Tag Archive | Work in Progress

Thunderbolt and lightning (very very frightening…)

Busy days at the studio.

With deadlines passed and more work ahead, let’s take a break and look at how something comes to life.

A page comes to life

So as you know, Aaron and David are doing a webcomic together, the Road to Jove, and the prologue is being updated every Friday.

So how does a comicpage come to life?

In David’s case it starts with a loose sketch, based on the script:


After re-reading the script, David realise that there is one more panel on this page (note to any aspiring comicbook artists, always read the script proper, making sure nothing is continuing on the following page in the script!)

So another quick sketch is made, to make the panels sit better on the page:


After taking the sketch into Photoshop, some adjustments are made to make sure it fits on the page-template:


References for the backgrounds are found, if necessary (in this case, some references for abandon factories are taken from Google and own photos, to make sure all angles of machinery and items make sense), and the background of each panel is painted in:


Discussing with Aaron, it is decided that the figures are to be let out of the last panel, leaving only the crucified people and crows for viewing.

The figures are painted in and now all that is needed are the text-bubbles:


After adding in the bubbles a new page is completed, ready to be published:


Details vanishing

During the painting of this page, Aaron and David realised, for the first time, that the downside about the comic-format is that you need to be able to make sure everything reads. The viewer need to see what is happening, and sometimes this means removing details, or, a lot more time effective, not to paint in details that either removes clarity, or can’t be seen on the final page due to size.

Here is a visually good example of how “details” look on a finished and published page, in comparison to the original size:


The above is the final, published size. As you can see, the panels display the figures, and there are hints at details (click on the image for a full size view).

Here is the original size David painted it in (again, click for the right size):


A lot of the details are very rough, and some aren’t even visible on the published page (such as the markjings on the chest of the robot, which are barely seen on the published page, yet obvious on the original size).

So now you know a little more. If you wonder anything, just ask in the comments and we will try to help or explain.


We still have spots open for 100€ commissions. Feeling like you need an interesting piece of digital art? (Single character, simple background) Let us know! These kind of commissions help us evolve, quite often our clients give excellent briefs and have creative ideas regarding things we haven’t thought of. So take the chance :)

For anything outside of those specs, or if you need any information not covered here, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.

Please note that Studio Colrouphobia will not do any paid commissions based on any IP’s not allowing any reproduction and/or derivative work.

Whoohoo, we’re rich…or some such…


Life is getting back to it’s normal routine after vacation. Mails have been piling up and some sorting needed to be done. Amidst all the junk and commercial mail we encountered a message from a certain Nigerian prince indicating we are his only relatives and we can inherit a fortune if only we give our bank-details…wow :)

First reaction was one of amazement: that mail is still doing the rounds? That felt rather comforting, almost like meeting an old acquaintance, like somethings never die and the internet, despite it’s fleeting character, has some consistency to it. Next conclusion: wow, they must’ve finally ran out of e-mail-addies and doing the rounds again in case they missed some the first time around :)

With this mail and the following S. Adams quote (yeah the Dilbert guy :) ) we came to the conclusion that we have gotten some pretty bizarre requests during the years and thought we might share some gems with you. We shall call this category:

I get mail; therefore I am. (S.Adams)

Here are a few questions received by David:

  • “I have a loose idea: essentially I want you to paint me violated.” We respectfully declined this one. 
  • “She should look like she is in agony, not having an orgasm.” Alterations to the piece were made. Up to this day we still cannot see what the client saw  :)
  • “If you paint it in gray-scale, I can colour it in later.”

And here a few from the canvas scene as reported by Natasja:

  • “If you paint on paper and use watercolour, instead of oil on canvas. Will it cost less?” No, it is the amount of time spent that makes up the lion-part of the cost of a painting, not so much the materials.
  • “Does it have to be this yellow?” (Was a desert scene, oil-painting photo referenced)
  • “Do you paint nudes and can I pose? Photo’s do not do me justice.” Person was slightly to eager and overzealous to pose nude. Received naked images for quite a while there, each one captioned “this does not do me justice.” :) Eventually no portrait was made due to clients financial situation.

