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It’s in the air tonight…

…Or somesuch.
Hi peeps, David here.

Seems like the studio is getting quite some attention lately.

Games Workshop released some books with art of mine, I managed to get some shares and features for two other illustrations, and last but not least, Natasja is painting an awesome “Apocalypse” , acrylic painting.

So here are some images to feast your eyes on. In no particular order:

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(Original Acrylic Painting. Work in Progress)

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(Tau Piranha, (c) Games Workshop 2015. From Codex Tau )

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(Aearien, World of Warcraft Fanart)

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(Ashur-Kai, Wh40k Fanart.)

Collaborators…it’s not just a dirty word…

So this week, I take the pen (keyboard) to write (type) a little about what goes on in the studio, and how we work together.

It might be obvious to us, mayhap not to those outside but we actually do work together and collaborate on a frequent base.

These collaborations usually do not show, as we both have our individual styles and our own individual ways of working, but it is very much a part of how we do things in the studio, and it is for the better of the art. Most of the time, it comes down to doing digital paintovers, or laying down concepts or composition, and not so much actually working on the piece both of us (though this does happen).

So today I will take you through one of those processes.
But first, thank you so much for the support after last time. We received commissions enough to solve our sour situation, and some fantastic pieces are almost done for it. Some were private, some will be revealed in public.

Process – Cetus

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It all starts with a sketch. This can be digital or pen on paper, but for this piece, Natasja was painting it in acrylics on canvas.
So she laid down some simple strokes to show her idea.

The Canvas is 100x150cm big, and the lines have been made stronger by use of photoshop, so that you can see them on the image above.

After the lines are done, Natasja then talks to me and asks for advice on colours and if anything comes out as wrong. These sort of things I ask her all the time for my own work. It is easy to get blinded by working on something, and it is good to have someone you trust who can tell you when something looks wrong, or if you need to keep something in mind.

For this piece the design was Natasja’s, and I saw no reason to change anything (to be honest, I was very curious to see how it would turn out, because I liked the idea).

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Basic background.
Natasja lays in a dark blue towards dark purple background, to set the scene as the pair moving freely.

We talked a little about tangents on the tails, but the lines where pretty clear and Natasja had a very clear idea on how they would be separated in the final.

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The back creature gets its first colour pass.

Yes. Orange.
The contrast between the blue background and the orange creatures is quite well balanced. At this point, we’re just casually talking about the work. General questions and answers. There is no need to get further into it until the entire canvas has gotten paint on it, because the idea is solid, the colours work, and the anatomy makes sense.

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The front creature has gotten its first colour, and the back creatures ‘tentacly bits’ as well.

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This is the first point where there is active advice involved.

The top part of the above image is the photo that Natasja supplied me with. And the bottom part is my paintover in Photoshop to show areas I thought needed to be worked up.

As you can see, I added a lot of volume. This was already something Natasja had thought about, but I exaggerated it to show where the points were that I thought would be important.

I also added more light to the tentacly bits, and pointed out where I thought the lights would bounce off of their bodies.

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So, the first above is what Natasja did with that.

She added some more shading to separate the tails, fixed the light bouncing off the skin from the tentacly things and made the ones on the smaller. She asked me for another paintover because ‘it doesn’t feel good’.

So I gave it the same treatment again- exaggerated shades, lights and reflections. I added a bit of rim light from the glow of tentacles on the other side of the big creature, a bit of extra bounce light on the snout area.

The entire focus of this paintover was on the snout area.

And the finished result?

Right here-

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Cetus is up for sale.

For €679 + shipping and packaging, you can hang this on your wall. And it looks smashing.

Contact us if you are interested. The email is in the column to the right.

–David

A series of unfortunate events

David launched the social media bomb by referring to Lemons, hence the Lemony Snicket quote for a title. Bare with us, it has been a roller coaster of emotions today. Tears were shed, but David ensures me they were manly tears filled with testosterone and manliness.

First of all: All you people rock! There are no words that can sufficiently describe our gratitude and how humbled we feel by the response we got. Colleagues, fellow artists, friends, fans, and random strangers helped to get the message spread and ensure our “emergency slots” were filled up. An old Flemish saying says “You always have a no, but who knows you might get a yes” and with this in mind David launched the request this morning on our studio page over on the Book of Faces. Thank you once more for the response we gotten.

