Archive | Help for Artists RSS for this section

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.

 

 

Follow us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Follow us on Tumblr.

 

The end is nigh…

Friends and followers of Studio Colrouphobia: This week we see the deadline of the Ars Scribendi competition approaching. By Friday, at midnight GMT August 1st 2014, final entries need to be in. We have some really good entries already, so if you want to get a chance to have your narrative turned into an illustrated piece, printed and signed, to hang on your wall; this is the final week to enter!

Since this competition was such a success, we are looking into doing this next year as well, possibly with more prices, famous (or infamous) judges and more. We hope you liked writing the entries this year, and if you didn’t write, we hope you enjoyed reading the entries as much as we do.

We would also like to post a little something for you who wish to know more about painting and sketching. Below are two videos that illustrate the possibilities of the digital media and using photographs. It is quite commonly thought that all any illustrators do with photographs are to use them for paint-overs, cut and paste or using layerstyles to make patterns appear. But this is not all that is done. Mostly, photographs are just used as plain reference, so here David has used a photograph of a model dinosaur to first sketch the same dinosaur, and then to take it further by painting over the sketch and turning it into a dragon.

Note how not a single colourpick, nor paintover from/of the photo was done.  

And here is the final image, taken about ten minutes more towards completion (total time spent 60 minutes): dragon

So what do you think? Have you got your own experiences in regards to using photos as reference?

 

This week we have two slots open for private commissions. You can make any inquiries at the bottom of the “about” page.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

The makings of… a Primarch part 2.

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”)
-Scythe positioning
-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/

Mortarion4

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.

Mortarion5

Mortarion6

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!

Anyways. Mortarion was evolved
Mortarion7

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-

Mortarion8

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:

preview

/David

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

“Can I just use your images, like, however I want?” / Artworks to show.

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.
Art-theft

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.

Art-theft2

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.
Everybody looses.

And now to stop on a more light note.

Here is a piece that Natasja has been working on on and off for a while:
sharks

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.

Also shown today, is the newest commission David completed.
Finalpainting-web

Until next time!

Studio Colrouphobia also has a twitter account: https://twitter.com/Colrouphobia
Studio Colrouphobia also has a Facebook-page: https://www.facebook.com/StudioColrouphobia

The makings of… a Primarch

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:
Capture

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-

Let’s choose/
Mortarion.

It is, after-all, the season to be dreary.

So I look at what Mortarion has.
Capture1

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/

This is the result:
sketch

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:

Mortarion-print – John Blanche
Mortarion – Alex Boyd
Mortarion1 (2) – Adrian Smith
Mortarion work in progress1 -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).
Hood (again).
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.
Exhausts.
High Collar.
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.
No face-mask.
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”:
Mortarion1
So I add some brushstrokes to give a hint at my figure (using the same pose as before)
Mortarion2
It still doesnt do it, so I do a little altering and adding a coloursplash, followed by a proper silouhete (next two images)
Mortarion3

Mortarion4

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…

We’ll see.

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

On reference – part I

Hello there Studio Colrouphobia-followers!

Today I thought I’d take a little time to talk about how I use reference. There are many things to consider about references and many rules people
mention in regards to reference, so I thought we should discuss a little about it and I will also let you know how I use reference when I paint.

Lets start with the only rule you really should think about at all times. It’s divided into three parts.

Firstly:
If you are uncertain about copyrights and other rights- Shoot the reference yourself! Take a camera, locate a suitable view and take a
photograph of it!

The second part of the rule is:
If you bought a book with the reference in, and unless it say anything specifically about it on the image itself or on the publication-page (Where the information about edition and publisher  and where it was printed etc. can be found) about using as reference , you can use it as reference!

And the third part of the rule:
When in doubt-  Do not use as reference!

Now, before moving on to discussing other things, please do remember that the moment you use a piece of reference by cutting and pasting it into your work it’s not a reference any more- it’s a manipulation, manipulation wont bring you further towards being an accomplished painter or illustrator, it wont bring you anything but sorrow down the road (mainly because eventually people will find out and, rightfully, call you a fraud).

How I use reference and why

A lot of artists will say they do not use reference, or use it sparingly. I am not yet such an accomplished artist that I could do without reference though, and many of my illustrations defy life in such a way that using life as a base for painting them would only get me so far.

So I use photos to help me get certain things correct. It could be understanding a certain type of lighting, texture or shape of something. I used to copy photographs and drawings when I was young, it is an excellent way of learning how to sketch and/or paint, to copy something that already is well done.
But that was for practice. Nowadays I still do copies on occasion, though I would rather call them “studies”. Using a photo of an apple to try to paint a similar apple
(note “similar”, not “the same”). It needs to be believable, not a copy. I also do the occasional actual copy, trying to copy a work of a master such as RubensCaravaggio or Rembrandt to get the idea behind their work with colour and light, or to do a copy of a Pyle or one of the Orientalists to understand composition and how to use colours to strengthen it. But these are meant as practice, for me. They are not shown outside my family (and barely even that) and are not used for anything else but to further my own skill. A boxer need to shadowbox, an athlete need to run laps, painters and illustrators need to paint.

When it comes to actual illustration of something I use images, whether photos or other illustrations, as guides towards what I want to paint.

Consider Babar. If you have never heard of Babar: he is an elefant that grow up around humans, learn to walk on two feet and dress in clothes. Eventually he becomes king in his own land. A very nice set of children’s stories that teach basic ethics at the same time as being entertaining and sweet.