Now these are just 0.01% of the mails we have received over the years as a studio. It is however remarkable how much more educated our clientele has become, the majority of our customers whether private or corporate are very clear and professional. Most communication really helps us in furthering our artwork. Of course we have grown into this as well, but recently we have not received odd requests and comments. But who knows, perhaps like the Nigerian Prince they will reoccur once and a while.

Anyways, what has the studio been up to the past days?

We can give another glimpse of the super secret Aaron & David project:


More details will follow, this is just an initial concept. Loads of concepts in the pipeline atm.

And number two we can share is the initial sketch for our Ars Scribendi contest winner (yay!) When this piece is finished we will dedicate an entire post to it. So stay tuned.


For our private customers, last week we had no takers for our discount commissions (mostly due to our vacation° so the last two discount slots are still open. They will vanish after this week, so be fast or they be gone :)

And now to quote Tigger: TTFN!


Stop, in the name…


Another week has passed.

We are still working on both professional jobs, and private commissions, but keep an eye out for updates and sketches on Facebook, Twitterand Tumblr. We are also trying to enjoy the weather, which is difficult when all you can do is singing in the rain right now.


This might interest some of you-

The sideproject David is doing that we have mentioned in recent posts is going well. So well, in fact, that they have decided to let a little of it be revealed. First of all, this is really a side project that David and Aaron is dabbling with it on their spare-time.

That’s right, Aaron Dembski-Bowden and David decided to try to come up with something new together. We’re not going to reveal all about this just yet, but we thought you might like to see some of the initial concepts. Look to the Facebook pages of Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Studio Colrouphobia, and this blog and that of Aaron for future updates.

But you wanted to see some images, right? The above snippet is a hint at something with a stop-sign. And below are some initial concepts for a character.




If you are interested in private commissions we have two slots open this week and those are also the two last slots open with 100 Euro discount. First come, first serve.

For more info and contact, go to the bottom of the About page and send us a message through the contact form.


Tell us what you think about todays blogpost. Use the form on the about page (link in sentence just above this) or through our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your input.

Next week will see a few first steps for the Ars Scribendi Contest Winner. Until then, enjoy your week!


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You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The Deadfields

This is the name of the winner of our contest, Ars Scribendi.

Please give it up for Dave B, who brought this home.

This narrative was inventive, left things to imagination whilst still buildin up a nice setting. Simply put, there was no argument when we decided this to be the winner.

During the next couple of months, David will be illustrating parts of this narrative (as it spans over a longer scene), and will be making a walkthrough of how the illustration comes to fruition. Once it is done, we will print it, sign it and send it to Dave so he can hang it on a wall of choice.

A couple of honourable mentions

Of course all entries where excellent, but there where some that stood out. These are, in no particular order, the stories we judged very good, but just not reaching up to “The Deadfields“:

Javascripters narrative (un-named)- describing a very interesting scene of hunting down a plant-beast.

Nathan Robsons narrative- The Necromancer and the Ribbon Dancer

John Malones narrative- A Survivor of the Wastes


Closing in on late summer

Things are starting to pick up again for the studio. Fresh work is popping in and business as usual is the drill.

Remember that from Next week, we will be “on vacation”, which means that for all intents and purposes, whilst you can still reach us and commission us, we will be a bit less available for chatting and posting updaes might lessen a little. We will still be available though, as said, and commissions are worked on as per usual and according to schedules so feel free to contact us for any commissions or ideas you have.



Also, like said in last weeks update, we are giving back to the community by giving a whooping 100 Euro discount on commissions right now. This week there are two commission slots open, so this might be the time for YOUR dream illustration! Please remember, it’s first come, first served and if you are number three commissioning us this week, your deadline will simply just move one week forward.


And as a parting-shot

Here is something on an ongoing project.

In between deadlined projects and work, sometimes one need to sketch something for uture projects.

Since David cannot show you his super secret project just yet, this is what we will show this week…






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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 :)


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.


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:



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.


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.



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