Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mini-Paint: Imperator Furiosa

Imperator Furiosa


Here's another Mini-Paint, this time of Furiosa from "Mad Max: Fury Road".  "Fury Road" was a visual spectacle and a fun, action movie (OK, I know it's a two hour car chase, but it's still cool to look at).  Since everyone and their sibling on the Internetz has done a drawing or painting of Furiosa, this is my "Everyone else is doing it, why can't I?" moment.  :-)

Here's the palette I used:  Titanium White, Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Terra Rosa, Cadmium Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber,  Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Paynes Gray, and Lamp Black.

Total painting time was about 7 hours for this one.  Lots and lots of corrections and repainting.

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STEP ONE:  On a 6" x 8" piece of gray gessoed hardboard, I vaguely laid out the colors and shapes using a #10 flat brush for the first 90 minutes or so.  At this point, there are a lot of things wrong with the painting: the eyes are too high on the head, the nose is crooked, etc.

Ugh, kind of embarrassing at this point, and I was half-tempted to pretend it didn't exist.  But, everyone's paintings and drawings go through that awkward phase where everything is gangling, out of proportion, and awkward looking.  Y'know, puberty.  Better to show the awkward phase and how it can be overcome, rather than pretend that everything turns out just the way you planned from the beginning, IMHO.

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STEP TWO:  I thought I was finished with the painting, even signing my name.  However, something about the right-eye bothered me.  And, the more I looked at it, the more it bothered me.  It looked a little lower than it should.  At first I was tempted just to fix it in Photoshop--move it up a little and cover my tracks, as I **FINALLY** got the eye to look vaguely right after an hour or so of frustrated noodling around, and it would probably be a lot of work to fix it.  But, it felt like Photoshop would be taking the easy way out.  So, back to the easel to fix it.

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STEP THREE:  I think this is a pretty good illustration about how much of a different an 1/8" (or, about 2mm) give-or-take can make in the way a painting turns out.  After repainting the eye, I think it improved the likeness substantially.  Of course, it's still not perfect and there are plenty of other things which could also be fixed, but one victory at a time.  (If you click on the picture, it should launch the picture viewer/Lightbox and let you toggle back and forth between the two paintings to see just how much of a difference it makes.)

So, kids, I think the lesson here is never be afraid to fix something which is wrong--even if it seems like a pain in the butt and/or covers a part of your work which you kinda-sorta like.  You did it once, theoretically you can do it again.

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This was done with acrylic paint on 6" x 8" gessoed hardboard.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mini-Paint: Ming the Merciless

Ming the Merciless


For no reason, here's a Mini-Paint of Ming the Merciless.  The cult-classic, 1980 movie is over-the-top in camp, but I do have a warm fondness for it.

Here's the palette I used:  Titanium White, Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Terra Rosa, Cadmium Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber,  Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Paynes Gray, and Lamp Black.

For the past couple Mini-Paints, I've decided to just paint until it is done, rather than trying to stop at an arbitrary time limit.  I figured I'd rather have something done which I'm not too embarrassed to post, and give me more of an opportunity to work out and problems and try to focus on improving painting a likeness, etc.  In this case, it was about 7 hours total for the painting, give-or-take.

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STEP ONE:  On a 6" x 8" piece of gray gessoed hardboard, I vaguely laid out the colors and shapes using a #10 flat brush for the first 90 minutes or so.

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STEP TWO:  When the first layer dried, I noticed the eyes looked a little low on the face, so repainted them and moved them up about a half-inch higher.  I used the #10 flat and #10 round brush to keep painting.  This is about 4 hours into the painting.

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STEP THREE:  The last few hours were spent painting and re-painting the face, as well as the highlights, shading, and the textures on the collar.  And, of course, the guy-liner around his eyes.

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This was done with acrylic paint on 6" x 8" gessoed hardboard.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mini-Paint: Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka


I had planned on doing a Mini-Paint of Willy Wonka in the near future.  Hearing about the passing of Gene Wilder moved that up (I and probably every other person who can hold a pencil or paintbrush).  There was something deliriously crazed--yet compelling--about "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" which stuck with me as a youngster.

Mildly amusing anecdote: my youngest daughter had a job working at a local candy factory when she was younger.  She also owned a cloth coat which was purplish in color which she wore through the winter.  I'm sure you can guess the rest, but it involves me chanting "Oompa Loompa Doompety Doo..." every time she left for work.  She got tired of it in a hurry; I did not.  :-)

To this day, I am likely to break out with "You get nothing!  You lose!  Good day, sir!", as well as numerous other quotes from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".  And chant "Oopa Loompa Doompety Doo..." of course.

