Project Clones: The comics. Part 1.

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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!

Change can be good, right?

For some time now, I always found myself to be bothered with my artwork, every time I posted a new painting online. Mostly because I’ve been trying to incorporate everything I know into it, and probably missed one silly little thing. Sometimes it’s worse, because I managed to completely mess something up and didn’t notice it until it’s too late, and sometimes it’s just something I wish I’d done entirely different altogether.

In this aspect, I’m probably like any other artist. Never happy with my own work the minute I call it “done”. This time however, I played it smart. I wrote everything down I wanted to incorporate into the painting, and when the time was there to revise it, I found myself to be perfectly on schedule, so to speak. So that’s why I present to you -with a small amount of personal satisfaction- my latest commission for @DJCookie, a very sweet fantasy & DnD-fan.

I tried my best to give it that unique vibe she wished for and to add every little detail that makes her DnD character so unique. She’s supposed to represent an Aasimar. What that means is that they look like humans, but they’ve got these shiny eyes instead (amongst a few other features). She’s supposed to represent a healer with a very deep hate for anything undead. Hence why I couldn’t help but to add them into the background. I’m so considerate, aren’t I? Anyways, should Miss Cookie be reading this: “I hope I didn’t let you down, hun”.

Now for something entirely different.

For those who are regulary visiting this place, you’ll notice that something has changed. Every once and awhile, I get fed up with my current ways of working, or just feel the need to change things. Mix it up, if you will. Keep it loose and all that. So that’s why I decided to join an ever-growing group of people with a responsive layout design for their blog/website. This way, you and every one else who views these articles on their mobile devices or any other way than on their computer, will be able to read them in a fancier way then before. I chose this particular theme, because it has a more serene feel to it than the last one.

So, have a look around and let me know should you hate/love the new & improved look.

Right, time to end this shameless self-promotion and to get back to my drawing board.

Cheers,
me.

The Grand Army of the Republic Wants You

Here’s a question to all you budding artists who are reading this: “Haven’t you ever wondered how your art will look like in about five or so years from now?”

Well, a couple of years ago, when I was trying out various styles, I had that same question. Nowadays, nothing has really changed, I’ll have you know. Though I can say I made some vast improvements on various levels. Anatomy being one of them. Or.. well, at least I hope I have. That’s more for the experts to decide, really. Anyway, a couple of days ago I decided to do something I normally never do; to redo a painting from a couple of years ago. I chose to do this particular piece, because (in contrast to the happiness level I had reached about it, back then) I never “really” was fully happy with it. Something felt “off”. Either it was her mouth, her build or the way she was standing. Or maybe it was the way I had painted her skin .. something (or all of it combined) felt very wrong.

So after various amounts of tweaking and eventually leaving it to move on to other projects, I decided to rebuild this one from the ground up. I only kept the pose and outfit and gave her a completely different style, look and attitude. She now looks more like what I had in mind in the first place. My inner demons were pleased when I finally finished the new, improved version. And only then do I truly know that it’s “done”.

Because I love to help you guide through the entire process, I created a small work-in-progress version as well, showing you how exactly I came by to this final result. Let’s go through the entire process with the usual four steps, which you might remember from last time, should you have read it already.

Just as last time, I’ll begin with a simple line trace for Step #01, the hard (please-let-this-be-over-quickly) work of every drawing. If you (or your clone) made it through this part in one piece, we can step over to the next part.

Step #02 is still gruntwork, since we’re adding the basic colors and shadows at this stage, though I’d like to adress you that you pay strong attention to the light here, since you don’t want your subject to look unrealistic. I didn’t want to emphasize the light and shadow this time, so I kept it light and fluffy for once.

Step #03 is the where the jolly part kicks in and where I take it over from my clone; the detailed coloring of the subject. This is where my reference material kicks in as usual, especially for those “detailed” specifics in this instance -hum- ..

