Step by Step: On A Darker Dawn – Album Art!
ok, so i’m a little late with this. what else is new, right? i have been hard at work on The Dead Have Issues comic though! slowly making progress. however, as i have been drawing pages, i feel like the look of the characters didn’t quite fit their personalities. soooo, i did a full re-hall on character design! haha, i know, i know… but this is it, i swear. i’m really happy with how things are looking and i can’t wait to start posting pages! that’s still a few months off though. coloring is gonna take some time. but, the dead are coming, rest assured!
alright, on to the post! as i’ve mentioned before, i’ve had some other projects going, the War//Plague album, On A Darker Dawn, being the big one. i’ve wanted to post this for some time now. i’ve tried to document my process, as i really love it when artists show this kind of stuff. i hope you do too!
1. after i come up the idea i’m going to do, i get to work on some thumbs and then move onto pencils (as seen here). i try to keep things pretty loose, i want the art to have some motion and life to it. if i remember, this was done on 100lb Bristol board with a regular old mechanical pencil.
2. after i’m happy with the initial sketch, i move on to ink washes. here i start if with india ink and water color. i start with a bigger tipped brush. i’m just going for contrast right now and letting the ink do it’s thing.
3. at this point, i just start experimenting. i really try to let the ink/water color move and guide me, instead of vice versa. i switch between a few different brushes for washes and details – then i add some ink splatter, etc.
4. once the ink has dried or near dry, i move on to charcoal. i wanted to ‘dirty’ things up a bit and add some texture. i’ve always loved working in charcoal and inks, i love the ‘grittiness’ it adds. i’m using a charcoal pencil here and then i go back with a blender tool. i don’t want to cover up the ink on the flies to much though, i want them to retain some of the ink splatter. as that was the basic idea; Death spewing out tar and plague, morphing into disease-spreading flies … gnarly, right? haha
5. things are really coming together at this point. but, there’s still more work to be done! now i take the illustration and scan it into Photoshop. all i really want to do is clean the drawing up a bit and that’s it. i decided to get rid of a few flies, because it was just feeling to cluttered. in retrospect, i actually wish i would have left just a few, but i still think it’s good i took them out. i didn’t want to loose focus on the theme, ya dig? (and yes, i know my version photoshop is ancient. i’ll upgrade… someday)
6. alright, now the art is done and i move on to design and layout! here’s the final art in all it’s plague-y, filthy, glory. as you can see, i added a little background texture/color, just to warm things up a bit.
7. here’s everything together. cover, back cover, insert and center circles for the vinyl. did i mention this is a vinyl record? yep! here’s another shot of the slick orange wax, taken from the band’s facebook. if you’re interested, the album is available at Profane Existence hope you enjoyed my little step-by-step! until next time, cheers and thanks for reading!