Old Man Logan Studies

Monday, September 21, 2009

My first step in painting almost any cover is to produce a comprehensive sketch, in this case a digital color study. My first attempt, which I'll share on Thursday, was shot down for several reasons (one of which must have been that it was too awesome). For my second attempt, I wanted something that was reminiscent of a Frederic Remington painting, so I used the color scheme from one of his many nocturnes. I was afraid that this wasn't going to fly either and my fears proved well-founded; it wasn't dynamic enough.

As with most of my studies, I like to start out in grayscale, which allows me to hammer out composition and content before I sink too much time into color.

I liked this one well enough, but they asked me to change a couple things: have the horse facing the viewer and lower the point of view, two edicts that I am often compelled to obey (just replace the horse with any character).

I, of course, obliged and it began to look more and more Napoleonic. They asked if I could lower the point of view even more, but I made a convincing enough argument against it. You may also notice that I decided to remove his hat in the final—I wanted to paint some of that lovely white hair.

Tomorrow: Old Man Paolo and his plastic steed(s)


  1. wow....that first sketch is awesome as well. So Remmington. Still wondering how you fit that horse in your apt. Guess I'll find out tomorrow.

  2. Hmm. I can see why maybe they wanted a more dynamic image than the first one; it would make a great painting but not necessarily a great cover.

    I think the second take is great though. I quite like the fact that the horse is facing away. Wolvie looks more sneaky, and the hat's great too.

    Having you make the horse face the reader in the final version doesn't really improve it, i think. Would have been great if they let you use the second version.

  3. I like the first sketch. It's not very dynamic, but it has a lot more "weight". I also like that fact that he has his pants pulled up past his navel. He is old man Logan, afterall.

    I hope your arguement for not lowering the perspective any further was that no one wants to see a horse crotch shot.

  4. While your initial sketch may not be as dynamic, it is certainly intense and I am a sucker for those front lit figures at night. Also seems more "Western" than the more "Revolutionary" final.

    The aquamarine sky was a nice choice (any particular reason?) and I'm glad you went with your gut in featuring Logan's white hair.

    Always cool to hear about your thoughts in addition to process.

  5. One more thing - I realized that what I like about the sketch is the dichotomy of the man and horse lit by what appear to be headlights.

  6. you know what, the last three are typical and cliche, but we must obey the powers that be. the first is actually more powerful, which lends a more sense of mystery or suspense. my two cents. but they all turned out great.

    peace out

  7. Ray, it was very difficult.

    Declan, I would've been happier with that one as well, but even when I was doing it, I knew what they were going to say. Had to give it a try, though.

    Neil, glad you noticed the pants. I figured he must be old enough to have lived through that era. As for the horse, I don't believe I used the argument, but now it's in my arsenal.

    Michael, the sky had a lot to do with Remington. He tended to use greenish hues for his nocturnes. Of course, what I ended up with doesn't feel very Remington. I think it would've if I had been given free reign. Also, I wanted fire light to be the source of illumination, but that was really only getting across in the first sketch.

    Arnie, that's very true. Marvel is the patron, after all.


  8. Just discovering your blog for the first time - so cool to see your process and watch your interview. I'm a frustrated comic book artist myself, still regretting having turned down an offer to draw a book by a my favorite writer nearly two decades ago (I was too intimidated and felt I wasn't ready). Hmm, maybe blogs like yours will be inspiration enough to get back into drawing more sequential work instead of the more sketchy stuff I put in my own blog.

    Anyhow, love the underpainting you put in for the horse in the two study shots - I kinda like the color blocked quality, as is! Your finished work is amazing though, but I do have a very "chunky" sensibility when it comes to colors.

    I'll be watching your work - cheers! George G

  9. George G, welcome! Thanks so much for visiting. I know what you mean about the feeling of not being ready, but I've always found it's better to jump in first and see if you can swim. I've only recently gotten to the point where my projects don't feel so daunting. They are still, of course, quite a challenge, but the task doesn't seem insurmountable. Best of luck!

  10. I'm still a bit daunted - I read about how long some of your projects take you and that. would. KILL. Me! haha!

    I nearly went up to you to say hi earlier this evening at Union Square, but felt it best to leave you to your adoring public, so I stood offline a bit, and then bolted (don't draw in the dark - you'll ruin your eyes!) I had come from the signing over at Forbidden Planet, and have tentative arrangements to have lunch with one of the creators, but who knows? Anyhow, I'll keep watching!


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