So I've realized that it's actually tougher to figure out what to write than to actually write the post itself... which is why the last update was almost 3 months ago, haha! Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy, and I want to say thanks for subscribing to my website! This time, I thought I could share my latest artwork, "THE HULK LEGACY," which I produced in collaboration with the talented folks from SIDESHOW ART PRINTS. Behold, it's truly EPIC... drum rolls
...at least in my own opinion, haha. I rarely work on pieces at this scale and level of detail, so I'm quite proud of it and satisfied with how it turned out. Crafting large-scale pieces like this is more challenging (similar to Bruce struggling to control that beast!) because I have to consider both the overall composition and how the piece will look when it's divided into its individual sections.
"THE HULK LEGACY" showcases three different stages in Bruce Banner's life: his Grey beginnings, the classic Green hue, and the Gladiator of Planet Hulk, with his son Skaar by his side. Since I invested a lot of time and effort into creating it, I thought it might deserve more spotlight. So, let's delve into the insights!
When Sideshow came to discuss the Hulk project, they mentioned two key words: "Aggressive" and "Dynamic." They also expressed interest in a Hulk Legacy concept, featuring different versions of the Hulk in a 3-part interconnected piece. I became super excited when they mentioned the desire for a 3-part connecting illustration, as I've been a huge fan of Marko Djurdjevic's epic connecting covers that he created for Marvel in the 2010s.
Obviously, I can never replicate everything Marko did, but I can learn from the best! Even the Hulk piece he created before still lingers in my mind every time I think about the Hulk. It's SO GOOD.
I can talk about my inspirations all day, so hopefully, you guys don't mind. I have to give respect to the maestros I've drawn from, you see. There are a few more pieces that I want to discuss, but maybe let's return to my artwork for a bit before that. So after the first round of layout submission, Sideshow, as usual, provided their valuable feedback and essentially elevated that piece to a whole new level. Here is the revised version:
THE EVOLUTION OF HULK LEGACY
Which we thought was ready to proceed to the next stage, which is also my favorite stage - the inking! By now, there are A LOT of really good take on Hulk illustrated by various artists in the industry, my favourite being maestros Mike Deodato Jr, David Finch or Dale Keown.
Mike Deodato has illustrated some of the best Hulks, and I still remember those pages from 2008's Wolverine: Origins #28. Just INCREDIBLE (pun intended)! On the other hand, David Finch is one of my favorite artists. I really love the way he inks, to the point where I almost spent a crazy amount of money to own the original art for this transformation piece on the right side here... until I lost the opportunity while debating with my inner conscience. Phew, money saved... So, with these influences in mind, I began inking. My inking process is fairly straightforward: I usually print out my digital clean sketch and start inking on top. The traditional piece consists of three A3-sized sheets (similar to 11x17), and I inked them taped together. I caught a nasty influenza just when I started inking this piece, so it took me much longer to finish it. I think I spent about 4-5 days, approximately 4 hours a day, on the inks.
My inking technique has evolved significantly over the years, and perhaps I can share more about that in another post sometime. Once the inking is complete, I scanned it at 600 dpi for the next step: Grayscale underpainting, or the Grisaille technique, as the traditional masters called it—a term I became familiar with thanks to Maestro Adi Granov!
I always work from grayscale to color, as I've consistently lacked the confidence to incorporate colors right away. I've received numerous questions about this technique, so yes, I'll be sharing the details next time as well. Now, let's talk about...
I like to keep my compositions easy to focus on, and even though we have a complex piece, I try to control the bigger picture so that viewers stay interested at first glance. We have an almost symmetrical composition in the center, thanks to the HUGE Hulk face in the background. On the left side is his shoulder, and on the right side is the planet, which I purposely scaled to maintain the same shape as the shoulder on the left. A symmetrical composition always works when you want to convey Power and Might, which works best for the classic green Hulk in the middle, performing his Hulk smash (showing motion). The right section features Gladiator Hulk and his son Skaar, and I thought it was appropriate to have Skaar in mid-jump with the planet behind him, creating a sense of action and "to be continued," if that makes sense. Both sides are looking away from the center, creating an explosive impact from the focal point.
Alright, folks! That's about it. I believe I've reached the limit of your reading concentration, so I'll stop here haha. Below, you'll find some details regarding this print with Sideshow, Deluxe Giclée (unframed or framed) will be available in an edition of 250, and the individual images will be available exclusively as HD aluminum variants in super limited editions of 62 (as a little nod to the year Hulk debuted). If you're interested in getting these, they will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 1st on Sideshow's website. You can also enter for a chance to win it HERE and test your luck!
Hope you guys love the post, until the next time! Cheers, Kael.