Thursday, February 2, 2012

Work-in-Progress: Sonic Anniversary

So last year - for the first time since 2004 - I took an entire year off from conventions. Once upon a time I hit up to twelve anime/comic shows in a year. I had planned my life around them - what I was drawing, what other work I could take, when I would visit my girlfriend in Virginia... They'd been great to me, too - a big part of what got me going in this career and kept me afloat until it was feasible to go full-time.

Mostly this hiatus was entirely necessary: with a freelancing career in full-swing, I just don't have the time or energy anymore to road-trip to different states every other weekend. But a big piece of it was that I was also still dragging the same ol' art from 2008 around.

So it's been awhile since I've gotten to flex my illustrative muscles. But we got a few upgrades to the studio over X-Mas - most specifcially a new drafting table and flat-bed lightbox - and I've been tearing it up! Here's a special (if late) sneak-peek at a little "Happy Anniversary!" poster for everyone's favorite blue blur.

Left: Inititial, super basic thumbnail sketch for this piece. This is a salute to the games' 20th anniversary, so I wanted this piece to be specifically Sega-Sonic cast - still no small feat, of course. And quite a few were still left on the cutting room floor - though I did try and squeeze in a few of my favorites. (Sonic Fighters for the win!)

Right: A more refined sketch with character placement. I love drawing everyone on different layers - some assembly required. This, however, was definitely one of my illustrative weaknesses four years ago. I love big group pics, but never had the patience to plan them out - the results being a congested mess. This time around, I fleshed out each character sketch and scanned them in and assembled my picture, deciding what would and wouldn't work. Some characters got cut, others were rearranged entirely. But I'm very pleased with the results.

Bottom: The completed pencils on 14x17 inch Bristol board. Now for inks!

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