Monday, June 29, 2009


Zepplin Crewman

Here's a German crewmember of a Zepplin. Why? It was a concept for a little idea put together by a friend, and might yet one day see the light of day. Might.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I draw dragons

Updated dragon slice ... the final image in the book will be pretty small. I've been asked to do a heap more so apparently I do draw dragons now. And for a very cool upcoming title ... hush!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I don't draw dragons

Well I've finally found cause to paint a dragon - the bread and butter of all fantasy artists! A slice of blocking out for the composition of a smallish RPG illustration in progress. Never actually drawn a dragon before - the anatomy was pretty tricky really. I really do like roasting little soldiers!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Hand

I was working on a commission painting for a rpg book tonight and was blocking in some details in photoshop - this hand stood out as being something unique in the way it was rendered. It's not anatomically great but there's something fresh that I like.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Final Test Bust

So here's as far as I'll probably take the MB2009 test bust. It's been a worthwhile trial while I sit around feeling sorry for myself, full of snot-bugs. I didn't use any reference for this, but the result kind of reminds me of a cross between Dirty Harry and Herr Starr from Preacher. Notes about MB2009:
  • It doesn't have a renderer, thankfully it's got pretty good on-screen display functions so screen caps are okay and will have to do. I tried a render in Maya and couldn't be bothered waiting - this bust alone was 2051728 poly! Despite this it ran very well, no lag.
  • You can't duplicate meshes. Had to export one eye and re-import it just to duplicate!
  • No great posing tools - it's expected that you'll be using Maya again ofcourse, but I can see that it's not going to compete well against Zbrush without it.
  • Exporting normal and occlusion maps seems simple enough - not tested though.
  • Tools are limited, again compared to Zbrush, but do the job.
  • Layout in MB is a billion times easier to understand then Zbrush - I got started straight away, instead of staring at the screen like a gump when I first looked at the Z.
  • Sculpting eyes is murder.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mud Box Bust

Thought I'd try the Mud Box 2009 trial version. Immediate impression was that it was far easier to get to grips with then the Z. I think this is for me ... no reference here, just tooling around getting used to the controls.

Updated: Added some more shaping.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cry Me A River

Top image supplied by my girl's cousin, who rightfully noted that they cry a lot (image entitled "Sadie & Sabine Crying, By Campbell, Sept. 2008").

Inspired by

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Painful metamorphosis - Kafka?

I think I've worked out what's been happening lately. It's taken weeks of terrible artistic torment to see it. The kind self torture that makes you twist in your sheets at night, and curse your blunted abilities. I've been afflicted with an inferno raging inside that's barely been able to be contained by my skin. You probably know what I'm talking about, and I think it's unique to artists. But it comes down to pure thumping, comsuming desire.

I've been really unhappy with my artwork recently, particularly when it comes to comic art. I've been making many attempts and failing as I flail about look for style and form - being influenced this way and that by the many great artists I see out there. I was getting really bummed out by it. Ripped up by all these powerful twisting desires. I wanted to explode from the inside out. Then it dawned on me - I was in the process of changing my art. Shifting from my old style to a new one - one where I was beginning to add the elements that I knew deep down were missing and yet I wasn't admitting it. Any metamorphosis is going to be painful and confusing, especially one that alters your identity. Like a guy lying on the ground screaming and changing into a werewolf as his body twists, splits and changes shape. It means taking a massive step backwards.

I think I'm on the right path now, although I havn't really begun to do what I need to get where I want. But at least I know it. I need to add a lot more character, composition and style to my artwork - as well has improving my knowledge of anatomy and movement. I know the artists who have it and am going to learn from them. It's a painful injection.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ophilia Searching...

Only time for a quick Ophilia sketch tonight ... busy with a few commissions. I'm searching for the right age and cuteness. The loosely drawn hat and clothes seem to convey the scruffiness well. Story thought: Ophilia was sent to the Arcadian mines with an older sister. What happened to her during their escape into the city?

Updated with new pic. Almost happy with the shape of the head and hair.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Royal Army Officer

The 'Red Coats' ensure that the Empire is well protected, and it's colonies remain under control of the Crown. I'm happy to mix up both early and late 19th century uniform and technology (the wealthy and powerful keep the good stuff only for themselves ofcourse), but I think that this is just a little too modern. I'll try some stockings next time!

Note: I'm over rendering concepts. Gotta loosen up and blow them out - otherwise it's just one a night.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Low Energy Sketches

Not much energy tonight ... just enough for some quick sketches. Just feeling around for style. Note that the hairstyle on the Ophelia study is somewhat based off of my daughters' wild locks.

