Archive for Sequential Work

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Disciples of Umex Pinup #4 – Pencils

“Golut the Tek Dwarf and two of his monstrous creations lurch across Planet Aiden in search of wanton destruction as they hope to eliminate the LORDS OF THE COSMOS once and for all!”

Thoughts and Notes-

So I managed to get a robotic snake head with needles for teeth injections in next to a butcher knife head on the larger monster- I had a fetish going with snakes after my recent “Gorgon Medusa” Project.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    …………The two headed brute ended up channeling that blocky G1-G2 Transformer toy look- esp. with the howitzer/gun on the back- Onslaught the Combaticon comes to mind if you know what that is check him out here.  And I would have never realized how HARD those blocky Transformer type characters are to draw- much respect to anyone working in that world drawing these kinds of characters all the time! Since our goal from day one was to base this whole project on an 80’s toy line that never existed, this keeps the project in line visually with what we wanted.
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A very vague character write up came with the slime character, so I made it slime in a powered suit that gives it a human like shape- in addition to the wires on the suit it has wires coming out of the Umex team logo on his head- communication and control system.  One issue that came up-I had to fight hard to keep him looking like a minion- originally I had one big eye, and I was like “oh sh!t- it’s a minion!” so he got a face full of smaller eyes to break it up.  Totally unintentional, glad I caught it before fellow artist Chris Flick who is always drawing minion mash-ups called me on it!
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We are still working on names for the two monster/creatures, so we’ll get back to you on that one.
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Golut has a World War two era flamethrower and his nuclear backpack- go violent hate dwarf!  I used the basic template from Warhammer 40K and that genre of metal miniature dwarves to get the “look” for Golut down.
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..These three characters have been hard to get on paper, this was actually the third attempt to get them down, and it finally worked- some of my below sketches are from aborted attempts to work out these odd characters in design and composition- an evil dwarf and his evil machinations proved to be a larger challenge than I could have imagined.  Anyway, it made the finished work much sweeter to finally get completed and out of my head and sketchbooks!
………………………………………………………………………………                                                     Below are sketches, the minion look in progress piece that I caught in time , and final pencils
Lords of the Cosmos Disciples of Umex Pinup 4 Jason Lenox
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Minion Realization scan…
Not a Damn Minion!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Behind the scenes progress, sketchbook notes on some of the characters and composition study
2014-12-20 101010 2014-12-20 101219 - Copy 2014-12-20 101937 - Copy 2014-12-20 102412

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Aegeus and the Lords of the Cosmos Pinup #3 – Final Inks

In their full inked glory….Zacateco, Shar-Dor the Ice Assassin, Aviteus the Winged Warrior and Mechaspring.

Notes

– Mechaspring’s face changed to a real face from a machine face to show emotion better

– The feather pattern on Aviteus and shading was difficult, I used a stippled “dark shadow area to avoid more solid blacks

– Shar-Dor’s jagged ice skin was a pain to do

– Zacateco was based on a fan who is now in the book (pre kickstarter reward) so that turned out very close to his actual appearance.

Lords of the Cosmos #3 pinup Jason Lenox

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Disciples of Umex Pinup #4 – Final Pencils

TERRORIST DEATH CULT LEADER- UMEX!

The matching bookend page of the main villain, Umex the Defiler in a solo appearance to signify his importance to the story and his place as a leader of the forces of Evil in the world of Aiden.   You can see the main hero, Aegeus, in his solo page here.

While Aegeus was straight up and down and stoic- symbolic of his straight forward approach to law and order- Umex is on an angle, and is moving, the slanted angle (dutching or the “dutch angle” read about that visual concept here) hints at his twisted nature.  Small details of note- nuclear fallout ash is in the air, and an ominous dual black tower on a 3 pt. perspective dominates the background with a bridge going to a single door that connects the evil looking structures.

