Wednesday, August 28

The Groomsmen

I was approached at my HeroesCon table back in June by a gentleman who had an idea for a commission. (I do fantastic commissions, I hear. Look to the right.) He's getting married in October and wanted to have a piece drawn of his groomsmen as heroes on a comic book cover. I told him, sure, I could do that, and we traded contact info. After a few emails, we got to work.

To be fair to all in the party, I decided against an action pose. Figures would have to be foreshortened, and some would be made smaller in the background. Instead I thought of this cover.
This is an iconic cover from the 1980s. Probably one of the top three from that decade, along these two:

So I sketched out a quick image for approval.

When the idea was OKed, I took his list of heroes for each member of his party and arranged them in the sketch positions.

I then took the reference photos to see how the heads would work on the bodies. We decided to pull back all the masks so the party members would all be identifiable.

We played with positioning the logo as part of the fake cover elements he would add after I finished the image. I didn't like my Superman's rather flat pose, and I liked the crossed arms of Green Lantern. I lowered the camera a tad because the faces wouldn't match the angle of the bodies' original positions. It would make them look like they had cricks in their necks. 

I printed that sketch at a much larger size and lightboxed it to position on my comic page. I detailed the costumes and sent it off for approval.

Then it was inked. The Jor-El costume was simply not made to be drawn. I leaned hard on multiple reference images for that design. Also, contrary to all logic, I inked the faces last.

Once the inks were OKed, I got to coloring.

I tweaked the shield a bit from the original inks and gave everyone the same skin tone. to better suggest a consistent light source. I used Photoshop's brush scatter option for the Superman and Jor-El costumes, and I ditched Captain Planet's face coloring and green hair.

He liked it. He liked it a lot. Mazel tov, good sir.

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