I Recently completed this illustration for a gentleman here in RVA for his fledgling film production company. He asked me to create a retro Buck Rogers - Flash Gordon character in conjunction with a logo. He thought it would look good if the character were holding a camera of some kind. I thought that combining the camera with aspects of a retro space gun would be fun and would tie the camera more readily to the character. In the initial talks with the client we touched on potential elements that he would like to have incorporated into the illustration, if possible. Things like high collars, capes, reels of film, fins, gloves, boots, lighting bolts and the aforementioned camera and laser. Being a kid who grew up on all things pulp this seemed like a potentially fun job.
Every job takes it's own path and you never know how many sketches it'll take to arrive at a point where both you and the client will be satisfied. This was one of those jobs where one sketch was all it took. In my experience this is a rather rare occurrence. I have had jobs where I've done 10 to 15 sketches only to have the client decide that perhaps I wasn't the right choice for the job. These things happen.
Once the client approved the sketch I then had it printed out onto some good quality illustration board in non-repro blue and inked it in with a brush. The reason for the non repro print out is that I then scan the line work into the computer as black and white art and that allows you to adjust the levels of the file and most of the dirt from the under drawing will fall away. The logo was all drawn in the computer except for the bit of film that is trailing off of the reel.
Inked drawing with subtle adjustments.
The reason for the second posting of what looks like the same drawing as previous one is I made a few minor but important changes to the drawing. After I had finshed with the inking my wife took a look at it and asked me why he didn't have a waist and why his forearm was so long. It's always good to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at what you've been working on. I knew something wasn't working but I couldn't put my finger on it. Luckily it's very easy to address these issues in the computer.
After the drawing is finished then it's just a matter of laying in the colors which is all done in photoshop. But even after I thought I was done with the drawing one of my sons took a look at it and the first thing he asked me was why didn't he have a second arm? At first I tried to justify why he didn't have one but ultimately I realized it was just because I was too lazy to put it in. The more I looked at it the more it bothered me so I added a silouhette of his other arm.