Captain America VS The Red Skull Sketchcover

Hey, gang- long time no post. Have been busy with the day job and the heat at work has been kicking my butt. Whatever down time I’ve had lately I’ve either been drawing or trying to chill. Here’s one of my recent sketchcovers

I’ve been wanting to do a Matt SalingerCaptain Americafor a while now. I really loved the 1990 movie- well, the first half at least. There were some parts in the movie later I try to forget, but seeing Cap and the Red Skull fight was really cool. 

I found some fun reference photos online and then sized them in Photoshop so I could lightbox them and make sure they were cropped to fit the cover correctly. It’s tough to really see any real details, so usually I just do a quick outline trace and do all the details and shading freehand. 

Here’s the front art (left) and the back art (right). Sometimes photos can be a bit low res and get a bit fuzzy or undefined when you enlarge them, so I end up guessing on some details. I also let the shadows cover what I can’t make out completely if it isn’t really important. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the photo reference, and a little bit of artistic licence here and there can make it look more like an art piece and not just a flat out copy.

I was using just a regular Bic click pencil for most of the drawing, and then a yellow #2 for some of the shading. I tend to blend with a blending stump or occasionally one of my fingers. I try to not use my fingers a lot so I don’t get any oils from them on it.

I started off with some dark blue and reddish brown Copic markers. Was listening to some Comic Book Central podcast episodes while working in the Batcave as this stage of the drawing.

Added some more blues to Cap, some reddish orange to the Skull, and some gold/yellow and brown to the eagle.

Added more reds to both. Tried to blend them a bit- didn’t want it to look flat.

Broke out some grays for his belt and shadows on his ears, arms, and torso/chest.

Got some work done on the coat with more grey markers while hanging out at The Cellar Tabletop Games and Comics shop out in Bartlett, TN after work one night. Tried to leave some white showing for highlights, and stayed away from using a black marker for the darker tones.

Here the colors on the figures are done. Have been using mostly Copic markers, but also some Prismacolor markers here and there when I didn’t have the color I needed.

Used a wide Copic marker to add some grey for the background. Wanted something neutral so the figures would stand out a bit.

Here the background is done. Time to break out my Pigma Micron pens.


The finished the inks. I used a Pigma Micron #03. Sometimes I will break out an .05 for thicker lines and an .01 for details, but use the 03 for most of my work. Do have a few brush pens, but rarely use those. I’m just not confident enough with my inking skills to ink with them.

For highlights I used a white Gelly Roll pen and a white Prismacolor pencil. Noticed a few spots here and there that needed a bit more color, inking, and shading, so I used some more Copics, Micron pens, and a yellow #2 pencil.

Signed and finished “Captain America” sketchcover. It was a lot of fun to work on.

‪This one’s been spoken for by my “Bushi Tales” partner Dave Beaty. He’s a huge Cap fan and called dibs on this comic before I was even finished with it!

Oh, speaking of Dave- he and I have started doing a weekly comics podcast called the Rogues Radio Podcast. We talk comics, conventions, and occasionally have a guest on to talk comics and conventions. Lately we’ve been sharing some of the things we’ve learned over the years producing and self-publishing comics and working as graphic artists. Dave’s worked for the big two- Marvel and DC Comics, a few other comics publishers, as well as at a newspaper and as a freelance artist. Most recently he’s the co-creator and artist on the webcomic series “Red Skirts“. You can give Rogues Radio a listen here. We’ve got five episodes in the can and will be recording another one tomorrow.

If you are interested in owning one of my sketchcovers I’ve got them for sale at The Cellar (along with some from other local artists) and will have some with me at the Memphis Comic Expo next month. I’ve got a couple more sketchcovers I’ve finished I’ll be sharing with you here soon…


Captain America VS The Red Skull Sketchcover