Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pulp Art

Misogynistic? Definitely. Pulp magazines were sensational and had a bad reputation for things like misogyny. This is a piece for two competitions: a challenge at (deadline this weekend) and for an open call for a Comic and  Fantasy Art Exhibition that opens April 14, 2012 in conjunction with C2E2: Chicago's Comic Convention, and the exhibition runs for 3 months.  I got a lot of very helpful feedback from the good folks over at WIPNation (much of them are also industry professionals). I worked on this every Saturday since Dec 23 2011, and will probably continue until the deadline in April.

I've always wanted to do a pulp magazine painting so this challenge was very exciting for me. I also used this as a piece of self expression to deal with emotional turmoil I've been tortured by for a while. Catharsis is a pretty good word I would use for this experience. It helped briefly, but I think ended up being more of a reminder of painful memories and emotions.

Pulp magazines in the horror genre were also called Weird Menace Pulps, Terror Pulps, and Shudder Pulps. Hence the title. For the text I originally had references to Shakespeare's Macbeth and William Blake's The Tyger. Some of the original text ideas were:
"Of direst cruelty"
"the sticking-place"
"Life's but a walking shadow"
But I decided on something different because I realized that Macbeth and Blake didn't fit too well in pulp fiction. The final text that I went with had  deeper meaning to me personally.
Lastly, HP Lovecraft sometimes used a pseudonym 'Humphrey Littlewit', I assume to be nonthreatening to the reader and to make them assume the writer lacked wit. I'd classify HPL as a pulp author so I wanted to reference him somewhere in the painting. I've sometimes been described as barbaric so 'Lilltetact' worked well for me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

BNR: Achievements

References to movies and albums 

For the weeks where I don't have the time to create a new art piece I will instead post an asset I created for Bust-N-Rush (BNR), the first game we made at Techtonic Games.

I threw in a couple homages in these "cheevos" to some pop culture items. I can't recall where the brick-face one is from, if you figure it out let me know.

The free demo for BNR is below, where you can also purchase the game (soundtrack optional) for 8$.
BNR is a 'runner' for PC and Mac.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Syrano d'Cannith

Photoshop speed painting to illustrate a 'Dungeons and Dragons' player's character. Started and finished in one sitting.

This time I wanted to have a more dramatic pose inspired by the Marvel comics drawing lessons that always stress dynamic elements in characters like foreshortening.

Here was the description:
"...human, who after a disturbing magical accident, almost died. In order to save his life a Renegade Mastermaker [3.5 ed] ended up replacing a very large quantity of this guy’s flesh (and both of his arms) and added adamantine plating as construct grafts. 
...he will be wearing pants and boots (blue pants preferably, of the kind you'd expect to see a shirtless wizard wearing,) and would have a completely hairless and a partially fire-scarred head. He'd have no metal from the "collar bones" up and there would be visible human flesh in the left arm pit to the waist on the left side of his stomach, not much, mind you, but some. Also, the left hand (the only one you can really see in the picture, would be a metal-and-wood five-fingered hand."

Influences and resources:
Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, Jonah Hex, Robocop, Overtkill from Spawn, Dr. Doom, Iron Man, Baxter Stockman (cyborg version not the fly version) from TMNT, Borg Queen from Star Trek First Contact.
Warforged are a player race in D&D Eberron campaign setting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Art Evolution Challenge

I'm looking for feedback on my current art project. Please give critique, even if it's only one sentence.

The winner of this competition will be featured in Black Gate, a magazine of sci-fi and fantasy which had a project called Art Evolution: The Visual Development of Art in Role-Playing from 1979-2009. This was 25 of the RPG industries most established artists illustrating the same character, Lyssa, in their own unique style and genre. The only reference was, "A young female human wizard with black hair who always wears white trimmed in gold."

Now there's a chance for up and coming artists to take their shot at Lyssa, called Art Evolution: The Next Stage. 5 winners will be featured in Black Gate next to the "greatest artistic RPG talents of all time."

