Here's my answer to the step by step requests I get on Deviant Art.
I chose a Red Sonja cover because I'm doing a bunch of covers for the series right now.
This is the pencil art, the original. Nothing too fancy. Just a regular Sonja fight. I just love the hero vs too many opponents theme, and use it once in a while. It's the third time I do this on Red Sonja covers.
The inking here is digital, that is pencil lines being cleaned up and darkened.
Now this is where the real work is. I like to paint (digitally) my covers in shades of grey. It helps me focus on the composition and light without getting bothered by color choices. At this point I know what the colors will be, but this is not the priority.
I also redefine the composition, and change a few things to make the picture more easy to read : the warrior behind sonja is flipped to the right of the cover...same goes to the mountain background.
From then on I do very little painting. Just a little bit brush work here and there, I use the gray work transform it into the color I want and add the special fx (glowing fx, snow, blood).
As I said earlier, this is the third time I do a ONE VS MANY cover for Sonja, so I needed to go to another direction with the coloring.
That's why the snow battle option (that I had experimented earlier on an Elektra piece).
Here's a post on my message board for bigger pics[link]