In memoriam of Inktober 2015.

When you’re reading this, it means that we’re on the brink of the end for another month of inky goodness…

Well, at least it was filled with lots-a-flavored and colored induced Halloween candy, spooky fun and sometimes even more spooky art. My twitter timeline has been filled with golems, zombies, witches and whatnot. And just like every year, I’m sad that it’s all over so soon. The Inktober challenge has passed, and you can now read the entire story, including the one from last year, back to back – as it was intended. While it was really fun to work on it, I’m glad I’ll be able to switch to color again. I missed my fully colored clones. Let me tell you that.

So, another year will have to pass now, before I get the chance to celebrate the darkest time between our world and the world of darkness. And with that in mind, I created this years Halloween pinup around that theme. Luckily for me, there’s this day in Mexico that celebrates that exact feeling. Well, sorta. It’s called “Dia de los Muertos” or better known as “The Day of the Dead”. Where as it’s actually known as a moment where family members support the spiritual journey of their deceased loved ones, I took it a bit more literally, and actually see it as day to celebrate the dark creatures who attempt to cross the border into our world. Maybe I’ll make a painting about that next year? ^^ For now though, I kept it rather peaceful as you can see.

Also, for those interested (and I know there are a couple of people who actually are), I made another step-by-step of this image. Just to keep you under my spell. It uses the same principle of the 4 step process as illustrated in one of my previous tutorials.

Feast your eyes ladies & gents:
Making-of Halloween 2015

.. and have a Happy Halloween tonight, to all of you.

The Halloween Project 2015

You remember last years Halloween, right? Well, just like last year, I went with another project for Halloween this year. Darn, I love this season.

I went with one of the designs I did for the previous one, got me a pumpkin that was a bit larger then last years, and after about 2-3 hours (a lot more than it’s predecessor, let me tell you that), I came out to this baby. As you can see from the last image, he’s looking a bit more upwards, which is actually done on purpose, because I wanted him to look like he’s mocking anyone passing by. I’m fun like that.

Now to hope he’ll be able to withstand the next few more nights ’til Halloween (and a bit after that).





Banner Mapmaking

How To Make A Map in 20 Steps

For a while now, I’ve been perusing the net on how to make a good looking map.
There are some sites out there that actually offer valuable tips, but it’s still nothing that I really wanted/needed. So that’s why I decided to do it myself. Partially for the reason cause I really really wanted to, but also because my Clones need a world at some point. So yay for bonusreasons! I actually got the idea from my DM on one of the weekly DnD session, since she’s done a bang up job in creating her own map for us. It got me thinking on what I wanted in my world. And that’s what you’ll need first.

Wip_Map_011. Make a solid list of all the places you’d like to see in your world. This can be anything and everything your heart desires most. You like giant oceans infested with Bermuda Triangles or ancient monsters asleep in the deep? Go for it. You always wanted to have you characters wandering the high plains of some fantasy realm? Or even better, deep below the Highest Mountains, where ancient caverns hold the most foul creatures yet to be discovered.. The possibilities are endless. For the sake of this tutorial, I do have to mention that I did all the drawing in photoshop. You’ll need a certain knowledge of layers, brushes, and being able to work with textures and the like. If you’re fine with all this, go on then, what are you waiting for?

Wip_Map_032. I went with a partially ice-covered and flooded world. Some mountains here ‘n there and a few fields of grass, and a couple of green forests/jungles to finish it of. So that’s a lotta green, white and blue really. Remember, this is all to scale. So I added a lot of lakes in between, as a direct result from the flood. For a brief moment I considered adding volcano’s as well, but thought this would be a bit too much of the good stuff. I’ll save that for underground maybe. We’ll see. This brings me to the next bit: how you want it to look on the surface, and more precisely, it’s borders.

Wip_Map_053. Get your most squiggly hand-shaking drawing style out and start making lines this way. I bet you it’ll do its part in the end. You won’t thank me for it when it’s coloring time though.

4. Which is now actually. You like swearing like a sailor? Well, you got a decent reason now. After a while, you’ll get the feeling you want to smash something with a sledgehammer. That means you’re doing really good on the details. Keep at it!

5. By now, you should have some awesome pieces of land, and be able to seperate them as individual continents and/or islands. Time to start working on those deep and treacherous oceans, right?

