I took on a commission last year to illustrate everyone's favorite web-swinging hero facing off against the popular symbiote infected villain turned anti-hero. The popularity of the Spider-Man and Venom rivalry has, in my opinion, even surpassed that of Spidey and his long time arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin. It's like a yin and yang balance, both with similar sets of powers but with such contrasting methods of using them.
Venom represents raw power and negative emotion while Spider-Man is nimble and uses his abilities for the greater good. In the 90's animated Spider-Man series, Venom was shown to have the power of web shooting like Peter, but in recent years this has been replaced with a messy black slime effect instead of the more controlled white web. I think this was done in an effort to differentiate him more from the hero, while still staying true to his original power set.
I really struggled with coming up with a composition that showed both characters from the front, but engaged in battle. While it's not strategic to have your back against your enemy during a fight, I decided to make Spidey in the middle of a web maneuver where he would essentially hook onto Venom using his web and swing him away like a catapult.
I wanted there to be a lot of movement in this illustration Venom would be hunched down close to the ground because his arm would be shooting the black slime in attack. Meanwhile, Spider-Man would be simultaneously swinging around and shooting his web at his foe. Lastly, there would be a focus lines to create a zoom effect for added flair.
The Line Art
I originally sketched Spider-Man's classic suit but would later turn it into the modern look from the PS4 Spider-Man video game. Drawing cities is not my forte. I really go with a minimal look like you see in cartoons. Looking back, there should be more cars, traffic lights, newspaper stands, and maybe a pedestrian or two looking in awe.
The Flat Colors
Spider-Man's suit looked really busy with all of the line details from his suit, so I decided to color these so they would be softer, an accent to the suit as opposed to hard break-up lines. Likewise, the web coming from Spider-Man would need to have white lines to stand out from the rest of the colored image.
The Finished Illustration
I was happy to draw some of my favorite Marvel characters again. I think Spider-Man's pose is stiff and awkward. I could do better next time. Other than that, I am generally happy with how it turned out. My style is not well suited for actual Marvel Comics, but I really do love drawing those heroes and villains. Let me know if you have a request for your favorite superhero!
Oh yeah, and prints are available for sale as well. Cheers!