Dec 27, 2010

Just Passing Thru logo and a great client

Most of the people that approach me for artwork are nice people and real easy to work with. Some are SUPER-nice people and VERY easy to work with. Working with John Fitterer of Crowned By Fire on the logo for his body piercing shop Just Passing Thru was on the very easy side of things. When he approached me with the job I was already loaded with a benefit poster and an upcoming out of town wedding trip but he was patient and very eager to work with me. When I got started on it he provided me with some images he found online with what he was thinking of and a very lengthy detailed explantion which was great, no time was lost second guessing his ideas. After I started showing him proofs he would write back with alot of postive comments which made me want to make it extra special, no dialing it in here. Here's some of his comments:

"Damn dude, -It's bitchen! I bet you color a mean easter egg, Heh! The colors are perfect and I'm totally stoked!"

"Whatever you did man, looks great! I'm leaning towards the last 2 designs you sent without the grey circ... Those are gonna print great!"

"Hell yeah brother, -lookin' awesome!... "

Check out his band Crowned By Fire and his shop Just Passing Thru, he's good people!

(((Click on every image to enlarge)))

Here's a couple of images he sent me followed by some references of skulls I used. His idea was for a Native American Warrior Chief/Shaman. Lots of bright colors, feathers, a couple peace pipes with smoke and bones of all kinds where on his mind to start.

Here's some sketches. The top left one was my first sketch sent to him to make sure we were on the same page. He gave me some further instructions and clraified a few things before I sent the remaining 3 to him.

He dug the sketches so I made a final drawing, at this point I was very happy with the final ink drawing and very positive about the outcome of the final.

Here are the 2 black and white versions he requested, for a white background and for a black background.

...and here is a detail of the skull, just cause.

Dec 6, 2010

Nuclear Assault Poster

Here's a rare landscape poster, might try more of this in the future. I drew the final version in my sketchbook while waiting to be picked for Jury Duty, I was picked.

(((Click on every image to enlarge)))

Some close ups of the artwork to see the halftone lines used for the values on the face:

The Sketches I had in mind beforehand. They were more of a centered compostion, this didn't work out with the length of band names:

Here's the final drawing scan. I edited it alot, taking out the ears and whatnot, I feel its better to go into Photoshop with more rather than less to work with:

To create the Halftone Values on the face I used a fat and a skinny Halftone Line layer for both the dark and light values...

...and masked them out in their own groups.

There you have it! Here's some pictures of the printed product:

Dec 2, 2010

Stone Axe/All Time High Poster + the typeface creation

Here's another poster idea I had for awhile waiting for a show it'd go with. Unfortunately the show it was originally intended for had any and everything go wrong during the booking and never got off the ground. Since I worked with both Stone Axe and All Time High I figured it'd be a sweet way of saving the poster by giving it to them. I'm usually more into an illustration after I finish it if I do something I've never done before and exceeded my expectations of what I can do. I still look at this one with pride especially the typeface of the bands, so I'll talk about that.

(((Click on every image to enlarge)))

Below is the final band typefaces, all pretty and done up right.

1: Setting the Type:

Here I created a curved Path and used the Type Tool to set the centered type on the Path.

2: Separating into Letters:

Next up I selected each letter with the magic wand and created a Color Fill Layer for each. Time spent on this can be reduced by creating an Action that handles the process after the Letter is selected. After the Color Fill Layers were created I added and subtracted a bit of each letter to keep them interesting.

Here's the Layers:

3: Overlapping the Letters and Creating Inside and Outside Borders:

Next I moved the Letter Layers around to overlap each other, this took a few minutes until I got the right balance but was worth it. I used the 'Inner Glow' and 'Stroke' Effects under 'Blending Options' to create a dark outter and light inner border. I did one then used the 'Copy Layer Style' and 'Paste Layer Style' option for the rest by right clicking the layers.

An example of the Layers with the Style:

An example of each Effect Setting:

4: Inner Border Fade Out:

Below is a pic of the Inner Border Fade added:

First up I made a copy of all of the Letters and Merged them all together to form a new single Layer.

I then used the magic wand to select each of the inner border parts:

I created a new dark green Color Fill Layer using that selection as a Mask for the shape of it.

Below you'll see the dark green Color Fill Layer as "Color Fill 8" and the group its in "inside bottom stroke fade copy". I created a mask for that group and used a Brush with the hardness set to Zero to fade in the dark green of the Inner Border.

