So, with Stephen's permission, here's what he has to say for himself.
I had worked on another cover before with Ryan Brown and after seeing his digitally painted work over Simon Bisley's 13 coins comic pages, asked him if he would paint over my pencils/layout for the Slaughterman's Creed covers (Ryan's brother Andy is the co-founder of Beserker Comics, and inked the interior latter chapters of SC).
I had a rough idea for the cover and sketched out a quick layout (which I can't find at the minute, but I'll have found it by the time the cover is finished and post it then), set up my studio lights and took a few reference photos. Here's the one for Sidney himself:
Using the reference photos I sketched out the graphic novel cover layout below.
At this point (as those who were following my blog last year will know), I had planned to spend my Summer in Canada and continue drawing. Things fell through at the last minute and although we had a brilliant month in Belize instead, we did a lot more travelling and A3 scanners are few and far between.
Each digital chapter will feature an individual character so I had to draw each one separately and Ryan agreed to paint and compose them together for the GN. I had to wait to get to Seattle four weeks later to print out five blue lines copies of the sketch and pencil out the individual characters over it. Since Sidney was already in the foreground he needed the least done, but I did tidy him up a little.
By the time I'd finished drawing the characters we were on a plane to Las Vegas. I thought it would be easy to find a scanner there, but all I could find was slot machines and wedding chapels. I was sending my laptop back home the next day, so all I could do was take photos of the pencils on my camera (see above), load them into my dropbox, along with the original reference photos and some interior character shots and upload via the hotel wireless.
Yip, that WIP cover painting was actually painted over a photo sent from Las Vegas. I reckon Ryan did a bloody awesome job!
Expect another update, with more sketches and ref material when the cover is finished.