It’s based on the characters from the TV series The Mandalorian. I started off with a Marvel Star Wars sketchcover blank.
These are regular comics with an extra cardstock cover specifically created for artists to create their own cover images on. (You can see this tank driver cover here.)
Many companies make them, but I mostly have a lot of Marvel and DC ones in my stash. I’ve been drawing on blank sketchcovers for several years now and I tend to pick up any Star Wars and Batman (especially Batman ’66) ones I run across online, at comic shows, or at my local comic shops. I think I have about 6 or so shortboxes of blanks now, which is more than I’ll ever have time to draw on!
Some are blank (except for the masthead/logo) on the front only, and some are blank front and back- which allows for cool wraparound cover art. (Check out the Bistan cover here.)
This K-2SO cover was a lot of fun to do. (You can see how it was drawn here.)
Some coverstock paper is better than others, and I’ve run across a few that were almost too slick to draw on. This one was okay to draw on, but definitely not the best (or worst) I’ve used.
I started off by sizing the images in Photoshop then using my lightbox to sketch out the outlines using a yellow #2 pencil. I have a thin portable lightbox that’s about 12″x9″, only 1/8th of an inch thick, and has three brightness settings. Can be powered by my laptop or portable battery using a USB cable and fits perfectly in my messenger/art bag.
I draw the details and shading by hand using the photos as reference. I try not to get too crazy with the details because they don’t show up or get removed by the markers. I said, “I try.”, but sometimes I forget until I start using the markers and realize the coverstock is slicker than I realized.
This coverstock wasn’t too slick, but I did notice some of the pencil work was being removed or covered up when using my Copic markers.
I started off on coloring the back figures. On this cover I used both Copic and Letraset markers.
I then added the background in. Tried to keep it simple and any details and shading down to a minimum.
After putting in the background I started in on the front figure. For a tiny character his face and costume have a TON of details!
Something I noticed with this coverstock is that the details and shadows got sucked up by the paper. I had the same problem with some Star Wars sketchcards I did for Topps a while back- not quite disappearing ink, but the colors and details definitely did fade. Also had a problem with the inside of the front ears when I went to darken the shadows. The paper got overworked and a bit…fugly. Ended up using some colored pencils to try and fix it, which did the trick to smooth it out.
Once the majority of the coloring was done with the markers I used some Pigma Micron pens for the black line art. Used an 01 (thin) and 03 (medium) for my inking. Used more inking than I had planned on because of the problems with details using the markers.
I used a French curve for help with inking some of the curves, and a ruler for drawing some of the straight lines.
I didn’t do any inking on the background. Wanted it to look a bit out of focus to create a bit more depth of field.
For the highlights I used a white Gelly Roll pen.
I’ve used a white uni-ball Signo pen and Copic White on some of my sketchcovers in the past. Need to pick up some more of each.
I sprayed a light coat of Krylon workable fixative on the cover and finished off the white highlights with a white Prismacolor pencil. It tends to give the paper a bit of “tooth” for the colored pencil to hold onto.
Once finished I did another coat of spray fixative to seal the cover and called it quits on this comic.
I’ll be dropping it and my Elvira sketchcard off to The Cellar out in Bartlett soon. Lonnie Easterling’s two sketchcovers (top left and center) and my three- Polka-Dot Man, Dr. Who, and The Riddler are for sale at the shop.
I also still have several of my sketchcards that are available for sale, both official artist returns from companies like Topps, Crytozoic, and RRParks Cards and personal sketch cards drawn on my own custom blanks- with more to come before the holidays.
My 2 sided sketchcovers- $75ea
My official artist return sketchcards- $100ea
My personal sketchcards- $25ea
The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134
Gotta run- Lena wants daddy time…