Friday, February 20, 2009

Roller Derby poster in process: Part 1

I have been commissioned to create a poster for the Tallahassee Roller Girls for a bout they have in May. With the permission of Hope Stewart I am going to give you a look at how I go about creating such a piece.

Getting started:

The theme of the bout is Déjà Voodoo and I was given a free licence to do whatever I felt was cool, consistent with the 'feel of derby', portrayed women in a respective manor, and touched on the name of the theme. Once I heard the theme I had an image pop into my head that is pretty close to what I ended up using.

Sketches:

At this point it is all about getting the idea out of my skull and onto paper (without making a mess). I did a series of thumbnails to work out composition and arrangement of text and once I was happy with one of them I sketched it up at full size and ran it by Hope for feedback and revision notes.
Painting:

At this point I should mention I use Photoshop to do all my painting. For this painting I am working in a CMYK 16 bit/channel document at 300 DPI with a .25 inch bleed. I am working in 16 bit because not only will there be the 11 x 17 full color poster but there will also be 8 1/2 x 11 black and white posters and a smaller black and white brochure.

Back to the painting...

This is were it gets fun and the magic happens. I will lay down a loose under painting to work out local color choices and to get a feel for where I want to take the piece. I usually have a color palette in mind but sometimes once I start working on a piece I find a different direction will work better in the end.

And so it begins...


I try to work an entire painting all at the same pace to bring up the final piece consistently. For this piece, however, I really felt the face of the woman was key to the entire work and so I heavily work it first.

4% done... now for the other 96%

Now it is time to move on the rest of the painting and begin to bring it all up to the level the face is at. Working broadly at first and slowly becoming more and more refined the image will take shape.

Slowly but surely moving out from the face

The magic begins to take shape

As I paint I will rework areas where the drawing didn't have enough information or I realized something just isn't working any longer. Slowly but surely the image begins to take shape. Don't worry Mr. Alligator, your time is coming!

This will conclude part one. Check back later as I finish the painting and layout the text to create the final poster image!

Part 2 and Part 3 are now up for you viewing pleasure!

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

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