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Mr. A
Posted By Scott at 11/23/2023 9:13 PM

I knew nothing of this character prior to reading his name, and unfortunately couldn’t get much of a sense of it from the information I could find online. I wanted to go for a noir vibe, and play up the good/evil, scales of justice angle. I’d locked into the format of these images early on (12” x 4.5”) and unfortunately I don’t think all of the images came out as strong because of this limitation. That being said, I loved the challenge!

It’s a black and white comic. Get it?

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The Vulture
Posted By Scott at 11/22/2023 9:12 PM

I knew Vulture from the comics and animated Spider-man shows, but it was actually a Rob Liefeld cover of New Mutants that sticks out in my mind when I think of this character. I don’t even remember the context of the issue, the plot-line would soon be all about Cable, but I distinctly remember that cover, Rusty handing on to just Vulture’s leg and just knew I had to have it. This was pretty straight forward art wise. Just played with some stark blacks and a simple background.

I felt like the inks were pretty strong on this one so I didn’t mess with it too much. Very tasteful flats for shadows, some clouds dotted in the background and some basic colour holds on the webbing.

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Posted By Scott at 11/21/2023 9:09 PM

I love the golden age aesthetic of this character. Her powers are described as the ability to teleport people through The Land Of Nightshades, but in doing so she exposes them to their worst nightmares. I wanted to play that up with the contrast of a nightmare land and a serene landscape.

Taking this to its logical conclusion in colours by having a stark contrast of serene, muted colours against the vibrant red of the nightmares with Nightshade’s portal as the delineator. Stuck once again with basic flats for shading, while using some colour holds to push the contrast on the serene landscape further.

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The Creeper
Posted By Scott at 11/20/2023 8:00 PM

I honestly didn’t intend for this to come out looking like William Shatner but here we are. I only know this character from some of the Eclipso storylines in the 90’s, and even then my memory is pretty spotty. I’ve always had it in my head this was sort of a hero version of the Joker; all chaos and laughs. Such an odd character with an equally odd history. I played up how much the... hair collar (?) looked like it could get in the way.

I will be the first to admit I am not a fan of the colour scheme of this character. The approach here was some tasteful flats to show depth, some emphasis on the lettering and some halftones to play up the 60’s camp of this character/William Shatner look-a-like.

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The Lizard
Posted By Scott at 11/19/2023 8:03 PM

This has always been one of my favourite Spider-man villains. A very Jekyll & Hyde story stemming from Curtis Connor’s good intentions, coupled with the raw, primeval power of the persona of the Lizard leads to a great dynamic that adds depth to a villain on paper that could just be a two dimensional bad guy for Spider-man to knock around. No real tricks on the drawing itself. I just wanted to draw Lizard in a stalking, threatening way; ready to pounce when something comes into view.

This is a fun little trick I’ve used in the past (and in a few pieces in this project) where I apply an opaque gradient on a soft light layer. It normalizes the colours in the gradient a bit, and can be used to create a light source, or in this case, a foreboding red overtone suggesting something bad is about to go down.

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Ancient One
Posted By Scott at 11/18/2023 8:00 PM

I knew nothing of this character other than the change in casting when the Doctor Strange movie was coming out. I think I mostly came across Doctor Strange as a guest in other comics versus through his own stories, so a lot of the supporting cast just fell off my radar. This character has a design aesthetic that was pretty heavily used in Marvel comics unfortunately, so it didn’t stand out too much. I wanted to focus on the magic use, with a little nod to the recognizable Doctor Strange window pane.

Pretty straight forward on this; I wanted a cooler tone to offset the bold colour choices of the outfit while also trying to draw attention to the cosmic and magical elements of a character like this. The galaxy through the window was a lot of fun to create and I think it lends itself well to the character.

