Friday I’m in love

…or so The Cure tries to convince us. Not sure we’re buying it though.

Busy days at the studio, this means weekends are filled with art, sketching, concepts and other things -olly (had to make a Terry Pratchett pun there, sorry)

Currently we are trying to round and finish all outstanding digital commissions up, since we are planning a change in systems in a few weeks time. We are getting some new hardware and toys for the studio and it would be preferred to not have to migrate files between systems. This also has had an effect on the private commissions we take in, so we are limiting those ones to one per week now. Come December it will be business as usual again, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Another heads up is that we will be spending a week in Scandinavia around Christmas.

So much for the administrative update. When it comes down to artsy stuff, two major personal projects are being processed at this moment. We managed to round up the last of the company NDA related ones, hopefully come Februari we have some interesting tidbits to show you.

David is working on his super-secret-hush-huh-project with Aaron. (We hope to be showing you the first official results soon, but at the moment we are spending quite some time with conceptualising so our drawing table is filled with sketches photo’s, items, and other details that give inspiration.)

Jove

Natasja is trying not to get sucked into he conceptualisation swamp that the super-secret-hush-huh-project with Aaron is, and is hoping to start posting the Khan the destroyer comic soon.

The idea is to make the lefty image into a series like the righty ones. (only more evil, more cat-like)

idea

Why? It is training into finding the essence of an object, minimalise it, yet keep it cute and recognisable in a few lines of ink. So far concept #34 is in the pipeline and an entire moleskin has already been sacrificed to the gods of ink and art in order to get the concepts right.

Summarised: winter is coming, projects are rounding up and new soft/hardware will be arriving soon. It is nice with a short pause before all the new-years resolutions kick in and partners will be wanting new illustrations and concepts.

So with this in mind: we have just one slot open this week for private commissions, and will be working mostly on our persona portfolio’s the next two weeks.

Liebster Award

Before getting to the Liebster award, we would like to let you guys know that the weekly updates will be moving to Wednesdays.

Consider this update a bonus.

Liebster Award

So Christian Schwager nominated us for a Liebster Award.

Here’s how it works (for those who might have forgotten, or still don’t know what the Liebster is):
The nominee’s task is to give 11 truths about themselves, answer the 11 questions given by the person who nominated them, make 11 questions of their own and nominate another 11 blogs to spread the contagion. The purpose of this is to discover new interesting blogs and have a bit of fun. Since Christian nominated the studio, he gets 22 answers to his question. Lets start!

11 Truths about us-

1. David’s desk is true chaos. If you would look at it at any given time, things are extraoirdinairy messy, but he claims he can find anything on the desk within seconds (we disagree on that!).

2.We got to know eachother in times when TFC and Counterstrike where in hype.

3.Our cat is called Khan, because it is very satisfactory to shout at him when he does something wrong.

4. We are a multi-lingual household, where even the children speak more than two languages.

5.Chocolate is a vegetable (or a salad).

6.We both have a keen interest in martial arts and have been avid practitioners of Kendo and Aikido for several years.

-Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation

7. We can go from Bach to Iron Maiden in the same playlist.

8.Life begins with coffee.

-There is no try, coffee or no coffee!

9. Between the two of us, we know a massive amount of fun movie-quotes, and often pick them apart in our day-to-day communication:

-Damnit Jim! I’m an artist, not a brainsurgeon!

10. …and we managed to infect the next generation with this as well.

-We are no longer the knights who say ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!

11. Entering through our Studio’s doors is a better portal to another world then what the wardrobe ever was for Narnia.
Natasja’s answers:

  1. What was the last book you’ve read? Fools Errand by Robin Hobb
  2. Are you binge-watching any TV shows? If so, what are you currently hooked on? Sherlock
  3. Whatever your creative outlet, what do you consider your specialty? All creatures great and small
  4. What is your favourite band? The Cure
  5. What is your favourite tree and why?  Witch Hazel, all curly-wurly and spacey wacey.
  6. What is your favourite animal and why? Polar bears, I mean come on: largest land living predator and all
  7. Who is your personal hero? My children, meeting every day with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
  8. What is your favourite game? Homeworld
  9. What would be your super power? ESP (with children, already have this one partially)
  10. Rice or pasta? Rice
  11. Why, do you think, am I following your blog? Because it is awesome, and not just there to simply promote our own stuff, we also provide ample feedback about other artists, our work-processes and more.

