A few weeks back I release the first chapter to my free online book titled 'Ricochet Squad'. So far the chapter is doing pretty well for view counts. I thought it might be a nice idea to showcase the stages of the brilliant art by Riley Schmitz.

When I first approached Riley to commission him for the first chapter I had no idea how great it would turn out. The first time I really got to know Riley's work was when his online comic 'Livestock' caught my eye, I love the concept, the story and the bold trippy but gory artwork, when I revised this chapter adapting it to go online I could see a perfect fit with Riley's style of work. I initially sent Riley a very basic outline of the story, then followed it up with a rough draft version of the chapter along with some reference pictures and a very crude drawing (see below!)

Crude concept drawing by Luke Brady

Crude concept drawing by Luke Brady

Birdseye view layout of the bar by Luke Brady

Birdseye view layout of the bar by Luke Brady

Riley then took the basic outline and ran with it. He cleaned up the composition framing it in a much more favourable way to the main character 'Hendrik' whilst also adding tons of great gory details like the spiked head with a pool cue. My only notes were to make Hendrik larger, In my head Hendrik is a hulk of a guy so I felt he needed to be more imposing in the image, you can see the difference below from the initial blue pencil to the inked version. I also asked Riley to go mad adding more blood. I wanted the blood from the barman's head so that it became a stained waterfall flowing over the counter and down the bar. I absolutely love the colour pallette he used and all the tiny details dotted about the bar, it really conjures up the chaos depicted in my story. 

If you haven't read the chapter you can check it out for free here. Chapter two is coming real soon so if you want to be the first to get exclusive info and sneak previews please sign up below.

Below is a transition from Riley's original pencil to inks and full colour. feel free to fire off questions in the comment box below.

Make sure you check out more of Riley's awesome work by visiting his website and following him on twitter.

Until next time

Luke B
@THMassacre

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