My pin-up for the first issue of ~GreenSkyZero
's comic Forever Winter.
I seriously had so much fun working on this piece. I had been rolling ideas around in my head for the layout that involved lots of characters and some sort of montage or possibly a crazy action scene, and it all seemed so typical. I've done pictures like that before and they can look awesome, but somehow a movie poster-style image or freeze frame of a battle didn't feel like it would do Forever Winter justice. With no ideas on how to proceed, I decided to pull out some books for inspiration. The one that did the trick was *KAH-reload
's 2010 sketchbook entitled "Egg". Eric's sketches always have such amazing layouts that play with negative space, textures, and framing, which gave me the idea to go for a cool design rather than bombastic visuals. As soon as I set my sights on that goal, this image came into my mind almost immediately.
The next way that Canete inspired me was that I decided to try to lay this piece out as fast as possible. I really struggled with this because, try as I may, once I get into the meat of a drawing I cannot stop myself from noodling with every little detail. I think that this comes from the fact that I used to idolize and imitate Travis Charest so much. I'd love to be able to leave out a lot of details and add more (see: at least SOME) blacks to to my figures, but once I start drawing wrinkles in the characters' clothes and accessories hanging from their belts, etc., I can never force myself to hide those touches in shadow. In the end, I am very happy with the look of the image, thanks in large part to the shading I put on the pillar and the background figure.
After I'd resigned myself to giving up the lofty goal of finishing this piece in two days or less, I spent about 6 hours inking it. Considering how much white space there is, that amount of time may seem a bit excessive, but I was re-acquainting myself with my quill pen, which I've only really used once in the past...I don't know...3 years? ...4? The inks were the stage of the process that I had the most fun with on this image. Once more drawing inspiration from Eric Canete, once I finished critically laying down the inks on the foreground character, I decided to loosen up some on the pillar and try some new things. The un-ruled and purposefully shaky outlines, scratchy black shadows, and cement texture were all a joy to work on. All of those dots on the pillar look a bit like "spatter", but I actually put down each and every one of those dots with my pen nib, placing different amounts of pressure on the page to vary their sizes and shapes.
In the end, I'm extremely happy with how this image came out. It looks almost exactly as I had pictured it in my head, which is something that I almost never accomplish. There are still a lot of aspects of my art that I'd like to work on, but if every piece I finished could look like this, I'd be a very happy camper.
Drawn on 11x17" bristol, inked with a quill, a brush, and a tiny bit of Millennium Pen, and touched up in Photoshop.