Ectoplasmic Deflation: Process

Yesterday, I posted a drawing that’s part of the Cloudy Characters print set. Today, I wanted to show you the process. I’ve always admired the process posts on Dan Zettwoch‘s site (like this one), so here’s one of my own.
Nothing starts without an idea. The brief I had from David was simply that it had to be a ‘cloudy character,” nothing else. I didn’t want to do anything with clouds in the sky because I couldn’t think of an interesting way of depicting that. Instead I decided to think of ‘cloudy’ as ‘head in the clouds.’ The economy was tanking at the time (and still is) and it was pretty obvious that Wall Street has had their head in the clouds for way too long. My initial idea was to comment on the various bailouts by having Ransom Strange‚Ñ¢ magically inflate an empty suit:
ectoplasmic inflation
That seemed over-complex graphically for the small image, and didn’t really make much sense. But I liked the idea the lost financial capital as magical (or fictional) and evaporating as if it was never there. My second sketch was much simpler. It’s just a Fat Cat deflating… blowing mystical capital all around around him:
ektoplasmic deflation sketch.jpg
I was happy enough with the above to work up final line-art (india ink over pencil):
ektoplasmic deflation line art.jpg
Next was color. I scanned in the line art and printed out a few smaller copies. This way I could quickly play around with it using colored pencil:

sketch dow jones sketch text
sketch first sketch stepped bg
sketch final

I liked the last variation best, and worked up the background line art based on it:
The final step was compositing everything in Photoshop and coloring the art based on the color pencil guidelines above. Here’s the final art:
ectoplasmic deflation final art.jpg
See (and purchase) the printed (letterpress!) version here… Hopefully someone will find this useful in some way.

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