ByBen Holmes, writer at Creators.co
NIghtcrawler - Cover for the official UK Steelbook
NIghtcrawler - Cover for the official UK Steelbook

Years ago, for Christmas, my brother got me a set of watercolor pencils, something I had never used before. I was taking my first steps into the incredible world of Photoshop and had always loved pencil drawing, but had been terrible at watercolor. After moving house I discovered the pencils hidden at the back of my materials drawer and decided after years of neglect I would give them a go. I love to draw, all of my spare time before/after work is taken up with art but when I first attempted this new medium I struggled to understand how best to use it, and was often guilty of frustration. It was only when I discovered some competitions for 'alternative posters' for TV shows and movies that I really focused on developing my skills. Very slowly, with the competition deadlines giving me goals to aim towards, I began to develop a method. It was only after months of trial and error mixing traditional and digital media that my current style was born.

Amazing Spider Man 2 - Filmdoo competiton winner
Amazing Spider Man 2 - Filmdoo competiton winner

I begin each piece with a hand-drawn sketch on watercolour paper. This allows it to be loose and messy while capturing some nice detail that can be otherwise lost in the digital realm. Next I take a high quality photograph of this drawing and bring it into Photoshop. From here, I paint the image digitally using a mixture of Photoshop stock and custom brushes. The custom brushes allow really unique works as they can be tailored to your style and made from anything you can think of. Finally I add the watercolour splashes. These are either in the form of brushes made from photographs or from painting over the hand drawing.

Batman - Photoshop and Pencil Illustration
Batman - Photoshop and Pencil Illustration

Most official film posters around today are often very heavily skewed at showing clear images of the stars in the film, which can often look great but for me many of them have lost a richness, excitement and imagination that illustrated posters can offer. When starting a poster the ideas tend to come from what I think would look most interesting, eye catching or just really cool. For my Nightcrawler poster I loved the idea of representing the Lou Bloom character almost devoid of a soul as his character descends into a fractured madness. For my Ant-Man poster I wanted to capture the excellent size changing superpower and the different tonal strengths of watercolor made for a really nice shrinking effect. For an alternative poster for the The Amazing Spiderman 2 and a Batman illustration I made for my sister I just tried to make the coolest images I could.

Ant-Man - Alternative poster commission
Ant-Man - Alternative poster commission

Thanks for reading, I'll keep trying to improve and develop my style even further and who know what projects are round the corner! If you want to check out more of my work/ get some limited edition prints or get in touch, feel free to take a look at me website with all my contact info and lots of other projects.

www.bjwholmes.com

Trending

Latest from our Creators