"I was born in Alaska, and grew up in Deep River Ontario, Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, I moved to New York to pursue illustration and attend graduate school at The School of Visual Arts. I’m married to Jillian Tamaki."
Current likes include Italian and Japanese comics, David Lynch movies, and hanging out with Jillian.
He stressed the importance of creating your own free mind and reference in order to control your vision. He frequently brings professional models into his Brooklyn, New York studio to shoot, making sure that he gets exactly the pose and details he wants. Once the drawing is established, he uses a graphite transfer method to get the drawing onto his painting surface.
Weber prefers painting on Fabriano 300 lb. hot press paper. He likes the smooth surface and ability to remain relatively flat even during successive washes of wet paint without stretching. Because Weber's work frequently requires large areas of white or nearly white paper, he masks off these areas using a high tack frisket film. Sam likes to build up areas of color and value slowly using multiple washes of very thin acrylic in a watercolor style. His paint of choice is Golden Fluid acrylic paint since it requires less dilution to it reduce to the consistency he likes.
When building up value and texture, Sam employs many different tools to achieve organic results.He has a collection of natural sponges that he uses and also likes to press a sheet of Plexiglass into a wet wash to get random textures. Weber continues glazing wet into wet and building up values that retain soft edges and textures.As he gets more layers built up, the paint becomes dryer and he scumbles the paint more.
Throughout the demo, Sam threw out advice and hard gained wisdom to the group He said the sketching process is his favorite part because that is when all the potential still exists. The excitement swells and then sinks to uncertainty in the middle and then settles into relief at the finish when it all works out. Weber advocates setting aside time for personal work as the most interesting leaps and growth come from exploration.
After a little more than two hours of building up the acrylic washes, Sam then shifted to Photoshop for the finishing touches which is how he finishes nearly all his work. He scanned the image full size at 700 dpi. Using multiply layers, he continues with digital glazes of color to refine the value patterns and sharpen edges. Color dodge was used to achieve highlights toward the end. This was a fairly simple subject, so there were not a lot of tricky digital effects, but Sam will employ various selections and quick masks in order to get the effects he wants.
Weber advised students to create an entirely new portfolio every six months stressing that illustration is not a part time job and that you may never feel ready to begin an illustration career- this is normal. Proceed as planned. It appears to me that Sam Weber is proceeding very nicely.
By Greg Newbold