I’ll bet you thought I was done talking about my painting that is on eBay this week being sold to raise money for some friends. Well, I’m not. Just as if it was your birthday, I have a bonus gift for you – a peek at the art that happens BEFORE the art!
When I create an illustration like the one I posted on Monday of Usagi Yojimbo attacking, I always do a preliminary drawing to plan my own attack for the final art. Working on a Cintiq (a special computer monitor that you can draw on), I sketch out my scene using Photoshop. First comes a really rough sketch to get the idea out on the page very quickly. Most folks would have a hard time understanding the image at this point, but it is just meant to give me an idea of the overall composition. The size and placement of characters and scenery are worked out in this stage.
In the case of this Usagi Yojimbo piece, the tighter digital sketch that came next (seen below) clearly identified the details of the scene. Then, so as to prevent a lot of experimenting in the painting stage, I worked out all the color choices right onto the rough sketch which was then printed out and taped up next to the final paper on my very non-digital drafting table. This made it so much easier to follow when mixing paint and laying down the watercolors.
If you compare this final color sketch to the final painted piece I posted on Monday, you can see that even more changes were made to the drawing when I transferred it to the watercolor paper. A sugegasa, a Japanese conical hat, was added, along with one of Stan Sakai’s little lizard creatures that often make an appearance in his comic book Usagi Yojimbo. Otherwise all the details are there ready for the traditional makeover as a watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustration!
If you are interested in owning the final piece that will be published in July by Dark Horse Comics in The Sakai Project book, it will remain on eBay until this coming Sunday, May 4. CLICK HERE if you’d like to bid on it!
If you would like to see other great items by fans and pros that have been sold and will be sold, CLICK HERE to visit the Facebook page of CAPS – Comic Art Professional Society. They are selling all this great Usagi art to help Stan & Sharon Sakai with medical bills (all was explained in my previous post)!