SpongeBob Magazine Halloween Pumpkin Cover Painting - On your Newsstands Now!

The new issue of SpongeBob SquarePants Magazine has a cover I painted a few months ago...a special Halloween themed portrait of SpongeBob and Patrick as seen from inside a Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin...
SpongeBob and Patrick Pumpkin magazine cover painting
(Click on the cover above for a bigger version)
...and here's the original painting before all the word-balloons, headlines and logos:
SpongeBob and Patrick Halloween Pumpkin
(Click on the image above for a bigger version)
This was painted digitally using the fantastic (and cheap) graphics program, ArtRage 2.5
I saved a bunch of different versions of this one as I was working on it so I could recreate a sort of step-by-step drawing painting process. Keep an eye out for that post in the near future.


Bob Flynn said...

Sherm, this looks great! Fun idea, too...I like the POV.

I'm a little more shocked about this ArtRage program. I've never heard of it---only $25? Is it like a stripped down version of Painter? It looks like it does a great job.

At my animation job at FableVision, we've been looking to use more painterly backgrounds. Which you can do in Photoshop, but Painter has those fun brushes. It has so much too it, though...almost too complicated (and pricey). You're recommending it, I assume?

I know you do your inking in Illustrator. Do you bring in colored vector art and just mess it up in ArtRage? Or do you do all the coloring in there?


Todd Dolce' said...

First off Sherm,...That looks awesome!!! I was also so happy to see that you put ArtRage to work!!! I've been using it for a year now. I LOVE that program and now use it exclusively!!!! It's a beautiful thing!!!

Hey, a private -mail I would love it if yoiu would share the felt tip, or brush specs that you used for the crisp outlines. I have some that I just set up,..but would love to see the numbers you are using for your brush lines. I know that ArtRage 3 will look to include a section where you can save your brushes!!! That will be a HUGE plus.

I just love that program and will now buy the Nick magazine just to support your work. (oh,...not to mention that it's so darn cool!)

Todd Dolce' said...

Sherm,...I would also love to see a real in depth step by step on your process for this cover (showing your use of ArtRage as well). I'm curious about how you handled the shadow from the Pumpkin's mouth? Also if you used ArtRage 2.5 exclusively, or if you imported a vector image into a layer in ARage and then painted beneath it....

I just EAT this stuff up.

Sherm said...

Hi Bob...I know it's hard to believe that ArtRage is only $25, but that's no reflection on its value! I have tried to use Painter on many occasions...I spent quite a bit of money on Painter updates, too. But it was always too complicated of an interface for me.

ArtRage is so easy to use that I have barely ever looked at the manual. Everything is so intuitive in ArtRage that you end up sitting down to just play with it, and after a little while of painterly fun, it becomes second nature.

I recently had to refer to the manual for the first time to figure out how to control the appearance of paint thickness across multiple layers, but honestly that was it. I really SHOULD read the manual and tutorials that come free with the program, but I'm just saying it's so easy you may not need to.

Yes, the inking IS done in illustrator, converted to Photoshop to make it a bitmap, then imported directly into ArtRage. I will post a full tutorial as soon as time permits.

Thanks for the nice words! --sherm

Sherm said...

Hey there Todd...nice to hear from you!

I like your idea about posting my ArtRage brush settings in a tutorial. I never really realized that you can't save the brushes, but if that's gonna be a new feature in version 3, that'll be cool.

When I want to re-use my custom color palettes, I just start off by opening my last painting and swapping out the old layers for some new ones.

I "cheated" on the shadow that you pointed out. As you guessed, I created a shape in Photoshop after I was done painting it in ArtRage, I colored that shape some blue-ish solid color and then did a "multiply" layer. I also did an extra layer in Photoshop to make the candle flame look brighter. No filters, just good old fashioned Photoshop airbrush.

As I mentioned to Bob, I will post a detailed tutorial as soon as I get some time to put it all togeher, Thanks so much for your cool questions!

chrisallison said...

Painting looks BEAUTIFUL, Sherm! I didn't know you are a color master too!

Looking forward to the tutorials. I'm soakin all this up like a sponge.

kris.w said...

this turned out great! i actually like Painter quite a bit (once i got the hang of it), but now i'm pretty intrigued by this ArtRage. never heard of it till now, but it looks convincing!

can't wait to see the step-by-stepage you'll have for us later on.

again, great painting!

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks, Sherm. I'll be playing around in ArtRage soon...look's like just the kind of app we should have around the studio. I look forward to your tutorial as well :)

Also, I was lucky enough to snag me copy of the SpongeBob Halloween Issue. The cover looks even better in print...again, nicely done! There are some fun comics in this issue---mostly Halloween themed.

Rod McKie said...

Things get over to the UK late in the day. This is great. I clicked on the big pic and saved it. If you don't mind, Sherm, I'll have it as wallpaper for my daughter's laptop.

Sherm said...

Hi Rod..."don't mind"? I am super flattered to be part of anyone's desktop art! Thanks for the nice comments -- you really made my weekend! --sherm

Chris said...

Hey Sherm- thanks for the comment. I actually used Art Rage for that little painting and found out about the program from this blog post! I found your blog through Bob Flynn's. WONDERFUL stuff! I'll be checkin' back for sure. =D