The October Banner for my Facebook fan page

Woot! I’m finally able to sit down, relax, and write.

I wanted to go over really quick the steps I took with the latest piece: Ellen Alice Poe – Franqui’s Halloween. It is the banner for my Facebook fan page, and the technique was something new to me and it was quite fun. I think sharing the process will not only keep sed technique fresh in my memory banks but perhaps it could help others out there searching for a different way to approach a digital painting.

First, as always, I drew out the image that was in my head.

[Hey look it’s that girl Francine, or whatever. Holy moly did that raven poop out a skull!? OMG does that skull have eyes…what kind of B-rated two bit freak show are you running in your head, bud?]

Now, I will be honest with you mi gente, I have been struggling with the next step for a while now. When and what should be solidified with ink? In the past I used to ink everything the same weight, [same thickness of line] and it usually was just too much. It not only flattened the image but it also caused a lot of head aches when I would go to one of my favorite steps, which is applying the Copic Toned Markers.

I have tried to alleviate this problem by going over the work with a fine ink pen, or just going over the pencils. I found that going over the pencils wasn’t for me, I would end up mucking up the piece ever more then before [Later I was to figure out that it would have been best if I had lightly erased the pencils then hit it with some Copics then so on] but I found the point in-between those two methods that I felt was suitable. Fine point ink pens mixed with light pencils then work in Copics.

After I have that step done I go in with different sized inking pens and put some weight on it. In the end the comic book style of arting it up still sticks with me in some of my illustrations. For better or worse, that’s me.

So, after applying the Warm and Cool gray Copic markers [skin and other materials, respectively] I applied some color on her eyes. But, due to the fact that I don’t have a scanner big enough for this sized piece I had to take a pic with my phone and though it is decent it couldn’t pic up much of the color.

[Man, I don’t see any color in her eyes at all just tones and grain. Aaannnnd wussup with those dots in the background? Did you cry over your markers to get that effect? Buahahaha I kill myself.]

Once I finished that part I took the piece into Photoshop where I cleaned it up a bit and created a quick mask over the skin areas and made a Hue/Saturation layer. Essentially, I colored the skin but taking the existing tones and moving the Hue and Saturation sliders until I had a sufficient skin color. It was quicker than it may seems.

I did the same thing for her hair, since black hair has a tendency to reflect it surrounding a little more with its highlights I wanted give it a cooler blue tone in the highlights then just a straight black and white. The background, though this was a flub on my part, was originally going to have that orange and I could have perhaps made the hair reflect that color after I put it up but I thought the contrast of complimentary colors brought attention to her better. Plus, it connects her to the haze in the shape behind her.

After that I added some fleshy reds and blues and a little bit of greens to her skin to liven her up a little bit. I accomplished that by creating another layer and putting it to multiply. Those colors don’t come off to heavy but that’s what I wanted.

[What you just said…I don’t see it.]

That is all I had to do, other than the replacing of the type in the word bubble. That’s pretty much it. It took longer than I wanted because at that time I was experiencing computer problems. I’m definitely over due for an upgrade! But that’s for another time.

I hoped you enjoyed this. Thanks for looking.

Till Next Time


Francine “Franqui” Shore © Nelson V. Carrasquillo