We have had issues with a client paying us, this was a large company and the amounts outstanding were quite substantial. My main task for the studio has lately been doing credit collections with this particular company, needling them and convincing them to pay. We are not a large company and an issue like this ripples through our cash-flow with a long lasting impact. Imagine doing a job more than 2.5 years ago and still not be paid for it: That is in a nut-shell what happened to us. Contracts and everything were signed by both parties, but a Goliath tried to intimidate a David and hoped the artists just cowered away or gave up. We have taken steps to ensure this will not happen again, neither for us nor for another artist.

Now a delay in getting paid also led to us not being able to pay some of our creditors and even though we always had an open debate and discussion with them, at a specific point we were about to loose everything we have worked for in the past years. The actions undertaken against us which were set in motion by a series of unfortunate events and started by a big company not respecting their contract with us which led to a situation where we would have lost dearly.

We did not ask for charity, we asked for the word to spread so 5 lucky people can get their hands at the deal of the year and get a commission. And once more: we are grateful for all the feedback and support we got. (Also thank you to all the people who inquired about my canvases!)

An event like this makes it all the more apparent how much artists of all kinds need to be aware of the pitfalls of the art industry. Art is still not considered a full-time and “serious” occupation and the cliché of the “starving artist” endures. At moments like this the value of places like PACT prove their worth. We do leave reviews of companies there. Most are good, but we are not afraid to leave points of improvement neither.

And now we leave you with a response we have gotten as a response to David’s “Ugly Lemons” quote. Thank you and know your support made us battle on!

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Cray Cray times

We were told to use “hip” language to be “with-it”. Last time I take advice from the resident 10 year old.

Busy days as usual at the Studio, and even though I have been prodding my dearest hubby and art-partner for days, he keeps on forgetting to update the blog.

Road to Jove is slowly but surely gathering a larger fanbase which is nice. Currently we have been creating and discarding quite a few concepts to introduce in the near future.

David in the meanwhile made this awesome propaganda poster for Fomoria which gives an insight into the wartime years of this mysterious country/alliance.

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A rhythm in regards to Road to Jove is being set in the Studio, a bigger undertaking than initially expected.

Road to Jove deals with the aftermath of war, a theme so very much alive right now in Europe and the current crisis made it even more a burning issue.

So, remember that awesome music from the Road to Jove Trailer? (if not, you can find the trailer here.) An old friend of ours Ryan Northcott aka Mechanorecptor participated in a project which is already several years old called “Dance 4 Syria”. This is a compilation of some really awesome trippy music ànd most of all proceedings go to a cause to aid the Syrian refugees.

So for all of our followers whom have a dollar or a few to spare: You can buy the track here. Making the world a better place though art should be a goal we all aspire to.

Commissions:

We still have spots open for 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, or just email us. The address is right up there, to the right of this post!

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

Let us use this #tbt thingy you young peeps are using all the time

Apparently we are old and established as a studio. It came equally hard as a shock to me as it does for most artists whom get called “successful”, “established”, and more bizarre terms. One thing can be said about the profession of art, and that is we are all an uncertain bunch of friendly neighbourhood neurotics. Most artists we know can go from complete euphoria to “o-my-god-I-suck-I-created-the worlds-most-horrible-abomination-please-destroy-me-and-my-works” in less than two seconds. It takes skill to face those faults and remake parts of something you have been working on for months. So yes, well “established” is taken as a compliment. It is nice to know people are buying in to the illusion of us being good at what we are doing, mainly because we quite often feel like a fraud ourselves. It is odd to have people look up to what we produce and one just wants to point people towards the works of a Julie Bell, Gerald Brom, Paul Kidby and many more and just shout “Those are the real ones! We are just faking it and doing what we love to do”🙂

But then we have been at it as an official business since 2007, and have been dabbling with arts for money since 2003. Scary to think about, it does make us quite old. It also gives us ample material to actually compare now and then.

So let the #tbt shenanigans begin (David will be your willing victim this time):

We begin with an oldie from 2007. This Stoic Son of Oblivion was deemed by quite a few of our fans to be an piece which, and we are quoting now “could be taken right out of a codex”. Quite the nicest of compliments, but in retrospect after having produced pieces for actual Games Workshop codexes, this particular one we would both want to redo. The mood setting is nice, however there is too stark a contrast between the forefront and background and between the top and bottom parts of the image. Several styles seem to collide somewhat in this image and even though it is a smashing piece of fan-art, right now we would both approach this one from a different angle.

