Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 420

Gouache & acrylic on illustration board (w/ digital edits), 11 × 17″.

This cover was tough for a couple reasons. By this point in the series, I had already established the main visual theme, that of pure white as a representation of something lost. Sometimes that was teeth, other times, bullets. (For those of you who are behind, spoilers below...)

All my initial sketches involved a missing head, but I wanted to give Tyreese something with a bit more dignity. Late one night, it occurred to me that I could just flip it — I could paint a nice, stately portrait of him, but make it look like he was just wearing a white t-shirt. And after re-reading the issue, I thought the teeth would be a disturbing addition that would serve as a call-back to the first cover, as well as create a bit of mystery for those unfamiliar with the events.

#45-47, as planned

Now for the rookie mistake. This was the 4th of 6 connecting covers and by this time I had an enormous Photoshop file where I could pencil new covers perfectly aligned with the finished ones. The only problem was that I hadn't been accounting for the overlap necessary for artwork that's trimmed on both sides.

#45-47 after edits

The production team had been making up for that mistake by overlapping them for me (with a bit of Photoshop massaging). But by the time we got to this issue, the gap was getting too big. My normally patient editor emailed asking for some truly last-minute edits. I ended up having to slash a zombie to shift the artwork, but it wasn't a big loss. That kind of surgery would've been much more difficult on the following cover, filled with main characters... and more floating heads.

early digital roughs

original art

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 419

Gouache & acrylic on illustration board (w/ digital edits), 11 × 17″.

My last connecting cover for The Walking Dead Deluxe is out today, but here's a look at the process behind #45. I use a desktop cardboard background to stage my props, lit with a Lume Cube Panel Mini. I've also been trying to learn Blender for simple lighting setups (and to take advantage of my many models from 3D Scan Store.

digital pencils