Sketch Surgery 101


From time to time I get a request to take a sketch by another artist.

Sometimes it’s something as simple as just re-inking certain areas of the sketch that have faded over time and doing a quick clean up of line work that has also faded.

This is usually requested over sketches by artists’ that I have inked before. In this case, the piece was a quick sketch of Batman by my friend and collaborator on numerous Batman projects, Kelley Jones!

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Hellboy, Batman and Toppi

Hellboy, Batman, Commission, Ink

I was commissioned to do a piece featuring “Hellboy and Batman” some time ago.

Actually … I had a layout done fairly quick and was ready to go to ink on it.

- However …

Something just didn’t ‘click’ for me, so I set it aside and thot about it some more. During this time I tried once more to save the first layout by changing some things that I didn’t like on the first one.

But it wasn’t to be … I still didn’t think the piece was “right.”

Last week, I was looking thru some of my books that have artwork done by Sergio Toppi … I love his work immensely!

I usually wake up very early in the morning, and while not remembering what day it was, I saw in my mind the image that I completed above. Somehow, the study had sunk into my head and showed me a layout that would work and be well designed at the same time!

- Not often does this happen, but I’m pleased with this final piece.

Hat tip, Sergio Toppi for his wonderful art and design inspiration!

- John

*UPDATE: 10-18-2014*
Just found this interview with Sergio Toppi from 09-11-2008. Read it at, The Sardinian Connection