Gone fishing…

Hello there,

Welcome back to another update. This week we will let you see some process images on how to find concepts through randomness.

Throwing the net

So you’re trying to figure something out. A concept.

It doesn’t have to be concept art that is the ultimate goal. Perhaps you are exploring charachters, creatures or any form of machinery as part of a larger illustration you are doing.

How do you actually get from “I have no idea” to a complete concept?

A long time ago, when we started doing this as a sidejob, Andrew Jones said “You throw out a net and reel in the concept“.

Let’s see if we can show you an example of it.

The small fish

David Started this by using Alchemy.org, a free program for getting random shapes. You can use any number of random shape-generating programmes, ranging from fractal programmes to zbrush and even specific randomizing brushes in Photoshopp or Painter.

The beauty of this particular programme is that you do not have to know how to paint or illustrate to get somewhere, you only need to try to get random shapes that resemble something. The artistic part comes when you start putting together more complex pieces. Here are some of the first shapes.

000006

These are just random shapes that came out after playing around with Alchemy for a while. Though there are six on this particular sheet, David came up with closer to fifty different shapes that he collected into one file.

Catching the medium-sized fish

So now we take these shapes into Photoshop (or any photo-editing/illustration programme of your choice) and start putting them together in interesting ways. In Photoshop, David cut and paste the shapes on top of one another. Moving things around, turning and flipping and sometimes even erasing to get more interesting shapes.

The idea is to get a silhouette of that looks robotic, but what exactly is not certain at this stage, so David is going for various things, ranging from quadroped robots, to biped robots. Tall and slender to short and robust. The key is the silhouette. The details inside the silhouette are bonuses for later, when we detail the concept.

The addition of colour can help make parts stand out; This doesn’t neccesarily mean these parts will have that colour in a final illustration. The colours can represent anything from actual coloured panels, to lightsources, beams, special areas of some sort that will look vastly different on the final concept/illustration but that for now just need to be marked out as “special”.

variations00001

So the sky is really the limit here, these above are the first groups David put together. He then made a couple of more, and started combining them together.

The bigger fish

After putting the first few shapes together, David have some basic robotic shapes. It is very easy to stop at this point and be happy, and some of the best concepts can be done at this stage, but it feels a little stale, so David combine this group of ten simpler silhouettes into some more complex ones. Not all work out, and it is important to be selective about the silhouette at this point. If two look the same, look at which one feels the most interesting as far as details go. Discard the other, or save it in a separate file for usage another day. Eventually, we havet six variations that can be used for illustrations.

Here is one of these simple bases:

RoughConcepts00003

And from there we can make an illustrated concept, or go straight to illustration, if it feels like everything needed is there.

The big fish

So here is a sneak-peek of something that will come out of this particular fish-net (not based on the above image, but something else).

300001

This is meant for the project David and Aaron Debski-Bowden is putting together and we are hoping to be able to show you much more before the end of the year.

Hopefully this introduction to concepting gave you guys some ideas and motivation to go out and practice. We would love to see links to your own concepts, practice or otherwise!

As always, you can find things through social medias, so keep an eye out for updates and sketches on Facebook,Twitterand Tumblr.

Commissions

If you are interested in private commissions we have three slots open this week.

For more info and contact, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.

Tell us what you think about todays blogpost. Use the form on the about page (link in sentence just above this) or through our Facebook page. or Twitter Page (hashtag #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to hear your input!

Jingling the Bells

Hi there, and welcome to this weeks blogpost.

This week we’d like to take the time to discuss something that might seem far away, but that you should start thinking about, should you want to use an artist’s services for it.

We’re talking about Christmas.

 

Yes, it might seem a bit over the top to talk about Christmas and Christmas presents when we just turned our calendar over to September, but to be able to make it the merriest of hollidays, we really need to bring this up.

So you want to give away art for Christmas?

Let’s say you want to surprise someone with a piece of art for their Christmas. There are many ways you can do this, depending on what you want. There are fantastic galleries out there where you can find the right piece for just about anyone. Usually, a gallery-piece will not be that problematic to acquire in time for Christmas.

