Thursday, April 2, 2015

Evil Teletubbies Photo Manipulation

This was a quick and fun little photo manipulation I did of a Teletubby parody!
So I thought I would show you the steps I took to make it!

First I took the image and de-saturated the image and blackened out the eyes.

I then overlaid a cracked texture for the faces from my texture library and turned the layer to soft light.

After that I blackened the background.

Then I overlaid a messy art table photo I took in college for a texture. I copied this texture twice, turn one upside down, turned one layer to soft light and another to multiply. I then darkened the edges.

Nearing the end I painted in mist with some textured brushes.

Lastly, I used a photo filter to cool down the image to make it a bit scarier and to make it look like they were in the dark.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cthulhian Priests, A Group of Geeks and Kickstarters

Cthulhian Priests, A Group of Geeks and Kickstarters

So it has been a busy week for me working on kickstarters, painting Cthulhian Priests to get away from kickstarters and forming a new facebook group because I couldn't find one like it. 

 So I thought I would start things off by taking you through the process I did for the Cthulhian priest. The piece actually started many years ago and was a sketch from the first page of my travel sketch book!

So I took the face of that old sketch into photoshop and refined it as well as adding on a posed body. For some reason I was in a Nehru jacket mood so I designed his robe that way. I think it was because I was remembering a Weird Al Song.
Once the sketch was done I did a highly refined value painting of him. To get here I start of the values very softly and in general and then I slowly start tightening up the image into sharp details.
Then using an old photo as reference I took while down in la Jolla cove visiting some good friends I painted an alien world, because any good Lovecraftian will tell you that Cthulhu is just a powerful (godlike) alien and his race is called the Star Spawn. This guy is not Star Spawn but he is related!
I then start washing over the value painting with local or base colors for atmosphere and color balance. When I choose my base colors I am often looking for simultaneous contrast which is a fancy artist term for colors making each other look more vivid by being next to each other.
After laying out out the base colors I threw in a little pattern design to the robe to make it look richer.
 After the robes I start adding more color by adding warm color to the light side of my image and cool colors for the shadow sides of my image. This is one of my favorite parts because it helps bring the image to life!
Lastly comes the final touches, color adjustments, clean up, polishing and final little details! This painting took me all day and I needed that distraction from stress of Kickstarter work.

Toward the end of the week I was looking for Facebook groups to join and I wanted a group that was all about being a geek which I am proud to call myself through and through, but the sad panda cried because I could not find one. So what to do? Well create one of course!

I created We Be Geek to be a safe group in which geeks can share general geekiness with other fellow geeks. There are Facebook groups all over that are very specific in their geek interests, but I felt that a lot of geek interests overlap. By the 3rd day we have already gained 131 members! We talk about all kinds of things from video games, cult movie classics, roleplaying games, cool art, science and more! I have even set the rules for limited self-promotion as long as it is geeky in nature or can help geeks out!

If you become an active member you will also receive an official Geek card with your picture, name and Geek number! Everyone loves them! To get one all you have to do is be a member, be active and show you can get your Geek on! I will then make one for you!

So if you are on Facebook be sure to drop by the group, check out all the fun we are having and feel free to join! All are welcome!    We Be Geek!


Last but not least, as some of you know or don't know is that for the past 27 days Nathan Maher and I have been running a kickstarter for the first expansion to the game Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond! The Kickstarter for Mortal Intrusion is to pay for the time that I can do the artwork, but the writing I am doing for free as I am the coauthor of the book this time! Good art takes time and time requires money which is why we are holding the kickstarter, not only will it be paying for the artwork but also for the publishing costs and goodies we are offering. We want to produce a quality product and while we have met our KS goal, it is only the barebones funds we need to really produce a high quality product so we need more funds.

 Be awesome in what you do and become a backer, share this blog or post in FB or do both to help us reach those stretch goals! Those who become financial backers get great rewards, but you better hurry because we only have about 3 days left!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask them!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Evolution of Cthulhu & Concept Art

Evolution of Cthulhu and Concept Art

I am going to take you on a little journey of the art and design of Cthulhu who has over the years been my most prominent painting subject. For those of you know don't know Cthulhu is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous creation despite the fact that Cthulhu only  appeared Lovecraft novel The Call of Cthulhu. While self training and going to college to gain my artistic skills I had decided  to sharpen my ability to perform as concept artist by working from his prose alone and to not to follow the crowd of previous depictions. Cthulhu has been and always will be my on going project. 

The Old one were, the Old Ones are, 
and the Old Ones shall be.

Cthulhu Rising
 My first attempts at painting Cthulhu was primitive at best because painting skill aside I really didn't understand my subject nor did I understand the process of doing concept art or the finer aspects of composition. This was actually before I had even read Lovecraft's work and I only saw the works of others and thought he was cool.

Star Spawn
My second attempt was after I actually started researching and reading Lovecraft's work and I started to understand a little more about Lovecraft's vision. This piece for example is a Starspawn part of Cthulhu's race once I learned that Cthulhu is actually an alien from another world, but his power was so great that he was elevated to godhood status by mankind. As you can see my skill was improving but I was also trying to break free from the depictions other artists have done in the past.

