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.

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.

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?.


‘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