Earlier today, we showed you Ivan Reis’ and Joe Prado’s cover for AQUAMAN #8. This afternoon, we’ve got an exclusive first look at the variant cover of another eagerly anticipated upcoming release: THE FLASH #8.
We asked artist Bernard Chang (DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS) to tell us a little bit about his creative process and what the experience of drawing the Scarlet Speedster was like. Take it away, Bernard!
“The Flash is one of the most iconic characters in the DC Universe, so tackling one of his covers is not only an honor, but an exciting challenge as well.
Before starting on the drawing, I need to decide whether I want to take a more story-centric or graphic design approach to the cover. I'm equally a fan of both directions, but in this case, opted for the "scene out of the story.” I then pulled up some images of athletes running and sprinting, trying to generate some inspiration and understanding details to capturing figures in motion.
I sent three rough concepts to series editor Brian Cunningham, one featuring The Flash being flipped upside down, another with turbine's winds tearing his uniform off, and the third an iconic shot of The Flash charging at the villain with winds and debris surrounding them.
After locking down the cover concept (option #3), I then moved to initial rough pencils, which I draw reverse on the back of the board. This allows me to work out anatomy and perspectives and be fairly loose and rough. I tend to erase a lot, so it is freeing to make changes without compromising the surface of the paper for inks. I then move to a refined line stage on the front of the board, redefining specific lines with a thinner pencil and harder lead, and eventually onto inks with a variety or pens and brushes.
Once the cover is inked, it's scanned into the computer and the digital process begins, first with some minor cleanups, some additional digital drawing, and then with flats and shade/shadow/highlight definitions. The figures are colored on their own layers while background elements are on layers above and below them, which allows for easier adjustments in case revisions are in order after I turn in the piece.
Overall, from start to finish, the cover takes shape over the course of a couple of days. It’s important to schedule time between each stage, so I can review and make adjustments, with fresh eyes. Sometimes if you're too consumed in a single drawing or image, it can be difficult to see where areas might be improved with slight changes. Now if I only had the powers of The Flash ...”
Below take a first look at Bernard Chang’s variant cover for THE FLASH #8, which arrives in stores April 25th.