Lunatic, chapter 8: Process

For this chapter, since I’m changing media or style in each chapter, I decided to try black, white and gray acrylic paint. After trying some different kinds of paper I settled on Borden & Riley vellum film as the best support.

Here are some process steps for Chapter 8, page 4

First, a rough sketch with watery, black acrylic. The borders are marked off with blue tape, so I don’t have to have a pencil line in the image.

One great feature of working in acrylics is the ability to paint over and make changes. I decided the figure of the woman was too tall in the sketch, making the doorway seem not as large as I wanted. So as I added detail gradually to the overall picture, I was able to paint over the figure in white, and re-draw at a better scale:

Gradually building up tone and texture:

The final image. Lots of little adjustments to tone and texture, and thanks to the flexibility of acrylics I was able to mess around a lot with the positioning of the front figure carrying the piece of sheet metal, until i was happy with it:

And page 5. She gets to work. I wanted to convey strength, like the WPA murals of Diego Rivera, Thomas Hart Benton, etc.

Page 5, first loose sketch. With acrylics, you don’t have to “pencil,” just start right in.


…and gradually refine, add tones…
I decided the wild hair was too much, and with the background gray paint, reshaped it.

Leaving the window unpainted, so that when scanned it will be the lightest spot in the image, the light source.

Close to final….
Finished, and converted to grayscale.

Page 6. The first thumbnail (in acrylics), and a more detailed sketch in pencil and pen (with a revised composition):

Page 6, final. Starting with a loose sketch and adding layers of paint, pushing and pulling the contrasts until I think it’s right:



Dan
Lives in: Cambridge, Mass. Does: comics. Used to live in: Topanga Canyon, California But grew up in: Cambridge, mostly Used to do (maybe still?): Screenwriter, journalist, teaches some too