Here's what I consider my best piece of published work, the cover to Hawkman #20.
I went through quite a laborious process to get the reference shots for this painting. I'd never painted rain and I couldn't actually find a piece of art that depicted it, in paint anyway, there are a lot of comic artists who draw rain really well, Will Eisner, Russ Heath and Nick Cardy to name a few...so anyway, I got my model, I used the same model for all my Hawkman covers, a guy who worked in Worlds Apart in Liverpool, Paul and we went back to his house. This was going to be a location shoot using a regular camera, I didn't have a digital one at the time.
So, to get the effect I needed, a downpour, PAul crouched in his bath on a crate and then I turned on the shower. His girlfriend held my studio lamp just over the top of the shower and I used up a roll of film. Paul was really good at acting which made this work. There are a lot of people I've used in the past who look right but have one generic expression. Paul was better than that. A lot of times I have to make do with the ref, just to make a deadline, but it makes a massive difference when I can get decent ref, acting.
The painting was pretty straightforward, I photocopied the pencils and traced them onto the canvas board. I usually prime the canvas board with gesso, sanding it until I have a surface that it right to paint on. I then did a quick wash using Indian red Winsor and Newton artists oil paint, watered down with Liquin to rough in the dark areas and get rid of all the white, so I have a ground to work out of.
Then, pretty much, it was a case of just painting it, no layers, just painting each section as I went along...I maybe went back into it a little to put the hair on his arms and chest when the flesh colours had dried.
I thought the rain was pretty effective, especially the drips on the face/beak and the rain hitting the shoulder. The straps on his chest aren't great. At this point I was still using yellow paint, usually Cadmium yellow, to paint yellow things...about a year later I started using Gold Ochre. It's great!