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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Batman


Here's a Batman piece I've got under works. A quiet moment with the Catwoman.

I have no idea when I'll have time to finish this one either so I'll just post it as it is now. Sigh, this is becoming a habit.

Here's some steps.






Feel like having some more Gothamy goodness? Go read Curtvile's Gotham City Parts 1 and  2 at the Comic Punks!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Alice in Wonderland

Alice on her way to Wonderland. Or out of it?
It's been a while since I've posted here. I have been quite preoccupied with my dayjob, sick cats, broken toes and whatnot. But it doesn't mean that I haven done stuff I could post, I've just never got around to posting them. Lazy me. I promise to flog myself for it as soon as I find the time for it.

The picture is of an Alice in Wonderland themed piece I've been working on for a while now. It is supposed to work as both a standalone piece and my blog's new header. If I ever manage to finish it...

This pic is a perfect example of a piece for wich I had a very clear idea when I started and then have ended up changing basically everything after that. Sometimes an idea just never quite works, however you love it. Or the style you have chosen for it is just all wrong.



The idea is quite simple. The not quite so "little" Alice and White Rabbit hanging on a bench somewhere while the smoke from her cigarette makes a nouveau styled frame for the blog header.

Being happy with the sketch I progressed to lines.


And from that to a quick color test. I decided to paint the picture instead of just coloring it. I get to do that quite rarely so I though it would be good practice for me. I liked the idea of Alice being almost and albino.


But maybe a bit of color would be in order? Or outlines?


 Or maybe a darker hair?

Or a blond one?



No wait! She could be a brunette with a deadly pallor!

At this point I had redone the pic approximately 10 000 and started reminding one of Sleeping Beauty's Godmothers "Red!" "No! Blue!" "I want Green!"
*Sigh*...

I basically gave up on the pic all together at this point. I had very little time for drawing as it is so I didn't want to use it fighting with myself.
But then one day I came up with an idea. What if they were in the subway?...


Finally I had the idea down but something was still missing. Few days back I realised what it was. The style was just all wrong for the piece. As the style that is right for it is squite slow it might take forever for this one to actually be ready but hey, at least I'm on the right track and love doing it. It is very different from anything I've done before but that just makes it more interesting.
Close up

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Zombie Chick at the Comic Punks

The not quite final final piece

This is still not 100% finished, but I was so late with this already that I decided to post it. This is for the Week 2 mission of Comic Punks. The mission was ”Something old, something new, something borrowed”.  I posted this pic already in the ComicPunks yesterday but thought I'd post the steps here again as this pic changed quite a lot on the way.

Originally I was planning to combine drawing this mission and a tattoo for myself but ended up taking Cassie Hack from the comic Hack/Slash instead as I was never quite happy with the zombie. I still wanted to finish the pic for the Punks though.
After playing with it for a while I got the idea that it would make a brilliant vector. I love making vectors, but for some reason do them very seldom. So I pretty much started again... Again :D

I really want to finish this and it's companion piece, Frankenstein's bride but have no idea if I'll ever find the time to do it. Hence the posting of an unfinished piece.


Original sketch
I cleaned out the sketch and realised thatif you draw a zombie without leggs it just looks like a posy hottie. Sadly the tattoo would have been a part of a series and the legs just didn't fit.
So I tried doing something complitely different... but still wasn't happy.
At this point I just went to a complitely different direction and really liked it. This version is still done in Photoshop though so as I decided to make the pic a vector I re-did everything.
A close up of the face. The face is the most finished part of the piece. As you can see I changed the vector version quite a lot from the Photoshop one, even though the idea is the same.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Marvel Comic's Black Cat



So a few of us started a blog. Basically we pic a character weekly that everyone draws/inks/colors/writes about. The only thing one must do is to have fun and not stress about it!

This is my sketch for week 1. Black Cat doing what cat-burglars normally do: hang from helicopters and pose.

Come say hi to us at http://comicpunks.blogspot.com!!

Steps



Original sketch. At this point she still had batwoman's mask

Refining it a bit in Photoshop, she's turning into Black Cat

Starting to get the face and pose right, added the helicopter

Latex!

Adding color. I still added quite a few layers of color and textures after this but these are the base colors.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

City Livin'

Thought I'd post this little backdrop I'm doing for a web page at work.

This pic made me remember how much I hate drawing buildings. The amount of perspective lines needed for this was somewhat ridiculous. Still missing a lot of windows as I'm hoping I can just cover those with the tree leaves. In the end the pic will be very colorful and most of all very green. The subject matter is urban sustainable living.


