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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.


An sciar Teachtairí/ The Angel’s share

Today’s reveal is the last one before the real revelations will sart appearing.
So let’s hear it, who do you think this is?


Don’t forget to add your entry to the competition, her is the rundown of it:

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

New week, new reveals/ Ó na scáileanna

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.

This week kicks off with a new reveal.

Look at it, and if you have changed your mind about what/who it might be, and who might have said that it is in the top-five 40k-illustrations ever, please feel fre to adjust or add your guess.


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

Solas sa dorchadas/ illuminating it…

Good Morning everyone.

So the competition took off with a bang yesterday.
A lot of people answering in various places.

Please remember that an essential rule of the competition is that the answers need to be added either right here on our blogspot, or on our facebook page.

So again:

“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.

The winner will be declared on 30th of October.

Guesses of what the image shows have been interesting enough, ranging from Corax to Vulkan, past Horus, Curze, Talos and Zso Sahaal, and all the way to Ahriman and “A sorcerer”.

The general trend is someting Chaos-marine.

But remember, for the chance to win a signed print of this, you need to enter your answer here on the bog, or on our FB page.

So for todays reveal?


Tóg sé amach cheana féin!/ Sneek-peeks? Competition? Read on…

So who’s up for another puzzle-piece removal?

The guesses that have come in so far are Vulkan Hestan, Curze, Corax, Horus at the death of Sanguinius, Deathwatch Marine or a Librarian.

To give a hint, a somewhat known someone, within the Warhammer/ Wh40k circles, have seen the full image, and the comment was (with items removed for spoilers):

“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.”

So how about a competition?

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.
First correct reply win. There are timestamps both on the blog and on the FB page, so we can see who came first.
And no, the person wh said the above cannot guess…

And now, for today’s reveal..


cleite dubh/ Spread your wings, spare me a feather

Here is today’s reveal.
A Hand that a feather?

Yesterday brought some interesting Guesses.
On the Facebook-page we got guesses of a Stompa, a Salamander and even Hestan himself. Right here on the blog someone guessed Curze.

Keep them guesses coming folks, there are almost two weeks left for the final reveal…

léirigh/ the more you see, the less you will know…

Welcome, to day two of the countdown to all Hallows Eve.

Lets see the puzzle of today, and remember, feel free to comment with your thoughts on what/whom this might be :)

See you tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel..

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Faire amach an sluagh/ Halloween is coming.

So it’s that time of year where, in the northern heisphere at the very least, it feels like it is raining all the time and all you want to do is sit indoors and weather out the end of the year.

Soon time to chase out the dark with some candlelight and perhaps even an openheart to warm your feet with, whilst drinking hot chocolate with a splash of cognac in…

So here is an update from the studio.
First out is a commission that was posted a little while back on our Facebook Page :
Kalmakk, Space Wolf Deathwatch Marine

But let’s not forget that Halloween is coming up.
We have prepared a little jiggsaw for our viewers.
Feel free to make guesses. There will be a new post every day until the 30th of October, when the full image will be revealed.


Want to commission the Studio? Fill in the form!

To be Inspired and Driven

Hello there Studio Colrouphobia followers!

Today there aren’t going to be any pretty pictures in the blogpost, but I hope the text will bring something interesting to you anyway.

In an effort to give back (something I’m sure you have heard before from others) here at Studio Colrouphobia we looked at our past, present and future to see what has been important for us when it comes to art and working as artists.

Pretty fast I personally came to the conclusion that there are two things that have and continue to, play a major role for me when it comes to working with art.

Inspiration and Motivation.

When I was younger, I thrived on visuals. I was into movies, comics and games, just like most others. But what really got me into things, where the visual aspects.

When I imagined things, the more I could visualize things in my mind, the more vivid they would become and therefore they would inspire me to explore that imagination.

My first true introduction to Art, as means to work with, actually came from the Swedish version of D&D. The images and illustrations where probably not the best, but I remember the creatures they depicted very well (and they all look perfect in my head now!) and I also remember thinking:
“Wow, the guys doing this are my dad’s age. Nobody I know my dad’s age would do this unless they got paid for it. They get paid to draw!”

I had always drawn and sketched, just like most others, though I was hardly the one two scribble on walls and scream if no pen or paper was around. I just enjoyed sketching and put enough effort into it for people to notice.

At a certain age I just decided that this, doing Fantasy and Sci-fi art, for a living, was what I wanted to do.

From there on, things become a constant battle between being inspired and getting motivation, drive, to continue. Most people have a really hard time trying to become a freelancer at anything, regardless of what you do. The reasons are many- people not believing in you, lack of money to pursue that sort of career, lack of self-confidence and lack of believing in yourself (and no, those last two are not the same – one mean you do not believe you are good enough and the other that you do not believe you WILL be good enough).

So how do you solve this?
Well for one, you need to have support from your friends and family, something I know doesn’t always happend. I had luck enough to have my -then girlfriend, now- wife that has given me support throughout the past 10-12 years. That’s not always evident.
The other things you need are great sources of inspiration and causes for drive.

I had great sources for inspiration. Before the internet (yes, I’m old) there where things like “Heavy Metal“- with giants like Simon Bisley, Frank
Frazzetta and Jeffrey (Catherine) Jones. There where Roleplaying-games, with covers and interiors just giving my imagination so much to use- I was inspired by Brom, Paul Bonner, Paolo Parente and Wayne England. There where book-covers with fantastically painted images -people like Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell as
well as Luis Royo just made me feel extremely enthousiastic about improving and possibly one day be able to earn my living on art, if I could only get good enough.

Once on the Internet, I got so many more inspirators added to the list.
Traditional artists such as Donato Giancola, Dan Dos Santos and David Kassan blew me away from the moment I either discovered them or found out who those book covers where made by.
Digitalists like Andrew (Android) Jones – for his innovating techniques, Björn Hurri for his fantastic dedication and commitment, J.P. Targete for his traditionals-looking digitals, Melanie Delon for her fantastic characters, Noah Bradley for his fantastic environments, Brad Rigney for his general excellence and so many more…

They all inspired me and gave me a drive to continue, to try to become good enough to work as an llustrator for a living. I’m sure most of you have sources for inspiration and motivation. I would love to hear who they are, perhaps we share them, or I haven’t heard of them or seen their work. I am still looking for more inspirational and motivational artists to add to my list to keep me driven to learn and improve.

Well, back in the days, I had to really look for these sources of inspiration and talking here at the studio we agreed that we should try and give back some of that inspiration.

To do that, I have asked some of my art-heroes and sources for inspiration and drive to write one-time blogposts, right here on

A lot of them are busy with their work, but some have answered an will write to give you guys some inspiration. I do not know what they will write, as I didn’t want to restrict them, but the general theme for these will be “To be inspired and driven”, and every blog-post made by a guest-blogger will be on the topic of Art.

We here at Studio Colrouphobia will post these as they come in. There is no a perfect schedule for when they will come in, but we will never post more then one a day, so if you have seen a guest-blogger post here, chanses are you wont see another update on that day.

We hope you will enjoy this little treat.

Did you know that you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook? Just click on the icons below to get to the right spot!


Until Next time!

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


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