Friday, December 21, 2012

Transformers Prime : Ironhide sketch

OK, so these three characters (previously posted Wheeljack and Bulkhead) will composed into a single new image, that will be the center 2x page for Sketchbook Vol. III.

Unbelievably, even to me, this is the first time I've drawn Prime Ironhide since designing him back in 2009.  Hopefully I'll find time during the break to finish this image, and post it in the new year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

HULK sketch

Hulk is hard, I never know if the feet/ankles and hand/wrists look right.  So that's it.  I might turn this one into a painting if I get the time.

That being said, it's just going to be sketches for awhile.  Lots of end of year work, and personal festivity preparations for the holidays is keeping me pretty busy.  Of course, my convention season starts super early this year, so I better start getting some content ready for Sketchbook III!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lil' Bats, in color.

Isn't there some kind of Batman show being released on VHS home video or something today?

Here's the penciled version, posted quite awhile back...hopefully I can soon get around to designing a Batmobile to go with this guy:

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Road Warrior

Alright, until I get this properly photographed, this will have to do.  It's a giant, 30" across, 40" tall.  I'll give some making of shots, with a few close-ups, until I get a real pic of this thing.

Here it is after the underdrawing and blacks were completed.  This time I went back in with some white to bring back in the sun glare.

This has most of the warm colors painted, skin tones and costumes...

...and the the full color.  This was achieved both with the airbrush, and a large brush, used to create the yellowish orange wash coverage.

This is the first pass of colored pencils on top of the paint.  Everything is covered and detailed, and at this point it's really a matter of finding balance, going back and forth with paint, pencils, and airbrush to get to the final at the top of the post.

This is a pre-final pic of the Gyro Captain, painted and penciled, but still unbalanced.

Same with Max's best friend here.

So there you have it, bad photo and all.  On to Superman...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Transformers Prime : Rage of the Dinobots #4

Grimlock vs. Ser-Ket, as the other Dinobots look on.

The editor, John Barber, suggested a fight scene for the cover of the final issue, pitting these two against each other.  I did a few sketches, and we both settled on this one, portraying the clash at the point just before impact.  The full weight of Ser-Ket is bearing down on Grimlock, stinger poised, and Grimlock has his sword extended, ready for a downward slash - who will draw first energon?

Well, that was the idea anyway.  I hope it comes across...

OK, on to the making of and technical stuff:

Here's a look at the thumbnails, 1 and 2 are essentially the same, a closer-up shot of the two grappling, the 3rd is a front shot of Grimlock getting choked out by Ser-Ket, and the fourth is the one chosen - just as dynamic, but leaves some room to put indications of the other Dinobots.

This is the layout sketch to get approval to move on to the final, with the temp logo added in, so I can get the best composition.  I had drawn the other Dinobots silhouettes separately, so I could tweak them here and there to get the right balance.

And so here is the final pencils/inks to take to final.

And that wraps it up for this series, I think issue one finally hits shelves tomorrow!!!

This cover art, and the art for the rest of the series is on sale on the Bad Flip Productions Facebook page, along with leftover convention prints and sketchbooks, in the Original Art Gallery and Convention Artwork albums.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

EU Trooper 04 - Final!

Done.  And I'm pretty happy with what I achieved in terms of goals for this one.  I do think the canyon walls are a little weak - I think I need to do some environment practice again - but the character (and around him) work was the main focus, and putting in the extra time for small details.  Getting to the point where I usually stop, I went back and added more nicks and scrapes, rough-edged the fabrics on the wraps, and did another overall detail pass.  I also spent a lot of time with the foreground rocks, using a brush to create general blobs, and then going over it again and again with detail passes.  I like the technique I learned from it, but I think there are areas that are a little too busy.

I also tried to push the color a little more than usual, notably bringing in the blue tints up in the sky, and working with an alternate shade color, with a low saturated purple, rather than just darker oranges.  And, for the first time probably since the 90's, I used a lens flare for a little punch up.  I think I got away with it.

Above, those a technique nitpicks, but overall I really like this piece, and it certainly bridges the gap between what I taught myself in 2012, and my goals for 2013.  Looking forward to the next one...

I'll add in the others, so readers can scroll through the step by step - I think it's super fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EU Trooper 03

OK, here he is with a lot more details refined, and a secondary color added for the shadows.  I also brought down the saturation a bit.

On to the second detail pass, focusing on the background...