Wip_Map_076. First of all, decide on how deep you want them to be, those treacherous depths of water. You want a huge sleeper dragon or just some casual sharks in it? The deeper it goes, the darker the tone of your blue will be. Every map you’ll take a look at (you did do some research, right?), will show you the same result on this matter.

7. After lining them out, you start with some moooore coloring. Oh dear, when will it end?

Wip_Map_088. Okay, now for the fun part. Start throwing in some texture, these will represent your rifts and fissures and whatnot. Same for the landmasses, give those mountains of yours a go. It’ll liven up the place a bit (this is where I pretend I’m a god, by lifting up my hand to the sky and raising whole mountains out of the ground).

9. Now we start with the nitpicking. Carefully make equally great squares and form an entire grid for your map. It’s all about location, location, location.

10. I got tired of it. Added some more snow. Wanted to give one of my new brushes a try.
11. Hey, you know what a map needs? A compass. Shinyyy.
12. Ugh, more nitpicking? Fine, add some grades, coördinates, shiny numbers and stuff like that. Here’s where your reference material kicks in. You’ll love it. And don’t forget to add an Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer and all that. You know, details.

Wip_Map_1313. EEeeey!!! The fun finally starts! Let’s make it old-timey! Cause who wants a shiny new map? That’s boring man. Let’s scribble a bit on it, set it on fire, make burnmarks, spill coffee on it, and draw all sorts of fun stuff on it. Go bananas! For now, copy your map on a different layer and give it that brown hue, it’ll come over the original colors in the end.
14. Make it even more older, erase some parts.

15. Done playing? No way! This is where you combine the two. Erase a bit where still needed and see if it fits.
16. Think you’re done? Nu-uh. Keep doing that shiny stuff. It took me several goes, after all.
17. Now, time for textures. More fun stuff. I got a small offline databank -coughyeahright!cough- of textures, ready to be used at the flick of a wrist. For this one, I chose something with a lotta folds.

18. Next up, we add splatters of ink, or dirt, or whatever that has your fancy really.

19. Since I really didn’t like how the folds weren’t accentuated, I decided to brush ‘m up a bit at this point as well.


World Map Morraban
Alright, you’re almost done. Just add all those places of interest you had in that big list of yours, all the mountainpasses, the swamps, minefields, secret lairs in the volcano, oceans of sharks around your base.. I’m drifting again. Hum. Just look at the image I provided as my end result, you get the idea, right?

Right, so there you have it. 20 Simple Steps. And you got yourself a kickass map for your imaginary world to go play with! Thanks for reading people, I hope you had fun with it.

Project Clones: The “in-between-comic”.

Inktober’s here again folks! Another year’s passed, stuff has happened, both terrible and awesome, but Inktober is still here. I’ll participate in it again, every day (I’m in it for the long haul) for the entire month just as I did last year (remember, it’s all stored here for your reading pleasure, along with the explanation of what it exactly is). Over the past year, I’ve been thinking in what way I wanted to see this story going. As you might recall, I ended the story with a cliffhanger. And for this year, I had the same ‘problem’. What did I wanted to go with: A happy ending, a sad ending or even no ending? Do I wanted it to have another cliffhanger or not? All these questions were pondering inside my dark and creepy mind whilst I was drawing on the other stuff. So many options..

But I had to pick one. Just one. So for now, I went with something that felt appropriate. Something that took me a while too. A while you say? Well, yes.. You think I just came up with this story at the end of September? Oooh boy, are you wrong. Nononooo, this is months in the making. I have no clue how long it takes for other people to develop some form of decent storytelling, but for me it takes a while. As for this one, I eventually decided to give it some form of ending. Not a jolly, happy one, nor was it a sad ending. It also doesn’t really feel like a cliffhanger, but it’s definitely not a closed ending as well. I see it as an “in-between-comic”. Since this storyline is just about a few clones anyways. After all, when Star Wars kicked of in 1977 with Episode IV, no one said anything about that, right? So I see no reason why I can’t do the same.

To be honest.. after all this pondering and re-writing, I’m really hoping it came out well in the end. I’ve had some feedback over the years from a few other people, and whilst they all praised my work so far, I will always be my own harshest critic. I still see so many flaws, things I should’ve worked on longer, improved better, or simply should’ve written out or replaced with something else. But I try to live in the spirit of ‘getting things done’ and to move on when I feel like I should. If I wouldn’t do that, I’d still be here probably, writing and pondering over this month’s storyline for Inktober.

