I've long been a fan of the Hellblazer graphic novels, and when the new show 'Constantine' (the title character of Hellblazer) premiered, it immediately became my favorite. When I saw that this week's Journal52 prompt was television, I thought it would be fun to have graphic novel John watching himself.
A little about my process has been written below.
Even though I planned and went more complex I still did a couple of things to keep this project from getting out of hand. Instead of painting the TV screen, I printed out a copy of it, rotated it to fit a bit closer to the correct angle and taped it to the page (my final step). I also gave myself a limit of 45 minutes to paint. I went over that a little, but not by much.
Stillman & Birn Wirebound Alpha 7 x 10 inches
Watercolor paint-Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine Blue, Green Gold, Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Pyrrol Red Light, Cobalt Teal
Brushes-1/2 inch flat, #2 round, #6 round
It's rather difficult to do a step by step, especially when I've given myself a time limit, but essentially it went like this-- I:
- looked up two reference photos from the show that had the angle I wanted.
- printed out a copy of the TV reference, and called up the other on my laptop for viewing.
- drew Constantine in with pencil and traced around the copy of the TV screen shot
- painted his face and arms with the Perylene Maroon. Used with lots of water, it's a great color for flesh tones.
- painted the shadows on his shirt, face and arms, alternating between Ultramarine Blue, Green Gold, Cobalt Teal & Pyrrol Red Light. At this time, I also discovered I had a problem. Evidently I'd got something on the page at some point, because my paint was beading up in places. I thought about starting over, but decided to try using it instead.
- let everything dry for about 10 minutes
- painted the background around John, using the same color
- painted the beer and table using Quinacridone gold with green gold for shadows
- painted the TV, using a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson
- painted the shadows around the TV using the same colors
- let everything dry about 10 minutes
- now I started fussing, deepening the colors. Where the paint had beaded up, I tried to suggest ghostly faces (in Hellblazer, John is often haunted by ghosts). I kept going until my 45 minutes was up.
- I used two sided tape to adhere the TV screen shot
I made a couple of decisions based on the genre and storyline from Hellblazer that aren't necessarily ones I make based on value, tone and layout. This has to do with the dark red of Constantine's tie and the reddish outline of his arms and hands. Constantine's story is a bloody one, and I felt the red here was symbolic. Normally, I would have softened the lines and diluted the color to be in keeping with the values around it.