Thursday, April 30, 2009

X-Men Legacy 226 Cover Step by Step 2

OK, the continuing adventures of the X-Men cover.

In the next step, I finalized Rogue's figure and began working on Gambit and Danger. I also starting figuring out exactly what all the background elements would be.

After that, I starting finishing up Rogues costume details, especially the cape. 

Finally, I set up the fire in the foreground to properly light the figures and in Gambit's case to cast in shadows. I then nailed down Gambit's details before moving on.

Friday, April 24, 2009

X-Men Legacy 226 Cover Step by Step 1 Rough

Ok, as this issue hasn't shipped yet, I can't really say too much about the how's and why's of the concept for the piece but based off what I was told to do on the cover this image popped into my head and I only sent in the one sketch, colored up ( I actually prefer to send in as few sketches as possible, because it almost always seems that the weakest idea is picked - so I like to go with my idea/s). The sketch was done in my sketchbook at 4 x 6 inches with Col-Erase Light blue pencil, Staedtler HB lead, and a Pitt Black artist pen sizes S and B. This is actually pretty big for a cover sketch for me, I average about 1.75 x 2.75 inches for a cover sketch - so I can focus solely on the composition and not get caught up in  the detail of the image itself - that's what makes it fun to draw the actual cover and not just a boring tracing job.

I then scanned it and cleaned up and did a quick color job in Photoshop CS3 and sent that in for approval. The color sketch is more important than the drawing itself at this point as I will usually follow my initial color's fairly closely on the final piece.

Once approved, I then roughed in the drawing onto 13 x 19 Strathmore 500 2ply bristol board with the blue pencil. 

Then once I was happy with the composition, I begin roughing all the characters structure and perspective for the drawing. As Rogue was the focus of this cover I made sure I nailed her face to start off so I could then work away on the rest of it.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

X-Men Legacy 226 Cover Pencils and Inks

Here's my pencils and Rachel's inks for this cover - original art is 13" x 19".


Saturday, April 18, 2009

X-Men Legacy 226 Solicitation Art

Here's the solicited version of the cover to X-Men Legacy 226 featuring Rogue (yeah!), Gambit and Danger (huh?!).  This is only about halfway done colorwise as it needs lots more polishing and the SFX are cheesy. I will  have a fairly thorough step by step for this cover from the sketch stage all the way to the final printed version.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009

I will be doing two signings in Portland, Oregon this year for Free Comic Book Day May 2 2009.

11:30-12:30 Hollywood Things From Another World
3:00-4:00    Milwaukee Things From Another World


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Uncanny X-Men #504 page 3 Step by Step

So this is a good example of how I work - rough in page, establish perspectives and then draw figures so I stay loose and the figures have life. Finish off by double check reference for details such as tattoo equipment and backgrounds. As is par for the course, I found really good tattoo shop ref AFTER I completed page!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Another sneak peek

Here's a close up preview of an upcoming cover. I'm still working on the colors for the final piece but this will the "solicited" version.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

WEEKEND REWIND Doves Kingdom of Rust

Something a little different for the weekend.

I've been meaning to showcase new books/etc that I find that interesting or inspiring etc, and this blog seems a good place to do that. Also I thought it might be interesting to see what I'm listening to as I have something on the whole time I'm working whether it's music, movie, radio, books on tape, sports etc to give an even better "behind the scenes" look.

I'm starting out today with the new album from Doves as I've been waiting 4 years for it - since they're last album came out! I'm not recommending this as only I've heard it 3x since I got it this week but am happy to report it sounds good so far. I got tickets to see them in concert next month and am really stoked to see them live for the first time.


Details on Panel Construction - An answer to a comment

I am posting in response to a comment in a previous post re: a question about the above panel-

"I find it tough to draw a scene like that, period. But, when I do it can often appear rather static like its set in a jell mold."

"Any tips?"

OK, good question.

First off, I will say that this panel wasn't 100% successful as I didn't get the sense of the environment/scene setting that I was trying for - and - this panel asked for a lot of details and as this was the last page of the issue on a tight deadline, I took a # of shortcuts to get it done.


1. Storytelling - know what information you need to put in the picture to make it clear to the reader what is happening in the panel/story - sounds boring but if this step fails the rest is "just putting lipstick on a pig".

2. Now to make it interesting and explosive use a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, - basic composition - but use composition to help you out and to make the picture interesting and provide depth.  I tilted the horizon line to make the reader feel off kilter as everything in the picture is. One last thing I did was make all the objects/characters explode out from where the vehicle entered the scene like explosions lines.

3.Ground in reality - use perspective to pull all those things into the same scene. Also, use overlapping shapes to provide depth of field (and secondary perspective). Finally, use blacks to give depth, for overall design and to lead the eye where you want it -in this case the vehicle exploding into panel

After the piece was inked, I went back in and added little details and blacks to help push the panel like I conceived it in my head. I like being able to do this with all my art.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Uncanny X-Men #506 page 22 Step by Step INKS

Here's Rachel's inks. I opted to do as little as possible to Emma's "diamond" flesh and I think it turned out well - especially once it was colored.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Uncanny X-Men #506 page 22 Step by Step PENCILS

So I made Colossus the correct # of heads tall and voila. The final thing I did was to add the dramatic double lighting to Colossus to really add some depth and power (as Emma is in diamond form and white costume to set off against).

Uncanny X-Men #506 page 22 Step by Step ROUGH PENCILS

So I was fairly happy with how the movements and posing of the figures turned out but something was bugging me on Colossus - turned out his proportions were a little off - which I corrected for the final. And, this was the final page of the issue and it was important to have this image read really strong.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Upcoming Step by Step Full Size Sneak Peek

So here's the whole  but no quite finished full version as there are number of coloring tweaks and effects I need to do still.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Upcoming Step by Step Sneak Peek

Here's a little sneak peek at an upcoming cover I did that will have a fairly thorough step by step from design to pencils to inks to colors featuring "The All New All Deadly Dark X-Men".