Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 321

HELLBOY. 2016. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Although Photoshop is primarily known for its pixel-pushing power, it's actually a great tool for lighting quick and easy 3D models. I sculpted this bust of Hellboy when I was working on BPRD: '53 last year and it came in handy again for this SF Comic Con commission.

Using just 2 "infinite lights," I was able to create the look I was after. You can also do "spot" and "point" lights, but the infinite is the easiest to set up with just just one parameter: direction.

It presents a passable approximation in real time (pictured below) but if more detail is needed (and you have the time) it can render every nook and cranny. I'm usually on the hunt for large forms and cast shadows, so the rough pass is usually good enough for me.


The sphere set on the right is how you change the lighting direction, but it also serves as a nice guide in case there are additional objects you'd like to add to the painting (but don't feel like sculpting).

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Dark Knight Commission

2016. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Not Inktober

WONDER WOMAN. 2016. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Here are a couple ink and wash commissions from NYCC. (Technically, they were finished in advance of the con — I can't seem to get any drawing done at shows anymore.) Although just ink was requested, I usually can't help but put some kind of tone down, either to give a sense of light or just differentiate between textures.

Another note about these posts: I usually "bleach" the white of the paper in Photoshop so my commissions gallery is nice and pristine. The Wonder Woman commission above, however, is a raw scan so you can see the texture of the paper. I typically use hot press watercolor blocks for my painted pieces, but both of these were done on cold press, which is much rougher.

SCARLET WITCH. 2016. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 320

X-O MANOWAR #50 COVER. 2016. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

For the 50th (and final (at least for now)) issue of X-O Manowar, I wanted to incorporate the title into the composition to give it more of a graphic impact. I enlisted the help of my colleague, Manny Mederos, to help with some options. I was familiar with his design work from both Marvel and Valiant, so I knew I could count on him for a slick logo.

Leonardo leads!

I always need reference to draw X-O's suit — it's complicated — but I also needed just the right angle on the hands. (I also use any excuse to stand on my coffee table.) Technically, the energy surrounding his left hand should be green, but I wanted to subtly display a glowing "XO" in front of the figure, and the color served to unify them.

graphics by Manny Mederos

inks by my Pops!

blue-line print of pencils

pencils over digital sketch

digital sketch

The last 2 images are yellow because I use a photo filter adjustment layer while digitally drawing to reduce eye strain. This cuts down on blue light and overall brightness. In addition to the color, I also add a texture pattern so my eyes have something to "grab" besides a purely blank screen.

digital thumbnails


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