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J. Jonah Jameson (Spider Slayer)
Posted By Scott at 11/17/2023 7:30 PM

Here’s this guy again. I just do not get J. Jonah Jameson as a character, I’m sorry. Coupled with the fact that the original design for the Spider-Slayer armour is just the oddest looking thing to me and I had to go back to the drawing board on this a few times.

Ultimately, I decided to use the mechanical arms to create an interesting, semi-symmetrical pattern. By the end I actually really like how this turned out. As long as I don’ t think too hard on the fact that it’s J. Jonah Jameson in a very odd looking robotic suit.

I opted for a little throwback to the original colours for the regular J. Jonah Jameson piece. Some basic shading and some texture (which I always label the layer for as “Dirt” for some reason) and this was mostly done. I like the dramatic lighting on this and thought the pattern worked well with the deeper red.

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Blue Beetle
Posted By Scott at 11/16/2023 8:00 PM

Out of all of the art I created for this challenge, thirty one pieces in total, this was the only one I finished, mulled over for a day and redrew. My original was just not dynamic, had pretty glaring anatomy issues and just did not match the quality I was hoping to achieve.

I’ve had a bad habit in the past of of sort of crossing my fingers and hoping that colours would fix issues in a drawing but they almost always result in me overworking a piece, second guessing, and still not hiding glaring anatomy issues.

There are some colour pieces I am very proud of later in the series, but I will always consider this one of my favourites. Very minimal shading and colour holds with no gradient, screen or blurred tricks. Just a man, a plan and a busted up robot. The one colour hold I really enjoyed was borrowing from earlier pieces and taking parts of the panel out to extend the background colour. I feel like it really added a little something extra and made the picture just a little bit more dynamic.

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Posted By Scott at 11/15/2023 9:00 PM

I knew absolutely nothing about this character, not even in passing. I think it was a plot that I just hadn’t come across. This design was tough for me as I tried in most cases to stay true to Ditko’s originals but I just did not gel with this character’s look. It is very “of the time” in terms of design, and I just don’t think I did it justice unfortunately.

As much as I was not a fan of the design, this character does have a fun colour palette I can get behind. Again, applying a very minimal amount of shading and effects, I just tried to work within a confined palette. As this character is from the Doctor Strange storyline, I did a little throwback to my first coloured piece of the man himself and brought back some of the halftones to highlight the magic.

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Posted By Scott at 11/14/2023 8:30 PM

I’ve always had a fondness for this character, I think dating back to an absolute killer run Erik Larsen & David Michelinie did in the 90’s on Amazing Spider-man around the Sinister Six. When handled well, he’s a redeeming sort of anti-hero versus just a two dimensional bad guy like some of the other Spider-man villains.

I focused on just the potential for change in the character and how messy someone made of sand would actually be. You’re not walking away from this fight untouched.

By this point in the colouring process I’d started to settle into what was working, what wasn’t and how to carry on the process for the remainder of the work. I recognized that for some of these, overworking a background or even overly detailed shading didn’t make much sense, and the resultant pictures were more of a pop art feel.

For this one, I just went with some very basic shading, some ‘material’ aspects in the sandy parts of Sandman (specks etc.) and a basic colour background that I added some effects to in order to make it appear sandblasted.

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Captain Atom
Posted By Scott at 11/13/2023 8:00 PM

I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize until much later in my comic reading that a lot of the DC heroes I grew up on were from older publications and had already gone through several iterations prior to my discovering them. Imagine my surprise that Captain Atom was one of these, and not just an all metal man from Justice League International from the 80’s. I took this back to Ditko’s designs from the original Charlton comics.

The original Atom has a orange and yellow colour scheme, so rather than shy away from that I just went a bit overboard on the other colours and added some fun space rainbows and well, atoms. If I had to do this again I might up the saturation a bit on the background elements and take it into a less subdued space.

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Posted By Scott at 11/12/2023 8:00 PM

I have very vague memories of Dormammu as a kid, I believe it was either a Fantastic Four story, or perhaps just reading about the character in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (oh boy did I love those books). I just leaned into the ambitions of the character who some have characterized as being on par with Galactus for power. Had some fun with this overall. What’s not to love about an omnipotent being with a flaming head?

