Sunday, January 27, 2008

Steve Ellis on art for HIGH MOON

Wow, Busy Times

I have to apologize to those guys who wanted some art up here showing how I do my process. Literally this week I was moving from my former home in Syracuse NY to my new home in Brooklyn. This entailed three days of actual packing and moving as well as a day rebuilding a kitchen. That said I was almost late with my High Moon pages.

So here I am excuse in hand, the dog ate my homework. Here is a sneak peek into how I do things:
First I pencil and ink( I can get more into layouts and such in another post because that's pretty fun stuff) then I scan this into the computer. on some pages I do a lot more drawing in the computer, but this page was mostly figured out in the original pen and ink. The next step is to scan it in and tone it. Notice on the black and white piece there are a lot of scuffs and pencil scratchings along with the cleaner ink. I like keeping those. Being left handed I always smear my pencil and make a mess of the originals and have to go in with a big eraser to fix stuff. with High Moon I wanted to turn a negative into an asset. I thought that if the world is supposed to be dark and gritty lets keep the grit in the art. One way of doing this is to keep the pencil marks in the final work.
After this step of toning the art ( which is done in photoshop with photo filter and color adjustments) I make this a top layer and create an under layer which has all the color fields on it. Color fields are simple color shapes that when placed under ink lines pull together to create the colors for the artwork.
When placed under the toned inks, it will create the desired colors and mood.
The last step is to add color on top of the art on a new top layer.

Without the other layers under it this layer doesn't look like much, it's mostly just highlights and such which add depth to the art. But this is the last step before declaring the art finished...

Any questions?

Steve E


Josh said...

most excellent

Darrell said...

Great stuff! I love seeing an artist's process, you can learn so many tricks of the trade. I also like the gritty feel to High Moon.

Adam Foster-Fahy said...

Finished frame?

David Gallaher said...


The finished frame is what is Page 12 on our strip, HIGH MOON, which you can read here:

"Full screen mode" should give you the full effect of the work Steve puts into his art.

All the best,