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A lesson in studio anatomy

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.


A little red project

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:

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…


Regular Space Marine

Sanguinius facing Ka’Bandha

With a Flameshaped Sword/ Kris sword

With a burning sword

With the “Classic” Sanguinius Sword

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,

“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.

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.
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:

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.

Until next time!

Studio Colrouphobia also has a twitter account:
Studio Colrouphobia also has a Facebook-page:

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.


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

The Art of Freelancing – a review with ducks!

So I thought I’d take the time to do a little review of the Art of Freelancing by Noah Bradley.
Let me begin by giving some background on Noah Bradley, for the rare occasion that you wouldn’t know who he is.
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 Coast, L5R or AEG.

I first heard of Noah as part of an event on, where he was described with(paraphrased):

This guy came last year to the illuxcon convention, his portfolio wasn’t really that focused but he took the criticism and came back the next year and blew us away with his updated portfolio!

Since then I have seen him around (or rather his work and his activities) on the internet. 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.

You should really check his work out, and generally, I tend to listen to any advice he gives, because he is not that many years further into his career than me, but he has attained success faster. He also seem to be a generally nice guy, which is always a plus.
That was a bit of background on the creator of the Art of Freelancing video.
So for the review-

For $57 you get

  • a 5 hour lecture on freelancing (.mp4 format in a .zip archive | 422MB).
  • Access to an extensive (and constantly updated) list of freelancing resources.
  • Subscription to an exclusive mailing list that feature FAQs and supplemental content.

Noah also gives a 100% Money-back-guarantee on this product, should we in any way be dissatisfied about the purchase.

The topics covered in the Art of Freelancing are:

  • How do I break into the industry?
  • How much should I charge?
  • What should I put in my portfolio?
  • Am I too old to start?
  • How do I deal with bad clients?
  • Do I need a contract?
  • Should I work for free?
  • How do I know if I’m ready?
  • What if my client doesn’t pay?
  • How do I start networking?
  • Should I go to art school?

The bad
Let’s cut to the bad parts first. There aren’t that many, so let’s get them over with right away.

This is a double-edged sword, really. Noah has made this into a video but beyond one or two websites popping up as text on the screen, as well as headlines in white on a black background, the entire video is void of visuals. On the one hand, this is good, I can work at the same time as listening to the video. On the other hand, it feels a little like overkill to have it formatted as a video when all I really need is in the form of audio. Space could have been saved (when downloading a video it just is a larger size then a pure audio) and the information provided in text could have been provided in an added text-file, or just plain on the resource-website. Granted, sometimes it is handy to have the info of a website pop up directly on screen, it really isn’t that much of a fuzz to go to the resource-website to find the same link there.

The resource-site
This is just a personal note, and probably has to do with that I bought the video quite late, but it doesn’t seem to have been updated at all since I got my copy and access.

I haven’t gotten any mails from this, though given that this is exlusive content and being a freelance artist myself I know that can be long in between more exclusive material being there.

In short, the three “complaints” I have are really minor and don’t even cause me any trouble because the rest…

…The rest, my friends, is brilliant!
Now before anything else, let me say this: This video wont get you work!
You wont buy this video, watch/listen to it and magically get art directors calling you up with your dreamjobs.

What it will do, is it will give you clear and honest advice on the things to think about, do’s and don’t’s, suggestions that can make or break your career. It is easy for me to look at the list of topics given and answer some of  them with “Yes/No” or a one-line-answer, but what Noah does goes far beyond this. He gives us reasons behind why, offers concrete examples from his own experience and he covers it all!

Young and old, new and experienced
I believe this is aimed more at the beginning freelancer, but being in the middle-of-my-career I really feel almost every topic Noah bring up are valuable to me. Talking to some of the people who also bought the video, ranging from aspiring to freelance professionals the general feeling is one of being glad they put the money down for this and that it already paid off.

Is it for me? I’m a Conceptartist/Illustrator/Designer!
Yes, Noah takes up differences between various types of freelance artists. He even gives you a heads-up for when it is going to be directed specifically towards certain types of freelancing. I listened it all through, though. It was worth it.

