Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kirk Lindo Art- Fremont & Kerissa Commission


This one was definitely one of the more unique assignments I have ever been asked to do. The customer is from The Netherlands and has a PhD from a cancer gene therapy project which investigated the therapeutic potential of genetically engineered viruses for the treatment of liver cancers

…Right!

I’m just a comic artist and that is way over my head! Anyway the idea for these characters had something to do with a possible cover for his thesis. The materials he sent were fascinating but puzzling. It took me a while to wrap my head around this job but my process is to sort of plant the project in my brain and then let it grow until I nail it. Sometimes that process is fast, sometimes it’s slow. One thing for certain was that I really wanted to do a nice job job for this customer. He was such a great guy to communicate with that I stayed on this one until I got something that I thought he would like. I ended up redrawing this image several times until I got it to look the way I wanted.

Step 1, Figure Outlines:  The process started with the choosing of the figures. I have a batch of unused figure outlines that I’ve drawn and sometimes when I  am doing a commission I will simply send the customer links to my ready made outlines for them to chose from. I don’t do it all the time, it depends on what I’m working on. The cool part is that the customer gets to choose the pose they like best for what they had in mind for the art.
1. Figure Outlines – I do these generic sketches all the time to keep my drawing hand fresh.


Step 2, Prelim: Once the poses were chosen the next step was adding the costumes for the prelims. I drew the prelims separately and then merged them together in Photoshop.
2. Prelim: Figures with the costumes added.


Attempt #1- Next I transferred the prelim image to the final board, did the pencils, the inks and stared on the marker gray tones. I was kind of going on autopilot but it just wasn’t sitting right with me.  I did not like what I did with the face of the character on the left with the short hair. She looked too mean and mannish. I didn’t like the way her lips looked and there were a few ink lines that I could have drawn better. I finally scrapped this one to start over.
Attempt #1- This was okay but I thought it needed to look much better.


Attempt #2- I transferred the prelim to a new board and went at it again. The face of the character on the left still bothered me. I also added a line of piping on the bottom of her jacket that I didn’t like. There was also some wacky stuff going on with my line weights. Too thick in some areas where there was no reason for the lines to be that way. This time I only got through the pencil and ink stage.
Attempt #2- This one was a little better but I still wasn't completely happy with it.


Attempt #3 completed pencils- Here we go again, new board. This time I started with the face and decided that until I nail that the way I wanted to I won’t go any further. Finally success! I was able to get the art right in the pencil stage before the inks. The face came out better. Her jaw was more feminine and not squared. I parted her lips slightly to make them look prettier. I also got all of the lines to look the way I wanted.
Attempt #3 completed pencils- The third one was the charm. The differences are subtle,
but I see them very clearly.

Completed Inks: Things went smoothly from here on out. The inks turned out nicely. The biggest change from the pencils to the inks was that I had to figure out what to do for the back ground. I decided to make some kind of strange sci-fi world and just place them in it. It could be the world they are from or one that they are visiting since they seem like an adventure hoping duo.
Completed inks with the background included.


Finished Marker Gray Tones: I use warm and cool gray markers to add depth to the art and help bring the figures to life.
Marker Gray Tones- This version of the markers is much smoother than the first one I tried.


Colored Image: I scan the inked and marker toned image into Photoshop and lay on the colors. There is a whole lot more going on in the colors. I use special Photoshop brushes and textures to make the art look better.
The finished colored image. Same one as shown at the top.


That’s pretty much it. Creating art is not like flipping a switch. For the most part images flow easier after years of perfecting your process. But every once in a while an artist has to work a little harder to get things right.

Here's what the customer thought of the finished image:

"Stunning piece Kirk! 
The background you came up with is spot on and really adds a lot to the piece I think."

-ML

I hope you all enjoyed this little look inside my process. If you liked the article please comment, share or +1 it!

Thanks