So, my friends have gotten me into Magic: The Gathering, by the ever-amazing Wizards of the Coast, over the last few months, and when I wanted to do a full-tilt illustration to break up my character modeling drive, the obvious choice was to learn from the greats and take a whack at a Magic card illustration. I play a black vampire deck, so this is for a black mana, instant spell I made up called “Tear the Blood.” Make sure to click through to the high-res version. If anyone would like to see process work on this, shoot me an email.
Hey, guys. It’s been a few weeks, since I’ve posted. I’ve been wicked busy, working on multiple characters at once, trying to get my reels together.
But, in the meantime, I’ve thrown down a couple of paintings to break up the pattern for myself and get it fresh. Here’s a 5-hour speedpaint I did, no photo-manip, straight from head to canvas. It’s always so refreshing when something comes out the way you felt it should. I’ve been learning so much more about technique these last few weeks. I feel like I conveyed a depth in the painting that has been absent in my others. It’s called “A Long Way Home.” More to come, soon.
After playing through Mass Effect for the second time and Halo: Reach for the fourth time, and watching the new Star Trek, all in the course of two weeks, I decided it was time to put together a painting of space warfare! It started out as a simple thing, but soon evolved into a complete geek-gasm all over the canvas. I think my inspiration for the design of the starships is apparently all three franchises’ aesthetics, and I love the way it came together. It’s very different, stylistically, from the rest of my paintings. It really feels like a battle in 3 dimensions, if bound by the gravity of the planet they fight for, and it has the feeling of those old-school WWII paintings of navy battles in the Pacific that I love so much. It makes me wonder what our great-great-grandchildren will see in war museums, after the next Great War.
As for process, I branched out and took a mixed digital approach, Maya for the foreground ship, its clone, and a lot of their lighting, and Photoshop for the rest. I’m cutting it off here, because I could spend another month making this the most complex, convoluted painting you’ve ever seen. Not bad, for just under 3 days, if you ask me. I hope you agree.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, you may notice I haven’t posted in over a week. This is because my computer, for the first time in my digital career, was torn to bits by a worm. I come to you now from a brand-new machine, because it was cheaper than buying a new copy of Windows and paying a technician to right what was wronged. Hopefully the bastard didn’t destroy the thousand-some hours of portfolio work on my old computer, as, in my rush and excitement, I got lazy and only have a portion of the newest versions backed up. Only time and careful probing will tell. Wish me luck.
For the moment, here’s a short painting I did to illustrate my demeanor, in light of these happenings:
Still working within the 30-minute time limit, I’m expanding to see how much detail I can throw down on the canvas. For what it is, I think this sketch is quite the accomplishment and will feed not only my speed and accuracy, but my rapid prototyping abilities. I’m learning to touch in just enough detail to let the viewer fill in the rest for me. Enjoy!
Another sketch to improve my painting speed, this dancer turned out very nicely. I used a photo for reference of the pose, but to challenge myself, I completely changed the viewing angle up and to the left more than 30 degrees, and gave her one stage-level, off-left spotlight and a rim light. Despite the complexity of the pose, I maintained the difficult speed crunch that I wanted to force myself into, with just 30 minutes. I love the motion and grace in her body, muscles rendered just enough to show her athleticism. I’m very proud of how she turned out.
This girl is nicknamed ‘Breeze.’ She’s a mercenary mage, and part of a huge story that I’ve been working on for several years that is one of several pet projects I would love eventually to turn into a fully-fledged game franchise. This is the 4th or 5th edition of her concept, and a fair margin superior than those before. Subtlety wins the day, here. Her features are beautiful, perhaps Palestinian, but not distracting. Her outfit is feminine, utilitarian, lightweight; with no fuss, no trinkets, no fantasy surrounding her magics. And there’s something in her expression that shows so deeply the soul she carries: present, melancholy, and dutiful, aware of her talents and business, but still capable of happiness, despite the fact that she’s a man-killer. Very much reminds me of a less monotone Kenshin Himura.