Is it worth it?

You should buy it as soon as you can. If you do not have the $57 to use today, save up for them! If you live in Europe, think about the fact that the dollar currently is weak in comparison to the Euro = Double gain! (Value plus less costly currently)
Generally, when buying something from abroad, keep an eye on the exchange-market, you’d be surprised how many times you can make good deals just on account of a certain currency being low in comparison to your own, even during recession-times.
You will notice Noah mentioning some key-important things to put money on in the video, you need to save up for them also. Trust me on that, I have had the same experience as Noah with that.

All-in-all review:



10/10 Go there, take a look at the 30 minute free part from the 5 hour video. It was all I needed to convince me.

And if that doesn’t make you want to save up for it, here is a review by Jon Schindehette, Art Director at Wizards of the Coast -

Artorder review of the Art of Freelancing

Unholy Alliances – Speedpaintings

Hello there.
I thought I’d give you something to rest your eyes on whilst we prepare for future posts.
I have been doing these very quick sketches lately, trying to get lighting right and not caring too much about proportions or accuracy as far as design goes.
I decided to take the three speeds I did last and put them together to a little triptych, though at first they did not really fit with each other.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Warhammer 40k universe, the first two from left are normally what’s called “Loyalists” or “the good guys”. The guy on the far right is most definitely one of “the bad guys”.
So I made the three of them lean more towards “bad” then “good”, removing insignia’s of the two first ones, adding more scratches and a hint of…. evil ominous-ness.

These types of speed-paints have proven to be extremely relaxing to me as they take no more then 2-3 hours and I just go with the flow whilst painting them. Very generous as far as breaks, things to paint on now and then between work.

Hope you like,


Dragons, maidens and faeries – Where to begin with art and inspiration?

Hello blog-readers,
David here and the time has come for another blogpost!
It has been a while (again) and there are schedule-related reasons for this.
Because of these reasons, we are restructuring the postingorder.
Monday sketchposts will remain as they are and, hopefully, continue to be
posted every Monday for your enjoyment.
Wednesday blogposts will move to Thursdays due to it being more fitting in
the week for us schedulewise. Thursday blogposts, then, will not happen
every week unless we have a mass of things to share with you.
Thursday blogposts will also be alternated with tutorial posts so eventually
we think these will become more or less weekly anyway.

This week I thought I’d show you some completed work, as well as let you
know some excellent pages on the internet to improve your skill as an artist
whether professional or happy amateur.

This lady-knight on a blue dragon, is my sister-in-law. It’s a gift to her
and since she likes dragons I thought I’d paint her riding a dragon.
If you remember well, you have seen a couple of compositional sketches for
this painting in an earlier blogpost. The makings of this painting has been
veiled in secrecy, to not let her know it in advance we had to fake
referenceshoot with a sword and “tring to figure out lighting” with a
camera to get good face-reference.
The reference used for the dragon was a blue-white monitorlizzard,
to get the scales and colours correct.
The final illustration will be printed and given to my sister-in-law as a
birthdaypresent. This will also go into my portfolio, and if enough people
are intrested, might make a limited-run as a poster or print.

Next up is a little something that I think you will recognize.

This is the beginnings of completing the illustration I made in pen on paper
into a fully painted illustration. I am doing this as a test to see how far
I can move the digital medium toward traditional painting. Using the Flemish
technique in digital form, I took the pencilsketch, added a light
yellow/olive “imprimatura” cover over it (after having lessened the opacity
of the lines to make them barely visible).
I then flattened the entire painting, duplicated the layer and used the
real-bristle brushes in Photoshop CS5 to do a two layered underpaintig in
This, of course is an aproximation of the colours, and I am doing a lot of
trial and error. Finally (up to this point) I am doing what is called a
“dead layer”. A Grayscale painting with a hint of cool respective warm tones
to lay as a base for the final painting.
This might seem timeconsuming, but the truth behind it all is that I want
to see how close one can get to the traditional means of painting using pure
digital means.
It is not going to be a substitute, and I am not expecting it to look like a
traditional oil-painting once done, but to evolve one must break with ones
patterns and try out some new things. This is how we get ideas and evolve.
What I am expecting to get out of this is an improved workflow, better
colourmanagement and perhaps a more subtle way of painting skintones.
As far as painting skintones, this way of painting will not be more
timeconsuming for me then what I already go through, so possibly it might
help me speed things up.
The Ahadi-painting is a personal piece, and something that I work on on-and-off.

