Valentine's Day Cupid - Patreon

Artwork © 2016 Gene Gonzales

As an early Valentines present I am sharing this piece with everyone. If you enjoy it I hope you will share it with others. This was done on my iPad Pro in Procreate.

This is one example of the process videos I share, and make downloadable, on Patreon. If you would like to see more please visit my Patreon page take a look at the different patron tiers on the page and join us.

Even if you don't pick a tier with process videos, you can still see new artwork almost everyday from me and help towards the goal of me posting one of my own comic creations.



Wildfire - Legion of Super-Heroes

Wildfire © DC Comics

Another Legion commission! I can't get enough of them! Today is Wildfire! I thought Wildfire was one of the coolest looking characters when I first saw him in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes 205. He didn't do much but that visor was cool. It wasn't until I got the elusive issue 201 and the even more elusive first appearance in issue 195 (you have no idea how difficult it was to find that comic back then) that I got to see him in action. Good times!

And if you are interested, I also recorded the inking process and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. Click on over for the better resolution.

Ink and watercolor on 11" x 17" Strathmore water color paper.

Zatanna - Video Process

Just a little process video today. I have had more than a few requests to show how I build the structure of a piece so here you go. I didn't think to record until I was about 2 minutes into it. Sorry about that. :) Click on YouTube logo or Full Screen to get to a full screen mode.

Zatanna © DC Comics

You can check out my YouTube channel for more process vids. And I promise to get back to Ralph and Sue real soon. :)

This is Post #1974

Perils On Planet X - Chapter One Panel Process

I feel like today is Christmas Eve! And there is a great big present under the tree. The present isn't for me, it's for all of you and I hope you like it. And I hope it fits! :)

PERILS ON PLANET X (POPX), the webcomic begins tomorrow. Chris and I have been promoting it as much as humanly possible. I hope all of you will carry that torch for us and let others know about it. This has been a labor of love, sweat, and tears. I cannot express how excited we are about releasing it. And it's free!

Perils on Planet X © 2013 Christopher Mills & Gene Gonzales
Artwork © 2008, 2013 Gene Gonzales

On the eve of the launch I thought I would share another bit of the process. Originally POPX was going to be in black and white. There was no money for color at the time. So I started playing with grays and textures. Above is a panel featuring our Pirate Queen. The first panel is my original rough done in pencil on Bristol Board. After I inked the panel, I erased all my construction lines and then went back and shaded the panel with a 4B pencil. I didn't smooth it out because I wanted the texture to show through for the second part of adding gray tones in Photoshop. By putting a light source right across her eyes, I was going for that old school Hollywood lighting on her to make her more seductive in this panel. Later a search for a colorist introduced us to Ian Sokoliwski and he colored the entire first issue.

I hope you join us tomorrow for some fun and adventure on Planet X.

This is Post #1946

PERILS ON PLANET X - Chapter 1 Cover Process

Hopefully everyone who visits this blog knows that Christopher Mills and I are releasing the first chapter of PERILS ON PLANET X as a webcomic. If not, you do now. Each Friday beginning February 1st we will release a new page in the exciting adventures of Terran Donovan Hawke on the mysterious planet of Xylos. You can find out more about it here:

I thought I would share the roughs and comps that helped developed the first chapter cover. I can't tell you the exact thought process that went through it all because it was several years ago. And frankly I had completely forgotten about the comps I did. But they will still be fun to look at. I hope.

Below is the first rough. I started with pencils and the sketch is only about 4 inches tall, if that. The idea was to introduce our main characters and some elements of the first chapter. I took the movie poster approach here. 

The next step was to do a basic color comp. I didn't get that far really. I just blocked in what I thought would be a nice warm contrast to the logo. We quickly moved from there.

Rough #2 was a bit more dynamic. And at some point we decided to make the image a wraparound cover. It was all the rage back then. Our hero Hawke in an action pose with the other characters around him. I gave our "bad girl" the lions share of the back cover strangely enough. Funny that at the time I had thought of her with long red hair, both in the first rough and this one. The color comp followed.

Below we have the beginnings of what would be the final idea. Still a wraparound cover. The publisher at the time had agreed to it. Some elements of the first and second roughs have come back in a slightly different form. While it still retains a movie poster look, it has also taken on the look of sci-fi/fantasy novel cover. Something I know I was shooting for in the end. During all these stages Chris was providing feedback and constructive critiques, making this a true collaborative effort.