Other challenges were to show another angle (right side v. left side) with Umex, which is important to me as a creator to not repeat poses (unless I have to!) and to make a scary and dynamic composition for this character in his spotlight page.  On a technical note- getting all of Umex’s odd shapes and body armor correct on the angle he is standing at was difficult- you can see many of my erased lines as I struggled at times with the anatomy, proportions and perspective.

Below are the final pencils, in process pencils and a small poster I made with the artwork as a promo piece on Manga Studio 5.

Enjoy the leader of the DISCIPLES OF UMEX!

Jason Lenox Umex Lords of the Cosmos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promo Poster of Umex

Jason Lenox LORDS OF THE COSMOS Umex Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Progress Sketch of Umex

Jason Lenox Lords of the Cosmos Umex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Aegeus and the Lords of the Cosmos Pinup #4 – Final Pencils

Another showcase pinup of the Heroes of the Lords of the Cosmos Team!

Icepaw the Polar Warrior, Orchamemnon the MechaFlower, and Ironshell the War Turtle.

Icepaw ended up being the easiest of the three, I was really plesae with the subtle facial structure I was able to learn about and then execute using reference of real polar bears. Ironshell brought out my inner Warhammer 40k geek of showing a gigantic war creature, and I feel I was successful in giving the creature a sense of grand scale.  Orchamemnon was hard, really hard.  The original creature description we made almost a year ago was very similar to Groot, so I moved away from that, and wanted to keep it a plant based character.  So I put a flower in a machine, which caused me to really get involved in the engineering of his mechanical transit robot body- rulers, compasses and drafting tools really became important.  I needed more space than usual to actually show the legs, arms and flower globe to the viewer- thus 3 characters not 4 or 5.  I am attaching the final pencils and the tracing paper I used to make sure that what you see works out with the parts that Icepaw hides with his bear sized body.

LORDS OF THE COSMOS… ASSEMBLE!

Enjoy!

Jason Lenox Lords of the Cosmos Team Pinup 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracing study of Orchamemnon’s robot body- note my see through compass tracings to get the proportions, and mechanical engineering correct behind Icepaw!  I made a small sketch of the entire machine in the lower right hand corner for my own reference as I worked to find out “how would this thing work?”

 

Jason Lenox Orchamemnon Trace Study with Icepaw

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Aegeus and the Lords of the Cosmos Pinup #3 – Final Pencils

Lords of the Cosmos… ASSEMBLE!!- Four new heroes get their debut into our new universe….Aviteus, Mechaspring, Shar-dor the Ice Assassin and (one as yet to be named, go go writing team!)  Watch them swing into action against the evil of Umex and his Disciples!

Aviteus- a roughly humanoid hero with a bird head, arms with extended wings attached and two powerful legs ending in vicious bird claws. Descended from the great man-Rocs of old, Aviteus soars the skies of Aiden searching for the stain of Umex upon the land. Along with Green Man’s animal spies, Aviteus serves as scout and first striker for the Disciples of Umex. His massive talons can tear flesh and rend metal when their diamond tips are exposed, but by Aegeus’s order Aviteus keeps them shod in dragon-hide leathers. Though he respects Aegeus’s ethos and stalwart resolve he longs to feel the flesh of his foes rent asunder under the might of his magnificent talons

Mechaspring: An injured and escaped Slave who fled to the mysterious RUST MOUNTAINS, where he fashioned ancient Tek-Dwarf technology to make himself a new pair of legs and arms. Now he leaps from hiding to free other slaves, making him the bane of the slavers and Umex’s agents in the harsh RUST MOUNTAINS.

Shar-Dor – The Ice Assassin From the Frozen South, where the temperature never climbs above freezing, this jagged prince can form his body into icicles of death. He can melt himself down and reform into whatever shape meets his needs. He rides his great Polar Bear, GRAUL, and swings his ice scimitar.

(Un-Named Character still under construction)

Jason Lenox Lords of the Cosmos Team Pinup 2 edit

LORDS OF THE COSMOS: Aegeus and the Lords of the Cosmos Pinup #2 – Final Pencils

So I did a full character study of my main hero- the nearly invincible Aegeus, and it was a challenge- I learned the pain of drawing a roman helmet, folded arms and did some retro work on his original pinup appearance from a few weeks ago to get his image in line in both works.  I placed Aegeus at the bottom of Mount Dragonspine, the location of the Lords of the Cosmos’s base of operations.

