Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Treats (a spooky work-in-progress)

Here's my latest promotional postcard. I know some of you have seen the image before and maybe some of you have even received it in the mail. But whether you've seen it before or not, I guarantee you haven't seen the work-in-progress steps I've posted below. So there. And you thought this post was gonna be nothing but old hat.

I really didn't have anything in mind when I started this image. I was at a bookstore on an overcast October day and I had Halloween on the brain. So I doodled this cute little puppy in a superhero costume. Just plain old pencil on paper -- the way most of my illustrations start. The trick-or-treat thing felt right so I continued with the cat and panda (or maybe they're actual, human kids wearing phenomenal animal costumes accessorized as a superhero, witch and skeleton. who knows?). I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to compose this image, so I actually ended up drawing each figure in full, planning to arrange them in the computer later.

And here, of course, is the composited scene. I sketched some porch boards and there you have it. Three sweet trick-or-treaters out for some Halloween fun. I had some vague ideas about the background, but that could wait until later. At this stage it was safe to start laying in color.

So here's the image with the color started. There's not much to say about this, but people seem to enjoy seeing "unfinished" illustrations in progress. So here you go.

At this stage, I'm still playing around with the background. You can see the progression of backgrounds from 1) dark, ominous void to 2) the street on the edge of forever and finally to 3) a pleasant little suburban lane on Halloween. After that I cleaned up the line work a little and played with the lighting and voila! Done. With only a little more than a week to go until Halloween. -v

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