This gallery contains images I did in preparation for the final artwork for BPM. You'll see various character sketches and experiements with getting the hybrid photo background/drawn figure style I've used on BPM, as well as fan art and pin-ups as they arrive. If you would like to contribute to the fan art section, please contact Paul Sizer at for submission specifications.

Roxy at the decks.

Experimenting with lighting techniques for the background.

Roxy at the
Pioneer mixer.

This was one of the first composite drawings I did with bringing in photos of equipment for the drawn character would be interacting with. I was also figuring out the level of alterations I wanted to apply to the photo elements in a panel.

Roxy in the Lower
East Village.

I have worked really hard to establish (in my own head) where everyone in the cast lives and works in the city, so that as I move them around in the story, I can use correct city settings for the backgrounds. Roxy's main club, The Broken Door, is located in the Lower East Village.

BPM Test Page #1

This was one of the first pages that I assembled as a complete color and photo page, layered with the drawn images.

Since this was also the first time I've worked with color interior pages, I wanted to make the color flow within the book work from page to page, showing the differences in how I used lights and photo elements between club/night scenes and daylight scenes.

Original version of
page #26

This was also done as a sample/tryout page to experiment with photo backgrounds and lighting. It was eventually altered and became page 26 in the main story.


Dominic at the decks.

At this stage, I was also figuring out the looks of my main characters for the book. At this point, I had Dominic as a thin, lanky black DJ, but in looking at the cast, I had too many similar body types. I changed Dominic to a heavier build to give some visual diversity to the cast, but also because I liked the idea of a huge guy who spun extremely delicate, sparse, minimal techno and micro-house beats.

Roxy on the street
in Chinatown.

I've been collecting location shots around New York City for over three years, during my yearly trips with the Design Center students from Western Michigan University. It became more important to me to establish a accurate environment, since this was the first time I've set one of my stories in a real city. I began to establish exactly where each of my characters lived and worked in the New York area, so that I could write them as real people who had to move around New York.

I was also experimenting with different drawing styles to see what worked best composited with the photo backgrounds. Here we see some atempt at a more sketchy, loose style that I decided to move away from in favor of a more clean line inking style.

"Perfect Beat"
promo poster.

Inspired by the photo-collage art styles of Brian Wood, I wanted to do a city shot that was an homage to the chaotic nature of New York.

In all aspects of BPM, I wanted to have references to the true pioneers of electronic and dance music; here I pay respect to Afrika Bambaataa and the SoulSonic Force's classic electro-funk tune " Looking For The Perfect Beat". The phrase "I am the soundtrack of the city" is actually a line from an obscure ABBA song "I Am The City", once again pointing out the eclectic nature and mix of dance/club music.

Also notice the overly ambitious release date at the bottom of the image. When will I ever learn?

DJ Winston at
the turntables.

I was also working at placing drawn characters into existing scenes, from which I needed to "remove" the original figure and replace it with mine. Little by little I got the hang of how to do this.

2008 New Year's card.

Image done for my personal New Year's card, showing my intent to get BPM out during 2008. Will I succeed? Only time will tell...


For all art in BPM, I began with hand drawn and inked images, built in reference to the scenes that they would eventually be composited with. I also did very little spotting of "blacks" and shadows, knowing that I would be doing most of that in the color phase.


After scanning in the line work, I laid down the flat color tones, then flat cel shaded shadows, then went beck to added rendering and gradations to the highlights and shadows. At this point, I am still laying down "natural colors", unaffected by any colored lighting.


Bringing in the colored line art to the photo background I've shot for the scene, I then begin adding layers for lighting FX, overall color toning, and additional lighting highlights and graphic elements. Adjusting the layer controls allows my to make the colors and lighting interact with all the art elements in various ways.


B.P.M. and all related images and logos are ©Paul S. Sizer /Cafe Digital Studios, and may not be used or redistributed in any format (electronic or printed)
without permission of the artist, except for the purposes of review.