Easy to go wrong with something with as intense of a light source as fire. I tried really hard not to overwork this. Really deep reds and oranges are not in my normal wheelhouse of colours I choose to work with, but I had to embrace it. I think it turned out pretty decent and liked the way some of the highlights and glows turned out!

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Aunt May
Posted By Scott at 11/11/2023 5:42 PM

I really struggled with this one. Aunt May is iconic, arguably the most recognizable Spider-man character next to Spider-man himself. She’s been represented in every iteration of the character, across the various books, shows and movies. I drew on some influences from some of the animated shows rather than the comics or movies, simply because I’ve been drawn to the style of animation more so than anything else when it comes to art. I played on the classic plot point of Peter trying not to get caught being Spider-man.

Don’t ask me why I went with pea green for a colour scheme, but I think it worked. I regretted the giant question mark a bit after drawing it, and while I could have redrawn it (or taken it out) I decided to just embrace it. I brought it out more in the colours to highlight some of the cartoon aspects of this drawing. I really liked the backlighting coming from the window on this. It’s a little trick I picked up years ago, and try to use it sparingly so it’s not a gimmick.

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Posted By Scott at 11/10/2023 8:06 PM

My first introduction to Nightmare was in Marvel Comics Presents, drawn by Sam Keith and riding a purple horse. I remember being a huge Sam Keith fan and just snatching up anything he had done at the time. I don’t remember too much about those stories now, but that was quite an impression to make. The intent for this was just a foreboding image of Nightmare in his element: bringing people’s worst fears to life.

This one basically coloured itself! Nightmare has this very garish all green outfit, so I tried to play off that with opposite colours (while trying very hard not to make this Christmas themed). I wanted Nightmare to have the focus, so I pulled back the harshness of the inks with some colour holds very similar to the base colour of the background. Coupled with some lighter gradient as a halo to highlight Nightmare and it was all pulled together.

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J. Jonah Jameson
Posted By Scott at 11/09/2023 8:01 PM

I have to be honest this is a character that I’ve never understood and always seemed a little silly to me. He sort of sits outside of the reality of the world he exists in; he sees a villain in Spider-man when no one else in that universe does. Sure he’s got his rogues gallery, but the villains in Spidey’s life are there because they’re afraid he’ll thwart them. J. Jonah Jameson thinks the man saving the city each day is the bad guy. It’s all a bit odd.

One goal I landed on pretty early in this process was keeping things light and not overwrought. Some basic shadows, perhaps some elements like splatter or a gradient but nothing too over the top. I think those principles came through pretty well on this one. It’s meant to convey the rage Jonah feels at the thought of Spider-man; that he’s really caught in that web of hate.

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Doctor Strange
Posted By Scott at 11/08/2023 7:00 PM

I’ve always gotten a kick out of the character of Doctor Strange. It’s been interesting watching these characters come out on the big screen and how they’ve been interpreted compared to how I remember them as a kid.

In terms of this drawing, I simply wanted it to be dynamic with lost of magic crackling around him; I wanted the air to feel electric. I did get a kick out of the fact that he was so concentrated that you could only see eyebrows.

This was the first one I coloured, and I think I was still finding my footing a bit on how to tackle these. There’s elements here I would repeat later, such as the halftones or colour holds bleeding out past the image border, but this is the only image where the entirety of it is coloured with no black ink. I thought about approaching it again when assembling them here, but I like the idea of sticking to my original intent and showing progress image to image.

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Ditkoctober Part 4!
Posted By Scott at 11/07/2023 3:50 PM

Here they are, the final batch! I actually finished these early but got occupied with work and with colouring each and every one of these entries. That's right, I have 31 new colour illustrations to post!

I'm proud of having accomplished that, this is the first monthly drawing challenge I not only finished during the month, but early!

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