-By Mike Butkus

This is a quick step by step on how I went about doing one of the concept sketches for the Resident Evil: Afterlife movie poster one sheet. This eventually became one of the final teasers. After I read the script or creative brief, I work with the Art Directors to come up with some concepts. Here I start off with what I hope is a dynamic composition.

Once the thumbnail is approved, I start the final sketch on a 12’’ x 14’’ sheet of Duralene using a black Prismacolor pencil and a black Verithin. One of the key factors to getting smooth and creamy lines is to keep ten to fifteen sheets of Duralene underneath. As for erasing, I use a simple number 2 pencil eraser since it doesn’t destroy the surface of the Duralene. In this stage I start to define the sketch, focusing on the energy and the action.

Sometimes the Art Directors want to see the drawing fairly flushed out (time permitting), so this is what I would show them. Here the drawing is fairly resolved. Now it’s just a matter of adding details and values. Remember this will be considered a rough sketch, not a finished drawing.

For this last stage, you can see how the line quality adds to the energy and motion which is sometimes really difficult to achieve through photography. The best thing about this piece is the immediate read. I stick to light, medium and dark values to keep the image graphic and also for the sake of production time.

For a project like this, I normally do anywhere from 20 to 40 sketches a week, depending on the complexity.