Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wind in the Willows: Toad in Hiding Illustration Process

Later this year, IDW will be releasing my illustrated edition of the Kenneth Grahame classic Wind in the Willows. The book will be Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost, I'm going to share the process of one of the b&w illustrations from Chapter 8: Toad's Adventures:

"Toad jumped, rolled down a short embankment, picked himself up unhurt, scrambled into the woods and hid. Peeping out, he saw his train get speed again and disappear at a great pace."

It was very hard to narrow down all the moments in the book to choose to illustrate. In chapter 8 Toad has escaped from jail and is on the run from the law disguised as a washerwoman. Just before this illustration he's had the aid of a train engineer who slowed the train down to allow Toad to make a jump for it before the pursuing police catch up to the train. Many illustrators have drawn toad aboard the train shoveling coal, or the leap itself, but I chose to show the terror in Toad's eyes watching afraid he may have been seen as the surrounding wilderness eats him up visually.

The pencil rough you see above was fairly complete as-is. So, when I scanned it into photoshop to re-size for the final illustration I may have only made a slight digital tweak here or there, but mainly I wanted to add in some shading notes for myself for inking.

The digitally composited sketch was then printed out at-size (about 11" x 7") and then taped to the back of a sheet of 300 series Strathmore Bristol. On a light box I was able to see through the bristol's surface to the printout so I could ink on the bristol using the sketch as a guide. For pens, I used Copic Multiliners (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs). Here I have an in-process photo I took with my phone and posted back when I was inking this piece.

I inked this while on a trip to Alaska for a children's reading event & presentation tour. It was done at the breakfast table of a dear friend (and friend to all books & book-lovers) Greg Hill.

Because I was traveling as I worked on and off this piece, I didn't track my time very well. Like I said above, I know I finished the bulk of it in Greg Hill's kitchen. The inking trick with this piece was all the cross-hateched shading and knowing how much or little to add. It was as I was adding the lines to the eyes that I was the most nervous.

Here you can see the completed image as it will appear in the book along with 49 other B&W illustrations and 20 color.

Wind in the Willows from IDW will be available Fall of 2016 and is available to pre-order on Amazon.com:

2016 Appearances:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Boston Auction Piece

Last weekend at the Boston Comic Con, I offered up this piece for their annual auction. Part of the proceeds this year went to Savannah College of Art & Design’s Mike Wieringo Fund for aspiring comic book artists, and The Canadian Cancer Society in memory of Darwyn Cooke.

To the left you can see the finished 15" x 20" watercolor piece, but below are the process shots as I worked on it in preparation for flying to Boston the week before.

The first step was to come up with a design. I chose a Mouse who's been on the covers of the RPG boxed set and Legends of the Guard Volume 3: Sextus. After a small drawing of him on copy paper, I scanned the result and put it together with a border design and a grid. The grid is there to help me register the various sheets of paper when I tape together the printout at-szie.

Once the printout is taped together, I rub graphite over the back over all the lines. This allows me to trace over the drawing on the front while the printout is taped to my final mat board. Wherever my pen pushes down on the printout the graphite on the back transfers over to the mat board.

Here is the drawing all transferred over onto the mat board and ready for watercolor.

Supplies: cup of water, a cheap tray of student watercolors, and various brushes (though I mostly used the large flat, the large sable round, and the scrubbiest of the small brushes.

With Watercolor it's all about building up slowly and either utelizing wet-on-wet blends and effects, or being patient and waiting to do wet-on-dry. First washes were the green forest background:

More buildup for some subtle pine bows in the background before starting the figure

The brown fur and light inner ear, paws and tail. In Watercolor you generally work from lightest to darkest.

I skipped a photo here. Obviosuly I did some more building up of the fur, and then here I've just put down the base for Sextus' cloak.

While waiting for the big cloak area of red to dry, I worked on some details: the eye, sword, and inner ear.

More cloak buildup, and the belt. This is the last step with the watercolor...

