Cover for Ashes 2 – Painting Process

How do you make a successful cover for a grunge horror comic about decomposing vampires? With careful planning…and collaboration by some sick bastards. “Ashes” by Damage Comics was a collaborative project by writer Gerald Sanchez, penciler Lionel Ordaz and painter Oscar Rodriguez (me)

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The original sketch by Lionel Ordaz.

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Quick light tests I painted in Photoshop to figure out the best eye grabbing lighting effect. We decided on 3a because it feels like you just opened the door to a dark room in your house and found this happy guy.

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This is a very rough version I painted in Photoshop to get a feel for the final painting.

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THE TOOLS: Prismacolor pencils for fine texture and details, electric & regular erasers for removing thin layers of paint for highlight and texture effects, Iwata Micron CM-SB for super fine detailed airbrushing, Iwata HP-SBS for broader paint coverage, old rag for blood and texture effects, tooth brush (not actually a toothbrush) for paint splatter effects, and various brushes for base coat and final details.

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STEP 1  Using Lionel’s sketch as reference, I drew our friend on 11×17 in. cold press illustration board. I prefer cold press because it’s semi matte and has a subtle texture to it. It holds the paint better. As seen here, I applied a first coat in an acrylic wash similar to a watercolor effect. I purposely used a red prismacolor pencil so it would blend well with the paint.  The greenish skin tone was used to give a sickly undertone to the finished piece.

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STEP2  I continue building the base coat here and move on to add more shadows. Keeping the skin color kinda greyed out in certain areas where I’ll add bruises.

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STEP3  Here, I added the base for the wall and continued with shadows on skin.

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STEP 4  Adding more skin details. Once the base coat was complete, I started airbrushing. Working on adding depth and shape here to up the contrast.

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STEP 5  Going blood crazy here. An old rag comes in real handy to achieve this bloody textured splotchy look. Simply dip in blood, (I mean red paint), dab and smear away on your surface. And you can use the toothbrush to sprinkle very fine drops of paint for a splatter effect. This will represent our friend’s sloppy eating habits.

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STEP 6  Airbrushed more skin detail here. A little violet and green was used for the bruises. I used an eraser to lightly strip away some of the paint on them to give a raw textured look. Also added small highlight details with a fine tip brush for the mouth and eyes to give a shiny wet look. A q-tip was used for the writing on the wall. I tilted the painting and let the paint run down. The water damage on the wall was achieved by adding and dabbing paint dry with my finger.

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FINISHED!  The overall grime and dirt effect was made using the prismacolor pencils. The pencils are fun to use for finishing touches since you can finally go outside and get some fresh air! You can clean up, put away your paint, take the pencils, erasers and painting anywhere you’d like to sit and finish up. I scanned the final image and played with contrast and color a bit in Photoshop to maximize and prep file for the printer.
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CLOSE UP!

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THE END. THANKS FOR LOOKING 🙂

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~ by o-scar on March 1, 2012.

 
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