Monday, May 21, 2012

Making of the cover: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Transformation of J.H. O'Donnell

As if entering the world of Hellboy and working with Mike Mignola on one of his books wasn’t exhilarating enough for me, halfway through the issue of The Transformation of J. H. O’Donnell, Scott Allie (its editor and writer) asked me if I wanted to have a go at the cover. Betcha I said YES!

I drew a couple of sketches with the starring characters in mind. Of course, I couldn’t wait to draw a big Hellboy on the cover, but this book is more O’Donnell’s year-one story, featuring Hellboy as an important supporting character, so I focused on O’Donnell and his strange, spooky tale.

Mike and Scott liked the first sketch better. I guess it is more iconic, and the images are stronger and clearer. Also the composition plays better with the new B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth logo.
A note from Scott let me see that there was something wrong with Hellboy’s right hand. The wrist looked weird, that joint didn’t look right, and I needed to forget the pressure of drawing Hellboy and learn how to draw that awesome hand!

Here is the cover with the fixed hand. I generally work this stage with a blue pencil. It makes it easy for me to clear the blue line in Photoshop, without doing much erasing on the art board after inking.

The inks! This stage is probably the best one for me, as I enjoy working with brushes and ink. I can play around more freely than with a pencil.

Here is the cover without the blue line and with the proper adjustments done in Photoshop.

And finally the cover after the amazing Dave Stewart did the colors. The tones are handled perfectly; the levels of strangeness and spookiness gain a lot with the addition of these colors.
This is the first time I ever saw Dave coloring my work. I’m a big fan of his, and I had always wanted to work with him. This book was totally a dream come true!

Preview: B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth - The Transformation of J.H. O'Donnell #1

on CBR


  1. Awesome. I can't wait for this story. I hear you're back for more BPRD in the future too :D

  2. Thanks Mark, I hope you'd enjoy the book. And yes I'm doing some more stuff I can´t tell about. The news will come out soon enough.


  3. I loved it. Totally loved it. It exceeded my expectations and those were already very high.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing you draw young Hellboy in BPRD: 1948.

    I hope you get to do something with O'Donnel again in the future. The way you draw him, I just can't stop looking at it. I had so much fun with this story. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Mark, It really makes me happy hearing you like the book. And we are doing really interesting things with Hellboy, the professor, and other strange characters. Glad and surprised you know about it!

  4. It was mentioned on the Hellboy boards.