Monday, September 15, 2014


And hello again. Today I write to you with the documentation of a piece that flew around in my head for quite some time now. A Conan/He-man like barbarian fighting a giant kraken.

The story:
A friend of mine, with whom I play Dungeons and Dragons, has a love for exactly this type of muscle mountain characters. One of his characters was called Bortas, a barbarian of course.
Together with his group he travelled the lands until one day they came across a small pond, maybe 20ft wide. Expecting nothing bad from such a puddle he went closer. That was when the Dungeon Master decided to go bonkers and all of a sudden a giant kraken appeared from sayd pond. (It barely fit in)

The monster attacks Bortas with his tentacles, knowing all too well, that he has the far superior strength and grapple skills, from which there is close to no escape. And so the Barbarian engages the beast from the 20ft pond and makes his grapple check - A natural 20!
For those who are not familiar with Tabletop games: Rolling a 20 on a 20 sided dice is considered a massive success. Back when we played it you could basically swim up a waterfall with a 20.

And so the impossible happened and the kraken was grappled and pulled out of the water.
On land it was rather easy prey for the angry mob and the event went down in role playing history.

Illustrating that event, was the thought behind this painting.

Starting with the usual: Thumbnails. It differs a lot how much time this process takes and this piece took me quite some time before I came up with something.

Next the colour sketches. I liked all of them, but after some feedback I went with D as it had the vibrant colours from Vallejo or Frazetta paintings.

Note ! I dont know what it is but for some reason my browser seems to literally butcher my JPGs. 
The piece below is a better representation of the picture, its a lot darker and not so flashy. I will try some things to see what I can do about it.

And a close up for the juicy details.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sketchweek 3

Not quite as much sketching this week as I wanted to do, but I was a bit busy with work and experimenting with traditional media.

Instead of posis and anatomy I went for a change and played around with a different painting approach, faces and colors.

Have fun

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sketchweek 2

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sketchweek 1

Time to post some weekly sketches again, so here we go. Some done from references others without.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gouache - Mara Shadowfeather

Hello again,
time for another traditionally done piece, trying to achieve a more finnished painting even without a lot of digital rework. I had the works of Stephe Prescott in mind, he works in acrylics - I never had much love for acrylics, they just dry so quickly - I guess there are methods to partially deal with that, like using a wet pallet or maybe a drying medium.

And then there is oil, a medium I rarely experiment with from time to time, but since I lack an extra room with a window, I really dont enjoy it because of the smell. But I really admire all those who manage to work with it, James Gurney, Gregory Manchess (my personal favorite) and Donato Giancola come to mind, all great artists.

And what I used:
Gouache - is a medium with which you can achieve very similar results as what you can do with acrylics, but it is water based. After using it for quite some time now, I can tell that there are some significant differences when handling Gouache.

Gouache becomes lighter in value when it dries, Acrylics stay more or less the same as what you mixed beforehand.
And Gouache never completely sticks to the surface, even after it dried, you can always rub it off again to some extend with a brush and water. This is handy on your color pallett, even after it dried you can almost always use it again, while acrylics become hard as a rubber ball.
On the picture it can be a problem as you dont want to rub off the color you put on already, therefore to paint over a layer, you should use almost no water, not too much pressure and a lot of color.

I am happy with the result for now, but I want to achieve a more painterly and unified look in the future.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pathfinder - Lem and Lini

This week I was finalising an old sketch I had made a while back in 2012
I always liked the sketch, but never really got to realize it until now.

It is a test illustration I did, to see how my new style would work on Paizo's pathfinder characters.
In this case Lem and Lini, sitting together in the woods, while Lem plays his flute.

 The usual base work in watercolors

 The base colorwork, I made a colored sketch beforehand, so I had an idea of how the light situation was going to be, but it was a bit too rough and therefore resulted in some trouble during the later stages.

Better light situation, but the shadows turned out a bit too dark, which could cause trouble when printing.

 And done. 

Compared to the usual Covers from Paizo, its more saturated and colorfull.
The art of Steve Prescott is very nice. It has a stylized charm with strong lines and shapes.
This is probably my favorite piece, the edged shapes on the dragon, the highlight lines and the simplified shapes on the characters, to blend out unnecessary details - Really nice.

On to the next piece, for more practice.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Godzilla Watercolor

And hello again dear reader community, thank you for checking in once more.
(Sounds like a radio cast)

As a nerdy Godzilla fan, I always wanted to have a Godzilla poster, but I never really got one.
Its not that there arent any good ones, I really love the one from Godzilla '84, but some of them are hard to come by and why should you buy one if you could make one yourself ?

And so I finally took some time and started painting my own.
Since I started the watercolors again, I realized that I just need to be a bit more patient in the beginning of the process. REALLY make sure that you know how the piece will look like and dont start the next step befor you are happy with every part. For example: For the dwarfen merchant piece from last week I totally butchered the bear during the initial sketches and had to make a series of bear studies befor he turned out right. Same with this one.

1st step: Thumbnails, until you find a good idea to start from
I didnt document that step here.

On to the pictures: #1 and #2 are some studies on brown paper to test some ideas and proportions.

Next we go digital and make some color sketches.

Then we go back on the big baper and draw it in detail, then mounting it and using some yellow ochres to bring in the basic shadows.

Then adding colors. In this case red, orange and brown colors, as I already knew where this would go in the later phase.

And there we are, going digital and kicking in the values and saturation.
I hope you like it.I made 2 versions of this, the monochrome version and another one with some blues and greys in it.