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tropical colds and evolutions

or how to function in 30°C heat with a cold and runny nose…yay

First of all: One week left on our contest Ars Scribendi! We have some smashing entries already, so if you think you have what it takes to win: One week left! Final entries need to be in at midnight GMT August 1st 2014. May the muses kick-start the overdrive of your imagination and provide you with ample flow in your pen.

And fevers or not, the show that contains no clowns needs to continue. We have some goodies to show you.

The first is a work in progress and a source of both frustration and inspiration. It gives an idea on how concepts can evolve over time.

During a dull moment the challenge was uttered: Why not paint a Centaur fighting a Minotaur, it’ll be fun and different she said :)

Androgeus2010-2014

These three versions give an indication on how much a concept changes, and in it’s current form it is still being tweaked. The first one is the version from 2008/2009, the last ones are a new edition from 2013-2014. It is in an in between project, when commissions are leaving you with a space.

And those following David on Facebook, will have seen mentions about a super secret project pass by. The following bit is NOT it (a rotten thing to do, but keep checking out this blog and all shall be revealed :) )

Sanguinius2009-2014

Currently we have a remake of the known Sanguinius painting in the pipeline. The first piece, known and epic, took about 55 hours to complete. The pose is epic, but not really dynamic so the sketch is slowly being transformed into a painting. The rough colourcomp is done here, but still loads of tweaking to do.

The video shows you how the details on the shoulderpad were created, Händel our good friend will keep you company.

Enjoy!

Excelsior!

Another week, another update.

Yes, I return to dispell some orkiness from the blog and bring you a new update.

As summer rages on, the studio finds itself at a good pace. Commercial work, as well as commissions, are coming in and are being completed at a steady pace.

If you are following our Facebook Page, and our Twitter account, you should be a bit up to date with the fact that we started posting sketches through Tumblr not that long ago.

We are picking up the pace with these sketches, but they represent quick studies, moodsketches and will possibly also be more elaborate sketches in the future. It’s a good opportunity to see what some of our works start out as, and what we do for practice, fun and research. For example

If you’re interested in following our Tumblr the link is here:

Studio Colrouphobia’s Tumblr

 

In other news, we were approached to participate in a tribute to Stan Lee when he will have his last public appearance in Europe at the London Film and Comicon this weekend.

We will show our contribution next Tuesday, after the event, but the tribute comes in the form of a comicbook-sized artbooklet. The blurb and the cover can be found below:

EXCELSIOR: Steve Rude, Mark Buckingham, Alan Davis, Jose Delbo, Bryan Talbot, Mike Perkins, Chris Weston and Gary Frank are among the horde of artists from around the world paying tribute to Stan Lee on the occasion of his last European public appearance. Running to 68 pages in colour and black and white, Excelsior is a limited edition of 250 copies. It is available exclusively at the London Film and Comic Con, priced £10. If you can’t make it to the show, copies can be sent to you for £15 each (unsigned) or £80 (signed by Lee) within the UK. Email Mike Conroy at demigod@btconnect.com for full details, to enquire about price if you live elsewhere in the world and to obtain details of the originals that will be auctioned over the weekend as well as how to bid on them.

Excelsior

 

If you want the chance to win an illustration of your own narrative then our Ars Scribendi-competition is the place to be. We are receiving some stellar entries. The deadline is the first of August and the information can be found here: Ars Scribendi

What else?

How about a new private commission that just cleared for being viewed by the public?

This is called “Out of the Dust”

Complete-lowres

 

This week we have two new slots open for commissions. So if you have an idea, or want a new piece to hang on your wall, do not hesitate to contact us!

 

 

 

 

Summertime post

What can we offer you this week for your Colrouphobic fix?

Perhaps an insight in what inspires us. Last week, our city got mentioned. Since summer is an excellent time to go out and do some photography, it might be of interest to show you where we get visual cues and ideas from. So expect some photographs and how we use them the following weeks.

