I admit to having an initial bias against this image simply because I hate the pencils; essentially I hate the design of the lineart and it’s really a prejudice against the Supergirl costume design (more on that later, I suppose) . Once I got past that to realize that the contest is not about that but about the coloring I came to realize what a terrific job Garry “Mudcat” Henderson did.

The worst part is that Mr. Henderson did a better job than the contest Grand Prize Winner. Mr. Henderson at least ahered to the guidelines naturally set by the lineart; colorists are supposed to respect the lineart in most cases I suppose. Enough with the whining and on with the praise!

Look at the details on the planet Earth! Flecks of light represent cities quite cleanly and clearly and we can observe the specks of islands above North America and Europe. Looking at the moon and even at the Earth again we notice a clear attention to the light source and how it is in fact the Sun! The shadows on the edge of Luna and the darkened half of the planet illustrate perfectly the natural light source at work. The costume is clean (well, what costume there is) and the bright red in the S and even the bright shining wonder in the blonde illuminate and illustrate just as if this was a Supergirl comic from the nineties.

The only problem I can see with the finished piece is something that I did not have the heart to point out until the artist admitted it independently: there are no shadows. The light source is clearly behind the character in the foreground yet her abundant chest and all the imagery emblazoned on it is as bright as anything else. Supergirl is mostly lit as if the sun is in front of her and not behind her. There is now either a light source that we cannot account for (unlikely) or the foreground character does not have the proper shadows. Despite these flaws it’s a great finished work and hopefully a stepping stone to other projects. Professional criticism and the original pencils are found at the contest homepage.