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June 18, 2010

"Artin it Up" with Tommy Lombardozzi - Venom: Step by Step

Hello, hello! This week, I had it planned that I’d do some artwork based on photos I’ve collected. Photos of chicks. When I am perusing the internet, or magazines, I always save or clip out photos that make me think “Hmmm, maybe I’ll draw that.” And I keep ‘em for when I need inspiration, or a subject, whatever. So, this week I was going to draw some pictures of ladies. Some I know, some total strangers or models or actresses, whatever. But, then I changed my mind. It seemed too close to what I did last week; drawings based on photographs. Instead, I’ve decided to show you a little step-by-step in the process of making a digitally-enhanced piece of art. I thought it might be cool for ya’ll to see how things evolve from a paper and ink drawing to a finished, multi-media piece. So, here we go. I present to you…


This drawing was done in Summer of 2006, I believe. As some of you may know, I used to be obsessed with drawing comicbook characters. At one point that’s what I wanted to do for a living. But, then I discovered music… and the comicbook industry started to suck, mid-‘90s… so my interest waned. But, every once in awhile I like to revisit those characters that I grew up drawing and enjoying. And now, with all the movies coming out, these characters have become even more well-known by the general public.

I decided to draw Venom, one of Spider-Man’s most vile foes!

First, I did a pencil sketch, which I inked with a professional inking pen. I misjudged the space on the page, so Venom’s left foot was cut off for lack of space. Then I scanned this in.

Once scanned, the next step was to color this bastard. I opened the scan in Adobe Photoshop and “painted” it digitally. As you can see, the colors at this point were grey and black. Flat and simple.

Now what I did for step three was to fancy things up a bit. I used an artistic application in Photoshop called “Plastic Wrap”. I thought it was a good effect to show off what would be Venom’s alien skin; black and organic. It also helped to accentuate his musculature. This gives the creature an ethereal sheen.

Somewhere between step three and this next one, I did a search on the internet for some photographs that I wanted to incorporate into the illustration. My goal was to make this drawing as photo-realistic as possible. That’s the cool thing about using Photoshop to enhance drawings! I got a photo of a New York City street, and one of a spider’s web. I manipulated them so they’d fit into the drawing as seamlessly as possible. Once I felt everything was pretty even, I flattened the file (you work in layers in Photoshop), and painted in some street steam and atmosphere. Oh, I also tinted Venom’s color to nudge him into the blue, as I felt his alien symbiotic flesh would not be as black as his surroundings. Or at least not appear so flat. This is the geeky thinking that goes into comicbook stuff!

Lastly, I fucked with the darkness of the completed piece, adding even more atmosphere and creepiness. Would you wanna see this fucker on a dark street?! I wouldn’t! I added my signature, and there ya go! A completed illustration, from drawing board to motherboard!

It’s really cool what you can do with these computer art programs. The possibilities are only as limited as your skills (and unfortunately, my skills just touch the tip of the iceberg!) I enjoy this kinda work… it’s more like problem solving at times; “Hmmm, how could I make that happen… ?” Sometimes I can figure it out, sometimes not, and sometimes a mistake can lead to something cool and open up the ideas.

Recently, as you can see from my previous weeks’ C.C.D. articles, I have been relying less on the computer enhancements and more on good ol’ fashioned handiworks. But I don’t see myself completely abandoning the digital enhancements to my art that I have used in the last few years. It definitely becomes another medium to work with. Good fun!

And that’s it for now, kids. I hope you’re spreading the word of this blog! (It don’t take too much for you to repost this blog’s URL onto your Facebook page, you lazy bastard! Get to it! Support, support!) Until next time, C.C.Degenerates…

…Smile up!


  1. I enjoy and appreciate hearing about the process. Thanks for that. Also, the piece is really great.

  2. Dopeness, and I am also a fan of the behind the scenes story of what goes into digitizing your art. Its so cool taht you could work in so many different mediums. Keep it up kiddo!!!!