It's not a stretch to say Guillem March is one of the most talented artists in the Batman group. Doubly talented when it comes to creating compelling and great-looking covers. So, it was a no-brainer to suggest having him chat on the blog about just what his process is. Especially when the very talented Bat-editors Mike Marts and Janelle Siegel send me some pretty art to post. So, here's his take on the creation of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #8. Take it away, Guillem:
When I was thinking about a concept for this cover, I focused on Poison Ivy since the issue is about her. I had the idea of a frontal closeup of the face. I like face close-ups and I´ve drawn others, like the covers to Oracle #2 or Gotham City Sirens #2. In this case I went further and the face is so big that it´s only shown partially. It´s a very simple idea, but I don´t remember many covers like this, and that´s the point--making something new and eye catching! I made some layouts of this idea, some of them with additional elements to make the other Sirens appear in the final image.
Once editor Mike Marts and Artistic Director Mark Chiarello had selected one of the layouts, I decided the technique I´d use for it. Sometimes I do painted covers, and sometimes I follow the typical process of penciling, inking and coloring by computer. For this cover I did the same as for the Gotham City Sirens #3 cover, a painted illustration in gray wash, with a plain color applied on it by computer. I drew the face on the back of the DC regular paper so I don´t have any blue guides on it. It was a little bit of a challenge for me, as I´m not used to painting such an oversized view of something that is usually only a few millimeters in the interior art, and it´s easy to lose the sense of proportion. The leaves falling were drawn separately so I could then compose the whole image better by computer.
The last step of coloring had no complications, but has a vital importance for the final result. While coloring I noticed the huge iconic content that the colors of Poison Ivy have. The gray wash shows a woman´s face, but green skin and red hair means Poison Ivy with no doubt, without needing to put the leaves on it.