Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dr. Decker....telephone, please.

Dr. Decker from Nightbreed.  Small painting for a friend; the usual, acrylics and colored pencils...

Friday, March 25, 2011

How to Flame On!

Or, at least how I did it this time.  There's probably a couple extra steps I took, because I was experimenting as I went, and built it up in layers.  But it created a great foundation for the next time I have to do a man completely on fire....

*That last instruction was a lie.  The overall color layer is set at the Overlay Layer setting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fantastic Four 03


Got everyone's powers on display, Sue's shielding and invisibility power, Reed's Stretchtastics, Johnny's flames, and Ben's....power?  Pretty happy with how this one turned out, I sent it in to appear the 2011 SDCC souvenir book, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fantastic Four.  Guess I'll find out in July if it gets in...

All right, I have a crazy busy day ahead of me, so not a lot of time to talk about this one, but tomorrow I'll post the steps I took to get the flames on for the Human Torch!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fantastic Four 02

Here's that pencil drawing all rendered out.  At this point, three of the four can continue on in a conventional way, but I'm not sure how to create the fire and represent Johnny Storm as a guy on fire.  I've done a burning visage of armor before, but that came across more like the LOTR Balrog monster, in that there was some sort of shell containing the fire.  This guy is total fire (as least as how I want to represent him) but I started with this non-powered version of him, and then I'll build the flames up around him.

I'm pretty happy with how the Thing turned out as well...;)!

I took maybe a not-as-popular approach to Sue and Reed and tried to portray them not as hyper-beautiful hero/gods; they're both kind of nerdy scientists, so I tried to make Reed a little on the dorky side, handsome and fit, yes...but not thick necked squared jaw powerful.  And Sue, I tried to make pretty, but not fashion model pretty.  That was the intent, at least.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spidey and the Green Goblin 02

It's Green Goblin, look out!

So here it is.  I used my usual coloring recipe, but this time I went back and did color touch-ups, something I've never done before.  I usually settle for the layers doing the work to provide the value and color  punch-ups, but with the background being so complicated, I was losing some of the character details and forms.  The background is painted in rough, and then really blurred, but I was still losing edges on the characters/foreground even though they are meant to be quite clearly stories up in the air.

Anyways, I liked how it turned out, and I'll probably go back and do similar touch-ups on the Black Manta and Flash images, and add that to the 'recipe' moving forward....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spidey and the Green Goblin 01

This is OLD.  It even pre-dates the blog by a couple of years.  It's been on the website since I started it, and I've always liked it quite a bit, but never got to coloring it, or rendering it out.

Well, now I am.  I need to push myself on the rough render build up, as well as start working on some environment stuff too.  That's a bit of a cheat, since I plan to add a lot of lights (night scene) and blur the background... can see the cars in the far background are little more than three shades of blobs, so it's really just placed there for mass.  Got just a little bit more clean up to do, then on to color...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Wizard of Oz - Final

At long last.

It turns out I can't take very good photos of my large scale artwork, so I'm looking into having a pro get a decent portfolio shot for me.  This is the best I could do, but it really doesn't capture what this thing looks like in real life.  The top fades with the shine of light against the varnish, and it was taken in a low light, so it's got some grain artifacts obscuring the true colors.  At night, in the garage, with just the garage florescents.  I know it can be done better.

But looking at it hanging on the wall, I almost can't believe I'm the one who painted it.  I'll be making a lot of qualifications about the quality of the photo, and I know from experience photos just can't capture what the eye can see when you view paintings in real life, but I'm just pretty excited about this one!

Eagle eye readers will be able to see that I removed the red from the bottom left, I felt it was messing up the flow of the brick road, but that's just about the only significant change from the last update.  Everything else was just render and re-render.

The Representatives of the Lollipop Guild.  The patterns on these little buggers shirts were a pain in the ass.

Our Fair can see the lights glinting off the varnish - it's not scrapes across the face of Scarecrow, it's just the crests of the strokes of the underpainting.  This is probably my favorite section, they're big enough and have a lot of character, probably the most successful elements of the painting for me, as far as the technical aspects of rendering, and capturing the likenesses.

And of course, the impetus for everything, those Ruby Slippers of my wife.  This was quite a learning experience to paint red, shiny, metallic objects.  They went through three stages of re-rendering, before I finally found the formula for success.  First they were too purple, and looked like snake scales, but that ended up working out, because then I remixed a brighter red, and airbrushed over them again - and that led to a much better color and detail integration, overall.  Then I discovered I really needed to hand paint the sequins to get the right highlight look, and then go back over with the same color with the airbrush for blending.  And then repeat that again with a white wash, for the hot highlights. Then the white pencil for the little flares, and again with the white airbrushed on for the highlight glows.

This back and forthing led to a lot more rework over the whole thing, in little spurts of pencil work, then hand paint, then airbrush, back to pencils, back to airbrush, until the whole thing came into shape, and every element matched and blended with each other.

There's so many other technical aspects that I can talk about, but it really was a culmination of a year's journey, getting the skills developed to tackle this project, learning the does and do nots of the process, that I could take into this large scale piece, and of course learning even more as it went along; I think that would be better served in a later post, looking back at the work that got me to the final painting of Oz.

And here's where it started, about two years ago - this thing has been bouncing around in my head for a long time, nice to finally be finished!