Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thor and The Recorder - page 1

Once in a while, I get asked to colour a short story commissioned by someone who wants to write their own version of a character. I've done a few of these, about the Thing, Doctor Strange, even Wonder Woman. This time, it was about Thor and another, less well-known character, The Recorder. I don't recall the last time I would have seen this Marvel Comics character, perhaps in an issue of 'What If?' or something, so it was fun getting to work with a more obscure figure of the Marvel Universe.

Here's page 1 of this 8 page story. I'll be posting the story over the next eight weeks.

Pencils and inks by Keith Pollard, lettering by Ferran Delgado, colouring by me. I'm credited as 'Ian Man' here, because the writer/commissioner asked what sort of Marvel-style nickname I would like in the credits. Being a huge Iron Man fan, and even being called Ian Man by some of my friends once in a while, I went with that.

My commission rates for this sort of thing can be found on my website.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Painting Process: Robot and Giant Robot

Here's another in my series of posts where I break down the creation of one of my robot paintings. As with all of these, this was painted in Photoshop, 300dpi, 12"x18", in RGB.

The initial idea for this piece came from the shot of Emily climbing. That had been taken with the idea that she was exploring a space station or some other vehicle like that, but these things take on a life of their own. Looking at the photo, I realized that, with my overall style of work, it would be quite interesting if she were actually crawling around inside the wreck of a large robot instead. When I next did a shoot with Selina, we set up a shot with her with this idea in mind, with her being the larger, disused robot.

Here I've laid out the design of Selina, making it much more complicated than I normally do to get across the concept of it being broken.

I've drawn out the robot pattern on Emily. I also changed the background cityscape, giving it much more of a feel of Calgary rather than some generic city.

Flat layers laid down for the external portions of Selina. As with all of these, the colours used here won't reflect the actual colours used for painting, but just serve to visually separate the different layers from each other.

Flat colour layers on Emily laid down.

The remaining colour layers on Selina, the interior of the robot, laid down.

The various cityscape and background painting layers dropped in.

City and fog painted in. Any and all effects are hand-rendered using traditional painting techniques and a wide variety of custom-made brushes that I've created over the years.

External painting on Selina completed. 

Internal painting on Selina completed. I went with a cool colour palette externally and a warm palette internally to help differentiate those parts of the robot from each other, also using Emily as an internal light source.

Basic painting on Emily completed.

Lighting on Emily painted in, as well as overall polishing and finishing touches.

The finished piece can be seen (and prints and other products purchased) on my RedBubble Gallery.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Skull Face Robot

October is about to start, so it's a good time to start some more horror-based paintings.

Here we have Selina with a skull face and a very sinister space background. I think I'll be developing a few more pieces like this in the coming weeks, as Halloween is my favourite time of the year.

Prints of this piece can be purchased on my RedBubble gallery. Also, be sure to check out my Website for more of my work as well as lots of updates and my commission rates.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Colouring Bob Layton - Silver Centurion Iron Man Armour

Bob recently posted a convention sketch he did of the Silver Centurion Iron Man armour, one of my favourite designs. So, for a few reasons, I ended up colouring it.

I have been meaning to integrate some of the painting style I've been using on my robot pieces into some of my colouring work for a while, and the open background in the lineart of this piece gave me plenty to work with, while still leaving room for my traditional take on colouring Iron Man himself. I like how the two styles worked together, and I'll be working more at integrating these styles together in the future.

My rates for commissioning this sort of work can be found on the commission page on my website.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Robot Angel With Sword

Something with a bit more action and movement in it.

My lovely assistant Kelsie owns more swords than I do, something we took advantage of in a recent shoot. The prop sword she was using in this shoot was a recreation of something from a video game, I believe, but it made a good basis for the design I went with here.

Prints of this piece are available for purchase on my RedBubble gallery. Also, be sure to take a look at my website, as I've been doing quite a bit of revamping to it, including expanding the various gallery pages.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Colouring Gene Gonzalez - Alternate Superboy #212 Cover

A week or so ago, I had seen that Gene, the artist that I coloured on Perils On Planet X, had drawn this alternate version of a Superboy And The Legion Of Super Heroes cover. I was quite taken with the piece, and asked if he'd let me take a shot at colouring it.

The Legion has long been a favourite series of mine, starting with those small DC Digests reprinting their adventures from the 60's that I would read in the late 70's. 

I made Night Girl quite a bit lighter than I would normally, to visually reinforce the point that she was being caught in direct sunlight (where her powers were nullified), including brightening up the light source on the ground around her. This, of course, further distances her from Shadow Lass, in shades of blue and much darker, heightening the tension in the story.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Painting Process: Steampunk Cowgirl Robot

Here's another in my series of process posts, where I discuss how I put together one of my robot paintings. As with all of these pieces, this one was painted in Photoshop, at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.

The basic design was sketched around a photo of August, one where she's standing on the front of a train. Looking at steam engines, I developed this design from a few different sources, removing the 'cow catcher' portion as it would end up blocking her left leg, and I didn't want anything to get in the way of her elegant look.

Robot design sketched in. I'm finding, overall, that my steampunk robot designs are most easily differentiated from the more cyberpunk designs by using much less in the way of internal lighting, usually just leaving that for the eyes, and relying almost entirely on external lighting on the figure.

Flat colour layers dropped in for painting later. As with all of these pieces, the colours used here won't reflect the final colour choices when painting the piece, but just serve to visually differentiate the various layers from each other.

Train, railway, and background painting layers dropped in.

Ground and sky painting beginning. All of these textures are hand-painted, using brushes that I've built over the years.

Train station and rail painted. I haven't done much painting of wood textures, so this was a fun challenge.

Train painted, as well as adding in fog and steam from the engine enveloping the background. There will be almost a spotlight effect on August in the final piece, so I wanted to carry that through with the shadow she is casting on the engine, reinforcing the sense of mass to her and the piece overall.

Hair and revolver painted.

Metal painting completed. Going with the steampunk nature of the piece, I'm keeping the contrast in the figure a bit lower than in other ones, giving her less of a shiny look than I do with the more futuristic or cyberpunk pieces, although the spotlight effect and cast shadows still give her lots of overall contrast. Just less in the way of shine and highlights than I go with in some other designs.

Adjusting the colour on August, making her very warm and pulling her forward in the image (with steampunk robots veering more towards bronze and brass colouration as opposed to the cooler silver and steel colouration of much of my cyberpunk work), adding additional polish and effects over the rest of the piece.

This piece can be seen on my RedBubble gallery, where prints of it can also be purchased.