And then to 'ink' the piece and add some definition and line back into the fray, I used a brown prismacolor color pencil to outline Sextus.

The original sold at the auction but, if you didn't get a chance to bid, I'll be doing another piece like this for New York Comic Con.

2016 Appearances:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More Toned Paper Commissions

A little over a month ago, I posted about my plan to offer toned paper commissions at HEROES con. Well the process went so well, I've decided to keep it up. This coming weekend is Boston Comic Con, and I'll be doing these at the con for $200. (first come, first served, new list every day.) Like Heroes & SDCC, I'll try and have a few pre-done as examples that will also be for sale. These are bust-only, with marker, pencil, and white. To the left you can see a few of the Heroes con samples and below examples of pieces I was commissioned to do at that show and SDCC:

Midnight with the Black Axe

A Mouse Ranger

The Worm from Labyrinth

A Bunny wearing clothes

Master Splinter

My version of Basil, the Great Mouse Detective

Trapjaw from He-Man

Koj from Tellos


A Guardmouse with a mace



Guardmouse with an Axe

Spirit of Christmas Present mouse 


Wizard Mouse

Steampunk Saxon


Boober from Fraggle Rock


Remy from Ratatouille

Mr. Fox

Hogwarts Mouse

Mouse Healer

Rocket Raccoon

Mrs. Brisby 


2016 Appearances:

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Re-Run The Rescuers MONDO print

With nine years of blogposts, I will continue to Re-Run past posts for the new fans or folks who may have missed a post the first time around.

Part of the reasoning is also that for various reasons (The health of my Mother, convention travel, behind on deadlines, and projects I'm not able to share yet) I see the need to revisit an old post once a month or so.
You can also go back and see any past posts using the Blog index: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2013/12/blog-index.html)
This week:

Mondo had a Disney themed show in 2014 and they asked me to do a Rescuers movie poster. Below is the link for a full process of how the poster was created every step of the way:

Full Rescuers Mondo Print Process Post:

I still have signed copies of the 24" x 36" poster in my online store:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mouse Guard Movie Announcement!

FOX has acquired the rights and is developing a film for Mouse Guard! The film is planned to uteize the same performance capture/live action technology used by Dawn & War of the Planet of the Apes and The Jungle Book. Attached are Matt Reeves (director of the aforementioned Apes movies) to produce and Garry Whitta (Writer of Rouge One) to screen-write. BOOM!'s Ross Richie & Stephen Christy will be producing alongside Matt Reeves. I also am a co-producer on the venture. This is all VERY exciting!

Let me tell you one reason I'm so excited about this team at this time. Back in January 2015 Gary, having already been a Mouse Guard fan and seeing Ryan Lang's work from Legends of the Guard, casually tweeted this: "HOW IS THIS NOT A MOVIE" along with an inserted image of one of Ryan's tweets with a panel image. He wasn't vying for a job, or pandering, he was a fan first, who wanted a Mouse Guard movie. In my time talking with, working with, and skype-ing with Gary (he has been very generous to consult me all along the way) I know he's the right person for the job. He understands deeply what Mouse Guard is and stands for and he understands what (if much at all) to change for the difference in comics & film mediums.

Matt Reeves has done a fabulous job with the Apes films to have a special effects spectacle/intesive movie where story comes first in every sense, and the effects aren't layered on, but woven in. He understands the challenges in this type of filmmaking and storytelling. And Ross & Stephen have always had Mouse Guard's best interests at heart because of their position at BOOM!/Archaia.

Last week at SDCC we had a Mouse Guard panel where editor Cameron Chittock gave a few quick updates about upcoming Mouse Guard publishing, and then dove in to Mouse Guard Movie talk with Gary and I and rounded out the panel with a live-reading of the 2016 Mouse Guard FCBD story by Hal Lublin.

Below is cell-phone video of the movie talk portion of the panel in case you missed it and wanted to hear Gary & I talk more about our thoughts, hopes, and dreams for Mouse Guard on the big screen.

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