Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mutants in Bikinis

Two of the recent commissions I received I have to say were some of the most fun I had drawing in quite a while. Mostly because it was an excuse to draw two of my favorite X-Men characters and also an excuse to draw women in bikinis. The 1st request was for a Hope Summers in a bikini on a Cable and X-Force sketchcover variant, a commission I received while at Motor City Comic Con. The one immediate challenge that came to mind was: If you take Hope out of her time-traveling butt-kicking apocalypse-surviving costume and put her in a bikini, what are you left with? A red-head? What will tell the casual onlooker immediately that it's Hope and not a young Jean Grey? So I put a little thought into it: Hope's had old-man Cable cutting her hair her whole life, and even though she's always portrayed as beautiful, she should not have perfect hair. So those uneven overgrown bangs came into play, along with what should appear as perhaps not super-clean perfect hair (but still look attractive!). She spent her days on the run, and outside a lot; she never had a home to be inside of. So toned muscles and slightly tan, not quite the sleek "I-work-out-just-enough-to-be-attractive body," but instead a body whose muscles have had lots of practical use living a life on the run from Bishop. Then I took her bodysuit from her regular costume with the green and yellow/gold stripes and I incorporated that into her bikini, almost as though it were the same outfit and she took a pair of scissors to it. I subtly incorporated her metal/leather look on her wrists, and then took her ragged cape thing she wears and had her hold it as if it's her beach towel. Presto! Definitely Hope and not Jean. 
What do you guys think? 

He liked the way it turned out very much, so he immediately commissioned a 2nd one, this time with a few other X-Ladies as options. One of his options was Kitty Pryde, and I told him I had this idea for a Coppertone parody with Kitty Pryde and that it would fit in with his bikini theme. He loved the idea and had me run with it. So here is my Kitty Pryde and Lockheed Coppertone parody sketchcover. I used her navy and yellow X-Men costume to inspire the design for her bikini, and I paid even more tribute to the original Coppertone ad illustration by including a couple background details, including the umbrella in the background (which I changed ever so slightly to make it into the "X" symbol). I must note something, as I actually put more hours into this sketch than I did into the Hope one yet it wouldn't appear that way: This particular sketchcover was from before Marvel updated their sketchcover stock with the new Marvel now comics. So this stock was more difficult to work with and it did not take color well in any of the mediums I was using so it was nearly impossible to blend anything to get a nice smooth look. So it took a little longer to get it to the point where it had a similar look and feel to the Hope one, to make them look like they're possibly part of the same theme or group. But sketch stock aside, I'm still happy with how it turned out. 

Here's the original illustration for comparison: 

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