Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comic Art Forum XVI Photos

Since my 'rents live just 3.5 hours south of Savannah, they decided to come up for SCAD's Comic Art Forum. My mom has posted a series of photos from the event at her blog.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big Apple Con Commissions

Conan the Barbarian and Shattner, signed by Shattner. What more could you ask for?

I've had a crazy busy week with almost no art to show for it. Where does the time go?

Have a happy and safe Halloween weekend! I'm going to be Spock (because I already look like Zachary Quinto)!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Strange Tales

I meant to post this when it hit the stands, but better late than never. Many moons ago, Marvel asked my friend and colleague, R. Kikuo Johnson, to contribute to Strange Tales, an "alternative" take on the Marvel mainstream universe. His four-page story, starring Alicia Masters, the blind stepdaughter of the Puppet Master, is superbly crafted (not to mention hilarious). If you'd like further proof, you can check out a preview at Comic Book Resources.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 78

Wacky Reference Wednesdays: SCAD Edition

So, as I mentioned last week, I went down to Savannah this past weekend to participate in SCAD's Comic Art Forum, an annual event that I have now attended three times, twice as a professional (2006 and 2009) and once as a student (1999, when I was a senior in high school and the forum was open to prospective students). The activities include a panel discussion (which I skipped this year due to a missed flight), workshops, portfolio reviews, and plenty of eating.

I led two workshops, the descriptions for which I have included at the bottom of the post. Briefly, the first workshop involved the development of a digital color study using Photoshop, while the second took that study as the basis for a gouache/acrylic painting. As it happened, Photoshop crashed towards the end of the first workshop and, having forgotten to save, I lost a now legendary composition that included a lightsaber duel between a goat-man/satan/Jim Breuer and a tentacle-headed woman, an X-wing, a storm trooper taking a shower, the Death Star, all taking place on a catwalk inside of a space port. Perhaps the sheer magnitude of awesomeness was too much for the computer to compute.

Moving right along, I did a Punisher study from scratch during my second workshop. In order to give the students an idea of how I use reference, I took suggestions from the audience about character, lighting, and props, and posed accordingly. The entire process took about 3 hours, but I was talking much of the time and championed many digressions.

As usual, I started out with a pencil sketch that I taped to my trusty magnet board. You can see that most of the tools that I use have neodymium magnets attached so they are always close at hand, no matter the working angle.

Just to show an example of gleaning information from superficially contradictory reference, I took a photo of my Reed Richards maquette to get lighting information which could be "grafted" onto my earlier pose (I'm holding the maquette up towards the ceiling to utilize the overhead fluorescents as a back-lit, dual light source). This is a technique I often use when I don't have the time (or will) to set up a lighting situation on a larger scale.

While I wasn't able to finish the painting (or even start on the gun, for that matter) I felt like we covered quite a bit of material. Thank you to everyone who attended the workshops! You were a fantastic group, lively and eager to learn, and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your studies.

Workshop Descriptions:

Workshop 1 — The Digital Color Comprehensive
In this workshop, I’ll use the computer to digitally compose an image that will serve as a template for a traditionally painted comic panel or cover. The discussion will include such fundamental concepts as color theory and composition, but will also cover many practical subjects like perspective, Photoshop tips, reference, and anatomy.

Workshop 2 — From Color Comp to Finish
In this workshop, I’ll utilize the color comp from the previous workshop to paint a comic panel or cover. While many of the same topics will be covered, this discussion will focus on the technical aspects of working with the traditional media of gouache and acrylic, including color mixing, mass tone vs. undertone, brushes, palettes, and paper.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MarvelFest NYC 2009

Wednesday is the New York premiere of the Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic, so if you happen to be in Union Square around 6PM, please stop by. I'll be signing and sketching, so keep an eye out for me. I may even be in costume... no promises, though.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Marvels Project, Part 2 of 4

I had a wonderful weekend down in Savannah, so thank you to SCAD, students, faculty, and the fellow pros who made it all possible. I don't have as many photos from the event as I had wanted, but I'll share what I have this week.

Before I do that, however, I wanted to post the Land Soldier concept sketch from the Marvels Project. The original sketch is pencil on 11 x 14 paper and toned digitally.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Big Apple Con Commissions

Hey there! Past Paolo here, blogging from last Wednesday evening. If my life is going as I have so carefully planned it, I should be living it up in Savannah. Here are the first 2 (of 16) head shots from last weekend's convention at Pier 94. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At the Printers

The Spectrum 17 poster is at the printer and should be in the mail later this month. The image above is my first crack at the concept. Also, Spectrum 16 should be out next month.

In other news, I leave today for Savannah, GA to participate in the Comic Art Forum at SCAD. The event is closed to the public, but I'll try to share some pics when I get back. I'll be doing 2 workshops, portfolio reviews, and a discussion panel. Having gone in 2006, I'm really excited about returning.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 77

Mythos: Captain America, page 18 spread, panel 3 (2008)
gouache and acrylic on bristol board

Steve Rogers (aka Captain America), recently thawed, tries to catch up on decades of post-war history as the ever-attentive Jarvis looks on.

I Don't "Tweet," But...

Because my editor, Steve Wacker, is "tweeting" all day today, you get to see some art in it's early stages. The digital color study above is something I just finished today and will soon be a finished cover. You can follow his entire day at Newsarama.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Last Call!

