I was graciously asked to submit three Transformers 30th Anniversary covers, where I get to highlight some of my favorite moments in TF history. This is 1 of 3! My little homage to Starscream assassinating the senate in Megatron Origin. Look at all dem dead senators.
- And now, a small preview about “how a comic book is conceived” : In this case the book is “SKY DOLL DECADE” , a special edition dedicates to my comicc book series, that has more than 10 years. It will be released in the USA very soon ! And the part I’m about showing you is the one closest to me : the final design, the coloring and the graphic design.
The gun without line ( pencil art by Alessandro Barbucci , obviously !). - Noa without line - Noa ended - The cover with design , with all the graphic elements ( by Barbucci, me and Matteo De Longis ) - The completed cover along with the back cover. - And … THE BOOK !
I hope you will enjoy it !
- Una piccola dimostrazione di come nasce una copertina.
In questo caso si tratta du “SKY DOLL DECADE”, un libro dedicato alla mia serie che compie ,oramai, più di 10 anni . E molto presto uscirà ( ! ) anche negli Stati Uniti, finalmente….
Questa che vi mostro in specifico è la parte che mi riguarda di più infatti : il design definitivo del personaggio, il colore e la grafica del libro. Spero che vi piaccia !
I get a lot of questions about my process so I thought it’d be cool to break down and talk about some of my steps for illustrating covers! I hope this is helpful or interesting, it’s not quite a tutorial but perhaps it’s a glimpse into my thought process.
Step 1 | Thumbnail. The point here is to do several very fast, small, drawings, so you can’t get hung up on details. Here I’m thinking most about composition and subject. I had four originally and this one was picked to get finished.
Step 2 | Sketch. I draw on top of my thumbnail, nailing down more of the actual details. I fix any proportion isssues but I still try not to waste too much time making final lines, the sketch will go away in the end, so it just needs to be good enough for me.
Step 3 | Background Painting. A lot of lightning and mood is set by the environment, so I start with determining their background. I browse through lots of inspirational paintings and photographs during this stage, and try to get a palette in my head for the overall piece. I use the lasso tool to fill in their silhouettes with black and lock the layer transparency. The silhouette is very important for readability, so I make sure even without colors the shapes are distinct.
Step 4 | Rough Color Blocking. I block in base colors and basic lighting under the sketch layer, blocking in the different materials and colors.
Step 5 | The Fun Part. Here’s where I just get to zone out and paint. I flatten the sketch onto the color blocked layer (if you’re nervous, you can always duplicate these layers and tuck them into another folder before you flatten and commit) and finally get to painting. The sketch eventually gets entirely painted over. Things I’m thinking about during this stage: different materials, changes in planes, drawing from the background colors.
Stage 6 | Details. I use the lasso tool and fill to do very tiny details like scratches, small specular highlights, etc. I add some wear and tear and knock out a bit of Fulcrum’s teeth. (huhuhu)
Stage 7 | MOAR BLOOD. At this point I decided there wasn’t enough energon dripping off of Tarn and I added more on a new layer. Again, grabbing areas with the lasso tool, filling, and erasing parts of it to make it appear transparent.
Stage 8 | Lighting Effects. I add some soft glows to Tarn’s lights, but keep his forehead light the brightest. I want it to be the main source of light in the scene so I don’t want to distract. Light is bouncing through the pink energon, so I made the light falling on Tarn’s face more pink.
Stage 9 | Final Lights. I add a harsh white rim light to both of the figures, really pulling them away from the background to finalize the painting.
All of these Metal Gear comic covers, due to recent requests, can officially be purchased as posters! So if you’re interested, the information on how to go about purchasing one can be found right at the bottom of this post. More comic covers are on the way, however I’m gonna be without internet until July 8th so yeah…. it’ll be a little while. In the mean time I’ve set some sketches and stuff to upload during my absence (I’m down, but not out!) Also, wanted to say thank you! Just reached 200 followers today! I’m really happy you all seem to be enjoying the work as much as I enjoy making it.
Now, about those posters. If you are interested in purchasing one, or any, just go ahead and message me on my tumblr to let me know, and then you can go ahead and send the money to my PayPal (the email is firstname.lastname@example.org). The price of one full size poster is $30, and will be approximately 18"x24" in size, there may be white borders due to this, if you should have any special sizes in mind you can just let me know and I’d be happy to look into it. However, like I said earlier in this post, I’ll have to wait until July 8th to officially process any requests. I’m sorry for the delay there.
Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur’s Gate #5’s cover has been revealed and is available for preorder! This is my last cover and it’s been a huge honor to work on something along with Jim Zub and Max Dunbar. Please consider giving these beautiful books a look!