“The Mermaid” Cover, part 2

The cover that I posted the beginnings of two days ago is finished! This will be my entry in the Co-Mix exhibition here in Victoria at the Martin Batchelor Gallery. I wish I had had time to make more, but I was busy making comics! This one will do double duty as the cover for the first chapter of my rather epic story, The Mermaid,Β which will have mermaids & mermen, dolphins, ships, magic, adventure, and cats. How could I go wrong?

Here’s the rest of the process, from the inking through the final results.

Here's the inked version, done over the clean pencil lines I traced from the blue pencil sketch. I used two sizes of Pigma Micron pens, #5 for the girl and cat, and #2 for the background.

Here’s the inked version, done over the clean pencil lines I traced from the blue pencil sketch. I used two sizes of Pigma Micron pens, #5 for the girl and cat, and #2 for the background.

I had intended to start painting last night, but after a day packing for my upcoming trips, I was pretty beat. But I wanted to get an idea of what colours I would use, so I did a really quick-n-dirty colour study on the pencil version in Photoshop, just using the brush tool to swipe in some loose colours. I sometimes do colour studies with traditional media too, if I'm unsure what I want to do with a picture.

I had intended to start painting last night, but after a day packing for my upcoming trips, I was pretty beat. But I wanted to get an idea of what colours I would use, so I did a really quick-n-dirty colour study on the pencil version in Photoshop, just using the brush tool to swipe in some loose colours. I sometimes do colour studies with traditional media too, if I’m unsure what I want to do with a picture.

This is the watercolour stage. I didn't do a whole lot of modelling with the paint, because I knew I'd be filling in shadows and such with the coloured pencils. The Strathmore Smooth Bristol that I was working on is glorious for pen, but not so nice for watercolour. For areas that I needed to be smooth, like her skin, I wet down the paper in that area first, then worked quickly to put the colour it. It's almost impossible to do a smooth wash even in a small area with this paper!

This is the watercolour stage. I didn’t do a whole lot of modelling with the paint, because I knew I’d be filling in shadows and such with the coloured pencils. The Strathmore Smooth Bristol that I was working on is glorious for pen, but not so nice for watercolour. For areas that I needed to be smooth, like her skin, I wet down the paper in that area first, then worked quickly to put the colour it. It’s almost impossible to do a smooth wash even in a small area with this paper!

Here's the finished version. I used coloured pencils extensively to brighten and deepen the colours, and make shadows and the foggy ships in the background. I'm fairly pleased with the results, but may do some Photoshop tweaking for the actual cover.

Here’s the finished version. I used coloured pencils extensively to brighten and deepen the colours, and make shadows and the foggy ships in the background. I’m fairly pleased with the results, but may do some Photoshop tweaking for the actual cover.

4 responses to ““The Mermaid” Cover, part 2

    • Thanks, Ilex! I won’t actually be there for the opening, alas – but it will still be up when I get back from vacation. Yes, the colours are an evolving process. I’m really glad I did the colour study for this one; I’ve never done one on the computer before. It’s a great tool, even as crudely as I’ve used it here.

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  1. I love illustrating myself so it’s interesting seeing your process here, the end result is so nice! I find it interesting how you used Photoshop to do a colour test, I’ve never tried doing that before! Now going to follow πŸ™‚ x

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