I did this piece when I finally started to understand the need of a visual narrative of an illustration and concept piece. I learned that I had to stimulate the imaginations of my viewers with my work in order to engage them. I kept things simple and straight forward and the feedback I got from this attempt was positive. It was then that I started to learn that I can't operate in a vacuum and needed feedback from my audience.
Lovecraft's Original Sketch

             Wishful Thinking 
Blind Perspective

About this time I was exploring Cthulhu's design even more, but this time I allowed to look at only one visual depiction and that was from Lovecraft's own sketch of how he saw Cthulhu looking. Also during this time I was really learning how to push my rendering skills and exploring in techniques of color and rendering.

Cthulhu Concept
In this design I was trying to break away from the conventional presentations of how Cthulhu was suppose to look like. At this point in time I ended up view other Cthulhu depictions. I think at the time I was also being influenced by other movies. For instance, I forget the name of the movie but it showed a dragon that had feather like wings that were actually scales.

Ends to a Mean
Once again I was exploring the narrative and to this day I found that being able to show a narrative is not only important for illustration but also for concept art and for the very same reasons. One of illustration and concept artwork most important aspects is the need to communicate to the viewer whether it be a general audience or an art director. This piece was also about having fun as it is bit of fan art when you notice the cube the little girl is holding is the puzzle box from the Movie Hell Raiser.

Cthulhu Sketch
This piece actually was a sketch I did during a lecture in one of my art classes, but I was paying attention, honest! This was an important design because I had started to to get tunnel vision in my design and I started to let go. When I mean by tunnel vision I mean it was the only solution I felt was worth exploring or I felt that would work. Letting go of such perceptions is probably one of the hardest things to do in order to become a good concept artist because you have to be able to present different variations of a single subject in order to get the desired result.

Cthulhu's Uninvited 
Again in this piece I was exploring the narrative more and a bit of design as well. I was also returning to the literary description as it described Cthulhu having scales.

Wishful Thinking 2
Here I returned to this piece knowing sometimes going back and doing it again is a good thing and that you don't want to throw away a good thing just for the sake of progress.

Lastly here is my latest concept design of Cthulhu. Again I was letting go of previous design, but I returned to some of the more literary descriptions of Cthulhu by Lovecraft, but also based on feedback and discussions with fellow Lovecraftians. Again here you see my skill has improved considerably and this is due to time of constantly doing art, but also the contracted speculation work I have been doing for MMOmagic as a concept artist which hopefully will pay off someday soon or at the very least has been giving me experience as a concept artist.
Cthulhu Concept
Today I still work as a freelance artist and I don't always know where the money is coming as commissions come in sporadically which makes it hard to pay the bills. In order to counter balance this I have to work with my clients which include helping them or working with them for kickstarter projects like the one below. Please help by becoming a risk free money backer, by sharing this blog on various social media such as Facebook, twitter and more, or be excellent by doing both!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

From speed painting to full painting!

Back when I was doing the art for Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond, I had to do a lot of speed paintings to fill up the book because the budget was low and so it was decided to go economy with some of the art, so the book would not feel unbalanced in art. I am working artist so of course if you are good at something don't do it for free, but on the same token you want what you do look good and to be helpful. Some of those speed paintings, since by contract I still own full copyrights, I decided I would revisit and turn into something wonderful. The last two days I lived up to that promise to one of those pieces.

As many as you know I am a Lovecraftian who often brings in Lovecraftian work into my art. One of the speed paintings I did for Spooks! was a NPC portrait of H.P.Lovecraft which I wrote into the book. This painting took my approximately 30 minutes to do, but it would just one among many that I painted for the book. The NPCs in the book are all historic people painted to look like a variety of different Spooks. According the game, a person rises as a certain type of spook depending on how they died or lived their lives. In the case of Lovecraft, he died of cancer and the book states that most who die from disease rise as zombies.

I loved the speed paint that I did of Lovecraft, not only because he is one of my favorite authors but because painting zombies is fun as hell! So I decided to return and make it something special. Now I mentioned that painting zombies is fun and I will tell you why! Zombies are like old people in that they have so much detail and texture to their faces to the point that it is beautiful. It is like exploring a map to some unknown land. For this composition at first I planned on adding a ton of references to Lovecraft's work like him holding the Necronomicon, as well as a syringe holding the reanimator reagent, and tentacles hugging him around the shoulders, but then I decided that it would make the piece to busy and that I wanted to keep it simple and straight forward. I did however keep the necronomicon in the painting but it is shelved. The syringe design I was going for a steampunk quality but it was really inspired by the memory syringes from the movie Dark City.

If you have any questions about my art please feel free to ask!