In other news I've got a heap of illustration work coming up for some exciting RPG projects (including a big computer game tie-in). It'll probably mean disappearing off the radar again :/

Monday, June 08, 2009

Van Daemon's Town

Here's a speed painted concept for the location of Ophelia Twist - Van Daemon's Town. It's pretty obvious to me now that my mental image of the place is far more grand then being just 'a settlement' ... I might shift it to being an established 'beggar city' - an isolated place where all the rif-raf of the empire are dumped. Shown here is the main canal where many of the larger, more solid buildings have been established. The inhabitants lower 'Scum Catchers' into the silt-river below to grow the Kelp that keeps the majority of the inhabitants alive. Floating high in the background is Saint Maxamillion's Cathedral, seat of power for the Church of the Holy Pleroma on the moon Arcadia. The Church is wealthy enough to afford the Cavorite necessary to float the cathedral. Many see the Cathedral's separation from the city as a sign of the Church's disdain for the inhabitants. Also seen floating above the city is a more conventional airship, balloon floated and steam driven.

Shadowrun I - Rigger

An image for the upcoming Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition RPG ... an Elf Rigger. This is one of three comissioned for the book - it's out in PDF format now. I'll post the other two when the actual book hits the shelves.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bat Dog

The Catchman needs a pack of slavering bat-dogs to help root out and bring down swift children. I'll be checking out the Hyenas from Lion King for this one!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ophelia Street Urchin

So this is a stab at Ophelia in looser garb ... she's probably not aerodynamic enough like this. She needs to be able to do her acrobatics unhindered. But this could be good everyday disguise gear!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Where I'm Going with Comics

I've never made a personal statement about where I want to take my art. I've always believed that an artist should be flexible, and be able to respond to the commercial need or essence of whatever he's making. I get pushed an pulled around whenever I see great art - It makes me swing back and forth! So here's the direction, in regard to drawing comics, that I want to head - I need to fuse the following artists and recombine it with what I know; Mike Mignola - layout and style, 'Cheeks' Sean Galloway - finding the perfect line & Claire Wendling - Composition and beauty. There's probably more!

I can go about the creation two ways; digitally or traditional. I always lean towards digital but It might be due to laziness. If I can't get myself a Cinteq sooner or later then I want to start doing layouts on paper, and get back into the habit of inking too. The final look i'm interested in is clean lined, simple coloured main characters and painterly backgrounds, similar to a disney or anime sensibility.

The Catchman

These mysterious hunters devoutly hunt down errant children and take them away in bundles, but for what purpose? Not sure what weapons he'd use to capture yet ... also would like to include some steam-punk elements to his costume. Will refine.

Ophelia Twist Concepts

Just some thoughts on Ophelia's outfit. Currently I'm thinking they're too fitting; they need to be loose and oversized to emphasise her smallness. She needs to look more filthy, street urchin style.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ophelia Twist | the artful dodger

Ophelia Twist, orphan female 13 years, was sentenced by His Magesty's court to be transported to the Lunar Colony of Van Daemon's Convict Settlement, for the term of her natural life, to be hastily sent forth-width via Aerial Ballonsphere, for the wretched crime of theft (Bread Loaf & sundry).

This is a story idea that's been kicking around my head and some of my sketchbooks. Essentially a sci-fi-steam-punked version of Oliver Twist, a young Ophelia is trained by Fagan, Master Thief, in the arts of pickpocket, acrobatics and lockpicking. Her escapades bring her and her thief clan into conflict with the cold-hearted Governor-General and troops of the moon-colony. The little fury guy is a rat-weasel, vermin trained as familiars who squeeze through tight holes to poach keys, etc. The penal colony itself is a warren of over-built walkways, wooden houses and smoke belching factories. The elite of the colony live on balloon-floating, upper platforms.

Would also make for a cool game!

Golem: Gorrilla Hybrid

The proscribed 'dark sciences', in this case Xenotransmutation and Hybrid Breeding, is highly illegal and condemned by the church as a blasphemy. That is unless, ofcourse, you're the King of one of the most powerful empires on Earth, who enjoys carte blanche in the creation of the powerful creatures know as Golems, or Hybrids - animals mixed with men - beasts engineered and grown at The Royal Promethean Laboratories, carefully monitored by Sir Dr Moreau and Dr Frankenstein. The failed experiments in interbreeding are typically called Ogres because of their terrible appearance, and are typically used for heavy labour in out of the way places. The type of Golem pictured above are nicknamed Brutes, for they serve as combatants for the Crown where extra 'persuasive' force is required.