We also take heed to music: the right soundtrack can make painting and sketching so much easier. For those who dare we can recommend the following playlist over on youtube: Wardruna. This is music based upon Nordic and Viking spiritualism and musical traditions. For the observant ones amongst you: this music got also used in the TV-series Vikings. You do not have to be as extreme as we and have a background in Nordic languages and old Norse, however the mood in this music is extremely helpful when painting i.e. Space Marines (not just Space Wolves but in general). It is easy to envision a Black Templar emerging from the mist of battle on some far away planet when you hear the droning sound of the vocal work of Wardruna.

To be honest, we do diversify our choice of music immensely i.e. baroque music does wonders when working on a bombastic piece, and when an ork needs to be painted a good dose of metal provides the mental kick needed, the voice of Enya has accompanied us when finishing up details on a dragon’s scales…

It works for us, if you have any other tips. Feel free to share them,we welcome new artists and new music.

Yes we also mentioned the fabulous and magical O-word: Ork. In the 40k community this has been the topic of the week since the new Ork codex got released.

In a house where Orks are played and a studio where 50% of the artists devote their time on this faction, we cannot let this pass unnoticed, hence a small teaser and progress GIF to celebrate the rise of the Green tide:

speedorkspeedork

…bring on da dakka!

 

Ahem…anyways we still have a good month left on our Ars Scribendi contest and we have some brilliant entries already. It looks like competition is going to be tough and some very interesting narratives have been posted. It is going to be difficult to beat the ones we already have, but we are certain more folks are up to the challenge. It is open for everyone who has 500 words to spare. So let summertime inspire you.

Sláinte mhaith!

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The question of the week is indeed: Who is watching the watchers?

 

This week we present you a proud son of Caliban, this character was created by Joshua Zanello and more information can be found on the character’s wiki here.

Living in a house with at least one other Dark Angel fanatic we can say this illustration was appreciated by more than just the artists of the studio.

Our kind meceanas was quite clear in what he wanted on his illustration so not much needs to be explained.

lowres2

We provided the sketch a few weeks back and looking back upon the advancements made, it never seizes to amaze us what a difference some layers of colours bring in regards to depth and life. These  little moments of revelation are one of the perks of working in this business. Our customers are happy when we manage to bring their vision alive, but in all honesty: it is still a rush to see that image that is locked up in your brain, slowly starting to form on the screen or on the canvas. Living in this city, where an eclectic mix of medieval, Gothic, baroque and modern can be found everywhere, it would almost be blasphemous to not be able to do anything creative in this environment. If we need reference of some sorts, we just need to take a trip with a camera down to the city centre and we usually find what we need. So hopefully we can provide some own non-commissioned works soon, it has been a while since we posted anything like that.

On a different note: our first contributions to the Ars Scribendi contest are coming in on the blog here. The entries already look promising, we cannot wait to see what more we shall receive, after all the deadline is still more than a month away.

Looks like summer is going to be bearable after all…

 

“Winter is Coming.”

…well summer more likely, but just love that quote having lived in Sweden, where no matter what, temperatures are always a tad chilly. Currently we are experiencing some nice sub-tropical temperatures here in Western-Europe, the windows are opened and the sounds of (urban) nature are definitely leaving a mark on the items we currently produce.

The quote however does apply to a private commission currently being produced. A nice bit, depicting an alternative Heresy than the canon 40k one, and for which we are happy to provide some snippets from.

GH-crop2 GH-crop1

The full image will appear on next week’s blog or at worst the week after that one. The client must, after all, have the right to parade the image around before we post it here.

If you can guess the Primarchs involved, you might understand why the “Winter is coming” quote applies.

Also, we have decided, since we are such nice peeps here, to provide you with some details from the Kaiju Beast contest. Last week we posted the linework/sketch and now we give you an insight on how it looks coloured in.

Kaiju-crop

We are handing the final piece in somewhere next week, no point in keeping it around even when the deadline is more than a month away. We entered the competition to do something different, as a personal challenge, so not per se to win. Would be nice, but was not our prerogative.

And as a quick intermezzo: we are posting some of our sketches over at TUMBLR, nothing fancy but for those who are interested: feel free to drop by and add us.

