Rocket Raccoon and Groot- My Latest Sketchcover

Hey, Gang-


Since I did a Groot sketchcover before, I thought I’d add his partner in crime- and saving the galaxy, Rocket.


I’ve bought several blank sketchcover comics over the past few years. They are regular comics with blank covers that are made to draw on and sell/trade. Like most of my drawings on this one I started off with a yellow #2 pencil (I also use a 0.9mm #2 click pencil). I started work on this cover at The Cellar out in Bartlett, TN– which is the shop where I sell my art. I had been sketching there after work on Wednesday evenings after work, but it’s gotten too hot at my day job and I just want to go home, shower, and chill most nights. Will probably start back drawing there again this fall when the weather cools off.

After getting Rocket sketched out I added his pal baby Groot– who was probably my favorite part of Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2. Groot was a bit trickier to add than I thought he’d be and I ended up drawing him a few times before being happy with it. Still wish I would have moved the whole drawing over to the right and down a bit, but didn’t feel like redrawing again. Hey, this is what can happen when I freehand and don’t lightbox the layout first.


Since I had to draw part of Groot’s head through the masthead I used a bit of Copic White and a brush to block out some of the logo. I then started rendering both characters with brown and beige Copic markers

Next I used some grays, blues, and greens to Rockets face and outfit. Took another coat or two of markers to help hide the logo behind Groot’s face.

I’m using the MARVEL STUDIOS VISUAL DICTIONARY for reference. I’ve got several other books like this on Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and other properties that really come in handy. You can see some of what I use to draw with in this pic.

Next it was time to add some color to Rocket’s eyes and Groot’s orange jumpsuit. Also added some more darker browns and grays to each character.


Once I got the guys pretty well rendered out, I then started working on the back of the sketchcover. I had a bit of a hard time finding decent reference for the MILANO spaceship– most online were a bit blurry and didn’t show a lot of detail. I did have a Hot Wheels of the ship handy, and that helped me fill in some of what I couldn’t make out. The rest of the details I couldn’t determine I just made up.


I decided to add a couple planets to the drawing. I then started filling in the teal blue on the ship.


I then used some golden yellow and orange on the ship, and some browns and beige for the planets. Also used a bit of torn tissue paper and a Copic refill to help with the bottom planet’s surface texture.

Then it was time to blacken in the background. I was going to just do a little back around the spaceship, and maybe a bit around the characters, but decided it might be a bit more dramatic with the whole background being a star-field. 

I first used my black Copic marker’s brush tip end to ink around the characters, ship, planets, and logo. I then used the chisel point end to color the rest of the background all black.

After I was done filling it all in with black I decided to color in around the logo with orange. I wish I had done that before doing the black around it, but made the decision after I felt the white area around the masthead stood out too much. Now it kind of goes with Groot’s outfit.

I did my black line art with a Pigma Micron pen, and added some highlights with a Gelly Roll pen.

I love using Microns and Gelly Roll pens. 

I finished out Groot’s outfit (added the zipper and toned down the orange) and added more detail to Rocket and the ship.

I wanted to add in some stars to the background, and haven’t done that effect on a sketchcover yet. Have done it with an airbrush several times. I needed to mask off the characters, ship, planets, and logo. I used some tracing paper for my masking- which was actually kinda hard to track down some. I traced off what I needed to block out on the paper, then took the sheets outside and sprayed them lightly with some spray adhesive. I let the paper dry overnight so it was tacky and not too sticky when I used it.

I cut the traced shapes out and placed them on the comic. I placed the same round eraser and coaster down that I had used for the planet shapes on the drawing. I helped hold everything down with a few coins here and there. 

I used a toothbrush and some Copic White to splatter the stars onto the comic. It took a bit of experimentation to get the white consistency down right. I made sure I put down a lot of newspaper under the comic to keep from splattering white onto my drawing surface. Unfortunately I didn’t put enough down, and ended up getting a bit on the TV on my desk. Thankfully it cleaned up easily.

Once I had the star field down, I used a Prismacolor white pencil to add some glow to some of the stars, as well as to some more highlights on the planets, ship, and characters.

Once I was happy with the art, I signed it and then sprayed the cover with a protective clear fixative and let it dry.

With my day job kicking my butt now with the heat of the summer really kicking in this sketchcover took me longer than I thought it would. I did have fun with it and liked trying something new with the stars and a black background.

I dropped the sketchcover off to The Cellar to be sold with some of my others.

There are several other sketchcovers also available for sale by some of the other local artists in town.

BTW- Since July 4th was the first Thursday of the month, we had our July MSCA Meet-Up last weekend at Pyro’s Pizza. If you are an artist in the Memphis/Mid-South area, feel free to stop by the next Mid-South Cartoonists Association’s Monthly Meet-Up at Garibaldi’s Pizza off Walker/Highland near the U of M. We’ll be hanging out and having dinner there from 7-9pm on Thursday, August 1st. It’s open to the public. Just bring a few bucks to order off the menu, and some of your art to show around to the group. It’s a great way to meet fellow cartoonists in our area, make contacts, and get/trade art tips/tricks.

You can find out more at:

Type at ya later,


Rocket Raccoon and Groot- My Latest Sketchcover
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