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Monday, December 27, 2010

Silly Me....Verne Con Is Coming

So the year is coming to an end and I have one last convention to attend..or is that one premier convention for next year? In either case I will have fun I think. 

So I made a new player card as you can see above. 

And decided to reuse it as a GM warning to my players. 

And just what the heck is this!?! A t-shirt....
Oh, for what? A special event that Jynx plans on holding at our next big shin dig....will you need armor? No. But you will probably need some soap. 

Here's looking to a happy new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Star Wars GM Screen: Round 3 WIP

So as the year is soon to be over with...what a better way to end it than with something epic? What kind of epic? The Sta Wars kind of epic.

Earlier in the year I was asked by member of SparkForce 7 to undergo this project of creating a game master's screen for the campaign. And after two disasters with traditional media I have moved on to round three of this massive project. 

Pencil Layout With Place Holder Figures

Above is the clean sketch based off the original pencil concept. Originally I came up with six design lay outs, and this piece has evolved in time to get where it is. I made some changes to the composition, and included type placement and our guild logo (which I also designed) in the layout. This is currently drawn to size in Photoshop and is 11x34 inches horizontal.

Finished Pencil

And the best part.....finishing up the penciled in characters tonight after working for two weeks on the pencil. I will be doing a grey tone study of this and also exploring some color studies this time around. Color studies aren't something that I have been doing a lot of lately since I like to use certain pallets but for this piece it will be necessary for me to do. 

Why? Because it's a large piece and there is a lot going on. I have to consider the light of the sabers as well as the overall color flow of the piece, and what might be an issue....the white of the stormtroopers on the right and  the lack of white on the the left might make it too weighed down on one side. 

I am using a lot of reference images gathered from the 501st website, as well as from some other Star Wars picture references I have gathered (mostly for the troopers and the hallway), as well as some old character designs that have been sitting around in my sketch book for the past few years. 

Looking forward to rendering this piece in the new year! It is very much inspired by a hero of mine, Mr. Tommy Lee Edwards and some of his artwork and layouts. Check his work out at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Challenge Collaboration: WIP

So the AO Holiday Challenge is due on the 20th of the month, only a few days away. Originally I was doing an elf pin-up but after awhile I kinda lost steam on it. So one of the other members offered to do a collaboration. We'd both do pencils and swap. 

Lake Hurwitz sent me this fantastic pencil he did for me to render up. You can check out his work here

I was looking at this piece and was really thinking about how much I wanted to paint it in watercolor because there are some excellent effects you can do with salt and alcohol. The only issue with that was not having a scanner to scan and submit a final in time. 

What to do....what to do? be honest I didn't know. But then I came up with the idea of sampling areas of art I already had scanned and adjusting those areas in Photoshop. The end result can be seen above. All together I used about a dozen pieces of other art I already had scanned in )by that I mean like, square inch samples). 

Once that was done I started in on the figure. Lake sent me some ref to use but aside from that I also pulled some of my own ref such as what a winter lake would look like, snow, and even a creepy photo of a little drowned girl (which thankfully was not real). The picture of the drowned girl actually set the pallet for me. I was afraid of it being too blue. 

So I kept on going. One of the hard things was figuring out how to work with traditional scanned media and digital as they have totally different looks and feels. Another is keeping in mind that the largest size according to the spec in the challenge is no larger than 7 inches. Which means this piece is gonna be small in the end. 

I've been working a lot digitally lately which is both nice and kinda sucky. It's nice because I can keep looking at my piece in grey tone to see where I need to work, and also because I can use the histogram to the same end (thanks for that tip Lake). But it's not the same as spreading paint around on paper....especially with salt and alcohol. 

And here's a bit of a close up of the figure himself that was rendered. I've still got some time left to work on this as it's not due until the 20th and I am hoping for some constructive feedback. Right now I am afraid that the figure might be a bit lost in the overall picture. 

Anyways...gonna take a break for now and see what some folks have to say. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another Self Portrait And Other Things

Cleaned up sketch of me as Little Red

So, with the delve turned in I am not in any rush to get anything else done, though I do still have some projects to work on. For one, the other Self Portrait I did and now possibly the one above. No idea what I would do with either piece, now that I think about it. 

Also the Faithless cover I started to render which needs finishing and a Holiday Challenge piece on AO due in on the 20th of this month. I won't be working on my own pencil for that one anymore (the elf girl pin-up) since I wasn't feeling it anymore. Besides, a friend opted to do a collaborative so we swapped our art. 

Modification needs to be done to the Knights of the Dragon easy fix to make the mitre the cleric is wearing taller. I also started out a new digital version of the Star Wars game screen since the first two traditional ones got ruined. One would think I would know how to draw stormtroopers by now, but it's been nothing but trouble this time around though I think the composition is a lot better. The background certainly is! I'll be sure to post that process soon.

Umm...still looking for some work, but working on art and improving myself. I started to do studies again, mainly in my sketchbook of tonal value studies and anatomy, but some have been in PS.

Working on the Dungeon Delve and getting feedback from some people pointed out I need to work on some areas like lighting, structure, composition, and the like. So I have to start really pushing myself on those things. And picking up ye olde paintbrush and watercolors once again (if only to play with salt).

