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 :)
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 :) )
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.
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:
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.
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.
…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.
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.
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.
A quick update in the wacky world of Studio Colrouphobia, providing you with you weekly fix of all things Colrouphobic.
Firstly, we have slots open for commissions, if you are interested drop us a message on Facebook or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re having a slightly more calm period at the moment, which after the hectic months feels like quite a relief. It provides us with time to work on personal projects and open up for private commissions, so if you have this idea that has been spooking around for months, now is the moment to apply since we most likely will be taking in larger orders soon again and the commission slots will lessen.
The past week we have both been working to meet deadlines; only to have the one for the Helpful Bear Productions: Kaiju Beast contest be postponed to July. Quite a rarity since we are used to deadlines being moved closer, not delayed and it left us with an unexpected gap and breather.
Feels rather silly to have stressed now, but at least it will give us a chance to tweak the image even more. Understandably we will be releasing the final image after we submitted it. But the concept sketch looks like this:
Last week we also mentioned we did some work for the peeps over at Prodos Games. The background was a Warzone/Mutant Chronicles setting for the Imperial Rulebook, tabletop miniature game.
And since we are not shy of boasting, we would like to share some images with you. For those who like Warzone, enjoy. For those who do not like Warzone, enjoy as well, as we know you will.
And last, thanks to all who have left us with various comments and feedback as to what you want to see changed on our blog. We will be taking these things in consideration and will start fiddling with some lay-out. However, we sadly have to decline the XXX’s (name removed for safety purposes :) , but yes, you know who you are ) suggestion we received on Facebook, to perhaps have more fuchsia pink on our blog. You may insert a mental eye roll here, fellow artists can such delightful pains sometimes.
Anyways, keep the feedback coming, we always like to stay in touch and are open for suggestions. Until next time: Stay Colrouphobic!
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”)
-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/
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.
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!
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-
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:
Studio Colrouphobia also has a twitter account: https://twitter.com/Colrouphobia
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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.
And now to stop on a more light note.
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.
Until next time!
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:
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-
It is, after-all, the season to be dreary.
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/
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:
– John Blanche
– Alex Boyd
– Adrian Smith
-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).
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.
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.
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”:
So I add some brushstrokes to give a hint at my figure (using the same pose as before)
It still doesnt do it, so I do a little altering and adding a coloursplash, followed by a proper silouhete (next two images)
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…
Till next time.
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Hello there Studio Colrouphobia-followers!
Today I thought I’d take a little time to talk about how I use reference. There are many things to consider about references and many rules people
mention in regards to reference, so I thought we should discuss a little about it and I will also let you know how I use reference when I paint.
Lets start with the only rule you really should think about at all times. It’s divided into three parts.
If you are uncertain about copyrights and other rights- Shoot the reference yourself! Take a camera, locate a suitable view and take a
photograph of it!
The second part of the rule is:
If you bought a book with the reference in, and unless it say anything specifically about it on the image itself or on the publication-page (Where the information about edition and publisher and where it was printed etc. can be found) about using as reference , you can use it as reference!
And the third part of the rule:
When in doubt- Do not use as reference!
Now, before moving on to discussing other things, please do remember that the moment you use a piece of reference by cutting and pasting it into your work it’s not a reference any more- it’s a manipulation, manipulation wont bring you further towards being an accomplished painter or illustrator, it wont bring you anything but sorrow down the road (mainly because eventually people will find out and, rightfully, call you a fraud).
How I use reference and why
A lot of artists will say they do not use reference, or use it sparingly. I am not yet such an accomplished artist that I could do without reference though, and many of my illustrations defy life in such a way that using life as a base for painting them would only get me so far.
So I use photos to help me get certain things correct. It could be understanding a certain type of lighting, texture or shape of something. I used to copy photographs and drawings when I was young, it is an excellent way of learning how to sketch and/or paint, to copy something that already is well done.
But that was for practice. Nowadays I still do copies on occasion, though I would rather call them “studies”. Using a photo of an apple to try to paint a similar apple
(note “similar”, not “the same”). It needs to be believable, not a copy. I also do the occasional actual copy, trying to copy a work of a master such as Rubens, Caravaggio or Rembrandt to get the idea behind their work with colour and light, or to do a copy of a Pyle or one of the Orientalists to understand composition and how to use colours to strengthen it. But these are meant as practice, for me. They are not shown outside my family (and barely even that) and are not used for anything else but to further my own skill. A boxer need to shadowbox, an athlete need to run laps, painters and illustrators need to paint.
