The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

This Years Cover

commissionsI’m not a huge Star Wars fan. That’s what made it difficult this year. The theme was something Star Wars – anything. It didn’t have to be Cleveland or Christmas, but definitely Star Wars. Part of me wishes I had gone with my initial idea – The Doctor (probably ten) fixing an X-Wing. there would have been more detail but it would have stood out better. Instead, I went with A Christmas Story. So did everyone else.

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I still think I had an interesting take, and here’s the process behind it!

First pencils are done separately. This is completely a test run- to figure out placement and size. A lot of things ended up being a LOT smaller than I had intended.

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You’ll notice that Artoo doesn’t even appear yet. He was added later….once I saw how much empty space was between Shimi and Qui-Gon. I could have filled that up with a cityscape, but Artoo seemed like a better idea. The dialogue in Anakins thought balloon is diffrent to. I really struggled with that. I wanted something true to both A Christmas Story and to Anakin’s character. Revenge is cute..maybe even funny. Maybe a little disturbing. It didn’t fit. I tried a few diffrent phrases, and none did it for me. I then decided to list all the memorable qoutes from the movie. A Christmas Story has a LOT of them. Oh Fudge came up and was as perfect as I could get.

12360210_1079288528782236_5606749236471654893_nBy the way, Artoo? I’m never drawing that sucker again. I had no idea how complicated he was. That design seems so simple – it’s a lie! He’s fiendishly hard to get right…and if you get something wrong BELIEVE me you’re going to hear about it.

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So now that we have a plan, I move on to actually drawing it on the cover. If there are any changes (like adding the droid) now is the time. I really wish I could have figured out a good place I could sneak in the leg lamp. Even at this late date I was trying – maybe in the adobe building? Nope. No room. (That’s really what that initial drawing is for – to figure that stuff out).

Also now that we’ve settled on “Oh Fudge” as Anakin’s thought, it changes his demeanor. He’s frustrated and upset, but not necessarily angry. The clenched fists go from active to passive.

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Inks are next. I hate inking. I’m terrible at it and I don’t have the proper equipment for it. When I do something for Kreepy Kastle, or Angel Lite comics, or Lazer Comics or Violent Blue, I ink digitally. Not an option here. It has to be done on the cover and that means good old fashioned inking – and only one shot at it.

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You’ll noticed that there’s parts I left uninked. There’s some pencils still showing through, ones I hoped would fade away once I dove into the coloring process. Last year I used colored pencils. It worked reasonably well, but still left a bit of a rough “crayon” look to the pieces. A couple of watercolor covers caught my eye and put that in mind for this time around. I stuck with the pencils for a few highlights- the blue on Artoo for instance; it required a precision Watercolor paint doesn’t afford. It was an adventure to mix some of these colors, trying to get the right tone for shadows and folds. The twin suns are my favorite part. To achieve it with negative space…the areas I DIDN’T paint, that was really rewarding to see succeed. I was hoping that the water wouldn’t warp the paper too much. It did a bit, but no enough to ruin anything.

12311315_1079642625413493_4214082644950401269_nI can’t complain too much about how it turned out. The spelling on Anakin’s name is a mistake – google misled me. I should have tried Wookiepedia. Still I really like the idea of Anakin going all Sith on us because of that horrible pink bunny suit, and the amount of research this took to get the images right was genuinly surprising. Shimi had parts to her outfit I didn’t remember. Artoo has ports in places I never thought about.

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A big thanks to Carol and John’s for including me in the art show and an even bigger thanks to the person who bought my art. That money will go to the Cleveland food bank and help someone in need this winter.

Merry Christmas to all.

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