Monday, July 18, 2005

This is just a quick run though of the process. Here's a larger pic.

1) Sometimes the hardest part of the job. I draw these at about 3x5 inches, usually a series of quick roughs (maybe 30-45 seconds on each one) just to get an overall idea of character placement and design. It's a matter of trusting your instincts and throwing ideas down quickly and trying to sort throough it all later.

After a few tries I end up with a composition I like and submit it to Dark Horse, who submit it to Lucasfilm for approval. After I get the nod, I go onto the next step.

2) Now it comes time to transfer the thumbnail (drawing 1) to the full size 11x17 inch art board. Some artists blow up their tiny thumbnails and with the aid of a lightbox, trying not to lose any elements from the original drawing while others just eyeball it. I don't have any set way of doing this and usually just go with my instincts--- I've done it both ways and don't have any preference.

3) After it's all roughed in and I'm satisfied with layout, I'll start building up the figures by blocking in some of the anatomy and figuring out the facial expressions. You should see some significant changes between drawing 2 and 3, especially with the girl in the middle. Her figure in drawing 2 had a lot more energy to the pose but just didn't really work for me structurally. Her body parts just didn't line up and I tweaked it quite a bit to get her figure down in a more believable way.

I've got our main guy, Zayne, pretty much figured out in the foreground and the I have all the face anatomy done. I have a rough idea of what shapes I want to use for the buildings in the back-- it's time to finish it off...

4) This is pretty close to being done. Everyone is clearly defined, all the characters and background have been fully rendered. All that's left is clean up the smudges and construction lines and bump the overall contrast of the piece.

That's pretty much it-- you can see the finished pencils on my previous post.


Anonymous Tookarti said...

Hi Brian

I enjoy your scans of the process. You're finished pencils are amazing. The colored one is great, however I prefer your black and white version here. Do you make the colors yourself ths time ? Don't know if you remeber but we talk about the colors of Obsession on the DHC boards. And when I see the stuff of Brad Anderson, I think, in comparison, Sno Cone didn't really help you.

I have a question about your future KOTOR series. I have understood that it will be a monthly ongoing title, but will it be you for the twelve issue or will you have fill in pencilers sometimes ? Or maybe you and others teams will work on story-arcs like for Republic ?

1:51 AM  
Blogger BrianChing said...

Hi Tookarti,

I do remember you from the DH boards and I do remember we talked a little about the colors there. I agree with you that Brad Anderson is very good-- maybe the best colorist I have ever worked with. We wanted to get him to do the interior colors as well but he just couldn't fit it into his schedule. He is Jan Duursema's regular colorist and he works on other titles for other companies as well and he still needs time to spend with his family. I don't want to say anything bad about Sno Cone but I agree that the colors in Obsession never looked quite right. Our styles just never mixed well, for whatever reason, and it was a shame.

You're right, KOTOR will be an ongoing title. I will be doing most of the issues during the year but there will be fill-in artists from time to time. Unfortunately, I'm just not a fast enough artist like John Romita JR or Jim Lee. I think it may be a little like DH's Conan series-- Cary Nord does about 10 issues a year and they get a fill-in artist to do the other 1-2 issues. But our writer, John Jackson Miller, is very very good so you know that the stories will be very solid.

Tookarti, you are writing from France, aren't you? In the past year, I've become familiar with French artist, Claire Wendling, and was able to get a bunch of her work at the Comic-Con-- she's quickly becoming one of my favorite artists!

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Tookarti said...

I don't want to say anything bad about Sno Cone
Me never, but as a customer that's my privilege ;)
And I say it because in first place, I have doubts about your pencils (and Brandon's) without inks. But you made a point with your explanation about colors, I re-read, and on a lot of pages, I see panels where colors didn't match with your concern about details. With a soft coloring (like on the Kotor preview) - or with Brad Anderson's coloring^^ - your work arise better (but that's only the opinion of an amateur^^).

I agree on Romita JR, but you're too cool with Lee. He has a break between Hush and For Tomorrow, does he ? Without it, I'm not sure he would have make it. And also, the arcs may have been planned with a lot anticipation, which is not always possible when you aren't Jim Lee^^. Another one very regular that I like is Mark Bagley. Maybe, he should do a little less on the other hand. But Bagley's style is not comparable with your pages.

Finally, if the fill in penciler is well choose, it's not a problem I think. It relieves you.
Yes, I'm from France. I'm not familiar with Claire Wendling work, but I see it on her website ( I'm writing and it seems amazing ! I don't know if you're fluent in french, but the website linked uneder my name is the one where I work. Here's some comments on Obsession ;)

1:44 AM  
Blogger BrianChing said...

I must say that Brad is the most requested colorist in the SW Comics world-- I know that Brandon likes him too. But he can only do so much work in the day. Imagine him coloring Jan, Brandon, and me? I don't think he would ever get any sleep! We are all pretty aware of the color problems on Obsession and we will be trying to work things out to make sure that KOTOR looks as good as possible.

I know Jim Lee takes a break here and there between projects but man, he is a machine! Just look at his pages-- so many figures and so much linework and it's consistenly good every month. Not to take anything away from Romita or Bagley, but there work doesn't have nearly the amount of detail that Lee's does. Plus, Jim draws such pretty people-- everyone looks like a greek statue.

Unfortunately, I do not speak French-- I am like most Americans who are only able to speak one language, English (but I do speak a little Chinese-- my parents would kill me if I didn't). But it's nice to know that people like SW and SW comics all over the world.

Glad to hear you like Claire Wendling's work! Be sure to track down her book, Drawers 2.0 -- it collects a lot of her designs and sketches, you will love it.

2:26 AM  

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