Also don't forget to check out the Kickstarter for the first expansion to Spooks!Welcome to the Great Beyond. We need all the support we can get!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Art of Mortal Intrusion

In my last blog entry I introduced our new kickstarter for Spooks! Mortal Intrusion. To this date we are currently 57% funded of our minimum goal but if we don't meet our minimum goal by the deadline then we don't get funded. In order to inspire everyone to be backers or at least supporters who will spread the word around I have created new character art for the game it self.

Introducing Espers, who are Divergents who are the psychic archetype of the game. Espers come in many varieties such as telepaths, telekinetics, pyrokenetics and many more. They are powerful but they are often hunted because common folk fear them and often mistake them as witches! To sweeten the deal I have created to speed videos of my painting process! So please enjoy them and if you are so inclined become a backer or helps spread the word or do both! Every little bit helps and the more we pull in the better the book will be!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A return to blogging and news of Spooks! Mortal Intrusion

               Hi everyone, I was to apologize from my absence of doing blog posts. Sometimes life can get very hectic and there is only so much time or energy I can gather to get thing done that I want done. I do want to return to have blog articles done on a regular basis.

Spooks! WTTGB: Mortal Intrusion
More money means more time I can work on art!
               I will start off by announcing a new Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond book called Mortal Intrusion is currently in the works, but not only am I the main artist again, but I am also the co-author. However, while the first book has been published it is a still a budding company, so we are turning to Kickstarter once again to help generate funds. We are doing this so that we have the time to work on the game  because time is money and that is what needed to complete the book! So please check out the Kickstarter video below, visit our Kickstarter page to become a backer by donating or if you can't donate then by spreading the word of our game because word of mouth is a powerful thing.
Spooks! WTTGB Mortal Intrusion KickStarter

Spooks! WTTGB & Mortal Intrusion
               If you don't already know, Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond is a game set in the afterlife and beyond where players take the roles of the deceased and have adventures because the afterlife wasn't what we expected at all! The game is a classless point buy skill game system allowing players to customize their characters anyway they see fit. While there are no traditional classes like you might find in games such as Dungeons and Dragons, but in a sense there are races like in D&D because in Spooks! you get to choose what type of dead spirit you rise as. Your character may be a skeleton, a ghost or even a vampire, but you are not just limited to those choices! Lastly the game is centered around being family friendly, educational because much of the content is based on actual Earth history and best of all your character can never die because you're already dead!

               Now comes along Spooks! Mortal Intrusion which is all about the more lively side of Spooks Welcome to the Great Beyond. In the first book we barely mentioned the living because the focus on on the dead, but of course our fans wanted to haunt and also wanted to play mortals, however we felt that the mortal side deserved its own book! In mortal intrusion you take on the role of Common Folk or Divergents, Divergents are human mortals who have extraordinary ability through either magical bloodlines or evolution. For example, you can player Divergents such as ESPers who are psychics and telekinetics or the mighty Zoonthropes which include Werewolves, but you are not limited to choosing that form for you could easily become lions, tigers, and bears . . . Oh My! In Mortal Intrusion you adventure both in the living world where you can experience the supernatural, clandestine agencies, and more, but not only that there are ways to crossover into the Great Beyond and still be alive and adventure there as well! However, unlike the core game, in Mortal Intrusion your character can and will probably die, it is just a matter of when it will happen, but do not worry because if you die then you just rise as the undead and keep on adventuring!

We are also holding a contest which is free and easy to enter and the prize is that you get to have your very own NPC (non player character) in the book which will have its own portrait and you get to decide what their personality will be like, what they are and what they look like! Follow the link to enter
Mortal Intrusion Contest!
               If you win then you get to have your own NPC (non-player character) that will be featured in the book who will play a role in the history of the book and have its own portrait. Plus you get to decide their personality, how they look and what kind of Spook or Divergent they are! Here is the catch though, there can be only one winner and the winner will either be on the Spooks side or the Mortal side. Entry is easy but winning can be hard.

**********Rules **********

1) To enter the contest you must have “liked” our official Spooks Welcome to the Great beyond Facebook page and “liked” either the “Vote Spooks” or the “Vote Mortals” photo. Voting for both sides or not voting for the page is grounds for disqualification.
2) To win the contest whatever “Vote for” photo gets the most likes will be the winning side. From the list of names from the “likes” on that winning photo we will randomly draw all eligible one winner.
3)The contest will starts today 2/12/2015 and ends on Saturday 3/21/2015.

**********Increasing your odds of winning:********* 

               The best way to increase your odds of winning is by making sure the side you vote for has the most votes! So if you want your side to win and increase your chances of winning then share this post and get your friends to enter the contest as well!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vote my designs into print!

I have recently joined the Community. If you didn't know Threadless is a clothing and product online store in which artists can submit designs which get voted on. The designs that get the highest votes, most numerous votes, and good comments are then more likely to be printed and sold. If a design is chosen the artist receives royalties on what sells! However I have found this is easier said than done and it seem that it can take 100s of votes to get printed.

Come and check out my latest designs and vote, comment and if you would be so willing share them on your Facebook and other social media sites. Please help support my designs! You do have to sign in to vote, however that is easy as you can sign in with a Facebook account, it's totally hassle free.