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30 Days of Night Artist Visits School of Design & the Arts

Local comic book artists were invited to the College of Saint Benilde’s relatively new School of Design & the Arts (SDA) Building in Manila to participate in a talk with Mr. Ben Templesmith.

Ben pic

Ben is the Australian artist of the 30 Days of Night graphic novel series as well as others including Fell, written by Warren Ellis.

30 days of night image here Fell pic

Ben talked at length about his process (planning to rendering) and demonstrated his digital coloring technique. You can view some moments of his discussion here on my Multiply site.

Some key techniques he presented and that I believe are responsible for his current rendering style include:

  • Drawing and inking on gray paper and adding white for the lights.
  • Bringing in photographed and painted textures into Photoshop to supply most of the darkness in his illustrations. (He has an ever growing collection)
  • Photoshop’s Render>Lighting Effects filter as well as Photoshop Image>Adjustments>Variations for quick and effective global lighting & color.
  • Duplicating layers on which color enhancements are then done, and then using the eraser to temper the effects
  • No graphic tablet, only the Mac hockey puck mouse.

He also showed us behind-the-scenes photos of his experience with the cast and crew of the 30 Days of Night feature film. Those photos also included a fair deal of dead bodies, severed body parts, fake snow, fake fangs, fake blood. Quite humorous really.

Ben pic again

Following his talk, we had a chance to ask him questions, such as:

  • What does he do to break artist’s block ? (He doesn’t have it that much.)
  • What does he fear the most? (The taxman.)
  • What did he study? (Illustration, more on the business end of it.)
  • What is his dream project? (He’s done it already, he’s just taking what’s comes by.)
  • How’d he break into comics? (His own website and Internet forum participation.)
  • How much royalty was he paid for movie rights? (A nice sum, but not life-changing, definitely less than one million U.S. dollars.)

Plus other things on white pens, copyright, and as well as his inspirations.

After the Q&A, we took photos and Ben proceeded to autograph copies of his stuff (even 30 Days of Night posters). When that was done Mr. Benjie Marasigan of the SDA gave us comic artists a tour of the multimedia floors of the building. Nice enough to teach and and to study in, looking forward to more events there.

Thanks to Fully Booked for sponsoring Ben Templesmith over and offering his books at a discount, and also to the School of Design & the Arts for hosting the talk and connecting the academe with industry.

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