Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
OKAY. I thought I'd better get around to answering these, since I just KNOW you're all checking back every day, salivating for knowledge, only to be crushed by my ambivalence! LOL

I'm gonna answer these in the order I got them. This should work as a nice reference guide so that I can stop answering the same questions on an almost daily basis (YES, I WORK IN ACRYLICS!!!!!) :-)  >Ahem< sorry.

NOTE; Before you ask a question please read through the FAQ to see if the answer is here.

1) WHAT SIZE DO I NORMALLY WORK?

It really varies depending on complexity and the amount of time I'm given for the job. Covers and commissions range anywhere from 11"x17" up to 20"x30". Posters are done as close to actual printed size as possible because I loathe having artwork enlarged as it falls apart. Trading cards are mostly no larger that 9"x12" since they're printed so small.

2) WHAT MATERIALS DO I USE?

I paint exclusively in acrylics. Mostly LIQUITEX Soft Body paints, but also HOLBEIN Aeroflash liquid acrylics for washes and glazes. I even use black acrylic to ink with as I feel the more viscous quality gives me better control.

3) WHERE DO I GET REFERENCE?

I shoot a lot of my own figure ref when needed, but for everything else I have a huge library and reference file composed of stuff I've cut out of magazines for the past 35 years. I was taught the value of that practice by Howard Chaykin when I was working as his assistant.

4) HOW DID I IMPROVE OVER THE YEARS?

Trial and error and a shitload of practice. Actually DOING the work is the only way to improve.

5) HOW DO I STAY MOTIVATED?

Motivation has never been a problem for me. I've always loved what I do and it really is an escape for me. Lately, though, I get a lot of motivation from my mortgage company. :-)

6) DO YOU PREFER WORKING ON ESTABLISHED CHARACTERS OR YOUR OWN CREATIONS?

I like working on characters I grew up on. They're the reason I wanted to do this for a living in the first place. I've recently started to develop my own properties, though, as the industry has gone through changes.

7) WHAT IS A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME FOR A PAINTING?

That obviously varies from person to person. I consider anywhere from 1-3 weeks optimum for me depending on difficultly of the job, though many covers are turned around in 3-4 days.

8) HOW LONG DID THE 104 MARVEL MASTERPIECES PAINTINGS TAKE?

I did the entire job in 92 days. Not a schedule that I'd ever want to take on again.

9) WHAT DO I CHARGE FOR COMMISSIONS?

Commissions are priced on a piece per piece basis based on size and content.

10) WILL I EVER BE DOING TUTORIALS ON deviantART?

I have a tutorial DVD out now. It can be purchased here--
www.woodcrestproductions.com/

There's also a tutorial posted here--
www.comicartfans.com/GalleryRo…

I'll also be writing an instructional painting book in the foreseeable future (no, I don't know when).

11) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT LIGHTING AND LIGHT SOURCES?

That's a really complicated and involved topic that would require a lot more space than I have right now. I'll try and tackle it at a later date.

12) HOW DO YOU APPLY YOUR PAINTS, TRANSPARENTLY OR OPAQUELY?

I start out transparently on all my pieces and slowly build up. I also glaze in between stages where necessary. I find this gives the pieces a more finished oil like appearance.

13) HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY DO YOU SPEND AT THE DRAWING BOARD?

A typical workday for me is 10-12 hours per day, 6 days per week, longer if my deadline is tight. I DO stop working if I get tired or stuck as I know that I'll just screw up if I continue.

14) WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU STARTED AND WHAT IS IT NOW?

When I started I just wanted to become successful doing what I  wanted to do since I was a child, so worked my ass off to get better. Today my inspiration comes from challenging myself to produce the best work I can for me. I still hunger for growth, as I'm never happy with what do for very long. I've always worked under the adage "Don't ever think you know all there is to know, because you don't and you never will."  

15) WHEN CREATING PERSONAL WORKS, EITHER FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS, WHICH MEDIUM (S) DO YOU PREFER?

I tend to stick with acrylics because it's the medium I'm most proficient in, though I am revisiting oils lately. I'm finding them a HUGE change since I'm SO not used to the extended drying time. As impatient as I am when I work I'm finding that particular characteristic maddening! LOL

16) ANY THOUGHTS ON ANOTHER PAINTED GRAPHIC NOVEL?

I have plenty of thoughts, though none of them good. :-) While I really enjoyed painting sequentials my technique is too involved and labor intensive to be practical. The amount of time I spent on the Tomb Raider book was completely futile since the book was dumped on the market without anyone knowing and got completely overlooked. It's the best work I ever did and because it had a shelf life of one to two weeks before something else came out no one saw it. It's a bit disheartening, to be honest.