There are also multiple shops, artists, and other establishments, that carry posters and prints of artwork. If you acquire something like this, we hope you take the time to make sure the right person(s) get paid. Usually an artist will charge less for a better quality poster/print then a counterfeit. Might be worth noting.

 

So you want to commission an original piece of art for Christmas?

But what we wanted to discuss was the commissioning of an original artpiece, whether painted with brush on canvas, pencil on paper, digital and printed, or other.

For these sort gifts, you need to be out in time. Know your artist. Learn what sort of deadlines he/she works with. Find out if they are specifically busy for Christmas, if they have any special deals that might come up, for hollidays before Christmas maybe even.

Traditional Artists

Alot of artists that work traditionally will have a lot of orders for artwork coming in before Christmas. You need to consider that artists like Dan Dos Santos take about three to six weeks to complete their traditional oilpaintings, and that they might want to dry their paintings for a certain ammount of time before shipping them. If they have a lot of commissions, they might have waitingtimes until November-December already.

Digital Artists

At the other end, where you find artists like Noah Bradley, the digital artists will probably not need such a long time to paint for you, though it varies. The problem for a digital illustrator is rather going to be at the printing-end. The closer you get to Christmas, the longer in advance you will need to contact printers about printing things. Some printers specialize in art-prints, some are multiprinting businesses and will have a lot to do with Christmas cards, brochures an everything Christmassy.

What about Studio Colrouphobia?

So, you might ask yourself, where do we find Studio Colrouphobia in this? Well, we do both traditional and digital. It all depends on what it is you are looking for. So if you are interested in commissioning us for Christmas, you should first figure out what it is you would like to get, then contact us relatively soon, so we can discuss around making sure that your gift becomes the thing it should be- a joy for the person who will receive it.

 

Eyecandy

For some eyecandy, since we try our best to include something every blogpost, here is a private commission David just finished for a Shadowrun player

-AndrejsOrch

 

And how about another small sneak-peek at something from the secret project Aaron and David are working on?

Capture1

 

As always, you can find things through social medias, so keep an eye out for updates and sketches on Facebook,Twitterand Tumblr.

 

Commissions

If you are interested in private commissions we have two slots open this week. Last week the two last slots with discounts where taken, but keep an eye out for other drives in the future.

For more info and contact, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.

 

Tell us what you think about todays blogpost. Use the form on the about page (link in sentence just above this) or through our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your input.

Whoohoo, we’re rich…or some such…

2-09-2014-1

Life is getting back to it’s normal routine after vacation. Mails have been piling up and some sorting needed to be done. Amidst all the junk and commercial mail we encountered a message from a certain Nigerian prince indicating we are his only relatives and we can inherit a fortune if only we give our bank-details…wow :)

First reaction was one of amazement: that mail is still doing the rounds? That felt rather comforting, almost like meeting an old acquaintance, like somethings never die and the internet, despite it’s fleeting character, has some consistency to it. Next conclusion: wow, they must’ve finally ran out of e-mail-addies and doing the rounds again in case they missed some the first time around :)

With this mail and the following S. Adams quote (yeah the Dilbert guy :) ) we came to the conclusion that we have gotten some pretty bizarre requests during the years and thought we might share some gems with you. We shall call this category:

I get mail; therefore I am. (S.Adams)

Here are a few questions received by David:

  • “I have a loose idea: essentially I want you to paint me violated.” We respectfully declined this one. 
  • “She should look like she is in agony, not having an orgasm.” Alterations to the piece were made. Up to this day we still cannot see what the client saw  :)
  • “If you paint it in gray-scale, I can colour it in later.”

