Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Halloween 2019! (I)

My Number One Fan requested a t-shirt design featuring Baba Yaga for Halloween, and who am I to deny her? I was surprised by how many people don't know this ragged queen of witches, a figure I'd grown up with, flying around in her pestle, gathering up souls and taking them back to her chicken-footed house in the deep, dark woods. She's worth looking into, for sure. Below is the final project, and some process shots for a deeper look at how I make these things.

I typically start with reference pictures. I find things on the web for details, and I'll model the particular pose myself:

Then I go work with some blue pencils. I'm not quite ready to do this part on the tablet, but I'm getting there. I don't know what it is about blue pencils, they just allow me to be bolder and messier:

Usually inking the initial drawing is the hardest part, it's actually kinda terrifying. But this time I scanned the blue pencil drawing onto my tablet and used that, and now I'm hooked! So good! Usually I have to do a bunch of work to separate the blue lines from the inks in Photoshop, but the tablet allows me to use different layers, and to create nice clean lines that are perfect for the next phases:

Then I block in colors and start thinking about where the light should be coming from:

Then I spend a bunch of time adding details n stuff, usually whilst watching some terrible horror movie or other:

Maybe a total of 12 hours, start to finish? A true meditation for me, and a delightful Halloween surprise for her. Happy Best Month, everyone!!