Week 18

Folks send me cool art images all the time. So I try to use them when I can fit them in. This week should probably be labeled the “Wouldn't that Make a Cool Cover: The Unpressable Defects Edition”. Since all three images were forwarded to me from those podcast guys.

First up this week, Mel V sent this venomized Black Cat my way. It's by artist Daniel Dahl. I believe Daniel has done some work for Zenescope in the past. Regardless, you should check out his instagram and all the cool sketch covers he posts.

Next up is this Spider-man image Trey sent over. It's a very cool image and it also has the distinction of being the first 3D Image featured. Truth be told, I've been think about how to ease folks into art created outside of drawing. With digital techniques such as photoshop already being used, 3d computer generated artwork really isn't a stretch. This image was created by artist Andre Holzmeister whose an Art Director and CG Supervisors. Spiderman here is just a personal project he did in his spare time. What's also interesting is in the comments for this image. Andre mention both Jim Lee and Todd Mcfarlane as being big influences in his work.

Last but not least this week is the glorious Catwoman piece. It was created by artist Shannon Maer. Shannon works in games and cover art according to his social media. In many ways his work reminds me of Boris. His process is heavily digital and a little hard to explain. So probably best to check out his youtube channel and see for yourself.

There was a time when I would have been against a comic cover being done using 3D software, but over the years my scope has broadened. At the end of the day a client or publisher doesn't care how you get from point A to point B. What they care about is that the work is on time and looks like what they expect to see.

There's definitely a segment of the comic art world that has gone full digital. Why sell an original piece one time if you can sell a digital print over and over. Obviously that's not the only reason to go digital, simply one of many. Regardless of how you feel about it. One thing's for sure. Creating cool art is no longer limited by the tools, only by an artist imagination.

Till Next Week!

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  • Ben Steiniger

    Love the article Skot. This is one of my faves.

    I have linked that Maer to multiple people and honestly think it is a perfect rendition of CW. Someone buy this and put it on a cover!!

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    I’m a sucker for catwoman (I mean c’mon…) and that pic of her is glorious. I think that is the biggest I’ve seen the ears made but it works for me

    • Skot Whitman

      Probably not the biggest the ears have been done, I remember them be large in some of the animated shows. Personally, I like the idea of larger ears for Catwoman, it creates a more interesting silhouette.

  • Khoi Cakes

    Always look forward to this article.

  • Ben C

    The reflection of Batman in her shoulder is sublime. What an incredible pic

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    That is the single best piece of catwoman art I’ve ever seen.

  • morellotunes

    I see both sides of this argument…

    Generally speaking, the idea of fully digital art in both comics and animation really bothers me. Given that comics are one of the few mediums left that people enjoy, physically, I have always felt that at least the line work (if not the entire piece) should be done by hand. Coloring has been done digitally in both comics and animation for decades, now, and I guess I should get with the times and accept that 100% of some comic art will eventually go this way, but I just can’t accept that. The ability to correct over and over until it’s perfect kind of ruins the artistry and the visceral nature of the medium. It makes it more like math than art and that bothers me a lot.

    HOWEVER… on the flipside, an artist has to have a vision, an eye for layout and composition and no matter what “medium” get used to realize it, some artistry does still exist in those variables.

    With all of that said, this piece of Catwoman art is amazing regardless of how it was made. From an aesthetic point of view, it is hard to argue when the final product looks that good.

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      I’m with you…I cringe at how digit is taking over everything…makes me love commissions even more

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      I agree with you, there’s a glut of “artists” who are good storytellers but can’t draw at all like James Kochalka or Andi Watson, and they get heaped with praise. I’d take a digital piece like this over that junk any day.

      Heck, it looks better to me than John Cassaday’s art, which I always felt was lazy and often out of proportion, such as how he drew the X-Men normal sized and then shrunk Wolverine down, or made him normal sized and them giants.

    • Skot Whitman

      Ok, I’m going to jump on the soap box for a minute here. Personally my issue with digital art has only really been based on structure. Meaning, if you demonstrate that you can draw, “not trace” then what you do after that with the computer doesn’t bother me.

      A lot of artist who do photo realistic comic work are straight up just tracing photos. Obviously there’s a difference from copy a photo one might use as reference and tracing it. About 7 or 8 years ago I noticed some artist were tracing images created in 3D posing software like Daz Studio and Poser. Which if you’re familiar with the 3D base models for those programs it’s easy to spot.

      What i finally came down to was this. Depending on what the client may want, the shortest distance between two points could in fact be taking a photo into a graphics program and tracing or digitally painting over it. In commercial art, typically the client doesn’t care how you get there, they just want it done on time and on budget. So that’s opened the door for short-cuts to be used to meet those expectations.

      At the end of the day, I’m still not sure how I really feel about that personally, I’ve found myself using some of these shortcuts and to be honest I feel sort of dirty afterwards. There’s no sense of accomplishment or pride at the end. It’s more about process than skill or talent.

      I perfert more stylish work, mostly because that’s what’s enjoyable about physically drawing to me. However just because that’s the part of the artistic process I enjoy, doesn’t mean every artist should also be held to that standard. I don’t enjoy the polish, perfection or finishing process of creating art. Others do, so that’s where they’ve chosen to focus. That doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong, they’re creating in their own way which is just different I guess.

  • Clint Joslin

    Wow! That Catwoman is amazing! Always look forward to this each week Skot, thanks!

  • Topher

    Your articles continue to be a must read. Thank you.

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    I hope 1 day this catches on and actually become cover art

  • A. J. Diesel

    I love revisiting these. That Catwoman is just perfection. So dynamic.

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