Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Amazing Black Cat

It's finally done! Whoo-hoo! I've put more detail with Cat's hair and dropped the hard outline on both figures. I've soften the dialog balloons with an orange outline and finally added a texture overlay of old paper and used a grudge brush to give a worn look. Special thanks to my friend Sam Kirk who wrote the dialog for this piece. Excessior!


Well, I'd say one more day should take care of this and my Black Cat cover art will be done. Just need to work on Cat's hair and some details on Spidey and we're done!


Hi everyone. Well, here's another update on the BC project.

I've blocked in most of the composition and rendered bout 70% what I want Cat to look like. Now to finish Spidey, the buildings, and Cat's hair and I'm calling it done!


Hi everyone, just updating my progress on the Black Cat project. Below is my "tight sketch" of my thumbnail. I typically print a larger version of my thumbnail and take vellum paper and trace my and refine my thumbnail. I find it (for me) easier to capture the original feeling of my thumbnail, but tracing it than trying re-create it on regular paper. I use vellum as it doesn't wrinkle as much as regular tracing paper.

Bellow is a snapshot of my work in progress.

Open a new document. Make sure you know what size you want to work. In this case I am working with the standard comic book dimensions of 6 ⅝" × 10 ¼", plus 1/2" bleed all around. I change the document from CYMK to RGB, which can be done in Adobe Illustrator in File/Document Color Mode and check RGB. I like to work in RGB because it's easier to adjust colors and when I convert from an Illustrator file to Photoshop; a CYMK files for some reason opens up in Photoshop with the wrong colors.

OK, so before I start laying out colors, I have to tone my background. Toning my background will provide a contrast when you lay your colors of your figures. I keep this layer separate and call it "BG" for background.

Next,  I create a new layer and drop in a copy of my tight sketch. It comes in Illustrator as an object. Select your sketch and go to the Transparency panel (if not shown go to Windows/Transparency) and bump down your opacity. I typically have my sketches at 10-20% depending on the darkness of your lines. Name this layer as "Outline" and have it on the top of layer order. Lock it down by clicking next the empty box next to the visibility (eyeball) icon. Now you can see sketch lines when you place in you your shapes.

I often have reference materials on my screen to ensure I capture the essence of the characters, also it's easier for me to sample colors instead of coming up with them myself.  Keep in mind, you still have to adjust the colors to fit the image you are creating. It doesn't help to select Spider-Man's red suited for daytime, if you are planning a night shot. The sampling gets you in the general ballpark, but you still need to make the appropriate adjustment.

Some artists prefer to work on the background first before the figures; I'm the oppose and I usually start with the figures and work towards the background. I try to block in as much as possible, but I like to invest a lot of time on the face first; once the face is establish, I get the feeling if this piece is gonna work or not. 

OK guys. That's it for now. See you next time!


Hi true believes, it's your friendly online illustrator Dave bringing an another exciting illustration of his childhood heroes. This time, I'm doing an image of one of the hottest femme fatale in the Marvel universe, the Black Cat. This is the thumbnail sketch of what I plan to draw. This is a parody of the cover used in the very first Spider-Man comic.