The following is some development work for a piece I am working on for Spectrum Live next month.
Digital Color Comp
This color comp was a little break from other work I had been doing recently which mostly involved dwarves, wizards and other assorted hairy men. I wanted to do something different for a bit.
Princess study on toned paper
I liked the direction it was heading, but then it just felt too empty. There was not enough narrative interest and my brain started to go numb from boredom. Beauty should be its own excuse to paint, but it is already beautiful outside right now; i needed to add something more.
I realized it was missing the key element:
Early digital face gestures
The ninjas made me feel a lot better about everything. Now there is a good tension along with (hopefully) something beautiful. They add a nice contrast to our princess and now I wanted to know more about her, where she is going, where she has been, and why they want to nab her. What will happen next?
Tight drawing on heavyweight bristol.
If you are going to be at Spectrum Live in May stop by and say hello to see how the final color version turns out!
Justin Gerard is an illustrator who has traveled the world in search of the perfect medium to paint in. He has not found it, but along the way he has met some fascinating people, seen some interesting places and had a chance to paint a lot of great subjects.
His work has been featured in Spectrum Fantastic Arts, Society of Illustrators and Expose. He enjoys good music, chocolate chip cookies and tank battles.
At first I saw the princes and that sweet-looking fox and I was like “Hmm who's post is that?” Then I scrolled down and there were these super cool looking “Rat Ninjas” lol. Double checked- yep, Justin :] …and now I think you should leave that whole “beautiful” theme aside and give those rats the attention they deserve 😀 Make them fight dwarven samurais and let it be over with…Dwarven samurais-dont think anyone has ever done any of these.So, what do you think?
I really like it so far 🙂 Can't wait to see it finished 🙂
Now I'm even MORE bummed that I'm not going.
Maybe one of these years.
Is the finish going to be digital or a painting? If it is anything like the color comp it is going to be awesome!
I like this a lot–Nothing better than peace and beauty juxtaposed with fear and ugliness (in a picture, at least). HJ Ford and other greats knew and used it. Really cool to see your thought process
Your posts are always so rewarding on many different levels. Love it!
It always stumps me when being asked to re-imagine a popular subject (ie. Ninja rats), but here there are in all their highly-original glory. Amazing!
The study of here is absolutely stunning and the full color version will be worth the wait.
As always, beautiful! Is it based on a novel, or japanese folk tale?
You also often mention working with pencil on Bristol for your final tight drawing? doesn't it smear? Or is it a risk you are ready to take for the advantage of having a clean line? Isn't a canson easier? or the grain is too much? I'm asking out of curiousity, not implying that one is better than the other. 🙂
Rat ninjas…Awesome!! The final drawing is beautiful, a piece of art in its own right. Love your ideas, always so original. Good luck with the colors.
YES RAT NINJAS!!!
I love this, can't wait to see the finished colors.
Haha – Well, I am doing the coloring now, and the more I do, the more the story does in fact seem to actually be becoming about the miscreants..
This one will be digital. There are some new brushes I made that I have been wanting to try out for a while now.
I place a sheet of paper under my hand while I draw, so there is little or no smearing really. The main reason I like the bristol is the texture it gives. It is just enough so that the shadow areas can be really nice and murky.
I love this, can't wait to see it finished!
I'm feeling increasingly anxious about the fact that I do virtually all my digital painting with a single standard Photoshop brush.
Anybody else like me?
Gorgeous drawing, Justin.
Those rat designs are killer!
awesome! any chance it gets made into a print?