Thursday, November 21, 2013

X-Men #7 Cover Step by Step Creation

Here's how I created the cover to X-Men #7, now in stores from Marvel Comics. Written by Brian Wood, Inks by Rachel Dodson, Colors by Jason Keith and interiors by me!

First thing was to come up with a cover sketch - and character design simultaneously! This is the very first appearance of the Lady Deathstrike. Brian Woods gave me some suggestions and I ran with it.

These sketches were submitted to Editor Jeanine Schaefer.

 They were
drawn at 2x3 inches in my sketchbook in pencil and pen and then cleaned up and colored in Photoshop.

Jeanine asked that I go with a more close up version and these are what I came up with.

It was decided to go with "H".

 I began penciling the cover  with light blue and HB lead on 12 x 18" Bristol Board. This is interesting as I'm still designing the look of the character as I'm drawing this - welcome to the world of mainstream comics :-)

Using tracing paper, I nailed down the claws and hair as those of the biggest most foreground"est" elements.

After nailing those down, got the face figured out.

Nailing down hairstyle.

Finalizing costume details and working on background.

Final pencils.

Rachel Dodson inks over my pencils. Rachel uses a Windsor Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable #2 Brush and Higgins Black Magic ink to ink the covers with.


The first stage of coloring is to have the art "flatted".
Flatting allows the colorist to choose an area to color at any point throughout the coloring process.

Getting the colors more how I want them. I use Photoshop CS3 with a Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet.

Started initial color rough in.

Started working more on the background.

Coloring done.

Corrections and details.

I added some more "gold" detail to the costume.

And at this point I turn black lineart into colors and add special effects (SFX).

The printed comic.