This little guy was a fun one to paint. Started off as a fairly tight pencil rough and then all the rest done as a digital painting in Photoshop. I wanted something firmly visceral and loose without being too sloppy. Special thanks to the artist Matt Dixon for the inspiration for this piece. And apologies for not being nearly as good as him.
Every year there is a art challenge called Mermay. For the month of may, artists are encourage to try and post a new mermaid every day. Having a busy work life and young family, I don’t always get the chance to participate, but in 2018, I managed to do it with just pen and ink drawings. Over the next year, I managed to flesh a few out in colour. These are the result.
I tried to go for a variety of different styles. Though I think there is something that links it to me every time. So despite my feelings (and reputation) that I am some sort of design/illustration chameleon, I do seem to have some sort of emerging style. Enjoy!
Nobody ever came here.
The monolith rose out of the only oasis in the Sea of Broken Glass, or Quaa Rouchar, in the local dialect of the desert nomads who managed to survive out here. It was built eons ago in the hopes of banishing an ancient menace from the land. One thousand souls were sacrificed in the dedication rite, so determined the ancients were to rid the land of it’s tormentor. It was never permitted to happen again, And it was thought would never need to happen again. So the ancient blood rite was forgotten, and place abandoned. Even the reason for the monument’s existence was a faint and distant memory. All was well.
It worked, didn’t it?
Sarna knew otherwise. And he had a plan on what to do about it.
This was a redo of artwork long abandoned by me (it’s not just ancient monuments that get left on the dustbin of history). I wanted to monumentalize something that is ordinarily quite small. In this case a chess piece. A knight. Was fun to really play around with the sunset style colours.
Started out as a pencil sketch in my sketchbook that was totally repainted digitally in Photoshop. Enjoy!
“This is no place for the likes of you,” said the giant robot. His old gears creaking as he bent down.
“Come with me. For an adventure. I’ll not harm you.”
This was a fun one to draw. Started out as a pencil sketch. Was scanned into the computer, and colour loosely dropped in behind in Photoshop. The lines were then redrawn over top with a fairly gritty brush in Photoshop. I tried pretty hard to preserve as much of the original line as as I did that. I wanted to keep everything fairly loose. Adding in the texture to the robot was my favourite part.
I can’t take full credit for the design of the robot. In my son’s Kindergarten class, the had an in class assignment to build their own robot to teach them about different shapes. This monstrosity was all my son’s doing. I just added a few details.
For a personal project, I wanted to create a series of book covers for fun. Something in the Public Domain so I hopefully wouldn’t have to worry so much about rights. And maybe even something that I might follow up with by putting together at least one book. Maybe as a downloadable PDF or some sort of eBook. Or maybe just a few sample pages as my personal time is rather precious to me.
I settled on the John Carter of Mars character from Edgar Rice Burroughs. According to Wikipedia, the first few books are public domain (at least in some places) and while the movie bombed at the box office, I rather liked it. It was hardly the greatest, most thought-provoking sci-fi movie out there, but it was a little disappointing it didn’t garner enough attention for at least a sequel. And I could find the text here, should I ever want to try my hand at designing some more pages.
In designing these covers, I wanted something with a bit of a western flair. I also wanted to have fun with the pulpy origins of the source material. A nice, fake worn cover a-la the classic Pulp-Fiction movie poster (I did spend my formative years in the nineties after all!) would do just nicely.
I settled on the font Western Bang Bang. Its free for personal use. And since I’m not too sure what, if anything, I’m going to do with this, I figure free should work for the project. There is a commercial license available should the need arrive.
As for the images, all the images used can be found over here at NASA. Interestingly, a good chunk of the images released by NASA have been colour corrected to look more Earth-like. This is so Earthbound geologists will have an easier time understanding the different rock formations the various landers have studied. I wanted a more “authentic” Mars look. So I found an image I was pretty certain was untouched and used that as my target for Photoshop’s “Match Color” feature found under “Image” —-> “Adjustments” (towards the bottom). This only really got me part of the way there. Some of the darker regions were looking a little odd if the adjustment was used too strongly. I then used a colour filter to add a bit more of a reddish warmth to the image. In fact, the default one work best. Hardly scientific, but it got the job done. Went from slightly hazy Earth to a very dusty Mars in no time.
And yes, I understand that using these images could pose as a problem should I try and do anything more with them. And so should anyone else. But a man can dream can’t he? Besides, it might be fun to try and replicate similar images in a 3D program. Or paint them myself. Or maybe just shoot some rocks and perform similar image adjustments as I explained above. This was just the easiest way to find useful images just to see what I could come up with design-wise.
The rest are just a bunch of black and white rips and tears pieced together. Enjoy.
Long, long time ago, in a galaxy not to far away, I did this image to make a poster for a Christmas present for my then girlfriend (now wife).
Keep in mind, this one was done in 2004. The third prequel had yet to come out, and it never really looked like there would be any future Star Wars movies, so I thought it was a pretty safe bet to create a fictional seventh movie.
Most of the background stars came from an even older digital painting I’m too embarrassed to post here, the planet is mostly a photoshop filter, and the vehicles are 3D renders with a bit of digital paint thrown in afterwards. Everything else is me trying my very best to digitally paint using Photoshop.
The poster still hangs up in my office to this day.
Aurora was a sleepy little world located near the Pleades. Nothing much ever happened there, even though everything was a pretty blue hue. You’d think tourists would flock to it from all over the quadrant. But no. I was always very quiet. The light blues just gave everyone and everything a nice mellow tone.
And then the proximity alarm went off.
There was some sort of ship blasting by. It appeared out of nowhere. The local jump gate registered no unlawful entry and virtually no one in the system owned a private ship.
This was a fun digital painting of a fictional planet being buzzed by a small ship. Wonder who is piloting it? Anyways, all done in Photoshop using some fairly old techniques. Was nice to do and unwind after a busy couple of hectic weeks.
Sure, working for the humans was hard. The work shirt didn’t fit right, they ALWAYS looked in horror at you, and the pollen was murder on the allergies. But the pay was better than most agriculture worlds in this part of the galaxy, and the ramble berries they grew on Trappist IV were the very best. And it was all you could eat as long as you put in your eight hour day. It was all an Insectoid could ask.
Now if only Karl could only find a friend amongst some of the other gardeners.
Yet another painterly Sci-Fi picture from yours truly. It started out a a pencil sketch, but over time, it changed quite a bit. Was pretty hard to get the face looking just right. I think it evokes the proper combination of cuteness and pure disgust. A lot of reference was used for this, and a big thank you to just about all the character designers out there who have ever put together their own insect inspired alien. I think I pretty much looked to all of them for help and inspiration!
All colour done in Photoshop CC with mostly default brushes.
Another month, another post. This time around, Green! Enjoy.
A series of head sketches featuring Eve. An expressive little kid that sometimes tags along with the Oxfordians.
Traditional pencil sketches finished off in Photoshop. Designed with a quick turnaround time in mind. Enjoy!