Monday, April 25, 2005

On the Air

On the Air


Here is a scan of one of the Batman and Robin covers in progress. On something this complicated to avoid over-smudging the piece, I put down all the important lines down with a bit harder F grade lead. Once the structure lines are down, I use a HB grade lead to lay down my shadows moving left to right.

Then I go back in with a sharp HB pencil, usually a .3mm or .5mm mechanical pencil (to save time resharpening all the time) and make all my shadows and smudges into "something." It can be little AC units or water towers or windows on the buildings but the idea is to play with contrast, black and white, and detail and pattern.

As I move left to right, I tighten up all the linework on the figure as well, highlighting the angles and emphasizing lineweights where needed to separate planes. Then I redid the process all over again with the Batman cover.

Here is a closer look.


icemanx62 said...

With the amount of detail that went into this cover, how long did it take to create this piece? All those building are very elaborate, did you use photo reference or did they come from that great creative mind of yours? As always, nice work Jim. Scott Williams have fun inking this cover.

Lord Chimmy said...

Yeah, I was thinking that much detail must take FOREVER. Inking it must be a serious job. Great work.

GoingNuckinFuts said...

well good luck Scott.After all these years inking your work...could this be the most difficult and frustrating one hes ever gotten? haha Must be trying to figure out what he did to deserve this : )


Dude, I had a feeling you were like one of the robots from, "I Robot"- How many people have you killed! I can't trust you now Jim, or should I say J-IM2000. Blasted Robots...

But for real, yeah When I used to work for a large Photography Studio, I worked in the "dye spotting" dept. I wore little white gloves to keep from smudging, but the advantage was how light-fast the dye was, unfortunately graphite isn't like that, I think you found a good solution- I might even get the surgery myself, just graph on a dot matrix printer to my arm.

Seriously though Jim It looks good, real good- too good, stinking robot.

Sam Out-

Vince said...

Thank you a lot for those advices ! I'm gonna use them right now !
This is a magnificient piece !
Bravo !

GTJDorris said...

Thanks, I love getting to see the behind-the-scenes kind of stuff like this. And I can't wait for "Allstar" because I just read the end of "For Tomorrow" and I guess now that I've finished it I can say that I'm disappointed. The artwork was great and I loved especially the scenes with Supes and the preacher inside the cathedral, but the story was blah. And that's weird that I say that because I love Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets and can't get enough of it. Oh well, they can't all be winners. At least I got to see a little more Jim Lee-Superman out of it all, right? Best of luck, thanks, all that jazz.

cadam said...

You've mentioned before that you love comics and you do this because you love it. When you encounter such challenging work where do you stand in relation to those feelings of love? Do you feel less passionate about comic books or more? Are tedious tasks like these the means to deeper feeling or a source of aggravation? It seems to me that all work worth doing has an element of this tedium to it. In my experience this is the decisive presence that seperates the wheat from the chaff. It reveals who is genuinely committed and who would rather be off playing role-playing games.

antonio said...

Jim Can I ask you in what Robin are you basing yours?
I can defineltely recognized the Batman and the influences but what about Robin?
I love the great detail on the page...Great work Jim!..JESUS ANTONIO

patman said...

mr williams must be crying right now (or thinking if he should outsource the background to someone else!) ;-)

fantastic detail, jim. shows how dedicated you are to your art and the type of pro you are. i mean, you can draw a blank piece of paper and people would still buy it and yet you do something like this.

i noticed that you are using the same background for both covers but at different angles. did you ever consider having the 2 covers line up together like your 215 issue of superman?

thanks for again sharing with us our weekly JL fix.


Jason said...

It's going to be interesting to see what these look like once colors are thrown down..

Or will these covers stay black and white? I think that would look cool, but being a #1 issue probably won't happen.

patman said...

b&W covers? am sure it's gonna come out as RRP edition comics. ganna burn a hole in our pockets, that's for sure!

nohoohboy said...

How long did it take for you as an artist to be comfortable drawing in the backgrounds? The details on your buildings are amazing. I like drawing the characters, but I can never bring myself to draw the buildings. And how long did it take for you to draw this particular piece? Awesome job by the way, as usual!

| rc | said...

Black and white covers should be kept for the 2nd printings :)

It's looking great so far Jim!

fingertapper1 said...

i think the batman and robin are both parts of a bigger piece... well im not sure... but that's what i saw in the previews... good job jim....!!!!! do you use photo reference for the background or did you just made it all up?