Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, Issue 40

I absolutely could not wait to get into making this cover. I read the script at the very least 5 times, and each time it blew me away.

For this issue it could've been a very clean cut shot of Krypton exploding, but I felt that it wouldn't elicit a proper reaction. It is implied in the act of Krypton exploding that everybody dies, and it's sad, but you don't really feel the weight of it until you see the toll it takes on Jor-El and Lara.

As for the technical aspects, Jor-El and Lara were inspired in part by Superman: The Movie. They were drawn and inked, then scanned into Photoshop and then colored.

Krypton was originally drawn but I couldn't get the effect I wanted, so I found a tutorial on how to make exploding planets. Krypton itself is actually a pic of dried mud worked through Photoshop to get the end result.

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wonder Woman: Champion of Themyscira Issue 27

WOOT! My first post! Why? Because I'm too lazy to comment on old issues covers for Dixie and Wondy. This issue marks my twelfth cover on COT! Go me! The original pencils were done in all red with a red, erasable colored pencil. Why? Not because I had some art reason, but because it was all I could find when I sat down to draw that day. You can kind of see the original pencils HERE, but they are faint.
I scanned them into photoshop, made them their own layer, then dialed down their optipacity to 20% or so so I could start inking. You can see the finished inks Here. To color it, I made a new layer, filled it all with a medium pinkish hue, then used a yellowish orangy hue and a blended airbrush brush with the optipacity at 30% and Flow at 20% or so. I then painted. It's hard to explain other than that. Maybe one day I'll make a screen captured video so you can see it. I've done the digital painting technique a couple of other times, and those always end up being my favorite covers, but it takes a really long time.

Here are the finished colors for Diana, Ironsides, and Mabel. And if you look closely, yes, Mabel is drawn almost identical to Nebulon. Haha. I win. Well, no. Susan wins for making the reference in the first place. I then drew the lasso and shaded it though clever usage of inner glow, outer glow, and bevel/emboss. Yay, filters! I agonized over the background and ended up using a stock photo reference then making it look trashed. I hate back grounds. And now, the completed!!

Supes 41 progress

I have the 3 main components drawn and have the base colors put down in photoshop. All in all I'd say that I'm about half way there.

One week until Superman 40!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nat Irons

No real progress to speak of in terms of the new cover since I had been sick, but I figured I'd post the character design I did for Nat to prepare me for Superman 38. If you look close enough, you can still see part of the "wire frame" or "skeletal system" I used for the figure.

I don't think I changed that much. I took off the metal hair, added the shoulder guards, and took off all the "up & down" arrows on her helmet and shoulders and instead put them on top of her gloves.
Other than that, I don't think I changed much.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Batman: The Ace of Detectives, Issue 27!

All right. I said a crap-ton more in my audio commentary than I'd ever care to type, so why don't you head on over there and listen to the (nearly half-hour) of self-indulgent madness. I'll even give you a little trivia about each and every character in the pic, too, so it won't be a total time-sink for you!

Commentary for this cover is available here:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's go time

I got word back from Jeffrey what cover he wanted. A wise choice, if I do say so myself. I will start the actual penciling and inking in the next day or so.

I will post more about it as needed.

Until next time, Gadget. NNNNNNEXT TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME! *muahahaha*

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Waiting Game

I just finished reading the script for Superman 41 and made some thumbnails (coming from a Graphic Design background, that's how I'm used to doing it) for Jeffrey to look at. He'll then give me the go ahead on which one he wants and I'll go from there.

I'll post more about it as I progress on the cover.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pendant Preview: Batman: The Ace of Detectives, Issue 27!

This is non-spoilery, so no one needs to worry about the Assassins. Just thought I'd show you my first couple of sketches for the Batman 27 cover—the final cover, by the way, looks nothing like these. My first thought for the cover, since it is essentially the end of this story arc, was to show various scenes and/or characters from the past episodes. Thus, we begin with this:

A GCPD badge and a spent shell casing; a small grouping of Harley (my first attempt at her), Riddler, and Mr. J; and a rather odd-looking Dr. Hugo Strange.

I thought M. Siero Garcia, the voice behind GCPD Detective Renee Montoya, might like this sketch of Montoya I did in anticipation of a "flashback" sort of cover. In my humble opinion, it looks a heck of a lot better than the Montoya who appeared on my Batman 25 cover—but that's just me.