 

David’s answers:

  • What was the last book you’ve read? Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet
  • Are you binge-watching any TV shows? If so, what are you currently hooked on? Doctor Who
  • Whatever your creative outlet, what do you consider your specialty? Mechanical/Sci-fi things and fictionous portraits
  • What is your favourite band? Right now? Hozier. It shifts with times..
  • What is your favourite tree and why?  Oak, because it feels like family.
  • What is your favourite animal and why? Real animal? Ravens. Wisdom, Surveyors of it all..
  • Who is your personal hero? My Wife, she makes my day bright and shiny, but the reason she is my heroine is because she knows exactly what to do at any given moment, and can, up until now, always do whatever it is that need be done.
  • What is your favourite game? Half-Life 1
  • What would be your super power? Healing. Being able to heal anything in the world.
  • Rice or pasta? Pasta
  • Why, do you think, am I following your blog? Same reply as Natasja Because it is awesome, and not just there to simply promote our own stuff, we also provide ample feedback about other artists, our work-processes and more.

Our Questions-

  • If the following two species ever went to war, which one would win, and why? Duck vs. Geese
  • If the following two ever went to war, which one would win, and why? Hodor vs Lurch of the Adams family
  • Should muggles be accepted to Hogwarts or not?
  • Mechanical pencil or wooden pencil?
  • Do you steampunk?
  • Who should have the ultimate privilege to wipe out Jar Jar Binks, and why? Sith or Jedi?
  • Which artist is your source of inspiration?
  • Which writer is your source of inspiration?
  • Have you tried a Belgian beer? If yes – specify which one(s), if no, go out and get one (ask us, we have the knowledge!) – PS. Stella does not count as beer!
  • Cornish pasties, with or without carrot?
  • If you had to pick a deity to be, which one and why?

Our nominations!

Gav Thorpe

Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Jeanett Andersson

Elizabeth Hunter

Mike Daarken Lim

Dave Rapoza

Richard Boom

Björn Hurri

Brun Croes

Mark Molnar

Dan Dos Santos

Go check them out!

Style, to death II

Welcome to this weeks post.

How are you hanging in there? Due to a storm drawing in over Belgium we couldn’t post yesterday so let’s make up for it in style.

Last week we discussed Western style. We took up some contemporary icons of art and two artists who have a very distinct style.

This week we’d like to discuss Eastern style and some of the lesser known (in the west) styles.

When we say “Eastern” we are referring to Asia and East Asia. Please also note that this is in no way a comprehensive, or necessarily correct, discourse over Asian art. Just observations.

Asia 

Asian artists have largely been unknown to westerners.  To introduce them now would take far more time and space than what this blog can do in a single post. So let’s focus on a smaller part of Asia, East Asia. More specifically, let’s focus on China and Japan for this time.

To understand how style works in China and Japan, we need to understand some of the background of the art movements through time in these two countries.

China

China has always had a strong cultural drive. Whether in form of theatre, dance, music, pottery, or painting; there has always been a strong development of the arts.

When it comes to painting in particular, the Chinese have always had interesting ideas around it; i.e. ink has been a strong influence on art. In western art, black has on occasion been seen as no colour, or at the very least a colour that should never be used. The Chinese, on the other hand, revered black as the best colour. Black ink was considered to have all colours in it, and thus could portray all colours. To be able to do this the ink had to be “alive” and applied in varying tones to display all the subtetlies of the spectra. Other colours become secondary and the ink takes the centre stage.

As there is a very specific manner to paint with ink on a brush, the form evolved and is something that still nowadays can clearly be seen in many contemporary Chinese artists.

A comprehensive list of Chinese artists throughout history can be found here:

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/nationalities/Chinese.html

Japan

Whereas Chinese art was always bound by traditions and evolved under strict circumstances to evolve into something perfect, Japanese art has had a number of influences from both mainland East Asia and the western world. The Japanese also took things to it’s extreme many times, for instance evolving the sumi-e in much the same fashion as the Chinese evolved their inkbrush techniques, but at the same time it could be influenced by the west, as with ukio-e, landscape paintings that where very common in the Edo-period.

Some basic knowledge about Japanese artschools and artists can be found through here-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_artists

Classical examples

A quick rundown of some of the most notable historical painters from East Asia:

Katsushika Hokusai

The Great Wave – Hokusai

Hishikawa Moronobu

Woodblock print, album leaf. Popular culture. Young man and woman in a roundel of maples and cherry blossoms. From an untitled album. Beni-e on paper.

Lee Cheng

Riding Mule in a winter forest – Lee Cheng

Modern examples

So when it comes down to modern art then? Most of you will recognize anime/manga as a style, and possibly have heard about artists such as Ai Weiwei or Aguri Igarashi.

