DC Art: Green Arrow, Jim Gordon, Oracle, and… “Batmantonio Luna?”

One of the best pleasures of being an artist is to see for yourself how your art improves over time. This latest batch of illustrations, in my opinion, is just a little bit better than the ones I did before, and that’s enough to make me feel proud of my work. Here we go!

I’ve grown fond of Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow while reading his appearances in the JLA comics as well as watching his portrayal on TV by Stephen Amell. I can’t decide which one’s better though, the funny, almost sleazy playboy one in comicbooks or the darker, more serious one on screen. But having already drawn a serious Green Arrow, I really wanted to take a stab at drawing the comicbook version.

The hardest part to draw here was the outstretched arm holding a bow. Drawing from a reference does make it easier a bit but since the reference doesn’t exactly show all the muscles and the shadows I wanted seen, a lot of it was really guesswork and just drawing instinct. Thankfully, the final product looked acceptable in that area and I thought this was the best Green Arrow piece I have so far done.

Some process and detail shots.

It’s no secret that I like to use colored pencils on my inked pieces because I think their soft hues complement the sharpness of the lines and shadows. Also, since I could apply them dry without smudging or ruining the ink, they make my job easier (much easier than scanning the drawing and coloring it digitally, for example). Here, I used my Faber-Castell colored pencils again to breathe some life into my first solo illustration of Batman’s closest ally, Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Jim is one of the key characters that make the Batman narrative work so well. He’s the epitome of the incorruptible cop who will stop at nothing to fight evil even if the odds are stacked against him. You identify with him because he’s not wearing any costume and he doesn’t have any special powers or abilities; all he has is his solid set of principles to live by. I thought I captured his determination and measured cynicism in this piece well. The black background with the window blinds is actually something that I remember I saw in artist Tim Sale’s work once.

Purchase this design: Oracle / Batgirl

A few days after I finished my Jim Gordon piece, I decided to draw another important member of that family–Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl / Oracle. We often say Wonder Woman is the strongest female character in comics but I personally think Babs or Barb takes the cake. Critically injured by the Joker in The Killing Joke, an invalid Barbara kept on fighting as Oracle, supplying intelligence to Batman and his allies. DC’s New 52 relaunch left this version of Barbara and restored the fully healthy Batgirl version, and while I think that has its own merits, the pre-New 52 version was still more inspiring.

As usual, I used photo and 3D model references for this drawing. The folds of the long-sleeved shirt though, I had to improvise as this technique was something I really want to do correctly. The shadows and lines of the fold must convey shapes instead of going everywhere. This is not the perfect example of that technique (something that my art idol Brian Bolland does masterfully) but I think I’m getting better.

Purchase this design: The Governor: Sentient Walker

I completed inking this older piece just in time as The Walking Dead is returning soon! I pencilled it some 6 months ago and vowed to ink it. The idea was to depict the Governor as a sentient walker leading the undead against Rick and his group. I think I was trying to channel artist Tony Moore here.

Above, you’ll see detailed shots of this piece. Lots and lots of gnarly lines!


The local historical film Heneral Luna made waves in the box office and on social media here because of its beautiful acting, cinematography, and its powerful message. Since both Antonio Luna and Bruce Wayne were heroes not given to compromises, I thought I’d sketch something absurd and cool. 🙂


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