Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mind Eater Process and Thoughts on Revisiting Old Sketches

Meet Skully Mc-Slurp-Your-Brains
Not too long ago I finished the above painting, however it was started way back in October 2012, when I came up with this sketch:
Birthday: October 2012
At the time I thought there was a cool idea in this piece and there was some potential, but for whatever reason I lost steam with it and left it sitting in folder full of sketches. Seven months later, I was having trouble coming up with ideas so I flipped through my sketches folder and saw the sketch, suddenly wanting to rework it. Here's a step by step...
Working up the face and skull

Adding some brightness, giving the face some form

Adding the magic glow from the skull and the head

Rendering skull, adding more magic effects, trying out ideas with the eyes

Darkening the edges of the image, reworking the eyes, adding more detail to the skull

Added chains to fill empty space, removed pupils from the eyes, added some more glow effects
I'm pretty happy with how this piece turned out. I think if I tried to take this piece all the way to final back in October when I first came up with the idea, it would have fallen short. It reminds me that it really pays off to hold onto your old ideas, you never know when you'll look at a sketch and see it differently and get inspired to push it to something cooler than what you originated with. I hope you enjoyed the process!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Silent Still - A Silent Hill Still Life

Here's a personal piece I've been wanting to do for a long time now. As many of you know I'm a huge Silent Hill fanatic, and it's been too long since I last did any Silent Hill fanart.
The Crimson Ceremony
This piece depicts four important items from Silent Hill 2: White Chrism, Obsidian Goblet, Book of Lost Memories, and the Crimson Ceremony Book. In the game, the player must collect the four items in order to achieve the special "Rebirth" ending. The red square in the top right of the image is a red piece of paper that is used as save points throughout the game. I wanted the piece to look like the viewer is stumbling upon this scene of a ritual in progress.
1. Preliminary drawing. Here I'm figuring out where to place all of the items in the composition, and nailing the basic shapes of the objects.
2. Underpainting. I put the drawing layer set to Multiply, and I blocked in the colors and some hints at value and lighting.
3. Here I start rendering the scene. I decided that bringing the red cloth down to the table would help the piece flow better and be more interesting. This is around the time I thought it would be a good idea to add the red-paper save point to the piece.
4. More rendering, and adjusting the lighting. After looking at the some in-game screenshots of the items, I realized the Book of Lost Memories (the green one) was looking a little too big, so I re-sized it and adjusted the surrounding items accordingly.
5. Render, render, render...
6. Brightening up my lighting a bit with some adjustment layers (levels).
7. Added some drops of the white chrism on the table to make the scene feel more like it was recently inhabited (the lit candle also helps achieve this). I also add the text to the cover of the Book of Lost Memories, as well as the page-text for the Crimson Ceremony book which reads:

I am the Crimson One.
The lies and the mist are
not they, but I.
You all know that I am One.
Yes, and the One is I.

Believers hearken to me!
Twenty score men and
seven thousand beasts.
Heed my words and speaketh them
to all, that they shall ever be
obeyed even under the light of
the proud and merciless sun.

I shall bring down bitter vengeance
upon thee and thou shalt suffer
my eternal wrath.

The beauty of the withering flower
and the last struggles of the dying
man, they are my blessings.

Thou shalt ever call upon me and
all that is me in the place that is

Oh, proud fragrance of life which
flies towards the heart. Oh, cup
which brims with the whitest of
wine, it is in thee that all begins."

8. Some final texture detailing, and detail adjustments. I thought the left page of the open book was looking a little too bare and uninteresting, so I decided to add a ritualistic symbol. I used visual imagery that I remember from the games to come up with the symbols, they're not just random. Can you spot the references (there are a total of 3 specific references)? I also added some texture to the book pages to make them look old and well used. I added a few drops of blood to make the scene a little more unsettling. Here's the symbol I drew (before wrapping it along the page surface) for anyone who wants a better look:
Original illustration created for the left page in the Crimson Ceremony Book
If you're a fan of the game, I hope you enjoy viewing this piece as much as I enjoyed making it. And if you aren't a fan of the game, I hope you can still enjoy the mood I tried to achieve with this piece.

Would you like to hang this piece on your wall? You can buy a print of this piece from my InPrnt Shop!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bloodsport 14 Update

The results for Bloodsport 14 judging were recently announced on the Crimson Daggers livestream and my pieces were selected as a runner up! Dave Rapoza, Dan Warren and guest judge Anthony Jones talked about the pieces created by each runner-up and 3rd, 2nd and 1st place winners. I got some really great feedback and advice and I wanted to push my pieces a little further. Here are the new versions, I hope you like the changes!