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Spidey Cover- step by step by diablo2003 Spidey Cover- step by step by diablo2003
Hey Guys,
Thought I would put up a little step by step detailing how to create a cover for Marvel. You don't have to read the whole thing if you don't want but, if you do, I hope you find it helpful. The piece was penciled by me with inks by Jaime Mendoza and colors by Danimation. The file is bit large but I wanted you to be able to see all the little deails I bring up in the step by step. ENJOY!

Step 1- PRELIM- This, to me, is the most important part because you’re setting the groundwork for everything else after this. You have to realize that there will be over 100 comics that come out the same month as your issue so you want to do all you can to jump off the shelf and separate yourself from the rest of the books. A few factors have to be kept in mind of course. You have to leave room at the top for your title and remember that the company logo is most likely going to be at the top left with a smaller logo at the bottom right/left as well as the UPC code also at the bottom right/left. This can be dicey to try and find a good image to display while working in such tight confines but you get used to it after a few tries. Remember that your image needs to be easy seen from 5 feet away since this is the general distance a reader will stand from the shelf deciding what and what not to buy. In this case, the editors at Marvel wanted a cover for a book that will come out around the same time as Spider-man 3 so it had to feature the main villain and, of course, Spider-man very prominently. I chose to slightly homage a scene from the movie’s preview where Sandman come up out of a dump truck and makes himself into a sandstorm to sweep away police and pedestrians. I added Spider-man in there framing him prominently in the center of the cover drawing maximum attention to our hero. Framing him almost completely surrounded by sand would also help pop him off the cover since his red and blue costume would show very well against an all tan background.

Step 2- PENCILS- In this case I scanned the layout into my computer and blew it up to the size of standard Marvel board in photoshop which is 10.5” X 15.75”. I then print it out and lightbox trace the image onto my comic board using a non-photo blue pencil. Once I have the rough placement of the characters on my board I get to the main task at hand which is making sure my anatomy is correct and adding all the little details that will make this cover pop. This includes the webbing on Spider-man, all the contour lines defining the musculature on each character, the sand and blast effects, as well as all the little background elements like the taxi cab and each window of the buildings. I’ll also look at myself in the mirror to make sure I have all the little details of the faces correct. In this case, I spent some time looking at myself make a screaming face in order to get Sandman’s face like I want it. Once the non-photo blue drawing is the way I want it I start penciling it with regular lead pencils ranging from size H to size 2B leads. I normally work front to back so I start penciling the web line first and then move on to Spidey, then Sandman, and then the background. I’ll use a variety of templates for each cover depending on what I need them for. On this cover I used a straight edge ruler for the blast effect and all the buildings. Circle and oval templates came in very handy on stuff like the wheels of the taxi.

Step 3- INKS- Once I’m done the cover is sent off to Jaime Mendoza to work his magic. Jaime uses a variety of tools including sable hair brushes, crow quill, and rapidiograph pens to get the look he wants. Inking is far more than tracing and involves Jaime adding depth and weight to lines tat might have appeared flat in the pencil drawing. Lines are inked thick to thin to give the look of dimension to a character. For examples of this simply look at Spider-man’s foot and calf in the pencil drawing and then look at the weight and depth added to the inked version. Also notice the line weight on Spider-man is much thicker than the line weight on Sandman as well as the background. This gives the illusion of depth since things in the foreground will have thicker out lines while things further in the distance loose line weight. Lastly, Jaime will go in with a tooth brush or stiff haired brush and use either white or black ink to add those fine little splatter effects of sand adding to the emotion and energy of the piece. Once finished Jaime scans the cover into his computer and, using photoshop, sizes the image to 10.5” X 7” at 400DPI which is standard sizing for Marvel comics to print from.

