Monthly Archives: December 2012

Robo Teddy Strikes Back

Sort of finished image of one of the character’s imaginary play time. I think the only thing missing here is a good shadow underneath the boy in the front. The finished image is bittersweet because of the amount of detail which went into the background characters and the desaturation of both their tones to better emphasise the depth and detachment.Page09_small

Here’s the original sketch in all it’s line work glory. The only modification here was the flying female which I re-drew after finishing Robo Teddy. I recently visited a website which parodies a comic character Nighthawk in ridiculously “empowered” heroine poses and decided to ensure my flying female embodied that same demeaning ass-in-your-face-scantily-cladded-female-figure.


Painting Robo Teddy:

Here’s Teddy with the colour scheme laid down to paint over. The foreground would have some cheesy flame/smoke (as the battle would have already been in progress) to cast some serious warm uplighting. Never one to make life easy for myself, Robo Teddy would have to be metallically reflective :/.


Refining the line work to give me an idea where the panels and metal cladding would go. This makes things easier when painting in perspective to allow for distortions and to reduce rework when I see how I stuffed up when I zoomed out.


Starting on the fun bit, Teddy’s head (and psycho eyes).


I decided while painting to make the lower body more dome-like instead of cylindrical in plating. It would be funny if the belly button was Death-Star like.


Finishing up the feet and starting on the first canon arm.


And the finished arms with lord knows what kind of energy ray gun devices attached. The most difficult bit about those guns were getting the nozzles in the right distorted angle.


Other than that, the final image was pretty straightforward. Finished painting the other two characters on separate layers and then applied a Hue/Saturation Mod Layer to fade the fighting pair to the background.

Picture Frames

No process for this one, just the finished image because it was quite simple to produce.


Having said that, the details on the actual frames took much longer than the rest of the image due to metallic shading. I thoroughly enjoyed detailing the wrinkles on the character’s face – I used some random woman’s face on Google as a reference. I don’t think ┬áthere will be many pages with that amount of detail but at least it was good practice.


In other news, I’ve learnt 559 words in French to date via the Duolingo website. I do as opposed to painting these images for the time being to give the muscles in my shoulders and back a break.

Inside the Hive Mind

Here’s the finished image of another page in the Illustrated Book I’m working on. This one took me a little longer than a day due to the architectural complexity of the internal structure and perspective. The basic principle of operation is that Sweets are arrange in alphabetical order and can be ordered at the counter after browsing. Each would be delivered by the complex vacuum tubing network overhead. Apart from that, the perishables are kept in glass shelves around the counter.

Overall, I enjoyed the sweet connotation of pink fairy floss, glossy cupcake goodness and bee hive simplicity of the interior.


As usual the image starts off with a base line sketch with colours thrown down for a scheme. This is actually the third or fourth version of the interior based on a few sketches in notebooks and on the computer. I opted for a symmetrical fish-eye view for ease of mirroring details later on. The original shelving was curved and angled to compliment the swirl of floss, but didn’t feel special enough.


Here’s what the original block work for the hive-like hexagon shelves looked like – with slight skewing to follow the swirl arrangement of the original idea. Originally I wanted the shelves to be accessible by shoppers by the vacuum tube method of delivery made for a more interesting (and possibly hygienic) experience.


After one half of the shelves were done, I mirrored the existing layer and readjusted them via Lasso and Skew to match up as closely to the asymmetrical other side. It’s less painting to do from scratch but still a lot of work to readjust all the line work to the fish-eye perspective.


Basic colour scheme was laid out for the tubing int he roof structure to get a feel for the volume of space.I then complete one side and horizontally mirrored it again.


The mirrored section then gets about 40-50% repainting to give the feel that it’s not an obvious mirror.


After this, the Foreground Glass Shelving, Floor and Main Character gets placed in the image (final image at start of blog). The layers also get Saturation/Lighting adjustment to ensure the final image has some depth.

Confectionary Architecture

Here’s another sequence showing how I came to the final image. The Sweet Store is actually based on shape the owner’s head, and is constructed in glass and lit from inside to resemble fairy floss. At the back is the “factory” where the sweets actually get made. The building is tucked between two rather tall offices for the dramatic purpose of juxtaposition-ing. The image has a bit of a bleed to the right because I couldn’t bear to have the building half done.


As always, the base linework is done with an overlay of colour to get the tones right. I usually use the Eye-dropper tool to pick up colours and blend with a Smudge. I also use a Dodge and Burn tool to find gradients to shade tonally.


Here’s detailing of the walls on one side. the Original image is 3000 x 3200 pixels, so there’s a lot of room for detail.


After both walls were done, I started work on the shops reflective glass exterior. The colour scheme was pink like fairy floss, but with some translucency to indicate something more about the set up inside. The Revolving Door doubles as the “nose” of the owner.


Here’s an example of the joys of working in Layers. Originally the “factory” in the background was set up in a one-point perspective from above, but the more I looked at the distortions from the viewing angle, the more I felt I needed to readjust the image. The new angle was achieved with Lasso-ing sections off (on a separate layer) and Distorting them to suit the new angle. Everything else was just painted and connected up.


And finally, the most painful part of using the original version of Photoshop CS (1) – no Clone Brush tool! Thus every blade of grass was painted individually. Here the counter spirals are influenced from classical gardens where grass was often mowed in different directions to achieve patterns viewed from a far.07_a_wip9small


Approaching The Threshold

Just finished another page illustration. Bogged down by detail but it was fun to assemble the layers.


Starts out with a base colour over the linework to get an idea of shade and light. I try not to use any blacks, so my images are often a greyscale mess. I usually cheat and adjust the tones at the end.


Then I start working on details in sections – this was before I started separating the elements in to layers to make it easier when dealing with the edges. The bad bit about this is that often I spend time on sections which get covered/over-layed.


Here’s an image of three layers overlapping each other, the Wooden Entrance Frame, the Mirrored Row of Bent Trees and the House & Sky in the background. The colour of image is a little muted because it’s actually at night.


Once all that was sorted, I anchored and cleaned up the foreground with pavement and the rest of the fence.


Finally, I added the little guy in the front, back into the image. I pick up surrounding colours, which were already used, to maintain the consistency of the colour palette. He gets his own layer too.


Hello? Anyone Home?

An illustration of one of the pages of a book I’m working on with a friend. It’s out of sequence but I wanted to work on the colour scheme. I think further adjustments will occur down the track.

Photoshop & Cintiq


Side Step

Decided to pick up an old project I’ve neglected for a year. Pushing pixels on the Cintiq again.



Now the dragon is hidden behind the iron work. Next step is to add dimension to the iron and make the door more wooden.


Cellar Door to …

Base layer of the door done. A quick shade of a figure in the background before a wrought iron layer over with a Celtic influence.


Moroccan 2 and Cellar Door

The second Moroccan is done (as done as it can be). Moving on to a cave like cellar door. I think a mild Celtic influence may emerge.