X-men Rogue

This week's post is coming a little bit early and I am headed out of town for the next week or so.
I didn't want to leave you guys without a post for the week. So this week I decided to take a bit of a break from the Nintendo book and try something different. I don't normally do superheroes (although I love them)..but since everyone else does it I like to be different. However, in the spirit of doing different things, I decided to try and paint over someone else's lines, which turned out to be pretty awesome.
I have been following this guy and Deviant art for a while (http://weaponx5203.deviantart.com/).
One day I asked him if I could pick something from his gallery and paint over the work.

He said "sure" and below is what I got:
Here are the steps to get to the end result:

1. Below: I picked the sketch of Rogue from the gallery it was the one with the cleanest lines and I was a fan of the sketch. I heard a lot that the key to a great painting is the sketch and the drawing underneath and it's really true. If you have a crappy drawing no amount of painting over it is going to fix it. See the sketch below:
2: Below: then I added a background gradient to set up the color tone of the painting:
3: Below: One tip that I picked up is before you start laying down any permanent lines, you should do some color tests. This means that you can try different color schemes and see which one works the best. Even different color backgrounds as well. In this case I kept the background green because it goes nicely with the yellow in Rogue's costume.
4: Below: I start to add color flats and the shadows and I make the decision that the light should be coming from the top right side of the image.
5. Below: One tip that I learned that also helps was to use a wireframe form lines to try and define the shape. This helps to keep the image from being flat, helps to define the form and helps when adding shadow and defining the form.
6. Below: Shadows added
7. Below I start to go over the lines and do the paintover. I will usually leave the light source indicator in place to serve as a reminder as I work.
8. Below is the final! Shout out to Weaponx for letting me paint over his work!
See you in a week guys!!!!!

Tales of Suspense #1 ~ January/1959
Cover art by Don Heck
Interior art by Al Williamson, Roy Krenkel, Don
Heck, John Buscema, Larry Leiber & Steve Ditko


One of the most fascinating books I read last year was Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. It's a strange combination of novel, poetry, and pure imagination. When I finished it, I wanted to draw every city in the book and make up a few of my own. 

Order a poster here.

"Tangled Ever After"

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention "Tangled Ever After", a short film (and a sequel of sorts to "Tangled") that is opening this weekend along with the 3D version of "Beauty and the Beast". It'll be shown on television in the spring as well (at least...as far as I know).

The short has an interesting past: there were a lot of people who wanted to see (SPOILER ALERT) Flynn and Rapunzel get married at the end of "Tangled". We didn't do that for a number of reasons, the best one being that Rapunzel's journey is about much more than just meeting a man and falling in love; she gains her freedom, discovers her true identity, escapes her life-long oppressor and reunites with a long-lost family. So a wedding seemed like not-quite-the-right ending for the movie.

But apparently there were people interested in seeing Flynn and Rapunzel get married, so the idea came up that maybe we should see their wedding and give people just a little bit more of the world of "Tangled" with a short.

Obviously, it was pretty clear to all of us that just watching Flynn and Rapunzel get married would be a pretty uninteresting short. So Director Nathan Greno had an idea that would give a wedding to people who wanted that, but also have a layer of entertainment and comedy that would give some more screen time to Maximus and Pascal, who seem to be perfect characters to have their own comedic spotlight in the form of a short.

Nathan's idea was to have Maximus and Pascal be the ring bearers for Flynn and Rapunzel at their wedding, but during the ceremony they lose control of the rings and they roll out of the church. So while Flynn and Rapunzel are performing their vows, Max and Pascal are out chasing after the rings as they bounce through the town (without Flynn, Rapunzel or anyone in the church realizing that they're gone).

The beauty of this idea is that you get to have the sincere wedding of Flynn and Rapunzel while the comedic aspect takes place outside, away from the ceremony. As opposed to trying to make the actual wedding ceremony wacky and funny, which would take away from the satisfaction of seeing Flynn and Rapunzel have a nice wedding and finally tie the knot. But if the short was just concerned with the wedding, it would be pretty dry and not fit the comedic and fun world that we established in "Tangled".

Also, I'll be the first to admit that I find weddings rather boring and uninteresting. So this idea has something for people who like weddings as well as something for those who don't.

So Nathan pitched the idea to Byron Howard (the other director of "Tangled" and the other director on the short), Byron liked that idea and the ball started rolling.

Nathan, Byron and I had a brainstorming session early on with some of the story guys and they gave us some great material that helped us figure out the idea. The three of us boarded the whole thing and worked with it and shaped it in editorial. It turned out great and looks every bit as good as the movie, so I hope you'll check it out in theaters if you can or on TV when it's shown later this spring (although it's only in 3D in theaters, of course).

One other interesting side note for me personally was that when I first heard about the short I was really looking forward to working with the "Tangled" characters again. I love all the characters and I know them so well by now that it's really second nature to get in their heads and know what they're thinking and how they act, which is always the part that takes a while to get used to when you're developing new characters.

As much as I loved working with Nathan and Byron and everyone else on the short (and as proud as I am of the way it turned out), I realized that the thing I love the most about my job is the challenge of inventing new worlds and discovering new characters as you build a story from scratch. So even though it was a blast to return to the old characters and their world and work with guys that I enjoy working with, I'm more excited about the prospect of inventing a new world and discovering whole new characters as I work on the next thing that I'm going to be a part of.

So I hope you'll get a chance to see it and, if you enjoyed "Tangled", I hope you'll enjoy the short just as much and enjoy spending just a little bit more time with the characters and their world.
Barry Smith
The unpublished KULL art ~ circa early 1970's