Step 4- COLORING- If penciling and inking is the cake, then this is the icing! After all, who wants to eat plain cake right? For this cover, Danimation stepped in and knocked this one out of the park. Using photoshop and a Wacom tablet Dan goes in and initially blacks out all the separate areas by doing what’s called ‘flatting’ the image. This just means he adds flat colors to each area like Spider-man’s suit, Sandman, and all the background elements so they all appear as their primary colors. Dan then uses a variety of photoshop tools like paint brushes(both standard and ones he makes custom), lassos, and gradients to give the piece more dimension and depth. He’ll even add shadows and highlights showing the light direction. For example, see the shadow being cast by Sandman’s head falling across his chest. It details like this that make the image look truly convincing. As the colorist, Dan is the last person to touch the cover before it’s printed and responsible for setting the mood of the entire piece because his colors are going to be the first thing the viewer sees. Because of this a colorist can be the pencilers best friend or worst enemy and can really make or break a cover. Dan decided to have a little fun with this piece and did a version with Spidey in his black costume from the movie as well!

Hope you found this enjoyable! If so, let me know and I’ll try and do more of these in the future. I plan to do a color tutorial as soon as I find the time but, in the meantime, let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know.

Best!
-Mark

Myspace: [link]

Yahoo group: [link]

Sketchbook ordering details: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcapensis:
capensis Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014   General Artist
Thanks for taking the time to explain all of the steps!
:+fav:
Reply
:iconjonathan-hillmer:
jonathan-hillmer Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I love the step-by-step demonstration. Thank you for taking the time to write everything down. You are amazing.
Reply
:iconryancole11234:
RyanCole11234 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
I'd like to know the program you use and how you draw them like, scan a drawing or with a mouse or with an activinspire board.
Reply
:iconjonathan-hillmer:
jonathan-hillmer Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I love the demonstration and explanation of the step-by-step process.
Reply
:iconspidey1717:
spidey1717 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
I'm finally on here bro!!! LOVE this!!
Reply
:iconfunkytunes:
funkytunes Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Professional Photographer
Da Best....
Reply
:iconthomasscantenii:
ThomasScantenii Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Student General Artist
This was very cool and interesting...I hope you do more of these step by step posts...thanks
Reply
:iconkisses4katie:
Kisses4Katie Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really great!! As a long time comic fan and recent Spidey fan its exciting to see the process involved. I sure hope I get there one day!!
Reply
:iconredde67:
Redde67 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
that s bad i have no money to buy the artbook. are there digital version?
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:iconredde67:
Redde67 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
perfect
Reply
:iconzeshanshani143:
zeshanshani143 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
good
Reply
:icongokusatsuken:
gokusatsuken Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
Thanks for the tutorial. I'm still a novice but this has given a lot more insight on how to work out my art better.
Reply
:iconhitsuji-k:
Hitsuji-K Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Student General Artist
it was you who did, for me you are genius!
Reply
:iconnatashnamac:
natashNAMAC Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
i love your tutorial ;0D
Reply
:iconwambamchan:
wambamchan Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009
maan! ur my hero :O ur freekin awesome!!! i would write an essay on how amazing u r but i wont want to waste ur time reading it lol wow!
Reply
:iconsketchproof:
SketchProof Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you print out a large pic like that? I mean, do most printers print a size of 8.5x11? Or is there another method behind that?
Reply
:iconmirrorwoodcomics:
MirrorwoodComics Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
A lovely job, I especially like the details on the buildings.
Reply
:iconazraelusguy:
AzraelusGuy Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good piece of work :D
Reply
:iconabigbat:
abigbat Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Very helpful tutorial - I'm currently trying to absorb some of these lessons into my style, this was a great read.
Reply
:icongraunkec:
GraunkeC Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008
I really enjoy how you give us a peak into the process of creating these images, from thumbnail roughs to finished for print, its great to be able to see the visual progression a cover piece goes through along with professional insight. Kind of reminds me of when Wizard used to have their how to draw section in their magazine. I always liked that. Great work.
Reply
:iconspidey0318:
spidey0318 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
wow. when will I color your awesome work? when....wheeeennnn?!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhrrrrggggg
Reply
:iconredthrall:
RedThrall Featured By Owner May 5, 2008
I really like that you showed this to us step by step. I aspire to sketch for comics and graphic novels in the future, though I know I need to up my skills a LOT. Seeing this step by step really does help, and the explanation that goes a long with it is great. Thanks you so much for this.
Reply
:iconsanskarans:
Sanskarans Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008  Professional
Just marvelous
Reply
:iconchristhedragon:
christhedragon Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008
awesome work as always!! :+fav:
Reply
:iconrlevitsky:
rlevitsky Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2008
You are an absolutely unbelievable artist... all of your work is so beautiful. I really hope that one day I'll be able to draw like you. Thanks for the inspiration.
Reply
:icon3xhumed:
3xhumed Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008  Hobbyist Interface Designer
wow, absolute amazing work
Reply
:iconjumei:
Jumei Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
you are god
Reply
:iconmclazy:
McLazy Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008
i love this~
Reply
:iconmotero:
MOtero Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Dude the light and shadows, more the lights but if the light cahnge change shadow areas too right? they are diferents. origianl costume spiderman classic have more light than the venom costume.

