Written by Natasja
It has been ages since our blog had a proper update; our sincere apologies for this. Many things have been happening lately and these updates were more or less put on the backburner.
So yes, my official post, well the first one with my signature, not per se the first post by me… I wanted to give you all an insight into the belly of the beast, a nice one to start off with no?
First of all, the artists: you all know David, of course. David specialises in more commercial work and is known to dabble around in the oeuvre of Warhammer for inspiration. David is also full-time operational for all things Studio Colrouphobia-related and quite often can post his works online.
I, on the other hand, do still keep a day-job at hand. We shall not mention anything about the corporate world I work in, but I can only contribute part-time to the studio. The difference between David’s work and mine (and so are the commissions and clientele) lies mostly in the mediums we use. I paint oils on canvas, a process which I am quite fond of, however a very painstaking slow one. I hardly use any retarders or accelerant when I paint with oils, hence the drying time for a canvas takes quite a while. I also tend to have way larger deadlines than David so as a result I perhaps produce only 2 to 3 large pieces a year. Given that this is my part-time occupation, I can hardly complain.
I do however once in a while provide sketches that David finishes up and generally deal with most things admin for the studio. On top of that one we can both be lucky to have some form of synergy that enables us to comment on each other’s work, pointing out errors and compositional issues etc…and still maintain a marriage that is amicable.
Our current standing discussion deals with Spacemarines (am an Ork player so automatically have issues with beakies..) and their anatomy. In my humble opinion, a suit of power armor, as depicted on models and most illustrations, does not add up anatomically and this peeves me beyond all, and has done so the past 7 years. Seriously those shoulderpads and …anyways this is the human part of our studio. Add Khan the Cat, Balor our French bulldog, and most of all our two Hellspawn ages 8 and 10 and you can imagine the Studio to be a lively place at times.
This brings me to the second part of this post. Since we have moved last August, we actually had the opportunity to install a proper studio in our new house. Our old apartment just was not that suited all these activities and alas oil-painting with pets and children running around proved to not always be the best of combinations. Since August we have been refurbishing the studio, making sure one space is properly dedicated to all things artsy and booksy. We moved our rather extensive library into the same studio-space. We take quite some inspiration from books and comics, so it made sense to have them close at hand. However one shelf is solely dedicated to all things art.
In this shelf you will find:
1) Paper, sketchbooks, stamps, and prints
2) Reference books. Oh yes these we like, ranging from books about sculpture, Da Vinci sketches to books about the rainforest, books with vintage cards, books about WW2, books made by artists we like and respect (Paul Bonner, Alan Lee, you name it…)
3) RPG books. Yes, we both play RPG, tabletop and miniature (LARP we leave for the experts). These books provide us with insight so our illustrations and paintings actually make sense in the universe they are supposed to take place.
4) More RPG books and our contributor copies. On this shelf I also keep a model of a 1967 Ford Cobra 427 and we have some bugs in resin as reference. We use almost anything.
5) Here we keep our signed copies of books that we received from colleagues. It is always nice to swap artwork with fellow artists after a convention is over. We also keep magazines for reference here. You would be surprised how much help you can get from i.e. a Vogue magazine, or Motorsports Europe.
6) Models here. From dinosaurs, to sketch-dummies to manta-rays…we keep most of our models on the top shelf. (albeit a bit empty now, since some models are still in one of those elusive “last-box-after-move-which-will-stand-taunting-me-for-months-more-to-come”-mode.)
7) …and coffee. No proper studio functions without a jolt of caffeine (no number added, I assume a thermos is quite visible and noticeable…and perhaps draws less attention to my caffeine addiction)
This is of course all in a nutshell. The studio as a workspace is far from complete. We still need to exchange the desk and install the drawing table. We hope to provide an update soon and show you all a nice image of an organised studio. Which will last about 5 minutes before two artists are let loose in it and Chaos will reign supreme again…
Next update by me will provide you with a start to finish painting on canvas, until then I am quite sure my partner-in-art will keep you all in awe with his illustrations.
Written by David.
So a lot of people wonder what artists do in their spare time.
Most of the time, most artists will tell you, there is no spare time.
Sometimes, however, we take the time to do some sideprojects, because they appeal to us, or we like the idea, or we just have time for once.
This is one such project.
About two months ago I was contacted by DesignStrike UK, with the question if I was interested in painting some concepts and a full illustration for a project meant to turn into a Tv-series about the Horus Heresy.
As I am in the middle of painting Primarchs on my spare time, I thought it nice to spice it up by having some other people tell me how to paint something from the 40k (30k) Universe.
