JLI cover #2…How I Did it!

I thought it might be mildly interesting and possibly even informative if I posted one of my comic covers and the steps I go through to get from layout to final image.   I was going to start with the cover to Justice League International #1 ( it makes sense to start with the first, right?) but looking through my digital records I found that I don’t have scans of all of the steps.  So, I am going to start with issue #2 because I do have scans of all of the steps and visual aids are always essential to any good artist’s blog!

Like with any cover I do, I got content directions from the editor.  Since I have to do covers 3 months in advance of the comic for preview listings, often times there is no script to work from.  Since this was the launch of a new series a lot of the stories had been figured out so the  editor was able to give me clear instructions of what he was looking for on the cover.  I did three 8.5X11 “thumbnail” sketches for the editor to choose from.

JLI#2sketchlot

The editor chose option #1.  Because option #1 was so reliant on the lighting contrast, I drew it in ink so the editor would get a better idea of what I was going for.  Once the choice was made I was given instructions to add Batman and Guy Gardner to the composition.  I then did a full size rough (which was actually pretty tight) and incorporated the additional characters.

JLI2coverrough

Once this got approved, I used a light table to trace the image on to the final art board and made some minor changes along the way.  I took this to a final pencil where all the details were added.  Even though I ink my own covers, I usually do the pencils very tight so I don’t have anything to chance in the inking stage.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a scan of the finished pencil to show.

Once the penciling was done, I used a brush and micron pens to ink the art.  In this case I used mostly brush except on the tech parts of the robots hand.

JLI#2cvrfinal

And there you have it.  The final black and white product.  If I have time in my schedule I will color my covers but in this case someone else did the honors.  I follow this process in every cover I do.  Since it is the most important image of the book, redrawing several times is not uncommon for me.  I want to make sure it looks as good as I can make it.