Hello, citizens! I’ve been working in the Batcave and have a couple new sketchcovers to share with you.
This is my latest Adam West Batman sketchcover.
And here’s my John Astin Riddler sketchcover.
As you may have guessed, I love the ’60s TV show! I thought I’d try something a bit unexpected by drawing the Astin version of the Riddler.
I started off with pencils. I normally just use a yellow #2 pencil or a 0.9mm click-pencil for these. If I was going to just do a penciled cover I’d use a few different pencils with different lead hardness (2B, HB, 2H, etc.) to get a variety of shading done.
Once the pencils are finished on my covers I break out the markers. I used mostly Copic markers on this one, but did use some Prismacolor and Letraset markers here and there as well. I worked on the big cane and mask on the front cover first.
Then moved on to the other green and lavender areas of the costume- using several different shades of green to help make the cane stand out from the tights. I used some blues for the bag.
Then I worked in some grays for the background- don’t think I used anything darker than a 3.
Then it was time for the fleshtones. I used several shades of browns, yellows, and pinks- but most was done with E00/Skin White, E11/Barley Beige, and E33/Sand.
Flesh-tones are always tricky for me when it comes to using markers. They are easy to overwork and look dark and muddy, or not work enough and have them look flat. Always a challenge when dealing with these portraits. Much easier for me when I airbrush paintings- and I can always go back over them if I goof. Not so much when doing the sketchcovers.
I tried to let a bit of the sketchcover’s white paperstock show through for the highlights. I’m bad about not leaving enough white and then have to go back over it with white Prismacolor pencil to bring out much of the highlights.
Once I was done with the flesh-tones it was time to break out some darker brown and gray to work on the hair. The eyebrows and mustache were especially tricky- and very iconic for John Astin.
Once I was done with the figures/faces, I added some random question marks to the background in a dark gray. Next up was to ink it with some Pigma Micon pens (I usually use a #03), and highlights with a white Gelly Roll pen and white Prismacolor pencil.
I sprayed it with some Krylon Matte Finish fixative, but think I sprayed it a bit too heavy, because I lost a lot of my detail and darker shadows. Had to try and restore it. Ugh…
With Batman I again just used a regular yellow #2 pencil. Even though the markers will cover up a lot of the pencil details and shading, I still like to put them in there as a guide for me as I color. Easier to make changes at this stage! Sometimes I will use a blending stump, but this time I didn’t.
I then started to work with my blue Copics. I started with the bigger cowl/cape, then the smaller figure on the back.
More work with the darker blues. Again, I probably should have let a bit more of the sketchcover show through at this point. Oh, well- maybe next time I’ll remember to.
Then I started filling in the tights with light blues and grays.
Time for the flesh and utility belt. Pretty much the same flesh-tone colors here that I used on the Riddler.
Then it was time to do the shadows. I tried to stay away from using black for my shadow areas, and instead went with darker blues and grays. Helps keep it from looking flat.
I used a couple different shades of purple and yellow for the background, and added some random bats. I used the same Microns to ink and white Gelly Roll pen and Prismacolor pencil to do the highlights. Had a better result with the spray fixative this time. Light, even coats..! Also, make sure you spray in a well ventilated area, or step outdoors for a second. I’ve found that beer flat boxes work great to rest the comic in while I spray.
My finished Adam West Batman and John Astin Riddler Batman ’66 sketchcovers- done and ready to go to new homes.
All of my finished sketchcovers are for sale at The Cellar out in Bartlett, TN. Sales of these comics helps to fund mine and my wife’s comic habit. (The Flash has already been sold!)
You can usually find me hanging out and drawing at The Cellar on Wednesday nights after I get off work from my day job. If you’d like to slide by and join me for some sketching and talkin’ toons please feel free to. Always enjoy the company.
Oh, if you’re interested in getting into doing sketchcovers, sketchcards, or just have questions about markers you can hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram- or stop by the comic shop some Wednesday night while I’m there. Always happy to answer and art riddles that may be puzzling you.
Next up I’ll post about my Star Wars tank driver and Captain America sketchcovers.
The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134
Monday-Saturday 12pm – 9pm
Sunday 1pm – 6pm