Friday, December 28, 2007


Here's the Making Of the Joker piece I did last week. First we start with a very light pencil of our subjects. For more complicated shots, this step is usually preceded by an incredibly rough and almost incomprehensible draft of scraggly shapes that would indicate just to me how everything's to be arranged.

But I just cut straight to this present step because I didn't think I'd draw anything more than the Joker's head at first, but then it just spiraled out of control and before I knew it I added Harley and everything.

So after I knew I was going for more than just a head shot, I was extra careful to keep the pencils really light to make any changes on the fly. I used Picasa to darken the scan for the website, but if you were to see the actual drawing, you'd see it was pretty light (this is the darkened version of the previous scan).

Now we're ready to lock in the lines I want with darker pencil. I also plug in little Xs to indicate pure black sections. During this step, there are usually only minor tweaks here and there.

I wasn't sure if I'd ink this, so I decided to darken it as if I were only going to use pencils, so that if I liked it I wouldn't have to ink it. I dislike inking because it's like doing the darkening step again only if you mess up, it's a lot harder to hide since the ink doesn't erase. Plus I feel my inks aren't as expressive or as fun as my pencil work.

The only thing that really made me want to ink, though, was the impending heavy blacks I'd have to use for Harley's outfit, which can really tank in pencil. But I wasn't even sure if I wanted to "color" the piece at this point, either!

After seeing the lifelessness of the finished linework--just for fun--I tried giving the Joker's hair some "color," and then his lips, then his face, etc. etc. And here's the final piece.

Some of the most fun was with the pure black in Harley's outfit because you get to balance craziness with logic when following the dancing shine along her suit. The Joker's hair and bow were also fun, but his suit was just tedious because it was kind of a dull gray since I can't really convey purple through pencils.

As for the Easter eggs from the picture, although it's hard to see from the scan, they really are there. Here's a close up for each.

In order, they're from the Joker's poof.

From Harley's left-most neck-poof.

And from Harley's lowest poof.

So that's how I made the Joker and Harley. No inks, but maybe next time. I know I need the practice.


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