Tuesday, October 2, 2012


2009 was more about consistency.

      At this point I'm working toward having a finished piece of work. On every piece of art I do, I work up many sketches or parts of a sketch. I'll generally focus on the head first, then go to torso, leaving the arms and head for last. However, when the final art is being worked on...the torso needs to come first as that dictates how the pose will work in dynamic.

     Also it gives a clear understanding as how the figure will be placed on the canvas allowing for enough room all around. In digital format though, it's a moot point as we can add canvas to any side of the work that needs more room.

First up is the Goblin Gunner.
Goblin Gunner
   What started out as a dwarf piece ended up in a completely different direction. All of the clothing and props were referenced, thrown into a mixing bowl and then splashed down on the screen...OK it doesn't really work like that, but I can't emphasize reference enough. Artists generally don't work in a vacuum. That means they usually don't just expect to put something down and expect it to be exactly what they see in their minds eye...I say usually, however I will show a successful method that allows pure creativity.

In every single case here, I used a wash method to find my figure.

 I'll explain the technique.

I'm using marker paper which has a resistance to alcohol. Scribbling blue color pencil on the sheet until I had a nice coverage, I then wiped it all of with a gauze dipped in denatured alcohol. Once dry, I flipped it 180 degrees and repeated the process. And then did the same again.

By this third wash, I begin to see abstract shapes within the wash and the lines that are left behind and work blue pencil over those shapes to pull them out a bit more. If it requires another was (partial or full page) so be it....we are on pure creative mode...no thumbnails, no pre-sketches, no reference.

We don't know where we will end up, but we know we will arrive eventually.

Once found, you can render in the shapes, first with blue, then with your chosen pencil...or even better a black Faber-Castell Polychromos.

Yes you want to be accurate, but that's not the initial point here...the point is to be loose with the design...not forced, but forgiving....If the design is not fully realized after a few passes, just hang it on the wall and live with it for a week or more and work on another one.

The swat team shown in the 2010 update was on my wall for two weeks before I was satisfied with the result.

After you have the toon, then you can spend more time making things accurate to reference,,,,there's nothing in the book that says that reference has to come first. It does however, have to be looked at at some point during the creation.

Demon Girl

 This Demon Girl was an exercise is using shape to describe form. In this case, the anatomy, which while I agree is not great, still has enough information to describe the idea. Largely an experiment, working with digital abstract shapes proved not to be a good method for me, but would translate well in the traditional mediums later.

General Saga

General Saga is a portrait done for the Dominance War 4 mini comp. Here, still at this time not in my element medium wise, I am attempting to get a painterly finish as opposed to a more graphic one. 

Erfworld Summer Update 22

Rob Balder's Erfworld is a fantastic online web comic. He had a series of summer updates with guest artists. I was honored to have done this one for him. It basically showed Parson, the lead character talking on a device that I felt was something like a two way kindle. 

   Also that year, I contributed work to the online magazine "Fight On!". It is a magazine for tabletop rpg players of the old school and offers some great articles. With the passing of Dragon Magazine, this is the closest you're going to get to having something to look at.

   In a new approach to design work, I modeled the sword in 3D and then took a shot of it for Photoshop. With the base layer being a great and accurate guide, I didn't worry about perspective as it was already figured. There is also an obvious Games Workshop Necron influence which contributes to the color as well.

Before we get to the final part of this post, i want to show you what are typically my sketchbook pages. Done in ballpoint to resist the fading that can happen with pencils, these images describe quantity of quality. The more you do, the better (and faster) you will get. If something really speaks to you, break out a sheet of basic drawing paper (a 9x12 pad sells for $3.99 at Walmart) and go to town...:)

Sketches for the Interlock motorcycle....

...And the 3D model, which will eventually find it's way into the Unreal Development Kit once I figure out the scripting...:)

Last, a sketch for a comic book cover idea.

 Which was completed at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2010. It's part of a theory I heard many years ago that states that whatever you are doing at the passing of one year into the next will be a reflection of what the year will bring...so if you are sleeping, you'll be sleeping your life away...I chose to try to have a finished brushstroke in those final minutes......and in the 2010 update, we'll see if it was at all successful...


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