Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wacky Reference Wednesday, No. 164

Amazing Spider-Man #638, Pages 11-12. 2010. Ink on Marvel board, 22 × 17.25″.

Sometimes the reference isn't a photo, but a panel or sequence from another story. Such was the case in this spread from One Moment in Time. My task was to recompose a small panel from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 into a double-page splash (with ample room for title and credits).

Additional reference was needed to "beef up" various architectural details, so Google Sketchup models were incorporated directly into my digital composite, where things like perspective and composition are refined. The generic man flying in the background served as a placeholder—something that could give me a sense of relative scale. As often happens, I followed my gut and just made the high-strung criminal as big as I wanted.

And this is where it all starts, an 8 × 6″ layout that hits all the major notes. You can view the final colored art here. There's even more behind-the-scenes planning that went into the following page, but I'll have to save that for another post.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Twelve #10 — On Shelves!

The Twelve #10, Cover. 2011. Gouache and acrylic on bristol board, 11 × 17″.

Issue #10 of The Twelve will be on shelves this Wednesday. You can see a preview here. And you can see all the wacky reference here. Below is my digital color study for the cover — it was printed out onto the final board as an underpainting of sorts.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NYCC 2011 Commissions — Lady Sif

Lady Sif. 2011. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NYCC 2011 Commissions — Carnage

Carnage. 2012. Watercolor and acrylic on paper, 9 × 12″.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wacky Reference Wednesday, No. 163

Digital composite detail with maquettes and perspective grid

Beginning with Daredevil #9 (and since I purchased my Cintiq) I've made the switch to all-digital layouts. The benefits are numerous, but it all boils down to freedom. While the comic book page has a fixed amount of real estate, the digital canvas is limitless, allowing each panel to be resized, rotated, and reconstituted in any manner. The layout stage has always been a process of trial and error for me — the digital approach simply streamlines it.

1. Digital Layout  2. Refined Composite (printed out in blue-line)

A side benefit is the easy inclusion of text. When I send layouts to my collaborators for approval, they get to see a convincing approximation of the final product. Dialogue and captions are now the first thing I add to every page, which saves me from continuously referring to the script. Once approved, I refine the drawing, often adding perspective grids to guide architectural backgrounds.

As our run on Daredevil has progressed, continuity requires a growing library of settings, props, and character designs. If this were a movie, the bulk of this would be done beforehand, but we're a lean operation, so most of this is done on the fly. Pictured above is the Omega Drive, drawn by Marcos Martin, that I use as a model every time I draw it (often just tracing (shhh)). I think I may have been the first to draw it (in issue #7), but he drew the first detailed rendering. A coaster serves as a decent stand-in for size reference, and a rolled-up piece of paper doubles as the billy club (or a bottle of camphor).

Daredevil #9, Page 1. 2011. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on Marvel board, 11 × 17.25″.

Digital layouts also make it easy to include Sculptris maquettes — and even reference photos (taken with my iMac's Photobooth) — directly onto the page. If you'll look at the closely at the top image, those are my hands superimposed on Matt Murdock. I don't recommend this if you can't already draw hands, but if you can, it's another way to save time. The only drawback is the unrestrained ability to include more detail than the page warrants. I lost track of how small some of the figures would be on the printed page since Photoshop allows zooming to almost any magnification. This page gets a little too cozy towards the bottom.

As mentioned above, Scuptris maquettes are now an integral part of my workflow. Here's a quick turnaround of my Daredevil model with a dual light source. When pasting into a page (via screen grab), I use a lighting preset that is mostly white, receding to black at the edges. This rendering mimics a clear-line style that can easily be traced.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Here Comes Daredevil

Daredevil #12 Cover. 20. Ink on Marvel board, 11 × 17.25″.

This was an exciting weekend for Daredevil news. First and foremost, I'd like to welcome Chris Samnee to the team, who will be alternating arcs with me on the series. I've been a "Samnee-vore" for some time, consuming his beautiful, black and white pin-ups via his blog and Comic Twart. He's a pitch-perfect match for the book, and his pencils for issue 12 are phenomenal. I'll be providing the cover, pictured above, which pretty much sums up the issue. It's simply a joy to read.

Samnee's grand entrance, however welcome, was old news to me (I just couldn't tell anybody for the longest time). What I didn't expect to get this weekend was a congratulatory email from David Mazzucchelli, informing me that the Daredevil, Vol. 1 hardcover collection made it on the New York Time Best Sellers list. Hot damn. Thanks to everyone for supporting the book and spreading the word.

Lastly, I just finished issue 10, which means I can finally leave the apartment. Time to get a haircut. Special thanks to my Paw, for rearranging his schedule to make sure the pages got in on time. And thanks to my girlfriend, who fed me and made sure I didn't lose all contact with the outside world.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Daredevil #9 — Next Week!

Daredevil #9 Cover. 2011. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera)
on Marvel board with digital color, 11 × 17.25″.

Daredevil #9 hits shelves Wednesday, February 15th. This is the first of 2 issues pitting our horned hero against the Mole Man in a subterranean adventure of Stygian depths. I'll be taking a blogging break next week as I (along with my paw) finish up issue 10. Here's a preview from IGN.

Digital Layout

Sculptris Maquettes

This is one of the first all-digital layouts created with my Cintiq. I now go into much greater detail—tight enough to ink in some instances. The digital workflow allows for easier integration of reference, so I will often incorporate  everything from Sculptris maquettes (seen above) to Photobooth images taken on the fly.

Daredevil #9, Pages 2-3. 2011. Pencil on Marvel board, 22 × 17.25″.

Inks by Joe Rivera

Color by Javier Rodriguez

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wacky Reference Wednesday, No. 162

Daredevil #3 Page 13. 2011. Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on Marvel board, 11 × 17.25″.
Original Art

1: Layout, 4 × 6″  2: Digital Composite  3: Pencils

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wacky Reference Wednesday, No. 161

Daredevil #3, Page 14, Panel 1. 2011.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on Marvel board, 11 × 17.25″.

Daredevil fights traffic. I fight the camera. You may recognize the pipe from my infamous mirror contraption at conventions. Lately, I've been using a rolled up piece of 11 × 17 piece of copy paper. Much lighter.