Monday, February 4, 2013

Making of a Toons On Tap Poster - Session 23: Film Noir

Most of the time, the Toons On Tap event posters are a collaboration between Jeremy and I.  Jeremy had the added challenge of trying to draw like me.  Or, more accurately, listening to my critiques on how to draw like me.

For this upcoming session, we are bringing back one our go-to models, Sion Irwin-Childs, to play a Humphrey Bogart style detective.  Sion is a joy to work with because he involves himself in the creative brainstorming, and he thoroughly researches the source material beforehand.  Ask him to be Conan, and he poses like he jumped out of a Frazetta drawing.

Photo courtesy of Toons On Tap photographer Jeffrey Adam Danyleyko

With the theme being melodramatic, booking a second model for interaction was a necessity.  Considering the recent improvement in attendance, we are planning more sessions with multiple models.   The second model for this session is the charismatic dancer and burlesque performer Charlie Quinn.  Charlie’s “Somebody Stop Her” act caught our attention, making her the obvious choice for the booking.

The scenario in our heads for the session is of a wealthy widow hiring a jaded private eye.  For the poster, we wanted Charlie lounging barefoot at Sion’s desk and Sion looking very unhappy about it.  Jeremy drew Charlie’s pose, and I drew Sion’s face.

Then, I began digitally painting each model separately.  I referenced the Sin City film for lighting, specifically the scene with Hartigan realizing he lead the Yellow Bastard to Nancy.  I liked the extreme detail on his face compared to the looseness of Nancy in the background, and how the colour drains out of the scene.  Plus, I wanted to add yellow to the poster, using the colour boldly in the text and subtly in the highlights.

I began each model with blocking out the lighting in pen.  Especially in Charlie, the lighting changed as I progressed.

The rest was painted with a round, hard edged brush and a custom hair brush on Charlie.  Textured brushes weren’t used until the end, and even then, just for the background.

While I worked away at painting, I tested out possible compositions.  In the end, I decided to make the poster horizontal like a film card.

I finished the poster with one week to go before the deadline.  At each Toons On Tap event we promote the following session.  In order to promote, the poster for the next session needs to be sent to the printers the night before.  To reach that deadline, we need to book models a minimum of four weeks in advance from their sessions.

Now, to start the poster for Beetlejuice night...

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