Friday, August 28, 2015

Painting Process: Robot Angel Over Tokyo

Here's another in my progress posts, where I go over the basic steps I use to do one of my robot (and other) illustrations. Like all the other pieces in these posts, this was painted in Photoshop, 300dpi, in RGB, at 12"x18".

Starting with a photo I took of Selina, I worked out the idea of her as a winged robot, standing up high on scaffolding or something similar, over a city street inspired by Tokyo. I was thinking lots and lots of neon signage in the background, which worked as the photo was heavily in shadow, so there would be a lot of contrast between the background and foreground.

I laid out the basic robot pattern I wanted on her. Again, I knew that she would mostly be in shadow, so I included machinery that would give her a few internal light sources, especially from the lifting motors inside her wings, but not so many as to detract from the neon patterns behind her.

The next step was developing the buildings and signage in the background, as well as the very busy traffic patterns.

With the basics drawn out, I then lay out the various metal details on separate layers. As always, the colour scheme of these layers do not reflect the final colours I'll be using in the painting steps, but just serve to visually separate the various layers from each other.

Wing pattern layers laid down.

Buildings, vehicles, and roadways laid down.

Deep background and cityscape painted, including a certain amount of glows and reflections from the signs and lights.

Roadways and traffic painted, including more glowing light sources.

The scaffolding Selina is standing on is painted.

Initially, I had gone with a very cool colour scheme for the deep background. However, my friend Jamie pointed out how much warmer the neon in Tokyo usually is, so I rethought my approach. I then changed all the lights in the deep background to much warmer colours, varying most of them between red and orange, with a bit of green and blue to mix things up a bit. This leads to Selina herself being painted in cool tones, of course.

Basic painting done on Selina.

Wing patterns painted, with care paid to separate each of the wings from each other and from the main figure.

Finally, colours tweaked, and the internal lighting and other polishing done on Selina, including adding lighting effects from her light sources onto the scaffolding she is standing on.

The finished version of this can be seen on my RedBubble gallery, where prints of it can also be purchased.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Robot Reflected In Window

These reflection-based pieces are rapidly turning into some of my favourites.

What started as a picture of August staring into a mirrored door in my apartment ultimately became this piece with a robot observing a very large city. I'm really happy with how the floor under her feet turned out.

Prints of this piece are available for purchase at my RedBubble gallery. Also, be sure to check out my Facebook page for more goodies.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ultra Magnus from the Transformers

Another 10"x15" pencil illustration done at Ener-Con last weekend.

This is Ultra Magnus, voiced by Robert Stack in the Transformers animated movie. It's available for purchase for $100, and you can contact me on my website for more information.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Robot Digging In Old Computers

This was a great idea that the model had come up with.

One of the great things about working with models who are also fans of sci-fi and cyberpunk is how much they will contribute to the creation process. In this case, Ember had the notion of a robot digging into an old computer system. I took that idea and blew it up into an old Eniac/Multivac sort of computer system, upping the scale from the original notion.

Prints of this piece are available for purchase on my RedBubble gallery. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter for more stuff and rambling.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Six-Train and Galactus Pencil Illustration

I had a good time at Ener-Con this past weekend. While I was there, I managed to work on a couple of new Transformers-based pencil illustrations, and here is one of them.

I had never actually heard of the character Six Trains before, but the vendor across from my table had it sitting on his table, and it just kept getting my attention. It looked like a fun design, and I was wanting to draw something on a massive scale, so I came up with this basic idea with the tank, the army truck, and the aircraft carrier. Honestly, there was no real reason to have Galactus looming there in the background, but it seemed like a fun idea, so I went with it.

This 10"x15" pencil piece is available for purchase for $150 - contact me at my website for more information.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Painting Process: Robot and Motorcycle on Alien World

Here's another in my process posts, where I discuss how some of my paintings are put together. As with all of these, these are painted in Photoshop, 12"x18", in RGB, at 300dpi.

It's funny how often things that start off with one particular idea end up going in a completely different direction. The photograph of Emily that had started this idea off had initially been taken with the idea of doing a robot version of a Bond girl or something similar. Looking at her pose, however, the idea of her standing on a glass surface overlooking a giant futuristic city just kept coming to me, so I ended up sketching out that idea. With her looking over her shoulder, clearly there needed to be some sort of subject of her interest back there, thus the spaceship idea came to be.

That initial sketch led up to here where I designed the robot pattern on Emily.

As much as I liked the city and the spaceship, there seemed to be one more element missing, something that got filled with another crazy motorcycle design. This gives me something else to play with reflecting into the glass surface Emily is standing on, although that surface had to be widened to allow for the motorcycle as well.

Flat colour layers created on Emily. As with all of these designs, the colours used here don't reflect what the final painting scheme will end up being, but just serve to visually separate the various colour layers for painting.

Flat colour layers for the motorcycle created.

Flat colour layers on the spaceship and glass walkway laid down.

Final flat colour layers for the city, background planet, and space behind that laid down.

First pass at painting the starry sky. While any atmosphere on the planet, and the amount of light pollution present in a city like this (as well as reflected light pollution from the planet dominating the sky) would negate the viewer from really being able to see that much of the sky, I feel artistic license allows me to create that star pattern. Besides, it looks like the city is on an alien world, and may not have much of an atmosphere to begin with. Certainly Emily isn't needing to breathe.

Planet painted. All of the planetary and starfield backgrounds are hand-painted with a variety of custom brushes I have made over the years, using a variety of organic and inorganic sources.

Cityscape painted, as well as adding in some low-lying fog effects. So, clearly this planet does have an atmosphere of some sort, but perhaps not terribly dense.

Motorcycle and walkway painted. More of a mirrored surface rather than transparent glass for the walkway, to further facilitate the reflections from Emily and the motorcycle.

Basic painting on the spaceship.

The spaceship was seeming just a little too close to the motorcycle and Emily, as though it was a small drone rather than a huge craft. So, playing with some additional dust and fog effects, I've made it recede further into the background.

Basic metal painting on Emily completed. With the planet and deep background in such a warm colour scheme, she clearly needed to be using a much cooler set of colours.

To really bring her even further forward, the internal lighting on Emily is all done in blues, really pulling her away from the warm city and planet.

Final metal polishing and effects added to the piece.

Prints of the final version of this can be purchased at my RedBubble gallery.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Optimus Prime and Hot Rod pencil sketches.

A couple of Transformers sketches.

Hot Rod.

Optimus Prime.

These are both 8.5"x11" sketches, both available for sale at my booth at Ener-Con, a Transformers convention that I'm a guest artist at this weekend here in Winnipeg. It's August 15th and 16th, 2015, at the Clarion Hotel, 1445 Portage Avenue. I have a lot of other sketches and prints for sale, and will be doing commissions there as well. I believe I'll also be giving a talk about my history in art and comics, so if you are in Winnipeg this weekend, come and check it out!