Friday, May 7, 2010
Iron Man Process
It all began with this sketch, which was deemed too close to a cover that had just been solicited. I decided to turn the figure around, a move that was lucky to get approval (so I was told).
Once I had gotten the basic pose locked in, I toyed with the idea of including the armory, something that my editor, Tom Brevoort, seemed to like. He only asked that I move the oculus to the right side so as not to interfere with the trade dress.
Initially, I used a photo I had taken of the Pantheon as a perspective guide for the dome, but, at my dad's suggestion, I went ahead and used the ceiling pattern as well.
This being my first cover for Marvel, I did a final preliminary rendering (shown above) to ensure that we were all on the same page. I secured their approval and transferred the drawing to the illustration board.
This was the basic underpainting, in which everything was blocked in. Although I had originally planned to use blue exhaust jets framed by a warm background, I switched the colors, again at my dad's suggestion.
I have a feeling that this image may have been "helped" in Photoshop. Early on in my career, when faced with a painting problem (especially with regard to color), I would photograph the painting and try to solve it digitally. Now I just try to solve it all in Photoshop before I even touch real paint.
By this point, I had a pretty good idea of what the finished product would look like—all that was required was rendering time.
This is the last image I took before the entire painting was completed. It was around this time that I decided to add the electrical outlet in the empty bay. I'm glad Marvel didn't say anything.
Back in the day, I had to scan my work in several pieces (10 in this case) and stitch it all together in Photoshop. This is what it looked like as soon as I had assembled all the images in roughly the right place. I'm glad I don't have to do this anymore.
Thankfully, it all came together nicely, and I've been working for Marvel ever since! The painting still resides in Florida with my 'rents.