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The New Cover: How It’s Done (It’s Not Magic)

June 18, 2013

Hi everyone! Trish here. As you all know, the release of the second installment is only days away, and as a special feature before the release I’ve put together a blog post on how I illustrate!

Basically, this post will guide you through how I create a piece from start to finish. I hope you like it!

I start with a discussion with Robbie on what he’s looking for in the piece and what sort of things he wants me to incorporate into it. Robbie happens to have a very pro-artist vision, which essentially means he’s fine with me doing whatever I want as long as it integrates the elements he asked for (this is a wonderful thing, trust me).

For the cover of the second installment, Robbie and I agreed on a portrait of Pan, a character you’ll learn about quite soon! Robbie gave me the basic elements of Pan himself: olive skin, hazel or green eyes, unkempt hair, and “open” features. From there, I created a sketch in pencil of what the cover would look like:

No eyes. Be scared.

I didn’t include eyes or any background details because those are the sort of things I add later when I’m inking the piece. It’s not normal but hey, it’s how my art works!

Inking

Here’s the cover after I inked it with micron pens. Note how Pan looks remarkably odd and alien-like! This is an effect of the inking. It will be remedied!

Markers

Here’s just an artsy shot of the markers I used to color Pan’s olive skin. The purple-grey color was used for shadows and the dark circles under Pan’s eyes. I wanted to make him look gentle but also really tired and worn down (his life ain’t easy).

Skin

Skin almost done! I think he looks remarkably less alien-like now, which is always a plus. Next comes hair!

HairHair again (back tomorrow)

I used dull browns to make his hair look really scruffy and rough-cut because of a lack of proper haircuts.

Next, I colored his clothes. Given the circumstances of Pan’s life, there really aren’t many opportunities for finding nice new clothes. To make Pan’s clothes look really tattered and worn, I again used a multitude of browns to simulate patches and stains.

7 clothes

Almost done! Next came the coloring of the medallion behind Pan’s head. Metal is pretty hard to color so it involved a lot of patience, occasional swearing if the effect wasn’t quite right, and concentrated lip-biting.

Metal

After that came the background (minor smudges of color), and black framing with a sharpie. And we’re done!

After scanning the picture, I played with the contrast in iPhoto (I’m poor and can’t afford anything but free software) to make the colors richer since a lot was lost during scanning.

Here’s the finished piece!

Finished!

I hope you enjoyed this super-special blog post on my artistic process. Feel free to post in the Facebook page if you have any comments or questions (just start the post with “Trish,” so I know it’s for me). Also, feel free to check out some of my other stuff at my deviant art account: trishtal.deviantart.com. If you want more pictures from the process or have really detailed questions about anything, you can also email me at pvosburg@student.umass.edu.

Thanks so much for your continued interest in The Eighth City and for being a part of this project! We appreciate every single one of our readers.

Love,

Trish

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4 Comments
  1. Matt permalink

    Very cool!

  2. Katie permalink

    Absolutely gorgeous. Normally I don’t like getting a face for a character, because I prefer creating him/her in my mind, but this is a strong exception. It fits well with the character, and I enjoy having this one as a mental picture =)

  3. Very cool. Thanks for the in-depth write up!

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