Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 327

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION #6 Cover.
2016. Gouache & Acryla Gouache on paper, 11 × 17″.

This cover came out last month, but I'm only now getting a chance to post. (There's also a variant version that's a work-in-progress, pictured below). The trick with portraiture of any kind is to have good reference. For this piece, that meant screenshots I took of The Force Awakens as well as products and promo images I found online.

I like screenshots both because I have control over the exact gesture or expression and because it keep me from using the same photo that everyone else is using. The downside? The quality is never as good as a film still. But if the composition and lighting is strong, details can be bolstered through additional reference.


Screen shots and "moichendise"

The background is just a pic I swiped from the official poster, then repainted. I wouldn't recommend that in general, but I figure it's okay if the client is the same one that made said poster. Soon, Disney will own everything anyway, so this will no longer a be a problem no matter the property.


I cheated on the background!

In order to speed things up, I tried doing a more detailed gouache underpainting in black (like Alex Ross typically does). Of course, whenever I try new techniques to speed up the process, it usually takes longer. Still, it's a good strategy with portraits on a deadline — it's always easier to lock in features before worrying about color.


digital color study


digital pencils


digital layouts


raw scan detail

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rey

REY. 2016. Gouache on paper, 9 × 12″.

raw scan, 600 ppi

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 326

MYTHOS: X-MEN. 2004. Oil on masonite, 16 × 24″.

Way back in November 2004, my friend and fellow illustrator, Katherine Roy, was visiting NYC and stopped by my Brooklyn apartment. I hadn't even started working on Mythos: X-Men, but I knew roughly what the cover was going to look like.

I asked her to strike a number of different poses so that I'd have some options once I started painting. The final doesn't quite follow the reference (and it pains me now to look at my drawing skills) but it got the job done.

Be sure to check out Katherine's work at her website.




Monday, December 5, 2016

Jubilee (SFCC Pre-Commission)

JUBILEE. 2016. Watercolor & Acryla Gouache on paper, 9 × 12″.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 325

BETTY & VERONICA #3 Variant Cover. 2016.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

I thought this cover had already been published, but now I think it might not be out until next year. Either way, here's the process behind the art. As you can see in the pic below, I cheated a bit on the pencils (but gave my Dad no such shortcuts).


I fit right in!


inks by my Paw!


blue-line print of pencils


pencils over digital sketch


additional comps


digital layouts

Monday, November 28, 2016

Black Panther No. 9-12 Variant Covers

BLACK PANTHER #12 Variant Cover. 2016. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

This series of covers was released over the holiday weekend, so here are all 4 collected in one post. They are all variants (meaning they'll be harder to find) that connect seamlessly (though the 9 and 10 are earlier versions that don't match). This was a great title to be a part of and I encourage everyone to pick it up! I'll post the full process once published — the first hits shelves December 21.


BLACK PANTHER #11 Variant Cover. 2016. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.


BLACK PANTHER #10 Variant Cover. 2016. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.


BLACK PANTHER #9 Variant Cover. 2016. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Spider-Gwen (NYCC Pre-Commission)

SPIDER-GWEN. 2016.
Ink, watercolor, gouache, and Acryla Gouache on paper, 9 × 12″.

This commission was done with a Pentel Brush Pen and Holbein watercolors, but I needed some Acryla Gouache to do the lighter-than-the-background webbing, plus some touches of gouache to even out the flesh tones in shadow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 324

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21 VARIANT COVER. 2016.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Amazing Spider-Man #21 is out today (full details here). I provided a variant cover featuring many of Spidey's fallen foes — and a certain fallen girlfriend — all conveniently arranged in a double helix (of sorts).

Although I knew the basic composition and subject matter, I took a couple reference shots (with my trusty iMac webcam) to find the best pose for Spidey.


Grrrrrrr


inks by my Pops!


blue-line print of pencil



pencils over digital sketch


digital sketch


layout

Monday, November 14, 2016

Captain

CAPTAIN AMERICA. 2016.
Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Off Panel Podcast Interview

THE VALIANT #2, PAGE 1 (detail). 2014.
Pencil on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

I spoke with David Harper recently on his Off Panel podcast. You can listen to the hour-long conversation here.

Impending Doom

DOCTOR DOOM (after Kirby). 2016.
Ink & watercolor on paper, 8 × 10″.

Friday, November 4, 2016

NYCC 2016 Pre-Commission

SPIDER-MAN (DITKO STYLE). 2016.
Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 323

FAITH 2016 ELECTION SPECIAL COVER. 2016.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Obviously, I searched for a lot of reference on-line for this one, taking what information I could from a collection of several photos. As often happens with a line-art likeness, I thought the rough sketch (at the bottom of the post) was much better. All that aside, I still needed the right folds for the clothing. Luckily for me, I own a single blazer that can double as a pant suit. (I'm much more likely to be wearing a Captain America t-shirt, as you can see below.)

The issue is out today — you can read more about it here.


My bearded days


inks by my Pops!


blue-line print of pencils


pencils over digital sketch


digital sketches

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

BEAST. 2016 (NYCC pre-commission).
Gouache & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 322

GHOST RIDER. 2016. Gouache on paper, 9 × 12″.

Here's an NYCC pre-commission from September. I used Handy, a reference app that works on tablet or phone. I was mainly using it for the cast shadow information, but I added an orange glow to the bottom to get the mood right, if not the lighting.

Although I've used mostly watercolor for commissions in the past, I've started to use gouache so I can achieve some opaque effects. Since I'm only painting at home (and not at the cons) I can use my typical painting palette, rather than the travel version.


Hot Sauce!

Monday, October 24, 2016

NYCC 2016 Daredevil

DAREDEVIL. 2016. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 321

HELLBOY. 2016. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Although Photoshop is primarily known for its pixel-pushing power, it's actually a great tool for lighting quick and easy 3D models. I sculpted this bust of Hellboy when I was working on BPRD: '53 last year and it came in handy again for this SF Comic Con commission.

Using just 2 "infinite lights," I was able to create the look I was after. You can also do "spot" and "point" lights, but the infinite is the easiest to set up with just just one parameter: direction.

It presents a passable approximation in real time (pictured below) but if more detail is needed (and you have the time) it can render every nook and cranny. I'm usually on the hunt for large forms and cast shadows, so the rough pass is usually good enough for me.


Twinsies!

The sphere set on the right is how you change the lighting direction, but it also serves as a nice guide in case there are additional objects you'd like to add to the painting (but don't feel like sculpting).

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Dark Knight Commission

BATMAN (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS).
2016. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

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