Making of a Monster – Part 5

Alright, it’s about to get real. Now comes the step where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel in this step-by-step tutorial of  the creation of this year’s Illustration West 59 poster for the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.

Let’s remove the liquid frisket from the face of the painting! Since it is rubber, I use a rubber cement remover to get it started by rubbing lightly on an edge. Once the frisket starts to come up, just grab it and pull it off. Think of it as peeling skin after a sunburn. Maybe not. That’s gross. Don’t do that.

By the way, I’m showing you the city being de-frisketed, but really, that was the last area to have it removed.



As you can see, the characters and Hollywood hills look nice and pristine without that frisket on it still. Sweet, eh? I left Los Angeles shrouded because that monster is going to take some work that I don’t want the city to suffer from. Those poor folks have been through enough as it is.



Before getting to the characters, though, using gouache, the fire and smoke get painted over on the hills. I’ve kept them pretty painterly, not wishing to hide the fact that this is indeed a painting.



Then using watercolor paint, a purple underpainting is created on the characters to help create some shadows on the figures when more paint is applied on top later on.



Do you see that rippling on the back of the monster’s head? I just wanted to point that out because THAT is caused by the liquid frisket. As it was being removed, it affected the paper in such a way that the watercolor revealed a new texture. This wasn’t necessarily desired, but it wasn’t too worrisome knowing that more paint was going on top that would likely hide that rippling later on.



Here you can see the whole piece again after the character underpainting was done.



What do I do next? Why, paint on the monster’s colors of course! It was just watercolors applied with a regular paint brush. Again, wetting the paper first with the brush, then applying the paint. Incidentally, I like using those 1oz condiment cups for my paint. I mix it in those cups, and then snap on the lids overnight. Keeps the paint wet, and makes it easy to dispose of things at the end of the project. I write on the sides of the cups with a Sharpie to identify what the paint is for, too. Easy peasy.



Next, I removed the frisket from the city buildings, then painted them with watercolor and gouache to blend them into the scene. You can also see gouache was applied to the monster. It’s all coming together now!



Come back tomorrow to see the colored pencil step in creating this monsterpiece!