Whereas Ai Weiwei does make interesting art, it hardly comes in mind for what we are looking at: pure painting/illustration. And whilst Anime and Manga are interesting, there are tons of interesting articles online about how to make your art look so.

So here are a couple of interesting artists that you possibly will know and that I would like to add for their distinct style:

Hayao Miyazaki

Nausicaa – Studio Ghibli

Whereas Studio Ghibli undoubtedly is an Anime studio, there is something specific and precise about the style which is lent by Hayao Miyazaki. This is more about design then style, but the daring manner with which he blends traditional and new concepts to create something new make it feel less like manga/anime and more like little perfect stories, filled with anything your imagination can manage, and more.

Fenghua Zhong

Sun Wukong vs Demons – Fenghua Zhong

Look at the textures, and the colours. The amount of natural occuring textures in this piece of art make it almost unfathomable that it is actually a purely digital piece of art. Fenghua works as a conceptartist and freelance illustrator. Specifically the manner with which the almost colourless and monotone colours come out as vibrant and diverse is interesting.

Ruan Jia

Flute player- Ruan Jia

Ruan Jia is a master with colour and tone by mixing colours of contrasting hues, but making them work because the tones are so close. Take a closer look at the eyes of the above illustration. Notice how the predominant colours around the eye, the eyelid, the brows, the lashes, and so on, are cold. Either blue or green. But that the eyes themselves, what little can be seen of them between the eyelashes, are pinkish/orangey-red. These things make the painting come alive with life rare to see outside of a master oilpainting.

So that’s a quick look at some Eastern Styles that are worth investigating. Do you have any other artists with styles you find unique or worth looking at when it comes to exploring your own style? Let us know in the comments!

Next Week

Next week we will take a look at how we can use the Western and Eastern style-examples we have looked at to help further, and find our own unique style.

If you have any suggestions on artists we should look at please let us know through the comments below, or through our Facebook page. or Twitter Page  (dont forget to hashtag with #dontfeartheclown on Twitter!).

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 it with #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to see your input!

Style, to death…

Welcome to a new week.

This week we would like to start to discuss style.

Style has been talked about by numerous artists, art directors and fans of art on so many occasions that it could be considered to be a done-to-death-topic. Nevertheless we’d like to bring it up in a two-part blog to showcase some of the more interesting styles out there that do not fully fall within the mainstream of western culture. At the end of these two articles (or possibly in a third installment) we will discuss what we can take with us from these different styles and see if we can use it to further our own styles.

This week and some other articles on style

This week we will talk about Western artists and some styles of Western origins. Next week we will bring up some Eastern artists and their styles.

For some interesting articles on Style in general, there are some to be found through Muddy Colors.

Here are a few:

http://muddycolors.blogspot.be/2012/06/style.html

http://muddycolors.blogspot.be/2014/06/honing-your-vision-ruminations-on-style.html

http://muddycolors.blogspot.be/2013/05/walt-disney-on-pursuing-style.html

Western Styles

When it comes to western styles, these ae the styles that most of the readers of this blog have grown up with. You see it on a daily, or weekly, basis. You have seein it in comicbooks, storybooks, museums, and game-art. These are the ones you all know about, and if we mention just a few well known examples you will immediately have an idea of what they would look like.

Frank Frazetta

Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell

Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Brom

Paul Bonner

To mention some of the contemporary ones.

The above artists and their styles have already had a huge impact on western styles in general. In some cases, like with Frazzetta and Jones, their respective styles have influenced whole generations, where as the others are inspiring on a grand scale, even if they might not have influenced entire generations. These artists, of course, stand on the shoulders of their own artheroes, whether early 20th century american popular artists like James Montgomery Flagg or N.C. Wyeth, or earlier masters ranging back in time to El Greco and Fra Angelico.

Point in case unique styles

Let us take a moment to mention two artists with unique styles that are worth taking a closer look at.

Mike Mignola

Rocketeer – Mike Mignola/Dave Stewart

Mike Mignola has a very distinct style, based mainly on solid fields of colour or shades.

Visible in his Hellboy-series, the most prominent part of the style is how black and white is used to create drama, often the “white” areas are filled with a solid colour (mostly aptly added by Dave Stewart) to create different ammounts of shade. Mignola also uses a very bold sense of shapes. His characters could almost be seen as charicatures with their oversimplyfied traits, more so then most comicbooks. But it is a great style because it conveys a lot of feeling. The bad guys look bad already at first glance. The Good guys (and gals) are very evocative in how they look and the style shows how every persona feel very well just through poses and how they are drawn in any given situation. Mignola have also mastered texturing in this style. Often making extraordinary large beasts look like they where made out of concrete or some sort of stone-material. Esotheric or non-physical beings, beams, or energy is often illustrated in a very solid fascion, but the way Mignola adds texture will tell the viewer that this is something special.

