Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Painting Process: Hologram Robot

Here's another in my series of Painting Process blog posts, where I break down the steps taken to make up one of my paintings. As with all of these, this piece is painted in Photoshop, at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.


I had the concept of Monique as a robot using a computer to generate a text-based holographic image, something that she could touch. I have her seated with my old TI-99/4a computer (the very first computer I owned, back in the early 1980's), and set up another image of my assistant, Kelsie, as the hologram she would be generating.


I wanted the hologram to be created out of text, but I also have been learning Japanese for the past few months. I decided to have all of the text be actual phrases in Hiragana (if you see the final image at high resolution, you can actually read the various phrases that the figure is composed of). That process of writing in all the Hiragana took almost as long as painting the rest of the image did.


For a setting, I went with something like a junction port for the ventilation system in a large building, something small and sealed-off, rather than some of the large cityscapes I have been working with lately.


Drawing in the robot design on Monique. For this photo shoot, she had a much more 80's-style haircut (as opposed to the more 40's or 50's-inspired style hair she had for the earlier shoots) which really works with what I was going for here.


Laying down the flat colour layers on Monique. As always, these colours just serve to keep the various layers visually separated from each other, and don't represent what the final colour scheme of the painting will be.


Creating the flat colour layers for the computer. I added in a lot of extra high-capacity cables for this, but made certain to utilize the old RS-232 port on the side of the computer, just to further root this image in the 1980's.


Flat colour layers created for the environment.


Finally, the text layer is created.


Basic painting done on the background. I'm going with a very dark space to really let the lighting from the glowing text be the primary focus of interest.


Floor painted. Already the basic colour scheme of the cool background with greens in the foreground is starting to work its way into the piece. My intent is that the text will be glowing green, so that needs to be reflected in the environment.


Small blue light sources dropped in for contrast.


Basic metal painting on Monique, showing the primary lighting coming from the text of the hologram, with additional lighting from various blue sources off-panel.


Finally, the internal blue lighting on Monique is added, as well as the glowing green text on Kelsie, with additional polishing and lighting effects added over the entire piece to tie it all together.

The finished piece can be seen (and prints of it purchased) on my RedBubble gallery.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Painting Process: Reflected Robots

I was just looking at my blog, and realized that I haven't posted anything for several months. I need to rectify that right now.

Here's another in my series of procedural posts, detailing the overall process for doing one of my robot paintings. As with all the paintings in this series, these are painted in Photoshop, at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.

I started with a basic illustration of the various characters, all based on my friend Marie. We had set up a shoot with this composition in mind.

The next step is designing the overall cityscape behind the characters, and creating the interior space of the nightclub they are in. The curving lines of the interior space serve to keep drawing the eye toward the characters, keeping them the main focus of the piece.

The overall robot design is laid out for all the characters. I am keeping the designs fairly consistent, making it obvious that they are all copies of the same robot model.


The interior and exterior background designs are tightened up.

Flat colour layers are laid down for the first three robots. As always, the colour scheme here does not reflect what the final painting choices will be, but just serve to visually distinguish between the various painting layers when painting begins. Generally, all of these layers are collapsed [on each individual robot] once the initial painting is done, to make further painting adjustments easier.

Flat colour layers for the remaining two MarieBots dropped in, including the chairs they are sitting on.


Flat colour layers for the interior space and deep background laid in.


Initial painting done on the deep background. This is all hand-painted with traditional methods, as is all of the painting throughout the process. I'm going with a cool colour scheme in the background, as I'm thinking that the foreground will be more neutral (with purples and greens on the figures themselves) to assist in separating the visual planes.


The metal on the rear two MarieBots painted.


The metal on the central figure painted.


The metal on the remaining figures is painted.


Basic painting done on the foreground, going with the more neutral tones I discussed earlier, with some cool tones to reflect the light from outside of the windows, Also, lighting effects both inside and outside the windows are painted in.


The interior green lighting of the figures is added, as well as adding in reflections on the floor from the figures. I went with a very smooth, almost glassy quality to the floor, so there is very little distortion in the reflections of the figures.

And that is the basic rundown on how the piece was put together. The final version of this can be seen (and prints and other products featuring this image are available for purchase) on my RedBubble Gallery.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Painting Process: Retro Robot Factory

Here's another in my series of posts where I break down the process for painting one of my robot pieces. As with all of the others in this series, these pieces are painted in Photoshop, 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.


I started by laying out the primary figure, building up the composition from that. This was taken from a photo I took of the lovely Monique.


I then sketched in the two figures that would be in the background, the ones that would still be in storage in the facility.



Using those three figures as the base, I then drew out the basic design of the factory/storage facility, including the glass containers for the second and third figures.


I then started developing the design of the primary robot figure. I wanted each one of them to have their own specific design, but I kept the hair the same so they all still had the same retro feel.


Robot designs on the background figures laid out.


Dropping in flat colour layers for the primary figure. Not that the colours here aren't meant to indicate the final colour scheme, but just to separate the various painting layers visually.


Flat colour layers for the second and third robots created.


Flat layers for the background dropped in.


Basic painting on the background and glass containers done. Going with a cool colour palette, which means that the robots themselves should get gradually warmer the closer they are to the viewer.


Basic metal painting on the second and third robots.


Internal lighting effects added to the second and third robots, including showing their lighting reflecting back from the interior of the glass containers they are housed in.


Primary robot figure painted.


Primary robot figure internal lighting added and additional polishing and touchups completed.

The final version can be seen, and prints of it purchased, at my RedBubble gallery.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Painting Process: Robot Constructing Other Robots

This is another in my series of posts where I break down my method for doing my robot painting. As with all of these paintings, this was done in Photoshop, in RGB, 12"x18", at 300dpi.

Starting with a series of photographs of Ember in various poses, I built up this concept of one central robot figure building another robot, with other pieces from other robots surrounding her. I love playing with the notion of constructing and deconstructing my robot figures, and we came up with some good stuff for it during the shoot.


Once that initial layout was done, I then developed the space the robot creator was working in. This is some sort of abandoned arcology or something, probably on an upper floor (there is a slight curvature to the wall/ceiling indicating that it could be just below the top of the building). I filled the space with a variety of old computer hardware as well.


Creating the actual robot designs. I knew I wanted the creator robot be a different style of machine from the other versions she was created, so I went with this more fluid design with no obvious gears or mechanisms within her, while the seated figure more closely resembles my 'standard' designs.


Laying down the flat colour layers to be painted later, first on the robot under construction. As with all of these, the colours here don't represent the final colours to be used during painting, but just serve to visually separate the various layers from each other.


Colour layers for the creator robot and more machinery dropped in.


Remaining colour layers created.


Painting beginning on the deep background. I went with cool colours to give the background real depth, which will indicate that I will go with warm colours in the foreground and on the primary figures.


Remaining setting painted, mostly in neutral shades.


Two unfinished robots painted, going with the same neutral colour scheme.


Remaining background unfinished robot painted, using the same colour scheme.


Creator robot painted. I went with strong reds for her internal lighting, really separating her from the environment, while the neutral tones of the metal still keep her clearly in the same setting.


Robot under construction painting completed. She is a bit warmer than the other robots, pulling her a bit further forward in the painting.


Internal lighting added to the robot under construction. The yellow/orange adds to her warmth, keeping her far forward in the overall composition, while still tying her a bit to the red tones of the robot that is building her.


Final lighting effects and overall polishing completed.

The final version can be seen (and prints, t-shirts, and stickers purchased) on my RedBubble gallery.