Process Breakdown – DK vs TMNT

I have had a lot of people ask me at cons “How did you make this?” I’m sure they mean if I drew the whole thing digitally or what exactly is traditional etc. Well here is the whole process minus thumbnails. Those may come later if I can find that sketchbook. My friend Rob and I were talking about who drew the best Wolverine and Millers name was towards the top of the list. I always loved this cover for the trade and no one draws better ninjas than Miller

Wolverine TPB (1987 Marvel) 1st Edition By Chris Claremont and Frank Miller  comic books

So, with that in mind, I really wanted to sharpen my inking skills after listening to the Comics Kayfabe podcast and thought this pastiche would be a fun project.

Here is a thumbnail I did without any reference. I thought I remembered the cover pretty well, only to find out that I was pretty off. Still, I do like the perspective and think that it would make for a pretty good piece down the line.

With that iconic pose in mind, I swapped out Logan for Batman and replaced the Hand with the Turtles. Here is the rough sketch. If you look close, you’ll see the blue lines.

Then it’s scanned and inked in Photoshop. I’ll tune up any mistakes like the size of limbs or weird tangents as well as start spotting blacks. (I sadly had to trace the originals face, I could not for the life of me capture that weird feral look in Wolverines eyes and mouth, Kudos Frank) I drop the opacity to around 15% and print a couple off.

On the ghosted inks I’ll go back over with a more confident pencil and really start to lay in shadows. I’m using a 4B for this part, the graphite can get dark quick and it lays down a smoothly.

The pencils are scanned again and printed at 30%. Ink time. This is the first stab at it, I was attending a lecture so not really paying attention to it much, I knew it would be a practice but I did really like how Leo’s face came out. I would not have included it had it not been for that part but since I will cut it out and use if for the final I thought it might be in the spirit of being thorough.

Here is where I’m at as of today 9-12-20. I’ll continue to post till it’s print ready but this is really close to coloring. I clean up a few spots in Ps and swap out those faces. Probably squeeze the levels and get ready to lay in the flats.

While tooling on the flats I made a mistake and saw what Batman would look like in red, I love it. Makes me think about when two people would play the same character in Street Fighter, you would get an alternate color scheme. I liked the alternates more than the originals, probably due to the novelty but blue Dhalsim still rocks. So does gray Zodak.

Pretty close now, still need to tighten the colors and line work then add some loose shadows with a watercolor brush. Really trying to nail that Lynn Varley style of color.

Published by Ninja Pirate Robot Squid

I am a Ninja who is a Robot. By day I am a Pirate, by night I am a Squid. I'm also a Pirate and a Ninja by night. Who is also a Robot by day.

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