For this month’s The Illustrator’s Corner (TIC), our guest brings a special touch to our series. For you, comic and graphic novel lovers, this is your gem. It’s with pleasure that we introduce you to the “ComicArtAddict” on The Illustrator Corner with Richard Barker!
Richard grew up with a love for art, but was forced to put that love aside to work. In the last few years, he has returned to art as a full-time career choice, and now does freelance work as an illustrator for children’s books and graphic novels.
Although Richard grew up in an artistic family, he was forced to give up on an artistic career soon after college.
However, his love of comics and passion for drawing always remained a part of him, and he has finally been able to realize that dream.
As he claims, Barker is determined to give himself the chance to follow his dream of drawing and to see what he can accomplish.
According to Barker, he draws because drawing is a part of who he is:
“Moments of joy always occur when drawing. The feeling of completing a piece to your own high standards is incredible. I am very self-critical and a massive perfectionist, so that moment when I look at a final piece, knowing I have nailed it, is genuinely a moment of happiness. However, nothing beats the joy I feel when I see how my work impacts others.”
Barker is inspired by several artists in the comic world and beyond such as Jim Lee, Michael Turner, Todd Mcfarlane, Alex Ross, Salvador Dali, and Banksy.
The Process – Richard Barker’s step-by-step
There is no specific process that Barker uses when creating an illustration, but here is an example of one of his works, as he explains. Thanks, Richard!
Stage 1: I sketch out the image. Balancing and proportioning anatomy and posture correctly into the pose required. I create 2 or 3 rough sketches. At this stage, I may also practice with some colours.
Stage 2: I do a final pencil sketch, often traced as a clean image from the rough sketches completed, using layout paper and a light pad. The drawing is then lined for the first time using ink.
Stage 3: I go on to colour and ink the drawing, working from the lightest based colours down to the darkest. The picture is then finished off with ink once again to bring the lines forward. Highlights are added using a combo of a posca pen, white pencil, and white acrylic paint.
Illustrations by Richard Barker
Can’t wait to get more? Check out TIC with Richard Barker’s walkthrough process on Instagram stories and highlights. You can learn more about Barker and his artwork on his website By Richard Barker or through his social media profiles:
To see any of our other featured illustrators, check out our The Illustrator Corner page.
See you next month!