Hommage to Blacksad WIP

Salut Les Mickeys,
Ah merde... Pas bien malin de vous hêler en vous affublant du blaze d'une souris pour parler d'un greffier... Enfin.

Hello ya cool cats,
Just a little work in progress on my latest art break of the week end. Like a leisure crew on the banks of Spain. For that Awesome character that is John Blacksad comes from the minds of Uber-talented artist Juanjo Guarnido and Juan Diaz Canales.

Rien de plus logique, cependant, lorsqu'il s'agit de John Blacksad le personnage de Juanjo Guarnido et Juan Diaz Canales. Ceux qui on déjà vu les dessins postés sur ma page Deviant Art seront peut-être interessés par l'observation de détails similaires mis côte-à-côte sur ce blog.

Those of you who already know of my Deviant Art page have seen the final art on those pieces. Here is a bunch of hilites from both, so you can compare styles and rendering.

Je vous laisse faire vos propres commentaires, que ce soit pas toujours les mêmes qui bossent!

I have to get back to work now, my break is over!


Ways of the Force...

Hi Guys,

Since the cover is out now, I thought I'd show here part of the process I go through for such assignment.
I get a few lines from my editor and start sketching a few lay-outs. Very loose.

At this stage, to me, it's more about the idea. To hint people with where the characters will stand and what they'll be doing. No intention of light, or mood/colors. Sometimes, if I feel someone might find it too loose to anticipate what it could look like, in the end - Not everyone has the ability to project himself in what the image will look like - I quickly put colors with photoshop on the lay-out. It usually sells the idea better.

I also need sometimes to refine the lay-out, so I get to solve a few inconsistencies or tricky questions that might arise later, at pencil stage, and that I'd hate to be stuck with: tangents, between characters and background elements, or between characters themselves. From there, I know I'll still make last minute changes, slight ones, that no one will notice but will help the image be better. Says the less objective party in this.

At any stage, what really matters is that whoever commissions and/or validates should know I only try to improve on the image.

Then comes a decisive part of the process. At least for me, always aiming for more realistic rendering with a blend of graphic licence, still.

Anyway, it is always more fun when you have someone to assist you. A pain to deal with on your own: photo reference. Costume, obviously, never fits with someone my size. Not to mention the model looks ridiculous, too. heh. But it serves its purpose.
That stage is actually helpful to gather data on how folds run on fabric, given the position of the arms, the way light hits that awesome six-pack... So on and so forth...
Not to mention it's a tremendous help to "break" the habits of, let's say, drawing cloth and folds the same repetitive way. The process of relying on skills that have proven their efficiency pages after pages - and which sometimes helps define a style can also become a drawback - no pun intended - and I tend to assimilate it to artistic sclerosis. indulging in the same gimmickes slowly kills creativity, in my opinion.
It has been one of my main struggles over the years, when it comes to my art: always try, as much as possible, to switch from one style to the other, and try in instill, inject a little bit of whatever I could understand from the previous. It helps break any of the bad habits that could lead an artist to choose the same angle to draw a fist, or a clutching hand, the same foreshortening view
or the same expression. Any artist knows what I am talking about as well as how hard it is to go against his own natural inclinations...

But enough considerations on what makes your habits-in-rendering become a style.
All I know is observation is the key to rendering with variety.

Yeah, I know... Handsome Jedi, except for the short skirt.

I usually add a few filters on Photoshop to help me get in the color mood for the image, too. Praise Photoshop.

I decided to go for tonal paper on that series of covers. It helps on many levels: Setting the mood faster, because the shadows and hilites pop out immediately, making the color of the paper a third tone that adds volume to the designs. At this stage, I also use reference to capture the likeness of the actor, because it is requested. The tricky part was to make him look younger, especially given the size ( on the final piece he is only 6 inches tall ). Pressure? Naaaaah...

And then there was the chick. Scarce information on her is an understatement. Thank God Mahmud had a design he made of her. I hope my pencils do it justice.

For the rest of the piece, I drew the ship on a separate sheet. Then imported it on the final file. before putting the colors. I made the front look like the actual front view of the T shaped cooning towers for Star Destroyers. That's how much of a geek I can be, just in case the picture with the cheap suit didn't give it away already.

The 25 is because the cover was made as a celebration piece for Dark Horse 25th anniversary.

Hope you enjoyed the tour... Now get some art done, Damnit!


Cover artist ( Variant ) on Star Wars

Hello ye few,

Salut les fidèles

So, it begins...

Ca y est, c'est parti...

This is an alternate cover for Scott Allie and Mahmud A. Asrar's " Star Wars: Jedi The Dark Side
# 1( of 5 ).
I am trying to build a progression in colors and composition with the next covers: One major color tone for each upcoming cover, and drawing - no pun intended - closer to the main character - and moving backwards again, after issue # 3. As if, within the body of work of all 5 covers, you'd progress closer to the character on the cover... like a zoom in. And after issue # 3, That would be a zoom out. I am also aiming for iconic poses. Mahmud is doing such a great job on action covers, in general and specifically on the title. Go check his blog.

Voici la couverture alternative au comic-book Star Wars écrit par Scott Allie et dessiné par Mahmud A. Asrar intitulé Star Wars: Jedi-The Dark Side #1 ( sur 5 ).
J'essaie de constituer une progression par la couleurs et la composition, au travers des prochaines couvertures: une tonalité principale par couv', et une progression " physique " vers le personnage representé ( different sur chaque couverture ). Puis une régression, après la numéro 3, un peu comme un zoom avant, progressif de la couv' 1 a la 3, puis un zoom arrière, a partir de là, pour revenir a une taille de representation des personnages dans l'image, similaire a la première couverture...
Ca sera plus clair en voyant toutes les images, à la fin. là, désolé, je ne suis pas abilité a tout balancé. Patience, jeunes Padawans...

J'ai opté pour des poses de "poseurs", plus iconiques - en tous cas, j'ai essayé - proposant autre chose que ce que Mahmud fait déjà, sur les couvertures officielles, avec tellement de talent. allez voir son blog.

So I focus on the more paused characters. It also helps me get familiar with the SWU if you can believe that. Ich bin ein UBER Star Wars fan since year one - yeah, I am THAT old, but so young at heart, with the Force. Heh -
so I didn't want to screw up things on my first Dark Horse assignment.

J'avais besoin de me familiariser avec l'univers Star Wars. Ca va faire marrer ceux qui savent que je suis un Ouf de SW, mais professionellement, c'est une autre paire de manches! On a pas envie de se rater...

I'll post some related funny stuff - Do I look ridiculous in a cheap jedi halloween costume or what? - Which were really helpfull though, to achieve realistic rendering and pose. No, really.

Je posterai bientot un " work in progress " un peu amusant, puisque j'ai eu recours au plus mauvais modèle pour la séance photo me permettant d'affiner ma technique de rendu réaliste. En l'occurence, ce modèle, eh ben... c'est moi.

Hope you Fewllowers like it. More to come soon in... The French Wookiee Strikes Back!

J'espère que ça vous plaît, en tous cas. A suivre dans... Le Chiktabba contre-attaque!