Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Anatomy of a Commission

As I have mentioned here before I am always available to do commissioned drawings should anyone like to request one. Recently I received a request from a church pastor who is also a big comic book fan and he asked for a drawing that featured Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and the Pastor himself! Such a cool idea! So complete with visions of Peter Jackson's Dead Alive/ Brain Dead Father (I kick ass for the Lord!) McGruder dancing in my brain I started to draw.

When I start to work on something with alot of details I will usually do some preliminary sketches just to work out how things will look or as a way of remembering to include important details on the final drawing. Here are a couple of the preliminary sketches I completed. They don't look like much but they are a highly useful part of the process.

Once I have some ideas in place I start the final drawing sketching it out in light pencil til I get nearly all details in place. It's often a super messy looking drawing with lots of stray lines but hey that's why they invented erasers!

Once the pencil sketch is complete I move on to the inking stage. I typically use 3 differently sized Faber-Castell Pitt Indian Ink artist pens and my secret weapon their excellent Indian Ink brush pen. These are amazing pens! They don't stink like so many markers do and they rarely bleed through the paper. With these pens I basically redraw/ trace over my pencil sketch and add a bit of shadow. I add more or less shadow depending on whether or not I plan to add color the drawing after inking.

Once the inking stage is complete this is when I add color. I colored this drawing using mostly Rose Art & Berol colored pencils. Most people will tell you Berol pencils are the only way to go but I find they have a tendency to build up a sort of white residue on top of the drawing as they age so I try to mix it up with other brands of pencils to prevent this from happening.

And here it is the finished drawing! I quite like the way it turned out, kind of a classic, comic book cover line-up looking drawing, complete with Little Orphan Annie eyes!

Thanks to Pastor John for giving me permission to share this drawing! And if anyone else out there every wants to request a drawing from me just drop me an email :)


Arkonbey said...

Man. I love seeing process work. I like how you gave the heroes 'better than average' physiques and not lumpy, steroid-jacked, Image-comics-int-the-nineties bodies.

The tilt of The Pastor's head makes him seem the most human of the punch.

I was a big Prismicolor fan myself, but I gave them all to Sweet Enemy.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the wonderful piece of art. I am going to paint my church study soon and will send pictures of your work hanging on my wall.

Randal Graves said...

Excellent stuff as always, and what arkonbey said, it's cool to see the steps a creator takes to make something.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

That's really good, nice to see how you do it! I have to say, though, Pastor John does bear some resemblance to Simon Pegg, which is certainly not a bad thing, given that Spaced is the best TV show ever.

I've been away for a bit, so I'm probably very late with this, but I really like your new banner!

Bradda said...

Nice work.

Becca said...

I've never been a big fan of the steroid monsters that they draw in comic books these days. I much prefer the Alex Raymond/ Hal Foster type build.

So glad you like it! By the way it thrills me to no end that you are using comic John as your profile pic right now! So glad you liked it!

So glad to share, it was kind of fun to talk about too!

"Pastor John does bear some resemblance to Simon Pegg..."

Can't speak for the Pastor but darn that's a cool compliment! Simon Pegg is the awesomest! Glad you dig the banner too!

Oh thank you!

Anonymous said...

That really turned out pretty awesome! Thanks for the insight into your process.

Steve said...

nice piece as usual but why anyone would request something other than monkeys is beyond me :)

PJ said...

I love the concept and the execution. Great work.