Riddle me this- what’s been one of the worst years in our lifetime..? Okay, the answer may vary for some depending on your circumstances, but for me and many others out there 2020 was horrible. I had some good times here and there in spite of the pandemic, but over all this is one year I’m glad to see finally draw to a close.
I have gotten some art and other projects done recently, and I’ll blog about them in parts 2 (sketchcards) and 3 (podcasts).
For this blog post I’m gonna discuss the Frank Gorshin/Riddler I did on a “Batman ’66” sketchcover.
A sketchcover is pretty much what it sounds like- it’s a comic with an extra cardstock cover you can draw on. They’ve been around for several years now, but I still have to explain what they are from time to time.
Some sketchcovers are blank white covers with only a masthead logo on them, others are colored cardstock, some have designs/patterns printed on them, and some have a small designated area you can draw in. And you can use whatever art medium you’d like to.
I’ve done a Riddler sketchcover before, but it was the John Astin version. I’ve been meaning to get around to drawing a Gorshin version and had to make time for it here and there.
I prefer to start with pencils -usually a yellow #2 or a mechanical click-pencil, then use markers and pens and some colored pencils. For my photo-realistic covers I like to do a fully shaded drawing first (using a paper stump). For the more cartoony ones I usually just do a clean line drawing.
I do the majority of my coloring on sketcovers with markers. I mostly use Copics, but also use some Prismacolor and/or Letraset ones, too. Really depends on what color I need and have on hand.
I’ve been known to do a grey under-base painting with the makers from time to time, but most drawings I just work the colors and fill in large areas of color before coming back to follow some of my pencil shading with darker markers and/or hit my highlight colors with lighter ones. I thought the green on his leotard was a bit too grayish so I went back over it with a yellow marker.
Once I got the greens done on the tights and business suit I started filling in the background. I made a “pocket/sleeve” out of 2 sheets of Bristol paper to put the sketchcover in while I used the markers to keep them from bleeding through.
I didn’t want a perfect background, and went for more of a textured look. Sometimes I will use a couple different shades to pull off the effect, or use dab some tissue with Copic ink on it.
Started working on the hat, shirt, and question marks with different shades of grays.
Then it was time to work on the gloves, mask, and flesh-tones.
I used some pinks, sand, beige, and other “fleshy” colors. Everyone is different, and skin-tones can look different under different lighting. I try to use a variety of colors to make up the flesh. Sometimes a little purple or green may be needed, too. I try to avoid using black for shadow areas, especially on flesh.
Then it was time for the hair, eyes, refining the costumes a bit more, and adding a bit more purple around the figures.
Once the colors were done (for the most part- I tend to go back later to touch up here and there), I broke out my Pigma Micron pens.
I like to use an 03 (kind of a medium nib size) but depending on the detail work I may go finer with an 01 or bolder with an 05 for the cartoonish ones that require a thicker line.
For my highlights I use a combination of white Gelly Roll or Signo pens and a white Prismacolor pencil. Oh, I also decided to add some subtle question marks to the background.
Once everything is done I spray a couple of light coatings of spray fixative. I use Krylon Matte Finish. Make sure your room is well ventilated or just step outside for a moment to spray- you and anyone who lives with you will be glad you did.
Here’s the finished BK/FR cover.
I never got to meet Frank before he passed away, but did get to see him perform in On the Twentieth Century with Imogene Coca at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis.
I’ve got this sketchcover and a few others for sale at The Cellar on Bartlett Blvd. near Stage Rd. and Bartlett Park.
There are some by other Mid-South Cartoonists Association members for sale, as well as issues of the MSCA zine The Good, The Bad And The Sketchy. The zine can be purchased at local comic shops 901 Comics (Cooper/Young) and Comics and Collectibles (on Poplar Ave.), too. I did the cover for issue #1 and have cartoons in each. Be sure to pick up some MSCA, Drawing Funny, and Memphis Ghostbusters free swag whenever your visit those shops.
Speaking of the MSCA, be sure to check out my Drawing Funny podcast. It focuses mostly on local art and MSCA members, but I will be expanding the scope of it in 2021- stay tuned and “stay tooned”!
Hope you all had a great Christmas, and stay safe this New Years.
The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134