17) HOW OFTEN DO YOU LEAVE AN UNFINISHED PROJECT (EITHER PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL) TO START ANOTHER?

Professional; Almost never. Professional assignments are deadline specific and simply NEED to get done.

Personal; I haven't finished a personal piece in years. lol I have a shitload of sketches and ideas laying around but I'm so conditioned as a "commercial" artist that unless there's a "purpose" for the piece I tend to back burner it.

18) WHAT DO YOU USE WHEN YOU PENCIL?

I prefer a semi hard lead (2H-3H) to tightly pencil with. For sketching I like a regular #2. I've found that all #2's are not the same, though. Eagle brand #2 pencils are somewhat harder than Papermate #2 pencils. I use both for different purposes. I have used pencils as soft as a 6B for some of the tonal pieces in my gallery, though.

19) WHAT FORMAL ART TRAINING HAVE YOU RECEIVED AND WHAT EXERCISES DO YOU DO TO PRACTICE OR IMPROVE?

My only formal education was attending The High School of Art & Design in NYC. They taught basics and fundamentals but not much in the way of advanced training. I'm a self taught painter. I never had a lesson but learned over the years by trial and error.  The only exercises I do is the actual work. I spend so much time at the actual craft that there simply is no time for "training" per se. Work IS the best training, anyway. I did take life drawing classes for many years early in my career, though.  I consider it an invaluable resource and recommend them highly.

20) WHAT ILLUSTRATORS OR ARTISTS WERE YOU INFLUENCES EARLY IN YOUR CAREER?

My earliest influences were the normal allotment of artists from that time; Frazetta, Boris, Bama, Larkin, etc. As time has gone on my influences have multiplied exponentially to include everything from 50's magazine illustrators (Coby Whitmore, Jon Whitcomb, Reynold Brown), 60's paperback artists (Robert McGinnis, Bob Abbett, Mitchell Hooks) to many contemporary western and wildlife artists, as well as contemporaries in my own field. You can learn from EVERYONE, even artists who have nothing in common with how you yourself work.

21) WHAT COLORS ARE ON MY STANDARD PALETTE?

Unlike traditionally painters I don't use a preset palette. I have favorite colors but will use any color on the Liquitex chart that will give me the effect that I need. The availability of so many premixed colors makes commercial work so much easier these days. I do limit my palette on a per painting basis, though, as too many colors wreaks havoc with color harmony.

22) HOW DO I BREAK INTO THE BIZ?

Man, this is probably the toughest time ever. Circulation and sales are down across the board and companies for the most part are using established pros with a following (or talented new guys who are willing to work REALLY CHEAP, which is killing guys like me right now). The fact that most of you guys are digital is a good thing as computer color has almost totally killed painted comic art. Digital is faster and CHEAPER, which is really attractive to publishers. Whether you're a penciler, painter or both the best approach is to go to cons, build a rapport with different editors who solicit submissions from you and keep them updated on your progress on a regular basis. I say "solicit" because I can assure you that if you send stuff in blind it will go directly into the garbage, for both time and legal reasons. Gear your submissions toward the companies characters if you plan on submitting to places like Marvel or DC. They really don't care about your childhood creation "Captain Flatulation".

Ironically, in the 70's there was actually an artist SHORTAGE in the business, as no one wanted to go into comics. Go figure.

23)  DO YOU MAKE THUMBNAILS?

I make  as many thumbnails or sketches as  necessary to get my idea down. Unless required to, I do NOT do color comps, though, as I find that takes all the creativity and spontaneity out of the final piece and turns the painting more into a technical exercise.

24) DO YOU USE ANY MEDIUMS WITH YOUR PAINTS?

Only water.

25)  DO YOU GESSO YOUR BOARDS?

No. I work on unprimed double thick, cold pressed Bainbridge #80 illustration board. I like cold pressed because of the slight tooth that holds the paint and I don't prime because I work a lot in washes and glazes and a primed surface would be to slick. I like the absorbency of the bare board.

26) WHAT BRAND OF BRUSHES DO YOU USE?

I use inexpensive synthetic brushes, most notably Windsor & Newton Series #233, though I do use many other brands, also. Acrylics are notoriously hard on brushes and they need to be replaced repeatedly. I also use soft bristol flats for scumbling and dry brush blending.

27) WHAT SHAPE AND SIZE BRUSHES DO YOU USE MOST FREQUENTLY?

Rounds and flats. Sizes from 000 to 8 or 10.

28) DO YOU EVER USE OTHER MATERIALS IN YOUR PAINTINGS (INK, MARKERS, COLORED PENCILS)?

Not anymore. I used a mixed media approach up to and including the 1992 Marvel Masterpieces cards but switched to all acrylics soon after.