Monday, November 19, 2012

EU Trooper 02

OK, here's the sketch with some color thrown in there, ready to start the rendering!  I did something different this time - I usually keep the characters and background separate, this time I flattened the image to see if I get better results - but I know I'll go back to layers off and on - it's a process, after all.

Friday, November 16, 2012

EU Trooper 01

EU?  Expanded Universe.

So, the Death Star II got blown what?  This guy is NOT going to get picked up any time soon, so he's going Native.  On Tatooine of course, since it's the only important planet in the galaxy.

I've been pretty busy lately, so I'm going to post this in parts, just like the old days.  It's time to push the style one step further.  I think it culminated in the Cap piece, well enough that it's what I use for paid work now, comic covers, etc., but this blog is all about pushing myself.

I can get something comprehensive done quickly now, but it's time to add another finished layer to these pieces, and see what I can come up with.  I need to push my lighting, and experiment with different brushes.

So I started 2012 with goals of working on painterly styles, and more environment work.  Now it's time to push it to the next level, and this will be the transition piece to take me into 2013.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Here's something I believe in.

I never ever post anything other than my own work on here, but here's something that I think is pretty special...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


New print!  Shockwave, taking a stroll through his path of destruction....

This image was built on the drawing that was in the Vol. II sketchbook:

But since it know...a little sketchy, I needed to redraw it a little tighter, making small tweaks here and there, and add in more detail:

So this is what I used to render out the actual final.

Leftover convention prints and sketchbooks, along with original art, are available for sale on the Facebook page !

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rumor? Shockwave says NO.

Well, I was going to debut a new image on the blog today, but given the Disney/Hasbro rumors swirling - originating as a rumor (I'm looking at you financial news aggregates, nice sourcing) from MTV Geek News of all places - but I thought I'd tweak it just a bit in a quasi-response.

I wouldn't be sad or upset or anything if it were true, regarding Hasbro's properties being taken over, but I would be even more disappointed in how pathetic the once mighty Walt Disney Company has become, in terms of leading the way in story telling and IP creation.  When I was there, we had to put up with crappy sequels of classic animated films, then they started buying up IP and companies like Pixar, the Muppets, later Marvel - the Lucasfilm purchase does make a lot of sense, but again...I know there is a massive talent pool at the company that is continually overlooked by the clueless MBA's running the place these days, looking down at marketing trend spreadsheets for answers, with no vision of where fresh ideas could go.  To ignore what those people are capable of doing, and cultivating and retaining those concepts and building the creative core of the company like Walt did back in the day, is again, pathetic.  Sitting around buying other companies successes is a shame, when you have the exact same resource already on the payroll.  As a creator, it's very exciting to have the opportunity to play with the new acquisitions, but it's also bittersweet knowing you have to shelve your own internal development to handle the intake.

Of course it makes great business sense to do these things, but it's a little sad to me, knowing they have great talents working for them already, dying for the chance to create those new worlds and characters for Disney.  It makes me wonder, in the long run, if we as fans are going to be getting less out of these companies and properties due to the abundance of riches?

So, it's not really a statement of Hasbro/Disney being a bad thing - I love Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and Hasbro, look at the majority of stuff in this blog the last four years! Why not have my four great loves under one roof? - it's more a lamentation of exciting things from Disney that will never see the light of day due to the consolidation of these businesses, there's just no room.

Any ways, those are my thoughts on this rumor - the real Shockwave image goes up tomorrow!  If you can't wait, just imagine no Mickey Mouse Club hats, and Autobot symbols instead of Mickey heads.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Long Beach Comic & Horror Con this weekend!

Did I mention this yet?

I'll be at the Long Beach Comic Con, Nov. 3rd and 4th, you can find me at #1401, Ken Christiansen/Bad Flip Productions.

I'll be selling prints, sketchbooks, and original artwork, come by to see me!  I do have one brand new print on hand for sale at the's a tease:

I'll reveal the full image next week, and post for sale details for any leftovers.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Transformers Prime : Rage of the Dinobots #3

Transformers Prime Shockwave, and.....

Hmm.  I don't think they've announced the actual name of this very shiny character yet.

Overall, it's your basic two guys standing there pose.  I liked the chance to get some lens flare in there, along with more molten slag, and the barrel rim of Shockwave's gun arm still red hot and smoking.  Atmosphere, sparks, and distant burned out buildings tie it all together.

Here's the layout for approval...

...and the final pencil and ink art to take digital.

So #4's image won't be released for another couple of weeks, I'll post the week it goes up for preorder - I think it's a good one!

