This piece was inspired by the pulp fiction adventure novels of the 1950's. Specifically trying to make sure all elements, including the type, give a cohesive styling of a vintage pulp cover. The character chosen for this was the vastly underestimated, Lady Blackhawk from DC Comics.
Step 1) the sketch. Really any project the first step is research. But, when specifically discussing the art, we start with the sketch. Here I get the major shapes, block ins and text placement loosely mapped out for the composition.
Step 2) Blocking in color. For this project, my biggest focus was Lady Blackhawk, herself. So after laying in flat colors we begin to digitally paint and render using our sketch and flatted colors to build upon.
Step 3) Once we render out most of the figure and find ourselves in a "good place," we start to balance out the rendering with the background, here you can see that I'm testing out fonts to start finalizing the text that will play a heavy role on the cover.
Step 4) The type, specifically for this piece is extremely important, like step 3, step 4 is mostly mapping out the rest of the type and making sure it fits with theme and time period the cover is supposed to be set in.
Step 5) Type mostly placed we start working on the background, so we know where the type will live and it won't interfere with any elements.
Step 6) Lady Blackhawk is a bold and in your face character, so planning a background that wouldn't distract from here was very important. Also again, referencing the context of the timer period and style of work we're trying to mimic, the backgrounds were often the second fiddle to the colorful characters gracing the covers of the pulp novels of the 1950's.
Step 7) Lastly to tie all the elements together and to sell the idea of an actual vintage pulp novel thats traveled the world, passed through many a hands, we ding up the cover. This helps to give it that worn vintage look and takes away the cleanness of the digital painting.