29) DO YOU USE FIXATIVE ON YOUR PENCILS BEFORE YOU PAINT?

No, for the same reasons I don't prime my board. I don't like losing the absorbency of the support. I do varnish it afterwards with an approximately 60/40 mixture of LIQUITEX Gloss Medium & Varnish and LIQUITEX Airbrush Medium.

30) DO YOU USE MASKING MATERIALS?

I use Windsor & Newton Liquid Mask.

31) HOW DO YOU BLEND YOUR COLORS?

I use a combination of dry brushing and glazing. I don't wet blend at all.

32) DO YOU DO A TONAL OR LINE ART DRAWING UNDER YOUR PAINTINGS?

I use a tight line drawing, almost like an animation drawing.
  • Listening to: 1940's Radio Crime Shows
  • Reading: Can't
  • Watching: The Clock
  • Playing: Dead
  • Eating: Healthy again
  • Drinking: Diet Cherry Coke (still)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconpatternseeker86:
PatternSeeker86 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Thank you!
Reply
:iconatlas0:
Atlas0 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing FAQ. Bookmarked. :thumbsup:
Reply
:icondarknightsad:
darknightsad Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
thank you very much . very ilustrative
Reply
:iconartbybones:
ArtbyBones Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm really glad that you've put this FAQ up, and the detailed step by step on the Sheena pic.

Even though I paint digitally, I emulate the look of the traditional illustration (mainly from the late 70s to very early 90s) that I grew up with. Studying the processes that my heroes use is invaluable. I find a lot of people are uncomfortable talking frankly about their technique, or practical issues such as use of reference or painting time, so I really appreciate this. Thanks.
Reply
:icontanjunyasai:
tanjunyasai Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010
Hi JoeJusko, Thanks so much for your faq and tutorial! :D Your illustrations are so amazing!! I have one more question though, how do you transfer your initial drawings on tracing paper to the illustration board especially when the size can get as large as 20x30?
Reply
:iconorchid-black:
Orchid-Black Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Very informative and helpful! Thank you ever so for sharing with us. It's refreshing to see a comic artist working exclusively in traditional. I much prefer trad to digital in any style. Best of luck in your future endeavours.

:blackrose: :skullbones: :blackrose:
Reply
:iconmarcioabreu7:
MARCIOABREU7 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
WHAT GREAT THIS!
ONLY MISSING A PICTURE HER IN YOUR WORKPLACE. rsrs
SUCCESS ALWAYS, YOUR work is inspired!
Reply
:iconjoejusko:
JoeJusko Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Reply
:iconmarcioabreu7:
MARCIOABREU7 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank's Jusko!
I had not seen these photos of his studio, very nice!
Wonderful atmosphere!
Much inspiration to you.
Hugh's
Reply
:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner May 30, 2009  Professional General Artist
Wow, thanks a million for this info Mr. Jusko!

It really refreshing to know that there are some people in the comicbook industry that actually only use traditional art. I love traditional art and digital art, but traditional is my heart really. =)
Reply
:iconjamesctrujillo:
JamesCTrujillo Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
Thanks for sharing Joe, you've been a great influence throughout the years, and though I do a lot of digital art these days I do still the traditional stuff, because it's where my heart is. Like you said the digital stuff is quicker though. I like to use acrylics and gouache.
Reply
:iconkitlightning:
KitLightning Featured By Owner May 27, 2009   Traditional Artist
:+fav: :bow:

thanks for the inspiration and insight JJ!
Reply
:iconleodark:
leodark Featured By Owner May 26, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the info!!!=D
Reply
:iconmatiassoto:
MatiasSoto Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for all this free knowledge dear mister J!
You're trully very humble, as much as a great artist you seem a very nice person too, have you ever been a teacher?
All these tips you gave made me remind something Loomis said in one of his books (these aren't the actual words but sort of what it said)"art is one of the few activity that gives t's secrets away freelly for anyone who want to know them"
Reply
:iconiwannazif:
IwanNazif Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Very helpful, Thank you Master!
Reply
:iconmjp-70:
MjP-70 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Great FAQs, thanks a lot for sharing!
Reply
:iconchaoscampus:
ChaosCampus Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
#16- I really hope you give the painted graphic novel another go. I proudly own that Tomb Raider issue and wondered why I saw no real promotion for it or why it didn't make waves in the industry (probably the first part contributed to the latter).

Yeah, something not in pamphlet form would be best. Something with a longer shelf life... an actual graphic novel of something. I really wish I had the money to commission you on a project that large and time consuming. :-/
Reply
:icondaimyoshi:
DaimyoShi Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
:worship: Honestly Far more interesting to the Layman that I would have thought! :worship:
Reply
:iconfindingox:
FindingOx Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
thanks for this Joe, so cool...

