Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mary Jane Maquette—Work in Progress

Mary Jane Maquette (unfinished). 2009. Super Sculpey Firm, 3.5" tall.

I suppose it's okay to show this now that we know who One Moment in Time is about. The face is basically done, but I'd still like to do more with the hair before I throw it in the oven. When looking for inspiration, there is none greater than John Romita, Sr., but I also tried to blend the looks of Leighton Meester and Miranda Kerr into the mix. How did I discover them? I started by googling "dimples."

Amazing Spider-Man #639, Cover (detail). 2010.
Gouache on Strathmore Wet Media Board, 11 x 17".

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 104

Amazing Spider-Man: Extra! #2, Page 5. 2009.
Ink and digital color on Marvel board, 11 x 17.25".

When pressed for time, I tend to experiment more in the reference stage, trying out various versions of a particular pose. It's often easier to choose from a set of options than to come up with the right pose from scratch. Drinking doesn't help, either.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dry Brush?

Amazing Spider-Man #577, Page 9 (panel 4). 2008. Ink on Marvel Board, 11 x 17.25".
Original Art

When I first started inking, I quickly realized that I didn't like my lines to have a slick, crisp appearance. I preferred, instead, a grittier line that softened forms by revealing the texture of the vellum surface. Traditionally, this technique is called dry brush, but when I go for this look, the brush isn't actually all that dry; rather, it's the ink.

Before I begin, I first set out a small amount of Pelikan Drawing Ink A in a sealable container, albeit with the lid open. Depending on the amount of time I have and the effect I want, I'll let the ink "set" to the desired consistency. A nice consequence of this is the increased covering power of the ink, which yields a richer, darker black as compared to its performance straight out of the bottle. As the shallow pool gets used up, I add small amounts of fresh ink, mixing it with the thicker ink in order to maintain the consistency.

In general, I thoroughly soak my brush (a Winsor and Newton Series 7 #6) in water, then squeeze out any excess before dipping the tip (and just the tip) into ink. This process is all all about experimentation, so everyone will have a different preference in terms of ink consistency and brush saturation.

A special thanks goes out to Cliff Chiang, who first introduced me to my favorite ink.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spectrum 17: Hat Trick!

Marvel Mystery Comics, Cover. 2009.
Gouache and Acryla Gouache on bristol board, 11 x 17".

I just got my acceptance letter for this year's Spectrum Annual and I've got three pieces in it (I won't mention how many I entered)! I think I'll celebrate by inking. Have a great weekend!

Young Allies, Page 2. 2009. Ink on Marvel board (digital color), 11 x 17.25".

Persistence of Wolverine (Amazing Spider-Man #592) Cover. 2009.
Gouache and Acryla Gouache on bristol board, 11 x 17".
Original Art

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 103

Sabretooth: Open Season #4, Cover. 2004. Oil on masonite, 16 x 24".

These photos must have been prior to my joining the gym. It doesn't look like the "ab roller" in the foreground is doing much for my midriff, either. But I know what you're really wondering: where did I get such great mouth reference for Wendigo? Well, I always use for all my open-mouth animal reference needs! I love the internet.

Wacky Reference Wednesdays No. 16 features another photo taken for this cover... still just as embarrassing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Blame Mephisto

Biker Bad Guy. 2010. Pencil on bristol board, 11 x 17.25".

It looks as though I will not be going to France this weekend after all. While disappointed, I think this is actually for the best. I could certainly use the extra time to finish OMIT and have no doubt that the opportunity will come again. Although the Valenciennes convention organizer said the volcanic ash was to blame for all the flight cancellations, we all know who was really behind it (not to mention the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage).

My apologies to all of you who have been so supportive of my trip. I'll make it to France some day, assuming no more volcanoes prevent me from doing so.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Moment in Time

Amazing Spider-Man #639, Cover
. 2010.
Gouache on Strathmore Wet Media Board, 11 x 17".

It's official: Joe Quesada and I are working together! He answers questions about our 4-issue arc at Comic Book Resources.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 102

Daredevil #507 Cover. 2010. Gouache and
Acryla Gouache on bristol board, 11 x 17".

This cover was kind of a rush job, but I managed to finish it just before my trip to Providence earlier this year. Upon it's completion, I wasn't a big fan , but it's grown on me in the interim. I guess you can't go wrong with ninjas.

