Monday, January 22, 2007

The Shield Slinger!

Scott, and old friend of ours, and his daughter Devon were visiting us a while back, and before they left, she asked me to draw and send her a picture of Captain America.
Yep, I know. Not Belle, not the Little Mermaid, but the Star Spangled Avenger for Pete's sake! Ya gotta give her points for that, for sure.
Well, seeing as how I took forever and a day, to get it off in the mail, I decided to go one further, and ink and color it for her as well.
So, here it comes Dev, I hope you like, it sure was a lot of fun to draw!

I also, thought that for those of you interested, I might share a few of the steps I took in getting to the finished piece.

First off, I pulled out my Marvel Essentials and checked out Cap as he was meant to be...from back in the day! I'm talking about as drawn by one of his co-creators, Jack King Kirby.
(I could go on and on here...but I'll spare you and save that for another day. You've been warned.) All this to say, what I drew was heavily influenced by Jack. And there's probably more than a
thumb or kneecap that were swiped in this image, for sure!
So, after immersing myself in Kirby's dynamic line-work....I penciled the good Captain with a blue col-erase pencil.

Then I scanned him , and enlarged him to the size that I thought might make a nice piece of inked art for someone to hang on to. (about 11 inches from
winged cowl to boot). I then printed this out on Strathmore bristol as a 100% CYAN image.
This way, I can pencil on top of the print out if I want, and erase if need be, leaving an un-erasable non photo blue image beneath.
That means, that the blue line will drop out easily when I rescan my black inks. I picked up this little trick from J. Bone (a phenomenal artist, who is currently inking over Darwyn Cooke's pencils on
DC's new Spirit book. I highly recommend.)
Check him out over
  • here

  • (Thanks J. I owe ya!)

    Next up, I pull out the Super Black speedball ink, and my trusty Windsor Newton Series 7, #1 sable...and inked him up.
    Then I scanned it at 600 dpi...I know a lot of folks like to scan it in b/w line...but I feel like it gets kinda least in my experience. And I want to see some play in the ink, so I bring it in
    with RGB mode, that way I can play around with the levels a bit, and find a happy medium. It's still a compromise, but personally, I like it leaning "this way" rather than the other direction.

    After that, it's play time with colors and textures. For the full color version, I felt like I wanted to give it that Merry Marvel Marching Society look (yeah that's for real, look it up!),
    so I pulled the "Captain America" type treatment from a scan of some b/w original art that I found online, I mocked up the "living legend" tag-line in Illustrator, and married it all in Photoshop.
    As I said before, I wanted to give it a very utilitarian 1960's Marvel production coloring was to be limited, and nothing fancy in the design.

    After that, I still didn't feel like it was giving me the cheap pulp printing vibe I went all halftone on it, adding a scan of distressed paper, etc.. and ended up with the first image I posted here.
    I think they both have merit, but I personally enjoy the distressed version. How 'bout you?


    m cho said...

    I'm DROOLING!!! This cap totally rocks! You're channelling some major Kirby here -- just the way Cap should be drawn, imho!

    Great job all around!

    Uloo said...

    As indicated elsewhere: Top-notch! I, too, prefer the distressed version. For that one, did you directly select the colors or did you desaturate the colors of a prior version?

    Yancy Street said...

    Michael- Thanks man, Coming from you, that's high praise. You're no slouch when it comes to Kirby's characters either!

    Uloo- Thanks!
    To answer your question, it's actually "both".
    I selected new colors for the bg, and I desaturated the previous colors that I had used on the "clean" version of Cap. Plus, there is the added element of halftone (it's slight, but there) that plays with the color read as well. I was going to offset the various halftones...but figured my eclectic tastes might not transfer as well to an 8 year old girl's.