Paint Hell­boy car­i­ca­ture art

shares his thought process for recre­at­ing a comic clas­sic, with a younger, cuter ver­sion of Mike Mig­nola’s Hell­boy

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Jean-Bap­tiste Monge recre­ates a comic clas­sic.

As a tra­di­tional il­lus­tra­tor I look on soft­ware as a tool – a pow­er­ful one that of­fers count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties in com­par­i­son to tra­di­tional media. The main ad­van­tage is sim­plic­ity of use and the op­tion to undo mis­takes at any mo­ment with­out the fear of ru­in­ing your il­lus­tra­tion. It’s sim­pler than oil, wa­ter­colour or acrylic paints, be­cause you can step back. The only prob­lem is know­ing when to stop. Like any medium, there are traps. You can easily lose your­self in use­less de­tails and quickly bury your idea. You have much more con­trol over sev­eral as­pects of paint­ing, in­clud­ing the com­po­si­tion and what your pic­ture is telling you, which are by far the most im­por­tant points, be­fore deal­ing with the de­tail.

In Pho­to­shop, I have re­duced the se­lec­tion of tools I use. My set­tings are quite sim­ple. Even though I have lots of brushes I usu­ally use five of them and the Smudge tool, which I pre­fer to the Mixer Brush tool. I use masks, se­lec­tions and gra­di­ents a lot and, of course, blend­ing modes. I save of­ten and regularly flat­ten my lay­ers to keep the soft­ware run­ning prop­erly.

Recre­at­ing Hell­boy, I’ll ap­proach the colour, light and make a vol­ume ren­der in al­most the same way I would do us­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods, just quicker. I’ll show you how to cre­ate an iconic char­ac­ter on a sim­ple back­ground.

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