To contact Kat drop her a line at

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CGHub Challenge WIP: The Vaudevillains

So, despite still having commission #3  to finish up for Cyptic Strudio I decided to enter....or try to enter, into another CGHyb challenge. The premise is a weird freak show of sorts. There was a comment about Siamese twins with a chainsaw and a wolf man, but I asked if we had to include those and was told not really. 

My idea is inspired by Alfons Mucha. I looked at some of his work as well as some old posters from Barnum  and Bailey, and some freak shows and vaudeville posters from way back when. It kinda hit me to try out a twist on a theme, so I went with fairy tale maidens. But instead of being the damsels in distress they are more like the femme fatals I love so much in old pulp fiction stories. 

I started the sketch out in Photoshop. After finishing the last piece in this media I decided why not try it out again and do things a little differently? Besides, I am still painting a lot for the other commissions I have. 

This is where I am at the end of the day. Line work on the computer is as tedious as it is by hand and while it's not perfect I am pretty happy with where it is going. This piece is all sorts of outside my comfort zone, using multiple figures, a designed composition, and type. But it's a great exercise. The challenge is for an illustration, and that has been left open to anything from a card to a book cover, which is why I chose a poster.

I still want to add in some type to suggest a little bit more that this is a poster for a freak show talent. The ladies are all insane cougars of course....of course. The Fire eater is supposed to be like a Cinderella (I keep thinking this stupid phrase 'Cinderella dressed in chrome, burned her lover to his bones). The lady in the bottom left is Snow White and is going to be a cross between a vamp and an albino (researching freak shows it seemed that any oddity made it into the show).  The woman in the center was going to be the Bloody Belle, but that became an issue since Little Red is leaning towards her. So I changed the middle figure up to being the Bearded Belle instead. Little Red is leaning in and is gonna be like a cannibal or Lizzie Borden (on account of the ax behind her back), and the last figure is going to be a take of the frog princess, or little mermaid.

There are some details that need to be added in still, some decorative flowers and what not before I start to color it in. So far I am happy with this piece. The due date is the 7th of October...only one week! But...I know I can get this done. It'll be a nice piece  in my portfolio.

Ok, it's super late now. I just wanted to post up one more progress pic before I hit the sack. I started to color the image in (sometimes it helps me work out last minute kinks. Right now I am liking the color scheme and can see how my original idea for a color layout is going to work. However I think it needs more of a creepy feel to it so I plan to add in some darker colors here and there, perhaps some wear and tear once I am done. Kinda like aging a piece. 

Already I can see a big difference as opposed to my tata piece I just finished. I am using a lot of airbrush in photoshop to get the feel I want from the old fashioned posters. I think it's appropriate for this type of image. 

I am also noticing the type is disappearing. I kinda figured it would....not gonna say what I plan to do with it just yet. It's fun working on this and I am surprised I have as much of it done as I already do. 

Well...time to get some sleep. Yawn. 

Day three (ok day 2 and a half really).  Been working for about an hour or so on this now along with doing some other things. I'm still liking how this piece is coming along. Still need to add some creepiness to the ladies. Right now the bearded lady with her five o'clock shadow is creeping me out the most. I think she looks like Jesus in drag giving me a sultry glance over the top of that fan, which makes working on Red Ridding Hood hard. 

I've been thinking a lot more about the type and searching out some reference materials for flowers to add into the bottom two corners. I still want to add in some roses on the lower left near Snow White, and some water plants on the lower left by the Frog Princess. 

Not a lot of other people getting in on this challenge on CGHub so far, probably due to the shorted deadline this time around.  I'm gonna just keep updating this post in particular....I like it this way and it's my blog so I can do whatever I want! =p

Day three. I haven't spent to much time working on this piece over the weekend. And I am a little flustered to find that some of my custom brushes have gone AWOL. I blame the gremlins....

That aside...this piece is looking awfully bright and chipper. I think it has a lot to do with the colors and the fact that my villainesses don't look so...wicked. Little Red and Snow White look a little more macabre than the others but that has to do with the blood I think. I might have to go in and add some weapons...but I wanted them to be like the cougars of the carnival. O well, you win some you lose some. Overall I am pretty happy that I was able to do something outside of my comfort zone even if I am falling a bit flat. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

O Snipe!

2010 TaTa Gala Entry

Yay! I just finished Jynx for her entry! It's been a blast to do this piece though I am sure that in a few months I will hate it. It's different to work on the computer as I mentioned a few times. But, I think I did a pretty descent job. send her off! Wish us luck!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

O Snipe: Progress

So, I received an email from the TaTa Gala organizers that the deadline has been pushed back to the 16th of October....which rocks since I had to put that aside to work on some other things. So here's an update of the progress. I've decided not to submit in two pieces, for the sake of time and dealing with other commitments. Oh well, all's fare in art and work....right?

I've still got a bit of work to do on this piece before I submit it into the gala. I have to admit I am feeling rather nervous about entering the piece in....but I'm gonna do it anyways. I am really enjoying how this piece is coming along, especially since it's a digital piece. I still like my watercolors and can tell this is going to be one of those great learning pieces I look back on in a few months and see how far I've come. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Influence Map

This is my influence map. A friend of mine suggested I make one when I have some down time. It was fun, and neat to see where my interests still lie and what is new after the last few years. And no, this isn't all of my influences but it's pretty close. 