Justin Gerard

Justin-gerard-spells-are-hardSpells Are Hard – Justin Gerard

Gerard has a playful style, filled with humour. Where most illustration today is moving towards more realism, Gerard manages to make his illustrations not only have an element of humour but also mintain a very good sense of colour and saturation. Gerard also mixes traditional sketching an painting with digital very effective, often giving his works a very nice textured feeling. To an extent one can see the same playfulness and humour as in the works of Paul Bonner, but where Bonner works exclusively with traditional mediums, Gerard has learnt to take full advantage of both traditional and digital mediums.

When going to see Gerards works, be sure to also take a look at the works of his wife, Annie Stegg Gerard, who is an accomplished artist as well.

So that’s a quick look at some Western Styles that are unique. Do you have any other artists with styles you find unique? Let us know in the comments!

Next Week

Next week we will take a look at some eastern artists, both contemporary and historical, to see if we can use them to help further, and find our own unique style.

If you have any suggestions on artists we should look at please let us know through the comments below, or through our Facebook page. or Twitter Page  (dont forget to hashtag with #dontfeartheclown on Twitter!).

Sketch and a WiP

Here is a sketch for the next Primarch and a WiP of the illustration for the Ars Scribendi winner. Next week we hope to be able to show you even further evolutions of these two.

Guillimanpreviewarsscribendipreview

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 it with #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to see your input!

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” S.Dali

New week, new things

Hello and welcome to this (delayed) update. As mentioned last week, a lot of deadlines converge on and around the same time, leading to some extra working hours. With as a result this the blog-update was delayed.

Right now, there is nothing of the illustrations that where just completed under deadlines we can how you. These are pending release of the products they where made for or release from the Non Disclosure Agreements they’re under.

The end of all these deadlines does mean that there are some openings in our schedule for more private commissions. See below for more info.

Traveling the Road

So yesterday an image was shared via Aaron, relating to the project he and David are working on. Some of you may have seen it, some may not. We thought we’d share it here also:

first-done

A few (very few) hints of information:

Yes – it is called “The Road to Jove”.

No – it is not a novel.

Yes – that’s a stop-sign on that big things shoulder.

Yes- the markings on its chest are starting to glow red.

No- it’s not going to take forever until it’s out, but we’re not narrowing it down for you just yet.

No- we’re not telling you anymore right now!

Gathering Ideas

Here at Studio Colrouphobia we are always looking to interact with our friends and fans, so we thought we’d ask you what, in the past months, have been the most interesting for you to read here on our blog?

What would you like to see more of? Do you have a favorite topic or post that you think represent what you think you should see more of from us? Last week we shared some websites an articles related to working as an artist, conceptartist, or wanting to commission an artist. In the past we have shared, amongst other things, tutorials, insight in how we work as artists and a studio, interviews with other artists, and just plain posts with art.

This is your chance to let us know what you would like to see more of. Let us know by replying to this blog-post, or through our Facebook page.. Or you can also send us an email through the contact form on the About page.

Commissions

If you are interested in private commissions we have four 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 it with #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to see your input!

What you need and what you want….

Hello there,

Welcome to yet another blogpost. It’s been another week and it was a busy one.
Several deadlines converged in short succession and as such there are a lot of finished illustrations, but alas little to show until they have been published.

Because of this, we thought we’d show you some general goodness on, and for, artists.

For the artist (and client)

30092014-artpact

Artpact.com is a tool to help Freelance Fantasy, Sci-fi, Comic book, and other illustrators negotiate a better living for themselves.
It is easy to think that life as an illustrator is great.
A lot of people approaching us in regards to our studio and working as artists or illustrators have this belief that we have all the spare time in the world, that all we do all day is exactly what we want, that it is easy, goes faster then a blink of an eye and that we roll in cash.

It really is not like that at all. In fact, it is all hard work. Often working with illustration means you have to paint what others want, not what you want. Deadlines are tight, you can’t display what you painted (sometimes up to years after you painted it). And this belief that it is simple, doesn’t cost much time or effort, and so should be more or less for free, mean that even p-professional clients have rules and contracts that make it even tougher to survive on being an illustrator.

Artpact.com is there to help the struggling artist.

