Mythos: Cap, Step by Step, Part 5

Friday, August 15, 2008

Continuing our look at the painting process, we now enter the final stage. Having previously rendered the image in a monochromatic underpainting, all that remains is to add color where it is needed. This is often an involved process, so I break it up into sections and concentrate on one at a time. The only disadvantage to this, as we will see, is neglect of the overall composition.

The first thing that I sought to finish was the control panel in the lower left corner. While I did a fine job of coloring in the equipment, I sort of lost myself in the process and treated it as a major element, bathed in light. My original intent was to keep it almost in silhouette, thus providing merely an indication of technology that wouldn't distract from the main focus.

Part of the problem stems from my use of gray in my underpainting, as opposed to black, which would give me a full range of value. I tend to avoid black because it results in a very cold tint to the image, not to mention a potent residue on top of which color will be added.

In addition, keeping your composition lighter than the ultimate intent allows the scanner to pick up more information than it would otherwise be able to. The digitized image is therefore richer and can be easily adjusted to achieve the full tonal range.

Technically, the painting is all finished at this point. I wasn't completely satisfied, but Photoshop provides the opportunity to adjust and tweak as needed. Here is the unedited scan before post-production, which I will cover next week.

Update: Part 6


  1. This step by step has been enjoyable through and through, but it leaves me with even more questions to make, and here they be:

    1) When you're faced with a line drawing only, what's the first thing you do to wipe off the white off the page and give it depth, do you start dividing dark and light immediately to give thing form and start faking the lie that's painting 3d on 2d?

    2) Would you say this is the most important part... that if you get this wrong, you'd be, pardon my french, just polishing a turd? Do you still bump into things that you just can't paint? Is the solution to go for reference?

    3) Now that you're set with Marvel, do you weep at night, like a little girl, at that DC Comics character you'd really like to draw and shall never tell anyone who it is?


  2. Hi Decker. Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions:

    1) I jump right in and start painting whatever strikes my fancy. This is often a face or figure... whatever happens to be the focus of the composition.

    2) By the time I get to this stage, I've got everything pretty much figured out. I'd say the most important stage is the layout/color study. And yes, if this stage stinks then I would, in fact, be polishing a turd (your French is just fine). Also, I use the majority of my reference during the penciling stage, when broad generalities must be reigned in to specific details.

    3) My contract with Marvel doesn't allow me to reveal my crying habits or motives.


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