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