Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Bookplate Process

For this year's Mouse Guard bookplate (For new fans, I've done an annual limited-edition bookplate since 2012...links at the bottom of this post to see process on them all) I decided to once again ape the design of a character from Jeremy Bastian's Legends of the Guard story: Faulknir.


To the left you can see the 2017 bookplate, which will be available at my convention appearances as well as in my online store, and for this week's blogpost, I'll share the process for creating the image.


I started with this brilliant page of Jeremy's from "The Tale of the Hawk's Mouse and the Fox's Mouse" from Legends of the Guard Volume 1 (which I'm fortunate enough to own the original of). Jeremy did a fantastic job of creating a myth about the creation of the Mouse Guard that I'm jealous of to this day. I've drawn from this story for the Mouse Guard short story "Service to Seyan" as well as last year's bookplate (and a few easter eggs in Black Axe). Here we see Jeremy's design for Faulknir, his armor, & feather cape.


On copy paper with a mechanical pencil, I set to draw my version of Faulknir. I tried to keep as much of the detail of Jeremy's version in as possible, but executed with my proportions, line style and sensibilities. Though, it was hard not to include more lines for shading like an etching.

I'd considered doing this piece as an etching (my degree is in Printmaking) but time & access to a press, acid, & supplies made me opt to just ink this traditionally as an illustration.



I took that drawing and composited it in Photoshop inside the borders that Jeremy drew on the bottom panel of his page. I, of course, checked with Jeremy before doing this to get his blessing. Like last year's bookplate I wanted to keep the motifs and aesthetics that Jeremy infused into those mice.
I'd be able to make it my own in the inks...

I printed out and taped the above layout to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. On  my light pad (I like using the Huion brand of these) I could see through the surface of the bristol to use the printout as 'pencil' guides as I inked. I used Copic Multiliner (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs) to ink this piece. To the left you can see a phone-photo of the inks in-process on the light pad.




Here are the finished inks for the piece. I added a vertical line pattern behind Faulknir to help him pop a bit. Like I did on Wind in the Willows, the key to having these lines look organic, but still evenly spaced & straight is to use a t-square and pencil them onto the back or print out a lined guide and then ink them by hand with no ruler, allowing for little hiccups and imperfections as you go.




To color this piece, I pulled my first-pass palate from Jeremy's panels. Jeremy purposely used a limited color-range when doing his Legends story, and unlike last year's bookplate of Silfano, I chose to use the same limitation of hue Jeremy did.









Ultimately, as I did the final rendering, I adjusted the colors a bit, so that they had some of my voice, but still payed homage to the wonderful work of Jeremy's. Here is the finished artwork sans-text & bookplate trappings.

The bookplate will be available at all my 2017 convention appearances and later in march in my online store.






Past Bookplates:
2012: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-bookplate-this-year-im-starting.html
2013: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2013/01/2013-bookplate-like-last-year-ill-be.html
2014: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2014/03/2014-bookplate-process.html
2015: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2015/03/2015-bookplate-process.html
2016: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2016/05/2016-bookplate.html


2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Badger's Kitchen

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW has been released! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models from Badger's Kitchen. I've also included a video of me talking about the models.






BADGER'S HEARTH:
The hearth model itself is made from chipboard with paper printed as brick glued on and basswood & popsicle stick details. The matching settles are basswood and the stand-in hanging hams & braided garlic is tissue & string.








 BADGER'S CUPBOARD SHELVES:
This was made out of basswood (typically used for doll-house parts) I referenced a few Edwardian pieces, and then built this to-scale with quarters as dinner plates. The bowls you see are store-bought doll-house pieces.








Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Toad's Caravan & Carriage House

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW has been released in the direct market (comic shops) and will be in the Book Market Feb. 14th! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models of the Toad's Caravan & The front facade of his Carriage House. I've also included a few videos of me talking about the models.






TOAD'S CARAVAN:
This model is made of basswood (typically used for doll-houe trim & details). The steps are removable and cam hang from the back, the wheels operate independently, and the axles have working suspension. Details are drawn on by hand in pencil.









TOAD HALL CARRIAGE HOUSE:
This model is all hand-drawn (no printing out duplicates) The wall is made of bristol board and the open doors are chip board (the thicker material on the back of a sketch-pad). The doors are hinged with painter's tape.









Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Toad Hall

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW will be released to the direct market (comic shops) tomorrow and Book stores on Feb. 14th! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models of the Toad Hall Foyer and Toad Hall's Dining Room. I've also included a few videos of me talking about the models.






TOAD HALL FOYER:
This model is made from chip-board (the stuff the backs of sketchpads are made of) with printed paper details glued on (all the paneling & tile-work) and basswood trim. 










TOAD HALL DINING ROOM:
This model is was almost completely made on the computer first. Not the geometry of the room, but each flat surface (paneling, plank floor with rug, arched door, leaded glass window and banners, etc.) were printed designed and then printed out. Those sheets of paper were then rubber cemented on to sheets of chipboard (the thick backing on sketchpads) and glued together using holt melt glue and basswood for re-inforcement (as well as some trim details) where needed.














Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wind in the Willows: Butler's Pantry Color Illustration Process

IDW will be releasing my illustrated edition of the Kenneth Grahame classic Wind in the Willows soon. 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 9: Wayfarers All:

"The Badger drew himself up, took a firm of his stick with both paws, glanced round his comrades, and cried- 'The hour is come! Follow me!' "

It was very hard to narrow down all the moments in the book to choose to illustrate. Having only 20 color pieces, I had to narrow down eight chapters to have 2, while four of the chapters would have only 1. Here the four main characters have used a secret tunnel to get inside Toad Hall and wage a battle against the weasels who have taken it over and prevented Toad to return to his home. Here are my pencil drawings of the characters as well as the butler's pantry on copy paper. To help with the angle and geometry of the cabinets, I found a pre-made custom cabinet model in Google Sketch-up.



I then scanned those pencil sketches and in photoshop, composited them into a single layout that told the story. I tinted each character a different color...even though Id' drawn them as a group, I cut each one out and placed them on a separate layer so I could nudge them around, resize them, and make little compositional changes without affecting the group as a whole. This also helped when placing them in contact with elements in the background like Toad coming out of the trap-door and Badger's hand on the door ready to fling wide.


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 is an in-process photo I took with my phone and posted back when I was inking this piece.


This was one of the illustrations I'd been thinking of for the longest time when getting ready to do this project. E. H. Shepard did a great job with his color version of the scene, and I tried hard to keep the spirit of his while taking a different angle to the events and letting my inkwork and sensibilities get a chance to do the work.

I also wanted to reinforce the idea that while the weasels have been occupying Toad Hall, they haven't taken very good care of it...dishes everywhere, bottle leaving rings on countertops, napkins draped instead of folded, and nothing washed.



The coloring process was as I've detailed it out on my past color blogposts. The first step was to block out all the color areas (each character's skin, each character's clothes, the floor, the pantry cabinets, the dishes, etc.) and then render the image using Dodge & Burn tools with a textured brush (these allow me to highlight and shade while adding a pebbled texture). I added a few color holds to the inkwork for the items behind glass as well as the patterns on Badger & Rat's coats to make the piece feel more painted than a colored drawing.

Here you can see the completed image as it will appear in the book along with 19 other color illustrations and 50 B&W.




Wind in the Willows from IDW and is available to pre-order on Amazon.com:



For all my other Willows Process Posts:






2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

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