Two items of note- my son drew a brown crayon mark over the moon, and I really was happy with his sword belt and scabbard with links to the belt, my drafting tools and some reference really knocked this one detail out of the park.  And for a behind the scenes here is my son and I drawing below the artwork right before he got me with that damn crayon!

Jason Lenox Aegeus LOTC Pinup 2 edit

Jason Lenox and Son Drawing Lords of the Cosmos

Lords of the Cosmos; Page 1 – Pencils

So a broad establishing shot- the Planet Aiden- home of the action for the LORDS OF THE COSMOS and THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX.

Oddly this was harder than it looked to do, and I had to push myself to make a good composition, my original sketches were very narrow and small, just the kind of thing you would scold someone for in a basic composition class.  I think the simplicity of planets, orbits and circles tended to just blind me to how hard this was to do.  I was inspired by the old Flash Gordon comics from the 1930’s to add the “energy lines” coming in to give the idea that you the viewer are “swooping” into the action.

The moons helped build some much needed depth in conjunction with the “energy lines”

For an intro page, I think I got the point across.  Welcome to Planet Aiden!

Lords of the Cosmos Page 1 Pencils Jason Lenox

 

Painted Ladies of San Quentin; Page 22- Final Inks- FINAL PAGE & Two Versions!

The hangman’s noose ominously over the head of Jessica Belmont before her execution in 1852… Governor John Bigler later signs over the land the murders were committed over… later in 1852 constructions begins and then ends in 1854 on a new state sponsored construction project… THE SAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON- California’s oldest State Prison- which stands til this day in 2013- hello historical fiction at it’s finest and most violent- thanks to Boardwalk Empire and Gangs of New York for the inspiration for this tale of what MIGHT have been the true story of the San Quentin Prison’s murky origins!  Thanks to Elijah Holman, Jessica Belmont, The Chinaman- Xi Chou Long, El Alacran & Company and Sheriff Clyde for being such fun characters to, well… kill off violently!

From a layout standpoint, this page was totally changed from pencils #1 at the bottom that I made in January into a totally new page pencils #2.  Superstar Artist Tommy Castillo commented to me a critique I asked for at Philadelphia Wizard World a few weeks ago that the hanging was too super-hero-ish.  This combined with  a comment from another friend about “Where are the crooked politicians?” led to a new layout- less superhero hanging, more ALFRED HITCHCOCK suggested violence without showing so much in panel #1…. The third Governor of California JOHN BIGLER makes his first comic book appearance ever (as near as I can tell) …then I went to prison construction mode (with prisoners working like in the history books!) in the new panel #3.  I end with the modern prison shot in panel #4…now from the land side in version #2, not the water side like in version #1- since we never really address or look at that water/peninsula geography in the whole comic- so why now?  Exactly!  So that is a totally different shot of the jail, and that is the new and revised page 22 version #2!

This comic wasn’t going down easy at the end was it?  The last page took the longest and had two different versions, so if you have been following my posts, none of this is a surprise! 

From a technical standpoint, this was a nice portrait of Gov. Bigler signing a paper, a study in rope and two very annoying architectural renderings, so the page was less organic than the rest of the story, but very hard to pull off nonetheless.   Panel three looks like an old testament bible engraving, and I hated doing that panel, but it really worked in the end so I am glad I suffered through it.  I did less inking in the final modern page so Joe Freistuhler had more freedom to run with his only modern colored panel to pull a “Wizard of Oz” and go from sepia to full color at the last minute to show the “modern world” of 2013. 

As usual- I’ve included the pencils, line work and final inked rendered page for review and analysis below. 

ON A FINAL NOTE…..

