So without much fanfare, I have been learning how to use Manga Studios 5 and GIMP to create show posters for my comic conventions. I have to give Brian Allen www.flylanddesigns.com credit for pushing me to learn more than I was used to. Brian held my hand on the Setsucon poster, and then just turned me loose, and I’ve been learning and experimenting for a few hours per week all year since January. Using my existing artwork, and then adding backgrounds, effects and text has been a great way to explore a more “graphic arts” angle to my work. I have been trying to keep each one unique and fun at the same time. Here are my current posters, oldest at the bottom, newest at the top…
After over two years of service, I am retiring my “Demon Cat” Banner for my new color “Death’s Head” as a show backdrop. “Demon Cat” been an awesome way to attract people to my art world, but that illustration is over three years old, and it is time to update and upgrade to some newer work, and show off a bit in the process.
Here is the new art as a banner, old retired banner….and a photo of the old banner in action!
So a project that I initiated 12 months ago finally paid off when a conversation with Dark Horse writer Tim Truman turned into my “Tower of the Elephant” pinup this winter and Dark Horse Editor Philip Simon put my artwork of Conan The Barbarian into KING CONAN Issue #5 of #6 “Conan the Conqueror” that came out in June 2014, I just got my copy last weekend, so I’m playing catch up here on it.
Thanks to Dani Kaulakis for the awesome job coloring it.
So here is the art as it appeared in a 1/4 page shot of glory in the book, the full sized artwork with colors from Dani Kaulakis, and the cover to the issue that it appears in.
Now I am a “Dark Horse Art Contributor” .. so get out there and get a copy so I can sign it for you!
The Villains of LORDS OF THE COSMOS in their first pinup- the pencils were wrapped on this last night, so it’s exciting to share this finally since the layout for this project has been in my head for the last five months or so waiting to get out.
“THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX”
The artwork features the Evil Leader UMEX- part machine and part biological weapon he leads his henchmen to their goal of world wide anarchy and destruction….. The Flesh Eating Acid Vat MORDANTIX, The Pain Worshipping MISTRESS ZEMBA, and the Aquatic Killer SHREDTOOTH are just some of his followers- ready to kill or be killed at his command!
The original idea and composition is in the lower image which is just a basic layout of the overlapping characters moving from side to side. I ended up changing the direction, the middle character went from a henchman to the main villain, and I reversed direction from right to left, to left to right. I had been working on Umex’s complex design so much (see prior post here about his character) that I felt he needed to be the centerpiece of the entire layout. Also the Umex Logo was featured everywhere on the characters, so you can see why I took the time here to get the all seeing eye inside the mechanical hand done before I started any of the pinups. The Umex logo artwork is here in inks, and here in pencils. Now that the relationship between the graphic design element of the insignia is with the actual villains, I am glad I took the time to really get that basic visual touchstone correct.
It was fun to take some of the artistic lessons I’ve learned in the last 10 months and put them to use on my first original characters since I wrapped “The Painted Ladies of San Quentin” around this time last summer. I look forward to working with the rest of the LORDS OF THE COSMOS universe in the coming months! For those of you that have talked with me about this project,I think you can see the vision just starting, and if you have no idea what this is about, talk to me about it sometime…
So Enjoy, and spread the word, and keep an eye out for the inked version of the artwork coming soon!
The original thumbnail composition
Spent some time the last few weeks on this study of UMEX the main villain from “Lords of the Cosmos”. UMEX is Part machine, part biological warfare organism with both parts of his body in constant conflict. I need to keep refining him as a principal image and main character, but I think I’m on the right path, disgusting flesh and angular metal always makes a nice contrast!
From last weekend- some outlandish commissions- Much love to Ashley and her work keeping my friend GREEN MAN’s Memory alive!
Some fun commissions from last week in the City of Brotherly Love!
Special Note-Daleks are a PAIN to draw on the fly! I used a dime and nickel on all the circles!!
The final inks on this logo, the black contrasting back ground to the light rings showcase the sword and planet. The stippling gave a great texture to the planet Aiden, and the sword hilt really popped with those simple shapes.
I also made a few corrections on the ring dimensions as well from the pencil phase.
Now that the UMEX and LOTC logos are done, they really have that opposing visual style that I liked from Command and Conquer’s NOD and GDI insignias. Similar, but diametrically different!
On to some character designs now from the story bible!
Final Pencils for my next “LORDS OF THE COSMOS” artwork. This is the Heroes Logo-”The Lords of the Cosmos” . The planet Aiden and the Sword of the Hero “Aegeus” are the featured elements in this insignia.
I felt this showed the heroic nature of the protectors of the planet and was a great contrast visually and from a graphic arts perspective an opposite design to the Cybernetic hand of Umex I just completed prior to this. Using a triangle and different shapes and elements to the villains logo provides a visual contrast to the different factions in the world of Aiden we are building.
One note- Rings around a planet- very hard to get even close to looking correct! I think this will be a fun piece of artwork to ink… so keep your eyes peeled.
Extreme contrasts from black to white really made this insignia stand out. The plain flesh of the hand with the obsidian background are offset by the high contrast micro details in the circuit wrist and electrical eye. I really think when this graphic is plugged into some characters costumes it will all come together as I am laying the graphic arts groundwork on the new “LORDS OF THE COSMOS” Project with the most basic of components- the logos for our villains, and next the heroes!