Usagi Yojimbo #172 cover process I turned in the cover art for Usagi Yojimbo #172, The Hidden part 7. On 11x17 inch 2-ply, 500 series, cold press Strathmore Bristol paper with a 10x15.5 image area.
Rough pencils, using loose shapes to define elements and composition. Always have to be aware that the logo will take up about the top quarter of the cover.
Detailed pencils, including determining the perspective. I had been a master's thesis advisor for years and perspective is consistently one aspect of drawing that is ignored. You just can't fake it.
I inked the foreground figures using an older Koh-i-Noor ArtPen that has a very broken in, flexible nib that makes a thicker line. I used Platinum Carbon black ink. I've been using this brand pretty consistently since the change in the Badger Black Opaque formula.
Background and other figures are inked with a newer pen with a much stiffer nib that lends itself to thinner lines with less variation.
Pencils erased with SumoGrip eraser. I like this brand as the erased "dirt" is slivers rather than dust and so makes clean up easier. It does dry up faster than other erasers so you've got to use them fairly quickly.
The finished art with details and textures added.
I scanned it as a 1200 dpi tif and sent it off to Dark Horse.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2021 19:06:59 GMT -5 by usagigoya
I just turned in the cover for Dark Horse Usagi Yojimbo #171 (issue #237 in the complete UY series). Here is the process. As usual, the image area is 10x15.5 inches on 11x17 inch 2-ply Strathmore cold press Bristol.
The story is The Hidden, part 6 of a 7-part story.
Roughing out shapes with a 2H .3mm mechanical pencil.
Finished pencils drawn with a HB .5mm mechanical pencil. I used a meter stick to determine the vanishing points for the perspectives and a French curve for the swords.
Inked with an Koh-i-Noor ArtPen (now discontinued) and Platinum Carbon Black ink.
Erased with a Sumo Black eraser.
Background textures added with the ArtPen.
I wanted this piece to be bottom lit to increase the drama and mood.
We scheduled out the deadlines for Usagi 166-172 a few days ago, and I'm already behind on turning in covers. Here is the one for UY 167.
As usual, covers are 10x15.5 inches on 11x17 inch 2-ply, 500 series, cold press Strathmore Bristol.
Rough pencils drawn with a .3 HB mechanical pencil. I am just dealing with shapes, staging the scene, and laying out perspectives.
Finished pencils drawn with a .5 B mechanical pencil. I drew the basic figures and determined the background and perspectives.
Inked but not erased.
The finished piece. with textures and details inked in.
I scanned it, uploaded it onto the Dark Horse Files, and the next stage is with Tom Luth who will color it.
These are most of the tools I used--triangle, meter stick for perspective, .3 pencil, .5 pencil, ink, technical pen for ruling the borders, Koh-i-Noor Art Pen (discontinued), Sumo black eraser, and pen brush filled with Carbon Ink for spotting blacks.
You can't fake perspective, so I used the meter stick to pencil in the lines from the vanishing point.
The Platinum Carbon Ink is one I have been trying out to various levels of success. It is nice and free-flowing, but not as dark as I would like.
The Art Pen has a nice flex to the nib that can give wonderful variations in line weights but, unfortunately, it was discontinued many years ago.
I use the nylon tipped brush pens because I don't need to wash it out after every use. I fill it with the Carbon Ink.
Usagi Yojimbo Book 31: The Hell Screen just came out a few weeks ago, and the cover for 32 is already due. Here is a look at the process.
Ink and watercolor on Strathmore illustration board.
Another Inspector Ishida themed book. I've tentatively titled it "UY: Mysteries". This is the first rough.
The roughs were done in a 5.25x8.25 inch moleskin sketchbook.
I like this rough composition, but thought it was too different that the other covers in the series. I will probably do this as the tip-in art for the hardcover.
This is the one I went with. This is a scene from UY #163: Mouse Trap part 1.
I roughed out the art on illustration board. The first time I used this in a long while. I prefer 5-ply Bristol, but Strathmore discontinued it. After using the illustration board, I still prefer the Bristol.
The size of the board is 11x15 inches. Penciled with a .5 mm H mechanical pencil.
Detailed pencils, using a .5 mm B mechanical pencil. I also determined the vanishing point for perspective.
Inked with a Koh-i-noor Art Pen using Platinum Carbon Ink, the first time I used this ink with watercolors.
Erased with Sumo black eraser.
I masked off the art and laid in the background color. I knew this would take place at night, but had to make the area around Usagi and Nezumi lighter as they both wear dark colors and needed them to stand out. I chose to put a cloud form behind them.
I removed the mask from the roof tops.
Working on the roofs with watercolors.
Removed the masks from the figures.
There are two ways to mask. There is a liquid frisket that you paint on and rub off, and a sheet frisket that you cut with an Xacto knife. I prefer the sheets. In my case, I use tracing paper and rubber cement. I posted a couple of tutorial on this on FB. I'll do it again when I do another cover.
Working on Usagi. I made him lit from the bottom to add drama to the moment
Working on both figures.
Still working on the figures and the roof.
It seemed too cold, so added some warmer colors on the figures.
TMNT/UY Other Realm's cover variant step by step (Stan Sakai)
The TMNT/Usagi Yojimbo: Namazu book will have a few variant covers drawn by myself and others. This is one I did for Other Realms Ltd - The Comic & Game Specialist in Honolulu.
On 2-ply, 500 series, cold press Strathmore Bristol. 10x15.5 inch image area on 11x17inch paper.
Before writing and drawing the story I did a few inspirational drawings just to get used to the characters again. I based the final cover on this one.
I redid the composition to accommodate the logos at the top and added Jei in the background. The characters were much too big on the preliminary drawing, so I reduced their size to add more breathing space.
Drawn with .5mm HB mechanical pencil.
Inked with two Rotring ArtPens. A older, broken in pen for the foreground characters and a newer, more rigid pen for the background.
Blacks and textures added, and finished.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2021 19:38:44 GMT -5 by usagigoya
TMNT/UY Other Realm's cover variant step by step pt 2 (Tom Luth)
I got my copies of a couple variants of the TMNT-Usagi Yojimbo books today. Seems to have turned out well. I'm guessing that means I can post this breakdown of the coloring of one of the variant covers. Drawing by Stan Sakai, color by myself.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2021 19:39:06 GMT -5 by usagigoya