And here is a sketch of something I am painting for a client.

This is going to be the cover for a tabletop miniature skirmrish-game called
Scrapyard. More about that in a later blogpost.

In other, artrelated, news, I am also making an illustration for something
called Feast of Blades:
This illustration will be featured in our next free tutorial and so I’m
saving images for that post. Hope you do not mind.

So with the art displayed, let’s get back to a topic I have promised
Where on the net can you learn to improve, reach out to the crowd you want
and generally get hints and tips on what to do to have more fun and success
with painting or doing art in general?
Let’s start with some of the heavy hitters-

The blogspots where you can just get buckettoads of information:
(and bucketloads,if you rather would have that!)
This is the big one ladies and gentlemen. Although there are forums such as, which I wholeheartedly suggest you check out if you haven’t
already, muddycolors is just the best spot to find information, inspiration
and help with just about anything in your art-aspirations.
Essentially, it’s a blog where several professional artists joined together
to post inspiration, ideas and information on what to think about when you
do art.
It’s not the names that make the place, though there are some impressive
ones: Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Arnie Fenner, Jesper Esjing, Petar
Meseldzija and Greg Manchess to name some of them.
No, it’s the information and what they share that makes this worth it!
Mostly, the information is concerning traditional painting when a choice
between digital or traditional has to be made, but in general, the
information and inspiration can be used for any medium. Ranging from
exhibitions to check out to how to compose, set your digital version of art
to best suit printing, through art critiques on readers works and all the
way down to how to handle turpentine and the dangers with it.
In short, the amount of goodness that comes from this blogspot to anyone
interested in doing art is just astounding.
Possibly not as known as muddycolours, Enliighten is a great place to
learn art. Mike “Daarken” Lim (Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard Entertainment,
Fantasy Flight Games, BioWare, Mythic etc.) decided to give back to the
community through giving awa free tutorials and discussions on art on his
boards. This is great resource for anyone beginning with art.
Jon Schindehette’s, Art Director at Wizzards of the Coast, exemplary
blogspot for helping aspiring artists and freelancers with tips, tricks and
challenges to get better at reaching future clients. This spot is just as
useful as the muddycolors spot, except this is more directed to those who
want to make art for a living.
Artorder used to be on ning, but has now moved to wipnation.
Dave Rapoza began with crimsondaggers and, together with his friend, Dan
Warren, they set up competitons, art-critiques and general awesomeness.
I found out about CrimsonDaggers through Daves Livestreamchannel, , which is also filled
with awesomeness. Metal, awesomeness and painting. Like Artorder,
crimsondaggers used to be something all on its ow, but has now also got a
spot at wipnation.
Speaking of awesome, awesomehorsestudios is also a good spot to find info
and critiques at. For me, this spot had a little less to offer since they
do their critiques live, and you can watch episodes for free as they air,
but have to pay (albeit a smal sum) to watch thm later. Unfortunately I sit
on the wrong side of the earth to be able to justify watching these live.
The really great one for me was watching their interview-athon at illuxcon
(found here:,
As a freelance artist this gave me so much. It was also cool to see some of
the persons I have worked with, as well as some I’d like to work with, even
if it wasn’t pressing hands. Emails are useful, but sometimes a little
Awesomehorsestudios also has a spot at wipnation, but be sure to check out
their own website. There is something for everyone there!

A little edit here: Thanks to Marc from Awesomehorsestudios for letting us know
that all episodes from Season 2 on are now free, live and always.
You can see everything up at
Thanks Marc!

