Recently, I began working on a technique to quickly draw nice looking covers for books. Of course, many authors hire artists to craft colorful binders for their literature (the majority of paperbacks employ photography mixed with some kind of computer graphics and bullshit-- generated using proprietary software that costs thousands of dollars). Yawwwn. Now me-- I like to make my *own* art. And if I'm using any software, well-- it's gonna be running on top of a GNU/Linux system. That's for damn sure. I'm just a dick-head like that.
I spend large quantities of time creating characters and developing their personalities and their looks. I've watched hours and hours of psychiatric documentaries and daytime television like Maury and Dr. Phil (just to prepare for depicting a-- kinda whack, manic/depressive character like Wednesday Williams in writing). And, I prefer to capture my characters' likenesses personally (and truly make them my own). I developed a technique for crafting realistic looking art by copying from existing photographs and cross hatching with Bic pens. And, I think the results I got are pretty great. However-- I've always found ink to be definitive and unforgiving. And cross-hatching with pens is nerve racking, painful (literally-- the shit hurts), and time consuming. It's also very difficult to find a good range of colors (especially if you're using ballpoint pens).
I set out to develop a technique using simple colored pencils-- like regular, old Crayola pencils. I like trying these types of things because, well-- so called "artists" like to tell me shit like "Aww, hell-- that can't be done. Why make things hard for yourself?" Honestly, I simply view this type of artistic endeaver as a challenge. And, the entire principle of art is to create something new from existing tools (not to forge intricate utensils that can produce a drawing). And if you can't do that, you're-- not much of an artist. I gotta be honest. After trying some coloring ideas and studying the art of John Kricfalusi (Ren & Stimpy/George Liquor creator and founder of SPUMCO) for inspiration, I believe I have come up with a quick and dirty drawing and scribbling technique that is very artistic and demonstrates a convincing level of realism.
I've analyzed intricate artwork embellishing expensive paper crafted over many months (possibly years) using high dollar drawing tools (such as Prismacolor pencils and chalks)-- that are pre-manufactured using pigments spanning every color imaginable. And, I am quite familiar with such things (I spent six years in junior high and high school copying the ol' fruit and skeleton arrangements and mashing high end Prismacolor all over it-- blah, blah, blah). For that type of art, painstaking effort is employed to methodically copy shapes from a photograph (or similar) and slowly color various parts using hundreds of shades of colored scribes. Me-- I just wanna grab a pencil, a sheet of copy paper, and a box of twelve Crayola pencils and draw the shit. lol. So, that's what I decided to do! :D
And, my first real test turned out pretty great. I plan on spending the next couple of weeks drawing a new cover for Ghosts of Glory High (yeah-- a third attempt). And, I have a feeling I'm going to use this process any time I wanna create a cover in the future. It's simple, elegant, and well-- cheap entertainment. I would *really* like to draw a new one for Hailey's Comet (brutally dissected edition). The updated re-write I created is visually astonishing. It deserves its own equally mesmerizing cover (as opposed to the silly, cartoon looking crap I made for the original using Gimp). I'm about halfway through the tenth chapter of Hailey's Follies, book two. I believe I can have the book finished in three weeks (barring interruptions). So, I'd better get that cover done pretty quick. Huh? ;)
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