Sunday, September 14, 2014

Three Values

Back in June I attended a workshop with the great Nathan Fowkes. One of the exercises he advised if one wants to improve at composition and light, was to take screengrabs from movies and try to break them down into three values. Also checked out Eytan Zana's lovely gumroad-tutorial on graphic composition. It's great. Well, I want to not suck at composition, so here are some attempts at improving. Also aiming to reduce the shape-complexity and introduce subtle shape-stylization. Hmm, it's interesting to blend together the strong shapes of light and shadow, with the local values I'm assigning to the compositional elements themselves. Never thought of it like that before, I usually keep local values and light separated. If you know the movies you get a cookie ;)

Frolic and play :)

Hip-Hop, it really is the best music-genre ;P Word, lot's of love ya'll ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


District 9 is one of the best movies I've seen. In addition to having a great story, driving home an important message, it's a visual milestone, raising and setting the bar for a lot of contemporary sci-fi design. Here's a feeble attempt at internalizing some of those shapes. I think I should use other, less bristled & painterly, brushes and more selections and gradients when doing hard-surface-stuff.

A lovely lady, as per usual. Attaching some notes on the light and colors which I'm observing.

Here's a study of a sculpt from Skylanders Swap Force. Actually, seeing this post @ Z-Brush-central is mainly what attracted me to Beenox/Activision. Knowing that they were in possession of such skill and taste, and the lure of somehow being part of that, was extremely seductive.

Finally, it might be a lil' while (about a month) before I have a new update. I'm leaving for the Trojan Horse Workshop in Portugal next week, and straight after that I'm taking the flight to Canada. I know from experience that moving takes time, energy and effort, and I might be pre-occupied with finding an apartment and making new friends etc. So, I'll be back ;P
Music for the people! Word.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Some Paint

 Threw down some colors on them there portraits! Pretty good practice, may do more. Got some great feedback over at, the world's best community for artists in the gaming-industry (imo). 

Light-, color- and stroke-practice.

More from the Sartorialist blog!

Up-beat electronic music. :D

Monday, September 1, 2014

Post-Apocalypse Cartoon

I've been deeply immersed in the post-apocalyptic world of Wasteland. So much fun to design cartoony characters in a relatively dark and gritty setting.

Wrote a story for these dudes, but I can't write, so I deleted it. There. Cole Westwood is my favorite :)

I guess you'll just have to figure out the story with your imagination ;)

Repost, but with the visual template...

Silhouette-check! Are they varied and easily distinguishable from each other? Is the overall shape-language consistent?

I figured I'd attach some of the really rough sketches I do before making the actual drawing. Don't usually show this :) I like to have a clear vision in my head of where I'm going before I invest in a proper lineart, and doing rough sketches is one of the tools.

Photostudies! Shape, shape, shape and shape. I don't know if this is the right way to think, but I'm testing it out.

Mooooaaarrr studies!!! I just lost interest once I reached the face, so meh.

OOooohoho, have I got some treats for you today! :) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Meditative and challenging sketching, focusing on shape-design and line-of-action etc. I can definitely improve with varying my lineweight and including shadowshapes!  Feel as if I'm making some slight progress with allowing myself to simplify forms into shapes. Finally got a hold of my favorite pencil, Burnt Carmine Derwent Artist. Kinda pricey though. I like keeping the pencil-tip real sharp, starting the drawing loose and then pressing down very hard on the paper when I'm happy with the initial shapes/gestures and rhythms.

Ummm, Girlnado?

