Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cover Replica: Batman #251

Batman #251

Here's the original cover of Batman #251 by Neal Adams.

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Aaaaaaannnnddddd, at the risk of having to do another "Mea Culpa" (this time for Neal Adams rather than Brian Bolland), here's the cover replica I did for my pal (and Superman's), Jim, from Jimmy Jams Comics and Games here in Winona, MN.  

Ugh, these things are ginormous and take FOREVER to do!  Unfortunately, they are so large, the color is sort of off a bit and the lighting is a bit strange.  Oh, well.

The process is basically the same as my previous cover replicas...

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STEP ONE:  I cut a 20" x 30" piece of hardboard, and then glued a 22" x 30" sheet of Stonehenge (#140) paper using acrylic medium, and trimmed the excess paper after it dried.  I then used a mixture of gesso and acrylic medium to paint over top of the Stonehenge paper to prep it for painting.  When that was done, I drew a 1" x 1" grid and set to pencilling the cover image.

Once the pencils were done, I began to paint the large areas with acrylic paint.  The straight lines were done with a Sharpie marker and a ruler.  The other line work was done with a mixture of acrylic black paint and waterproof India ink and painted on with a round brush.

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STEP TWO:  Here it with most of the color laid in and the lettering about half-done in spots (less so in others).  Gee, I haven't mentioned that I hate lettering for quite a while!  Mostly 'cuz I'm not all that great at it and it is a painfully slow process for me.  Yeah, yeah, I'll get better with practice.  :-S

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STEP THREE:  Here's the finished picture.  To blend in some of the light-purple effects on the gloves and the Joker's suit, I used a drybrush method with the acrylic paint.  To drybrush, you use a little bit of paint on a larger, round, hog bristle brush, wipe most of it off on a separate piece of paper, then lightly brush the remaining bit of paint across the picture, which gives it more of a soft, almost airbrush effect.  When it was done, I sprayed some Krylon UV-Resistant Archival spray as a varnish.

There are a few wonky areas that bother me, but I was generally pleased with the finished painting.  Mostly, however, I was glad it was done and I can move on to some other stuff, now.  :-)

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This was done with acrylic paint on 20" x 30" gessoed Stonehenge paper glued to hardboard.



  1. I think it looks awesome, man. I had to really search for differences.

    Of course, one of those differences, as in the Neal Adams reproduction, is your signature. That incident still cracks me up. Mostly because, I mean, the signature is right there! Kind of unobtrusive, maybe, but not like it's hidden.

    1. Yo, Jack! Thanks for the kind words, as always. :-)

      For the Cover Reproductions, it is the case where a literal 1/8 of an inch one way or another can make a difference. It is a tedious (and relatively boring) process. The differences always stand out to me as a neon, flashing sign.

      And, as hard as I try, there are always one or two things on the I look at and have to say to myself "Yikes! That part looks TERRIBLE and not even close! How did I miss that?" Of course, I realize that ONLY after I have everything finished and sealed with Krylon UV Spray, making it nigh impossible to fix it. Ugh!

      As for the whole signing my name on the picture, I guess that is why I will always fail as a forger... :-(