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Number two: This ork in combat with a marine. If our whisky-marinated memories serve us well we think this is an image from 2009. Two years later, similar background.  A piece of fan-art where the overall sense of balance is prevailing. Less contrast in this image, however now the actual definition of the lines and the individual brush strokes are something we would want to redo if we were to remake this piece. However the evolution is visible and this image is definitely more dynamic that the static portraits from before.

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Exibit three:

The cover to Road to Jove: Prologue

This one dates from early this year (2015 for you peeps from the future seeing this). The difference is noticeable: this page is more dynamic even though both Tara and Ceathair aren’t moving. The lines, colours and overall definition are the same everywhere. Now we are quite happy with this one, however we would probably remake this one if we were given the chance. You may catalogue this information under the above-mentioned “uncertain bunch of friendly neighbourhood neurotics”-bit🙂.

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Commissions:

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, or just email us. The address is right up there, to the right of this post!

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

Next update:

After tackling the #tbt, perhaps time to in real, proper, old people fashion, tackle #yolo and some of Natasja’s pencil sketches.

David & Natasja

Nothing will work unless you do. -M.Angelou

Promise creates a debt and the post last week promised some Shadowrun images.

Catalyst Game Labs is currently having the rights to under licence bring out new Shadow run material. Both David and myself have fond memories of this game and recall numerous hours spent playing this one. It is rather nice the legacy continues and the demise of Fasa did not mean the end of Shadowrun and Battletech.

These images are already several months old, but since the book got published we can show them without any issues. The book is called “Datatrails” and is available in PDF.
Enjoy!

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Commissions:

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, or just email us. The address is right up there, to the right of this post!

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

Blog Limbo

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Wow, the last update on this puppy was April 29th. Given the long hiatus,it is safe to say we have been swamped with work.

First things first though: The new webpage for Road to Jove has been up and running for a few weeks now, and the lads over at 49th Floor did a rather smashing job. At the same time, the pressure is up🙂 and we are providing at least one page a week for this chronicle. There are moments when one curses the choice to not go black and white, or line-art with cell-shading. This weeks update however made it all worth it. Designing the lay-out of this particular page, made Ennio Morricone tunes play in my head. For others it gave a similar sensation which can be found in movies like “Apocalypse Now” and other war movies. Needless to say: we do not regret the choice of how the pages look, albeit they do take up a humongous amount of work.

But it pays off. We have some peeps who support the chronicle though Patreon and we are immensely grateful for the positive comments and support we have received.

It takes about a day, a day and a half per page. So this becoming somewhat of a joint effort at the studio here. I am designing the layout and quick lines and David paints the frames when he decides the lay-out is ok. (He is such a bossy husband sometimes :p ). This saves David about half a days work on a page and makes it so we can plan the pages ahead. This comes at a cost though, and it is a struggle most artists know all too well. Personal projects get put on a back-burner in order to further the companies needs🙂 but it is all worth it. Admit it: Our little company rather oozes pure awesomeness…

Secondly, we are having loads of images under NDA and between some very exiting projects for the gaming industry and Road to Jove, little time is left for personal projects. We are however still open for suggestions. Our portfolios can always use diversity.

Now for the good peeps over at Catalyst Game Labs we had the joy of producing some Shadowrun and Battetech pieces of art. These can be found in the book Battletech book: Handbook House Kurita. Shadowrun has been an old favorite in our house, we both played and still own the FASA corebooks. So getting asked to paint images like this is something one hardly can say no to.

The Shadowrun ones are for a future post. However for the moment feast your eyes on the following eye-candy🙂 These images are almost a year old.

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This one is my favorite though; it has a definite Blade Runner feel to it and really emanates a crowded dystopic world. I am a sucker for Sci-Fi with a dystopic twist.

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The image that follows is a suggestion we received from a friend. In the past we have produced similar images and as some of our fans pointed out: it has been way too long since the studio produced anything Space Marine (well at least something that is not currently under NDA anyways). So a Horus Heresy era Thousand sons protecting guardsmen in peril will hopefully fulfill your needs for fan-art🙂

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Commissions:

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, or just email us. The address is right up there, to the right of this post!

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

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