So ermm....that's about it for now I suppose?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dungeon Delve

OMG! It's turned in! (I think....I think that means I is done, no?)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Faithless Cover: WIP

Working on other projects between my dungeon delve piece and the pin-up piece (which I am considering redoing in a less comic fashion). A couple days ago my friend Jim Vargas asked me if I wouldn't mind being his booth babe at an upcoming convention. I have to dress up as his main comic book character Alish, who is an angel hybrid bounty hunter (what a mouth full!). 

So I took a look at his work and thought his character was pretty cool. And then....he asked if I wouldn't mind doing my own spin of her. 

Which lead to a late night doodle (or early morning) of a steampunk version of Alish which had really no purpose in life other than  being a neat doodlie. But I liked my sketch so much and wanted to do do something more with it, perhaps a portfolio piece. So....I decided to design a cover with her (as seen above). 

I used a copy of a cover that Jim did for the layout and tweaked it around a bit to fit my art a bit better. 

When that was done I focused on the actual artwork in laying in some grey tones. I like to use a slightly warm tinted grey in my work. This is working in favor of my plans to use violets as my darks in the color version. 

On a side note, I'm only just now learning through trial and error how to paint over my greytones. It's hard to do without the colors being so saturated but a friend suggested going slow into the colors like I would do traditional washes. So I am taking that bit of advice. 

I am a huge fan of pallets with violet, sienna, and yellow. I am still aware of Alish's character concept and the colors of her clothing: red corset, blue skirt. Since I am making this slightly steampunk I am planing on the metal bits to be brass and copper as opposed to the gold and silver scheme that Jim uses for her. 

Something I am hoping to convey in this as I go along is some atmosphere with the lighting. Working on the delve piece it's a struggle to use atmosphere for me, and I am thankful that someone has been helping me out with that piece. (Cough cough Diego cough)

Right now the image as stands is just the first color wash and I still have a ways to go on this, and then some with the treatment of the actual cover layout and type. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dungeon Delve: WIP Am I There Yet?

Here's my delve piece for the AO Challenge. Working digitally has been more of a struggle I think than learning watercolor. It's nice to work with grey tones more easily but it was a challenge to paint on top of that. There are some things about this I really like and some things I don't really care for.

Not certain yet if I will turn this in  just yet. The due date is next weekend.

Added a few highlights.....

I think....I am almost done... I lied. I needed to do something with those pure blacks and the lack of atmosphere so....a buddy of mine is kinda helping me figure this out. Sigh.....I just want it to be done and look nice. Why does it have to be so har!?!

Getting schooled by my friend Diego in atmosphere. He did a paint over of this that I have been looking at and using as a tool to help me figure some things out. His is super bright though....a little too much so for my taste, and very blue and yellow. While it's cool and a great tool for me to work with it's just not my cup of tea. 

I like my lighting and the the head in the foreground. He thinks this is too dark but I like how it has darkness to it. I still need to work on the background. And fix her got super big somehow in my rendering. 

As for flipping it...I like it better this way. 

Holiday Challenge

Jon posted a short challenge over on AO due in on the 20th of December. It's a play off one of the previous challenges with a holiday twist. I really liked my elf girl pin-up I did for his D&D Pin-Up Challenge and thought about taking the time to revisit that concept for this challenge. 

It's nice to work on alongside the Dungeon Delve piece which I am still coloring in, and it should be done soon. 

All done to color it in (I should make a coloring book, no?)

Ok, at this point I think I need to start pauing more attention to my Dungeon Delve piece.....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reon's Reflections

Log Entry 0745:

Barab I. It's not Kalandis, but at times it reminds me very much of my home world with it's pagoda like structures and rustic atmosphere. Really the big difference, Barabels aside, is that life here is underground in high ceilinged caverns instead of out in the open sweeping vistas tucked away between mountains and the sea. And much like my home world Barab's culture is steeped in tradition, and the denizens carry themselves with honor.

It's good to have a place here, a second home. I was hoping that ChiChi would be here as well with me, our apartments aren't the same when he is still away on mission...or causing mischief on his own.

Xakon's gardens are a good distraction. The peace and solitude here are a nice change from being in field or under fire. I'm glad for the tea house pagoda, the fish pond, the imported vegetation...the Kalandian Blood Lillies. The mix of herbal Barab teas have a subtle aroma that mix in with all the other scents, a relaxing therapeutic remedy good for the body, mind, and soul.

It's already time for a new year. At home they will be celebrating the Festival of Lights. I can imagine it in my mind. The colored lanterns hovering in lines along the streets, the smell of spiced meats and fresh fruits. The resonating hum of gongs lightly struck and the rising sound of prayer chants rising into the night sky. A time of year for reflection before starting out fresh. Of prayers and thoughts of all we have lost and left behind.


*I started this piece out much larger than it turned out, but as I was working on it I realized I was focusing a lot more on Reon (aka Jynx, my grenade wielding woman)and the line work bleeding out from around her. I'm pleased with this piece even if it doesn't necessarily reflect the Star Wars universe.

Illustrated in photoshop