I've been collecting refs (mag and other media clippings) for around 10 years now, for my art; it's good to know a pro like you is also doing it... at least now I don't feel like such a crazy squirrel :/

lol at "Captain Flatulation"!

more importantly, do you have any say in getting your "Tomb Raider: GToA" comicbook reprinted? I'm sure it's not just me, I SO want to buy this... or maybe you can show the guy(s) your guns, and scare them into reprinting this? what's up with this something new and your treasure of a comicbook is gone?!? shelf-life of 1-2 weeks? who in the .... decided that?? tell them it's the modern day, internet shopping and stuff, you know? :)
Reply
:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Great FAQs Joe. They were like Potato Chips, I had to read just one more...just one more...just one more.
Reply
:icongavade:
GAVade Featured By Owner May 25, 2009   Digital Artist
Excellent read and break down, very useful...
Reply
:iconantonvandort:
antonvandort Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Great stuff Joe! Thanks for posting! I have learned a lot of it already!
Reply
:iconcelestakrantz:
CelestaKrantz Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Thank you for sharing your FAQs!
Reply
:iconcsyeung:
Csyeung Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for sharing!
Reply
:icongatling:
Gatling Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Thank you!
Reply
:iconnicohulsbus:
nicohulsbus Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Really, thanks a lot.
There's a lot more to learn from the experiences of a professional (and practice) than from other sources, at least for those such as me who draw just for the fun of it.
Reply
:icongarude:
garude Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Thank you for sharing!! :) really sucks about the tombraider graphic novel. I'm gonna look and see if I can get me a copy on amazon :) That work really blew my mind.
Reply
:iconatomic-ikon:
atomic-ikon Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
wow, thanks for the info.

The tutorial was out of this world, though it is a mind bending technique to see u go back to front like u do. I've always been the one to fill the whole space initially (art school lessons die hard) an area of space unfilled would just frustrate me when i'm doing so much detail around it. You must have tons of discipline that way to work on individual pieces of the grand puzzle.
Great to see the magic unfold though it was awesome to see, once again :)
Reply
:iconmaceanruig:
maceanruig Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
thanks for taking the time to answer questions, you confirmed some of my guess work as being on the right path. Thanks again.
Reply
:iconroboworks:
Roboworks Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You get motivation from your mortgage company. HAHA! That's hilarious! That and the IRS are the best motivation and artist can have. Maybe kids. ;) Or drugs.
Reply
:iconnickmockoviak:
NickMockoviak Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Very cool of you to share the fire with us novices. :nod:
Reply
:iconcyberpunq:
cyberpunq Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I saw you on youtube talking before about the grueling card schedule you went through, I can't imagine how you held it together. Your Tomb Raider book was one of the best books I've ever seen Joe, and really inspires me to this day.
Reply
:iconbrattyben:
BrattyBen Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
That tutorial was really awesome. I learned alot. Seeing how the background kept getting pushed back with each new layer was really neat to see. And it was a really wonderful piece.

Thanks, Joe!!
Reply
:iconwackyjax:
Wackyjax Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the wonderful information. Consider me inspired! :D
Reply
:iconenmity88:
EnMity88 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Kewl. 104 pieces in 92 days?! I guess you really are jesus! :eyepopping:
Reply
:iconay-han:
ay-han Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Even the questions I will be asking to you have been previously asked or replied by you, the purpose of mine is the same feeling as if you were listening the best song of yours in a live concert.
So, forgive us Master...
Reply
:iconchiprocks1:
chiprocks1 Featured By Owner May 24, 2009
Excellent read. Thanks for taking the time to answer some often asked questions. You da man. :headbang:
Reply
:iconmytharcana:
MythArcana Featured By Owner May 24, 2009
Wow! Super FAQ!! And I hear you use acrylics!! That is a really comprehensive layout there and really explains quite a bit! Just one suggestion since you are entertaining original characters and stuff. There is a huge void of frogs out there. BIG TIP...just thought I'd float that one through my comment here. LOL!! Great write up and I'll be sure to check this first before I bug you with anything! :D
Reply
:iconmytharcana:
MythArcana Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Oops...one more question It says you will be at SDCC on the 24! Not going to be there on Thursday? :o
Reply
Hidden by Owner
Hidden by Owner
:iconanimus3:
Animus3 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Best work usually takes time.
:nod:
:D
I was advised to try to get into painting...this'll help!
:0
I hope to get as good as you!
...in fact, I'll get BETTER than you!
:XD:
>:T
and it'll be ALL your fault!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
May 25, 2009
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,660 (1 today)
Favourites
8 (who?)
Comments
42
×