Step-by step: Enchantress -- A DC Comics Bombshells-inspired pin-up poster

Enchantress is the fifth in a line of posters inspired by DC Comics Bombshells series. As in all but the Harley Quinn piece, these are my own interpretations of the characters (and in the case of Jennie Canuck, a wholly original and wholly owned creation of mine).

For Enchantress I wanted something that evoked the seductive femme fatales of those old sci-fi and fantasy serials of the 30s and 40s, but with a touch of the show girl glamour from the same period. I was also inspired by the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (the song and dance number which featured an enormous metal gong in the background), and drew a bit from the Enchantress (both versions) in the Suicide Squad movie.

Generally I have a pretty rough idea in my head of what the finished picture will look like before I begin, but I start with the figure first and allow the pose and the overall look to dictate to some extent what the background will be. In the case of the Enchantress, I wanted earth tones for the background, and opted to put a Mayan calendar and stone plinth as a backdrop to the woman in the piece. (The large, round stone of the calendar is again somewhat evocative of the metal gong in the Indiana Jones movie.)

The poster measures approximately 36cm X 43cm (14in X 17in) and was rendered on Canson 160g (98lbs) Mixed Media paper. Except for the Bombshells logo (for which I used Artist's Loft Dual Tip Water Color Markers), the piece was completed using Prismacolor Premier waxed based, softcore color pencils and Prismacolor blending pencils.

For more Step-by-steps see the menu. You can also watch a speed art, time lapse video -- Drawing Enchantress -- that offers a more extensive look at the rendering of the poster.

The Step-by-step

It starts with a rough sketch to determine the composition and pose.

The figure is rendered in detail in pencil, with some shading and highlights positioned.

With the figure complete (in pencil) I start the background details.

Detail;s are added to the Mayan calendar.

The calendar details are completed in their undersketch pencil form.

The font for the ENCHANTRESS logo is roughed in and then refined.

With the undersketch complete, the coloring begins. As noted in a previous Step-by-step, I always start with the face because if you don't get that right you aren't going to have much of a picture.

Once the face and hair have been colored and blended, it's on to the rest of the exposed parts of the body. It's the same process of setting down a base of color and layering other atop it and then blending to get a smoother finish.

Here I'm applying the base flesh tone to the torso. I'll add highlights and shading and then blend it all to give a smoother, fuller look that will lend the body more dimension.

The upper half of the body now colored and blended.

The rest of the body is completed, the leg given highlights and some shading and then blending. I'll refine this later as more of the picture develops.

Now I begin coloring the costume, following the same process of setting down base tones. As with the skin, I often put down some base highlights using white colour pencil (then firm these up later during the blending process).

The gold accessories are added using yellow, black, and white pencils.

The base green for the skirt is added after some highlights have first been applied.

The skirt color is blended to give the illusion of folds and draping.

Work begins on the stone background, using a medium shade of brown.

A light shade is blended atop the darker base to give the stone some depth.

After some details have been added to the stone, it's on to the Mayan calendar. I start with applying the highlights in white, then the shadows in black, followed by two slightly different layers of beige tones. Each step is blended for a smoother, deeper look.

The completed background feature.

Now the "Bombshells" logo is added. This is done in marker, using Artist Loft Dual Tip Water Color Markers.

With the logos complete, it's on to the final part of the background. The intention is to give the illusion of an earthy interior, so there's an unevenness to the tone, rather than a solid brown appearance.

After the brown base has been applied, it's all blended using the blending pencil.

I set the picture aside for a day or so, then examine it and make some minor tweaks before finally adding my signature.

The completed poster of ENCHANTRESS.