Comics 101 for 06/22/2006 Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination Limited Edition Print artwork - Rough Sketch, Finished Pencil Art, Colors and Final Layout Design
I was recently commissioned by Lucasfilm and COSI, the dynamic center of hands-on science, learning, and fun here in Columbus, Ohio, to create new Star Wars artwork as a signed and numbered limited edition print to celebrate the premiere of their new interactive exhibit, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.
The first exhibition of its kind, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, combines costumes and props from all six Star Wars films with real-world technologies, video interviews with filmmakers, scientists and engineers, and two large Engineering Design Labs, where visitors can build and test speeders and robots. Visitors will explore prototypes, learn about the engineers and designers who are creating new technologies, and discover intriguing similarities between how scientists and filmmakers think.
The limited edition print artwork I created with my friend and fellow Star Wars artist, Brian Miller, exclusively to commemorate this brand new exhibit is only available through the museum for their special Star Wars guests, VIP's, VIP media and charity sponsors. But here's your chance to take a behind the scenes look at my process of creating this new Star Wars artwork from my original rough sketch and pencil artwork to the final color art and print design.
Originally, my initial rough sketch featured both R2-D2 *and* Darth Vader. Since C-3PO was already being featured on all of the promotional advertising material for the exhibit I wanted this new artwork to showcase different characters. I kept it simple and chose to focus on R2-D2 and Darth Vader because they are two of the more iconic and technological driven characters from the films and are also featured as main attractions in the exhibit. I surrounded them with some of the spaceships from the films in the outerspace background including the Millenium Falcon, TIE Fighters, a Jedi Starfighter and a Republic ARC Fighter.
Have a look below.
After creating the rough sketch and quickly getting approval from the museum, I went ahead and began the final pencil art for Darth Vader and R2-D2. I was still waiting to hear back from Licensing at Lucasfilm though but I felt confident with this design and decided to go forward with the larger pencil art since time was especially tight going into this project and the premiere night for the exhibit event was approaching fast.
Pencil Art Round One
After seeing the rough sketch and this final pencil art, it was requested by Licensing to not show the characters of Darth Vader and R2-D2 together. I removed Vader from the artwork very carefully using the selection and eraser tools in Photoshop leaving the droid to temporarily stand alone.
R2-D2 Pencil Art
Licensing recommended I include C-3PO in Vader's place for a new layout design but since 3PO was being used on everything already the museum thought it would be best to also feature another "technology" inspired character from the exhibit. Along with 3PO I suggested using General Grievous since he was a new villain that would make the artwork feel more timely for fans and a character that's proven to be extremely popular since the release of Episode III and the Clone Wars micro series cartoons. I drew the ships separately and using layers in Photoshop I dropped them into the composition and the new drawing was rushed back to Lucasfilm.
Pencil Art Round Two
Word came back to me from Lucasfilm through the museum that they would rather not see R2 featured so prominently with a villian in the composition. Since time was running out and it would have taken longer to redraw and center 3PO behind R2 to properly balance out the composition I decided to remove the other two characters altogether, even enlarging R2-D2 in Photoshop to compensate for the negative space, and just have my artwork focus primarily on the plucky astromech droid hero.
Final Pencil Art
Finally, the artwork design of R2 and the ships was approved and the color process began in earnest.
Color In Progress
I felt another effect was needed to tie R2 into the piece along with the spaceships and give it more excitement and more of an "action" feel. A fiery glow or explosion element was added to make the droid look even more powerful and heroic which would also complement the dramatic perspective I had already established for him in the drawing.
With the artwork completed I began designing with the necessary text and logos and carefully added them to the final art design to complete the layout for this new artwork.
Final Print Design
I hope you enjoyed this look at the process of creating this new, limited edition Star Wars print artwork and don't forget to check out Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination in Columbus, Ohio before the exhibit ends on September 4th!
This Saturday, June 24th I'll be appearing with my Star Wars art along with Star Wars sketch card artist Justin Chung for Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination at COSI in Columbus, Ohio. Stop on by and say hi this weekend check out this amazing, interactive exhibit.
Also, on Saturday I'll be teaching a "Learn to Draw Star Wars Characters" workshop for kids. Here's the press release from the museum -
What: NEW! Learn to Draw Star Wars Characters Workshop
Wish you could draw Star Wars characters like you see in the movies? Learn cartoon and drawing basics from Joe Corroney, a professional illustrator who's created official Star Wars artwork.
When: Saturday, June 24, 11am-12pm OR 12:30-1:30pm
Cost: Sold Out!. Recommended for ages 6-12.
Where: COSI Columbus 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
614.228.COSI (Mon-Sat, 9-4pm)
I'll be returning with my Star Wars art throughout the exhibit's run until September 4th so keep your eyes peeled on my appearance schedule on my homepage.
I look forward to seeing some of you in Columbus this weekend and I'll see you next week for another Comics 101 feature!