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Barbarian Lord Hardcover – July 1, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

I keep a few pages open on a second monitor while inking to make sure I keep characters consistent
Behind the Scenes with Barbarian Lord author & illustrator Matt Smith

Having been asked to show some examples of how I worked on Barbarian Lord, I thought I might start with the first story page and the cover as examples. First off, Barbarian Lord is primarily drawn digitally. I set out with the best intentions to move in one direction with clearly defined stages of progress. These being to write a script, create thumbnail sketches from that script and move into final art from those thumbnails, but throughout the process I made a lot of changes--a whole lot. Pages were dropped, added, sequences rearranged and characters redesigned as needed to best tell the story I imagined right up until the last day. Working digitally made this fluid process go a little easier and luckily I had fantastic editors, wizards, really, who were unfazed by this approach.

Step 1

Having said that, things always began on paper. After writing the story out in a script form, I would see what the page spreads would look like by drawing a column of little boxes for each chapter. Brief notes would be added of which part of the script should fall onto each page.

Step 2

Next would come rough page layouts of each page.

Step 3

The next step moved over to the digital drawing tablet to work out a refined sketch from the initial roughs. Important at this stage was to place the text before I went any further with the sketch.

Step 4

Next would be to 'ink' over the refined sketch. This would be achieved by lowering the opacity of the sketch so that it would be visible and not interfere with the finished line work.

Step 5

The last step for each page was to add the gray tones. I kept a palette of a half-dozen grays so that I could keep some measure of consistency throughout the book. At times I would reduce the opacity of some of the line work, such as with the crashing waves at the base of the cliff.

The Cover

The cover follows the same process, only without word balloons and with a bit of color. First came three different designs with a similar composition. I ended up favoring the middle design as I felt it best conveyed the aspects I wanted to put forward most about the book. I also preferred the relatively simple play of shapes in this design.

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Product details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547859066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547859064
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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