The runes on the floor are in Draconic from D&D 4e, and they say "". The runes on her ribbons coming from her waist are brushes from In the center of the magic circle on the floor is a design of a 20-sided die.

I made sure she was stacked with magic items so she would look like she could fit right into a game of D&D. Magic ring, necklace, cloak, staff, scrolls, magic potions, a key on a chain, and a dagger (behind her hip). In the first colored iteration I gave Lyssa a staff from Adventurer's Vault 2, but then I went back to my original version of the staff because the new one wasn't reading very well. On her head is the Chimera Headdress also from AV2. 
At first I was hesitant to make her book the Necronomicon from Army of Darkness, because it's a pretty evil book and it doesn't really fit that well with her because she doesn't look that evil. But then I decided, "to hell with it, I'm gonna draw what I want to draw."

Inspiration and influences: Michael Turner, Ben Wootten, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, Army of Darkness, and all of the other entries in the competition.

This piece is dedicated to Adam Adamowicz, rest in peace.

[Update] Winners can be viewed here:
126 entries. 5 winners, 5 honorable mentions. They're all professionals and even veteran artists, so I don't feel too bad losing to them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Goliath Awesome

Final version
Figure sketch

Photoshop speed painting to illustrate a 'Dungeons and Dragons' player's character.

Here were the requirements: 
Goliath (4e race), grey skin, dark markings, white eyes, bald, bit of an evil streak, big even by goliath standards. 
His years as a ranger show in his wildness.
He wields dual Lightning Bastard Swords, but they are never in sword form. He essentially just carries two large lightning bolts.
Fury and rage embodied with the destructive power of a storm.
And scars, one of ears is missing/mostly gone.

Influences & resources: 'God of War',, Theokoles from 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand'
Without effects (large sized)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Dragonborn Fighter

A little late this week. Been having shoulder problems.

Photoshop speed painting to illustrate a 'Dungeons and Dragons' player's character. Scion of Arkhosia Paragon Path from Player's Handbook 2 is what gives him the dragon wings. I don't believe dragonborn normally have tails though, that was specific to this character.

Reference and inspiration: Frank Frazetta, Dragon Age, bats.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Assassin Hawk Master

Photoshop speed painting to illustrate a 'Dungeons and Dragons' player's character. Influences: Ben Wootten, Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller), Assassin's Creed

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Druid Riding a Lizard

Photoshop speed painting to illustrate a 'Dungeons and Dragons' player's character. This one gave me a chance to work in a limited color palette, which I haven't done very much.
Her weapon is the Totem of Thorns from the D&D book Heroes of the Feywild.

I skip a lot of steps to do these speed paintings, which may not be such a good habit. For normal painting my process usually goes: thumbnail > sketch > ink > color composite > base colors > render shading. But for speed I make a quick value painting in black and white and then jump straight into color... that's it, just two phases. Gotta get it done and move onto the next piece.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crank Fan Poster

I'm done, for now. Removed the nails in hopes of making the image less chaotic, and they didn't make much sense anyway.

Most feedback has been implemented. There's a bit of trouble with leading lines going all over the place, causing the image to become too chaotic. Not too sure how to tackle that yet.

If you have any thoughts please don't hesitate to comment!

I need feedback! Any comments are welcome. Specifically I need better text for the poster, like a really funny satirical tagline that makes fun of how absurd the movie is.
The Crank movies are the most over the top, racist, ridiculousness films ever. They're action movies on steroids.
I have been wanting to do a piece in the style of 70's retro painted movie posters, and also more personal projects, in this project I managed to do both.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday D&D character illustration: Thrikeen Monk

It's Sunday, but my church is developing the art skills.
This speed painting was done to illustrate a D&D player's character. a Thrikeen Monk of Silvanus. The Thrikeen are player races in the Dark Sun campaign setting. Mantis people are weird.

I tried a new technique for this one: paint at 25% zoom to keep the picture in view as a whole. And a few other methods mentioned in the tutorials from the artist Daarken.