Sunday, February 3, 2013

Daredevil #22 Time Lapse

Daredevil #22 Cover. 2012.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on Marvel board, 11 × 17.25″.

I'm afraid I didn't have time this weekend to finish my lengthy treatise on reference, so I hope this long-promised video will be some consolation. The cover to Daredevil #22 (final version pictured above) is a good example of my approach to a typical comic book cover. I've detailed all the major steps in a previous post (along with the accompanying Wacky Reference), but those are static images that leave out where the real work happens. Penciling and inking take a great deal of time, but they are merely rendering — the execution of a plan that was formed at an earlier, more important stage.

This is a bare bones, 11-minute video with no sound or editing, but I hope it can reveal some insights into how I work. At 20X speed, it represents over 3 hours work, all done on a Cintiq 12WX and later printed out on board to refine by traditional means. (The video is not complete, as my iCal records indicate about 5.5 hours in total.)

It's a pretty straight forward time lapse, but there are 3 things that I'd like to point out as you watch. First, I use reference of my own hand to facilitate the drawing process. This photo is taken on the fly using Photo Booth on my iMac. It's as easy as using a mirror, but with more options. Second, I employ a digital perspective template of my own design for the background. It's extremely useful, but has a steep learning curve — I plan on releasing it to the public later this year. Lastly, toward the end of the video, you can see that I had trouble with Daredevil's legs as he's scaling Stilt-Man's serpentine legs. The cover as a whole went pretty smoothly, but it took me a long time to find a pose for him that didn't look totally awkward to me. Spidey, on the other hand, was a breeze — characters who are flying/falling are always easier to draw since they don't have to interact with any other entities.




What you see below is the final digital sketch before moving on to the next stage. Printing this out in cyan, magenta, and yellow allows the automatic removal of the perspective guidelines and digital sketch in Photoshop, while leaving my pencils intact. This is sent to my Dad, Joe Rivera, who inks over a blue-line print of my pencils. Finally, I color his inks in Photoshop (a subject for a future post). It's a lot of stages, but I find that a divide-and-conquer strategy makes the task much less daunting, especially under tight deadlines.


Digital Composite

16 comments:

  1. You are a magnificent draftsman as well as a consummate artist. I bow to your expertise.

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  2. Now, that was a pure professional at work, with a full command of all tools available.

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  3. Thank you so much, guys! Y'all are too kind.

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  4. Former Comic Retailer (and comic artist wannabe) here: Thank you for sharing how you REALLY do it. Do you think using digital tools gives you TOO many options / edits? I would never finish anything!

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    1. You're quite welcome! And yes, digital tools do have a lot of options. That's another reason I divide and conquer — by the time I get to this stage, a lot of the major decisions have already been made.

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  5. This cover is amazing, as are all of yours. It's not everyone who can make every one of their covers an iconic memory for the reader that is reminiscent of the issue and stands on its own as a striking piece. The perspective is precariously fun and communicates that the story will be fun and funny (Spidey AND The Stilt Man are in it). Daredevil's pose came out great because it does look like he's challenged by having to run up Stilt Man's legs while they're moving. He looks totally natural and in motion like ideal action shots should look, making the reader see the scene moving at 35 frames per second and catching a flash of it as it flies by.

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    1. So glad you liked it! Thanks for (all) the kind words!

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  6. That was quite a treat! Thanks for sharing. I love watching artist work! Where did you get the fancy perspective tools? I have been practicing with Photoshop and Wacom tablet.

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    1. OH and wow you really struggled with DD legs huh? LOL...that was awesome to watch!

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    2. Thanks! That's my own perspective template at work — one I hope to share with the world at some point. And yes, I often struggle with gestures — can't stop until I'm satisfied.

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    3. Well that was probably my favorite thing about that video. The difference between good cover art and great cover art. Not being satisfied till it's perfect! Thanks again for sharing! Mis respetos!

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  7. Hey Paolo!

    This post was great! Also it's so awesome your dad and you work together. You don't see that too often in the business.

    On a sidenote, because of your blog I finally decided to set mine up to start sharing my work to the world. P.s. I was that guy that once sent you an e-mail about your setup with the drawing board/clips and such.

    Keep the good stuff coming man!


    (P.s. I probably can't entice you to look at my blog. But if you ever feel like sharing your thoughts on my work I'd be grateful! http://marchuizinga.blogspot.nl/)

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    1. Hi Marc! Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear you've got your own blog. I took a look and you're off to a great start. Keep to a schedule and always upload your latest work. You're definitely on the right track!

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    2. It means alot to me to hear that from someone as established as yourself! I've been doing just that and things are slowly but surely falling together. Again, thank you. :) Here's to me hopefully entering the business in 5 years time!

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