5: Inside Darker Top Fill Fade Out:

Below you'll see a pic of the type with a halftone and dark green fade in on the top:

To Start I selected the Inner Color area on the merged down Letters layer I created previously and then created a dark green Color Fill Layer from the selection.

I moved the mask to a new Group I created, titled below as "Inside Area copy":

Next up I got a halftone that would work well and created a Color Fill Layer from it:

I then created a new Group inside the former Group and called it 'Darks copy' before putting the halftone with the new group ontop of the dark green Color Fill Layer....

...which created this effect:

To create the Fade In effect of the halftone and dark gree color I did something similar to end of Step 4 and used a brush with a hardness of Zero to fade out the Darker Layers:

6: Inside Lighter Bottom Fill Fade Out:

Here's the final step and finished product:

...and if I need to explain how this was created then I've done a bad job of explaining the other parts.

Hope this sheds some light on the created look/effect, as with everything in Photoshop theres a thousand ways to achieve the same goal. I created this a few months ago and already know a couple ways to cut out some of these steps, but hey, keeping it real.

Some work in progress pics:

AND! Just because this blogpost is long enough as is, here's some close ups:

Aug 29, 2010

Las Cruces poster & drawing in Photoshop

(Click All Images to Enlarge)

Here's a new poster I did for the awesome Evil Fanny of Frederick MD, rad promoter and rad person.

I've been getting alot of questions on how I make my art, specifically if I draw it by hand, use the computer or both. I'm doing all of those combined right now: I draw it out, scan it draw on the computer using Photoshop. I covered some of the pre-Photoshop image making process in this blog post and will try to scratch the surface of how I do some of the Photoshop portion here. So here we go...

After setting up the file and sketch In Photoshop I'll scan the final drawings and clean them up in Photoshop:

I'll then work on the final compostion and rough color scheme before going farther into details and final touches:

Computer "materials": Right now I'm using Photoshop CS3 (should upgrade, I know) on a PC and a Wacom Intuso-4 for the "drawing in Photoshop" portion of the process. With these I'll draw the details of the forms and their dark and light values as well. The Intuso-4 has an 8.8" x 5.5" Active Drawing area and is pretty essential to the process for me right now. I started using a tablet around a year ago after using a mouse for a decade and a half and it's an incredible difference. The difference took me awhile to get used to but I'm now sold.

After drawing the outline of the forms by hand, scanning them, arranging the compostion and color scheme I'll start on the details and values by adding darks first with the pen tablet:

Once the dark value is set I'll add a lighter value in the space not used by the dark value and far enough away from the darks to let the original color of the form show:

It's important to note I'll do the lights and darks in their own layers so I can edit them later or play with the transparency if needed. This part of the Photoshop process is as important to me as the using the tablet itself. Having the ability to change the transparency and hue of the values is what I need to make judgments and changes & make sure everything works as a whole. I've tried converting my line art to vector art and using Illustrator for its flexibility with color and quick changes but the ability to combine the tablet drawing and other Photoshop features not found in Illustrator is best way to work for me.

Here's the most important part for me: the way I change the colors of my lights and darks in Photoshop after I've drawn them. I create the light/dark color areas using Photoshop's 'Color Fill Layers' option under the Layers dropdown:

First I'll pick a color:

Then I'll begin to draw out the color/value areas with the pen tablet using the mask that is created for the 'Fill Color Layer':

As you can see above Photoshop has options for Opacity and Fill Percentages for the Color Fill Layer. By clicking on the "color square" next to thumbnail of the mask you are editing you can change the color of the Color Fill Layer at any time. Those features are important to me.

You can go to the 'Channels' window and click on the mask channel created for the Color Fill Layer (usually below the RGB or CMYK channels) to see where you have created your mask. The red area here is where there is a mask and the Color Fill will not show through:

After a few lights and darks layers, maybe some extra light layers and a few layers for details the amount of layers will add up and I'll begin to organzie them in groups to keep track of them:

... and there you have it! It all boils down to creating light and dark color areas by masking out Color Fill Layers in Photoshop. Using a pen tablet to do this helps me maintain the hand drawn look of the original line drawing. The color, transparency and shape of the Color Fill Layers can be changed at a later time which make them super flexible and give them an edge over vector art to me.

BONUS! The original idea sketches and pre-final sketch: