Thursday, August 22, 2013

Halo:Initiation #1 Variant Cover Step by Step

Here's how I created the variant cover to Dark Horse's Halo : Intitation #1 comic book featuring a fight between Sarah Palmer and a Brute Chieftain. 

These are sketches I submitted to Editor Dave Marshall at Dark Horse - drawn at 2x3 inches in my sketchbook in pencil and pen and then cleaned up and colored in Photoshop. Microsoft, the creators of Halo, make the final decision on the cover and choose A.

 The pencils were drawn with light blue and HB lead on 13 x19 " Bristol Board. I ended up having to add paper to the right side and top because the Brute needed to be bigger plus his weapon is GINORMOUS!

So the final size of the original artended up being 14 x 22" - BIG!

I was asked to change Palmer's kicking leg - good advice!

Microsoft and Dark Horse supplied me with a ton of great reference material for this project which was really helpful as fans of this play with these characters in 3 dimensions in the video games - so it was important to everything look "right".

Rachel Dodson's inks were done over my pencils - she used a Windsor Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush #2 and Black Magic Ink.

Detail of Rachel's inks featuring the Brutes left arm guard.

My initial stab at the coloring. Microsoft asked for more detail/definition in the background and I wasn't thrilled with what I had done so...

I dropped in an entirely new background which works 10x better.
Colors for this done in Photoshop CS3 using my trusty 11 year old Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet.

Details of the Sarah Palmer colors.
The book ships from Dark Horse  August 2013.