Four thumbnails for a cover idea called "Moscow by Christmas".

Tough guy tank ace is disillusioned as the promise of an early victory in the East becomes undone in the hard realities of the Russian Winter.

Elements I want to show in the cover characters grim determination to fight on, the cold ruins of bitter fighting.

From the for thumbnails I like top left the most with figure out of context of the Tank allowing viewer to see character in close-up.

Character head studies for Tank Commander nothing here strikes me as right but I think I am going to work further on bottom right tank man.

Been reading about "Operation Typhoon" and like the idea of Wehrmacht uniforms supplemented by civilian clothing. So "Hans " is born complete with ladies head scarf and woolly hat crammed under his official Panzer Crop beret.

I do separate Panver IV sketches these are drawing separately and scanned in . I love these blue animation pencils as the hold their point longer than traditional grey graphite. If the blue dosen`t suit it can changed tonally once scanned in.

First Colour Rough. This is to try and combine all the various elements in the composition from the thumbnail in colour to get a good "read" of what the final image may look like. As ever the picture evolves within the workflow I think it needs something bright behind the tank and the main figure I block a near miss from some Russia ordnance off camera.

Picture starts to take shape and the main character is blocked in more and work on the tank to take it away from the "drawing" look it has at the start of the what I call the "Painter" stage

I feel the sky should be low cloud and that it is getting bounce light off a burning city I create some flames engulfing the background buildings.

. I tend to swap back and forth between Photoshop and Painter I find Photoshop tools still have the edge for tweaks and adjustments.

I try and work in as few layers as possible however that easier said that done usually when merge and delete unneeded layers I rename the file this also means there are a number of points I can return to if I want.

i These ca come in handy if I change my mind about something or worst still encounter a software crash or there dreaded "corrupted file" message.

I was not liking the tank colour too much ( too green?) so I added just a touch of colour overall. A hint of Kaki...mud maybe or rust from the months of wear and tear on the machine since 22nd June 1941

This part of process I call "Noodling" you have the picture working overall and it really now a battle between your deadline and joy and delight of adding in the details.

However it is strong enough to go to press if you have the time it often a good point to walk away from the image from a bit and return to review it with fresh eyes.