Online Galleries and their use:
Online galleries can be really useful for the aspiring artist. It can give
help through comments and critique. It can give exposire and it can be
rewarding to exchange art with other artists.
Here are some of my favourites and their use.
In my opinion, this is the best gallery currently. I might be wrong, there
might be something more suitable for getting more exposure and contacts
with potential clients, but currently the entire website just flows with
proffessionalism, ease and goodness. Mainly aimed at professionals, I was
lucky to get an invitation in the early days, but my bias towards cghub has
more to do with the way you can mark your artwork (time it took to complete,
lists of medium-including programs used, etc.) and the fact that it is
really easy to manouver once you get a hang of it. Nowadays you can get an
account on cghub without an invite and if you want to go professional I
think this is the place you should put a portfolio-gallery at.
The forums of cgub are probably underrated, as I find something useful or
inspiring there verytime I check them out.
Here is a link to my own profile on cghub:
This gallery is still fighting some early hickups, but in my opinion it is
still worth being there. There are several reasons for this: Many helpful
blogs or webspaces have recently aquired a spot under wipnations wings.
(see above), but the galleries can stand on their own. The most powerful
thing about wipnation, at this moment, is the opportunity to do redline
critiques. Redline critique is when you see something that you think
should/could be improved in an image and you take a red tool (for instance
photoshop brush) and paint on the image to show what you mean. Wipnation
allows for this in their own galleries, something that is really useful for
the aspiring artist.
This is a feature I miss on just about every other gallery online. If you
want to check out my own meager wipnation gallery, it is here:
I think it is safe to say that almost everyone into art knows about
deviantart nowadays. This place has it’s plus and minuses. For one, it is
large. This is very useful if you wish to find something inspiring. Chances
are you can find it on deviantart. The downside is that you might have to
search for it for a long time if you want something more specific.
Exposure, this is a tricky one. If you manage to get the eyes of a few
people, there is a chance you will get more exposure. For me, I had the
fortune of getting into th semifinalists in a huge competition on
deviantart. After that I just got more and more watchers. I am still not
getting as much exposure at deviantart as I would want to, but it is still
a useful tool for other things.

Pure inspiration?
The above gallries are for you to put your works in, and to look through
works of contemporary artists.
How about spots where you can check out the old masters, or where you can
get help with anatomy and such.
There are a multitude of such places on the internet, and so I share with
you only two such places:
Webgallery of art is a great place to see art from museums all over the
The first link leads to their mainpage, the second link directly to their
search engine. Explaining how to search will take a lot of time, so just
experiment, it’s worth it! is just pure gold.
This blogspot has really collected a great set of images, whether photos
or artwork, for an aspiring artist to check out and use for studies and
learning more.
for anatomy pictures and for
photoreference. Be advised that there is nudity or images deemed unsuitable
for the younger crowd in this spot.

I think that is about whatI have to give you today.
Until next time!

The joys of freelance – As time goes by

Hello again, time for another blogpost from Studio Colrouphobia.

It has been a while and for that we are sorry. The truth is tat it comes with the territory, being a freelance-company mean that sometimes we are just crammed with work and has little time to do anything else. The past two weeks have been such a time.


First things first: The reaction to the tutorial we last posted has been varrying but in general it was received with thanks and praises.

The main concern voiced as the lack of detail and in-depth description, as well as “tips” on how to paint like this.

The lack of depth an detail to the tutorial comes down to what we earlier explained is in store for the future:

Some free tutorials, and some with a cost to them.

To be able to motivate the tutorials, we need to look at the time it takes to create them. As every hour of work counts in this business, most of the free tutorials will be more like walkthroughs of paintings painted in the studio anyway, mostly portfolio-pieces or commission-work that do not have an NDA or where the NDA no longer keep us from showing the illustration.

These tutorials will be less detailed, with less explanation and not loaded with tips and magic sollutions to become a great illustrator. We do, however, feel that these will be invaluable for the beginner-up-to-intermediate illustrator as it will give you anything in the range of inspiration to tidbits you didn’t know.