The project on my end is done, all 22 pages for a full length comic with a wrap around 2 page cover!  I cant believe I’ve been drawing this for over a year now, the end of a mini era for me! Personally, this comic stands as my PhD Thesis in comics creation, but of course, I want to keep getting better.  Ill be taking a break from sequentials for a bit to do some pinups and freelance work, but of course, I’ll be back at it before you know it doing something totally different, and no doubt better than this project as I have learned SO MUCH from this process- from storytelling, to anatomy to general art skills!  Thanks to everyone who made this project possible- especially my wife Crystal Lenox and Son, Blaine Lenox, who let me have the time I needed to complete all of this work! 

Thanks, and I hope everyone checks this story out when it is 100% done and included in my next anthology- UGLI STUDIOS PRESENTS #2 later this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Ladies of San Quentin; Page 21- Final Inks

The classic “Hero riding off into the sunset” marks the last image I’m doing of Elijah Holman for this story- great character, fun story arc.  I’ll miss the old white haired bastard with his long beard and two six guns as he leaves us passing the Lord’s judgement on the Villain, Jessica Belmont, who with a tad of exposition we show her in chains with her hair cut short looking up at the hangman’s noose that meets her on the final page after this penultimate group of images!

From a layout standpoint, this really ends up being a farewell pinup at the top of the page leading into two images at the bottom moving the story into the final phase of ending the narrative. At the same time it leads into killing the last living villain before the reveal of San Quentin Prison at the very end, it’s simple and powerful, and the image of Elijah seems very “Old Testament” in my opinion.  There isn’t a huge “explosion” with this guy at the end, and the artwork conveys that calm sense of his being and how he chooses to end the conflict that has engulfed him and his town in a non tradition “action hero” way.

From a technical standpoint, big alterations on the horse and Elijah’s anatomy from the pencils- see the changes?  And lot of tweaks on Jessica in the final two panels- from the butt and chains to the hands and especially her eyes… now they are looking up- foreshadowing a noose!.  I was happy with the back lighting on the top panel with the contours on his clothing and stippling on the horse, and really pleased with the shading on Elijah’s face.  The striped prison jumpsuit looks cool too, in my opinion, from the stippling.

On one minor note, I made her prisoner # on her shirt my Son Blaine’s birthday, so there you go little dude, an Easter Egg for you!

As usual- I’ve included the pencils, line work and final inked rendered page for review and analysis below. 

One more page to wrap- lets get it done!

Painted Ladies of San Quentin; Page 20- Final Inks

We see a broken Jessica Holman running to the Sheriff’s side- and she is devastated from the loss of her lover/co-conspirator.  One of the things the reader can determine is the question of her emotional state- is it based on a real connection with the dying Sheriff, or a realization her plot has failed and she will be arrested or killed?  And we see the judgement and mercy of Elijah Holman to walk away from killing a “defenseless” woman…

From a layout standpoint, overlapping elements again dominate the main panel with the huge hand of Elijah in the foreground, and the raw emotion Jessica shows next to a dying man… and the bottom panel, just conveys the death of the redeemed sheriff and Elijah follows the way of the lord- “love thy enemy” … this layout is still, on purpose, to convey a lack of action. Also I really worked to not add too much to the grass behind Jessica to let her figure dominate that space and to shade away from her, to highlight her emotion/face/rage/anger fill the reader as the POV comes from behind Elijah directed to her.

 From a technical standpoint, move Jessica’s right hand to better effect below the Sheriff’s head, and really got more solid blacks and contouring into the mix to really keep that old school engraving look together, and build some drama with my use of lights and darks.  Really pleased with the inks to build Jessica’s emotional face, and dress texture. Also note the stipling and heavy line work under the sheriff to have the blood pool overlaid with shadows to show he is a bit lifted up by Jessica’s hand.  This was an added benefit of moving her hand- see the improvement from pencils to final inks on that one element.  It really improved the figures.  Also a slight change on the Sheriff’s right arm placement, and his left hand is now in a more natural position from the original pencils to the ink- these also really improved the page as well.

As usual- I’ve included the pencils, line work and final inked rendered page for review and analysis below. 

 

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