This is not a common thing, it just coincided with a little more spare-time and a window of opportunity.
If you are interested in knowing more about this project, they have a FB-page here: https://www.facebook.com/HorusHeresyProject
Below you will find two concepts, a Terminator and a regular Space Marine, bth of the Blood Angels Legion, 5th Chapter.
Underneath these concepts, you will find three varients of a pitch–illustration, meant to go Games Workshops way.
I’d love to hear which one you like the best, and why!
If this gets enough support and the favour of GW, it might turn into a paid project, in which case I hope to be part of it, but until then, you migh see sketches from time to time on their FB-page and on the blg, just don’t count on it happening every week. Paid work unfortunately have to come first…
Sanguinius facing Ka’Bandha
All of the above images are produced for DesignStrike UK
Wrhammer 40k, Space Marines and Sanguinius are Copyright to Games Workshop
Painting by David Sondered, StudioColrouphobia.net
Written By David.
In the second installment of this series, let’s talk about decisions and computercrashes.
So last time, we left with a fairly decent pose, as well as good set-up for the painting of Mortarion around the time of the Horus heresy.
A few decisions had been made in regards to how he would look:
-Similar to Curze (“siblings”)
-Gaunt/ Deathly posture and features
- Details to keep in mind are: censers, no greenor white colours of armour, smoke coming out of the high collar, smoking pipes coming out of his back.
This is the image we had/
At this point, I do “the google rounds”.
Essentially, I look through google for images that I can use as reference for various items.
Items like hoods (monk-robes), roman shoulder-guards, freaky scythes, censers, smoke, fumes from burning oil-fields etc.
These things are ten stored for references. I will not se them straight off, but more as guides to how something is shaped.
If I need to create something unique for a character, I might “kit-bash” some of the images together to create interesting shapes (using various layerstyles in a similar fascion to how I started this illustration, see part 1 , but for this illustration that was not needed. (An example of an item that could have been made thusly, is the scythe, but I made a decision to paint that from scratch, based on pre-existing art.)
Examples of art that fell under references vary from Scythes from Darksiders 2, to conceptart for the Angels in Diablo to exhaust-pipes from Trucks and Holocaust-victims.
During this time, I also refine the previous image a little to get to the point where I like it a bit more. Not much is done beyond adding some backlighting, a few placeholder-censers and painting in the face a little.
So let’s stop here for a while and talk about catastrophical crashes.
I have made it a habit to constantly save iterations of my illustrations.
This way I can go back and copy-paste something that might have been better from a previous version, but I also make sure I do not loose hours of work if Photoshop crashes.
I have, to date, never had a version of Photoshop that did not crash on me at the worst possible opportunities.
Lately, I have also made it a habit to use a cloud-saving source to save my most recent works/files, simply because in case the computer crashes and files are lost, atleast some of my work is saved.
Better be safe then sorry.
So I worked on Mortarion for a long while. Each iteration of the illustration moving towards a goal.
The face was altered to focus more on his skeletal look, whilst maintaining a somewhat proxiation to my illustrations of Curze and Angron. I also used references of men from the Carpatian region as reference, to hint at the origins of the Legionaires (who are supposed to mainly have been recruited from this region on Terra, before recruitment from Mortarions homeplanet began).
Some alterations to the colours happened. The reds/oranges moved towards gray/blue/greenish to reflect this sensation of the sick and poisonous.
A shhoulderpad was begun on and the robes and scythe was worked out.
I had 8 preview-images to show on the blog. And they all vanished in a severe computercrash, loosing several folders worth of illustrations and references.
Luckily I had saved the ast two iterations of the image on my dropbox-account.
So here is where we come back to the image. It is not done yet, and there will be a part three, but you need to know why there was a jump in the look.
And a caution- save often. USe external harddrives or cloud-saving if needed, but make sure your work is safe.
Luckily, everything for my proffessional work was saved on an external harddrive except a new sketch, which means nothing suffered for commissions and proffessional works, but it could have been much worse, so keep this in mind!
Now the astute viewer will notice a few things:
1) The pose is slightly altered.
This mainly comes down to the fact that the lower body is in shadow and the shoulderpad has to face a certain direction for him to be able to hold the scythe.
2) the collar looks completely different.
I went away from the crude stove-collar and moved towards a more knightly one.
3) Alot of the ornaments vanished from the previous image, including the censers.
During research, I found that Mortarion didnt fancy ornamentation, so I stripped it down. The censers where only really placeholders. They will return once I paint them in proper.
4) He is kind of stout/heavy set.
