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Crawdaddy Illustration

April 25, 2010

I recently did an illustration for the rock music magazine Crawdaddy. It was for an article on how edgy cable television shows are using a lot of new music, thereby providing tremendous publicity for bands. These shows also help revive careers: Jace Everett got a huge boost when the HBO vampire show True Blood used his song Bad Things over its opening credits.

Vampires conjured up the usual neckbiter image for me, but with a twist: the idea that every young rocker would love to be bitten by cable television, and ride that exposure to fame and fortune. This was my original line drawing:Neckbiter line drawingI scanned it into Photoshop and added some loose watercolor with a grunge feel:Neckbiter, color added, no backgroundI wanted the background to have a noir-ish look, so I did an image search for film noir and found this wonderful B&W still:B&W cigarette smoke noir backgroundI saved the JPEG as a Photoshop file, bumped the resolution from 72 dpi to 300 dpi, and then adjusted the color channels to give the photo a bluish tinge:blue tinge cig smoke noir backgroundThen I pasted the photo into the background of the illustration and stretched it to fit:neckbiter with photo backgroundFinally, I used the Clone Tool, with a large soft brush and the Watercolor setting, to effectively sample colors from the photo and apply a series of washes over the photo itself. The result was kind of a fog and streetlamp effect. I used the Eraser to clean up some of the areas where the background wash had bled into the foreground figures. Here’s the final result:neckbiter final

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2014 2:16 PM

    A very useful tutorial and a cartoon that cracked me up. Thanks,Mark.


    • July 11, 2014 9:07 PM

      Ha! Thanks, TT. Anytime I can make you laugh, I feel I’m having a worthwhile day– truth. Hope this finds you in good– or at least, better– health. Stay the course, keep smilin’. : )


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