i came back and i still like it.
Reply
:iconshaheenart:
shaheenart Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2007
Wow... i love it... i like pro art ^^ thanx dear.
Reply
:iconninja-bunny:
Ninja-Bunny Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007
Wow you have this uncanny ability...to fucking rock.
Reply
:icontherising1:
TheRising1 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2007
danm.. im gona have to fav your entire Gallerie.. hehe. If you could tell me some thing about Mark Bagley I would appreciate it. I miss him from Ultimate Spiderman.
Reply
:iconsuhas101:
suhas101 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
you are THE best artist ever man!!!
Reply
:iconthefool432:
TheFool432 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I have to say, I think I like the original sketch the best heh.
Reply
:iconangrybr:
angrybr Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THIS IS THE BEST COMIC ART TUTORIAL THAT I EVER CAME ACROSS(had been looking for somethin like this forever, i do basic penciling, and have no clue on inking and coloring,you have jus helped me a lot and i dunno how to thank you)im soon goin to post my pencil sketches and maybe i could share some advice from you .thanks n ill keep in touch.:)
Reply
:iconsushigut:
sushigut Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much for the info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:headbang:
Reply
:iconyomi-lein:
yomi-lein Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007
wow! i like the black version XD
Reply
:iconspiderguga:
spiderguga Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2007
You Rocks man!!! Amazing Cover!!
Reply
:iconbramveijk:
bramveijk Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2007
wooow! really cool:D love it!
Reply
:iconfreakzter:
Freakzter Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
holy wow...so is it possible for one person to cover ALL those steps themselves?
Reply
:iconannyd:
annyd Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2007
hey brooks, What types of pencils do you use for the layout!?
Reply
:icondreamflask:
dreamflask Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2007
Please do more of these.
Reply
:iconandrocoastal:
androcoastal Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2007
you are a crack!!!!!
Reply
:icondmented7:
Dmented7 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2007  Student General Artist
All three of you guys are awesome, seeing how each of you work is very interesting - thanks for showing! :D
Reply
:iconsipahioglu:
Sipahioglu Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007
amazing........
Reply
:iconmadmagnus:
madmagnus Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2007
Great stuff.

"Soo educational!" (Kintaro Oe)

I would so love to see the color tute. YAY!
Reply
:iconzelmarr:
Zelmarr Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome work! I can't wait for the tutorial
Reply
:iconwetwasabi:
wetwasabi Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007
..."standing novation"...
Reply
:iconvirtu-imagery:
Virtu-Imagery Featured By Owner May 30, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
This is off the hook!
Awesome art work.
Reply
:iconheyisdjtoo:
heyisdjtoo Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
thanks for tutorials, man. it's helpful
Reply
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December 12, 2006
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