Digital Dabbling

By Paolo Rivera

Captain Midnight #1 Variant Cover. 2013.
Photoshop, ~7 × 10.5″ @400 ppi.

While Photoshop has always been an integral part of my workflow, I have nonetheless rendered all my finished pieces with the classics: pencil, ink, and paint. I am often asked why I don't do everything digitally — the easy answer is that more than half of my income is from original art sales. (That's usually all people need to hear.) The more nuanced reply is that I prefer the resistance, texture, and trials of real materials, not to mention the final look.

But in the past year, as I've taken on my first non-Marvel clients (I was more or less exclusive for 10 years), I've gotten the chance to experiment stylistically, even incorporating graphic design and lettering elements, a whole new challenge for me. The first 3 images were created for Dark Horse Comics, featuring their characters Captain Midnight, Ghost, and X.


Ghost #1 Variant Cover. 2013.
Photoshop, ~7 × 10.5″ @400 ppi.

The bulk of the work was done in Photoshop, but the more complicated shapes, like design elements and lettering, were constructed in Illustrator and imported as vector paths. I had recently come across a collection of Swedish posters (via 50 Watts) and wanted to try my own contemporary take on them. Aside from general color schemes and airbrush effects, I was particularly interested in the hand-lettering, and even lifted some of the letterforms.


X #1 Variant Cover. 2013.
Photoshop, ~7 × 10.5″ @400 ppi.

My first all-digital piece was for Mondo, an Austin-based gallery that specializes in screen printed movie posters. So even though the image was created bit by digital bit, they turned the file into a gigantic, limited-edition art print. The photos below are of the actual posters, courtesy of Mondo. (For those interested in buying a print, I will put them on sale in a month or 2 through my blog.) I'm currently working on my second poster for them, this time for one of my favorite movies of all time. I can't reveal the subject yet, but I can say that it won't be all-digital. I missed my inking brush.


Precious Cargo (Lord of the Rings). 2012.
Photoshop, 24 × 36″ @400ppi.







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