Magellan Miscellany

Lock(e)down cover art
The steps in creating the Lock(e)down cover - draft/B&W Art/ colour

The first step for anything I produce is a draft version - it allows me to be a rough as I need to be, make as many mistakes as I need to, and erase, rearrange and scribble as much as I have to. It was a process I picked up years ago and it sure beats trying to draw something totally from scratch. Composition is the key here - in this instance there are also a lot of characters all dynamically engaged in various different postures with different facial expressions. This is also my first draft for a number of the villains such as Assault & Battery, Vlax, Brainspike, Gator-Maid, etc.

Draft time: 1-2 hours

B&W Art
Once I'm happy (or as happy as I can be) with the draft it's on to the B&W outline artwork. This is where I add the various details and/or make changes as needed. In this instance I was pretty happy with the draft so there weren't all that many changes between it and the B&W art. And yes, I use a light box to trace the outline of the draft so that I can more or less reproduce it in the B&W artwork. I draw it the old fashioned way, by hand on paper using pencil and ink pens. Generally I don't even fill areas that are going to be black.

Drawing time: 10 hours

Finally it's time for the colour! I scan in the B&W art and then have at it with Photoshop. When I first started Magellan I didn't have a lot of confidence in this area, especially around colour theory and shading and some of the fancier techniques. And while I could still do to learn more I'm very happy with this effort. If needs be I also make changes to the artwork at this point. For example, I wasn't very happy with Billy's appearance in the B&W art and so tinkered around with his hair and expression a little bit. The final step is to add the cover title text and copyright info and - TA-DAHH!! - the cover is finished.

Colour time: 5 hours.

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Magellan © Stephen Crowley 2004-11