Also, I'll be at the Long Beach Comic Con, Nov. 3rd and 4th, you can find me at #1401, Ken Christiansen/Bad Flip Productions.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Transformers Prime : Rage of the Dinobots #2

Grimlock SMASH!

Number 2 in the series, I was asked to do a dino-mode Grimlock spotlight.  I did a number of thumbnail sketches, but John and I landed on this composition - it had a nice ying/yang balance to it, and it afforded the opportunity to feature a little bit of the worn torn Cybertron.  And I haven't done molten slag in a while, so here was my chance!

Here are couple of the thumbnails, the one we picked, and my second favorite.  Again, it was to feature the rage of Grimlock.  But, they already had a similar cover going with a like pose, so it was an easy decision to move forward with what became the final image.

Here's the layout for approval.  Basically a blown up and redrawn from the thumbnail.  Finding some more details and adjusting the perspectives.  Once that's approved, it's on to the final, where I further clean up the lines and details, and get it ready to go digital.

And there it is, ready to go to color.  This one will be out in December!

Also, I'll be at the Long Beach Comic Con, Nov. 3rd and 4th, you can find me at #1401, Ken Christiansen/Bad Flip Productions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Transformers Prime - Rage of the Dinobots #1

Look out!  Dinobots!

I'm finally back to do some covers for the Transformers - working for Editor John Barber at IDW!  We connected at BotCon last spring in Dallas, and a bit later he asked me if I wanted to do some covers for this new series.  Of course I was in.

Stylistically, I was asked to use the Fall of Cybertron Dinobots, but add in some Transformers Prime aesthetics.  To me, that means the traditional G1 and Cybertron game look of 'stacked' metal, and the Prime style being 'wrapped' metal.  So I just made a few tweaks here and there, it was approved - so I was off and running.

Here is the layout sketch, with a title treatment put in to make sure the composition fit.  Swoop need a few tweaks to get him to fit in the space better, though.  It was a tight fit to get everyone else in there - I'd call this a 'Bouquet of Dinobots.'

And this is the set up for final, half pencils, half inks.  This got scanned in, for digital paint for final.  The original art will be for sale, I'll be posting the originals in the Facebook Page Original Art Gallery sooner than later.

And the issue comes out in a few weeks!

Also, I'll be at the Long Beach Comic Con, Nov. 3rd and 4th, you can find me at #1401, Ken Christiansen/Bad Flip Productions.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Star Wars Fighter Pods 05

OK, here's some contributions to Wave 3!  This will be a single post, as Wave 3 seems to be a little lighter in the 'new' department.  Got enough hologram figures?  Me too.  Though there are some that I love, like the blue hologram Leia - that's just about perfect.

OK, on to the show, let's start off with pilots, shall we? 

Action Pilot Luke, sans helmet.  And I tell you what, that looks to be a Hoth flight suit in the drawing, so maybe he'll come around again with the right paint job.  Which, for you non-Hyper Star Wars Nerds, that's a light gray color to the boots and gloves.

Mr. Wedge Antilles - For whatever reason, I was assigned a whole batch of pilots - I have no idea why, before all else, did Porkins get the first release.  No matter, now the gang is all here...

Biggs - Apparently the coolest guy around.  Until Luke meets Han, and is shown what cool really is, outside of Podunksville.  And then he dies.

Jawa with Zapper - And that's all the it - there's around 20 or so characters that I just had time to break the pose and kind of clean it up.  Here's one of them, hunting R2 units on the sands of Tatooine.

Biker Scout - in a 'KILL THAT EWOK...NO, THE OTHER EWOK' pose.  Another one shot design.

Super Battle Droid - Some poses for essentially the same model.  Not really sure on what happened, the product seems to have lost a little bit of the style.  This may have been a revise on my part though, and the team went with the original design.

Grand Moff Tarkin - every kid's favorite character.  But as an adult nerd it's pretty awesome the have action figures of this character.  He was from Wave 2 by the way - and I much prefer Eric Siebenaler's contemplation re-pose.

Yoda - Another one from a previous wave I forgot I worked on.  I think I was so excited about the poses we were able to pull off for Wave 4, I forgot about this classically posed Yoda.  Get that flight suit Luke repainted, and kids can recreate the scene on Dagobah, where Luke threatens Yoda with a such a crude weapon as a blaster!

Naboo Starfighter - they never just seem fat enough, do they?  I like the cute factor in the drawings better, but the product is probably a little more accurate to the film version, and the Fighter Pod style.  This was one of the first assignments I had for Fighter Pods.

All right, that's Wave 3 from me on Fighter Pods!