WIP! the Butterman commission

I don’t get the chance to do too many commissions, but back when I was developing On the Verge: the Butterman, my good friend (and somewhat inspiration for the story), Brenda Johnston asked if I’d do one of her fighting the Butterman as a birthday present. Anyway, I got busy and it didn’t happen in time for her birthday… but I wanted to start the year off right and get it done.

So without further ado, here’s a quick run through the process of making Brenda vs. the Butterman.

STEP 1: initial sketch. This one was pretty quick and I doodled it out while working on some other comics stuff…

STEP 2: pencils. Nothing special here, just trying to get the drawing right. The thing I do like about the penciling stage is all the stuff you’ll never see in the final art as I draw the full figures and sort how they fit together.

STEP 3: rendering test. This was pretty quick – about 2 minutes. I used a Sharpie, pen, ink brush and whiteout. Mainly I’m trying to take what I’ve roughed out in pencil and make sure that it renders well in solid black & white.

STEP 4: inking. Here’s a work-in-progress tour through the inking. It took one lunch hour to do (so about 55 minutes).
Just getting to work with pens and brushes. I usually keep the pencils and rendering test out for reference. I use different tools throughout the process, so sometimes I need to go back and figure out what I was thinking. The large sheet in the foreground is a printout of the bluelines – also for reference (plus a good place to test brushes and splatter out before actually making marks on board).

Here you can see the start of the inking process – blocking out the basic forms with a pen and a brush. I’m trying for a nice smooth line here. The messy bits will come later.

Here’s a close up that shows some more of the detail. I use a lot of different tools when inking and this kind of shows a bunch of those in action. So for this part of the illustration, I used two different kinds of brushes, five different pens, two brush pens, a quill, two different whiteout pens, a toothbrush for the splatter and my finger.

Another detail shot of the work-in-progress.

A desk shot of work finishing up. I made a bit of a mess but it all worked out.

STEP 5: scan and digital clean up. Even though this is a commission, I wanted to get a digital copy for myself. Here’s the final art.

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