When it comes to actual illustration of something I use images, whether photos or other illustrations, as guides towards what I want to paint.
Consider Babar. If you have never heard of Babar: he is an elefant that grow up around humans, learn to walk on two feet and dress in clothes. Eventually he becomes king in his own land. A very nice set of children’s stories that teach basic ethics at the same time as being entertaining and sweet.
I have, for a longer time, been pondering to paint a classical portrait of Babar. He is a cartoony-like elephant, but only because the illustrated book was supposed to be for children, not education on the looks of elephants.
Since I illustrate with a certain amount of realism, and try to get to the part where seeing an illustration of mine is believing the illustration, I wanted to paint Babar a little more realistic. So I went about doing a little sketch of him:
This is my sketch: Babar, now an old king, sitting infront of a fireplace in a victorian styled chair sipping a Cognac. Behind him sits the head of Rataxes a friend and enemy (it’s a complicated relationship) of Babar’s. The size of the paper, and the fact that I had not truly planned this image much, mean that the head of Rataxes sit more behind the head of Babar then being visible.
After completing the sketch, knowing that I need to alter some things once I start painting it, I go about getting me some reference:
I find an image of a Rhinoceros, amazingly enough I find exactly the type of chair I wanted to seat Babar in, though not at the perfect angle, but still. I find three different elephant-heads, african ones, and I find a set of crown jewels (the Danish ones, but I like the Kings crown and it looks somewhat like the one I drew on Babars’ head).
I decide against using the elephants as final refferences, because I am uncertain where the images are from and whether there is a copyright on them. Normally, this would spur me to scour the internet for a massive amount of hours but my dear wife remind me that we have a zoo in the city, and that I have free admittance to it whenever I want to (one-year-subscription) and that, indeed, there are elephants there. Even though I will use the above elephants for my reference mash-up, I will still shoot new references to use once I begin the actual painting. (and on the plus-side, they also have a Rhinoceros or two at the zoo, which mean I might get some very nice photos of Rhinos as well, to use for this painting).
Now it’s time for a quick recomposition/colour-test:
In the above image, I have copy-pasted some of the references from above. I painted the clothes of Babar and the Head I had to paint because of the lighting but I did a lot of colour-picking. This stage is not really part of the painting itself, merely there to see if I “got it” or not. As such, it isn’t supposed to take that long. I believe I spent a glorious 30 minutes on getting the image above done. Obviously, the tone is very dark, but that is also partly because eventually I will look just as much on this image as the reference to get the final painting done correctly. The mash-up is meant to give a better understanding on the general look of the painting. The references are what will make the final painting come alive.
It is important for you to realize a couple of things here:
- This is meant to serves as a reference. I copy-pasted images in, to give me a better Idea on shapes. In the end, I might use the general tone of this, as well as using the photos copied into this document as reference, but I will paint the entire painting from scratch!
- I do not suggest painting over anything unless you really are starting out, and then only as practice! Don’t do paint-overs to get you “cool art that get me jobz”, because it wont. It will only tell people you aren’t good enough when they start putting pressure on you for deadlines and start seeing you painted over other peoples work, which in the end can cost them a lot of cash in the form of lawsuits and whatnot.
- I use reference as a visual guide, that does not men I have to stick to it rigorously all he time. There is still room for change along the way, but the reference is there to help me see things like light, shape, tone and texture.
Next time I come back to talk about reference, I will show you how I paint Babar from begin to end. With reusing the sketch as a base for the painting, painting under-layers and dead-layers, looking at the reference to get a good idea on what I need to think about with colour, lights and shapes/form etc. etc..
If you have any ideas on what to take up on this blog, or if you have any questions on this topic, other topics or such, please leave a comment and I will answer as promptly as I can.
Until next time,
Here are some wip’s of some work that I can show at the moment.
Khullain, cropped WiP of a full figure illustration of a Storm Warden.
Cropped WiP of a full illustration, Lantern Marines Chaptermaster (Yes, he is supposed to have some features of Ozzy, there might even be glasses, hence the unfinnished eye-region).
CroppedWIP of a Black Shield Deathwatch Marine.
Until Next Time.
Hello there again,
Here are two images to let you look at something whilst I prepare for a larger-ish post later this week.
Wip for a personal illustration that is currently on hold.
a Study for something….completely different.
Anyway, it is pencil on paper. And it is not World of Warcraft.
Until next post!