At this point in my career I was using a different painting process. I would do complete finished art in pencil (see below) and seal that with a fix-a-tif spray so it wouldn't smear. I would then block in the color with an airbrush, not using any stencils so as to avoid hard, cut edges. When that was completely dry, I would go back and define everything with paint brush and color pencils. Since moving to Florida I never replaced my air tank for airbrush work and have since moved on to other processes. But I still like this process quite a bit.

Below is the digital color comp I used for creating the final image.

And then the final image.

Perils On Planet X © Christopher Mills and Gene Gonzales
Artwork © Gene Gonzales

If there is a continued interest in this type of post, I will share some other behind the scenes art and design for the series in the future.

Be well.

This is Post #1945

Cleopatra In Spaaaace!

Cleopatra In Space © Mike Maihack

Mike Maihack has been posting guest strips of his wonderful web comic Cleopatra In Space. I had been totally digging all the different takes on these great characters. On Twitter I asked him if he was writing them and others drawing, or were the guest creators doing all of it themselves. Well, a few tweets later (also involving Spazzy) Mike extended a warm invitation to me to do my take on his strip. I did give him a chance to back out, but he wanted to see what I would do. Today he posted my finished strip. I had so much fun doing this, I really want to do my own even more. Thanks for the opportunity Mike, you have a big heart allowing me to play in your sandbox with your toys.

Before you look at the process steps below, you really should read the full strip here. I'll wait.

"Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes 
Goes "A-a-a-h""

Wasn't that fun? Okay, on to the process. I did things a little different with this. I did a full script that I submitted to Mike. He said it wasn't necessary, but I felt better doing the work with his approval. Then I did a really rough layout as a guide. From there I set all the word balloons and borders in Illustrator and printed the page in black on a sheet of 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board. I tightened up the roughs on copy paper, one panel at a time. Then light boxed my pencils on the board with the lettering. Inks were next and then I scanned the finished black and white pages back into Photoshop for coloring. 

The final original art has all the lettering in place and finished inked art. I think it just looks cooler when the letters and art are on the same page. Don't you? :)

And yeah, I really went with those titles. I've been around Royce too long. ;)

This is Post #1656


Wolverine © Marvel Entertainment

This is just me messing around. I took an 11" x 17" sheet of bristol board and smeared a mixture of acrylic paint on it with a paper towel. After it dried I just started sketching. Ink, Copics, acrylic paint and white ink were throw in for the final. I may play around with this process some more in the future. Nice to mix it up a bit.

This is Post #1558

Bonus Video Post - Inking Emma Frost

Video © 2011 Gene Gonzales

Here is the recording of the inking process. I lost the last part of it because the memory card was full, but as you can see the piece was just about finished. This is playing at 2x speed. Enjoy.

This is Post #1452

Bonus Video Post - Inking Mary Jane & friend

Video © 2011 Gene Gonzales

I recorded the inking of MJ. (See earlier post for the finished art) The playback is at 2x speed. I did add a little bit more after I finished recording but it was done for the most part. This is recorded in HD, you can see that version by clicking on the YouTube logo. It will take you right to my channel. I hope you enjoy it.

This is Post 1447

Bonus Video Post - Inking Catwoman and friends

Video © 2011 Gene Gonzales

I started to record the inking process before checking to see how full the memory card was in the camera, so I'm sorry this is incomplete. Still, you might enjoy it. I also took out the sound so you can put on your favorite track and watch. Also, I don't ink this fast, it's playing back at 2x speed.

If you would like to see more videos let me know and I will do my best to record some. Remember clicking on the YouTube logo will allow you to watch this at a higher resolution. And while you are there, if you like it, please give it a "Like".


This is Post #1444

Karate Kid & Princess Projectra - Commission Roughs

I thought I would share the roughs of one of the commissions I am working on. I was hoping to be painting this one over the weekend but a last minute job came in so painting will have to wait a couple of days.

After the three concepts were roughed out, "B" was selected for the final image.

It's kind of a change of pace showing the characters like this. Princess Projectra is a Legionnaire who can create life like illusions. So real you can't tell they are an illusion. So for this piece I came up with her projecting an illusion of her boyfriend, the Legionnarie, Karate Kid.

Princess Projectra and Karate Kid © DC Comics

Above is the tighten pencil drawing that I used to project the image on the final art board. From there I tightened it up some more. I will continue to take pictures and/or scans of the process and post them with the final art.

This is Post #1393

Bubble Gum Pop

I created another slide show for the piece I did this morning while chatting on the phone with another artist. Yes, we were on the phone that long. :) This is just some more experimenting with a style. I had some pitfalls along the way but worked my way out of it. I think Bob Ross used to call them "happy accidents". And that's what they are. There have been many times I have been in the middle of a traditional painting and the plan seems to fall apart. But I keep working and something different and better emerges. At least that's what I tell myself. ;)

Below are the individual images for the piece.

