Monday, August 9, 2010

Sketch Redux (Avenger)

Here is a cover I did for The Avenger Chronicles for Moonstone Books.
The assignment was basically to illustrate a pulp cover of the Richard "The Avenger" Benson. I liked the idea of doing a James Bama style image with our hero standing in front of the door to his headquarters. This turned out to be more challenging than I had expected.

Here is my first sketch

The A.D. had this to say
"Ok, first…GREAT work!
I think you were the perfect choice for this! You bring some life and dimension to this guy! WOO!
A couple of quick comments:
1. As you probably know, the Avenger’s facial muscles have been paralyzed. He cant frown or crinkle his eyebrows, so I will need you to tweak that please.
2. The doorway is quite a bit more ornate than how it is described in the books…would you be adverse in changing that up for us? Let me know if you need the description.
(It’s a cool door, though!)
3. Somehow,,,and this is tricky…we need some idea of danger here…a looming threat…you have a nice angle of the scene and a nice bird’s eye perspective, but I think we need something more.
Any ideas as to how we might accomplish this?"

I had a couple of ideas on how to do this, but the one I settled on was a menacing cast shadow draped across the image (very pulp noir, which I felt was appropriate)
Second attempt.

The A.D.'s comments
"Again, very cool sketch!
Ok, a couple of things:
1. His eyes look to be closed…? Can you open them a little please? Thanks.
2. The “A” above the door has to go, sorry…J
3. The shadow seems to be ok…thanks.
4. The doorway is still much too ornate for the description…sorry…as far as we know, there is no archway at all, and the “Justice Inc” is just straight guild lettering, nothing fancy at all…its supposed to be really plain and unassuming.
5. The doors…I imagine the doors would open out…but that’s not important, but what is…is that they need to be plain doors…for a kind of storage building…this was not a residence, so there would not be wooden doors. I cant seem to remember if they were glass doors, but please give them a more “warehouse” kind of look, which means an absolutely plain door…Maybe they are metal, because he has a LOT of security built in…"

Third times the charm

"Ok…we are VERY VERY CLOSE TO being there!
**only suggestion might be “Justice inc” should be, according to books, "Justice, Inc." (comma & cap, in dull gilt lettering)
So, you can finish it up anytime…keeping that in mind!
Thanks so much for your patience…!"

On to the final



Kan Muftic said...

How difficult it is for you to revise those sketches? And how do you usually proceed; erase & redraw?
Thanks very much,

E.M. Gist said...

Hey Kan- The difficulty varies, what I did on each of these was scan in the image, erase the background in PS then print it back out on bristol board and redraw the background. For the face, I was already working on a detail study of just the head (for myself) when I got the AD comments so I just composited it on in PS

Kan Muftic said...

That helps a lot, thanks very much.