Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fables 54 - The Witchhunter Wears Hermès

> graphite on bond, 5.5 x 8.5".

> Easel shot. Drawing transferred with Saral blue transfer paper and blue pencil onto Rives BFK. Sealed drawing with acrylic gloss medium. Applied thin washes of burnt sienna and pthalo blue. Painted with white gesso, ivory black, titanium white and trans. yellow oxide.

> Acrylic on Rives BFK, 22 x 30", NFS.

> Color corrected with type treatment in Photoshop CS. 7 x 10.5", 500 dpi.


Tom Williams said...

I've been wanting to paint that large for illustration work. How do you get something that large digital. Do you snap a digital photo of it? Take it to a place to have a slide shot?

Beautiful stuff

6:23 PM  
Arezoo said...

oh my god,your work is amazing,looove it!

7:12 PM  
coteko said...

wuauuuu!!! is great! *--*

7:41 PM  
Anonymous said...

James, beautiful painting. How do you decide what covers get painted versus finished in blue pencil?

8:05 PM  
robdraw said...

i admire how you can go from crystaline drawing with a composition full of intracacy and then turn around and use a more painterly process with an iconic concise composition.congratulations on the 50th cover. I hope there's fifty more i'll get to see.

9:30 PM  
Sam said...


9:58 PM  
Tony Akins said...

I was racking my brain about what that "H" was for.
BTW, very funny with that link fence in the EXTREME foreground for Jack Of Fables #4 (great cover, btw)...Who told you I had a peeve about having to draw chain-link fences? It just turned out that all the best dialog and "acting" took place on the far side of the fence, obscuring the expressions; the links HAD to go.

Also...This WitchHunter cover is pretty creepy.
Good work!

11:17 PM  
Anonymous said...

any chance the H stands for Hansel?!?

1:04 AM  
aliatorect said...

i've been trying to to digitally edit my drawings on my computer, but my scanner is too small and dosn't seem to work. How do you go about getting your artwork to your computer?

3:16 AM  
Pete said...

BAD ASS! Nice Work James!

3:30 AM  
Manuel Lariño said...

probably the cleanest studio i have seen! hehe

3:47 AM  
mango said...

Love the process shots. Thanks for the peak!

Gorgeous work.

8:25 AM  
anonymous10101 said...

the subject matter truly marries itself to your style of painting in this piece. you definitely leave the viewer with quite a ghastly impression.

9:01 AM  
M said...

the way you depict wet hair is utterly mesmerizing.

11:10 AM  
adam said...

Really good! How long did this piece take you to do?

12:41 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi James,

Love the reflection in the water of the first girl in the prelim sketch...any particular reason you didn't incorporate something along those lines in the final image?


3:47 PM  
Shawn Escott said...

That's pretty out of hand James! The hair is very nice! I've notice that your latest work is becoming more or less minimalistic. I like it. Always something different. Keep it up!

5:04 PM  
rich_of_spirit said...

Amazing sketches, keep up the good work. Nice Post.

6:37 PM  
Pietari said...

Really nice, dark and moody. Are the girls Asians? I love the graphic design of this cover, so minimalistic. The red is perfect choice for the Fables logo. Hope Vertigo doesn´t fill the cover with logos and such.

1:58 AM  
Ben Baker said...

Nice Work. I prefer the version before the color correction, it's more dark. The wet hair avre very well done, impressive!

By the way, I m looking for a very good anatomy book, do you know a good one?


9:25 AM  
Frank said...

it's a very romantic image. The girl is familiar looking. Is it who I think it is?

12:01 PM  
Anthony Ventura said...

Absolutely Beautiful Image...I'm also curious to how you get an image that size scanned into the computer...

5:35 PM  
Nathan said...

beautiful work, as always. that's some great balanced light you have in your studio. i'm jealous.

6:11 PM  
Jed said...

Nice work. Has a nice iconic look.