Fairly soon InXile (one of the coolest game-dev studios in the world) will be releasing Wasteland 2 (scheduled September 19th)! As you all know (duuuh ;)) my favorite game of all time is Fallout 2, and Wasteland was the spiritual predecessor to that franchise. From what I can tell from online, it's looking very promising! I felt like drawing (and maybe later painting) my squad of Desert Rangers. Obviously they're not in the style of the game, but who cares. Love for InXile and Brian Fargo! :D

Abe Bronson is the leader of the group. He's charismatic, intelligent, pragmatic and has strong wilderness survival skills. Tank Hollywood is the brute force, she's the most capable melee combatant. I imagine she challenges Abe for the leadership of the group with some frequency, and I envision some sort of sexual tension between the two. Murray Daniels is an engineer and tech-expert who's kinda cowardly. He's around 50 years old, has a "been there, done that" kind of attitude and likes the simple pleasures in life. Finally, Yuki Machida is the firearms expert. She's cocky, enthusiastic and positive. She's motivated by challenges and want to improve her skills at any cost. 

Gots' to study dat light n' stuff!

And to conclude, some good shit :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Facets of Jazz

Those of you who come here know that I love music, Jazz in particular. With that in mind, I started out with a simple premise; What if the great personalities of jazz existed in a Pixar-world? Trying to capture their likeness, while keeping them cartoon was tough challenge for me. A most frustrating endeavor, I assure you, but the love I have for the characters and their stories made it worth it. I don't know if I managed to get close to capturing their likeness or convey their personality, but I gave it my best shot :).

Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt, 1910-1953.
A french jazz-guitarist of Romani heritage. He is credited with inventing a new distinctly European style of jazz, known as "Hot" jazz guitar, or "Gypsy Jazz". Oh, and on one of his hands he could only use three of his fingers, because the others had been paralyzed in a fire. He managed to be successful, and avoid being sent off to concentration-camp (because even the nazi-officers loved his music so much), during the Nazi-occupation of Paris.

Chet Baker, 1929-1988.
One of the best trumpet-players I've heard, with a marvelous singing-voice to boot! His style is very melodic, romantic and lyrical. He was a broken human being, with a heavy drug-habit. He would con, manipulate, lie and deceive to get what he wanted, and at one point he got his teeth smashed out by hired thugs, because he owed the wrong person money. He died falling out of a window of a hotel in Holland with a mix of cocaine and heroin in his body.

Sarah Vaughan, 1924-1990.
Also referred to as "The Divine One", her voice makes me shiver with joy. She's got such depth and character. She grew up in a religious family and started practicing music at a very early age and eventually dropped out of high-school to pursue singing. She suffered from stage-fright and was shy in public.

I'm using the very same formula I outlines a couple of posts back, but I spent a bit more time on the Key-light-phase, added a rim-light, and spent more time with the actual painting-phase. One thing I discovered, is that I try to avoid working with brighter values until later, I try to stick with sculpting with mid-tones and shadows. If I go in immediately with highlights, I lose control of the values.
Each character, not counting the failed drawings, took around 10 hours each. With research and failures (which you can't see :) ) I'd say they're around 13-16 hours average.

Thanks for looking! :D

Here's to you ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Another movie I enjoy is The Cooler from 2003, with William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alec Baldwin. It's a warm and heart-felt story about the relationship of a "cooler", a person who is hired (by the casino) solely to spread bad luck for casino-patrons, and a struggling waitress. I don't think it's for everyone, but for me it really hit a sweetspot. I feel the story armature is something like "you make your own luck", and that sentiment appeals to me real strongly. I'm truly charmed by the characters as well. With these studies, I'm continually reminded how much subtlety is involved with painting faces.

So I've got about one more month before I start working in a studio again (Beenox/Activision). I'm really excited and thrilled, and I also feel that having taken a break from work and freelance since May has been really beneficial for me. I love doing studies, and working away at my weaknesses. Although my self-imposed art exile has taken a toll on my social-life, it's felt thoroughly meaningful and enjoyable nonetheless. Just sayin' :)

More practice of environments. Picture had some really nice shapes, and obvious atmospheric perspective.

Painty-strokey, trying to indicate and imply rather than spell it all out. Love the light, mood, and the story.

Today, chilled out hip-hop beats. This is mainly the kind of music I listen to while drawing and painting. Boom-Bap dope ya'll!!! ;)