Over at the Art Order, they were holding a challenge to create an illustration, concept, etc. based on 4 cards randomly assigned. I got chain mail, crossbow, tattoos, and half mask. I sketched out a bunch of ideas and decided to create a halfling spy crawling up a building. Then figured I could create an illustration for Oribs.
The assassin guild The Night Maggots, is a very secretive organization living in the darkest corners and deep in the sewers of Muruspatria (capital city of Orbis). Getting in contact with the Maggots is a difficult task, when some one wants a contract done, they either have to find a Maggot in the sewer or go through a chain of people to get to the group. It costs a large amount of gold to have an expert assassin kill a target since they won't stop till the target is down. Joining the guild is even more difficult then finding them. They secretly hide among the crowds watching the best thieves, magic users, and fighters to recruit, even the process to join is top secret and is unknown to people outside the Maggots. But it is easy to know when a Maggot has killed, one bolt to the chest.
Rock Elementals live in the craggy, rocky lowlands and mountains. They sleep for long periods of time, usually weeks, months and sometimes even years or decades. They start life out as a small rock, adding other rocks to themselves to add better mobility and grow in size. There are rumors that some of the mountains and volcanoes of Orbis are actually Elementals who are in a deep slumber. This hypothesis has not be proven but there is evidence that elementals are difficult to detect and often go unseen to untrained eyes.
Rus Dread-gouger, assassin for the Goblin Guild in the capital city of Orbis, Muruspatria. Known for his skill throughout the guild, he has been tracking his prey for days through out the city and he is ready for his move. With his dagger in hand and target in sight, Rus will king the city’s court wizard and take down the magical barrier to let the goblin horde invade.
Ice Giants are scattered all over my sketch book recently. I have done drawings on toned paper in the past few months and only one digital piece. I felt like I was neglecting photoshop lately and needed to get back into digital coloring. Last week I drew a toned paper version of the Ice Giant that did not turn out as well as I hoped. Redrawing the piece on bristol turned out favorable results. Then the photoshop magic begins. Though I do not consider myself a photoshop wizard like my friends.
The original drawing will be traveling with me in September to Illuxcon, where I will be displaying my work in the showcase on Friday and Saturday night.
Bonus line drawing
A new illustration for The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien of one of my favorite scenes in The Hobbit, riddles in the dark.
It has been a while since I made a Middle-Earth illustration. I decided to take one of the watercolors I made for an independent study and finish it to a level I was unable to do with the original piece. The composition is similar to the watercolor, but the rendering is much different. The light source of Sting is much brighter and better color theory overall. In the book Gollum is said to have dark skin. Since blue plays an important role in the piece, I gave Gollum blue skin as well along with rim lighting the color of Sting. Bilbo's design remains the same but with a coat and cloak. For the cave, I found some good reference images on the internet and combined parts I liked from the photos to create the atmosphere. Overall, the piece turned out the way I originally hoped for and learned more techniques to add to my photoshop skills.
Another forrest elemental for this week, exploring different designs of what elementals can look like. I really liked the concept I shown last week and decided to create another one. I drew the elemental on bristol then scanned and colored the piece in photoshop. The piece was done last week since I knew I was going to be busy with Asbury Park Comic Con this past weekend. Tomorrow I'll post about APCC but now its back to drawing.
During Goblin Week I drew a mining goblin repelling in a crystal cavern. It was my favorite drawing I created that week and decided to take it to a finished piece and documented the creation of the illustration while working.
The theme I added to Goblin Week was to create a mining company. In the beginning it's all little drawings of poses and ideas. It helps to layout the shapes before deciding details. Sketchbooks aren't meant to be pretty so I scribble down any idea that comes to mind even if it doesn't end up working because it might be useful later on. After sketching the repelling idea on the left page, I took the idea and scaled it up to a larger sketch. Then I took that sketch and cleaned up the idea on a piece of bristol to prepare to ink.
Having a solid drawing makes inking much easier. I don't leave anything blank to 'fix later'. It always ends with taking more time to fix later then just doing it right the first time. I get out my lining brush and ink bottle and get to work. After doing the first ink pass, I let it dry then tackle detailing. When the piece is completely dry, I scan it and clean up any mistakes or random ink blobs to prepare it for digital flats.
The cleaned up ink drawing becomes the lines for the digital piece. In photoshop the base colors are laid down on multiple layers, this is the time I experiment with different palettes. I want to nail down the palette before I end up adding shadows and highlights. But that doesn't always happen so I adjust some colors. For this piece, the character came together easily but the rocks and crystals had a lot of experimenting.
The final step in to add the highlights and shadows. Those are also done on their own layers in a new folder. Labeling layers and folders makes it much easier to keep track of things for me. After adding shadows, the highlights come next. Since the back of the crystals are black, I added a strong purplish white highlight to add punch.
I'm still learning how to use photoshop more efficiently and am enjoying learning to use photoshop as a medium. Though I am experimenting with new ways to apply watercolor in a flat manner similar to my digital work. More pieces are in the work.
Yesterday was this blog's first birthday (today in my tumblr's 3 birthday) chronicling the work I've created through out my journey of creating my final thesis and all the work in between. In the past year, I feel that I have found my footing on where to take my career. And each time I learn a new skill or polish another, I am only getting closer to my main goal of being a successful illustrator. Recently I have been working on digitally coloring my work in photoshop for an independent study I'm doing this semester. For a long time I was resistant to creating work digitally because I love drawing and inking on paper (and didn't feel comfortable using a tablet). But with encouragement I dove in and am really enjoying it.
As a thanks to all my supporters, here's a goblin alchemist bomber I just finished up for a small project I am currently working on. Thanks again.