HalHefner drawing Gates the comic Heavy metal Magazine

Below you will find a journalistic and personal documentation of the making of GATES and it’s various forms and inspirations through the years, by artist, creator and visionary, Hal Hefner.

Since the age of three I have been drawing and painting. Ever since I child I was obsessed with drawing the bizarre, fantastic, horrific and comic books and knew someday I would make one. It took me many years of schooling, many long hours perfecting my craft but finally I am heremaking a comic and loving it.

The Tools I Use:
Blue Pencil, HB pencil, #2 pencils, eraser pen, comic book paper, vellum paper, a scanner, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign (CS4) and a Wacom Cintiq Monitor, MAC and PC computers.

The process is simple.

1. I begin by writing the comic script.

2. I then move into the drawing phase.   I start off with a sketch or loosely drawn layout.

3. From there I open up a template in Photoshop document.
I either scan in the layout or redraw it completely in Photoshop to form the bare bones of what I will be painting.
I take into consideration, design, layout and where the word bubbles will go.

4. I then break up the page, via panels, which I create as individual files for later on.

5. I use Photoshop to paint the images–My FAVORITE part!

6. I take all of the images and import them into InDesign. I add borders and adjust accordingly to allow “happy accidents” to occur.

7. I then create a JPEG file from the final layout in InDesign.
I export that into Illustrator and do the lettering there because of the awesome tools it has.

8. When I’m done I delete the JPEG, save a copy, convert the text to outlines.
I then import the Illustrator file into InDesign, adjust accordingly and I’m done!

heavy Metal Magazine and Hal Hefner present

Why do I use Photoshop to paint? Well it all came about out of necessity. I am a trained fine artist and love to paint with acrylic, oil and watercolor. But the process can be messy, time consuming and when I was living in a small apartment in Koreatown in Los Angeles, it was difficult to use oil paints without smelling them, spilling them and waiting forever for them to dry. So I began experimenting with Photoshop as a painting tool back in 2000. I became frustrated at first but soon began to love the fact that I could flip an image, re-size, fill in colors fast and more. But with the development of the Wacom tools, I could actually draw and paint on their tablets. From there it involved into the Cintiq monitor and I now draw right on my monitor. It’s so awesome and some of the best money I ever spent. However I still do paint with oils, acrylic and more. I could never give that up. It’s in my soul. Regardless of how much I love to paint digitally, there is nothing like the feel of brushes on canvas or board.