Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back To Work

After messing around a bit the other day with some of my own art it's back to work on the client stuff. I've been finishing up the illustrations for the March issue of Sports Illustrated Kids and, while I always show off the finished illustrations after the magazine comes out, I thought it might be neat to take a behind the scenes look at one of the pieces.

In this illustration, a baseball catcher is making a play for a bunted baseball that then hits the bat where the batter threw it down, making the catcher misjudge his play on the ball.

Originally, when I talked to my art director I asked if the catcher would have his mask on or not. Usually, when I see a catcher make any kind of play in the field the first thing flying off of his face is his mask. So, I figured he'd throw it off and then try and make the play to first to throw the runner out. But, the art director though maybe he'd only have time to pull the mask off his face and it would still be resting on his helmet.

Then, it was decided that he wouldn't have time at all so the mask would probably still be on his face.

Instead of erasing and redrawing all over the original pencil art I decided to create the mask separately and merge the pieces later digitally in the computer. I've found the more erasing I do on a piece of illustration board the tougher it is to ink cleanly on it later. So, I thought it would be easier this way.

The funny thing is, even though I knew the mask would cover a lot of the catcher's face, I still fully inked and finished his face. If you look closely, I even put a little stubble on his face with whiteout which was completely unneeded. It would never even show up in the final piece!

So, why do I do stuff like that? Draw more than is needed and put details in that no one in the world will ever even see? I don't know...I just do.

Once, while I was still doing airbrush painted pieces for Marvel Comics, I was approached by another colorist at a comic book convention and he looked over my work. He noticed I was actually painting in wood grain on parts of an old rotted dock and putting nice deep shadows in the Punisher who was standing on top of it. I was putting whiteout in the water to help convey a sense of a murky ocean where a man was drowning. He looked at all of this and said one thing to me.

"You work too hard. You're putting too much work into this."

Maybe, but it's apparently something I'm still doing to this day. And, if I was really pressed as to why I do it, I guess I would have to answer that I really enjoy doing stuff like this. Putting in extra little touches just for me to enjoy in the art is fun for me.

And, in the end, if it isn't fun, then what's the point?

Have a great day.


Jeff Lafferty said...

Man, your busy! On to the next already.

The stuffs looking good!


Sean Tiffany said...

Thanks, Jeff. There's always something to do around here. You know how it is :)

M-Flem-Jr said...

Neat stuff, I like the behind the scenes pic. It's always fun to see how a pro approaches a problem.

Sean Tiffany said...

Thanks, Mike. Glad you're enjoying the blog. There is always a solution...not sure if I come up with the actual "pro solution" but I just try to make it all as easy as possible.