Thor Portrait Commission

One of the most enjoyable areas of my job is working on commissioned pieces of art.

As much fun as it is to create something, it’s even more enjoyable to do it for someone else. I recently worked on a couple of pieces for a great client who wanted me to create two fun portraits of his kids.

I say great because he knew very much what he wanted, and he said the magic words “I’m happy to leave it to you”. This is music to the ears of any artist. Not least because it marks a point where a client trusts you, based on the work you’ve done up to this point.


The first piece to turn his daughter into the mighty THOR.

Comic fans will already be aware that the latest person worthy of picking up Thor’s hammer is a girl. This was a big hit with the client’s young daughter, so he sent me a couple of reference pics of the type of thing he wanted, including a lovely piece of Marvel cover art, and I got to work.


Stage 1: Sketching

First thing was to sketch out a rough composition.

I based this on the artwork that the client had sent over, knowing that it was something he liked.

Stage 2: Anatomy

Once the general pose felt ok, the next stage is to use the many layers of photoshop to sketch and tweak the pose until it looked more solid and grounded. Little girl or not, this is gonna be a picture of Thor, so she needs to look like she’s got the strength to carry that hammer. This was a difficult piece to work on getting a good likeness, mainly because Thor wears a helmet, but the subject has quite distinctive eyes and a simple, nice smile, which I felt was captured in the final piece.


Stage 3: Inking

Because of the comic book stylings of this piece, the next stage was to start working on the inks.


Stage4: Pose tweaks

It occurred to me whilst finishing the inks that the head may look better in a slightly different position (I tend to act on these impulses as I never know if I may have stumbled across an idea that the client may prefer), so I worked up an alternate version before getting busy on the colours to show the client. He told me that he was still keen on the original position, which was great, so I could then go ahead and colour the piece.


Stage5: Colouring and lettering

I used to run a mile if something needed colouring. It’s a skill that I’m still working on, but it’s one that I find really enjoyable.

Once the colours were finished on the figure, I then recreated the title and details from the original Thor comic cover, replacing the name with the client’s daughter and throwing in a few details on the barcode that the client asked for.

Behold! The youngest, most badass Thor in the Marvel Universe!




Posted on: 17Apr By: David Kennedy