So I just finished a really rad 2-page spread for Mann. It was a pretty challenging page but I think I nailed it. Here’s the final piece:
So Damian doesn’t write Mann as a traditional script. He often does, but he is also incredibly good at visualizing interesting page layouts, so his sketches wind up being a little more efficient for him to convey his vision. They are often not very intelligible, but after working together for many years, I’ve learned to decipher his scrawls. This page was initially intended to be a a single page instead of a 2 page spread, which is why it appears stretched horizontally.
Damian has Mann walking in an arc as the page progresses from day to night and back to day. Along the way, he catches a critter with his knife at sundown and cooks it over a campfire that night. He sleeps on a tree and then walks off into the sunrise.
I follow up with my own rough sketches, keeping in mind that there will be a crease in the middle when it is printed.
Different than my usual work process, I do a color study. Pulling off the time transition requires controlling the lighting pretty carefully. I need to see this visually to see if I need to make adjustments to the layout before moving on. This layer will also serve as the base color for the sky.
Now comes the real drawing. I do the line art for the characters and backgrounds on separate layers.
Then I lay in color flats:
Followed by the shadows and details:
I create the value and texture in two different layers of red and blue:
Next I add in the lighting following the general flow of the color study:
Then I add the stars and a few other little tweaks:
And that’s it. Done! Off to Duff to be lettered.