I bought some new M. Graham acrylic paints I was testing out, so I used more colors than my usual limited palette for these Mini-Paints:  Titanium White, Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Terra Rosa, Cadmium Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber,  Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, Dioxazine Purple, and Paynes Gray.

This was done over the course of about 8 hours.  Yeah, this one took a LOT longer than my usual Min-Paints, too.  Partly 'cuz I was playing around with new paints, partly because I wanted to work on it a little more and try to get it right.  Skills only grow through being challenged, I guess.

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STEP ONE:  I started with a 6" x 8" piece of hardboard coated with a mixture of gray gesso and matte medium.  The first 90 minutes or so was spent just roughing everything out with a #10 flat brush, laying in the colors and general layout.  Although, at this point, it looks more like Michael Caine dressed as Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder's titular role...

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STEP TWO:  This was about 3 hours later, using a #10 flat and #10 round brushes.  Closer to Gene Wilder, but there was something about the placement of the left-eye which seemed a little off.  It's one of those things where being an 1/8" off in any direction can ruin the portrait. 

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STEP THREE:  I decided to repaint the the left eye, moving it down and a little to the left.  From there, I spent several hours painting and repainting, trying to get it right.  After painting this for about 8 hours off-and-on over a couple days, I figured I had taken it about as far as I could and called it "Good 'nuff".

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This was done with acrylic paint on 6" x 8" gessoed hardboard.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Cthulhu Mostess Pies

Cthulhu Mostess Pies Ad

Click to Embiggen!

For those of you old not enough to remember, Hostess used to have ads in comic books in which criminals plans were commonly thwarted with Hostess Twinkies or Hostess Fruit Pies.  Also, it turns out I missed H.P. Lovecraft's birthday last week (August 20th), but I've been thinking about doing this fake Hostess Comic Ad mash-up for a while.  And I do have another Lovecraft-based mash-up coming up in the near future...

For those of you interested in the nostalgia of the Hostess comic book ads, HERE'S A LINK.  Enjoy!

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This was done in Photoshop.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Aliens - Contraxians

Contraxians


Here is the original entry for the Alien Race: Contraxian to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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Originally, I planned on just doing a proxy drawing of Jack of Hearts--a character I always thought looked pretty cool--the same way I sneaked ROM Spaceknight into my entry for Galadorians.  But, then I thought I should do up a female version, but all the designs I did for it just didn't seem to work for me for some reason.  So, I just scrapped it all and only vaguely called back to the character.

To be honest, I really overthought this one too much and it took wwwaaayyyyy too long to finish.  Ah, well.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the quick digital pencils, scribbled out on a New 900px x 1,350px document.

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STEP TWO:  And here are the roughs for the digital inks and color flats.  I didn't bother getting too detailed with the inks, since they were going to be covered anyways on the final digital painting.

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STEP THREE:  I built up the colors on a new layer, basically covering all the inks I did to make it more painterly/rendered.

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This was done digitally with Photoshop.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Aliens - Courga

Courga


Here is the original entry for the Alien Race: Courga to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the quickly scribbled digital pencils on a New 900px x 1,350px document.

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STEP TWO:  Sigh, because I wasn't paying attention while working on this, I accidentally merged down the color flat layer, so I just have the finished picture.  So, I guess "Step One" is scribble something vaguely in the shape you want to draw, and "Step Two" is to color it.  Um, yeah...

As for this drawing of the Courga alien species, as I uploaded this, I am beginning to wonder if it looks a little bit like he was wearing old-guy pants pulled halfway up to his armpits.  Ugh.

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This was done digitally with Photoshop.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cover Replica: Batman #251

Batman #251


Here's the original cover of Batman #251 by Neal Adams.

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Aaaaaaannnnddddd, at the risk of having to do another "Mea Culpa" (this time for Neal Adams rather than Brian Bolland), here's the cover replica I did for my pal (and Superman's), Jim, from Jimmy Jams Comics and Games here in Winona, MN.  

Ugh, these things are ginormous and take FOREVER to do!  Unfortunately, they are so large, the color is sort of off a bit and the lighting is a bit strange.  Oh, well.

The process is basically the same as my previous cover replicas...

* * *


STEP ONE:  I cut a 20" x 30" piece of hardboard, and then glued a 22" x 30" sheet of Stonehenge (#140) paper using acrylic medium, and trimmed the excess paper after it dried.  I then used a mixture of gesso and acrylic medium to paint over top of the Stonehenge paper to prep it for painting.  When that was done, I drew a 1" x 1" grid and set to pencilling the cover image.

