Monday, September 5, 2016


I saw a really neat photo of Gene Wilder and wanted to give it a try after receiving a prompt to draw him from the Tokyo Werewolf.

Alternate version with a nod to the black and white film Young Frankenstein. Obviously the black and white contrasting with color has other meanings given the recent news.

Even in digital, I typically start in monochromatic, as we'll see later, so the above effect is pretty easily done by placing a black color-mode layer over everything and then knocking out in a mask what you want to remain in color, which lets the underlying color peek through the black. I gave the mask some blur to make it a little more ephemeral.

This is what it looks like without all the final blurs, bells, and whistles. Still has that dreamy kind of effect from the fading colors and detail, another technique I wanted to try out here.

Here's a more cleaned-up background, which is another smalltown Tokyo photo of mine.

Speaking of background, I have to admit, I'm not terribly familiar with Gene Wilder's work...I only foggily remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but was quite endeared by listening to this Conan interview and was just put over the top at this part of Larry King's interview. I was painting Zero at the time, and was first of all delighted to learn that someone is called "Zero" in real life, and secondly that he also calls him "Z!" That's what I call Zero in my head!

After getting the lines where we want, there's a round of color balancing and stuff that goes on, so this is before all that.

Anyway, so while I may not be super up on Gene Wilder's films, I do really enjoy the way he speaks. It's quite soothing to listen to him. I do remember being a bit alarmed at his mannerisms in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he seemed mean--I remember him whipping his cane to stop people from walking further when walking down some stairs. And I will always remember, and use--if only to myself--his "you lose" diatribe.

This is a newer technique I used for this piece, which I call "stacking" the colors.

I usually color all my monochromatic lines if I color them at all, but in this case since I knew I wanted only limited coloring for speediness, I kept the lines' colors much more systematically separated, like stacked layers of a cake of decreasing radii. Color balancing evens this out a bit, but this was the starting point, and probably not something I'd want to use all the time.

Here's everything pretty straight up. I did put in a backing softened copy of the lines, and the same for the orange undertone, and I liked how these made everything read a little cleaner.

And here's just the monochromatic lines. I used KNKL's chalk brush, with his classic brush-and-erase technique.

I guess I should pick up some chocolate tonight. They do sell Willy Wonka chocolate here in Japan, but not anywhere near me, unfortunately. Meiji's pretty good.


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