I have, for a longer time, been pondering to paint a classical portrait of Babar. He is a cartoony-like elephant, but only because the illustrated book was supposed to be for children, not education on the looks of  elephants.

Since I illustrate with a certain amount of realism, and try to get to the part where seeing an illustration of mine is believing the illustration, I wanted to paint Babar a little more realistic. So I went about doing a little sketch of him:

This is my sketch: Babar, now an old king, sitting infront of a fireplace in a victorian styled chair sipping a Cognac. Behind him sits the head of Rataxes a friend and enemy (it’s a complicated relationship) of Babar’s. The size of the paper, and the fact that I had not truly planned this image  much, mean that the head of Rataxes sit more behind the head of Babar then being visible.
After completing the sketch, knowing that I need to alter some things once I start painting it, I go about getting me some reference:


I find an image of a Rhinoceros, amazingly enough I find exactly the type of chair I wanted to seat Babar in, though not at the perfect angle, but still. I find three different elephant-heads, african ones, and I find a set of crown jewels (the Danish ones, but I like the Kings crown and it looks somewhat like the one I drew on Babars’ head).

I decide against using the elephants as final refferences, because I am uncertain where the images are from and whether there is a copyright on them. Normally, this would spur me to scour the internet for a massive amount of hours but my dear wife remind me that we have a zoo in the city, and that I have free admittance to it whenever I want to (one-year-subscription) and that, indeed, there are elephants there. Even though I will use the above elephants for my reference mash-up, I will still shoot new references to use once I begin the actual painting. (and on the plus-side, they also have a Rhinoceros or two at the zoo, which mean I might get some very nice photos of Rhinos as well, to use for this painting).

Now it’s time for a quick recomposition/colour-test:

In the above image, I have copy-pasted some of the references from above. I painted the clothes of Babar and the Head I had to paint because of the lighting but I did a lot of colour-picking. This stage is not really part of the painting itself, merely there to see if I “got it” or not. As such, it isn’t supposed to take that long. I believe I spent a glorious 30 minutes on getting the image above done. Obviously, the tone is very dark, but that is also partly because eventually I will look just as much on this image as the reference to get the final painting done correctly. The mash-up is meant to give a better understanding on the general look of the painting. The references are what will make the final painting come alive.

It is important for you to realize a couple of things here:

  1. This is meant to serves as a reference. I copy-pasted images in, to give me a better Idea on shapes. In the end, I might use the general tone of this, as well as using the photos copied into this document as reference, but I will paint the entire painting from scratch!
  2. I do not suggest painting over anything unless you really are starting out, and then only as practice! Don’t do paint-overs to get you “cool art that get me jobz”, because it wont. It will only tell people you aren’t good enough when they start putting pressure on you for deadlines and start seeing you painted over other peoples work, which in the end can cost them a lot of cash in the form of lawsuits and whatnot.
  3. I use reference as a visual guide, that does not men I have to stick to it rigorously all he time. There is still room for change along the way, but the reference is there to help me see things like light, shape, tone and texture.

Next time I come back to talk about reference, I will show you how I paint Babar from begin to end. With reusing the sketch as a base for the painting, painting under-layers and dead-layers, looking at the reference to get a good idea on what I need to think about with colour, lights and shapes/form etc. etc..

If you have any ideas on what to take up on this blog, or if you have any questions on this topic, other topics or such, please leave a comment and I will answer as promptly as I can.

I also wanted to know what you guys thought about Noah‘s guest-blog? Are you looking forward to the next art-hero to post one? Who are YOUR art-heroes?

Until next time,

David

Guest blogger: Noah Bradley – On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants

You don’t become an artist on your own.

Even if you lock yourself in your room and teach yourself, you’re still not on your own. You’re learning from the legacy of all the masters that have gone before you. You’re pulling on artistic traditions stretching back hundreds and thousands of years.

My art is heavily dependant on the artists that I look up to. I look up to my heroes and pick apart everything they did. I try and reverse engineer their brushstrokes, their compositions, even the ideas behind their pieces. When my art is feeling stuck I look to them for direction.

Rembrandt gave me an appreciation for rich contrast and thickly textural brushstrokes. Sargent showed me what artistic bravado really looked like. Albert Bierstadt taught me the meaning of epic and George Inness taught me the power of subtlety. Thomas Moran showed me an American ideal and Mark Rothko showed me the feeling of nothingness. Frazetta reawakened an adolescent boy and John Berkey inspired with his beautifully abstract representational paintings. Pyle taught me composition. Hopper taught me silence.

I have been blessed with countless teachers–some alive, most dead.

~Noah

This blog-entry is part of a series of Guest-blogs on Studio Colrouphobia called To be Inspired and Driven where some of the greatest influences on art today are invited to tell about their inspirations, their thoughts on art and their musings on anything related to art.

Noah Bradley is an environment concept artist & illustrator. He’s young but has already worked for an international clientele and has been accepted into the industry’s most prestigious publications. Even if you haven’t heard of Noah, chances are you have seen work he has done for Wizards of the CoastL5R or AEG.

He is part of Awesomehorse Studios which do a great job of paying it forward to anyone and everyone who want to improve their skills and careers when it comes to art.

Noah Bradley is also the creator of The Art of Freelancing, a video aid to freelancers in art.
We here at Studio Colrouphobia did a review of this instructional video not that long ago. The review is found here:
The Art of Freelancing – a review with ducks

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 759 other followers