The Move Back to Color, part 3

Friday, March 14, 2008

This is page 5 from Mythos: Ghost Rider, featuring the lovely and loyal Roxanne Simpson. Would you stick by your man even after he's made a deal with the devil? Don't answer that. Anyway, by this point in the series I had a pretty good grasp of using all the colors available to me through Acryla Gouache and was happy with the results. Again, this book was painted on bristol board at 8.5" X 12" and was to be the last one at that size.

Here's a progress pic showing most of the page finished. It looks like I wasn't into doing underpaintings at that time, but I remember starting to towards the end of the series. It may seem like a superfluous step, but it often saves me time in the long run because it's much easier to correct monochromatic mistakes.

This is a 4" x 6" color study on a print of the finished pencils. It's printed on a 5" x 7" piece of watercolor paper which was fed, sometimes with difficulty, through my printer. This stage eventually got cut out because of time constraints, but it was fun while it lasted.

The finished pencils. I like her face a whole lot better at this stage, but I the final was acceptable and I went with it.

The digital color study. You can see that I shrunk most of the figures in the second panel. I always plan for the word balloons, but I rarely leave enough space initially. Other than that, it's pretty close to the final piece.

And the initial layout sketch. If you've been reading my other posts, then you'll see that I've been working this way for quite some time — almost since the beginning of working for Marvel. For me, it's nice to have a fixed set of steps on the way to a final piece. It gives me a tiny sense of accomplishment after each completion, which gives me momentum for the next stage. It's also a matter of "divide and conquer," which keeps me from being overwhelmed at the outset.

Monday: Ghost Rider Maquettes


  1. Great stuff Poalo! You have quite an interesting process. I remember watching you do a Jubilee drawing in Photoshop at the Society of Illustrator's ART OUT LOUD event. Did you use this method prior to Marvel? And congrats on your Spectrum acceptance!

  2. I think the first time I made digital color studies was for Spectacular Spider-Man #14. Prior to that, I just did some preliminary pencil drawings and dove right in. The result was probably the same, it just took longer.

    Also, the sketch I did at Art Out Loud was done entirely in Photoshop, which I didn't start doing until a couple years ago.


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