This week, I thought I’d share a little insight into my illustration process work. Before I begin any illustration, I have an idea for what I want to accomplish. For this warm-up, I took inspiration from the classic movie poster for
The Phantom Speaks. I wanted to create an homage, of sorts, without copying the design verbatim.
First, I started off by blocking the shapes. From the onset, I wanted to include a skull as the “frame” for the figures within, so I kept that in mind while working. Photoshop’s lasso tool comes in really handy to block out shapes very quickly. Blocking out a shape involves using the lasso tool to define a shape and then filling the color in with Option-Delete.
Next, I brought the design into Manga Studio 5 for penciling. I have at least two different pencils in Manga Studio: a thick one for quick, gestural sketches and a thin one for more precise rendering. I chose the thin pencil for this one.
Here are the pencils below. Thinking more about the design, I felt that the title wasn’t really well incorporated with the image above it. I also wanted the skull to be implied, rather than explicitly shown. A few other design tweaks were made at this stage…
Here’s the tightened pencils, incorporating those tweaks.
Next, I flip the pencils to fix the flaws. This stage is important – as the problem areas are easily seen in a flipped drawing, where they might not be so obvious in the original version.
From here, it’s on to inks and colors! But that’s for tomorrow… Got questions? Ask away in the comments below!