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Comic-Con: Alex Ross Spotlight

I went to Alex Ross' spotlight panel, which was cool mainly because during the entire panel a video was run showing the creation of the Mythology cover from nearly start to finish. Alex Ross first draws a very detailed thumbnail of the page (we didn't see this part), and then scales it up to the full canvas (which is very large).

photo The two things I noticed while Ross was pencilling the full canvas was that (1) he only pencils in the very dark shadowing and (2) he used the photo reference a lot. The photo references became an important part of the panel discussion: Ross emphasized that he never copies the photos; rather, he uses them as guides as one of his top priorities is realism. (After Ross finishes the pencils, it looked like he was using a nib to draw in the small black detail, though he may have been using a brush.) photo The gouache-ing of the painting was fun to watch. With the gouache, the real detail of the painting starts to emerge. As Ross only penciled in the darker shadows, it's not until this step that all the fine shading and form emerges. I thought that it was interesting that Ross extensively used a ruler during the pencil stage, but during the gouaching step he seemed very comfortable going over the straight lines.

We didn't get to see the colorizing, but this is what the end result looks like:
Mythology Cover

Other notes:
- Not a modern art fan. More into Norman Rockwell and the like. Won't see a shift in his style towards more abstract modern art forms.
- Spiderman is the character rendition Ross is least happy with. He feels that he could capture it better.
- Ross does about ten pages/month plus some side stuff (e.g. covers). Other artists usually cover ~20 pages/month
- In the future, Ross might want to work with a pencilist to give him more time to work on other aspects.
- Ross works in a noisy environment (phone, tv, radio)
- Growth in the comic book market is occurring via bookstores. Walmart and 7-11 no longer carry comics, and bookstores have picked up the slack. This has caused a shift towards trades instead of single issues.
- DC=order, Marvel=Chaos

Comments (3)

adolfo torino:

i want to know if you have some pictures of the alex ross model frank kasy,if you have,can you send the pictures to my mail,thank you.


is there any way of getting to view the above mentioned video

kwc Author Profile Page:

not that I personally know of

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