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Working process on a Red Sonja by PaulRenaud Working process on a Red Sonja by PaulRenaud
Here's my answer to the step by step requests I get on Deviant Art.
I chose a Red Sonja cover because I'm doing a bunch of covers for the series right now.

Step 1
This is the pencil art, the original. Nothing too fancy. Just a regular Sonja fight. I just love the hero vs too many opponents theme, and use it once in a while. It's the third time I do this on Red Sonja covers.

Step2
The inking here is digital, that is pencil lines being cleaned up and darkened.

Step3
Now this is where the real work is. I like to paint (digitally) my covers in shades of grey. It helps me focus on the composition and light without getting bothered by color choices. At this point I know what the colors will be, but this is not the priority.
I also redefine the composition, and change a few things to make the picture more easy to read : the warrior behind sonja is flipped to the right of the cover...same goes to the mountain background.

Step4
From then on I do very little painting. Just a little bit brush work here and there, I use the gray work transform it into the color I want and add the special fx (glowing fx, snow, blood).
As I said earlier, this is the third time I do a ONE VS MANY cover for Sonja, so I needed to go to another direction with the coloring.
That's why the snow battle option (that I had experimented earlier on an Elektra piece).


Here's a post on my message board for bigger pics
[link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconpaulpiceno:
paulpiceno Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
I would love you always draw a Conan or Red Sonja Saga for years, your style ans sensibility for this comic strip is awesome, for real, see ya!!!
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:iconassurancetourix:
Assurancetourix Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010
very useful step by step! i love this kind of coloring, there is an atmosphere not just cool colors here and there...très bon!
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010  Professional Artist
thank you very much, Mattia!
Reply
:iconmicheladasacco:
MichelaDaSacco Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, great! Thanks for this step by step. :giggle: Do you always ink digitally?
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Michela.
Not always, but more and more. Either that way (pencil are made black) or directly with my Cintiq. The pages I'm doing on Red Sonja currently are a mix of traditional inking and Cintiq [link]
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:iconurban-barbarian:
urban-barbarian Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
I love seeing the process! So cool!
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:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Artist
Glad you enjoyed it, sir!
Reply
:iconspiderguile:
SpiderGuile Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Elegant process of a killer art cover!!!
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:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks man.
See you soon!
Reply
:iconspiderguile:
SpiderGuile Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Hope so! :)
Reply
:iconhectorbarrientos:
HectorBarrientos Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This is actually a method I never thought to do but sounds clever as hell. I'll try this myself, lol. I'm always in such agony and spend most of my time choosing the colours rather than actually colouring. Believe me...this is gonna help me out a TON!
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Artist
Glad to hear that!
Reply
:iconveguetto:
veguetto Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Student Interface Designer
huhu red sonja i love that movie xD with shwarzenegger 8D cool movie ;D
Reply
:iconstephgallaishob:
stephgallaishob Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Très très intéressant
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Artist
Merci! c'est ma cuisine du moment :)
Reply
:iconmofogie:
mofogie Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
thank yo uso much, i love your red sonia works the most.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconcmreis:
CMReis Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Hey Paul, thats really awessome man! Thanks for sharing some of your process. I was looking at your forums and some of those pages are really sweet!

How do you keep such clean lines with your pencils?
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Caio!
The pages you've seen on the message board are inked (either traditionally or with a Cintiq).
As for Sonja covers, I try to keep the line as clean as possible using hard leads and bristol paper...and I still have to clean up the scan on photoshop ;)
Reply
:iconmahmudasrar:
MahmudAsrar Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Paul Renaud + Red Sonja = WIN!
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks buddy!
Reply
:iconshinkusuarez88:
shinkusuarez88 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
the red down front may be a little much as it covers up some sick stuff, but great work.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Joshua!
I know what you mean, but I didn't want the foreground to get too much attention. So, in order to focus the reader's eye on Red Sonja I drastically hid the details on the barbarians. It was also a way to get a blurry effect (due to the snow tempest) without having to use the blur function of photoshop that I really hate.
Reply
:iconshinkusuarez88:
shinkusuarez88 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
i figured that was what you were trying to do Paul. it's just that your process showcased some fantastic figure drawing in the foreground that i felt got a little lost in the final. ultimately though, I know you knew how the piece wanted to feel in the conceptual stage, and you made the necessary sacrifices to achieve that feeling, and i understand that. i dig it overall though! keep up the good work!
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Joshua. Well you described pretty accurately what happened into my head. I knew what effect I wanted in the foreground from the start. I did a fairly detailed drawing, even in those parts that would be partially covered in the end...and then covered it with much dilemma.
Sacrifice is a good choice of a word.

It's the same problem when drawing interior pages. You know a good part of the background will end up being covered by the text balloon, but you don't know how much exactly...so you go with a nice detailed BG just in case.
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:iconshinkusuarez88:
shinkusuarez88 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010
word. sacrifice is a part of life.
Reply
:icondocshaner:
DocShaner Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
That's amazing Paul, and the step with the gray shades is a great idea.
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:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Evan!
Reply
:iconduanenicholsart:
duanenicholsart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Good stuff.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks Duane
Reply
:iconduanenicholsart:
duanenicholsart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Hey Paul, how much time are you spending on the "painting" stage (Graytone stage)?
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:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Usually takes 1 day of work for the gray values + coloring
Reply
:iconduanenicholsart:
duanenicholsart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Cool, I thought I was super slow. :)
It's nice to get some confirmation that something like this takes awhile.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
The more figures you put on your cover, the longer it gets to be done. Simple maths :)
I usually do sinlge character shots in a day of work, start to finish...but it gets verrrrry long when you have to get 8 characters of equal importance. All of them have to show who they are, have a cool pose, and interact with each others..oh, the pain.
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:iconduanenicholsart:
duanenicholsart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Sure, I hear that.
I've been slowly getting into coloring my work.
I just needed some standard to compare to.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
You should ask other artists how they do it (and how fast). I know most colorists are much faster than me...but they generally don't go for a painted rendering as I do. But still, people like John Rauch (Deviant Art member) and some other guys here would get that done in a heartbeat, I'm sure.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconandersonblackadam:
AndersonBlackAdam Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing Paul!
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks for watching, Anderson!
Reply
:iconandersonblackadam:
AndersonBlackAdam Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:hug:
Reply
:icondanhowardart:
DanHowardArt Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
Fantastic. Love the ink works . Count me in for another who'd love a b/w-only version of the book.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks!I'll post more pages soon (maybe on DA)
Reply
:iconrolandparis:
RolandParis Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks for showing this Paul!! It really does help alot.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Then I'm glad I could help.
Reply
:iconshanewhite:
shanewhite Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
That explains a lot. Very nice work Paul and economical too in the color phase.

=s=
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
I think my color work looked too clean, and this really helped me getting more free with the volume rendering. I get a kinda "painting" feeling without going thru Painter.
And it is faster (only if you know where you're going with the color choices)
Reply
:iconshanewhite:
shanewhite Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Still it must add a ton of time to your process. Speaking of which how long did this all take? Could you estimate for each stage of the process from thumbnails to finish?

=s=
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
It's hard to say because I'm always working on more than one cover at the same time. It usually takes me 3 days for a finished cover from start to finish. The longer part is getting the rough approved most of the time.
About 2 days for sketch, pencil art and digital ink, and 1 day for the gray values + coloring.
Reply
:iconmadisonhrw:
MadisonHRW Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome as always Paul.
Reply
:iconpaulrenaud:
PaulRenaud Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010  Professional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
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