Artists! Time is running out to get your Spectrum 17 Call for Entries poster. If you haven't joined the mailing list yet, now is the time. I'm not sure when the deadline is, but it must be soon. More info at their site.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Marvels Project, Part 1 of 4

First of all, thank you to everyone who stopped by the table this weekend. I had a great Big Apple Con, thanks to everyone's continued support. I painted nearly the whole time, so I'll be posting a good number of commissions in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here is my first page of promotional art for The Marvels Project. I was asked to simulate a journal from the 1930s, written by a scientist who is involved in a secret government program to engineer super-powered soldiers. I wasn't given much direction beyond that, so I had a good degree of freedom (even with the text).

The drawings are in pencil on 11" x 14" bristol board and were digitally toned. I haven't seen the final ads yet, but I will post them as soon as I do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green Lantern vs. Spidey

We did it! Joe Quinones and I have finally collaborated on piece of artwork. If all goes as planned, we should have prints to sell at the Big Apple Con. They will be $15 each, 11 x 17 inches on heavyweight paper. There's a chance we'll have them on Friday, but Saturday for sure.

For those who are curious, we split the art chores pretty evenly. Roughly speaking, I drew Green Lantern and colored everything, Joe drew Spidey, lettered and inked. And, of course, the artwork is based on the famous cover to Amazing Spider-Man # 39, by "Jazzy" John Romita.

New Business Cards

I'll have these at the Big Apple Con, which begins tomorrow. You can find me in Artist Alley, table 3103, right next to Joe Quinones.

As usual, I'll be doing watercolor head sketches for $60, first come, first served. The list usually fills up in the morning, but I'll start a fresh list at the beginning of each day. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 76

Young Allies Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1, page 16, panels 3-5 (2009)
Pelikan Drawing Ink A on Marvel Board, Photoshop color

I recall having a bit of trouble with this pose; it took me more than a few tries to get it just right. The main problem was with the hands grasping each other, but there was no one around to exploit as a model (besides myself).

Monday, October 12, 2009


This pretty much sums up what I'm always trying to convey about color and context. In fact, I covered many of the same principles in my Brooklyn Public Library lecture (though not nearly as well). I'll share an excerpt eventually.

—via the ever informative Lines and Colors Blog.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Guess Who's Bizzack

I'm back. Thank you so much for all the kind words and support. I'm all better now and looking forward to the future.

Speaking of which, I hope to share some new artwork in the coming weeks, including some promotional work I did for The Marvels Project, which everyone should be reading.

Also, I'll be at the Big Apple Con this coming weekend, so I encourage everyone to stop by if you can. I'll be in Artist Alley next to my good friend Joe Quinones, who (if we can get our act together) will be my collaborator on a new print.

Finally, the artwork above is a recent Spider-Man study which may or may not have something to do with my current project. Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blog Break

Hey everybody, I need to take a blog break. My mind is not functioning properly right now. Hope to be back next week or so. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, October 2, 2009

24 Hour Comics Day

In honor of 24 Hour Comics Day, I will attempt to not make comics for an entire day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Solid Color

It's bloviatin' time! This is another excerpt from my Brooklyn Public Library Lecture:

While most of us are born with the ability to “read” color, it takes some additional training to be able to “speak” it. For me, the first step was to understand the dimensions of color, of which there are three.

When one speaks of something that’s three-dimensional, they are most likely referring to an object that exists in space — something that has width, length, and depth. I find it difficult, in fact, to even imagine a world with more or less dimensions. Time can be considered a dimension, but it lies on an axis that can only be viewed one point at a time, with no chance for a second glance, at least not directly.

The first and most primal of the color dimensions is that of value. For the artist, this refers specifically to lightness, darkness, and everything in between. The remaining dimensions are closely related and therefore difficult to describe independently. Saturation, for instance, is often described as the intensity of color. Well, what is color? Color, in this case, refers to hue, the last of our three dimensions. It’s also difficult to define. How would you describe red to someone who can’t see?

You can’t (or at least I can't). It’s a psychological experience that doesn’t translate easily. However, those experiences are nevertheless real, and they have physical counterparts that are well understood. Value is, simply, the presence or absence of light energy, hue is the frequency of that light, and saturation is the purity of that frequency.

Perhaps it was inevitable that color would be approached using a familiar mental framework, that of space as we have come to know it. When the qualities of our color experience are plucked from the real world and plotted on a graduated, abstract form, certain patterns begin to emerge, allowing us to understand relationships that were previously taken for granted.

By arranging these scales through corresponding colors and their relationships, a three dimensional space begins to emerge. However, the shape is not precisely defined, so there are quite a number of interpretations of the final form. And like any map projection of the globe, there are pros and cons to each model. Sometimes Greenland is deceptively large (not to mention, not green). The point is, it’s not a real space in there — it’s just a model — so things happen inside that don’t match up with normal geometry, as we know it (I'm talking to you, Non-Euclid). But having a sense of the fundamental relationships is what’s important, especially for the artist.

The above image comes from Wikipedia, which has an article devoted to color solids. In the next excerpt, I'll explore the concept of contrast and the crucial role it plays in our perceptions.

Have a great weekend!