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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!

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!

Lost for words…

Today we received ill tidings from Sweden, David’s grandfather finally lost his valiant battle against multiple myeloma. This little die-hard original söderkis was one of the sweetest men I know. He left such a profound impact on our lives, our youngest son even bares his name and our grief cannot be put into words.

We would like to thank all our friends and fans for their kind words and support. Those words can make a difference when one is struggling on..

“In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

So no elaborate post this weeks, and we do beg forgiveness if the posts the coming weeks are a tad demure. Do feel free to get inspired and join our Ars Scribendi competition here on the blog or on Facebook.

No real finished images will be posted this week. But as to not let our loyal followers be hungry, we decided to give you some idea on progress and skill-development. The first image here illustrates David’s well known “Sanguinius holding the gates” illlustration. This took almost 50 hours to complete, the Spacewolf took significant less time. It shows that even when one has developed a style of one’s own, evolution is still key.

17062014-001

And finally, a more detailed sketch of a piece currently in the pipeline.

SKETCH

Dying for dark – the darker the worse. Strange.

Mr. Beckett albeit a tad gloomy, has been the leitmotiv of the studio the past week. For some reasons, both personal and professional, a gloomy touch had entered the sacred halls of the Studio that fears no clowns.

The oeuvre of Lovecraft and Beckett has been intensely studied, resulting in some bizarre dreams, ideas, and sketches. Now to find the time to work out those concepts and post them here.

Time is illusive, and sometimes it would be amazing to be able to create more time so all these amazing projects can come to completion. Alas (and fortunately) we do have commissions to fulfill and even though they are not always our own personal visions, they tend to result in some smashing images.

For those who were guessing which two primarchs were shown a few weeks back; well we will have to disappoint you since your hunger cannot be sated this week. The image is finished, however the customer gets the first bragging rights and still needs to give their formal ok on the image. So next week, you 40K, heresy, space-marine-groupies and die hard fans will be in for a treat.  After all: “A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.” If you really cannot hold it any more: drop by at  Bolter and Chainsword and see whether the proud owners already shared it. It might also get posted on the deviantart page somewhere this week.

But do not despair if surfing and browsing is not your forte. We are more than happy to provide you a quick sketch of our next project:

 

3062014

Guess what this might be…The hint is: Space Marine. You fill in the blanks.

Also last week we promised a close-up of the Kaiju-beast entry: Finished illustration side by side with the pencil sketch.

3062014-2 kaiju_concept_1

 

What can one say…bizarre artistic interactions, create real beauties and freaks of nature, not to mention outstanding pieces of concept art.

And last two more items: we have this week one slot available for private commissions. Interested? Let us know. And feel free to use our hashtag #dontfeartheclown over on Twitter for things studio related or to just say hi.

That was all for this week folks: So tune in next week, same clown-time, same clown-channel.

 

 

12 Parsecs

…this week no Kessel run, but a lovely, sith-y image made for the illustrious and suave Mr. Dembski-Bowden.

The full res-image is reserved for Aaron, however since we are quite happy with how she turned out, bragging rights are in order and a smaller version will be on display on the blog here.

blogsize

Now a piece like this does take quite some time to make and generally goes through different stages. We tend to work with mixed media and for those who follow our sketches on TUMBLR may have seen the rough pencil sketch pass.

As the image underneath illustrates, we tweak our images quite a lot. Those who have followed the posts we made here over the past weeks, will have noticed something similar with the Kaiju sketches. Nothing is written in stone and quite a few of our sketches never move on past the sketch phase, those who do are usually transformed into something quite different.

In the case of this Sith, the original sketch was flipped, several renderings were made and discarded, but we stayed rather close to the original design.

blog-step-by-step

 

Our blog also serves as an information platform towards our clients and those who are interested in our services, and somewhere last week we received a question as to why we sometimes post we have slots open for private commissions. It might be a good moment to explain this one briefly.

We do take in corporate assignments, these are projects that usually falls under NDA, take quite some time and submerge us into a specific world for quite a while. These projects give Studio Colrouphobia the steady means of survival, however we did start off all these years ago, thanks to several private commissions and quite often, in between larger projects, these private commissions have kept us afloat.

We owe our private clients a great deal, and for that we made the decision to always have one to three slots open at all times for private commissions. We owe these types of commission so much, we do not felt like removing them completely, we did however had to lessen the amount we could take in.

Private commissions tend to be fun, short projects done for people who are passionate about their hobbies, games, books, and more. They are still, grateful breaks that quite often open up new terrains and subjects for us. Finally it is our homage to those first commissions who got us started.

So thank you to all our private commissioners!

Check back next week for some 40k updates.

 

“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-

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

So we have some exiting news for you all.

First of all, we have just ended a project for the good folks at Prodos, check them out here. The PDF offers a nice preview of the upcoming Imperial book.

As avid fans of Mutant Chronicles it was rather fun to work on the different concepts that were provided. As the books and images are released by Prodos Games, we will give you an insight in the wonderful world that was firstly illustrated by giants like Paul Bonner.

What more do we have to offer, we hear you ask. Well it would not be Studio Colrouphobia if we did not make time for some personal projects. So David took a dive into his Viking heritage and decided to go slightly “executioner” on his art.

What follows are a few concepts of Space Wolves, a Horus Heresy pack. This explains the more archaic weaponry, which we all can admit, makes a Heresy Space Wolf even cooler than the standard 40k ones. Yes we are biased…

We hope you enjoy these concepts  as much as we enjoyed creating them.

Hagalpreview Hrolf-preview PreviewJouko2 PreviewJouko

We are currently also doing a joint collaboration for the Kaiju Beast competition organised by Helpful Bear Productions. The next blog update will feature this piece of madness. So stay tuned.

Both David and me are used to working with mixed media, and quite often we start our madness with a humble pencil sketch or playing around with Copic markers. Most of these drafts do not proceed further than just, well being drafts. Since they are fun to do, we would like to share a few doodles with you. These might or might not be turned into full illustrations or paintings, only time will tell.

Big Red phoenix Balrog

We do however have a question for you followers and others. As an artist, this blog provides ample opportunity for interaction and we kind of like the format. We are however looking into tweaking and adding some extra freatures on this blog. So please leave your feedback in the comment or fill out the poll. Let us know what you think, want, and need. (more than one choice possible)

 

To make it more interesting: we will draw a winner, who will win a deck ofWarhammer Invasion cards. We will even sign the cards that were designed by the studio. So peeps, start giving your opinion. Let us know your deepest, darkest thoughts, albeit about the Studio Blog and perhaps you can crush your opponents with this swag deck.

 

And as a final note: we have slots open for commission. If you are interested, send a mail to studio.colrouphobia@gmail.com.

Until next update!

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

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