I recently completed some work for a lovely chap who’s putting together a new Steampunk-themed board game called “Airships of Oberon”.
I was originally commissioned to complete the above six card illustrations, which each represent an individual element in the game, from left to right: Autumn, Animal, Wind, Water, Metal and Grass.
After that, I was given the job of producing the box cover art for the game, based on a pretty complex brief. It had to include:
A happy couple in a steampunk Edwardian street
Airships flying overhead.
A steam-powered car or two
Clockwork dragons circling a tower in the distance.
Bright, happy colours.
I’m still getting to grips with the best way to compose these complicated fantasy images with so much stuff going on, but myself and the client were both happy with how it turned out. Now, back to the last stretch of university work.
Thought I’d share this, it’s Norman mark 2. With the intention of him having less creepy eyes. This image is actually pages 19 and 20 from the book I’m working on.
Also, those who’ve been to this blog before may notice that it’s changed slightly. There’s more orange involved for starters. Well, that’s part of a bigger redesign of my entire site which I plan to have finished in the next few days. I’m excited! Someone has to be.
I’ve almost finished Uni. what a terrifying thought. Apparently I have ten weeks left to prepare myself and my portfolio for the big bad real world, which is… nice.
So having just finished the penultimate university project of life I think now is perhaps a good time to show you the stuff I’ve spent the last few weeks on:
These are all illustrations from my latest creative endeavour a children’s picture book entitled “Norman’s Rocket”. The title was inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark, though the story itself has very little in common with its inspiration. It’s essentially very stupid and involves vegetables. Also, it rhymes.
“Prince Norman was a beastly child loud and rude and very wild. In fact dear reader I can bet, a more spoilt child you’ve never met”…
It’s not often the ideal job appears, but I can honestly say that there’s very little else I’d rather do than be paid to make steampunk themed illustrations. This was one of those jobs.
With the recent release of Smokey Bastard’s new album; Tales from the Wasteland, I’ve been given permission to post the the artwork I made for it back in April. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a little bit of a step by step image showing how I did it. (Click the image to enlarge it)
This artwork forms the front cover of the album, however the entire album is illustrated so when you open it out you get a panorama of a wasteland with an airship flying into the distance. There’s also a double sided poster showing an airship dock and a cutaway plan of the airship. Basically- it’s awesome. Even if I do say so myself.
The first image in the sequence was actually drawn by Chris from the band so sadly I can take no credit for the idea nor the composition. The second sketch was my rough re-drawing of the original image in pencil.
The first monochrome image was roughly blocked out with the brush tool in Photoshop over the top of the scanned-in line art, then refined further to reach the third image.
Once I was happy with the tones and the forms I overlaid a layer of flat colour on overlay and started to paint the colours over the top of the tones. Admittedly this took me some time and didn’t look brilliant at the time, since I was new to the technique. I’ve got it nailed now though! The final image shows the completed artwork with a few colour edits and refinements.
Observe the final cover artwork above! I’m afraid I can’t lay claim to the lovely Victorian text, that was the work of Stuart Smith. Copyright for the above image belongs to Smokey Bastard.
You can buy the album here, which you should because it looks lovely and you can get a limited edition poster that I also did for the band
… Also, the music is very good.
I’ve just finished my latest piece of personal work; The long Voyage, and its up in the gallery for all to see: here
On the left here you can see the process behind the image. I really wanted to do one with another with an airship in, preferably a more peaceful scenario than my airship battle picture.
The final artwork is a fair bit different to the initial sketch as my paintings so often are. I tend to paint things on different layers so I can move them about a bit and easily modify stuff. This of course means that because I can; I do. I started by blocking in the rough image in blues and greens to create a cold high atmosphere feel before deciding later I preferred the look of a warmer colour scheme even if it makes less sense, do what looks better I reckon, its fantasy art after all.
You may be able to tell I decided to scrap the airship halfway through and come up with a better design. I also wanted to ensure I got the perspective right, since I’ve got such extreme distances in the image. To do this I created a very basic airship design in Google sketchup (which I thoroughly recommend as a tool for artists) and then positioned it in the angle I wanted for the airship in my painting, before screen-shooting it and painting over it in photoshop.
Once I was sure I had the perspective and proportions of the ship right, I was free to paint all the details onto it and and work with the rest of the image. You can see the changes I made to the background in the final two images.
Since posting a selection of my old uni work several days ago I’ve been playing around with the charcoal dragon image and have now coloured it and done it up in photoshop.
This isn’t my usual method of working, but I’m happy with how it’s worked out considering I was just experimenting. It didn’t take very long either, which I suppose is one the benefits of having a sketch that you stick with from start to finish. I never do that usually.
Originally I thought of it more as a Chinese influenced dragon, but since I put that big red circle there to add to the composition I may have to declare it Japanese.
I’ve updated my gallery to include my newly completed cover illustration for the players guide of the yet-to-be-released rpg “Ellandria” I’d been working on it for a long time now, and it feels very good to finally have it completed.
I’ve posted some work in progress shots of the illustration on the left. The first wip is the top left and the newest is the bottom right. As you can see I painted most of the image in black and white first then added colour later. It’s an approach I don’t like very much I’ve decided since it complicates things later rather than simplifies them.
It shows the moment a group of ambushed soldiers fighting a “Feran” (a giant feral humanoid) start to grasp the upper hand. You can see the final picture by following this link
Also, if you look very closely you may be able to see a small cats face hidden in the picture, courtesy of my Auntie.