Socialite and Super-hero - Sue Dibny and her Elongated Man

Sue and Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man) © DC Comics

I started this piece two years ago. And the last time I worked on it was two years ago, yesterday. This is vintage on vintage. It was a piece I always wanted to finish but had a hard time visualizing the final image. I'm glad I waited until I was ready.

Below is the same image minus the textured effect. Just for comparison.

Created in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

This is Post #2043

Comic Art for Business

© Daily Planet Marketing

Been a long while since I showed some commercial work. I know most visitors are looking for comic book art and that's okay. But today I have something that overlaps both. These pieces were done for a marketing company in Los Angeles. I have done work for them in the past and they are great to work with on any project. As they have added people to the company, I have been doing these head shots for the website. Last week I finished these two.

And on a side note, I have changed the layout of the blog back to the classic style. I hope it isn't too jarring. :)

Both pieces were drawn in Adobe Photoshop CS5 using my Wacom Cintiq 24HD. Colored and finished in Adobe Illustrator CS5.

This is Post #2026

Merry Christmas

Wonder Woman © DC Comics

I didn't have time to create a new piece for this Christmas post so I pulled this image from my work archives. This is a recreation I did in Adobe Illustrator for DC Licensing. Merry Christmas to all of you that celebrate the holiday. For those that don't, peace and good will to you and yours.

This is Post #2001

Vector art done in Adobe Illustrator

Marketing Mailer

This is a piece I did for a marketing firm in Los Angeles earlier this year. I have had the pleasure of working with them on several projects over the years. This latest project had a few parts and at this time I can only show one.

The firm planned a big introduction of their new Senior VP Strategy with a mailer. I was contacted to work with them to deliver that message visually. Because the theme of the website has a superhero/sci-fi vibe to it, this type of image was a natural. I worked from several head shots, coming up with a few ideas and trying to keep his likeness in comic book style.

Artwork © 2012 Daily Planet Marketing

Below is the finished mailer. The supporting artwork on the mailer is existing art I did a few years ago for their site. There are two other introduction portraits I will share when I can.

As always, they are a great team to work with and I hope to have the chance to again. To see more art I did for them, check out their website here.

All the art was created in Adobe Illustrator.

This is Post #1652

Tiki Bar - Finish

This is a big jump from yesterday's post. Sorry. Sometimes I put my head down for work and don't keep images for the steps taken. Sorta kills the whole process deal, doesn't it? Oops.

So here is the finished art minus the lettering. It's pretty clean and open. I tried to get a 1950s feel to where the letters are placed to spell out the resort. Each letter would be placed in those yellow shapes at the top. There is also copy in the black box and under it in the final art. The palm trees substituting for the foliage that was at the bottom in the rough. It just started getting too busy at the bottom with the chairs and the tiki masks.

This was done in Illustrator.

This is Post #1604

Red Dress - Vector Art

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a little something I whipped up today in Adobe Illustrator CS5. I wanted to try out a tool that is new to this version of AI. Before the pen tool only gave you a single line weight, no thick or thin variations. But now there is a width expanding tool. After putting down the initial line, I can click on it and adjust the thickness of the line anywhere I want. I can adjust both sides of the line, or just one side. If you look at the right leg of the girl above, you can really see the variation of line thickness. This could be a very important tool for me.

After I finished adjusting the line weight, I colored the piece in AI using Live Paint, then exported into Photoshop CS5 to make a jpg of it for the blog.

This is Post #1179

And now for something different...

I've wanted to share these for a while and since the movie is out on dvd and Blu-Ray I figured it would be okay to share with all of you now.

Back in the spring, I was asked to join a small team of artists working for DC Licensing to do artwork for the JONAH HEX movie. I haven't seen the movie but I believe these were to be used for the opening credits. I was given very, very rough sketches done by Eduardo Risso and instructed to ink them in Adobe Illustrator, matching his style and using my best judgement to finish areas not sketched in. I poured through a lot of his work, studying what he does and why. And here are results of three of six that I did.

Another challenge to these pieces is that various elements had to be done on separate layers. For example, in the first one, I had to do the trees in the foreground in one layer, Hex and the horse in another, and the background in yet another layer. But here is the tricky part, everything you cannot see that is blocked by the foreground trees still had to be drawn out. This is where some pieces got trickier than others but it also gave the studio the chance to do limited animation with each piece.

It was a quick turnaround project and I did six of them. I'm pleased that the only change I was asked to make was to make the grass in the top image a bit fuller. My first pass at the grass didn't look as good.