And finally a question to you, our loyal reader: Do you have any ideas for some kick-ass piece of artwork that we should produce? Any movies, games, books and whatnots that are coming out this year, or have come out and by a shear fluke of nature, we missed out on, that YOU would like to see something rendered from?

We are currently looking for some fun projects to fill out the daily routine, so any input is more than welcome.

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance;

they make the latitudes and longitudes.

-H. D. Thoreau-

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: https://www.facebook.com/HorusHeresyProject

Below you will find two concepts, a Terminator and a regular Space Marine, bth of the Blood Angels Legion, 5th Chapter.

Underneath these concepts, you will find three varients of a pitch–illustration, meant to go Games Workshops way.
I’d love to hear which one you like the best, and why!

If this gets enough support and the favour of GW, it might turn into a paid project, in which case I hope to be part of it, but until then, you migh see sketches from time to time on their FB-page and on the blg, just don’t count on it happening every week. Paid work unfortunately have to come first…

Terminators
terminator-turnaround-presentation

Regular Space Marine
SpaceMarine-turnaroundpresentation

Sanguinius facing Ka’Bandha

With a Flameshaped Sword/ Kris sword
SanguiniusKris

With a burning sword
SanguiniusFlamingSword

With the “Classic” Sanguinius Sword
SanguiniusClassicSword

All of the above images are produced for DesignStrike UK
Wrhammer 40k, Space Marines and Sanguinius are Copyright to Games Workshop
Painting by David Sondered, StudioColrouphobia.net

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

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

Samhain / Halloween illustration reveal and winners

Today’s blogpost features the final reveal of the Halloween illustration, along with announcing the winners of the competition.

Let’s start by revealing the who the commenter of the artwork was:

As most all of you guessed, it was Aaron Dembski-Bowden!

So, without further wait, we give you-

    Konrad Curze / Night Haunter

HalloweenSpecialPuzzle-complete
That’s now what Curze looks like in my head.
Just breathtaking.
Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

Some honorary mentions, guesses from over-all over the internet:

“Ah, I see it now. It’s Cap’n Crunch.”

“Still sticking with Darkwing Duck”

“Calling it right here and now. It’s the Great Pumpkin King”

Jokes aside, here are the winners:

Big prize winner (Fullsize poster, signed and sent directly to him/her)

Alexander Leleux – first guess and got it spot on right away.

Runner-ups (Other poster from Studio Colrouphobia, also signed and sent directly to him/her)

Daniel Jennewein
Alex Woodard
Sam Musgrove
Jason Rowlands

We will be contacting you shortly to sort out how to send the prices to your location.

For the rest of you guys-

Thank you for making your guesses. Let us know what you thought of this competition and what you would like to see from us in the future.

Is é an deireadh in aice/The end is near

Today we see the second-to-last piece of the puzzle vanish.

We have a couple of guesses for the competition, please remember that you need to anwer right here on the blog, or on our FB page.

HalloweenSpecialPuzzle-29
“Throne of God, that’s fucking breathtaking.
I… Fuck, what can I even say? It’s in the Best Five 40K artworks I’ve ever seen. And bear in mind how tired I am of [SPOILERS] and how [SPOILERS]… and I still think that’s the best [SPOILERS] artwork I’ve ever seen in my life.
Soulful. Beautiful. Incredible.”

“No, more than that. It’s definitive. That’s now what [SPOILERS] looks like in my head.
Just breathtaking.”

The person who guesses who said the above, along with what/who is on the final artwork, will win a signed print of the artwork once it is revealed. Signed and sent directly to their home address, wherever in the world they live.

The Answer need to be logged right here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

UPDATE-

There will be four runner-ups, for a total of FIVE winners. One will receive a signed poster of the illustration being revealed sent to them as per above. The other four will win another illustration, signed, sent to them. The illustrations for winner 2-5 will not neccesarily be 40k related, but if they already have a poster of ours, they are adviced to let us know so that we can make sure they won’t have duplicates.

The winners will be declared on 30th of October. That’s tomorrow folks!

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