Death Betty Cover Colours for Less Than Zero issue!!!
Well, Jean-Francois Beaulieu is at it again over my lines. His instructions on this were- drop out the heartcloud and regular clouds a bit because my clouds were a bit sloppy and rushed. Then this showed up in my email a week later.
It was pretty exciting. I don’t even feel the need to post the black and white because it shows through so well in the colors. High atop the Fillionsburg Bridge Betty has Death at gunpoint. Below is a bus blocking traffic. This is the setting for the first eight page story.
In thumbnail I had the bridge all cartooned like it is now. Then when I went to the big board I went with a very realistic perspective base and it just got BORING. And I needed the top of the tower to be way smaller than it is below where the cars are, where it is four lanes wide. While at the top it is only like fifteen to twenty feet. So a bunch of tweaking was done. In reality this bridge would make no sense, the cables wouldn’t line up and the deck is not at it’s normal 90 degrees, but it works for me, I think it delivers the message.
We are getting the book lettered pretty soon here and I will be starting her Tumblr blog and getting the Zero issue on to Amazon’s digital platform Under the Castle and Key— castleandkeypublications.com/w… — line of comics. And I will be posting more of the art and stuff about the writer Adam Jackman.
This kills me… this man created an amazing character that’s going to be shoved down the throats of MILLIONS in marketing and will most like make just an obscene amount of money and he can’t even get some medical assistance from the people making money off of his character?!
Warm up sketch for today.
Guy dives in and pulls his knife at the site of this freaky mermaid mama. But will it be enough? Was thinking what it would be like if angler fish hunted men. They may have adapted to have a mermaid shaped lamp. Whatever.
Catwomen study in blue and orange. Just paying with color as the basis for the design.
I would like to paint on a canvas. When you use ultramarine in the wash it out it has very violet tendencies. It’s one of my favorite colors to play with.
This what is done with markers, a dying violet and a dying light blue. Inked with a Japanese marker from Daiso.
Hellboy from sketchbook. Tried to made it look kinda like an old school print. With limited stark color and bleed outs.
Hellboy riding a dragons tongue back inside it’s mouth. Boom.
Testing out the Tumblr app from my phone. Woo. More boom.
Best cover I have done yet! And best colorist!
Well, once again I do an okay piece and Jean Francois Beaulieu comes to the rescue. His orders from me were as limited as usual. The idea was pulpy/punk/Stuzan. Pulpy-old pulp title look to it. Punk-do what you want. Struzan-make sure all the storytelling elements read. And he nailed it. With JFB I just tell him the mood I am going for. I don’t lead him with any colors, just the mood and the feeling. Then I love to be surprised at how he does it. I am happily surprised with each piece we do.
I know some artists who like to dominate their colorist but I think if you choose wisely they finish the art. Like a true collaboration where they are the artist too. Not just a tool doing what they are told. He finishes my ideas. They are our ideas then. One product by two brains. And I had no idea how it would look.
This looks like a old pulpy paperback cover. I can’t believe I was part of such a cool piece. Even though it is chalk full of mistakes from me, I have rarely been so happy about a final product.
The way he creates light by just using color is one of my favorite things about him. No artificial light techniques, no airbrush. Just a pure color genius showing that the juxtaposition of color can create all the effects you need. Nothing against those tools or effects, I just love the way he handles it without.
And lastly the balance. I threw the piece off center at the last minute to balance the dog with either a credit box or a upc label in the right hand corner. He somehow found a way for it to still feel centered.
One small note- i removed some of the shadows from his face because his face was too small for the dramatic lighting in BnW so I took it out before sending off to be colored, very glad I did.
I hope you enjoy.
Our new Comic Character- DEATH BETTY POP GOTH PRINCESS
Same composition as the Hellboy. As I said with the Hellboy piece, I had done a bunch of work with this design for another project and cranked out as many other characters with the same composition while it was on the mind. Since there was no thought time to compose these went so quick.
Now like Driver and Shotgun, this is one of my creations that I am coming out with this year, that has been almost two years in the developing.
2012, Phoenix comicon. I needed some prints that were not copyrighted characters. I took my MadMam design and turned it into a new character. We changed her logo and stuff and decided to come up with a fun name, and she would just be a character for posters, not an actual comic. My friend and mentor Billy Brakhage of Austin had wanted to do silk screen posters of some of my work, including the MadMam piece.
So we made free give away two color posters and then were selling two six color types- a modern Betty and a retro Betty with a Bob Kane Vicky Vale face. The posters did well and people wanted the comic, or at least to know about it. So writer and co-creator friend Adam Jackman and I started coming up with her story on the spot and by the end of the convention we had a new character and a story line with which to present it.
Short pitch. Betty runs around stopping Death. That’s him in the picture with her.
I will get more into her and her costumes and logo later.
We will be releasing her zero issue online and in print just before summer. And starting on February 14 I will be doing a weekly blog based on Betty’s diary. It will be fun.
Cardboard markers colored pencil ink. The logo is torn from one of the posters and glued on.
Hellboy Comission on Cardboard Yo!
So I recently had to do a bunch of sketches with similar compositions. And after going through a week of heavy Struzan style fun I wanted to try a commission like that.
Now there is a bunch of stuff that I would tweak and change if I were to take this to a production level. Some tangents here and there from the underlying sketch. Which I am actually having fun playing with these days, but more on that later. I used to be really good at markers and pencil on cardboard but it has been quite a while. I’m gonna do more and see how they progress. I have only ever done a couple sketches of HB so I wasn’t sure where to take his shapes so the medium one is a definite Mignola rip off.
I put on the Hellboy movie to get visual inspiration and didn’t look up once, finishing by the time the credits rolled. But Perlman’s voice is enough to help visualize the character.
So one of my favorite things is being requested. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s always by someone I would love to ink. From Finch to Cinar to Brad Walker. Guys I could never handle on a monthly or consistent basis but guys I love to ink. This is usually followed up by a call from the editor saying he knows I wanna make it look awesome but if I could just do it rather quickly it doesn’t need to be awesome. So instead of working quick I tend to just put in a ton of hours.
I got to do three Brad pages from this issue. This is the only one I inked over original pencils, the other two had to be print-ups.
I love inking Brad. He is an amazing storyteller. Check out the movement between panels one and two and how those flow into three and four and then John is popped up for his moment. Look at the lighting, how it directs and dramatizes. These are the moves of a serious, educated and talented artist.
I get to use all sorts of markings with Brad, all to indicate different effects of light, which is all in his pencils. He really understands primary and secondary lighting. So much fun.
I am hoping to do a Batman single issue or something with him someday.
Mostly my trusted Raphael number 2 and the usual nib on faces and hands.
***Splattering with white for stars tip***- use more than you need, you will lose some in production. Do a solid white splatter layer and a watered down one, it will add depth and layers like real stars.
The escape. Max will be fine. JB has her ‘chute on. So this was much earlier this year. My figures are stiffer. Compositions not as clever as it could be. But over all I was happy with the results and the speed at which these were done. I’m trying to make my pencils fun to ink, and I think this could be a lot of fun to ink.