Once the pencils were done, I began to paint the large areas with acrylic paint.  The straight lines were done with a Sharpie marker and a ruler.  The other line work was done with a mixture of acrylic black paint and waterproof India ink and painted on with a round brush.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here it with most of the color laid in and the lettering about half-done in spots (less so in others).  Gee, I haven't mentioned that I hate lettering for quite a while!  Mostly 'cuz I'm not all that great at it and it is a painfully slow process for me.  Yeah, yeah, I'll get better with practice.  :-S

* * *


STEP THREE:  Here's the finished picture.  To blend in some of the light-purple effects on the gloves and the Joker's suit, I used a drybrush method with the acrylic paint.  To drybrush, you use a little bit of paint on a larger, round, hog bristle brush, wipe most of it off on a separate piece of paper, then lightly brush the remaining bit of paint across the picture, which gives it more of a soft, almost airbrush effect.  When it was done, I sprayed some Krylon UV-Resistant Archival spray as a varnish.

There are a few wonky areas that bother me, but I was generally pleased with the finished painting.  Mostly, however, I was glad it was done and I can move on to some other stuff, now.  :-)

* * *

This was done with acrylic paint on 20" x 30" gessoed Stonehenge paper glued to hardboard.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Aliens - Cotati

Cotati


Here is the original entry for the Alien Race: Cotati to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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* * *


STEP ONE:  Once again, here are the quickly scribbled digital pencils on a New 900px x 1,350px document.

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STEP TWO:  Here are the quick colors thrown over top the pencils, and I used the Eraser to carve out leaf designs.

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STEP THREE:  And here are the added highlights and shadows on the same Layer.

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This was done digitally with Photoshop.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Aliens - Clavians

Clavians


Here is the original entry for the Alien Race: Clavians to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the quickly scribbled digital pencils on a New 900px x 1,350px document.

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STEP TWO:  I decided to change things up a bit stylistically and did some quick color layouts, rather than the typical digital inks.

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STEP THREE:  I did everything on a single layer this time, just for fun and to try something a little different.  I added the highlights and shadows, and also made some slight adjustments to the character's facial structure after digging up my old copies of "ROM: Spaceknight" and looking at their first appearance.

* * *

Created digitally in PhotoShop.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Mini-Paint: 4-LOM

4-LOM


Saving the best for last in the series of  bounty hunters from "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back", it's 4-LOM!  There is something about an alien, robot-bug head mounted on a C-3PO body that tickled the fancy of a young John Douglas.  To me, 4-LOM and IG-88 were the coolest of the bounty hunters.

The palette was: Titanium White, Naples Yellow (Red Lt.), Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Deep, Cobalt Blue (Hue), and Ivory Black.

This painting took about 2 hours.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, roughed in on a 5.5" x 8" toned, gessoed hardboard.

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STEP TWO:  Here's the first pass of acrylic painting using a #10 Flat brush, done over the course of an hour.

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STEP THREE:  And this is the final painting, which an additional hour to tighten up all the details, using both a #10 Flat brush and #10 Round brush. 

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This was done with Acrylic Paint on 5.5" x 8" gessoed hardboard.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Mini-Paint: Zuckuss

Zuckuss


It's another Min-Paint!  The penultimate bounty hunter from "The Empire Strikes Back", Zuckuss.  Although, for a while, he was confused with his bounty hunting partner, 4LOM--Kenner even release the wrong name on the action figures for a while.

The palette was: Titanium White, Naples Yellow (Red Lt.), Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Deep, Cobalt Blue (Hue), and Ivory Black.

I'm not sure why, but this was one of those which spun out of control, time-wise.  It took about 3-1/2 hours.  Yeah, I know...

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the quick, scribbled pencils, done on a 5-1/2" x 8" piece of toned, gessoed hardboard.

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STEP TWO:  Here's the first pass done with a #10 flat brush, which took about 90 minutes.

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STEP THREE:  And the next two hours (?!) were spent working on textures, highlights, and shadows with both the #10 Flat and #10 Round brush.  Yeah, I really don't know why Zuckuss took so long to paint.  I think it just got a little too "fussy" with the smaller brush.  Live and learn, I guess.  Well, live, anyways...

* * *

This was done with Acrylic Paint on 5.5" x 8" gessoed hardboard.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Forge

Forge


Here is the original entry for Forge in the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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And, here's my version for the Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Redux Blog.  I was a regular reader of "X-Men" way back in the day, when they first introduced Forge.  Holy cow, that was a long, LONG time ago...

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STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils on a New 900px x 1350px document.

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STEP TWO:  Here are the digital inks, done with a 5px hard brush.

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STEP THREE:  And over a series of layers, I used a combination of grayscale and Multiply layers to colorize the drawing, with final highlights and darks done with a Normal Layer over top.

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This was done digitally in Photoshop.

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