Drawing: Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

June 18, 2006 at 10:18 PM (Art)

As I was mentioning in an earlier post, I did a couple of doodles in my notebook over the last couple of days.  One was a picture of Marilyn Manson (inspired by the song "This is the New Shit"), and the other is a picture of Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy.

Hellboy is an amazing creation — I can probably say that the big red demon ("The World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator") is my favourite comic character!  The stories in these books are great, but even more than that, Mignola’s artwork is fantastic.  Lots of solid blacks and clear line work, images of statues and monuments as a backdrop to the action are some of the highlights of the Hellboy artwork.  Obviously, it’s all very inspiring, and that’s why when I wanted to draw something in my notebook, I did a picture of Hellboy.

I did a (very) rough sketch in blue ballpoint pen first, and then directly inked over it in black gel pen.  Pictured is Hellboy standing near some fire, and he is holding the Spear of Destiny in his right hand.  The Spear briefly makes an appearance in the Hellboy movie, but I don’t remember how it looked there, so I just made up my own.  Anyway, the movie (from director Guillermo Del Toro) gets a 9/10 from me, it is that good!  Ron Perlman was perfect in the role, the movie had action, drama, humour, great visuals and was very much in tune with Mignola’s comics.  A powerful music score by Marco Beltrami was the icing on the cake.

Once I was done with my drawing, I decided to do some "post-production" in Photoshop.  The result is below (click for larger image):

This post-production isn’t an exact science, so there is no fixed technique that I follow.  I usually experiment with different effects to see what works best.  This time, I copied the "Blue" channel into a new image (which got rid of most of the ballpoint pen marks), and boosted the contrast.  Then using curves, the whole thing was made cleaner.  After this, I applied colours.  The background is an airbrush using a clouds texture.

I think the final version came out rather nicely, so I am going to make a desktop wallpaper out of this.



  1. Tobias said,

    That’s really good! And not just because I’ve been doing a similar thing myself just today. The lines in your drawings are always very beautiful, so it’s great to see the original, too. The coloring is nice and the background fits and is interesting. I wonder how exactly you achieved this effect. 🙂

  2. Varun said,

    The coloured version is awesome! You’re getting better and better at this.

    And there’s a scratchy texture over the whole drawing… what’s that? And I guess the fire effects are airbrushed?

  3. Ismaele said,

    Great! =) I like the coloured version very much and, like Varun, I prefer it than the original one! 😉 Of course, it’s better than the previous drawing, whose title fits it… he, he! =D I am just joking… 😉 …I just cant’ stand that singer…! :[

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