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

Advertisements

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!

Project Clones: The comics. Part 1.

banner2wip_02
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!

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

#Inktober 2013 – The Aftermath

Banner Inktober 2013 Done

So at the start of this month, I said I was going to enter the challenge for this month’s #Inktober right? I also wasn’t sure that, in all my ambition, I would succeed. Since it’s been super busy around here (not even taking all the moving into the new house into account here), I had to plan a lot of stuff, and most of the times I was still up working late hours to get stuff done at the last minute.

Inktober entry, Day 31

Inktober entry, Day 31

But we emerged victorious! We fought the darkness that kept creeping in, the seductive sleep that lured us into our beds late at night and we battled ourselves to the final and most epic fight at the end of the month. The one fight to rule all others. I’m referring here those very last days, where I actually had to talk to a few people for coming up with ideas, since most of the times I ended up staring at blank pages. All in all, it’s been fun. I would very much like to thank Jake Parker again, since he came up with the idea, after all. Dabbling in ink is something I haven’t been doing for a long time, and being able to do so, has surely re-introduced me into a world of instant gratification, since I was mostly getting very edgy lately at those pixels on my screen, when photoshop decided to wipe all my work straight into the bin for no reason at all (that only happened once though, to be honest).

They Have A Golem

They Have A Golem

On the positive side, some of the guys I produced you will definitely be seeing again, as I very much intend to give ‘m some colour when I get to have more time. I’d love to see ‘m pinned on my wall in a couple of frames, at some point. But hey, that’s all for the future. For now, you can all enjoy this nice collection of 31 days worth of Inktober entries right over here.

Last but certainly not least, you might have noticed, that for this month, I’ve been using the Halloween-theme quite a lot in the Inktober-challenge; throwing scary faces, situations and enemies of all kinds in there. That is now coming to an end with the final and most epic fight I did so far in any illustration to date. I present to you my baby for this month.

Have a happy Halloween folks.

– Because I love it.

#Inktober 2013

Banner Inktober 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated into any contest, don’t you think? Yeah sure, there was the one from during the summer.. but that’s all in the past. An artist has to move on, keep going further, push him/herself to the limit, only to find out that there’s a lot more ‘pushing’ to be done. Irony as good as it gets, right there.

Inktober entry, Day 4

Inktober entry, Day 4

So basically, with nothing on my hands (yeah, right), I decided to participate into this month’s #Inktober. What’s that you say? I couldn’t read it because of the hashtag that was in front of it. Oh, it’s nothing much really. It’s this contest on twitter you see, where you’re supposed to create an ink drawing on a regular basis (I chose to go with every day) throughout the month of October, hence “Inktober”. Clever play of words really. Unfortunately not my own invention I’m afraid, it’s actually all the idea of Jake Parker, who started it all. Since it’s been a while that I’ve been dabbling in ink, I decided to pick this one, and see how long I’ll last. Will I be able to keep up for all 31 days? Time will tell.

I will be adding my sketches to this gallery at the end of every workweek. You will also be able to follow my #Inktober updates on my Twitter, should you want to stay updated on a more regular basis. And if you want to see ALL the #Inktober sketches, search for the #INKtober hashtag on all the major social networks.

Cheers
– Me.

PS Due  to the fact that I didn’t foresee the great amount of work to be displayed here (it’s 31 days after all), I moved the entire gallery to here. This will keep things more clean and provide for a better overview, after all. Anyways, nothing to see here, carry on folks 😉

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.