Has anyone seen any of those Marvel animes produced by Madhouse? I liked the X-Men series a lot actually, but I recently saw "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow Punisher" and it wasn't so great. However, I like the thought of Punisher and Black Widow becoming a rogue, two-man team, which is why I watched it at all in the first place. Black Widow is a brainwashed soviet spy and the Punisher is hell bent on his own brand of justice after his family was killed. Brains and Brawn getting things done their way. Even though Widow is part of Avengers, they're both pretty much loose cannons. So the idea of them working together would be pretty dynamic I thought. A team formed out of mutual necessity or something. Eh, the anime left me flat, but the characters/idea still inspired me.
I basically let this image form in my head over a week or so. Two characters. A limited palette. Almost like a screen print. Some element of overlapping shapes/colors. And in my head I wanted to really exaggerate Widow's torso. Like broad shoulders right into boobs right into waist. That upside down triangle shape. Could I make it really cartoony/compact and still keep appealing proportions? When I started plunging the "V" shaped neck line all the way to her thick belt-waist thing, it created an "arrow" shape that sold me. Everything started to fall into place as soon as I had her head and upper body scribbled out.
The shapes in the background (sickle and star) and how the characters colors were divided took some time though. Which parts would be line art, silhouettes, what to do with the negative space, what through lines could I capitalize on, and still keep it balanced and clear. That was fun. I tried out several things and once I landed on the above image, I moved forward with clean up.
You can see some subtle differences by the final image below. Letting Punisher's silhouette disappear into the orange background for example. Keeping Punisher's left arm "solid" and Widow's right side solid was a nice balance. I remember really wanting to keep Punisher's neck on that same vertical line as Widow's, but there was no way I could get Punisher to look tough with a completely straight neck - he had to lean forward - heh heh. Overall I tried to pay attention to how lots of little things lined up looking for creative tangents.
I like how some brushes can evoke real media with an imperfect quality. Laying down each stroke up close is super satisfying for me.
Anyway, it's a little abstract, but I hope ya like it! I'm bringing a some of these prints to the con too. Pretty thrilled with how they printed. Love me some slabs of color!! :D