I'm pretty certain there's no mystery to scanning big stuff, but if you've got it cracked, I'm all ears. I work pretty big and it usually takes me 5 scans, and about an hour to piece it together, depending on how lucky I get. I also got the cheapest 11x17 scanner imaginable, but it doesn't have much of a color range, and it only goes up to 600dpi, all of which is fine for my needs.

But I seem to remember some guy in the previous thread mentioning some function on photoshop that's supposed to make it easier. I'd love to hear what that is and what it does, and how you use it.

Really, this is one of the suckiest parts of making pictures for me with the computer, and so I encourage any photoshop experts, James included, to poney up, if they know some easier way.

7:09 PM  
Jeremy said...

oh my god! this is just amazing. I love the hair sticking to the guy's gloves, and I cant stop staring at the face of the girl to the right, especially her nose. So simple, yet so much dimension.

as usual, i like the pre-color corrected version better. The girls' faces arent as delicate in the final. But whatever works for print. Beautiful work!

7:46 PM  
Anonymous said...

brilliant as always james, ive read that you enjoy fellow cover artists work adam hughes and dave johnson, i was wondering if you know travis charest, leinil francis yu, or ashley woods work, they are the only guys working in comics that in my opinion come close to your insane talent

and to help people with scanning, go into file> automate> photo merge, photo shop automatically pieces your picture together by finding like pixels, it can screw up but works most the time for me, it can be a real time saver

8:16 PM  
Hemaworstje said...

oh my god? where, i never saw the guy.
nice work , luv gray , nice tools.
500 dpi is just my size of clothing.
perfect fitting.

9:52 PM  
Manuel Lariño said...

jed-What 11x17 scanner do you have? how cheap? i can only find big scanners that scan 300dpi for cheap, but i cant use that, too low resolution...

9:33 AM  
Sam said...

in photoshop, scan each section, save the sections as tifs or something. Then file>automate>photo merge. Simple, easy, and usually little fudging with the scans to get them to stitch just right. Takes me about 5-10 mins. tops to scan in a larger drawing than my scanner allows.

9:51 AM  
Jed said...

Mustek ScanExpress A3. Beware: either it doesn't work with OS10, or somebody aside from mea and the support techs at Mustek knows how to make it work with OS10. They have no driver for OS10.

I have it hooked up to my wife's PC, and since we're networked, it all works out. For some reason though I have to use Infranview, but that's free.

It scans kind of slow, but at this point I totally can't exist without a 11x17 scanner. That's just all there is to it. I draw ass big. So, you know, it works for me. Unfortunately if I just want to casually scan something it's kind of a bother. I say, if you get it, keep your old scanner too maybe.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous said...

Wow Jed! Great piece! I love the tutorials, keep em coming. I'm finally starting to feel like I understand your work.

3:09 PM  
Chad Blevins said...

Wow, that's cool, Senor Jean. I always like to see an artist's process. It helps give new ideas that one might not have thought of before. I'm going to have to try that Saral Blue Transfer paper and see how it works.

Anyhoo, great illustration you have here. I can't wait to meet you at the Heroes Con this coming weekend!

10:32 PM  
Process Recess said...

