. In response, I created this fan art tribute to Rolfe's character, made to look like an old, worn comic magazine from the '70s. To see how I put it together, you can scroll through the steps below.
The pencils. Rolfe's comic is done in the classic 3 panel format. But I wanted to take his heroes and re-envision them as caped crusaders of the silver age. So there they are, leaping before they look, in a classic superhero pose.
Once the pencils are scanned into Photoshop, I ink them. Since I want this to look like the splash page from a comic book, I use some traditional comic book fonts to create a masthead and title blurb. Rolfe's comic is mostly a black-and-white affair, and I wanted to continue that tradition with my fan art. So, next step, toning.
Here I used just a few greyscale values to give a sense of depth, and also drop in a few subtle textures to dress it up. One more thing I did was to run a halftone filter over the whole thing to make it look like it was run off on a traditional press. Beyond that, in order to age it, I ended up tinting the whole thing with a stale yellow and, finally, overlaying a photo texture of an old comic book binding (image up top). And that's that! It looks so vintage you can almost smell it!
After you're done smelling your computer screen, point your noses over to Rolfe's webcomic, The Mighty Monocle, and enjoy his classic cartooning and silly sense of humor. -v
Monday, April 8, 2013
Another fan art exchange over at my award-nominated (what? yes!) webcomic, Untold Tales of Bigfoot. This time, I exchanged mash-ups with Jack Slade, the creator of Scaredemy, a funk family-friendly webcomic about a school for monsters. To see Jack's impression of how my Bigfoot character would look in a Scaredemy school uniform, check this out. And if you'd like to see the process behind the above image (Scaredemy's Wolfric howling at the moon with Untold Tales of Bigfoot's Scout) then just keep reading.
I use some custom brushes to create the grass/leaves and also paint in the highlights and shadows. This is the next to the last step. After this I used a chalk brush to create the rings of moonlight, and threw a bit of texture down on top of the whole thing to complete it (top image).
Wolfric's a great character and fun to draw. But there's a whole cast of great characters in Jack Slade's Scaredemy. So check it out when you get a chance. And don't forget to stop in and visit Untold Tales of Bigfoot on your way. -v
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
If you're reading this, then maybe you already have pop-ups blocked in your browser. But I just discovered that Blogger has been spewing spammy pop-ups recently and I have no idea why. I don't seem to have any way to control it on my end (at least, that I've found). Yet another reason to leave Blogspot and find a new place to host my process posts. Anyway, sorry Google is terrible. If you want to enjoy this blog without the horrid pop-ups, just set your browser to block them. Thanks. -v
Posted by Vince Dorse at 11:23 AM
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The fan art exchanges continue over at Untold Tales of Bigfoot. This time, in exchange for some Bigfoot art, I tried my hand at Michael Dambold's Peter the Pterodactyl, a pivotal character in his cosmic time/space sage, Gem of Atlantis. This is the finished piece, but I posted some steps in my process below for those that are interested.
The pencils. My illustrations normally lean toward kid-friendly, but I'm pretty sure actual pterodactyls were just this cute during adolescence.
Once the pencils are scanned into Photoshop, I ink it. There are no background elements inked in because I wanted to experiment with some different methods for the backdrop.
The pterodactyl will progress as my normal comic art does -- with flat colors first. But I wanted to do something more "spacey" and "cosmic" for the background. I did a quick search on the internet and found a few tutorials that fit the bill. Basically, create a star field with some "planets" made of sampled textures.
As Peter gets his highlights and shadows (all in Photoshop with a soft brush) so the planets get their shadows. A few of the space tutorials I found used texture overlays to emulate nebulae in the background, so I gave that a shot and it didn't look half bad.
The next step on the pterodactyl is to intensify his highlights and shadows, building them up slowly with transparent brushes, and painting in some mottled textures on the wings. As for deep space, that's all about glow effects to give the appearance of an atmospheric bubble around each planet. Another great trick I learned was the use of a lens flare to simulate the sun coming over the horizon. After that (as you can see in the top image) it was just a matter of blasting every single thing in the image with varying degrees of glow to give it that cosmic effect.
It was weird not actually drawing those space elements, but I think this method served the piece better, and that's the whole point. And don't forget, if you like Peter the Pterodactyl, don't forget to give Michael Dambold's Gem of Atlantis a try. -v
Friday, March 29, 2013
Hey, here's some fantastic news -- Untold Tales of Bigfoot has been nominated for another award! This time it’s National Cartoonists Society 2012 Divisional Award for Best Online Comic (Long-Form). The National Cartoonists Society is the world's largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. Each year, during the NCS Annual Reuben Awards Weekend, the Society honors the year’s outstanding achievements in all walks of the profession.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled. It's a fantastic honor just to be nominated. And while winning the award would be the cherry on the sundae, I'm up against some pretty stiff competition. One is my friend and fellow-Pittsburgh artist, Pat Lewis and his webcomic Muscles Diablo. The other is Meredith Gran and her wildly popular, long-running strip, Octopus Pie. See? That's a lot of talent right there. Nice to have Untold Tales of Bigfoot included in that group.
Not sure how it'll all end up, but whichever way it goes, I'm already happy to say the nomination has brought more readers to my comic and a lot of nice compliments. If you haven't had a chance to check out the comic, why not head on over to the deep, dark woods of Untold Tales of Bigfoot and say hello. -v
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I work dawn to dusk every day cranking out Untold Tales of Bigfoot pages so I can meet my weekly deadline. But it's all done on the computer, mostly in Photoshop. But I recently finished a commission for an image of Bigfoot and Scout done in brush pens and marker. I don't often draw these guys the old-fashioned way, and it was both fun and frustrating (no "undo"). Here's a quick rundown of the process.
I always start my Bigfoot comic pages with pencil. So that's nothing new. But the inks? Normally I do them on my Wacom Tablet in Photoshop. Easy to fix a bad line, no mess, just the way I like it. But this inking was done with pens, a brush pen for the thicker outlines and various fine point pens for the smaller details.
In the color stage, instead of dropping in fills on a different layer with the paintbucket tool, I had to bust out the Prismacolor markers. I was pretty careful, but I still got a little smear from the ink once in a while when the wet marker hit it (precisely the reason I left the fine fur detail for after the colors). I wanted the sky to be a bit more subtle than a big block of blue, so I Van Gogh'd that sucker. Or Seurat'd it. Whatever. Anyway, I was pretty happy with the outcome but even happier with getting back to the natural media process. So I'll be doing more of these for sure.-v