Monday, August 24, 2009

What have I been up to?

For the past two weeks I've been slammed with storyboard work and an illustration gig, so I haven't made any Xiola progress. I plan on getting a move on tomorrow night.

By the way, I made it into the Alternative Press Expo here in San Francisco. I signed up for the waiting list, as I was late to apply, but I got in. I am very excited to be able to participate in APE. It's my favorite convention. Small enough that you can get through it in about a day, with time to talk to artists and creators. I don't know my booth yet. We'll see.

I just finished a poster illustration for Steven LaFontaine. He's a hopeful new filmmaker who is planning on making a monster film set in his hometown of Niles. He wants to create it in the vein of old monster movies and wanted the poster to be a throwback to the cool old monster movie posters of the 50s. Here's what the final piece looks like.

Most old monster posters were painted in oils or gouache and I'm comfortable with neither, so I painted this on the computer. I drew the piece out on paper, but painted it using Photoshop.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Page 1 sketch

Here are a few of the sketches I drew for page 1. I looked at a bunch of images of different deserts. My story takes place in a desert region of Xiola called Sidia, which was originally inspired by Cappadoccia, Turkey due to the cool cave dwellings in the rock formations. But I used imagery from lots of different places to help me come up with the final design of the canyon and look of the land.

I want the landscape to be just a little beyond what you might see. Not alien, but amplified. And my first page here must get across the feeling of a strange place, to marry with the words of Eleya at the top.

This is the sketch I went with.
It's supposed to look like I'm standing on a cliff looking over a valley. I preferred having a bit of an arch in the foreground right, and kind of a flying buttress of stone on the foreground left. Then I've got a bit of the crackled spires connecting to a midground left cliff and in the back left a full on arch. I'm going to put a Sidian vulture in the sky and I may have a few light clouds. I'd like to have fun with my skies in this book and not just have plain blue skies. I'll decorate them with clouds, haze, atmosphere, colors and birds and what-not. I've also got what will look like the remains of a stream which runs along the valley floor. Low lying shrubs will be scattered all over the landscape collecting near the stream and along crevices.

I'll be redrawing this on watercolor paper hopefully this weekend or early next week at the latest. I've got a couple of unrelated art gigs that I need to knock out first.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

All done with the cover.

Now on to page 1.

I had a couple of storyboard gigs last week so I didn't get a chance to finish my cover until now. I think it turned out pretty well. I darkened a bit of the background with cerulean blue and burnt sienna which combines as a sort of grey which is perfect to keep the background a bit washed out. Then I darkened Eleya's face, hair and the beast's face. I finished the beast's eyes and darkened up Eleya's legs, skirt and skin to pop her off the background a little. I use ultramarine blue for the foreground shadows. I never use black as it dulls the colors too much. I am not going to cut it out off the board just yet. It's too late at night to make a final decision. I think once I've got the next page finished I'll look at this again and see if there's anything I want to change/fix, but I'm going to start on my pencils for page 1 regardless.

I never did a full design for page 1, just a little sketch. It's basically one large panel of a desert scene. I want to paint a beautiful desert landscape complete with rock formations low shrubs and a vast blue sky. I'd like to make the scene look just within the realm of believability. The rock formations will be a little exaggerated, but not so much that you wouldn't believe they couldn't exist. And I'll play up the colors a little more than reality. Otherwise what's the point of watercolors?

I signed up for next year's San Diego Con and this year's Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco, but there's already a waiting list for APE so I may not make it in. We'll see. I'll be attending regardless, but I'd love to get myself a booth.

I'll post again once I've got a pass on the page 1 sketch.