This, is fixed. Namely in the next preview image-
Following this I will be painting in the lower body, the scythe will be completed and the censers will appear After this I will start adding the gasses in an around the collar and finally there will be some colourcorrections and post-process work to make the illustration complete.
Let me know what you guys think.
Oh, and here is something Orky to end the day. Wprk in Progress:
Studio Colrouphobia also has a twitter account: https://twitter.com/Colrouphobia
Studio Colrouphobia also has a Facebook-page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-Colrouphobia-Concepts-and-Illustrations/20588351315
So this is a dual post. It will start by making a point about posting other peoples artwork around the Internet without referring to the artist.
It will end with a couple of new artworks from the studio.
In a couple of days, there will be a new post with process on the Mortarion-piece, but today’s post is important.
So recently, it came to the attention of a couple of artists that I keep close contact with, that a certain Facebook-page is posting images.
Nothing bad about this, however, the page is notoriously bad at referring to the artist.
So the second comment sais it is Karl Richardson, which is helpful, however, the comments are really not where such a reference should be, they should be where the artwork is posted, in the description.
This is a quite serious problem, usually brushed aside by fans as not being a problem at all.
So let’s try and give a little insight in this part of being an Artist.
FANS, this is for You! Take a good look and try understanding why this is important!
Let’s post this as an image. There will be a “free to use” disclaimer in the bottom of the image(s).
Please take your time to consider what each point say.
So what does this mean?
It means that whoever made the art you found cool and wanted to repost- tell us who made it! In the description of the art.
If you don’t know, the write that. That way, if someone let you know, you can alter it.
Does it mean that you will never be able to show any of Studio Colrouphobias works online?
No, it doesn’t. Of course you will.
But we would appreciate being asked. Sometimes our works are actually not for show everywhere. Some commissioners pay for more exclusive views. And we would demand a reference on the artwork, back to us, our website or facebook-page would be preferable.
It means that whoever made the art you found cool and wanted to repost- tell the viewer who made it! In the description of the art.
If you don’t know, then write that you don’t know. That way people can help you find out and, if someone let you know who the artist is, you can alter it.
You see, if we don’t get referred to then nobody will commission us, which also mean we will need to stop doing what we do.
And then there will be no art from us.
And now to stop on a more light note.
Being the more traditional painter of the studio, she is working mainly in Artrage, using some techniques She “learnt in the age of the dinosaurs, only now applying them on a digital canvas.” Images used for reference comes, amongst others, from National Geographics.
We hope to be able to show more of Natasjas work shortly.
Until next time!
So Halloween passed, thank you all for making it special by participating in ourcompetition.
Starting this week, there will be a new series of posts.
These posts are about following the creation of an illustration from concept to finish.
For the beginning illustration, I chose to use one of my personal Primarch illustrations.
I will go through wwhat ideas I have, how to flesh out the image, what thoughts and knowledge must be sought. Sketching, colour composition, painting roughs, using reference, when to use texturess and not and any number of other topics that come up along the way.
So let’s begin with the start, shall we?
For this particular illustration, I knew I wanted to tackle another Primarch.
But which one?
I have a list of Primarchs I am completing, where I have saved some general ideas and cool stuff to inspire.
Her’s what the folder look like:
You will notice that some are missing, which does not meant that they are completed, but rather that I haven’t ound anything yet to make me feel it is suitable to save as reference or inspiration for that particular Primarch.
So let’s choose one-
It is, after-all, the season to be dreary.
Not that much, but we can work with it.
So I do a quick sketch, without looking at my ref/inspiration images, but after I have looked at them/
So, its loose, crappy and not much to see. But it gives an indication, a hint at where I wan to take this piece.
Let me explain it to you.
Mortarion, for me, was always a riddle.
He grew up as a son of an alien (or a mutant, it seem to have shifted over the years). Taking control over the planet of Barbarus, a lethal place for humans to live and so poisons and poisonous gases are a part of his culture.
Likewise, the figure of Mortarion has this “Angel of Death” over it. A hooded figure, slender and agile, with hints of wings and a scythe.
The above is the way I think about Mortarion in passing, without investing any real tought to the character.
So the next step, is to look at the sheer physical aspects of Mortarion.
I did a Google-search, and ended up with a few images. I show them here to give you an idea, but I am in no means taking any credit fore these:
– John Blanche
– Alex Boyd
– Adrian Smith
-Ibrahim Swaid ( http://holypixels.blogspot.be/2011/08/mortarion-work-in-progress-1.html )
So that’s the four first ones I got..
Now comes the choosing.
What do I like, what don’t I like.