Also, if you’ve been following me over at Somewhere and/or Twitter, you might’ve noticed multiple “work in progress” shots or “wip’s” as I like to call ‘m, but in contrast to this months black ‘n white, all colored. Not to worry, that will still resume, once I’m done with Inktober. It’s also an entirely different storyline, although happening in the same universe of things. Maybe it’ll all come together at some point, maybe not. Who knows?

I’m going to leave you with the promise that I’ll be updating my twitter feed every day at 3PM UTC time (and my gallery every weekend). So basically, since I live in Belgium, that’ll be 5PM for me (gives me a bit of an edge for last minute changes and all that). As for now, here’s to another month of inky goodness.


Project Clones: The comics. Part 1.

For a while now I’ve been working on a few sideprojects. When I say “for a while” I actually mean, for a very, very, very, very, really big, (holy moly I can’t remember when I started), verrrrrry long time. One of these sideprojects are my little Clones.

I’m sure you’ve noticed them trudging around here ‘n there. Though it’s only been recently that I decided to mold them into comic form. So that means -if you know me a bit- I started building up a huge reserve of pages lately. Work on it goes slow, as usual, but it’s very rewarding. Since I normally share my wip (Work In Progress) shots on twitter or the platform of Somewhere,
I thought it’d be a nice change of pace to throw it on here.wip_B08_Small

What I’m about to show you here, is a small breakdown of what normally takes about two days of work. We start at the sketching phase, go over the linework, move on to the shadows, with the flat colors next and the final painting as last. Though normally I tend to skip a few things for myself here ‘n there you know. For example, for the purpose of this small peek behind the screen, I seperated all the phases, but usually I tend to do my shadows alongside with my flat colors, and even add some light here ‘n there as well. Maybe even throw in a few effects even. It’s odd, that I’d have the same work method as a normal painter, since I almost never liked painting with a real brush in the past. You could say this is my compensation for it.

So this is it. Now you have a small insight in the making of the art for comic books. I’m not sure I’m doing it right though, since I still feel like I’m treating my pages way too much like my illustrations and therefore am losing a lot of time over simple messing around with the final details. Though I do got most of the process down to full automatisation and even got the script laid out for several more pages, so that shouldn’t be a problem (for now).

Don’t forget to check my tweets regularly if you want to stay up to date!

A happy Christmas & a merry new year. Or something like that.

Happy HolidaysI’ll start of with a few classic tropes in times like these. “Another year has passed.” “So many things have happened.” “I wonder what next year will bring…”
And now I’ll let you in on a small secret of mine. I only care for one of these three feeble sentences. Guess which one. I’m not one to look behind. If and when I do, it’s mostly about stuff I really like, but with a mind as forgetful as mine, that’s unlikely to happen very fast. Hence, I look ahead. No long lists of accomplishments here, sir. Oh no.

I look forward to a hopefully brighter future. One without the need to look for heroes. One where we don’t cherish a football god and where instead, we work together as an intelligent species in order to be able to write this very post on board of an intergalactic starliner (one can always dream, right?). Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be all negative here and whatnot, I too stop to smell the roses once in a while, but I see no point in doing that at the end of every year, pure out of obligation or because everyone else does.

So that’s why I drew this illustration. A pretty girl sitting behind a window in a warm fuzzy place, dreaming and staring out to what lies ahead. I made a few of my closest friends (hopefully) quite happy by turning her into this year’s Christmas card and I’ve added the work in progress and results in this post for you to see as well. So for now, just enjoy the snow (if you have any), get toasty in front of the fireplace and have a hot coco with a marshmallow in it. I know I will. Happy holidays folks.

Oh, and if you’re as big a fan of this sweetheart as I am, you might want to grab the free wallpaper I’ve included at the bottom. Because, you know, it’s Christmas after all ;)


Something small part II


After the last attempt to animate one of my clones (see previous post), I decided to try the same method on the main character of my other personal project. It took me a whole lot longer actually, since I really wanted to give the character some more depth by adding shadows. I know it’s not standard procedure for a test rig (which this is supposed to be after all), but then again, I aint no professional animator and this was purely ment as a way to explore my character by fleshing it out a bit more. After all, animating your character really gives you a better insight into your creation. Here’s hoping it’ll help me in the future when I’m working on some weird angle.

For the people who think it’s going all a bit too fast in the animation above, here are all the poses next to each other. You’re welcome.