Creating A Picture…

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Comic Books, Commissions, Digital Art
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m often asked about my process in creating pictures, so I figured I would do a step-by-step on my latest illustration.

Step 1. I start all my work in Photoshop. I have pre-created page templates at various sizes to work on. The one pictured here is a virtual 10″x15″ at 400 dpi. I create my rough sketch segregating elements in different layers; this one has 7 layers; for the background and others for the various figures, which makes it easy to move items around to get the composition I want without having to redraw.

Step-01

Step 1: The rough layout.

Step 2. After completing my rough and finalizing the composition, and still working in Photoshop — I start doing a cleaner, tighter version, working on each picture element individually. In this stage I also add rudimentary light and shade. Each of the more detailed images are then saved separately in preparation for the next stage. This basically represents my finished pencils.

Step-02

Step 2: Defining the graphics.

Step 3. Once I have my digital version of “finished” pencils ready, I then import them as a blue-line into Manga Studio, where I create an “ink” layer and ink away. As you can see I add a lot of details in the ink stage that are not present in my penciled version. I do this for each picture element from the original layout, and I personally have a lot of fun at this stage, since I can start to see the characters take on life!

Step-03

Step 3: Inking…

Step 4. Once I’ve inked the various elements in Manga Studio, they are saved as Tiff files and then loaded back into Photoshop, where I composite each to their respective places in the layout. The inked figures are in separate layers so it’s still easy to make changes if necessary. I also work from the foreground to the background, and in this case all the foreground characters are inked and placed, and the next set will be the middle-ground figures and so on.

Step-04

 

Step-04a

Step 4: Compositing.

Step 5. After the figures and all foreground elements have been inked, the last item I work on is the background. I also do these in Manga Studio using the line and curve tools, or/and the pen tool for detailing. I create full backgrounds so I can add them to my library of personal clip-art for potential future use. Once the background is completed, I export the image as a Tiff file.

Step-05

Step 5: The Background inks.

Step 6: For the final step we’re back in Photoshop, where I load the inked background and composite it behind the inked figures for the final rendering. I then do any necessary clean-up and add any shadows (such as on the floor surface) and any other details that may be necessary to pull the piece together as a single unit.

Step-06

Step 6: Compositing.

And the final result is saved as a hi-res 300 dpi Tiff file, ready for colors or print.  Here is the finished illustration:

Frankenstein

The Monster of Frankenstein

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Comments
  1. As always, gorgeous work. And thanks for taking us through your artistic process. I did that on my blog awhile back. It’s always cool to see how a particular artist thinks.

  2. Julije Jelaska says:

    Great man and thanks to share that with me!

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