Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 258

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Out of Nowhere (Blackout #1 Variant Cover). 2013.

I posted this before, but it came out last week, so I figure that's a good enough excuse to mention it again. It's a variant cover for the Dark Horse series Blackout, written by Frank Barbiere with art by Colin Lorimer. The story follows the adventures of Scott Travers, who can access another dimension with a special suit.


We went through several iterations, detailed below, but then my editor sent me this North Korean propaganda poster. I have no idea what it says, but it served as the perfect inspiration. Plenty more inspiration came from the wonderful blog, 50 Watts. Oh, and I used my trusty M-4 1/6 scale gun as well.

inspiration, reference, and early attempts

Although it was all done digitally, I try to think of it like cut-out pieces of construction paper. Each color is on its own layer, "clipped" to the one below, meaning each subsequent shape is bounded by the one at the bottom. I save the gradients for the top layer, which are painted with the airbrush tool set to "Dissolve" mode (which provides the grainy texture).

Grainy gradients make everything look better!


  1. Airbrush set to dissolve... that's a good one. I hope I remember it the next time I need that effect! Thanks! Great work!


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