Banner Clones

Project Clones: The comics. Part 2.

Making of first page; 2nd album of Clones

Click me to view the entire process!

“Heya folks!” Goodmorning – or afternoon – depending on where you’re currently reading this from. I’m just going to post a small update here on the progress of Clones whilst the first album is over at the press store. As you might remember, I did a few of these step-by-step progress shots in the past, right? Well, for this months treat to you guys, I decided to post another one of the first page of my second comic of Clones.

As usual, I’m posting ‘m without the text, for a twofold reason: partially because the art alone deserves an equal place in the spotlights and secondly, because I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with the whole “should-I-post-this-online-or-not” issue. I guess a lot is riding on finding a decent publisher. Something I really should work harder on. For now tough, I invite you to enjoy these seven slides made from blood, sweat and .. well.. no tears (yet).

A lot of effort went in it though, and I’m still not sure over the final colors (and might change ‘m during the development of the other pages) but hey, I have to move on, otherwise I will get nothing done! For further development on this project, you can always find more wip-shots over at my Twitter page or on Somewhere.

For now, I’m of to bed though. Sleepwell!

Comic 2 Clones Page 1

Banner Clones

A reflection on 2015

Those who know me, will say I don’t often look back to the past.

Those who really know me, will say it’s cause I just can’t remember. So when I just wrote ‘A reflection on 2015’, it’s what really comes to mind at this very moment. And honestly? It’s not going to be that much. Only two things. But they matter most to me at the moment, and that’s what counts, right?

First of all, I know they have a holiday for this sort of stuff in the US, but here in Europe, we don’t, so I’ll just write it here and now.. I’d like to give thanks. To all the people out there who’ve been supporting me. And that’s not just family and friends. I’m referring to all the followers, be it on Twitter, Somewhere, or here, on WordPress. You guys are awesome. I don’t know why you guys like what I draw and write, and I probably never will (maybe that’s for the best), but you do, and I’m very thankful for that. It gives me a certain reassurance that I can draw about what I like, and write about how I feel or experience things. Honestly, when I started this, I didn’t really anticipate anyone ever reading this. It was just going to be something for myself. An online data storage unit of some sorts. And I still treat it as such, to be honest. I’ve been contemplating moving these contents to a different medium at many times in the past, but everytime I end up with a lot of hassle and decide it’s not worth the trouble. It’s not like I post that much even. Not that I’m not trying, it’s just that it’s priority isn’t really that high on my list. Drawing on the other hand..

Presentation 1 Comic
Which brings me to the next item. I’ve been posting already about this earlier this week, over at Twitter. So to those who are following me over there as well, it won’t come to you as actual new stuff. For the past year (I started back in January of 2015) I’ve been slaving away at my own comic. These are the first bricks of my hopefully gargantuan tower, the base of what might become my own graphic novel, and it took me a lot of time. I was already writing on it way before January 2015, although the actual drawing process only started this year. “The Chronicles of Clones”, as it’s called, is something of a baby to me. I’ve been working on this for several years now, on and off at the start. Mostly writing down little dots and notes.. Until one fine day I started collecting all these sketchbook notes and post-it scribbles into a decent file on my data drives. Today.. well actually, a few days ago, I have reached the first milestone of all that work. I have created the first completed issue of Clones. Darn proud about it too. If only my 8-year old self could read it. He’d be so proud of me, I think. Ever since I can remember, it’s what I wanted to achieve. And a few weeks from now, after the holidays, it’ll become a reality. I’ll actually have the very first prototype in my hands. Now comes the next step though, to find a publisher. And here we come full circle. This is where I’ll just let the internet do it’s thing. Let people share this post, like it, comment on it and what have you. And I’ll be very grateful for it.

Wish me luck, people. I’ll need it.

Presentation 2 Comic

Happy thoughts with a warm feeling.

“One of the nice things about being an artist is never having to waste money on greeting cards again.”

I picked up that line from a friend somewhere in past, and I wholeheartedly have to agree with it. As every year comes and goes, I haven’t had to buy a greeting card for ages anymore. And just as last year, I loved drawing this one.
Last year I was overwhelmed by long lists of accomplishments on almost everyone’s homepage. Hence why I had decided to go against the stream and not to look back in the past. This year is no different. Though, with one minor exception.

I remember when I wrote last year, that I was looking forward to a hopefully brighter future. One without the need to look for heroes. Unfortunately, we got worse. Murphy, I blame you again, old boy. Just having to think of the many things people have had to go through this year: Paris, Mali, those crashed airplanes and I’ll probably forget a lot more.. It seems we’re still a long way from a future where we work together as an intelligent species in order to be able to write this post on board of an intergalactic starliner. But let’s not dwell too much on the past, and instead look ahead to the future, with a positive view.
This year’s pretty girl is sitting on a stack of presents, and naturally acting as one in the process. I’ve been dying to create an illustration like this for a while now, but never found the right reason/moment for it. Intentionally, she was to be a bit more saucy, but since this greeting card is ment for my grandmother as well I.. wisely decided against it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make the rest of the family and a few of my closest friends quite happy with her and thus providing my share for a warmer Christmas and new year.

As is usually the norm, I decided to add the complete process here as well, this way you can actually spot the many mistakes and errors I made during the creation process. Or just be awed by the process and stare/ogle at her enticing beauty like I do. Anyways.. -hum- I also decided to add a shiny wallpaper for all of you, just like last year. You can download it here for free and adorn your desktop with it, for an even warmer -hum- Christmas experience.

So, with that in mind, the only thing for me to wish you is: lots of fun in the snow (if we’ll get any this year), a lot of hot cups of chocolate (with a marshmallow of course) and some solid positive vibes. Happy holidays folks.

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).

 

 

Illustration

Illustration

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.

Wip_Map_12
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
20.
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.

Cheers!