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Flashback - Clash in the Old Vic Tunnels

This week's flashback is another piece that ended up being the first in a series, Portals in this case. I remember just wanting to have a go at a traditional superhero image, so we ended up with this Man-Who-May-Or-May-Not-Be-Super, probably influenced by M.D. Bright's version of Milestone's Icon. With all the androids and cyborgs I'd been drawing, it made sense for his opponent to be robotic.

I'm happy with the pencilling, apart from the superhero's right leg. I think I got that little too long. Not Rob Liefeld-long, but long. Still, overall, I think I got the athletic, rather than bodybuilder physique I was going for.

In the inking stage, I tried to use the cross hatching to show the shadows' changing directions as I moved around the two light sources (the superhero's hand, and the droid's shoulder cannon).

This was the first time I'd tried doing digital shading quite like this. With the two extreme light sources, I think it added a level of contrast the image needed, and helped to further define the forms.

I had to go looking for this, but here is the original photo that became the background for this picture. I'd spent the day around the South Bank in London, and I think this was the first time I'd been into the tunnels that run under the Old Vic Theatre.I think I literally took hundreds of photos that day, and I think I chose this one because of all the colours, and the face ended up being between the characters.

There were a few Photoshop things I did to finish this off that I was really pleased with. I made the energy of the two light sources translucent, to make them distinct from the solid parts of the characters. I also gave them shadows, which I think did a good job of grounding the characters, rather than just having them float above the photographic background.

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