A friend of mine, an art student, asked about my process, other people have asked me this same question, so I thought I’d do a post about it. Here we go, hopefully it’s not too boring.
I use very simple tools. The paper is out of a sketchbook that I get from the local art store. It has a medium tooth and is 73lb, so it’s thin enough to light box through. I use cheap, synthetic brushes, dry brush is hard on brushes, but the more wrecked a brush gets the better effect you end up with. I use a #2 and #4 and an effects brush for backgrounds. The ink is Speedball Super Black which I leave uncapped for a couple of weeks so it evaporates down about 50%. Sometimes it gets too thick by the time you reach the bottom, so I add a couple drops of water with the eyedropper to thin it a wee bit. This gives you a thick, but blackest black ink. Masking fluid is for creating white space on the black. I’ve never found a whiteout that covers ink to my liking so I try to avoid it as much as possible, non-permenant scotch tape is also used to make masks such as the moon in the final image. Lay the tape over the area and then just cut out the shape you want with an exacto blade. The rest is just an assortment of pens, pencils and erasers. The post-its are used to wipe excess ink off the brush, in all probably only about a third of the ink ends up on the finished drawing.
My set-up is a table top animation desk with a plexi-glass rotatable disc, which allows me to light box everything. The art table it sits on is actually a door on it’s side hinged to a couple of 2x4s. The right side of the door is mine and my husband draws on the left side. Adorable, huh?
When first sussing out a drawing I like to do some quick doodles to work out the composition and try to wrap my brain around what I want to communicate. What’s in my brain never ends up on the page. I chose the upright demon, because the triangular composition felt strong and had a quite power. This is the composition that Frazetta primarily used.
Next is the rough drawing. After doing a little research on certain things like the belt and sword I do a really, really rough sketch with a red col-erase, a habit I picked up while working in animation. I use the side of the pencil and draw with my shoulder, not my wrist, to get fluid, sweeping lines. Then I tighten up with a very soft pencil, your 5Bs, your 6Bs and your Ebonies. As you can see it gets very messy, but that’s the way I like it.
I then scan this into PS and make some adjustments. First I needed it smaller so I could ink it comfortably at my desk, then I shrunk down the head to give him a greater sense of scale, I also shrunk down the end of his tail and enlarged the wing at the right to increase the depth cues. This gets printed out then taped to my animation disc, then my inking paper gets taped on top, put on some music and get in the zone.
The reason I like to light box is if I don’t like how the inking is going I can just chuck out the inked image without having to redraw it.
Thanks for following me and I hope this helped explain a few things. Take care, everyone!