Monday, June 4, 2012

Hello Everyone!
Just wanted to share another page that I worked up, and this time I managed to catalog some more extra steps. Again this technique worked for this painting but it might not work on others. I will post in the future some other illustrations that had an entirely different thought process.
 Again there is the rough small thumbnail.

As you can see its all big giant shapes, it had to be treated as such because there are so many characters, they have to be thought of us one solid mass. I made some small notes for my brain on the side with the colors that I needed to work with. 

The next step is the pencils, here I put in a bit more work than usual, again because of the characters that I wanted to catch. I am letting the drawing evolve, putting in tons of stuff that later might change. The important thing running in my head is, how can I get the characters to read as a mass but keep their different traits.

Here is the raw umber underpainting, its just enough to keep it loose for me, and tight enough at this stage that I can tell who the faces are, at this point I take a break and walk away.. I find its always good to break and clear the eyes. I put some tape at the sides to clear the borders and I am ready to paint. I am not crazy about that blue tape, but I had run out of the other I used, and it was cheap and laying around. That blue can throw your values off a bit so its good to color correct as I go forward.

Now we have the first layer of paint, its all big and loose and the washes are applied lightly at first but with big strokes. My concern is to cover as much as I can right now and get rid of the white. Sometimes I would throw in an entire tone to to this, but in this case I decided to just move on with it. I did not want to sit around and wait for it to dry.
So I am working wet into wet, and moving forward. Right now, at this stage, one can give up, many times I have done just that. But this is Acrylics its very forgiving, so keep working on it.

Now here is the fun part, I have painted over things that I took time to draw, in this case the skeleton was bothering me, it took over the picture so I decided to leave it until the end. the same thing happens to the foreground bottles, and the blackboard, again my thinking is to keep it simple. So I concentrate on the figures and let things breathe. 
At this point I break and walk away. Much thinking to be done before I can paint again, without thinking.

So finally I decide where the skeleton is going to go by just throwing the paint down. the glasses are moved to the other side. Again the decisions are based on instinct, and making sure the eye has an entrance point. At this point the painting is done, but.. there is more, the final painting will have oils on top, to smooth out some transitions and soften things up a bit. As soon as I do that I will certainly post it. Then again, it might be fun to see it when its all in the book. 

Hope this helps, and more on the way. By the way Victor Frankenstein is the fellow with the bright scarf, I needed a visual hook for the audience to recognize, Victor from far away in other illustrations. 

Have a wonderful day, its raining in NYC.. again.


  1. Thank you, Frank! It's great to see and read about your process.

  2. Hola Mr. Hoppe!
    Good to hear from you again, from one big Kirbyphile to another. How is the Museum plans going?
    Ladies and Gentlemen, Randolph has some major plans to honor the great and best of them all.. Jack KING Kirby, one of the souls of the great ART form of comics.
    Bless you man.

  3. "Much thinking to be done before I can paint again, without thinking." Smiled all day :)

  4. A great work in progress. I can't wait to get hold of this when it's done. Really admire how you approach each piece of work differently, depending upon it's need. This is just another factor to why I respect your work so much

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