The paid tutorials will be more descriptive, most of them will also be in the form of videos with voiceover to guide you through more detailed help. Some of these will still be aimed towards the beginner or the intermediate illustrator, but thse will also suit the intermediate to “almost-pro” crowd to a bigger extent.


Finally, the workshops will be tailored to your needs, they will include individual feedback and help on a level that only face-to-face tutoring could out-do (and we have face-to-face workshops in mind for the future as well).



Wen it comes to “tips on how to paint like you do”, there is only one thing that will help you achieve the level of ability you wish to reach and that is practice.


So we hope you are up for the future tutorials and workshops from us, we certainly are!



And now for some works.

This time it is a little limited, as mentioned earlier, there has been a lot of work and deadlines that had to be met the past two weeks, all of which still is under NDA, but here are some further painting on Arbaal (with details). This painting is still not done, mind you, and has quite a bit left to go.

Arbaal the undefeated WiP , by David Sondered

WiP with detailshots click to zoom


And this is a very quick sketch of a Chaos Terminator.



Next time we will probably have a sketch to show you of a current commission that has the benefit of not being under NDA.


Until then!

First tutorial -or- Extra Mayo with that!

-Posted by David

Hello there people, David here with a little update. So last time we posted something, we had a couple of questions added: We wanted to know whether the readers of this blog  where interested in tutorials and workshops, both free and paid.  The response was good, just not in comments on here.

In the numerous forums that I personalty post on, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, there have been quite some answers to the questions, some in posts, most in private messages. You have also asked questions such as: What’s your favourite art galleries online, how do I protect my art and are there any art-tutorials or websites you recommend for me?

In the future I will let you all know what my personal favourite art-galleries online are, as well as giving info on how to protect your artwork and other tutorials or places to find good tutorials. But this time around, I thought I’d give you a bit of a tutorial myself. For free, to show what the future has in store for you.

(1) I wanted to paint Arbaal, a follower of Khorne in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. To get into it fast I opted to use another painting as a base, I don’t always do this, but it helps to find new things fast and it can really help to get the base values down quick and easy. So I decided to use the Angron painting I just finnised before the hollidays. This character is also follower of Khorne, but in the Sci-fi setting of Wh40k, I thought it was fitting.

-Note: if you are doing a painting in this way, make sure the the original plate, i.e. the painting or photo you start with, is YOURS. This is of particular importance if the painting is for commercial purposes. It also helps covering all your bases when it comes to copyrights and protecting your artwork. Remember, if you don’t steal, then others are more likely to not steal from you.-

(2) I then made the painting grayscale, copied the background and flipped it, setting the second layer to divide at a low opacity. To get to this I experimented with various settings on the layer, ranging through every layer setting and testing at opacity of 30%, 50%, 80% and 100%. Once content with what I had, I fine tuned the opacity to get to this mirrored image.

(3) I decided I didn’t want to make a portrait of Arbaal. He is a very real character in the game, as he has been a playable character (Something Angron hasn’t been) and as such I wanted to show some action. Cue copy/paste and shrink the top layer. This way I keep some of the tones I had, making the image keep in the same range all over.

(4) It looks a little dark, I want to keep the most of the painting at a middle range throughout most of the initial stage. With the portraits series it is easy to keep everything dark and just paint up to light values, but for this I need to maintain a certain atmosphere also. So I take another of my paintings; enlarge it to only show a background section, copy it into the document and set the layer to divide. I move the layer around a little to see how things look. Once content I flatten the image, duplicate the layer and save.

-At this point, I’d like to point out that if you can, and want to, keep the layers. I have learnt to just paint over my mistakes and so I flatten constantly. That way I can also paint at very high resolutions on my slow machine.-

(5) I see something in there, lets paint up the bottom background to look like there could be fire there. Fire good! Then add the typical Khornate helmet-guards. Maybe he is swinging his axe and he should sit on a Flesh-hound of Khorne, let’s add a hint of that in there also.

(6) A bit too bright anyway, darken a little and add in a demon-head for the hound. I used reference for Arbaal, the only one there truly is is of a miniatuer from way back. Hence I wanted to do some re-design. For a while I was pondering horns on the Fleshhound instead of a fleshy collar, since Fleshhounds come in various forms.