To end the process, we have Step #04, where the icing of the cake happens. The magic. The good stuff. My all-time favorite, the small details, the textures, every bruise, scratch and dirt spot has to be taken care of in this process. Everything to make your painting just that bit more shiny. Usually followed up by some/a few/a lot of corrections since I’m going very micro in this stadium. This is normally the point where you best mirror your paint or take a step back, just to see if and where you went wrong. Though, I’m no expert in this, since I *still* need to remind myself of this a bit. If you did something wrong big-time, then it’s usually back to Step #03, get past start and earn yourself a quick 200$ on the way. Or does that only count for Monopoly?

A comparison between the old and new version of “Join The GAR”

And oh yeah, here’s a comparison of the old versus the new result. What do you think? A lot better, right? I hope you guys found this as fun and informative as I had making this. Now, onto the next one, shall we?.

Cheers,
-me

‘The Warrior’ from Sketch to Paint

Presentation tutorial #01

Hello there and welcome back!

Since my last post, my team of robot clones and I have been working very hard (mostly them) to create a small tutorial of an old painting I did a while ago. We’re now a week later, and I remain in that post look-what-I-just-made haze, where as I feel I’ve been more productive than I actually have. That’s largely thanks to everyone who’s been checking out my last post on A Peek Behind The Curtain. The feedback on it has been great, so that’s why I plan on keeping it going for a bit and see how it all pans out.

So without further ado, I put my team of robotic clones to the test and made ‘m work for their daily dose of batteries. That’s why I’m proud to present to you a small video-tutorial of how I usually ink my paintings. This one in particular is completely done in black and white, this to more emphasize the line work of the painting.

So sit back, open up your favourite graphical program, and get going along with me as we create another painting from start to finish.

The Warrior from start to finish

Cheers,
Me.

A Peek Behind The Curtain

So summer has passed and again there’s this gap already from a couple of weeks, in between this and last post. Honestly, I *am* trying to keep consistent by posting at least once every month, but unfortunately work and just life in general catches up with you *fast*. It’s like you blink and all the sudden there’s another month gone by? Where the heck did that summer go?

Now, I am not here to bore you with the past, but with stuff that should give you a small peek behind the smokescreen of this artist’s way of working. As I’ve been hearing left and right, people actually seem to dig the work in progress of an artist as well. I’ve discussed this previously (a couple of posts ago) as well, yet didn’t explore it further and just went on my way. Well, I’m here to announce I’m going to try to change all that. Big words, I know, since I’m not that good with promises and all that jazz.. But I’ll try to stick to it from now on. Promise. I’m even planning to dig out some old paints and find a way to show you lot how I got to ‘m.

Since words are just words, I decided to give some meaning to my words and introduce to you the the first one of the series.

At first I’ll start with a simple sketch. That’s where almost all my paintings start. It’s not a necessity per se, but I like to start with that start of pencil ‘n paper in my hands. Note the small thumbnail I made in the upper left hand corridor. It indicates how I imagine the vehicle would look like from the left. After scanning, I’ll move on to photoshop.

All my paints usually go through four stadia, depending on how complex they are.
For Step #01 I’ll add a simple trace of the lines, it’s the grunt-work of every drawing in my opinion. If you made a finished sketch, this is usually the work you can let your mechanized clone or monkey do (depends on your preference – I went with clones). After this stage, we go into Step #02 where the basic ground colour is added and shadows are applied. Pay strong attention to the light here and always strife for the most realistic feeling when dealing with the objects.
Step #03 is where the fun part begins for me; colouring of the character(s) and all the various objects & details. This is where you’ll love your reference material for just that right touch, when it comes to color and how they act in every environment.
At last there’s Step #04, my absolute favourite one. Here I get to apply the further detailed colouring, the small details & textures that give your paint that extra finishing touch. A few small corrections here ‘n there might occur as well. I usually advise to stand back a bit from your paint at this stage and give it a fresh eye. Mostly, I myself tend to skip this step (not professional – I know, don’t look at me like that!), which usually ends in me going back to step #03 and see where I went wrong.

Vehicle Design

If you made it this far with your own artwork, the only thing left for me is to congratulate you. I hope you had a blast on it and are inspired to get going on the next one. With that in mind, I got a few more paintings waiting for me …

Anyway, I hope that this way, all of you got a better and useful view into my way of working.

Until we meet again,
Me.