Zub Calgary Expo Pin-Up 2015 – Step by Step

As part of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo each year there’s a special artbook that includes pin-up illustrations from many of their guests. This is the show’s 10th anniversary and I’m proud to say I’ve attended each and every show and have a pin-up in every artbook they’ve produced so far.

Thankfully, this year is no exception.

The theme for 2015 was “Time”, as appropriate for an anniversary celebration, so I put together a piece using a time traveller with a nod to the H.G. Wells classic story “The Time Machine”. Here’s a walkthrough of the digital process for my piece:


STEP 1: Rough – After trying a few different thumbnail compositions I settled on this gesture drawing. It’s pretty loose but set up the key staging of the characters and the proportion of the dinosaur versus our happy time travelling protagonist.


STEP 2: Work-Up – Working digitally, it was easy to separate each part onto its own layer so I could focus on construction and expression, tightening up details while trying to keep the energy of the original gesture.


STEP 3: Line Art – A third pass nails down the line art, including fine details on the time machine and thick to thin lines to help visually separate forms.


STEP 4: Color – I wanted to keep the rendering animated-looking and simple across the board so I stuck with mostly flat colors and a simple light source. Some of the line art was also colored/lightened to help blend it in more with the rest of the scene.


Here’s a close-up of the time traveller and his machine. I had a lot of fun getting his expression down and building the golden-tubed time machine at the proper angle. I can’t wait to see the piece in print.

Here’s a series of links to all my previous pin-ups for the Calgary Expo artbooks. Collect ’em all 🙂


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