Thursday, February 17, 2011

Save A Secret For The Moon

JAMES - 4th and final day of "Process Week"! Today I'll go back to basics to show a new black & white poster I made for a couple of local Asheville bands, Warm the Bell and the Cheeksters.

And as an added treat, any orders from my store for the next two weeks will receive one of these babies for free! (and don't worry, anyone who's placed an order in the past few days, I've already included these with your order).

Original Pencil Sketch

This little sketch barely measures an inch square, but all the information I need is already in there. I get excited when I know I'm gonna have a lot of soft brush strokes to draw - so I scanned the sketch into the computer, to blow it up to the final working size, 11" x 17".

Blown-up Sketch and Lightbox

I print the blown-up version onto two pieces of regular 8.5x11 paper, and tape them together. This will act as my guide - I tape it underneath a fresh sheet of bristol paper (I use Strathmore with a Vellum finish), and place them both over my lightbox and begin drawing.

Final Pencils

Here's what the final pencil drawing looks like. Everything's pretty much in it's place, but I made a couple notes before inking - one you can see are the arrows below the lettering, reminding me to bring all those letters down a bit.

Sometimes I'll ink directly over the final pencils, but I'm also kind of a neat-freak (at least with drawing - not so much in the rest of my life), and this page was Dirty! The lines had been worked over so much - lots of deep pencil marks and lots of erased areas. So I got yet another fresh sheet of Bristol paper, taped it above this drawing, put it over the lightbox, and re-drew the whole thing one last time with soft pencil strokes - just enough to suggest where the inks will go.

I know that sounds like overkill, but it's become a habit by now, and I think the final work is always the better for it.

Final Inks

I reach for my trusty #2 Winsor & Newton brush and Black Star ink, and do some quick brush exercises. I always do a little warm-up before I start inking - gets me nice a loose and gets my brush in good shape. Then I begin. With this one I started with his shirt and body, which would be most of the thinner lines on the whole poster - I like to work from thin to thick. (the hair of course is the funnest part).

The hanging letters were outlined with some markers - just for a little ease. Once it was all inked, I used white ink to do the final lettering up top and the stars, as well as to cover a few areas that I decided shouldn't be so dark.

Finally I erase any remaining pencil lines, sign it, and decide it's finished!

Detail Shot

Thanks to everyone who read any or all of these posts this week - I'm always glad to share how these things go down. And I figure if I ever come down with amnesia or something, I'll at least have these documented to remind me of how I used to do it all. Yeah, I know...real pleasant thought.

I've got some more exciting projects in the works, and I'll be dropping some more process posts very soon. Stay tooned! In the meantime you can subscribe to this blog, 'like' my Facebook page, or hit up my Twitter to keep up to date with the latest.


punkR*P*S said...

I have enjoyed this weeks' posts as much as I enjoy your prints on my walls. I also like an artist's insight to their (thought) process. Thanks James!

K Foster

james flames said...

Thanks so much - I love hearing stuff like that! (who doesn't). Glad you found these interesting - I'll keep em coming.

Sam said...

Thanks a bunch for the awesome poster! -Sam/Warm The Bell

Brian Taylor Illustration said...

Cool. Nice seeing your process

Anville said...

I like the look of your final inks, and how the charcter is drawn. Awesome process man.

Stretch Marks said...

The way you characterized the picture and the whole of the story is very interesting. As most of the times these things happen in reality and we found that very lovely.

Mikaela said...

thanks for all the process posts! I have a couple questions- when you scan your inked drawings into photoshop, do you have problems with pixelly edges or things being not quite completely black and white in some areas? What do you do? My other question is, how do you get your finished image to film for burning the screen? With a really big printer? Or do you take them somewhere to be printed? right now I'm taping together 8.5x11 sheets and I dont know how much longer that will work for me.