On the Drawing Board

February 28th, 2007 | Posted in On the Drawing Board

I’m in the final stretch of the two MAD KIDS illustration jobs for issue 7, done with the finals for the Nader job and still haven’t started the National Cartoonists Society illustration… that’s for this weekend.

I also finished the poster job I posted the pencil sketch for a few days ago while waiting on some approvals and revision approvals from the folks at MAD. Here’s some stages of an area of that image:

A close up of the sketch for one of the figures…

The inks…

The backgrounds in color, used a noise filter for the concrete…

The base color for the figure, on a new layer…

The final, rendered color…

Here’s the full image…

Here’s the image with the revised foot… D’OH!

Done in my MAD Photoshop line and color technique. I am still planning on a detailed tutorial for Photoshop coloring but am struggling to find the time and figure out the video part. I’ll get it done sometime soon.


  1. SteveH says:

    Fantastic Tom! Great to see how you strat from your pencil sketch thru to the color finish in photoshop. The tutorial will be awesome, I very much look forward to reading that!

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks, Steve! Welcome back from Japan, BTW…

  3. pokedachef says:

    wow these are awesome to see! it would be nice to see a tutorial, but for now this is the next best thing

  4. mikecur says:

    1. What first attracted me to MAD as a kid were Kelly Freas covers. In gouache, I think. They were “Paintings.” But paintings with a decidedly loopy content. Like playing rock ‘n’ roll on a harp. I wish Photoshop could mimic that technque. Maybe “Painter” can. Sometimes Photoshop is too cold. Too slick. Maybe there’s an “action” or something to introduce texture and a human look.

    2. Far be it for me to criticize, but: the girl in the foreground– aren’t her toes flopped? Isn’t the big toe on the inside?

    Again, I’m just a loser, MAD fan, particularly the art, illustrator, cartoonists, aspect, who stumbled on this site. My opinion has no value whatsoever. If I was you, I’d quash this post.

    I love your blog. The only reason I commented is because I accidently took yesterday and today’s meds.


  5. Tom says:

    HOLY CRAP! You are right!! Honestly that leg was bothering me but I thought it was because I just cartooned the foot up so much. When I initially penciled that figure I had the legs opposite, with the left leg’s knee up and the right down. That gave me an awkward crotch shot and I elected to switch the legs, but I did not redraw the foot. This lady has two left feet!!

    Probably too late to change it now.

    As for the PhotoShop painting, I usually get the opposite comments from people. In print, my painting technique tends to look a look more like natural media than digital.

  6. Tom says:

    I was able to get a revised final to the client. Plenty of time. They hadn’t noticed it, either. Thanks for the help, Mike!

  7. locoduck says:

    I love the process. I have finally decided that I need to learn how to color well on a computer. So here we go…
    Did you do this all on your MAC?


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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