And finally, the last sketch before I got my new idea—a scene from what I believe was episode 5 of TAOD: Harley, Riddler, and Joker standing around just after Riddler put the ol' lead to Misty's boyfriend Bill Vogel. Catwoman's peeking in through the window there. There's nothing I really like about this particular piece—it's my second attempt at Harley, and she looks half-decent. Joker looks old, Riddler just this marks my first attempt at Catwoman, which is just all right, in my opinion.

I meant for there to be a blood spatter on the wall under the window. That would've been taken care of with a custom Photoshop brush from a DeviantArt user. I would've added a little smoke from the gun there as well.

So there you go. Those are bits from my first few cover attempts on Batman 27. The final product, which I have finished and sent off to Jeffrey for full Pendantization, will be made available here, Pendant's site, my personal journal, and my DeviantArt account on Wednesday.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, Issue 39

For this issue, I wanted to do something kinda bold. I mean, it's pretty ballsy (for want of a better term) for the DA to subpoena Ares: God of War. Since this was nothing he really had too much control over, I figured he'd be kinda peeved. Thusly, the fire was an easy choice for a back ground.

The subpoena on the cover was my homage to what Jerry Scullion did with Issue 19. There are little easter eggs in the subpoena (which I don't know if you can see) like there was in Scullion's work such as the release date of this episode being the date Ares needed to appear, and the time to appear was my estimation of when the episode debuted on iTunes and on the Pendant site. I don't wanna give away too many, as that would defeat the purpose.

The next thing to really discuss is Ares himself. I tried to basically stick to the current costume design. I changed his helmet to look more like Leonidas from 300. The reason being is because every time I drew the helmet like it is in the comic, it wound up looking like Super Shredder from Turtles II. I also left out a few of the horns/spikes from the helmet since I thought it made it look really busy.

I also gave him a chest plate/skirty thing that looks more like Trojan armor (I know, culturally incorrect, but whatevs) because it looked better than the skirting like they use in the comics.

I also added solid gauntlets instead of the spiny forearm guards used in the comics because it looks more durable were he to engage in actual battle. I know he usually orchestrates things, but sometimes a God's gotta whip some monkey ass.

I feel that the music you listen to, or the mood you're in while you draw affects the work. A lot of times when I work, I listen to music, and for a piece like this, I like to stick with some chunky metal music (i.e. Dream Theater, Dethklok, Blind Guardian, Symphony X, etc.).

That's all until Issue 40, which I've finished. Man, I really can't wait to hear this episode!

Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, Issue 38

This was my first cover for Pendant; and I have to say I was nervous about this because this was my first real attempt at digital coloring. The shadows in the doorway were done by drawing a black line around the object, and then pulling it with the smudge tool. The gradient of the room was basically the same as the shadows except I used the blur tool instead of smudge.

I pretty much stayed as close as I could to Nat's suit design in the comics except I took out the metallic ponytail and I added shoulder guards to her armor because the shoulders felt naked and I didn't like the orange triangles for when the suit grows or shrinks.

As for the compilation, well it's more relevant than you realize. Keep listening to Last Son of Krypton and you'll understand why . . .

*ooo, cryptic*

Friday, April 11, 2008

Batman: The Ace of Detectives, Issue 26!

Just in case anyone missed this, either on the board or on TWIP, here's the commentary for the Batman 26 cover.

...What? That's what this thing is for, right?

Écoutez- vous, s'il vous plaît!

~ Harley says hi. ~

Batman: The Ace of Detectives, Issue 25!

I know, I know, this is kind of a step backward. But hear me out: I just got around to recording an audio commentary on this cover a few days ago. If you're the type who just can't go without some bit of trivia for every Pendant cover that comes along, this one's for you. The art's nothing to write home about, but you can still listen to yours truly ramble on about it for a few minutes.

Listen and learn, ladies and germs!

You can check out the "better" sketch of Montoya I mentioned in the commentary on my DeviantArt account here.

So long for now!

~ Harley says hi. ~

In the Beginning . . .

Welcome all, to the home of the Pendant artists. Keep checking back, as we will be posting our Pendant artwork and be providing commentary, as well as updates on where we are on our projects.