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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The photo-realistic digital art of Raymund Lee

Raymund Lee is a digital comic book colorist by trade. Equipped with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Major in Advertising, he's been coloring comics for more than 15 years. He's worked on Avalon Studios' Stone and The Wicked, as well as various Marvel Comics projects (Wolverine, The Uncanny X-Men, Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual, Iron Man Annual).  

Lee's work is ALL digital - he taught himself to use Adobe Photoshop to secure his first coloring job. 

How long does it take Lee to complete a piece? That varies. He explains that usually he's a 'quick draw', but to get the details and the whole image to pop out, it takes longer - maybe, 2-3 days. He also works on other stuff in-between pieces. He creates textures to make it look more organic.

How does Lee decide which characters to paint? He explains that the inspiration just 'strikes him' sometimes. He does layouts and sketches first (and then finalizes the process digitally). He also uses his friends and family as references (taking photos of them posing in their best hero impersonations).

When asked about Lee's tendency towards portraits, he replied: "I feel I could put in as much of a story as I can in a portrait. I like my work to tell a story. It's up to the viewers what that story is."

On the topic of him being a big fan of Infinity Inc. and All-Star Squadron, Lee explains "I was a fan of everyone who's a who's who in comics! Yes, I grew up with these characters. The Squadron wouldn't be without Roy Thomas. Ultra-Humanite...As a kid I always drew superheroes. Always. I didn't really care what comic book company a character is from. I'd do crossovers and color them with markers or crayons."

Lee's favorite DC comics from the 80s? "Legion of Superheroes, All-Star Squadron, Batman, Justice League of America, Batman & The Outsiders, Teen Titans, and Superman are some of the titles I remember reading. I still read Batman, Justice League, Teen Titans and The Flash. The best characters and the best artists that inspired me were from the 80's. That's probably the time I realized that I wanted to be a comic book artist."

"My first comic book was given to me by my dad. It was The Flash versus Mirror Master doubled with Dr. Fate at the back. I can't remember what issue it was exactly. Art was by the great Carmine Infantino. It's all torn up now and the cover is missing from me reading and re-reading it. Dr. Fate amazed me because he cast spells. He wore an enchanted helmet, he was able to get to where The Flash was going and he was Justice League."

"Phantom Stranger, The Spectre, Deadman, Etrigan and the others had their own flavors and it was unique. I was so happy when the mystical characters held their own in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Vertigo is where you'll find some of the best comic book stories to date."

Check out the rest of Lee's work on his deviantart online gallery. You can e-mail Raymund Lee for commission work or to buy one of his prints.

Raymund Lee's re-imagining of the cover to Infinity Inc. v1  #36 (1987):

...and a parting shot of the Silver Age Doom Patrol (just because I love this team):

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