New(ish) Illustration, the process

by jbyron

Recently i purchased “comicbook tattoo” – i ran across it by accident and had to have it. I didn’t realize it had anything to do with Tori Amos until i got home – but that’s cool, i like her. I’m sort of bummed at the moment though because when i went to amazon to steal the cover, i realized that it comes in a hardback (i have the stupid soft cover) – i collect these sort of things and ALWAYS get the hardback – i just assumed there probably wasn’t such an edition… i’m getting way off point.  Here’s the cover.

comic book tattoo

comic book tattoo

So I love that illustration. There is some phenomenal work on the inside but i LOVE that cover. I wish i could tell you who did it but i don’t have the book in front of me and i’m too lazy to look it up. Anyway, I used to do more illustrational work in more of a comic style than i do today. I tend to do more stencil-style stuff nowadays. But this cover inspired me to draw something up, for no better reason than i just wanted to.

I love the pinks on the cover and i love the chick’s tattoos – plus there’s a military vibe about it – so that was where i started, i just needed a place to start – so i do what i often do, i combed some stock photo sites for poses and ideas…

composition mocks

composition mocks

when i found the lady with the spray bottle, that got my brain firing. So i replaced her head and, of course, the bottle with something a little more dramatic – placed it in illustrator and traced it adding my touches and style where i could.

flag girl

flag girl

Another artist i’m absolutely enamored with is Jamie Hewlett – i love the detail he goes into with his work  – his illustrations are insane cool – anyway… one of the reasons i picked the spraybottle girl as my central figure was the position of her arm – it allowed a great blank canvas for a tattoo. Unfortunately i must have thrown away my initial sketches of the tattoo because i can’t find them – but once it was colored, it looked like this.

flag girl color

flag girl color

The tattoo took a while – it was hard to get the tones right – still not sure i’m there but since this was just a vanity piece, i didn’t care to spend any more time tweaking it. Originally, i was going to put something a little more menacing on the flag (skulls, etc), but nothing seemed to work as well as just the X with the stripes. Sort of a Brand X thing. I liked it. Now for the finishing touches, i took it into photoshop and gave her a background and some subtle lighting effects.

revolution girl

revolution girl

Once i was “finished” with it,  i thought maybe i could submit it to a shirt comp or something – so i created this masked off version just to make printing easier – but i prefer the one above.

revolution girl masked

revolution girl masked

So that’s that. Hope you like. If anyone wants to use her for anything – you can reach me through gutterpark.com

thanks for taking the time – jbn

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