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Zatanna 11 by AdamHughes Zatanna 11 by AdamHughes
Year: 2010
Client: DC Comics
Media: PITT Pen on Strathmore Drawing paper, then colored with Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Here's a progression showing what we did to get ZATANNA 11 wrapped up.

It started life as a concept drawing for an inventory cover. It was immediately rushed into active status, also being switched from its original issue, ZATANNA 12, to the previous issue, issue 11. Such is life in publishing!

I transferred my concept to fresh paper, maybe twice as big, polished up the pencils, and then inked it with PITT pens. I then scanned it in to Photoshop, and colored it the way I've done 90% of my covers.

After it was completed with the white background, my art director informed me that the cover before this ALSO featured a white background, and asked me if I'd consider an actual color. I chose red because I like reiterating the whole 'red curtain' theatre motif to Zatanna, and there you go.

I gave my boss two versions: when that was just red, and one with an actual red curtain implied, and we went with the red curtain. God bless Baz Luhrman!
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RTPHARTY Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015
Absolute Top-Notch!
Zechary3 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Jaw dropping
DonHusband Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I got a new inspiration... thanks and i love the online tutorials you do for copic!
Omnipotrent Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
TRANCON Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome work Adam :-)
comicsfun Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Gr8 way to show the evolution of a cover & from concept art to finished art. Always enjoyed your work since the early Ghost days!!
DavidPedrozaMc Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
vicmac Featured By Owner May 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Woah, you are great, i'm in love with this
AliaOfTheKnife Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012
Well done.
WhiteWolffie Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
Vedy nice! When you switched the background to red, did you actually shade the lower parts of her legs red too? Or is that just a trick on the eyes?
AdamHughes Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
I think I added some red, so that she felt more a part of the background.
kateyparr Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How do you go from B&W to colour? Really awesome to see the progress, you sir are a genius :)
OrangeFruity Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012
I'm really drawn to that second version with just the black and white. the contrast is cool and
i love that shading. :)
cyberaix Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Professional Artist
Adel5 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
More on cretive process please!
BiondezzA Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Student Digital Artist
awesome ;D
Goldenleaf12 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
SHE is muh favorite of them all!
TheArtificer Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Too bad that, IIRC this will be the final issue cover... *sigh*
bidhrohi Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011
Incredible. Wish this style of artwork appeared in more than just the comic covers. With the exception of few titles (Hellboy, Batman) I'm not as huge a comic book fan as I am of the art.

What kind of computer set-up do you use? A tablet or something more elaborate?
dloubet Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Nice look into the process. I've admired your work for many years.

I know you've done character sketches at conventions, I'm curious as to the legal ramifications of selling drawings of trademarked characters. Can anyone do this, or only artists well known in the industry?
AdamHughes Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011
As I understand it, there's no problem with doing one-of-a-kind original illustrations of copyrighted characters at conventions.
dloubet Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the reply about drawing trademarked characters at conventions.

I'm going to assume that for the purposes of conventions, the trademark holders look the other way. But I suspect that if someone tries to make a living drawing trademarked characters without permission, the holders will quietly prepare a ton of bricks.

Again, thanks for taking the time to reply. You Rock!
ediprata Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Professional General Artist
OMG!! O.O Spetacular!!
camiloandres Featured By Owner May 23, 2011
Oh, man, I need to learn how to do that. Most of my drawings are black and white 'cause and don't know how to use Photoshop the way you use it.
By the way, you are my hero
indigo-csc Featured By Owner May 17, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
untilmoraleimproves Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
Cool. And I think anybody interested in working in the comic book industry can learn a great lesson; one has to be FLEXIBLE. Way to role with it.
ovalportrait Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
Will this possibly be used for a future cover? I really like this one!
Geoshwabel Featured By Owner May 6, 2011
Love it!!!
Vulkanicaa Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011
gosh, this is so great! ;* :D
fdrawer Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
now I can see you specialize in covers, youre very good doing that
thelearningcurv Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
hanks for the incite.... how do you do such good mess?
Nifty-D Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, a Zatanna pic that does not feature rampant boobage! Respect, sir, respect!
untilmoraleimproves Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
I like boobage;)
Nifty-D Featured By Owner May 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, understandable. Boobage for good measure is OK. Rampant boobage is just kinda silly...
untilmoraleimproves Featured By Owner May 13, 2011
What's really silly is saying "boobage" repeatedly. lol
Nifty-D Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
But you said you liked it...
(ok, ok, I`ll stop..XD )
sythere Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011
evolpress Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011
Simply gorgeous!
BubbleTea19 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
Beautiful work! I love the middle pic the most!
SimonFraser Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
I look , I learn.
Thanks very much!
yaderu Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
I love this cover
jjakec Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
do you use photo refrences for lighting or are u just that damn good? lol! the latter is a given but...
Makiko-chan Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011   General Artist
i love this step by step process of Zatanna.
jaggedlittlebill Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
Awesome, as usual...
dead-dance-crow Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011
love it love it love it love it C:

I really love those sneaks behind the great artworks ;)

the inking must be the hardest part...
Nx3Fox Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011  Student Filmographer
Great work as always.
Nice to see some actual workflow. :)
koydan Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
Flawless execution!
Koyuki-sama Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Student General Artist
God bless Baz Luhrman indeed
Jaysa-Laser Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011   Digital Artist
so once you have scanned in all your pen work, you don't do anymore actual drawing in photoshop? It's just colouring in?

I just assumed you went around with the brush tool at some point, because the lines look so clean...

thanks for sharing this, it's been really insightful and helpful
JwichmanN Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
are the fishnets digital? i can just barely see guide lines in the ink stage...

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Submitted on
February 10, 2011
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