Jonah Hex © DC Comics

It was a fun and I hope to be involved with more projects like this one.

New artwork tomorrow.

This is Post #1136

Challengers of the Unknown

This is little something I played with over the last week or so. This wasn't a difficult piece, it's just that when you only work on it a few minutes at a time, it takes a while. I love the idea of the Challengers of the Unknown. Four guys who should be dead, and are living on borrowed time. Now they live life to the fullest and tackles all kinds of challenges. I have several original pages from the run in Super-Team Family. Jim Sherman was the artist on those pages. Being a fan of the Challs and Sherman makes those pages pretty darn special to me. Those could only be topped by Jim Sherman Legion pages! (Remember that at Christmas and my birthday) ;)

So this is just my take on the Challengers and their mountain headquarters. Below left is the first sketches I did weeks ago while waiting for Dakota at the orthodontist. On the right is the finished inks from another page. From there I scanned it and put it in Adobe Illustrator. Digital inks and colors were done there, then brought into Photoshop for the last touches. I added some digital noise to the final art just for some texture. Gets rid of the slickness. All in all I am happy with the piece.

Have a good weekend everyone.

This is Post #995

Sundress - Vector Art 2

I didn't have much time today to work on this. I am very busy with commercial work and still trying to get ahead so I can travel to the Pittsburgh ComiCon on Friday. But here is what I did:

A) I did a little bit of lights and darks on her skin. Nothing I am satisfied with so I started working on the background. Having a color background really helps to see contrasts in color. What looked to light in value now looks better with a dark background. For the background I am going with a cruise ship. I started with a basic sky color, added the water line and the area for the deck of the ship. The deck is made of different sized and color rectangles. 

B) I found a reference online for a ship railing that I used here. The only thing I really needed was the base and how it connects the rails to the deck. I don't have to have a completely realistic base, just a suggestion of it is good enough for what I am doing.

C) While researching the rail, I noticed life preservers and decided to include one. Having a reference helped me to see how the life preserver is attached to the railing.

D) I added the background clouds. They may stay, they may go. That is the nice thing about working digitally, you can change your mind at almost any point of the process.

All of this is being done in Adobe Illustrator CS3. More to come.

This is Post #914

Sundress - Vector Art 1

I am revisiting this figure from two days ago. After looking at the initial sketch, I thought this would have potential for a CILM pin-up.

Top left: First thing I did was fix what I didn't like about the original sketch. I sketched her in my sketchbook, tightening up the lines and details like her hands and shoes. After scanning her I realized her head was still too big In Photoshop I selected her head and reduced it. The white area around her head shows just how much I reduced it. I think it is 92% of what it had been.

Top Right: I placed the corrected file in Adobe Illustrator. Using the pencil scan as my guide I digitally inked the figure on a separate layer. Using some custom vector brushes and the pen tool I complete the line art.

Bottom left: This shows the digital inks without the distraction of the pencil sketch layer. At this point I expand the line work. This changes the lines into shapes that I can resize, tweak and erase. Look at her jaw line and you can see how the shape extends into her hair. That is an area I erased as part of the clean up. When I am happy with this stage, I selected the whole thing and turned it into a Live Paint object.

Bottom right: Live Paint allows me to fill closed areas with a paint bucket rather quickly. Remember when I made the line art into shapes? I can now use the paint bucket tool to add color to the black shapes making up her outlines. Once I have the base colors done, I will start playing with light and shadow. I can still change any color combination at anytime. I'm not locked into anything at all.

More to come.

Note: As I was typing the last paragraph I had a moment of deja vu. For some reason I think I might have done one of these vector art progress posts. I imagine it's possible to repeat myself after so many posts. I hope not, but if I did, no harm. I'm sure if someone goes back and looks for it and finds it, it's probably different enough from this one. Okay, I need to get back to work.

This is Post #913

Illustrator Brushes Exercise

The project I am currently working on has me digitally inking in Adobe Illustrator. Normally I use Photoshop for that so I am learning some new tricks. I did this little pin-up girl in order to practice with some custom brushes that were given to me to help with the project.

The top left drawing was done in my sketchbook with blue Col-Erase pencil and Pitt brush markers. I scanned it and placed it in Illustrator. From there I used the brushes that were supplied to me. They mimic a thin to thick to thin brush stroke. They are really quite handy. The colors were added by creating a shape and filling with color. Nothing terribly exciting but fun nonetheless. :)

The is Post #727