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  • Leah Sayles

Corona War Posters

Updated: Oct 8

Earlier this month, I delved into my love for traditional inking via a satiric, tryptic (three) series, playing off of World War I and II posters from the early 1900's, and combining the concept with anti-masker mentality. These new 'Covid War Posters' are not so endearing as their originals, and make you wonder... is not wearing a mask.. worth it?

I added a bit to my process for this series. Unlike my recent “Covoirs” piece, I inked both the line work as well as the value traditionally. Once I scanned these traditional pieces and brought them into Procreate, I was able to push the values that I had set down traditionally with additional layers of digital color. Just like in “Covoirs” I colored the line work digitally as well, but has to clean up the linework before coloring, due to the additional values.

The traditional ink final images and process videos for all three pieces are below. I’ve included process videos in the order in which I completed them.

Final Traditional Ink Illustrations | 6x8" on Arches Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper (above)

Covid War Poster 1: Rosie – Traditional Ink Process Video (above)

Covid War Poster 2: Uncle Sam – Traditional Ink Process Video (above)

Covid War Poster 3: Free (WAKE UP) America – Traditional Ink Process Video (above)

After scanning the traditionally inked drawings, I had to prep the line work for color, which was an additional step due to the new inked values and tones. Essentially, I needed to find the line work that was meshing with some of the value without removing the natural feel of my traditional lines. I selected most of my line work in Photoshop, and erased all remaining unwanted details of the line work layer in Procreate. This separated line layer allows me to easily color my traditional line using alpha lock, which is the last step of the coloring process.

Check out the final color, as well as digital color process video, below.

Final Digital Color Illustrations | Colored in Procreate with the Apple Pencil

Covid War Posters – Color Process Video (above)

Creating this series allowed for a wonderful combination of artist study, as well as divergence from the style of the original Illustrations to find and create a new, satiric narrative and feel.


Check out the original sketches and references below:

Covid War Posters – Original Sketches and References (above)


The point: Why wear a mask when you have freedom, right? WRONG! We wear a mask to protect and look out for others, and our communities. Wear a mask!


Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read this artist journal, and who continues to support my work by following me on any of my social media ( IG | Tw | FB ), subscribing to my monthly newsletter, and/or supporting me through Patreon or my web shop.

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Leah Sayles © 2020