Saturday, September 02, 2017

Batman & Robin commission process.

I was contacted a while ago by comic art collector Stephen Blair because he wanted a private commission of Batman & Robin. After we had established which version of the characters he wanted (he settled on the classic Dick Grayson Robin & the 70's/early 80's Batman), I set upon creating a quick rough for Stephen's approval. This is what I came up with.

Stephen was happy with this, but work commitments meant I had to put it aside for a while. When I came back to it I decided I wasn't at all happy with the Batman figure  (he looked stiff & posed)or the gargoyles, & so set about doing this revised version.

Once again, Stephen was happy, & so I started ahead with an inked version. However, work once again had to take precedence so I set the piece aside. By the time I was once again able to work again on the piece I discovered that the inked version I had started had been under a pile of junk in my studio, & was so creased I had to be discarded. This was probably a good thing on the whole because once again I decided that I wasn't happy with the figure of Batman, so set upon doing a re-working of the figure.

Although I was happy with this revision, It occurred to me that the figure was similar to (if a mirror image of) the Batman figure in the classic Carmine Infantino illustration.I am of course referring to this image...

This bothered me, so I sketched out  bunch of thumbnail figures to try to come up with an alternative pose. These were some of the discarded attempts, there were more, but I can't find all the scraps of paper with tiny Batman figures to scan.

However, in the end, I decided I liked liked the original (despite it's similarity to the Infantino) & so elected to stick with it, further developing the drawing.

Having settled on this, I pasted the figure into the existing pencil for the commission in Photoshop. This being absolutely the final pencilled version.

All that was left then was to trace the pencil onto the art paper (using a lightbox) with a UniPin fine line marker. Once that was done, I got out my weapon of choice (my Pentel Brushpen) to do the rest of the inking. Here are various stages in that process.

The final touch was to add a little grey ink wash to the sky, & hey-presto, all done!

IF anyone fancies a similar kind of commission, either leave a message in the comments or email me at The price for a similar piece is currently £300 plus postage.


Blogger Kid said...

That's a lot of work for one drawing. I hope the price was right. (Nope, not askin'.) People don't always appreciate the work that goes into a drawing. A woman I know once asked me (years ago) if I'd do a drawing of some pop star for her daughter as she didn't want to fork out £17 for a framed print sold in a shop. I said I was too busy, all the while wondering why she imagined an original drawing would be cheaper than a mass-produced print. People, eh?

6:10 AM  
Blogger Staz Johnson said...

I suppose it is quite a lot of work, but other than the final inking (which was done in pretty much one session), most of it was done in '5 minutes here, 5 minutes there' chunks, in between work on Dr Who, so I didn't really notice exactly how long it was taking.

7:38 AM  

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