And here a few from the canvas scene as reported by Natasja:

  • “If you paint on paper and use watercolour, instead of oil on canvas. Will it cost less?” No, it is the amount of time spent that makes up the lion-part of the cost of a painting, not so much the materials.
  • “Does it have to be this yellow?” (Was a desert scene, oil-painting photo referenced)
  • “Do you paint nudes and can I pose? Photo’s do not do me justice.” Person was slightly to eager and overzealous to pose nude. Received naked images for quite a while there, each one captioned “this does not do me justice.” :) Eventually no portrait was made due to clients financial situation.

Now these are just 0.01% of the mails we have received over the years as a studio. It is however remarkable how much more educated our clientele has become, the majority of our customers whether private or corporate are very clear and professional. Most communication really helps us in furthering our artwork. Of course we have grown into this as well, but recently we have not received odd requests and comments. But who knows, perhaps like the Nigerian Prince they will reoccur once and a while.

Anyways, what has the studio been up to the past days?

We can give another glimpse of the super secret Aaron & David project:

2-09-2014-1

More details will follow, this is just an initial concept. Loads of concepts in the pipeline atm.

And number two we can share is the initial sketch for our Ars Scribendi contest winner (yay!) When this piece is finished we will dedicate an entire post to it. So stay tuned.

26082014-arsscribendi

For our private customers, last week we had no takers for our discount commissions (mostly due to our vacation° so the last two discount slots are still open. They will vanish after this week, so be fast or they be gone :)

And now to quote Tigger: TTFN!

 

Stop, in the name…

Capture

Another week has passed.

We are still working on both professional jobs, and private commissions, but keep an eye out for updates and sketches on Facebook, Twitterand Tumblr. We are also trying to enjoy the weather, which is difficult when all you can do is singing in the rain right now.

 

This might interest some of you-

Capture
The sideproject David is doing that we have mentioned in recent posts is going well. So well, in fact, that they have decided to let a little of it be revealed. First of all, this is really a side project that David and Aaron is dabbling with it on their spare-time.

That’s right, Aaron Dembski-Bowden and David decided to try to come up with something new together. We’re not going to reveal all about this just yet, but we thought you might like to see some of the initial concepts. Look to the Facebook pages of Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Studio Colrouphobia, and this blog and that of Aaron for future updates.

But you wanted to see some images, right? The above snippet is a hint at something with a stop-sign. And below are some initial concepts for a character.

Girl-no-visorGirl-visor-fixedwaistGirl-visorGirl-no-visor-fixedwaist

 

Commissions

If you are interested in private commissions we have two slots open this week and those are also the two last slots open with 100 Euro discount. First come, first serve.

For more info and contact, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.

 

Tell us what you think about todays blogpost. Use the form on the about page (link in sentence just above this) or through our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your input.

Next week will see a few first steps for the Ars Scribendi Contest Winner. Until then, enjoy your week!

 

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In rain, in sun…

This week will see a very short update as we are vacationing (of sorts).

 

Life as a freelancer is never truly a place for vacation, but to remain somewhat sane we need to ease the schedule atleast a few weeks of the year.

For that reason, no real updates on this weeks blog-entry.

We are still working on professional jobs and private commissions though, and keep an eye out for updates and sketches on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Next week will see a minor update on the blog (possibly a bit more in case we got a go on some releases) but in two weeks the blog will be back up with fresh new stuff.

 

If you are interested in private commissions we have two slots open this week and we still have a couple of slots open with 100 Euro discount.

For more info and contact, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.

 

Until next week!

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The Deadfields

This is the name of the winner of our contest, Ars Scribendi.

Please give it up for Dave B, who brought this home.

This narrative was inventive, left things to imagination whilst still buildin up a nice setting. Simply put, there was no argument when we decided this to be the winner.

During the next couple of months, David will be illustrating parts of this narrative (as it spans over a longer scene), and will be making a walkthrough of how the illustration comes to fruition. Once it is done, we will print it, sign it and send it to Dave so he can hang it on a wall of choice.

A couple of honourable mentions

Of course all entries where excellent, but there where some that stood out. These are, in no particular order, the stories we judged very good, but just not reaching up to “The Deadfields“:

Javascripters narrative (un-named)- describing a very interesting scene of hunting down a plant-beast.

