Process

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Frank Stockton
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Process

Post by Frank Stockton » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:01 pm

Hey guys,

I mentioned a while ago that I would post the sketches and other production drawings that I used on my last post.

This job was for an art director here in NY named Rob Hewitt, for NYU's quarterly medical magazine. It was a full-page illustration with a modest budget, but I decided to take it on because Rob is one of my favorite art directors to work with.

I'm posting the broad strokes of my process, which involves all my personal tastes as to style and speed. The way I do things is what works best for me to get a very speedy, satisfying result in the least amount of time possible, while still leaving me a bit of "wiggle room" for experimentation.

My process is continually evolving to satisfy both my artistic growth AND my need for speed. The way I did things on this piece is different than the last piece I posted on here, and will hopefully be different than whatever it is I'm posting two months from now.

*note* the "rainbow" lines randomly running down all the images in different areas is a problem with my scanner that has not been fixed. Please ignore this detail.

Image
This is the sketch Rob gave me the OK on. He's working with some pretty brutally dense editors who don't have nearly the experience he does, so it was difficult for him to push through our original concept without too much outside interference. Often times editors will turn a "strong" idea into some cheesy stock imagery-type solution.

Image
This was my next step. You'll notice the light blue lines underneath the drawing. I scanned in the sketch, turned it light blue in photoshop, and printed it out on a sheet of Stonehenge paper. I then drew the tighter version on top of that.

Image
I re-scanned the tight pencil drawing in, blew it up to 11x14", turned it light blue again, and printed it out for me to ink on. I ink extra large so that my lines are tighter when shrunk down. I decided I liked this approach after experimenting on different jobs by doing some actual size, some smaller, and some larger. I tend to like the line quality in print better when the lines are smaller.

Image
This is the final step before assembling the image in the computer and coloring it. I scanned in the inked drawing in color at 1200 dpi, switched to the red channel, and ran "threshold" to make the image just black and white pixels. I removed the blue under-drawing, then shrank the whole thing back down to 300dpi.

Then, I print out a slightly smaller size in PINK to do a textural color layer over. This last part is a recent addition that actually takes me a little bit more time than not doing everything in the computer, but I love getting to do a little bit of painting. It makes the whole process more fun.

Incidentally, the reason I do this last step in pink instead of blue is twofold: First, I happened to randomly grab blue gouache out of my colors box when I first tried it, and second, I want to save my blue ink for the first half of the process.

The other drawing is the light effect that I wound up using. This is an example of a layer I wasn't sure what I was going to do with. When I have this in a piece, I will usually do it on a separate drawing like I did here so that I'm not stuck committed to something difficult to alter.

And after assembling and coloring, here is the final product:
Image

There are a lot of steps in this process that might seem redundant, or like things you can eliminate to save time. Trust me, I've tried them. I'm pretty lazy and tend to be enthusiatic about skipping steps. But I'm smart enough to realize that I can't hit a home run every time at bat-- so what I've done instead is to put as many steps in there as will give me a consistently pleasing result.

Thanks for reading!



Frank
"I do not get discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward"
--Thomas Edison

http://www.frankstockton.com

Greatnation
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Post by Greatnation » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:57 pm

very cool, thanks alot for showing us.


Would it be wierd if I say, contacted you on AIM for specific help/advice on shit im working on? Nothing in mind particular, I just noticed you've got your screen name here.

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Biocreep
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Post by Biocreep » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:01 am

Very nice! Thanks for sharing

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Threshold
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Post by Threshold » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:48 pm

Frank, thanks for posting this.
Process journals are absolutely candy. I really like the way you blocked your textures with gouache. I should try that sometime.

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Tony
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Post by Tony » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:38 pm

Nice! Thanks for sharing your process!

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Muffin
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Post by Muffin » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:10 am

what I love about your art frank is that - if you gave 10 people (you one of them) a job to illustrate an article f.ex, I'm 100% sure yours would come out on the other side of the world compared to the rest. The way you are thinking with your illustrations is so fascinating. And the colors give me the chill. (:
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mr cow
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Post by mr cow » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:46 am

cool. thanks for sharing that. :)
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Andre Szy
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Post by Andre Szy » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:15 am

Wow and i thought i had a long process. That was nice of you to take us step by step like this. Its very inspiring to see all the hard work you do!

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Frank Stockton
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Post by Frank Stockton » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:17 am

Thanks guys,

Andre szy, actually this process is very fast-- I can do probably 2 full page illos. in a day going through these steps (don't tell art directors that), and yes it takes a little more time to take the extra steps, but that extra time virtually guarantees a final product that everyone will be happy with.

Everyone else, thanks. Muffin you're too cute, I wish I could shrink you down and put you in my pocket.

greatnation, sure you can IM me.




Frank
"I do not get discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward"
--Thomas Edison

http://www.frankstockton.com

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frak
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Post by frak » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:28 pm

It's beautiful....

I hate you. ;)
Frankie Franco III
psalm 25:11
www.frakfraco.com
frakfraco.blogspot.com

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