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

This is Post #1215

Now That's A Knife!

I thought I would try a different way of presenting the process steps for today's post. So I made a little slide show and uploaded it to my YouTube Channel. It's a little small here but if you click on it you will be taken to my YouTube Channel where the movie can be viewed a bit larger. I am also posting the individual images below. Let me know how you feel about slides shows and even some more movie step-by-steps.

For this piece, I did the initial sketch in a Strathmore Drawing pad using a Col-Erase Terra Cotta color pencil. I inked it with black Copic Multi-Liner pens and black Prismacolor pencil. After scanning the art into Photoshop CS5. I added shadows on one layer, clothing on another layer and then painted the skin tones on the same layer as the scan. You can see the pencils disappearing as I work the skin tones. I then repainted some of the black lines of the piece. The final part was touch ups and highlights. Overall the approach was a lot like painting with gouache. Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Used thick, not watered down, you paint layers. Building from dark to light. some parts of this piece are like that. This was a fun experiment and I will probably be doing more pieces like this.

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

This is Post #1214

Dream Girl - Canson Cutie Process

This is one I worked on today. I knew I wouldn't finish it but I planned ahead to take some photos of the process.

Below left is the selected pose for Dream Girl. I took that rough sketch as my starting point, and tightened it up in Photoshop CS5. Using a hard brush I sketched out the figure in one color, then refined it in another color. Much like using a blue pencil for structure and graphite pencil for final line art. During the drawing process I would flip the image horizontally back and forth to make sure the figure is correct. If I was drawing this traditionally, I would use a mirror to see the reversed image.

After I got the figure done, I changed it to a black line and printed it out on my Epson Stylus Photo 2200 color printer. Below is the image printed on a sheet of 11" x 17" copy paper. The paper to the right is what I am going to transfer the image to using the light table underneath. (Side note: That paper color isn't accurate. Photos were taken with my iPhone under warm lights.)

Below is the transferred image that I have started inking with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

Dream Girl © DC Comics

More tomorrow!

This is Post #1184

Justice Legion of Aliens - Pencils

Today I worked on the next stage of the Justice Legion of Aliens cover recreation. If you haven't seen the first roughs, check them out here.

The photo above is a shot of the left side of my drawing table. It has a built in opening where I have mounted my old light box underneath. It's a nice set up. I got the table at IKEA a couple of years ago. I used the light table to transfer the enlarged print out of my roughs to the final bristol board. I use a 2H pencil lead and draw very light.

As you can tell I didn't copy everything line for line. I want to be able to add to the final pencils. Keep some energy to them. The tightened pencils are pictured below. Even from this point I will be adding more to the art as I ink. If someone else were inking it, I would spend more time tightening it up so the inker would understand what line is what.

The Legion of Super-Heroes © DC Comics

 I will run this by Aidan for any feedback he may have. Since this is so close to the roughs I don't expect anything major. :)

This is Post #1084

Justice Legion of Aliens - Roughs

Everyone who visits this blog knows of my love of the Legion of Super-Heroes. And there are a lot of Legion fans out there. Which brings us to a series of posts I will be doing involving a unique cover recreation. I was approached by Aidan to do a couple of recreations of some classic Justice League of America covers but recasting the JLA with the LSH. How could I say no? Aidan has graciously allowed me to share the entire process here as it is created. There are two that will be done. I am going to start with this one.

The original cover to be used as the template is Justice League of America #72 by Joe Kubert. The original cover featured Hawkman, who had been turned into salt, and Hawkgirl blaming the JLA. Aidan's idea was to recast the Legion's Wildfire (Hawkgirl) and Dawnstar (Hawkman) in the leads. I believe he also asked for Colossal Boy (Superman), Shrinking Violet (Atom), 1970s Supergirl (Batman) and I came up with Mon-El (Green Lantern) and Saturn Girl (Green Arrow) to round out the cast. And so we have the Justice Legion of Aliens!

First pass at the cover was awkward, as seen below. Hawkgirl's pose was too feminine for Wildfire and I struggled with being true to the source. My substitute pose for Wildfire is stiff and not working. Everything else is looking fine though. After running it by Aidan, he reminded me that it's the spirit of the image, not a line for line recreation he likes. That helped a lot.

Second pass at a rough is starting to work better. I did some adjustments to the main characters, allowing Wildfire's characteristic body language to come out. There is more energy and power in his positioning. I also made a bit of a change to Dawnstar's pose. I made them both a bit larger than in the first pass as well. Now we are on to something.