tom - I scan the art in pieces and stitch them together in photoshop. I've used a regular letter size scanner for years until recently updating to the Epson 10000XL.
arezoo - thanks!
coteko - *_____*
anon - Each assignment is desirous of their own personality: a drawing will usually lead to a more polished finish in photoshop, while a painting is usually more atmospheric and expressive.
rob - thanks, Rob! The sketch was my principal guide in the painting. The outlines of the drawing hint at the volumes of paint within.
sam - thanks!
tony - thanks! I know what you mean about chainlink fences. I let the computer resolve that problem for me.
anon - yup
aliatorect - I've scanned in a 50" x 80" drawing on a small Microtek scanner before. It takes a bit of patience and resourcefullness to pull it off.
pete - thanks!
manuel - my studio is actually a mess with piles of stuff everywhere, I'll blog about my workspace in the near future.
mango - thanks!
anon101 - I was actually fearful that the image was too ghastly, but it was approved swiftly.
m - thanks, rendering hair is a guilty pleasure.
adam - I started the painting on Saturday, and finished it on the computer by Sunday night.
court - I felt that the demonic reflection was superfluous in the final painting, though it did add something conceptually to image. Simplicity wins out in this case.
shawn - thanks, 'maximum meaning, minimum means'
richofspirit - thanks!
pietari - thanks! The girls are Puritans, but I suppose they ended up looking a bit out of a J-horror movie.
ben baker - I find that comic books offer good anatomy lessons. You get to see the human figure in action. Alex Raymond, Toth, Moebius, Manara, etc. are some good artists to look up.
frank - it's just your imagination
anthony - it takes 4 scans to get that into photoshop.
nathan - my studio is great, I'm really lucky
jed - photomerge works nicely, but since I scan images at 16 bit and 450 dpi at full size, my computer doesn't have enough memory to carry out the automated tasks.
jeremy - thanks! I will always have an original painting to enjoy, something to think about when creating a digital painting.
anon - thanks, sure, of course I know those other artists, they are all super inspiring and intimidating in terms of their draftmanship and speed. I am humbled everyday at the amount of talent out there.
hemworstje - thanks! Glad the suit fits!
manuel - the epson 1000xl isn't cheap, but it's definitly worth the investment. As with anything, grow slowly and wisely. Each investment I've made in equipment has paid off, but only when I was ready.
sam - thanks for the great tip!
jed - thanks for the info. Scanning just takes a bit of care and thought, just like anything else. Of course, working on paper helps in terms of flexibility, and if you work small, all the better.

10:35 PM  
Tom said...

Unbelievable, the final piece delivers an amazingly strong mood. If there was ever a sketch I would want it would be this one.

Mr Jean, one day I will give you money.

11:04 PM  
Tom Williams said...

Thanks for taking the time to respond back James. I really appreciate it. Next gig I get I'm getting an 11x17 epson. It's going to cost more than my computer but it'll be worth it.

Again nice piece. I like the subtle tones going on.

7:45 PM  
Mai said...

Hi James. I've admired your work since I first discovered it in an issue of Men's Health Germany (the picture with the man escaping the gilded cage). I especially like the monochrome art you posted recently. You're a great inspiration to me. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful art with us!

10:16 AM  
-glue- said...

hey i got your message, i lost the email to the english speaking SKB people but i have it written donw in a sketchbook somewhere, i just recently moved so itll take me some time before i can unpack and find it but ill get back to you on that.

great piece, really love the underpainting in the reflection on the bottom, the shapes work really nicely. are your compositions getting less busy in your work or am i just imagining that?

4:21 PM  
eli said...

it's all about quality over quanity in this case. I love it. still, so much to learn from the great james jean. showing the workspace helps a lot too. thanks.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous said...

James, Do you streatch the paper before paitning over it? or do you just go strait with paint?

8:51 AM  
dawny_doodles said...

That is just absolute awesome work sir! Very very very very inspiring! I hope you dont mind my asking, how do you go about mixing the washes? As of now, I just sort of mix the acrylic with lots an lots of water. I tried that in my Visual ARts Elective class on canvas and it came out very badly...
Ps. Love the artwork!

4:17 AM  
Process Recess said...

anon - I tape the paper down, and it doesn't buckle. The Rives BFK is pretty resilient.
dawny - I don't mix the washes, I use the color straight out of the tube. Best to learn how to paint without diluting so much.

6:41 PM  
Soren said...

So far this is my absolute favorite Fables cover. Beautiful in a scary kind of way. I hope DC/Vertigo publish a book one day with your first 100 Fables covers and your comments on the proces. Later they can publish a second with the next 100 covers.


11:36 AM  

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