December 12, 2011

Zombo Process Part 1

OK for those of you looking for some insight into how I work I'll break it down for you as much as I can with this one.

The topic was pretty open ended, just El Zombo. For me it was obvious that I do zombies. Usually you see me do all this fun kid stuff which I totally love doing, however, as most of my close friends know zombies are by far my most favorite genre.

I started sketching around with Photoshop and this was the first composition that came to mind.

Nothing beats a scary bus stop in the middle of the night, right? I think I was watching thriller on YouTube when doing this so I would not have been surprised if a zombie with a red, thrashed jacket appeared in the final iteration.  This version was looking OK so I went to bed with the feeling of accomplishment and in the morning would rock out a cool piece.

Next morning hits, I sit down at my computer and start to do some studies and break down the scene. I do this to establish a visual vocabulary so that when I get to the final drawing I have already choreographed the shapes and visual language that I want to put down. This helps to maintain a fresh, loose feel to my line work.

As I was about to begin the lineart I stopped and said to myself, "I really do not like this." To me it felt flat, no suspense and it was hard to read the 2 characters at the bus stop. I took a break from it and I started hashing out ideas for a new piece. What I usually do is a few rough sketches and show my wife. If she goes meh I pass it up but if she looks at me with a thumbs up I start to flesh it out more. She knows what my style is a little more than I do at times so I am fortunate to have that second pair of eyes. Anyways, this is the first thumbnail, not much there at all but I just have the basic shapes in place. Think of this as the gesture of my illustration.

 I scan it into Photoshop and I start doing some quick lineart figuring out the layout and flow of the piece. Now I am adding a skeleton or framework to it.

Now is the next stage of cleanup, I started with the focal point, El Zombo and the girl, and I worked my way around them. I did this because it helped me to create a path for the viewer from every corner of the image to them. Controlling the viewer's eye is very crucial in illustration. I have seen very strong draftsman detail out every single corner of their drawing. Technically it is flawless, however, emotionally it is flat and boring. Be very careful not to detail everything, only detail areas of importance that you want the viewer to stop and look at.

On a separate layer I start working on all the zombie kids in the arcade. I kept them on another layer so I could move them around. Again, thinking about flow and spacing I was designing the zombie kids to lead your eye around the page.

This is just a rough perspective grid that I would turn on and off during my process.

Lastly, I print it out, tape it to a lightbox and redraw the final lineart you see below.

Hope that gave you some insight into my process to this point, if you have any questions please let me know in the comments section.


1 comment:

William Michel said...

Sweet!, I need to get a light box, what size are you working in when you print it out?