Nathan Robsons narrative- The Necromancer and the Ribbon Dancer

John Malones narrative- A Survivor of the Wastes

 

Closing in on late summer

Things are starting to pick up again for the studio. Fresh work is popping in and business as usual is the drill.

Remember that from Next week, we will be “on vacation”, which means that for all intents and purposes, whilst you can still reach us and commission us, we will be a bit less available for chatting and posting updaes might lessen a little. We will still be available though, as said, and commissions are worked on as per usual and according to schedules so feel free to contact us for any commissions or ideas you have.

 

Commissions

Also, like said in last weeks update, we are giving back to the community by giving a whooping 100 Euro discount on commissions right now. This week there are two commission slots open, so this might be the time for YOUR dream illustration! Please remember, it’s first come, first served and if you are number three commissioning us this week, your deadline will simply just move one week forward.

 

And as a parting-shot

Here is something on an ongoing project.

In between deadlined projects and work, sometimes one need to sketch something for uture projects.

Since David cannot show you his super secret project just yet, this is what we will show this week…

Enjoy!

 

12082014

 

 

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The ride of our life, and yours…

So another week, another post.

 

On Friday, we posted an extra update to let you know that the competition-deadline had past.

We had an amazing turn-up and so decided that the competition will return next year, albeit perhaps with a couple of more prizes, judges and other tidbits. We will be working for almost a year to be able to get the final format out for next years edition of Ars Scribendi. So thank you all!!!

We hope to announce the winner before our vacation break, so stay tuned. You peeps did not make it easy on us by entering so many awesome narratives!

If you have followed us for a while, you know by now that there is a studio Youtube channel, where you can see some of our processes. We have plans to evolve this to a little more then what it is right now, but it involves a bit of upgrades to programs and hardware, so if you can be a little patient with us there are some good things on the way.

 

Speaking of good ways on the way, here is a current low resolution view of the new Sanguinius that David is painting at the moment in his rare spare time:

wipSang

 

And here is anothe little bit of good news.

We have had an exceptional year. Truly, this year has been a gamechanger for us in many ways. Most of the things are still under NDA (such is the fate of freelance illustrators) but quite some private commissions we have been able to show. In fact, we have had to limit the ammount of slots for private commissions this year, to be able to do proffessional work for companies.

We have a few things coming up that are absolutely brilliant, and David has a secret project that, once it get revealed, probably will get quite some attention. It will be new, it will be grand and the other persons involved are probably known by most of our followers, if not all.

 

So to celebrate our year, and to give some back to the community, we have decided to give a quite substantial discount for the five next private commissions we do.

The discount will be 100 Euro off of the normal price.

As pricing is a tricky business in the artists world, you will not often see prices displayed in public. There are many reasons for this, not least of all being the fact that supply and demand, as well as the level of skill of the artist in question, set the prices and therefore they can and usually will change as an artist get more famous, skilled or both.

 

So we will make an exception to this right here and now, and let you know our fares, just to give you an idea of how large our discount really is!

These rates are broad estimates, an usually end up being what we go for, but please keep in mind that what you want to commission can have an effect on the final pricing.

For one character, in a pose of your choice, with a simple (blurred or one colour, simple figures or structures of no real detail) background – 300 Euro

For one main character with supporting characters (up to three) with a simple, blurred background (as per above) – 400 Euro

For a more complex illustration, for example a battlescene with multiple focuspoints an a complex background – 600-800 Euro, depending on complexity

 

On the above prices, we will offer a 100 Euro discount, straight off.

To make sure we can keep to this and still work on everything we have, the discount will only apply for the next five commissions, so get in touch through our contact form and lets see how we can help you. It’s at the bottom of the “About” Page.

Please keep in mind that slots open this week are only two. This means that if there already are two commissions this week, yours will be pushed forward to start next week. Completion of a commission is usually 4-6 weeks on something simple and 6-8 weeks on more complex pieces. We will inform you of your deadline in the contract.

 

 

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