Hey all! As you may or may not know, the variant cover I did for the first issue of X-men is finally out! You can snatch up your own copy at this link, as I know many people have been having trouble trying to find it. It’s sold out as of now but keep checking back and maybe they’ll get more copies in? Since the issue is finally out I thought it might be safe to do an OFFICIAL post here. Don’t scratch me, Marvel. So here it is! Coming at you in three versions.
The first is, obviously, the entire completed image without all the type treatments of the actual issue. Here you can get a better view of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. I have no knack or love of drawing architecture or buildings so I do try to stylize them as much as I can to hopefully (HOPEFULLY) disguise all my flaws and shortcomings in attempting them in the first place. I couldn’t escape drawing the school in this image as how can you do a Downton Abbey-esque homage without an abbey stand-in? As you can see from the sketch, I changed the perspective of the school to a much more flattened viewpoint to save me some angst and so that a wonky perspective didn’t distract the viewer. There are minor changes in posture, costuming, and positioning of the characters as well. I so rarely post my sketches to finished pieces I thought it might be fun to see this one.
The second image is a scan of the figures as they appear in the actual painted piece. The backgrounds of my pieces are usually rare or simplified but whenever I need a more detailed background I usually do it separate from the foreground and compile the two in photoshop. Depending on the complexity of the piece or if the client is requesting a hardcopy, some pieces are done as one painting. These figures required some tender love and care and the background required detail and time so I decided to do them in two pieces. As for the figures themselves, of COURSE, I had to put Storm front and center. Her, Psylocke, and Rogue, as older members of the crew, were put in more cusp late 1910s/early 1920s looks while the younger kiddies were put in more explicitly 20s dresses. I had so much fun researching the eras and taking bits and pieces from different dresses to come up with these. Let me know what you think and don’t forget to pick up a copy!