Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Los Chavos :: The making of a CD cover.

If you want to see it bigger then you gotta click it!
Hi guys!

October has been a crazy month so far! I have been super busy working on the last issue of a comic book series called REXODUS. The comic is coming along great and I can't wait to start telling you all about this. I should be done penciling by the end of the year. The last issue is 48 pages!

So, in between Rexodus pages this month, I did work on 2 little cover jobs. One was for a book which I may show at another time and the other was this CD cover for a band from my hometown of Canberra, Australia. The band is called Los Chavos, and this is the subject of todays blog post.

Before I get in to all of this, I just wanted to say a big HELLO and a warm welcome to everyone who found their way to my blog thanks to the awesome review of my art book on Parka Blogs page. Hopefully you all like what you see. If you like art books, go check out Parkas site!

Thumbnail Sketches
 So, for this cover I was asked to draw the band as a group of super heroes for their new album. Andy, who is the lead singer, is an old work buddy of mine and we always talked about me doing a cover for his band one day. Sometimes these things actually happen! They are just about to launch this new album, and so they asked me if I could draw the cover for them. By the way, you can check out their music over here: LOS CHAVOS with a preview of the whole album. You can play it in the background while you look at the art and see if it fits well! So, here you can see my thumbnails and initial ideas for the cover. As you can see I pretty much stuck to the thumbnail version in the final product.

PENCILS: Above you can see the pencil version as I started to clean everything up. I really wanted to make sure that the characters in the background would make sense. Especially the big trombone robot guy. So here is what he would look like if he wasn't covered by the rest of the band. He's a big guy! The main challenge I had was to take 9 individual musicians with 9 different ideas of how they wanted to be represented and then to make them all look like they fit in a team. I decided that a good approach would be to go with a Latin flavour which also represents the music that the band makes. There is also my actual drawing style which helps tie everyone in to the same world. The idea of a traveling Latin warrior band could make a pretty cool comic story I think!

Above is the 'clean pencils' version. At this stage I am already thinking about the colours and how I really wanted to keep the style very open and simple so that everything would read clearly in a very small space. I also wanted to make sure that each character would read clearly. At this stage I am ready for inks!

Instagram inks!
  INKS: Here is a photo I took while I was working on the inks. You can get a look at some of the pens I was using. from left to right, there is a micron, a copic liner and a brush pen. So the idea here was to keep all the lines nice and clean. I didn't go too crazy with any ink effects or anything. Just nice clean lines which I knew would look slick with clean cell shade style colours. 

Once the inks are finished and I scan the piece in you get something that looks a little something like this:
Black & White line art ready for colour!
COLOUR: The last step is to colour the piece. Going in to this I really wanted to keep the colour style very simple and easily readable as I know that the final product which will be printed on a cd cover which is quite small, so it is good to keep the colours smooth. Here is a mock up version which I tried out with a white background and with a temp title logo. This was also to give me an idea of how the cover would look cropped to CD cover size.
 I then tried out a few different colours for the background. There were many possibilities, so in the end I left it up to the band to choose which colour they liked best. I'm still not sure exactly which version they are using, but it looks like green may have been the winner!

So there you have it. The making of a CD cover from start to finish! From here I deliver this to the designer and they will add all the logos and track listing on the back, and bar codes and fine print etc... I'm looking forward to seeing the finished printed version, and I hope to hear the band play live soon!

Hope you enjoyed seeing this process behind making the CD cover. Thanks for reading... more art coming soon!



keviN said...

not sure about the warrior part... but i think i could check off traveling, latin, and band - check out my comic!
heh heh.

thanks for posting up the process man. love this stuff.. now off to listen to the band!!

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