New series I´m working on, the base skull was done in sculptris, the Batman bust took another sculpting object in sculptris which was then exported as one Wavefront OBJ-file, imported in Meshlab to be reduced from around 1,9m faces to around 300k. Imported into blender I used cycles to setup a studio lighting situation from behind and the sides. The final rendering in 7000 x 8000 pixels took around 7 hours, the postwork was done in Photoshop CS6 which took another 6 hours.
Various Speedpaintings and studies, trying out some new brushes, and to get some routine for my conceptart workshop in August. (See my facebook page for more information) The colored one was inspired by Mark Ryden. Heres one recommended Watch from Creature-Master Designer Anthony Jones:
Update on the piece of “Stenstrom and the gang” for Ren Garcia. Since a while now I use advanced lighting techniques to model a specific plasticity on characters through digital painting. It is a very common practice, but working in Photoshop makes this a charm and it adds so much depth and value to a piece. It took the longest time to paint all the surfaces on the cloth and the specific ornamental parts, but that was also the most fun part.
Stenstrom and the gang: a new promotional piece done for author Ren Garcia. This one was different for me, started with just one character, then 2 others came in and a background was developed upon request with a “sould-devour”.
The first sketches for this were done on paper with pencil each character on a different sheet, then scanned and merged into one composite, the stroke in the background was just to show something for a simple background. that was before the idea with the forest background came up. Next post will show refinement and better coloring stages.
This is the result of working back and forth through the blending layers.
The background is still separated from the foreground at this point and currently the smoke from the bowls is not too satisfying. The tricky part was to find a balance between the fur and pure skin, a darker tone implemented through layer-effects on the arms and upper body helped with the transition.
This one looks weird, I know, so let me explain the weirdness a little: Its caused through different layer overlays and actually just a way to see if I stick with the initial drawing. The different objects, body, foreground, background and smoke were selected separately with the polygon-lasso tool and placed on new layers and from there painted in more bold and saturated colors each. When overlaying the pencil sketch it looks darker than the actual colors, but this way its possible to see where shapes and objects can be bigger and moved than actually depicted in the detailed sketch. Also textures of stones / bricks helped to add more value to the background feel and look. Its a intricate process, but one that gives a lot control over the outcome.
This is a sketch for a recent character, another one from the “League of Elder” -universe of Ren Garcia. I´ll spare you the rough concept sketches and show the more refined concept sketch here. The character is called Bathloxi a god, or better said the “Horned God” of the Temple trilogy. I found this to be a nice coincidence, since I had in mind to paint a “half deer, half human” character for a personal work a while ago - so this really was a nice treatment to my schedule. Schedule is filled but I need to get this space updated with new works.
A more detailed and nearly finished version of the vampire book cover. The overall coloring changed to rather Sepia, a doorway was added with a hint of a wall on the left side as also fog to give the whole setting a more spooky atmosphere. The red of the hair was improved and the textile became some treatment. The overall contrast needed to be pushed as it is a night scene with full moon, the fog does somewhat reflect the moonlight, but not too much. In this kind of illustrations the aspect of realism has clearly to stay in the second row, which is not a bad thing, otherwise the characters were just dark, nearly black and covered by a glow from the back lighting.
After several changes and definition of the faces, heres an update on the Vampire-book cover for Seraphim: Carpe Noctem. I left out some minor changes of the precoloring stage, so this is a bigger leap towards the final work. The fence was just blocked in the background to give an impression of perspective and is by no means something I´d keep this way! What I like about doing such work digitally is the possibility to try out things and deliver instant feedback of thoughts. This tryout with a different fence/doorway changed the whole outcome of the final work, so stay tuned how it develops.