1) Jamie Hewlett
2) Norman Rockwell
3) Adam Hughes
4) Toulouse Lautrec
5) RK Post
6) Alfonso Azpiri
7) The Rockin' Jellybean
8) Echo Chenrick
9) Raven Mimura
10) Arthur Suydam
11) Iain McCaig
12) Dean Yeagle
13) Massimiliano Frazzeto
14) John Howe
15) Tommy Lee Edwards
16) Luis Royo
17) Joshua Middleton
18) Jon Foster
19) Barbucci & Canepa

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's MADNESS! (aka The Gremlins Attacked My Computer!)

So...I know you aren't supposed to feed them after midnight, but I was tired and wasn't paying attention to the time at all. What happened? I was having some issues with my internet all this last week: something something about my wireless router. I dunno cause I am not a computer nerd.

Anyways, I finally got it back and saw an email from Fred Hicks, the art director at Hero Games. What for? Well, seems that I was commissioned to do work on 5 characters for Villains #2....but I never got the email. Not even in my spam. I suppose things like this happen.

He was wondering why I missed the deadline of Sep 19th. Yeah....not good at all.

Consequently we spoke over email about the situation. I told him I had info on book #1 and #3, and thought it was odd I wasn't assigned on book #2. I guess it's cause I was, and the gremlins decided to eat that particular email. I had submitted pencils in for work on #3, so it did strike him as a little odd I hadn't done anything with #2.

So, I spent all morning toiling away over pencils to send in and am currently and anxiously awaiting approval. Looks like a busy week for me now with a rush commission....I think I can finish all five characters in a day or two....shooting for one day. I am hoping any adjustments to the pencils will not be needed (or if so quick fixes).

I've never been so anxious about an assignment before. I feel horrible but all I can really do is get it done. I mean, the world needs more foxy lady villains to rule it, right?

On the downside, that means putting my TaTa Gala pieces on hold while I am waiting  to finish up this commission, and I also noticed that I still need to work on the GM screen for the D&D game group, which they want by November.

So, lots of coffee, listening to some laid back classical music, and trying to destress.....what I wouldn't do to kick back and shoot some zombies right now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

O Snipe! (aka: a process of the Jynxie piece for the TaTa Gala)

Hey, so here's an update on the TaTa Gala piece I am working on of my Star Wars Character Jynx (who I understand introduced herself earlier on here).

Originally I wanted to do this piece traditionally with watercolors, but.....I have six commissions I am working on and they not only take up my desk, but a fair amount of my watercolor paper. So I am using photoshop and my wacom tablet for this, which I suppose is a challenge in and of itself. I did some preliminary sketches before hand on tracing paper in order to come up with a position I like. 

Ok, I got the pencil mostly done. What I mean by that is that I have my figure drawn into the space I was planing to use, however I would like to add in something more to the background...say, a brick wall with some murder holes and maybe some graffiti? I do have to say that something I enjoy about working in photoshop is that I tend to stay in the 'sketchbook' mindset of things. This looks like a sketch I would do in my sketchbook, still a little loose, mimicking my love for ball point pens, yet at the same time kinda like a final pencil. Only difference is that if I choose to shade in where I plan to go dark, it won't mess up my watercolors when I take it to the color stage. 

I like to start with the hardest thing when it comes to rendering on the computer, and for me that is the skin tone of the figure. I struggle in watercolor as well, but I find that because I am more confidant in allowing the paint and water to add to my piece that it works out well. No so true on the computer, as things are too calculated, so I start here. 

Once I start to get frustrated with the skin tones, I let myself move on as a kind of break. I move onto one of my favorite parts to color in on Jynxie...her hair! Doing this also allows me to think about the rest of the image. I know that I use a lot of pink and black for this character because that is kinda iconic for her. I did consider knocking out the striped pants in favor of a military green color to set off the pink, but decided against it. Also, now that I have the hair done it helps me see where I need to emphasize my darks and my lights for the future. 

My hand is killing me right now from working with the tablet, so I am going to stop working for a while. I added in a splash more color. With the pinks, I tend to not use the same color over and over again. Something I like about traditional is that once you stop and come back the next day it may not be the same colors as the day before (at least, not if you mix colors in your pallet like I do). I know how to color match traditionally and understand the value of it, but I also like for a little variety....especially since Jynx wears so much pink. 

I still have a ways to go on this piece, but so far I am enjoying the work as it moves along. 

Ok, it's technically 9/9/2010 and I am adding two more pieces to this blog post concerning Jynx. I started to go into more detail in the rendering. One thing I learned in school about black was not to go with a pure tone unless I need to (which I find is almost never). I added some colors into the black and used black that had a little bit of a hue to it. I also noticed that I am having some issues with tonality. 

So I copied the image and lowered the saturation of the color all the way down to get it into greyscale. I know there is a setting to do this, but I like to play with the adjustment layer here. Greyscale helps me think more clearly about tonality since color saturation can throw me off. So I see some areas I want to go into and adjust. 

Friday, September 3, 2010


Ok, so here's the newsflash. I dropped out of the CGHub robot challenge to pursue some other boobtacular event. There is a call for entries to the 2010 TaTa Gala art show, raising money for breast cancer research. I took a look at the site, this is their 4th year of hosting such an event.

And I decided I wanted in. I am working on two pieces to submit into consideration for the show, both are pin ups, of Course.

So, image one is of Jynx, who has agreed to show her boobies for the cause. I had three similar sketches done of her before moving along to fleshing out a pencil. It's still a WIP but it's getting there pretty quickly. The other image is a little more troublesome, and is of a cow girl with type in the back. I've been struggling with lassoing that composition together but I think I have had an epiphany this morning in regards to it.

So, here's the link to the event

And now, here's a peeksy at Jynxie!

Bad pic I know, apologies. She's gonna be in a sniper's scope seeing her strap to her top was shot off. I still have a ways to go, will post more when I get a chance but....ttfn!