Wonder Woman/Conan #4 Cover Process

I hate having to wait until a company officially releases a cover on line before I can blog about it.  In some cases I am waiting months!  You can’t have a blog if you don’t have content.  Well, I do have content for the cover to Wonder Woman/Conan #4, so let’s take a look at it.

By now you should all be aware of the format.  Let’s first take a look at the cover sketches I did for my editor(s).  I have been pretty generous with the quantity of cover sketches I have done for this series.  It is so much fun for me, I usually end up with several ideas.

I might have gone a little too far with this one.  5 is a lot.  However, some of these are very similar with just minor adjustments.

WW:Conan#4cvrAWW:Conan#4cvrB WW:Conan#4cvrCWW:Conan#4CvrSKetchBWW:Conan#4CvrSketchA

Clearly there is a bar room brawl in this issue and it is the main thing I wanted to focus on.  It allowed me to do an action cover without really giving away too much of the important content of the issue.   The editor’s chose “A” but with the caveat of removing the chained fists from the top and bottom of the composition.  Once that was decided, I did two new sketches (the last two shown above) each featuring Conan and Wonder Woman fighting in the tavern.  The fourth one shown above was the final choice.  Personally, I like “B” and “C” best but what do I know?

So like any good artist, I did a pencil drawing of the cover and it looked something like this.

WW:Conan#4cvrpencil2

Because I am dealing with two editors at two different companies on this project I have found it is easier to show both every step of the process, so I am not making changes on an already inked or colored cover.

Once ok’d, I inked the cover using mostly a no.2 brush and my own special mixture of black india ink.   Like always, there is a little bit of pen work here and there, especially on the straight edges.

WW:Conan#4cvrink

Success!  So I moved on to the coloring portion of our show.  I scanned this at 1200 dpi bitmap, changed to grayscale then to CMYK and then reduced to 8X13 600dpi.  No particular reason for any of that except that I am paranoid about losing detail when I reduce the file, so I keep it as large as possible but still at a workable size.

Here is the finished product but there are a few things I want to note.

WW:Conan#5Cvr

First the basics.  If you look behind the heads of Wonder Woman and Conan, you will notice that the wood is significantly lighter there. I did a circular fade on the wood to help both characters separate from the background and to help draw the viewer’s attention to that spot.

Then by doing a color fade inside a lasso tool shape, I created the wood grain.  I colored all of the characters, making sure that Wonder Woman and Conan had distinctive flesh tones.  I really wanted to make sure that Wonder Woman and Conan were the brightest spots on the cover so I dropped a 15 or 20% (I can’t remember exactly) blue over the top of all of the characters except WW and Conan and the guy Wonder Woman is lifting.  This makes them all cooler and darker (without being obvious) helping your eye go to our stars first.

And that ladies (I hope their are a few) and gentlemen is how I did it.

Thanks for stopping by and look forward to Wonder Woman/ Conan #5 cover coming soon.