Documenting the Process - Part 1
Friday, December 14, 2018 at 11:20AM
Will

Happy Friday, one of the last ones of 2018. I have had a lot of people ask me about my process and the answer is always the same - it varies. It varies depending on the client and medium but 99% of the time it will start with a traditional series of thumbnails. I thumbnail everything from my comic to my animation. It's the best way to quickly spot the problems and work out all the little details that can consume an artist in production. I usually do several since the first one is rarely the best one. I use pencil or pen with the latter being a little better insofar as it forces you to move forward instead of erasing any mistakes. My friend Jeremy (http://midwesternal.us/) gave me a Frank Frazetta book that showed some of his thumbnails and he used a lot of watercolor and gauche to set tone. These are some gorgeous mini paintings and something I may use in the future, thanks Jeremy.

Moving right along to this piece, I wanted to do some Batman fan art since the luchador series and this idea kind of bubbled up. I think the idea was that group shots (i.e. multiple characters) sell more than singles so I wanted to show several characters in this comp. Since Batman has without question the best rouge gallery I thought it best to put them as a prominent element in the comp. Thinking about the word "gallery" made me think of a police line up. That's kind of a cool idea which made me think of the iconic poster for The Usual Suspects showing the infamous line up of characters and that's when it hit me.

It would be great to do pastiche of this image, substituting that crew for some iconic Batman baddies. I sketched a few concepts which I cannot find but I settled on this one pretty quick--

Knowing it was going to be an 11x17 I like the caped crusader hovering over with a moon or bat signal in the background. After this I wanted to render out the villains with some more details. I actually printed the original poster at 10% opacity and drew over it to get the body posturing more accurate. I love the Scarecrow in the following image--

I needed a better Penguin and Bane so here is another sketch with a bit more detailing and color. It occurred to me that Benicio Del Torro would have been a great Joker--

And yet another version. The Penguin felt more nailed down and Bane is closer on this one. I loved the Jokers eyes too. The Scarecrow is getting lost some and I went with a Batman Forever version of Two-Face--

Time to composite and mock up a tentative type treatment. Found some skyline vectors online as a placeholder--

Digital separation and clean up round 1--

Round 2. Went back to the original Two Face colors though the blue version from Bruce Timm would have been cool--

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