I finalize the rough pencils below. Everyone is in costume now. I tightened up some of the loose ends enough to give me what I need when transferring the image to the final board. I don't want it too tight  because there will be some tweaking on the final board. And doing a straight trace is the quickest way to kill the energy of the lines.

The Legion of Super-Heroes © DC Comics

I will be posting more as I work on it. The final image will be inked and have all the logos and lettering in place on an overlay of clear acetate. I hope you will enjoy the process.

If you are interested in seeing the amazing collection of "Re-Legion" covers Aidan has commissioned from some outstanding artists, check out his gallery at the Comic Art Fans site.

Thanks again to Aidan for the commissions and for allowing me to share the process here.

This is Post #1080

Harley Quinn - Canson Cutie Progress

Harley Quinn © DC Comics

Not a good day.

I started work on this and got most of it done when I had to go out for an hour or so. (I won't bore you with the all-day hassles of having furniture delivered but not when they said they would) When we got back the house was warm. I was going to sit and finish Harley but thought I better crank the A/C up a bit before I start. See, hot sweaty hands on color paper does not work well together. But once again the a/c is not working. Gotta call service in the morning but for now it's 85° inside. Oy.

So I post a progress photo I took. Since the piece is almost finished, I didn't want to show more.

This is Post #1032

Harley Quinn - Canson Cutie Inks

Harley Quinn © DC Comics

The next step in the Canson Cutie Process. I have inked the transfered image on the red Canson paper. Next step will be adding color pencil, marker, white ink and anything else I can think of to get the finished look. Maybe I will record some of the color work tomorrow and post it here and on my YouTube Channel.

Deena and I went out for an early dinner tonight for some outstanding seafood. She had Sea Bass and I had Swordfish. Yum! Look who showed up uninvited on the butcher paper table cover...

This is Post #1030

Rocket Girl - Process 2

Quick progress photo today. I have built up a bit of color over the values I developed the other day. Not really working much today. Completely forgot it was Father's Day. D'oH! It's also my Mom's birthday today! So happy birthday Mom and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

This is Post #990

Rocket Girl - Process

I started my work day at 7am and just now stopping. While working I have had this piece sitting next to me with paint, brushes and water handy. While the file saves I paint. Yes, it takes that long. Right now I am just establishing values with Paynes Gray fluid acrylic. Not done yet but I still thought I would share.

I think Gary asked me what I am up to these days and while I can't go into any details on some projects I can still mention them.

On my commission list right now is a Catwoman Canson Cutie for Comix Book Gurl. I am working up a quote for a pair of fun Legion related commissions that I will talk about if they come to pass.

I am still doing work for DC Licensing and really enjoying it. I have had one project on my desktop for them for weeks now and it is such a big, memory intensive file, and so much detail I can only work on it a bit at a time. It's been a challenge. I don't know what I can share about these projects but I am going to be safe and leave it at that. Now that the movie is out, I can probably mention that I worked on some art for the JONAH HEX movie. It was a really quick turn around project about a month ago. I was told it would probably be for the opening credits but I don't know for sure.

I should be starting on some artwork for a higher education book by July. I have worked on this series of books before but that was several years ago. Newer editions and new art needed. There are several in the series so with any luck this will be a long term project.

Regarding comic book projects, I was asked by JC Vaughn to step in and do the art for a horror story he wrote. The artist that was going to do it had to bow out and I am happy to step in and help. I will be doing full traditional art chores and traditional lettering on this one. And doing gray tone washes. I am shooting for a look like something out of Eerie magazine. I opted to hand letter the boards too for that classic comic book page. That has to be done by October. I believe the title will be coming out from Moonstone, but I don't have all the details right now.

Still waiting on a project that I have been assured it will happen. A few years ago I did a project for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They want to do another one and have been working out the details in-house for a year now. Last email was in May and I was told the final script revision is being addressed by those who need to see it. Patience is a big part of freelancing. :)

Then of course I have all my other clients that I do graphic design work and small illustration projects. These are small businesses that I have been working with for more than a decade. There is always something coming in from those sources. And I will be working with a friend on the redesign of his company site. A road map for a portal, if you will.

Creator Owned Projects:
Sally Volt: Space Jungle Girl - On hold. Revamping it. Get back to it when I can.
HERC - Characters designed and first story arc written. Need to draw.
Unnamed Gonzales/Vaughn project - Bible for project written. Outline done. Main characters developed.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. But that should bring everyone up to date. Oh, forgot to add, I do this daily art blog. Maybe you have seen it. :)

This is Post #989