Jessica Jones Fan Art

or how I make the cover pictures

Jessica and Matt from start to finish
Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock: from start to finish

We released our Jessica Jones podcast episode this week and since I spent a bunch of time making the cover picture for it, I figured this would be a good time to give you some insight into that process.

Disclaimer: I’m gonna get this out of the way right off the bat: Yes, I used reference photos for this one. This article is more of a behind the scenes look at how I go about creating the cover pictures and artwork for each new podcast and video episode, rather than a ‘look at how good my completely original drawings are’. That’s what the infrequently updated Fan Art Thursday is for.

Step 1:

Normally, the first step in anything I create is a quick hand drawn sketch. This goes for both digital or completely hand drawn art. It all starts with a pencil sketch. If I’m planning on finishing the drawing on the computer, I then scan the sketch and open it up in Krita.

However, this week, I didn’t start with a sketch. But since I want you to get the idea, here is a sketch I did as the starting point for one of the Fan art Thursday X-Men drawings:

Step 1

Step 2:

Once the sketch is scanned and open in my drawing program, I proceed to make a light blue outline of the drawing. The blue line serves as my guideline while painting and shading. However, over the course of the drawing, it often changes. On today’s example, it doesn’t change much although at some point I decided that Matt wasn’t going to be wearing a suit and tie, and instead have the letterman style jacket on. You can see that I originally still had the tie on under the jacket, be eventually ditched that too (he is in college after all).

Step 3:

Once, the outline is there, I start filling in the base layers of colour. I didn’t think to grab a screenshot of the base layer, but this is pretty early on in the shading process.


Sometimes I colour the entire image on one layer, and sometimes I split it up into different layers. For this drawing, I split each individual section of the drawing into it’s own layer, so that I could manipulate each of them separately. So, for Matt Murdock, I had a different layer for glasses, hair, jacket, shirt, skin, stick and phone, pants, and shoes.

This process continues on until I have the whole image coloured in.

Step 4:

Next comes the shading. Since I was doing all of this section by section, you can already see the start of the shading in the picture above, but here’s some more pictures that are a little further along in the process.

Sometimes ‘Step 4’ gets split into a ‘Step 4a, 4b, 4c’ etc, depending on how much shading there is to do and how many layers there are to work with, whether or not I’m putting a background in or just working with individual characters etc.

Step 5

Step 5 is kind of dependent on what I’m doing the drawing for. Sometimes, if the drawing is just being done for the sake of drawing, I’m probably done after Step 4. However, in this case, I’m doing these drawings to use as the cover photo for this week’s podcast episode.

So that means, I now have to put in a background (sometimes, I would draw this, but this week I dedided to just use a stock image of a college dorm room), and then add in the title of the episode and put our logo on it.

That means opening up photoshop and going to work. So I take my two finished drawings of Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock, and place them on my background image.

Normally, I do all of the parts I’m going to describe in the section simultaneously so I spend a lot of time moving the different parts around. So, this is the final position I decided on for Jessica and Matt, but they each spent time in every part of the room before I decided what worked best based on where I put the words.

After a whole bunch of finagling and trial and error, I finally settled on the colours and fonts I would use for the episode title. And then, after that had been decided, it was time to move them all around and find the best placement for each of them.

Jessica Jones


And that’s how I get to the finished product.

Final Things

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