Monday, July 11, 2011

This is just a tribute…

Mega Man Tribute Book! YES.

Udon just gave the official go ahead to post contributing artworks featured in their latest tribute book. I'm super looking' forward to some sweet-ass robo art at ComiCon in…just a few weeks! HOLY SHEEP.

The official low-down reads like this:

- The book is premiering at the San Diego Comic-con at the UDON booth (#5037), July 20-24
- For fans not attending the show, you can preorder the book at
(click here!)

- The standard softcover edition is also available for preorder on
(click here!)

And so here's my attempt at art:

For whatever reason, this composition plays tricks on me. It looks fine I suppose, then I flip it and it looks largely asymmetrical and weird. …then not. …then it settles in my brain and looks fine. Then I flip it back and it's asymmetrical and weird again. Bah, whatever ;-)

I set out to use traditional media exclusively here and draw/paint as much by hand. I drew MM's head with graphite on bristol board trying to eyeball a symmetrical head in the process. Next I "inked" it with some thick EBONY charcoal pencil. I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to add color with oil bars but it's like I was combining control with chaos. The pencil line was fairly tight but the thick bars are meant for spontaneous painting of sorts. I ended up masking off every "zone of color" within the line work using removable tape. Then went to town filling in blocks of warm colors with the oil bars. A convoluted process for sure. The white outline and the pixely squares at the top were masked off as well. Over a couple nights, as the different colors would "dry" I'd add highlights of lighter colors. When it was all done, I asked my sister to snap a high-rez photo of it since it was too big for my scanner and I wouldn't want oil residue all over the glass. Once in the computer I started fooling more and more with whiter highlights in Photoshop, a shadow pass, adjust a few things here and there, etc. It was definitely a moment of weakness having to fall back on the computer, but I did think all the adjustments were improvements. I'm happiest with the details of imperfection that the raw pencil and ink could only bring. Flecks of bare paper poking through, some blue col-erase in his eyes, a wobbly line, everything has real texture. I'm just sayin' - it feels good to do some REAL crappy art :-)

In the end, it's all about process - what I enjoy most about art and animation. I had no idea how to make pencil, and oil bars, tape, a photo, and photoshop, all work together and it wasn't my initial intention, but that's what happened. In fact...

"That just happened."

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