A more finished sketch this time to capture the vibe of the environment. Some more playful ideas were added in the background but they felt out of synch with the overall tone intended for the cover.
Another pass refines the background character details.
Leto and two or three additional principal characters are next. Layout sketches are always done in biro. Trying to keep an energy and spontaneity in the figures by keeping the size to A4.
Pencils. Still working in ink with a brushpen at A4 for keeping the proportions and composition right. An alien krishna and Bono help fill the background. A lot of extra details are added to the figures and background at this stage and to be honest it serves well enough.
Colour work follows by Yel Zamor. These characters are for the background only and Yel cleverly coloured them with minimum shading to allow them to remain in the background and not pop or distract from foreground characters. Since they will also be reduced in size, any over-rendered textures would be lost anyways.
An alternate version below where I played with colour coded regionalised lighting on the background crowds. The seperate layers in the Madefire tools enhance the effect by providing a parallax effect.