Well, a year and a half after I started it, here's my massive commissioned homage to Adam Hughes' Women of DC poster. It's 20x30 inches, completed in COPIC marker, colored pencil, and white ink on board. It's not a scan but instead an iPhone photo -- its too big for my scanner -- so if anyone wants or needs more detail maybe I can do close-up shots of each character or group of characters.
This was commissioned by the same client who requested the recreation of the AH DC poster back in 2012 and I've been working on it since. He came up with the idea of inverting the colors, and together we came up woth the roster of characters, bouncing ideas back and forth.
A quick overview of my process completing this puppy before I go into details on each character. As it's intended as a to-scale companion to the earlier art, I lightboxed the DC art before I shipped it in order to get general character sizes and placement on the board. That made sure everything stayed in perspective and the same size as on the DC piece without having to erase and erase, and harm the surface of the board.
From there I started working on poses, trying to keep them evocative of the DC art (or even the very same poses Adam used on a few), and yet through varied stances, faces, and attitudes bring out individual personalities in the drawing and make it stand on its own.
So with all of that in mind, from left to right:
- Emma Frost If you're going to have a lot of heroines in black and one in white, and her a pissed-off outcast, there's only one way to go. The White Queen was the easiet one to work out, as I had found a piece of stock photography by alt model Miss Mosh that had already made me think it would make a great Old-Hollywood White Queen, so I adapted that. The photo was a nude, and had no champagne. So I added a dress I found appropriate to Emma and the glass, and tried for a wonderful air of superiority in the face. I gave her ice blue eyes.
- Scarlet Witch The Scarlet Witch's dress has two sources - George Perez's gypsy two-piece design and my own research into gypsy garb. The headpiece is meant to be reminiscent of her normal one in the basic shapes, yet reflect upon the discs across the dress. This one was also one of the ones where the pose changed a goodly bit. I really wanted to tie the figures together in various ways to unify the art and show a certain comradery between the women, and her with her hand on the wheelchair and more relaxed pose is meant to be indicative of that.
- Jean Grey (seated) I was specifically asked to place Jean Grey in Xavier's chair from the X-Men films. I designed her dress to have a very 1960s sensibility, with the squared shiny bits across the top with the cropped look reinforcing a callback from that era. I chose to give her flowing hair because of all of the sharp angles on the dress and what I knew would be the cold, shininess of the chair. I'm trying to bring about contrast and balance with her. I also gave her a more formalized pose as I wanted her to have the air of a professor or teacher. Someone formal, and with authority. I gave her emerald eyes with a tinge of yellow, in order to evoke the Phoenix.
- Elektra Elektra is Elektra. Not necessarily aloof, but distant and confident, thus a bit relaxed. She keeps her cool earrings and sports evening attire based upon Greek garb.
- Rogue I love what I did with her hair, as I never was sure what to do with it as it's been depicted in so many ways. Well, she's Southern so I went with a modernized Scarlet O'Hara. There are some callbacks to Gone With the Wind but the design is mine.
- Captain Marvel Well, you can tell how long ago I penciled this because her dress is sculpted directly from her black and gold Ms Marvel costume, with what I see as only minor changes. As a consolation, I changed her necklace to be her new emblem when I went back over her in ink. I gave her a much more in-your-face, proud stance than Power girl, more befitting her character and history. Looking back, it might have been more interesting if I had done something similar to what Adam accomplished with PG and her sash. On the other hand, it IS her arm that ties the left and right sides of the piece together through it moving your eye over to Shulkie.
- Wasp Sitting there, smiling, simple black dress and short hair. I tried to have the dress trail down a bit like a bee's stinger. I think she adds a nice air of playfulness to the art.
- She-Hulk If She-Hulk fails, the piece fails. I was a HUGE fan of the Dan Slott series, so that's the She-Hulk I'm going for. Lighthearted and modern, and trying to emphasize her as smart, strong, independent, and playful herself, with a dash of big-city lawyer in there to boot. The raised arm pulls the viewer's eye across to the right of the image, bringing the art together as a whole. Note also how I tried to make 4 redheads balance the green skin on She-Hulk. Again, it's hopefully all about balance. The dress is my design, modern, young and daring. The leaf is a reference to change and transformation. Get it? Ha ha. Sigh...
- Invisible Woman Sue's dress is a pretty obvious riff on her Kirby costume. I think it actually works great as a bejeweled gown, and I was somehow able to competently pull of the fade to invisibility without throwing the work off-balance.
- Black Widow My single goal was to make her look like a Bond girl to give her elegance and tie into her past as a spy, so I designed the dress around that, pulling in a few calls to her character (the spider web jewels, hourglass earrings).
- MJ Watson This one really isn't that different from Batwoman, excepting that MJ is a supermodel, so I made some changes to reflect that. It's already a kind of model pose, so why change it? I just added lace (also a Spider-Man reference) and silk, and fluffy shoes. I kind of liked the idea of her wearing silk pj shorts, so I added that as well.
- Storm Basically the same pose as Ivy, but much stronger in spirit and body. her dress is based on traditional African attire and her pulled-back and braided hair is to lend a further air of sophistication.
- Kitty Pryde & Lockheed Same pose as Harley but COMPLETELY different attitude. More modest and kind. Her dress is my own design, and has several callbacks to traditional Jewish attire, especially in the patterns. Lockheed is Lockheed: awesome.
So, hopefully you can see how a 2x3 foot piece of artwork can take so long, if only in research if not in execution.