Sorry, folks, for making you all wait so long for a follow-up to the last post.
[Gabriel pictures hundreds of people hunched over their computer screens in cities across the world. Many of them are chewing on their fingernails, a few are even sweating. Such is the painful anticipation his blog’s followers must feel when having to wait a week to hear from him, their friend, their teacher, their life-line to all thing arty. Gabriel savors the image, nods his head with approval, both solemn and self-satisfied. He would deliver them from their agony tonight. For tonight: WE POST!]
As promised, today’s post will delve into the making of the Lanterns commission that was the subject of the last installment.
Step 1: Meet with the Client
In this case, the client was a coworker. We met in the cafeteria at our place of employment. Ryan had already approached me with the idea of drawing him and his wife as super heroes. In order to get a better sense of what he had in mind, I asked some general questions about what sorts of things he and his wife enjoy. We quickly settled on the Green Lantern as the character of choice. We discussed style, referencing styles of mine that he liked, as well as professional comic styles.
There were more mundane considerations like the printed size of the image and whether or not I would provide a mat and/or frame. We settled on timelines for the various steps and the finished work. And the price and payment method, of course.
I requested some reference photos of the subjects and some specific Green Lantern drawings that he liked. Here’s one of the three of the courageous couple:
It’s nice to have more than one photo reference, which gives the artist more information allowing him or her to take greater liberties with the angles and poses.
Step 2: Thumbnails.
I try to do bunch of ‘thumbnail’ or preliminary drawings for the client to choose from. He or she can also mix-and-match various aspects of them. For instance, he might like the poses in one picture but the colors in another.
In this case I only did three options:
This one is fairly straightforward, but static. The background coloring shows promise, and Ryan liked the glow on the power-rings.
This one has a more dynamic pose. I was trying to figure out an angle that would allow more emphasis on the faces, so it could more like a portrait. Unfortunately, it feels a bit forced and awkward. With more work, a picture like this could work nicely, but it didn’t get the nod.
This one formed the basis of the eventual finished work. It’s got a composition with plenty of movement and points of interest. It has nice facial placement and fun poses. Ryan especially liked the fiery yellow and shiny green power manifestations.
Step 3: Finalize the Plan
Looking over the JPEGs in his email, Ryan informed me of his preferences. It was time to start the finished piece.
Step 4: Do the Art
…And that will be what the next post is all about. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long for it.
[Gabriel smiles, fiendishly, for he knows they will wait, feverishly, until he’s good and ready to post again. He also knows it could be a while…!]