I like the general features, the hood, the gaunt look of Alex Boyd’s version. The plain-ness of the armour. In fact, even though I usually really like Adrian Smith’s work, in this case, I find it completely out of tune with what I want to portray.
So I make a list of things to add in the illustrration-
Scythe (obviously, I even drew that in the sketch, before thinkking about it).
Slender – like in the Alex Boyd image. – usually PlagueMarines are bloated, which is fine, but I want him to look like death/ This is not neccesarily going to be after he joined chaos.
Censer- holding poisonous gasses.
Things to concider-
Colours, not sure about wite, or even green. I need to do some research.
Shoulderpads. I sketched something like the Angron or Curze shoulderpads, not sure if I will keep that or go with something else.
Smoke- I want poisonous gases to come out at the collar and from the Censers. Need to make them visible without looking lame.
Things to not take-
No Green, no White. Not on Armour in any case. I want him to be dull in armour/clothing. He will be pale, so he need to stand out a bit.
Chest from Hulk- I really need him to look like death, he cannot have the most powerful look, not bodywise in any case.
Perhaps the fumes will cover some of his face, but I want his face to show mostly.
After writing these things down, I do a new sketch. And i failed (I lost the file). So I decide to do a tested methood when I need ideas.
I use an older image and duplicate layers, moving, reshaping, twisting and turning them around, using layer-effects to get “happy accidents”.
In this case, I used my Angron Painting.
This is the “sketch”:
So I add some brushstrokes to give a hint at my figure (using the same pose as before)
It still doesnt do it, so I do a little altering and adding a coloursplash, followed by a proper silouhete (next two images)
And after moving the arm and scythe, I am getting happy about the pose.
I know I said no facemask, but at this time, I am unsure how to make him look, so I have left the lower part of the face.
I will most likely make him look similar to curze, as I use roughly the same features for all the Primarchs, just changing them ever so slightly, to show they are siblings, rather then the same characer (or, indeed, completely different from one another).
That thing above his head?
Yeah, I dont know, perhaps I will keep it, perhaps not.
I thought I saw something like that in the back of Ibrahim Swaids Mortarion… it has potential. Maybe some sort of machinery, part of his exhausts…
Till next time.
Studio Colrouphobia also has a twitter account: https://twitter.com/Colrouphobia
Studio Colrouphobia also has a Facebook-page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-Colrouphobia-Concepts-and-Illustrations/20588351315
Today’s blogpost features the final reveal of the Halloween illustration, along with announcing the winners of the competition.
Let’s start by revealing the who the commenter of the artwork was:
As most all of you guessed, it was Aaron Dembski-Bowden!
So, without further wait, we give you-
Konrad Curze / Night Haunter
That’s now what Curze looks like in my head.
Just breathtaking. – Aaron Dembski-Bowden.
Some honorary mentions, guesses from over-all over the internet:
“Ah, I see it now. It’s Cap’n Crunch.”
“Still sticking with Darkwing Duck”
“Calling it right here and now. It’s the Great Pumpkin King”
Jokes aside, here are the winners:
Big prize winner (Fullsize poster, signed and sent directly to him/her)
Alexander Leleux – first guess and got it spot on right away.
Runner-ups (Other poster from Studio Colrouphobia, also signed and sent directly to him/her)
We will be contacting you shortly to sort out how to send the prices to your location.
For the rest of you guys-
Thank you for making your guesses. Let us know what you thought of this competition and what you would like to see from us in the future.
Today we see the second-to-last piece of the puzzle vanish.
We have a couple of guesses for the competition, please remember that you need to anwer right here on the blog, or on our FB page.
“Throne of God, that’s fucking breathtaking.
I… Fuck, what can I even say? It’s in the Best Five 40K artworks I’ve ever seen. And bear in mind how tired I am of [SPOILERS] and how [SPOILERS]… and I still think that’s the best [SPOILERS] artwork I’ve ever seen in my life.
Soulful. Beautiful. Incredible.”
“No, more than that. It’s definitive. That’s now what [SPOILERS] looks like in my head.
The person who guesses who said the above, along with what/who is on the final artwork, will win a signed print of the artwork once it is revealed. Signed and sent directly to their home address, wherever in the world they live.
The Answer need to be logged right here on the blog or on our Facebook page.
There will be four runner-ups, for a total of FIVE winners. One will receive a signed poster of the illustration being revealed sent to them as per above. The other four will win another illustration, signed, sent to them. The illustrations for winner 2-5 will not neccesarily be 40k related, but if they already have a poster of ours, they are adviced to let us know so that we can make sure they won’t have duplicates.
The winners will be declared on 30th of October. That’s tomorrow folks!