Otherwise, "OMIT" is going well. Finishing up a cover right now (one more to go) and inking up a storm. The project should be officially announced this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled.

Beware the screwdriver!

CMYK Version

Despite my knowing better, I used a green from outside the CMYK gamut. The printed version will be a far cry from the electric lime I used in the original, which is shown in RGB at the top of the post. The image directly above, while in RGB, was first converted to CMYK to approximate the printed page.

Preliminary Drawing. Pencil

Digital Color Study, Revised. Photoshop.

Digital Color Study. Photoshop.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Daredevil #506 Next Wednesday

Daredevil #506 Cover (with trade dress). 2009. Acrylic and
gouache on bristol board, 11 x 17".

Good morning (or late afternoon). I had a deadline at noon today, so I had to pull an all-nighter to make sure I hit it. This, I'm afraid to say, is going to become more common in the next couple months. In order to make sure I can do all the work required of me (inking and coloring 4 books by July, plus two painted covers), I'm going to have to step back on the blogging. I plan to continue Wacky Reference Wednesdays, since they're relatively easy to put together, but Monday's and Friday's posts will be taking a break until further notice. I apologize for the hiatus, but the demands on my time are too great at the moment and this is one project that I can't afford to delay. Marvel is putting a lot of marketing muscle behind me and I'd like to live up to the support. I hope you're all looking forward to the series as much as I am.

With that being said, I've got a cover (pictured above) coming out next week. You can preview the book and others at Newsarama. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 101

Captain America: What Price Glory #4, Cover. 2003.
Oil on masonite, 12 x 18".

Phew. After the onslaught of reference from last week, I'd like to take it down a notch while we all recoup (from looking at pictures of me). These photos were taken of my friend Steve in front of my parents' house in Florida. We waited until the sun was at the right angle so the light would shine through his ears. I also had several photos of the Statue of Liberty that I used to approximate the angle and lighting that I had intended. Just for the record, the reflection in the white ring of Cap's shield should be lighter (or match the star at the very least). Amateur...

Captain America: What Price Glory #4, Color Study. 2003.
Oil on masonite, 1.75 x 2.75".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Obviously Mistaken Internet Theories

Everyone seems to be venturing a guess, so I figured I'd give it a shot. It's nice to be talked about. Now I just gotta finish this thing!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Marvel Double-Shot #2— Poser

Marvel Double-Shot #2: Masks, Page 4. 2002.
Oil on canvas, 20 x 30".

Just in case you didn't hear, yesterday's post was a flaming hoax in honor of April Fool's Day. I invented the entire story and doctored existing photos of British stunt man, Steve Truglia. It was all in good fun and, judging by the number of hits I got, many of you enjoyed it. Now on to a true story:

Early in my career, I was very dependent on reference for just about everything, but especially for figures and faces. In other words, if I had to paint a character, I had to find a model. For my first sequential Marvel work, I collaborated with Christopher Priest, whose script called for a (surprise, surprise) beautiful woman. That being the case, I was compelled to find one (more so than usual).

Marvel Double-Shot #2: Masks, Page 3. 2002.
Oil on canvas, 20 x 30".

I found such a muse at my gym and, after a couple workouts, built up the courage to ask her if she would be willing to pose. This was actually made easier by the fact that she worked out with her boyfriend, so it didn't appear to be just a lame pass. My dad was with me at the time, so he had my back, perhaps lending a certain credibility to my case. Furthermore, since I was working out, I had every excuse to be sweaty.

Progress photo by my mom. Yes, I am wearing pants;
it was hot in my 'rents garage.

Her name was Priscilla and, after my initial pitch, the first words out of her mouth were, "Is it a porn comic?" It was not; and so I had my model. I invited her (and her boyfriend and, ultimately, another friend) to my house for the photo shoot (I was still living with my parents at the time—classy). She did a fabulous job, taking direction very well, and giving me the inspiration I needed to finish the comic. My girlfriend at the time, who was home in Cleveland for the summer, took the whole thing in stride (and ultimately shared a scene with her as another character in the story).

My dad, posing—apparently Dr. Doom did undergrad
in Providence. I constructed the mask out of aluminum
flashing with craft paint for the rivets.

Thank you so much for helping me celebrate Wacky Reference Week! I may have some announcements next week, but we shall have to wait and see. In the meantime, have a great weekend!