I just finished this today and the person who commissioned it has allowed me to share the process. His ideas are always fun and I enjoy working on them. For those of you who are sensitive to bare breasts or do not approve or enjoy cheesecake artwork, this is not for you. See you tomorrow if you come back. Meanwhile if Tour B will follow me we will proceed. :)
The concept here is a newspaper photo showing Plastic Man saving Bettie Page from a thief who tried to steal her mink stole in a unnamed 1950s New York City nightclub. Below is the initial sketch I did. It was approved so I moved on to doing sketches of Bettie and Plastic Man.
After warm-up sketches, I did a tight pencil drawing of the piece. This is done in pencil on 8.5" x 11" copy paper. At this stage I have everything I need. But we both thought that Plastic Man's face wasn't shown enough with the bulging eyes, so we opted for the big grin look instead.
I then enlarged my pencil drawing in Photoshop to the actual size I would be doing the finished art, 16" x 20". I printed it out the image on two pieces of 11" x 17" paper on my Epson Photo 2200 printer. I taped the two pieces together and light boxed the line work onto a piece of 4-ply Strathmore Bristol Board. Then came the inking. I used a very watered down ink for this. Because it was to be in gray tones, like a newspaper photo, I didn't want the harsh black outlines. (The lines look a lot darker below because I had to adjust the contrast so you can see the pencils and the inks.) The inking was done with a brush.
I didn't outline the band in the background. I felt it would pull them into the foreground too much. Instead I established them with washes of gray. The washes of gray were done using watercolor. I feel I have a better control of the values with watercolor than I would with watered down ink. Below I am getting my darkest darks and my whitest whites (the paper) established. This way I get a clearer vision of the shades in between.
I continue working the grays to add more depth to the piece. The band is right were I want them in terms of value and the people coming down the stairs at the top right worked out too. I continue to build the darks until I am satisfied. With the piece done, I set some type on my iMac to fit the bottom area I left open. I print out the text and transfer it to the board with my light box using a black colored pencil.
I then sign the bottom right with my name and copyright. After it dries, I scan it and send the image in an email. If everything is good, I will put it between two pieces of masonite and ship it out.
Thanks for stopping by.