Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'Ultimate Fighter Challenge' - Process

I was pleased to see a new Art Order challenge posted almost immediately after the deadline for the Segmentation challenge. I like these challenges a great deal because they are helping me build a portfolio of work that isn't entirely directed by my own energy--and thus the work I am making is more reflective of what real work will be like. My confidence in my ability is absolute at this point and I believe real work is now only a matter of time.

I have been so hard at work that I've been remiss in posting updates. This latest challenge is to be a "beauty shot" of the "ultimate badass". But "something fresh" was also requested. I thought long and hard on this. Free of context, or the very loose context of the 'sword and sorcery' genre present at, the question of what shape the ultimate badass should take was daunting to me. My mind strayed to many places: vikings filing their teeth, Kratos, samurai, Conan, and Tony Jaa to name a few. Elric was created as an anti-hero as a reaction to Conan and that was over 30 years ago; that idea too is essentially cliche at this point. This first idea is more in the Conan vein but with the idea that this guy has traveled to strange foreign lands, met interesting people, and killed them all. I still need to fix the pommel on his sword and tone down the texture on the armor, and lots of other things...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I added the reflection...

It was 'easier' than I thought, but if it is to be a success, is largely not for me to decide.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

'Segmentation Challenge' - FINAL

Beholders have a host killer rays which issue from their various 'eye-stalks' and since the art order gave no direction, I chose the disintegration ray. At the outset of this illustration, the plan was to have the warrior's face reflected in the sword blade to show her fright and dismay at so narrow an escape with death.  Once I started working on the Beholder in earnest, though, I realized she should instead be reflected in the creature's main eye. That was a better decision from both a story-telling and compositional perspective. I've run out of time, however, and that is a challenge so daunting that even if I am capable of it, I simply don't think I have enough time available.

This work has enough going on with it that I am not too upset over the missed chance for the eye reflection. There are, I think, a few second and third 'reads' to wander to. My girlfriend called the mouth 'lewd'--and that was the intention. I put an eye on the tongue, and also gave the creature nostrils; two things I've not seen done before. Again, my girlfriend was quick to point out that beholder-iffic creature from Big Trouble in Little China had an eye in it's mouth. Perhaps that's where I got the idea from. Finally, I could not have done all these eyes without looking to the inspirational work of Izzy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

'Segmentation Challenge' - Color process

I am trying to do this illustration with more of a sense of procedure than I have used in the past. There are some best practice type things I want to get better at doing such as saving any brushes I create and using an indexed color table. This time I did save my brushes (used to lay the groundwork for the tree canopy in the background) and made a color table. The color table really helped and I need to remember to use them more often.

Despite the custom brushes, I am like most digital artists (based on what I read online), I am perfectly content with only 2 or 3 brushes--generally the simpler the better.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Segmentation Challenge' - Grisaille (Working)

I'm doing this the old fashioned way, with the mantra my father taught me: light to dark, transparent to opaque. It looks a bit dark now, but the miracle of Photoshop will correct that as the process goes on. I can't wait to do the finishing touches though; the Beholder's disintegrating ray! It is so sad that I could not find that episode on Youtube.  That Duck Dodgers bit was easily one of my all time favorites.

Monday, March 7, 2011

'Segmentation Challenge' - Thumbnail and Sketch

I've been making attempts to make my digital art more 'comic' (as in sequential art, not humor) for a while now. I am not after the linearity of an 'inked' look, but rather the saturation, contrast, and POV that comes to mind when one thinks of comic books. This segmentation challenge from Art Order is only a push in the same direction for me. My target audience, per the challenge, will be the 18-24 crowd.

I went through three different orientations for the figure in Photoshop and liked this one the best; it's the most dynamic and I always enjoy the look and challenge of dramatic foreshortening. The down-n-front posterior will eventually be covered by the scalemail as dictated by the art order of the challenge. Also, this is the first Beholder I've ever drawn--it was quite a bit of fun.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Dragon in the Opera House - FINAL

At last, I have finished this piece. It bears my new, 2011 digital signature. It feels odd that the first one should be in March, but I have been busy with a new job (as previously indicated). This is one of those artworks that kind of got away from me. I felt I had to rescue it from myself. Also, this is the first time I've attempted to create the Tyndall effect in an artwork, digital or otherwise. I am done just in time, too, there's a new ArtOrder challenge up.