(7) Darken it down a little more, mainly to get some details out on the demon-body.

(8) Defining the head of the Flesh-hound a little more, adding some bright to the background again, I want that fire there. Did you notice I dropped the arm?

(9) All right, all Chaos Warriors that have a cloak seem to have fur-cloaks when I look through the internet for ref. So why not? It will bring a bit of character. Also, he need to hold the beast in some reigns and I still want an axe for him. So I paint that in. It looks good in the brighter areas, this way I can also keep his outlines a little less detailed since the bright background will make all sit well in space, at the same time as it makes the character seem more three dimensional.







(10) I didn’t like the background at all, too stagnant. So I added outlines of some structures. I make a mental note that this could be Praag at “the siege of Praag”, since Arbaal was present at the time. I also add the collar for the Hound proper, and decide I want to keep the front of the hound in this pose, but make it a little more flowing. A tail is added.

(11) Making some changes to te values to show more detail. The chain he has to “steer” the Hound with is added, twirling around its horns and through the mouth. I add spikes to the right-side shoulderguard, define the helmet more. Spikes on the axe, symbols of Khorne. I make the collar a bit more majestic and add some spikes and details to the body of the hound.

(12) First colourpass. This is something for an upcoming tutorial, but to get the colouration I use a hard-light layer. Watch out for tutorials and workshops on how to fully utilize this technique in the future.





(13) Second colourpass, after having flattened and saved the painting once more, I duplicate the background and paint onto it. I lessen the colours somewhat on the armour and begin to incorporate complementary colours of green and yellow/brown. At this point I am not too worried about the saturation as I am opaque-ly painting over it later.

(14) I had a skull on the left-side shoulderguard but I didnt like it. Que paint something else in. A new skull!

(15) And here is where we start to lessen the saturation somewhat. This is the last image in this tutorial as I am still painting this, but in the future there will be more tutorials coming. The free ones will be more loose and not go so much into details, much like this one was. In the workshops and paid tutorials I will go much more in depth and there will also be room for questions and one-on-one help. But more about that in the future.





For now, here is a final image, the 100% version of Arbaal’s face:

(Click to enlarge)

And that’s it for today. If you enjoyed this little tutorial, please let us know in the comments below. Also, if for some reason you cannot post a comment, or if there is anything else you feel we need to know, you can always mail us at and let us know, so we can look into it.

Now go back, enjoy reading it again, click the images to see them bigger and let us know what you think!  Next Wednesday, some of my favourite Art-Galleries online!


Do you want fries with that?

At the dawn of a new year Studio Colrouphobia is looking to do more for the public then last year.Though our efforts to produce quality illustration for companies remain, we decided that this year is the year to give back to the community. One example of this are workshops on how to paint digitally. Some of these workshops will be free (more like tutorials really) and some will have a small cost attached to them.
 To add to this we are also going to put forward a few more posters for sale, as up to date there have been a couple of posters available for purchase.This will alter as we add the portraits series to our range.This is also where the thoughts of YOU become important. We want YOU to tell us what subjects you would like to see in future posters.
To give you an example of the limit of detail we are putting on these posters, here is a WiP for something new:

So let us know through the comments what you would like to see. Perhaps you’d like to see your favourite manga-character in our distinct style, or perhaps Transformers are your thing. Or something else.

Let us know in the comments below and we will do our best to meet your interest. We are also pondering to make posters in the A3 format. Currently, all our posters are at sizes A4, which is great to kick the prices down a little more. It was also a necessity as our older posters where painted at a lower resolution then currently.

Now our question is: Would you like to see future posters come at sizes A3 also, at a slight price-increase?

Please let us know in the comments below.
In the near future we will make purchase easier by adding a store.Of course if you happen to run across us at a convention, our posters will be even cheaper. keep an eye out for our con-agenda.
These are our initial plans, but we need more info from YOU as to what else we can do to give back to the community. Do you have an idea as to what we could do to make you enjoy our work more? Let us know in the comments.

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