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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Digital Painting Fanart Mummra

Ok so I finally got around to colouring this pretty little face. Interested in how I did it? Read below X)

To begin I took the greyscale into photoshop and adjusted the colour with HueSaturation until I found a colour that agreed with me. In this case it was a very dark yellow/brown colour. I also adjusted the 'levels' to tone down the blacks and whites a bit. Why do this? It will allow you to reserve the harsh lights and darks to really punch out specific places eg.wet areas like the eyes and lips etc. If you have absolute black and white spread throughout the image you will lose the effect of contrast imo-which is a great tool for leading the eye to a focal point that you want the viewers eye to land on.

After this stage I usually add a multiply layer and start blockin in the basic colours. Purple/blue for the skin, red for the hood/jewel, some type of yellowish brown for the bandages/metals and a contrasting dark green for the bg. These are just to get things going and will usually get altered as I go along. At this point I am a little scatter brained and not really sure how the image will turn out. I have some vague idea somewhere hidden deep within my subconscious and continue to search for something that triggers my muse to get on the right track. When this finally happens I get into this excited type of 'zone' and dig deep into little details like the crevaces of the teeth and eyelids! I usually end up spending a lot of time in these areas-not sure why.

At some point I will flatten all the layers, select all...copy...then undo the flattening, and paste the flattened layer on top of the WIP layers. I group the WIPs together into a WIP folder and hide it-focusing on the new flat layer. I will play around with 'level's and hue saturation and start painting again. I also flip the image horizontal at this point to reveal and obvious mistakes that I've grown accustomed to. After adjusting all this I tend to make another 'normal' layer and add reflective lighting-in this case the left side with a light blue and the right side with a bright green. I keep these on a separate layer because I can just let loose and over do it with no worries of ruining all my hard work. After I've completely covered the image in cheeseball reflective blue&green I go to my layers and rifle through the options-Opacity and screen are usually first. If this doesn't satisfy me on its own I will go in with the eraser and delete a lot of it.

I flatten all of this and then add any cast shadows and punch out the wet highlights I mentioned earlier. In this case the eyes/surrounding areas and the teeth/gums/lips got the wet treatment. The metals and the jewel received some attention as well.

The final stage came with some darkening around the edges of the image to centralize focus and some additional splashes of green in some areas just because I felt like it.

I hope this was a little insightful to my process-I have a video capture of the beginning stage of the colouring -but it's such a huge file that I will not upload it. If anyone has tips on screen capturing on a Mac feel free to enlighten me!

thanks for lookin'

Friday, October 24, 2008


What an awesome idea! and for a great cause!! I wish I could've been a part of it X( either way I can't wait to check it out--- Never heard of it? just click the IMAGE above and watch the video trailer :D

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Character Design:Ogar

This is an older character design that I created while feeling depleted from working too much. I drew it to revive some old characters that I've been drawing since I was about 13 years old! I have made some updates to him.

He always initially had the wolf head on him-although the location of it changed every time I drew him! oops hahaha
Here's the basic story in a nutshell:
Ogar defeated a powerful Wolf demon-well almost defeated it-I say this because after the battle and before the final death blow the wolf latches itself to Ogar in a final ditch effort to survive (in this dimension)-either by biting onto him or with some type of spell (undecided so far)
The wolf-demon often talks with him, and if he doesn't get his way he'll bite etc haha...
well thats what I have so far anyways!

oGar character & variations copyright joe vriens

Saturday, October 11, 2008

MummRa Fanart

MuMmRa fanart

Hi everyone!
I thought I'd share my take on an old 80s cartoon character that's been etched in my memory since viewing the first episode as an impressionable young lad...
I like to do a few warm up sketches before getting into any work related art-and usually they're pretty crud and I scrap 'em but once in awhile I have enough inspiration (thanks LeSean!) to bust out a couple that don't end up in the trash-this is one of those rare occasions :) I was flippin' through LeSean Thomas' Midnight Marauders book (go buy now!) and ended up on my favourite couple pages featuring MummRa-the Villain from Thundercats. I guess LeSean was part of the team working on the new Tcats animation that never saw the light of day(such a shame) anyways, his MummRa designs were so full of life and energy that I just had to draw some of my own! These were done from memory after closing the book(and surfin' the net and pouring some appleton's)-so it's a mix between the old school original designs, LeSeans and some of my very own ;) I drew them using Alias Sketchbook Pro and later compiled them with photoshop. A few weeks later I revisited these and ended up rendering some grey scale as a warm up for some other work. Some more time passed and I added the paper texture and the border-touched up the grey scale and eventually called it 'done'. This broken up time frame type of approach happens often-and sometimes frustrates me-but whatever...
After posting this on my Deviantart page and gettin' some positive feedback I decided to revisit the other MummRa sketches and complied another page shown below:

This one includes the previous page with some minor alterations. After posting this it was obvious that the most popular sketch was the 2nd from the upper left corner(top left from the first page) and also my fav. as well-so I decided to take that one to the next level-a full grey scale painting with as much detail as possible :)
So I pulled up my chair-fired up my Cintiq and took a sip of my freshly poured Appleton's 'n' coke and worked on that for awhile. I love to just dig in to all that creepy scaly facial detail of creatures and monsters! It's almost a meditative type state after awhile-and I get into a groove-almost tracing what I see with my mind's eye. heh...could be the booze talkin' but...anyways...this is what I came up with...
I tried to video capture the entire grey scale painting process but the final videos ended up with some weird artifact's and other annoying glitches. If anyone could recommend a decent video capture program for Mac OSX 10.5.5 please let me know! I would love to start posting this type of video regularly on this blog along with some tutorials as well.
For those that actually took the time to read all my ramblings I apologize if your eyes are bleeding. I promise to work on the textual content of this site as it grows-but until then, please enjoy the perdy pic churz !

for more info on this character and the Thundercats please visit the wiki page!

MummRa&Thundercats copyright of their respective owners

"I just wanna work on my own stuff!"

"I just wanna work on my own stuff!" a comment I've heard way too many times working in the various studios I've worked for in the past 9 or so years-from Saturday morning animation to comic books or videogames-it's always the same story. I even heard it way back at Sheridan College where I studied art fundamentals and classical animation! There's something about the creative mind of an artist, be it musician, writer or otherwise that seem to have this inner fire that dies a little inside when we choose to work on someone else's ideas rather than our own. I'm not saying this is the rule, I know a lot of professional artists that prefer to have ideas given to them to fire up their inspiration which motivates them to spend hours creating and drawing and painting all day long. I'm also not saying that I suffered through each and every professional project I've ever worked on either-I've enjoyed quite a few actually-but if I spent too much time working exclusively away from my personal creative influences I would begin to suffer.

My goal is to draw & paint for the sheer enjoyment of it-not for anyone else's project or for work or anything other than selfish artistic bliss. A place where I'll be posting artwork from myself and occasionally some guest artists from the videogame, comic, animation & movie industries who share the same desire-"I just wanna work on my own stuff!"