Captain America April 25, 2011 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Axis, Captain America, Frazetta, Germany, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Marvel Comics, Nazis, Nick Fury, painting with markers, red skull, S.H.I.E.L.D., WWII
Captain America (my favorite character), Nick Fury, and the Red Skull, 11×14 vellum bristol board, white ink, colored pencils, copic markers, and inkwash. The color theory’s pretty straightforward here, red, blue and yellow, with the yellows moving towards browns and oranges. This helps pull out the various blues to help the foreground pop a bit against the busy, though monochrome, background. The composition is also not very complex, with each foreground character in an “S”, in fact they are mirroring one another’s pose pretty closely if you really look at it. I do that not only for composition, but for some symbiology. Nick’s all offense weaponry, in darker colors and yet leaning back. Cap has that “defensive” shield, yet has a much heavier bulk, and is leaning forward much more aggressively. Oh, and he’s showing us his back. Like he’s concerned at all. 🙂 Oh, and of course, when the two characters come together they make a big triangle.
Red Skull was originally going to be in the center, over the main characters, and they were going to be smaller. It was originally going to be much, much more influenced by Frank Frazetta in that way, with Nazis or Hydra soldiers all swarming up over them. In the end though, the client and I decided to drop all of that for various reasons, and move the characters closer to the viewer. I also decided the composition was too broken evenly down the middle, so shifted the Skull to the left and Fury up and to the right. This really, IMHO, helped make the piece more dynamic, and your eyes move around it a lot more now, as opposed to straight up and down.
The Frazetta influence remains though, especially in that Nick Fury is a direct homage to a Frazetta cover. I’ll let one of you all guess which one. Also, I’ll point out that I only inked the foreground, and the background itself is painted with markers. I did this for two reasons. One, so that I could go bold with color and yet have the foreground still stand out due to the black ink lines; secondly, I just wanted to show people that you can really, truly PAINT with markers. Whether I painted well or not is really up for debate I guess, but I think I’ve shown that you can indeed paint with them and not just fill in between the lines. Oh, and there’s no actual “black” up there either. 🙂
You can see how this entire piece came together here.