Long time listener, first time caller.
I thought that I would take a little time to show the process for the new Dead Meadow poster that I did for their gig in Providence this week, as the poster went over pretty well at the show and hanging around town. Thanks to Armageddon Shop for booking the show and giving me the poster gig.
With this particular poster, I wanted to try some new techniques. They went well for me so I will probably incorporate them into my typical flow. Ready? Go...
I guess I will start with my tools. I know some people dig this stuff and others don't give a crap. With the exception of my sketchbook, eraser and Bristol, this is everything I use. Top to bottom: Pro White and Pro Black (for all brushwork), Copic WIDE marker, Kaimei natural bristle brush pen, Pentel brush pen, mech pencil, Copic Multiliner SP Gray Brush marker, Copic Multiliner SP Gray .03 marker, Copic Multiliner SP Black Brush marker, Rosemary and Co sable brush. More details on why I use these later
Here are some of the more interesting doodads with the lids off. Even though I am showing a huge red marker, I have these in about 10 colors, including Black. Copics rule.
I have been thinking of taking some of my paintings from a few years ago and making "meaner" versions of some of them. When the Dead Meadow gig came up, I felt it was the perfect opportunity. Here is the old painting that I was going to work from:
And I draw. I always blast music while drawing and printing. Notice the stack of new (used) records purchased at the new Analog Underground here in Providence. I picked up some really sweet stuff like an original pressing or Metallica's Kill Em All and Roxy Music's Stranded...among like 20 others. I am blasting music while writing this... checking out the Metallica LP.
I jot down some notes while I draw, simple things like what I think the colors could be, how the lettering might look, etc.
Here is one of the new parts of my process. I typically ink my original drawing, but now I am drawing on frosted vellum so that I can be more free to experiment during inking. Here you can see the vellum as I lift it.
Inked. I used all Pro Black and the Sable brush for this one. The Pro Black is one of the few standards in comic inking, as is the sable brush and I love them both. If I have the space and time to spread out and go old school...I do so. I swear, there are few things as satisfying as dragging a sable brush filled with Pro Black (watered down a bit) over this vellum. It is far nicer than paper...I just wish it was made out of earth-made materials and not man made.
Oh, a note about Sable brushes and some of those Japanese pens at the top. There is NO replacement for Sable. It is the only brush material that with politely flow behind your hand and gently curve in exactly the right way as you shift direction or move in curves or circles. Sable is really expensive, but if you go to the Rosemary and Co link above you will find prices that are far lower than the typical Sable brush.
I should mention that I scan the drawing AND the inks. This mattered more when I inked the pencils, but I still do it out of habit. I have a small scanner but draw posters at full scale, so I need to stitch it in Photoshop. Here is an excellent tip that I gave my pals Gunsho and Fred Struckholz that blew both of their minds (because like me up until a year or two ago, they were hand stitching in Photoshop): Photoshop can AUTOMAGICALLY stitch your scans without your help. You can scan your large images all willy-nilly and just choose Photomerge and the magic happens. If this saves just one of you guys the hassle that you currently go through in stitching, this thread is all worth it. Here is where the Photomerge is:
Since I hand letter everything I do, I often do this part separately. In this case, I have printed the corners where text will be on 8.5x11 paper and sit on my couch with my pencil and copic brush marker and go to town.
Here is the lettering scanned and turned into pure b/w for cleaner printing/films:
I take all of these bits and bobs and put them together on the 'percuter and do my colors in Photoshop. My plan was a 4 color print on white recycled stock that I get from Papersource here in PVD.
Printing begins! As is customary from decades ago when Shep taught me to print, I start with a loud dose of Melvins. For me, it is almost always Bullhead even though back then it was often Houdini.
For the second color... Om's Conference of the Birds. I print about 1 sheet a minute including running the print to the line and hanging it so I do 50 or so prints plus set up per hour. My colors are a mix of Speedball and Tempera. I use the Tempera as a way to make the Speedball more milky instead of viscous. I just like printing better that way. Tempera is saturated but milky so it works well. Tempera is also matte...which I like for my colors. For my black, I mix Speedball and Spectrachem. This makes the Speedball a little less chalky without going full gloss. I am still experimenting here though...and I am pretty loose with this part.
For extra energy, as the night gets late... Karp's Moustaches Wild.
Here you can see my turnbuckle/metal cable drying lines. I love that I was finally able to use a turnbuckle in my life. They complete me. Thank you George "The Animal" Steel.
But seriously, the turnbuckle system is great, since it gets the prints off the floor and saves space compared to a rack. The important detail here is that I use metal cable and turnbuckles for a VERY taught drying line. i used to use rope, but that would sag. Thanks to Gigposters for teaching me the way of the metal cable.
Someday I will find a drying rack locally on craigslist...
Now the black. As is fitting for the black pass, I put on a mix of Dark Throne and Electric Wizard to power through.
At the end of the day, I decided that I wanted to try putting white through the black screen, but on black paper, for my pal Ben at Armageddon who prints all of his posters white on black. Since I had some black in the screen, these came out swirly and looked a bit like silver even though they were just white and black mixed.
OK, side B of the Dukes of the Stratosphere LP just ended...so I am going to sleep.
More of my stuff at www.ryanlesser.com
Thanks and enjoy.