Saturday, June 30, 2007

Surround Yourself

JAMES - my only post this month?!!?! jeez.
anyway, the new Bold Life cover - this time the cover story was on a fire-dancing troupe in Asheville. i wanted to go with a different stylistic approach this time - i don't want the covers to become to similar - so i decided to go with no black lines, and incorporate watercolor and acrylics to achieve a 'painted' look. i guess i was really going for the kinda look James Jean gets on his Fables covers. so i got busy with the paintbrush for a couple of days to get in the swing of it, and i wound up with these thumbnails:




besides the one with the big eyes, they had a hard time choosing one to go with, but finally settled on the third one. so i set my approach - got some pencils down (not pictured) on 14x17 bristol and tightened them up nice. then onto the lightbox, tracing it onto a clean sheet with watercolor pencils. then, on the original pencil sheet, i got out my brush and inked it like normal - which actually wasn't so normal. i used a #1 brush primarily, which was kind of uncomfortable for me. i wanted fine flowing lines, but i probably could've gotten the same effect with alot more ease using my usual #3 brush. but i knew these lines would be turned to color in the computer later on, and they weren't going to serve as outlines so much as enforcements for the free forem of the fire.





next, on the sheet with the watercolor pencils, i worked it. and worked it. and worked it. first adding water to the pencils to gently spread the color. then applying generous mixtures of acrylic paint and Matte Medium to flesh out the forms. i had to take the logo into consideration early on this time (instead of dropping it in later like i usually do), so printed out a life-size version and traced it on to ensure proper proportions and placement. i also knew that i was going to adjust the colors heavily in photoshop - since i only had a few days to work on this whole thing - so i didn't spend too much time worrying about the perfect hues. just so long as i got some semblence of red, yellow, orange, and purple in there, i could adjust each color how i want leter.
so both pieces got scanned (the ink outlines and the finished painting). turned the black lines into color (reddish and purple-ish) and laid them on top of the painting. and got busy with the photoshop, messing with the colors, adding airbrush effects and really making that fire come alive. i also had the idea of having the edge of the paper look like it was burned by the fire, so i put an old sheet of bristol over the stove top and burned it nice, and scanned it. then, with some work, i added it to the right-hand edge of the page. finally, added the rest of the logo bits and another Bold Life cover ready to go.