PfK Cover Illustration: Breakthrough

The Backstory: Please see the first PfK cover I did, Rekindling Old Friendships. The Process: The requested design was originally for Heretic punching through Keepsie's Bar's front door with the frozen heroes/villains stuffed in the corner. I did a couple of rough sketches. One with the frozen heroes/villains in the foreground, Heretic in the background punching, and Keepsie's friends in the middle of the bar. The other was a closeup of Heretic punching through the window of the door. In the end, the second one was what we went with.

Since I had already done a really rough sketch, I had a good idea what was going on with the image, so I did a mostly finished pencil sketch to start off the process. This is pretty close to what the pencils looked like before I inked. I think I went ahead and inked most of Heretic from this then fixed the glass and her skirt and Tattoo Devil on the fly.

This was the first time I had done shattered glass, so I had to do a bit of research on what shattering glass actually looks like. You'd think there would be some images of breaking glass out on the interwebs, and you'd be wrong. Sure, there's lots of broken glass, but I couldn't find anything in motion. Of course, now that I said that, there will now be tons of such images.

Oh gentle folk of the interwebs, if ever you thought "wouldn't it be neato to color me up some shattered glass?" banish that evil thought from your mind least you go insane from the task.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a wee bit. It did seem like it took forever. Usually I like repetitive (such as cephelopod suckers), but, yeah... Anyway, it turned out pretty nifty looking in the end, right? :-)

The glass was actually a layer of blue I colored over the entire glass area, then messed with the transparency of the layer until the desired effect was archived. The hardest part was getting the color into all those edges, even with a little help with the magic wand selection tool.


After sending the final image off, it took me a day or two to realize that poor J.C. was probably cursing me for all the glassy goodness I put in the way of the issue title. I offered up the Photoshop version. He graciously accepted and I ended up sending him a lite version of the Photoshop file with the glass layers active.

Additional Information: If you would like to see the über-sized version of this piece along with the PfK text and issue title added (J.C. Hutchins did a wonderful job integrating the image with the text, as always), you can download it here.

If you are interested in listening to this story, the first episode can be downloaded for free at Playing for Keeps or at Or if you would rather read the story, go download the free PDF or purchase the book.

Technical Details Medium: Mixed Media (misc. black artist pens, PhotoshopCS2) Paper: Bristol Physical Size: 8.5in X 11in Digital Size: 8.5in X 11in @ 300dpi