24 June 2013

Lukas Poster for Florida Supercon

 Fate Saga will be at Florida Supercon over the July 4th weekend, and in anticipation for it, I wanted to develop a few more new Fate Saga stuff to sell there.  At MegaCon, the posters did exceptionally well, and thus my first thought was to create posters for some of the cast who don't yet have one.

 For Lukas, I always thought his silhouette looked best in profile, and I had done an image just like this awhile back as a desktop image,  I had always liked the way the desktop image came out, but it was very hard to sell as a print because it was so very dark (as in, lacking in light).  I wanted to try it again, with brighter and better set up for print.

I also used this as an opportunity to experiment with the eyeholes of his mask somewhat conforming to the shape of his eyes to help show expression.  I tried this test in sketches recently, and Jay Miller suggested adding a black ring around his eyes.  I tried is here to some extent, and I think it worked wonderfully!  It also helped to make his eyes stand out more.  Thanks so much for the helpful suggestion, Jay!

Here are some of the sketches that lead up to the final. 
 I've grown into the habit of flipping my sketches at least once, often twice and re-sketching before I get into the inking stage.  It really helps to get out some of the kinks.
  
 The flat colors, with very little color/gradient effects to the smokey whispy thing coming out of Lukas' container.

Usually I do shadows first, then highlights.  For this image I did it backwards, because I really needed to know how the strongest light sources touched him first.  Also, another major difference between this poster and the others I've done so far is that this one has a lot of gradient shadows, both in the background and on the figure.  I was inspired by the gorgeous rendering style of Ashley Cope's online comic, Unsounded, and the way she handled the lighting of magical spells.

The final result, before I added the textures and Fate Saga title from the other posters.
The final product, with textures and title added.

Overall, this took me about two days on and off to complete.  It was sketched and inked in Photoshop, then vectorized and colored in Illustrator.  All effects are done in Illustrator.  I've done this for every poster so far and will continue to do so if I can help it.  This is because the posters are all completely vectorized, which gives the images a nice clean look and gives me complete control over their sizing.  I never have to worry about pixelation.

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