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.

Okay, it's safe to talk about our new project now... KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC! It was officially announced at this past weekend's San Diego Comic-Con and here is the promo-piece I did for the announcement. It showcases some of our major characters-- I still can't talk too much about who's who yet but it gives you a little glimpse into our ensemble. I've been working on this book the last couple of months ( right after I finished issue #35 of Empire in May) doing character designs mostly and now finishing up certain parts of the first issue. The series is written by John Jackson Miller-- he pretty much created all these characters and he and Dark Horse have been letting me design the visuals. Here's a larger scan of the piece.

The last couple of years was a race to cover all the key moments of the Clone Wars. So many battles and so many Jedi got slaughtered and it was great fun for me but it's time for a change of pace and KOTOR is going to have all the FUN stuff of the original movie. Funny characters, scoundrels, heroes, etc-- we'll be getting away from the very stoic and proper mannerisms of the Jedi and cover a much broader range of characters.

I'm going to organize some of the roughs and layouts I did for the promo piece to give people an idea of the process...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm getting ready to head down to San Diego tomorrow and thought I'd mention my friend, Joe Benitez, has a new book being previewed at Comic-con. It's called Wraithborn-- pretty gorgeous stuff, huh? Joe's been a mentor to me from the old days at Top Cow and a good friend as well, so I'm happy to see this book finally come out. It showcases all of Joe's talents for costume design and dynamic figures and layouts. I've seen most of the artwork to the first few issues and I think people will be blown away. Check out a preview of it here.