FYI, the final banner image has a very long vertical dimension, so rather than post obnoxiously long vertical images, I decided to double them up, to make the overall image more squarish. So lucky you, each week you’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Here we have the pencil and ink stages. As you can see, I went with my favorite layout from the previous Thumbnails post, but I switched Roka out for Sky as the central figure. I did it because (a) she will become increasingly important to the central story of the series as it develops, and (b) it’s always nice to have an eye-catching cute female character front and center. It definitely seems like comic fans (both male and female) love their female characters, almost as much as most artists seem to enjoy drawing them. So I guess everybody’s happy! Well, except Ril, who ended up stuck behind her ankle. Sorry, Ril.

As a compositional consideration, I deliberately wanted the character on the bottom left (which ended up being Roka) to be the largest of the background characters. I knew the bottom would be very close to the eye-line cut-off once the banner was set up behind a convention table, so I wanted to make sure there was something a tad bigger to “mark” that edge of the main image. So all the characters are visually bracketed vertically between Roka and the Khoruysa Brimia. I think if Roka were smaller, it would have felt like the art was just “running out” towards the bottom and not “contained.”

Random note: the image obviously isn’t meant to be scene specific, but eagle-eyed readers may notice that they’re all wearing their outfits from the Arqq-Olem port and the root beetle dinner scene from The Big Snow Job #1. Basically, I was in a major time crunch and didn’t feel like designing all new outfits just for this one image. And I really liked all those Arqq-Olem outfits, so I figured, why not?

Next up, resizing and color flats…