TRDL Tribute Art -Robin (for the Vlad Fiks Noir Jam)
Click through to read more about it and see process pics and the like, if you enjoy such behind-the-scenes business.
Artists, come join us on R3 and submit to the jams!
This illustration was done for the R3 Jam on TRDL’s R3 Forum. Artists can participate in any open jams by heading here. The subject this time: well, two: Robin, and the 2nd Annual Vlad Fiks Memorial Noir Jam….
OK so this year was the second anniversary of Vlad’s passing, and our annual noir jam continues. I was already cooking up something kind of gritty for the Robin jam, involving the current continuity Robin (and the first I’ve ever actually enjoyed, Damian, the son of Bruce Wayne and a real mean little badger of a kid) so it seemed organic to tackle both subjects in the same piece. Vlad was all about a number of things for me: respecting the past in terms of comic continuity and style, about the noir sensibilities that we don’t see enough of these days, and of digital art. Most of all, challenging yourself to try something new!
So here, I did a hybrid of process: Robin, I drew in pencil, inked by hand, and scanned, per my usual method. I even colored him entirely in full color, before going to grayscale and then adjusting the saturation and contrast to make it work in black and white. For the background, I worked in what I visualize as the Vlad style, which is Wacom to blank canvas. I’ve gone over roughs and process with him a number of times, and he worked in this wonderfully loose, sketchy style to build the framework for the piece, and then would tighten the inks up on new layers until it was ready to go, hit it with inky blacks, and work the high contrast grays from there. For me, I sketched the background in from reference photos, but I didn’t tighten the linework too much because to me, that was part of my challenge, to work more loosely, given how clean my lines normally are. More detail in the process notes below.
I really like the way it came out, and I believe he would have, too (even though he would have hated the new Robin, he’d have loved the reference to the fateful night that ended the Waynes and created Batman…)
Please enjoy. Miss you, Vlad.
PS There’s an easter egg in here. Read on for the answer…
You can see this illustration here on the R3 Forum: http://www.thirdraildesignlab.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=19035&p=153846
Or here, as above, on the TRDL blog: http://www.thirdraildesignlab.com/blog/2010/12/08/trdl-tribute-robin-a-noir-jam-piece/
And you can see a larger view right off my TRDL Illustration Site, here: http://www.thirdraildesignlab.com/images2/trdltr_robin_z.jpg
A choice for everyone!
Thanks for looking,
Third Rail Design Lab