Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Beleren."

The first step I take is taping down the card and erasing every part I'm not interested in keeping. This is accomplished using a white-stock Magic Rub hand eraser (I've never used pink ones, but I imagine there is considerable risk of staining). The card is taped down in a manner which protects the areas I don't wish to accidentally erase (in most cases, the name box and text box):

With enough dedication (and a slight risk of Carpal Tunnel), the entire card can be erased with this tedious (but ultimately rewarding) technique. This makes applying paint layers later-- particularly light colors-- much easier, and lessens the chance that you'll have to 'cake' on paint to hide the original image.

Now its time to draw our image (in this case, the Stoneforge). When dealing with expensive cards (this one, for example, went for $25 at the time of creation), I prefer to practice a few times so I properly centered when the pencil touches the card proper.

Sometimes, I even make a practice run on a dummy card.

Oh, no, not Seize the Initiative! It only had two days till retirement!

Eventually, I reach a point where I am confident enough to lay out the art on the actual card.

Perfect! Well, close enough, at least. Anyway, now its time to start painting. This is where those practice sketches can come in handy, as they allow me to test run tones, shading, and generally how I want the finished work to turn out.

Background comes afterwards.

And then, finally, a little ink to make the image "pop" a bit more.

And voila, there you have it!

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