This is my last post before the final finished piece.
At the rate i’m going (2h/day give or take), i should be done by July 15th. I’ll try to whittle it down to one piece per month for the next one (any ideas?)
Since i’m using colored pencils, the hard part here was figuring out the right combination of shades for the tonal skin colors -this ate up a lot of time (help airbrush!). Also, notice that the colors are toned down/muted and less evenly spread out as opposed to if i had used acrylic airbrush. But, that’s ok -i’m going for the gritty feel here. These two still need some firming up and some more highlights but you get the idea.
Let me know what you think.
Decided to do the final comp in colored pencils rather than airbrush acrylic. Although i would have preferred to color using BOTH, I’m still not comfortable w/ the latter (never used it before). Wonder if there are any good online tutorials for this. Feel free to dump on my coloring technique (remember, i haven’t done this in over 10 years) …
So, i tried doing the individual elements of the piece ‘free-hand’ coz that’s what i’m used to. Problem was, i bought a really cheap illustration board w/ like half a layer of drawing paper on it so when i needed to make some erasures (from lack of practice), i literally bore a hole through the whole board!. So, i went out and bought a better one (Bainbridge 2200, textured and cold-pressed) and then proceeded to do what any artist, “pressed for time, and wanting to move on to the next piece” would do, i lightly traced using 6H Graphite.
(There’s a case for you right there: FREE-HAND vs TRACING).
With the tracing done, i went ahead and did the dark/shadowed areas of each individual section of the montage first using 3B Graphite. I’m still doing that now (see sample at left). I’ll post the final comp when done.
And then we color!
I haven’t drawn a piece this big in over 10 years and, quite frankly, am a little daunted by the task, not to mention rusty. But what the heck, i have to start somewhere. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the film’s release, so i’m doing it as a tribute to that and because i’m a very big fan of traditional (hand-drawn) movie poster art.
So anyway, i start by collecting reference photos for the piece. Since there are only so many that you can download off the internet, i decided to scan the whole movie using VLC media player, then took screen shots of the scenes i thought i could use.
I then used Photoshop to crop and clean up the images that i wanted, then proceeded to play with my design and composition. Keeping in mind what inspired me to do the piece in the first place, i want the finished poster to evoke that same shared sense of awe, brotherhood and courage that the film espoused. Once i had the comp i liked, i did a ‘mock-up’ on 9 x 12″ drawing paper using (Faber-Castel) 3B graphite pencil.
And that’s it for step 1.
The other day, i asked my brother for new songs to put into my thumb drive for late night ‘work music’. He gave me a mix of movie scores i loved and Eric Clapton. One of the songs was the main theme from the movie Glory (1989), directed by Edward Zwick.
There are only a handful of films i distinctly remember watching for the first time, because of the visceral imprint it left on me. Jurassic Park, the Silence of the Lambs, and West Side Story are some of them. Glory is another. It tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first formal units in the US Army made up entirely of African-American soldiers, commissioned to fight in the American Civil War. It stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman.
From the moment i heard the a capella voices of the Harlem Boys Choir singing to the drums of James Horner’s ‘After Antietam’, i was hooked. His score alone makes the movie worth watching over and over and over again. All in all, a great film –worthy of the men who gave up their lives to end slavery in America 145 years ago.
And so, i’ve decided to do my first ‘one-sheet’ as a tribute to the film. Call it my inspiration. As much as i can, i will provide some insight on my work process. Hopefully it won’t take too long to finish. Bare in mind, i haven’t done this in a long time… NOTE: I meant it when i said that i’ve managed to elevate procrastination to the level of art – it’s been 9 months since my last entry. Nuff said.