Since “Rogue One” comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week I thought I’d post a blog about the K-2SO sketchcover I recently finished. My wife Nicki and I both really enjoyed the movie. We knew how it’s “sequel” from 1977 turns out, but really had no clue about it and any of the characters other than it’s a movie based around a group of rebels stealing the data plans for the Death Star. Voice and mo/cap for K-2SO was done by Alan Tudyk, who also was the voice of the robot Sonny in “I, Robot“, and is best known as the pilot Wash on “Firefly” and “Serenity“. I really loved the mix of comedy, drama, and sarcasm the former Imperial droid embodied. He was funny without being slapstick’ish, and sarcastic but still very likable. Definitely my favorite character from the movie.
I did this sketchcover as a wraparound and for reference I used a couple pics I found in the new “Star Wars: Rogue One- The Ultimate Visual Guide” book. I’ve got several Star Wars ones now after working on so many sketchcard sets for Topps over the years. Also picked up the official movie magazine and the “Art Of Rogue One” book, too.
I started off drawing his head in pencil on the front side of the comic cover. Like BB-8, he looks fairly simple in structure, but getting the curves and proportions right proved to be a bit of work, as did his C-3PO type of eyes- which always give me a bit of trouble when drawing Threepio, too. Had to do a bit of erasing before I got it too look right.
I worked through the rest of his torso and added a bit of shading as I went. I normally just draw using a yellow #2 pencil, unless I’m just going to be penciling only, and then I’ll use different soft and hard lead pencils. This one was a 2HB pencil and fairly cheap in a pack.
Once the front had been laid out it was time to move onto the back cover and draw a back shot of K-2SO.
I mostly drew this cover at our local library. It was quiet and had less distractions than at home, and the natural light from the windows was great. I would get there early when they opened on Saturdays and stay a couple hours and head home around lunch. Was good to get out of the house for a bit and just focus on drawing.
Even had Charles Ettinger, one of my Mid-South Cartoonists Association buddies stop by one day and hang out on a Saturday. Later we ended up stopping for ice cream at Area 51 up the street, and I got interviewed for a Facebook food channel. I did some drawing on the sketchcover at Pyro’s during one of our MSCA monthly dinner meetings, too. It’s where we get together to grab a bite to eat, talk toons, show what we’ve been working on lately, and get a bit of drawing in, too. No ice cream, but good pizza and salads.
When I didn’t have company to talk to at the library I mostly just listened to my iPod. I had a few soundtracks like “Hamilton“, “Rogue One“, and “Flash Gordon” that were great to draw to.
I finished all the pencil work…or so I thought. Once I started coloring with my markers I ran across a few details I had overlooked, but they were easy to draw in with a pencil or marker.
I use mostly Copic markers when I color these. I used a mix of warm, cool, and neutral grays, and used solid black very sparingly.
I love Copics, but man are they addictive! They can be a bit expensive, but the great thing about them is they are refillable. I have found some Copics on sale from time to time, like those wide ones (above left) that were on clearance at Michael’s for around $2ea. Found some (above right) on clearance at Archiver’s when the location in Cordova closed.
I bought a new metal rack last month to set beside my drawing station in the Batcave. Picked it up at Target for a reasonable price, and it was fairly simple to put together. Before I kept my markers on a shelf under my desktop and it was a bit of a pain to see them and to get to them- I had to keep bending down and leaning over in my chair. This set up now allows me to just reach to my right and pull out the marker drawers in their cases. It also allowed me to add more art books under my desk, which I desperately needed space for.
The little white case on the top left holds Primacolor, Letraset, and Sharpie markers, and the one on the right holds my regular Copics. The top of the shelf allows me to a place to put reference materials or other supplies I need while working. I have a plastic tray I keep next to my lightbox/drawing surface that allows my Copics I’m working with to stand up for quick and easy selections- which helps save time and a bit of frustration trying to find the colors I need. I have sketchcards in one of the small totes on the bottom left, and drawing supplies in the other.
The two plastic ammo cases at the bottom were from an athletic store- one holds my wide Copics and the other holds my Copic refills. I had just one that Nicki had bought for me, but I filled it up pretty quickly after Christmas when Nicki bought some refills to go in my Christmas stocking. Luckily she also bought me the second ammo case. They really have come in handy, are cheap, and can stack for storage or lock for traveling.
Back to the sketchcover..! Once I got all the gray areas done and a bit of gold detailing added, I started on the background with different shades of yellow, brown, pink, and flesh and worked them over each other.
Once I was happy with the background I inked the line art with some black Micron pens (01, 03, 05 sizes), did some highlighting with a white Prismacolor pencil, then outlined the figures and added a few more highlights with a white Gelly Roll pen. That’s some of those iterms in the photo above. Did most of the final coloring and detailing in my Batcave studio. I added a new shop light above my desk which has really helped. Don’t take lighting in your work area for granted. Make sure you can see to draw!
Once I finished the art I sprayed it with a clear fixative to protect it, and then put it back in a comic bag and board for safe keeping.
I entered the K-2SO sketchcover in the MidSouthCon art show last weekend in Memphis with a few of my others. Didn’t sell any of them there, but did sell a Mickey Myers painting. 🙂
I’ve got several of my sketchcovers for sale at Comic Cellar in Memphis if anyone is interested in purchasing one. I’ll have K-2SO out there later this week. There are also lots of other sketchcovers by other local artists, too. Oh, Comic Cellar and Comics and Collectibles are where I get most of my blank sketchcovers- tell ’em Lin sent ya!