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Case: Finncon/Animecon 2011 (Part 2)

Took me a while to continue this post, didn't it. Never the less, here it is, the rest of the visuals I did for Finncon | Animecon 2011. The first part can be found here.

After finishing the web layouts I started working on the advertising for the con. The first plan was to make two different sized ads, but in the end it was decided that half a page is enough. So I started working on those right away.
I had already made the first version of a Finncon ad while making the web layouts but I was not at all happy with the result. The pic used was just a quick sketch I had done for one of the business card designs for Finncon Ry.

The original business card design
It was far from perfect and too close to the edge of the paper for it to work as a magazine ad. I knew beforehand that it will end up in the fold but as the customers liked it, even after being warned about it not working, that's what we went with.

original ad

Thankfully the ad only ran in one magazine that came out a whole lot earlier then the others. I got to the new ones in time for the rest of the advertising. I started to make the new ads from scratch. The idea stayed the same though. Android girl looking upwards and feathers flying. The first meeting between the characters.

Final Finncon ad

I was still struggling with the Animecon style at this point. The first version just didn't work. I disliked everything in the character and it just did not match the picture of her I had in my mind.

The first Animecon ad.
So I did a new one. It is very important for me to be able to stand behind my work and with the second version I could.

The second version of the Animecon ad.

Funnily enough not many people have even seen these ads. In the end every magazine wanted a full page ad and had mostly no use for the half page ones. By the time I learned about the problem there just wasn't time left to make new ones. Time was running out fast.

The flyer design was supposed to be not clearly either Animecon or Finncon so that the flyers could be given to people both in Anime and Sci-fi/Comic happenings. Hence I originally designed the flyer around the Phoenix. As the bird wasn't nearly as distinctive as the android.


But after all the client wanted to use the android. So I designed a picture that hides the anime or western influences as well as possible.

Final flyer
I also did Animecon and Finncon versions of the flyer, they were used for advertising at selected places.
Animecon flyer

Finncon flyer
At this point I was itching to get properly started with the poster and knew I'd have to be super fast to get them done in time for the print. The poster was the biggest picture I got to make for the project and because of that it was a big thing for me.
But for some reason the poster was a problem child right from the start. The client couldn't decide on the design and finally I had to return to the poster still weeks after finishing it to fix the android somewhat to the customers liking. Still the poster became the most used and loved one of all the visuals I did for the happening. The same illustration is in posters, full page ads, modified in the t-shirts and on the program cover.

Early version of the Finncon poster.
You can easily see in the early version of the picture how I work. After finishing the line art I add the background colors and start coloring characters and things with low opacity on top of it. That way the characters colors interact constantly with the colors of the background in a subtle way.

Painting for the Animecon poster
Painting for the Finncon poster
Final Animecon poster
Final Finncon poster
For the t-shirts and bags I was asked to just use the android and feathers to symbolize the phoenix.




One of the guests of honor Mr. Richard Morgan made my day by wearing the Finncon t-shirt for most of the con weekend. He's also a lovely guy and a brilliant writer so I suggest all of you run out to get his books. And if given the opportunity do yourself a favor and go listen to him speak. Brilliant stuff.

A picture of me failing to take a quick pic of Richard Morgan wearing the shirt without him noticing.
I shall post more pictures of the actual products as I get them. The bags, buttons and shirts simply look best when worn by someone, not as a boring picture file.

And finally, here is the origin story. You can see how the pictures were designed to be used in the story. I'll try and translate the text as soon as possible and post it in english too.





As the final work I fixed the con program for print. Of that I must say that I fought to the end as I felt it would not work the way the client wanted it done. But in the end the client is always right and I did what asked. Sadly, people had a very hard time understanding the idea of the program, even if the design of it seemed to be generally liked.

And there you have it. One of the biggest projects I've ever done and most definitely one of the most trying ones. I'm still more than happy with the outcome. Seeing thousands of people wearing and carrying your designs is an insane feeling and wonderful enough to wash away all the problems in the project.

I hope you all liked this little look to the project. I might still some day post sort of "directors cut" versions of these but I'm fairly sure you've all seen more then enough androids for a while :)

My better half, partner in crime and co-creator of the backstory Sippo Mentunen wrote a con report about the happening itself. It's well worth the read and opens the projects background a bit more. So go check it out