Blown (Special Features)

Welcome! I had an idea a while ago to do some behind the scene’s ‘special features’ posts to show in more detail just how I create my cartoons. Mainly from an art point of view as I tend to talk a lot about the idea process in the original post with the cartoon.

So after the idea is finalized I do a super rough sketch, just to get the layout all sorted. In this case it was a quick sketch just to see if I could pull off a drawing of Bumblebee:

Then I move onto the pencil drawing:

You probably can’t see all that clearly, but I’m pretty messy when it comes to drawing. And you can tell where I’ve had the most difficulty as it’s very smudged from rubbing it out and doing it over, which in this case is Bumblebee’s hand and arm. Also at this stage I started toying around with the idea of a background which I later abandoned. Notice the date and name at the top? I pretty much date and name everything now, mainly for prosperity reasons and of course and copyright issues, if that every happened. I never used to do this and I wish I had, just so I could have everything catalogued in chronological order just to see how far I’ve come and all. One of my many talents is research, and I always like to my visual research as much as possible, but sometimes time is a factor and I can’t. This one was easy though, I just used my old friend Google Image search! To find the Bumblebee image I needed:
Of course I wasn’t going to do an exact copy, would have taken way too long and it doesn’t really fit in with my ‘style’ and all.

So, the next step is I take the pencil sketch and trace it onto some glossy laser jet paper (more on that other week) using my lightbox (a big box with 2 fluoro lights in it, with a piece of glass on the top) using a special ‘non-photo blue’ pencil (basically it doesn’t show up on photocopies and barely at all when you scan it the right way). I then trace the over the blue lines with various ink pens and viola! Notice the Autobot logo missing? I really struggled to draw it freehand, so I printed off the above picture of Bumblebee and traced it, inked it and scanned it in separately to combine when I coloured it. 
Next, I scan that into my PC and use good old Photoshop and my awesome Wacom Tablet to fix up any mistakes and clean up lines, then I colour it in. Finally I export it to Illustrator to add my border and text and it’s all good to go! Here’s the final product:

So what do you think? In the next Special Features I’ll go into more detail about each stage per week or so, hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time!


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