The Art of Ryan Francis

The portfolio website of Ryan Francis


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Caricature Commission Process

I got a commission for a caricature for an old teacher of mine.

This is my first pencil sketches. After feedback from my client, I thinned the cheeks and added some detail.

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Bird Art Process

I haven’t done much that I can talk about this week. but I can show you my process on traditionally coloring this illustration of Gloster Canaries in marker.

I’ve already scanned the ink art of drawing and you can read my tutorial about how to scan and edit inked line art so you can have a good clean drawing for digital coloring!

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This is mostly a drawing done with a Pentel Pocket brush. It’s a really good brush in terms have a portable brush you don’t have to dip in ink all the time, but this is a soft nylon brush so it will catch every wobble and heavy handed mark you make.

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I spent most of my time trying to understand the colors I needed from my bird references.

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I was recently introduced to the joys of Pro White, it’s great for covering up black line mistakes, but not for being colored with Copic marker…

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Beginning to color my next two birds. Gloster Canaries come in a variety of feather patterns, so I had an easier time adding variety to the piece.

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My weird ideas was to use an under cover color so it would look better mixed with the over cover colors. I haven’t confirmed if it make the marker colors look smoother and not streaky, but it does look smooth to me.

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Last two birds getting finished. I do regret my middle brush work as I think I’m not as great with dry brush techniques as I want to be.

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This is the final drawing! I’ve used my Uniball Pen to add a free highlights to push the birds support from each other and make them stand out. I did use Photoshop doctoring in the scanned version to clear out the bad blobs on some birds, but all and all it this looks fine enough.

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You can stop by my store to get a print of these birds for $10 or to get the real drawing itself for $60!


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A Great Time at Galaxy 2018

I had a great time at Galaxy Comics and Entertainment Expo! This was my first time ever selling my artwork ever and this is a great start!

I probably sound like a kid talking about this, but here is my first table! Of course it’s tiny, but it actually exists!

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Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo 2019


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Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo 2019

I’ll be exhibiting my work for the first time at the Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo on September 22!

It will be at the Joliet Historical Museum where you’ll meet a bunch of local Chicago-land artists, writers, sellers of comic and pop culture stuff, and of course, meet me in person for the first time!

There, I will be debuting Shirley’s Day, where you can pick up a signed printed book straight from me! But if you aren’t able to be there, I have the issues for sale as a print or digital piece! This is one of the few ways you can support me and my future work as an independent creator!

I’m excited and nervous, but all the efforts lead to all of this! So if you want to hang, high five me, have a chat, or support me in my future endeavors, stop by Galaxy this Friday!

I hope this will be the first of many events!


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Scanning and Editing Ink Art

Many have asked me to do a tutorial on getting good line art and scans from my traditional artwork to the computer. This is my rough workflow for working with my art; it usually takes me around 20 minutes to finish if it’s a smaller piece. I will break it down as much as I can so you too can make good scanned artwork!

Scan your Artwork

You should find a scanner that can fit the paper in the scanner. If the paper can’t fit, scan the page in pieces and edit them together. I’ll make an article on this at a different time.

 

At the moment, I’m using the scanners at the public library. It’s an Avision FB6280E A3 Book Scanner from what I’ve looked up. Able to support pages up to 11 inches by 17 inches and can scan at a resolution up to 600 dpi, which is great for working with art in! Since buying them normally costs a pretty penny, I settle for taking advantage of our tax dollars and using local library resources!

For this scan, I used 9 inch by 12 inch Strathmore Vellum Bristol Paper. It feels good to sketch in it, handles ink decently, and Copic markers don’t bleed through it that badly!

The scan bed is large enough to fit a 11 inch by 17 inch page so it’s large enough to fit comic pages I make!

The library software for the scanner has great options to let me save to my own USB drive or email it to myself if the file size is small enough.

These days, I often scan in PDF since I’m usually scanning multiple pages of art and Photoshop can open the files easily so that’s a benefit for me.

Your scans should be at a really high dpi to work with. The minimum you should scan at is 300 Dots per Inch, any lower and you’ll have to work with a blurry, pixelly mess.. A mass majority of printers scan at 300 DPI, so if you have any that can go higher, you take that up! Though the higher the DPI, the long it will take to scan, so unless you’re drawing a digital Sistine Chapel, you should stick with 600 DPI at most.

In the case of this library software, scan at Photo Quality since it’s the highest it can go.

Back Up Raw Scan Files

These are the raw unedited scans (Reduced for web looking.) I always scan in Color, Greyscale, and Black,  but I tend to always edit the Color scan because I’ll have more control over the post processing. It just feels good to cover my bases.

In case of misfortune, make backups of your scans. You never know if you’ll lose the original sheet or make a change in the future that you regret and want to go back. Email the file to yourself, save it to Dropbox, copy it to an external hard drive, do all of it, slip the files anywhere you can so you can foolproof yourself.

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Almvghty Angel T-Shirt Design

Over the last few months, I worked on a T-Shirt Design for Almvghty Clothing. I tried to do something of better quality for this illustration, specifically trying to use thinner line art for it. The shirt prints aren’t out yet, but I’ll let you all know when they’re up for sale online.

Here are a few in progress art things for this:

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