But even if you are just interested in commissioning an artist, we suggest you go and read some of the articles there. Our suggestion is these two articles:

The Cost of Being an Illustrator - To give you an insight in why commissions cost as much as they do. There are costs for running a business, and before we even brake even, these costs must be deducted.

Dealing with Difficult Clients – Here you will find things you should try to think about as a client. We’re all humans, but these are some of the things that make artists feel less happy about a commission. And in the end, making sure to avoid these things will make your commission end up much more like what you had in mind.

On art and artists

30092014-Muddy

Muddy Colors is a place that’s all about art, artists, being an artist, being an art director, or just appreciating art.
If you are interesting in anything in regards to popular art, chances are that you will find something about it here.
The blog-posters are all illustrators, sculptors, 3D-artists, art directors, or gallerists. Dan Dos Santos, Arnie Fenner, Terryl Whitlatch, Lauren Panepinto, Greg Manchess, to name a few of them, are all very helpful in showing bits about art in all its forms, whether you want to work as an artist, hire an artist, or just appreciate good art.

30092014-fzd

Feng Zhu Design School Cinema is a Youtube channel that gives insights in what it’s like to work as a concept artist. With more then 70 episodes, most longer then half an hour, this is a vast source of inspiration, help, and insight in what it means working in the entertainment business as an artist. And if you just want to paint for fun, just watch as Feng Zhu and his guest-instructors paint, talk about things like composition and colourtheory. You should be able to find just about anything on the technical aspects of painting and illustrating, as well as conceptualizing, except for the foundations. This is something Feng Zhu teaches at his school in Singapore. And even some foundation bits can be found here and there.

Whilst you’re at it, go check out Feng’s own art gallery initiative, in the wake of the loss of CGHUB, DrawCrowd. You might find some art you never seen before.

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 it with #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to see your input!

Sketches, it’s all about the sketches…

Hi there,

Time for another update!
We hope you enjoyed the week that passed and that a good week is ahead of you.

 

Lesser art?
This week we would like to show some sketches and lineart.
Now when you think of sketches and/or lineart there is often an automatic dissmissal of them in comparison to illustrations or renders.
These sort of generalizations are commonplace in almost any form of artistic or creative works.

Theatre is better then the movies, opera is more cultured then jazz, illustration is more sofisticated then sketches and lineart.

Quite the contrary, all of these forms have their value and are quite separated from one another as far as what you must go through to make sure it is complete and good, purpose and result.

As such, a theatre play might demand alot of the acotr’s skill to portray the feelings of their character clearly to an audience, whereas the actor in a fil can rely on more subtle displays. Opera has a certain story and background that weigh in on how the music is experienced whereas jazz is based on feeling and interaction with the crowd.

Sketches

When it comes to sketches, then, they are as varied as there are reasons to make them. Sketches can be instrumental in finding design, meant as training, to act as support for an illustration, or simply be the base of a painting. A Sketch can be a very clear image, going to an almost illustrated finnish, or it can be loose and wobbly, relying on the feel of it, rather then anatomical or visual accuracy.

Lineart

Likewise, Lineart has its place as either an artform in itself, there to supply support for an illustration or a base for a painting. Often a piece of lineart has sketches made as a base, but this is not always the case.

 

Here, then, are a couple of examples:

23-09-2014khan

Lineart, Khan the Destroyer. Natasja is exploring this character and a couple of others in the style of lineart with ery simple colours.

dwarf23-09-2014015

Study/Sketch of a Dwarf, intended for future illustration or painting. The intent is to get the character and the feel of him down in these lines, to better paint or illustrate it fully at a later time. Whereas Natasja drew this sketch, it might be either her or David who will end up painting or illustrating this in the future. Collaborations like this can have a major role in improving ones skill and ideas for design.

 

groot23-09-2014

Groot. Though not yet complete, this is an illustration. The idea was to take the character and illustrate it/him without adhering or copying the style of any other artist.

CaptureCapture123-09-2014

And finally, three examlpes of sketches.

The first one is a colour sketch trying to explore a character. The second is a more detailed sketch trying to get some more details into the character, and the third one is a base sketch for an illustration. The object of the three is the same character, and they are all sketches, but done with different goals in mind.

 

Next week

Next week we might bother Aaron for a quick pop-by to talk about why he thought it might be a good idea to team up with David for their sideproject
We’ll see if he has the time for it, and it might just be very mysterious and silent about exactly what it is.

Commissions

If you are interested in private commissions we have one slot 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 it with #dontfeartheclown) We’d love to see your input!

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