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!
“Lord Aegeus and Queen Prizm leading the Wasp Soldier Vespulan, Cybernetic Elk Soldier Ant-Lor and their loyal Sargent at Arms the Savage Felinex! as they prepare to fight the evil UMEX and his legions of biologically and mechanically enhanced henchmen on the planet Aiden!”
LORDS OF THE COSMOS… ASSEMBLE!!!
So the flip side of the villains from the first LORDS OF THE COSMOS pinup here now we see the heroes assembling!
It the other side of a coin, reversed direction, but a similar layout/composition to the first pinup of Umex and company. The hero’s logo worked out well and the demeanor and posture of these characters stand in stark contrast to the villains- this was a really fun piece that drew on my love for Greek Mythology- enjoy, I look forward to inking this in the next few days! Thanks to my friends Stormy and Anna for giving me some great reference for Queen Prizm!
Below is my initial thumbnail and a design for Queen Prizm that gave me the initial idea for her pose and costume.
The Disciples of UMEX in their first completed inked pinup from LORDS OF THE COSMOS . Soak up the 80′s toy inspired crew of killers… UMEX THE LEADER- “Poisoner of Worlds”, an organic lifeform designed to kill merged with a constantly adapting mechanized chassis designed to take over living creatures in close quarters combat….his entire body is in constant conflict while is tentacles infect any he touches with a slow agonizing death from his internal poison reservoirs.. .he oversees his personal cult/army “THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX” with unwavering devotion to the his ultimate goal the destruction of planet AIDEN… MORDANTIX- “The Living Vat of Acid” mostly machine barely human, this infernal machine fuels his internal engines by taking and engulfing his victims inside the large acid filled cistern his twisted cybernetic body is merged to for eternity, he moves along on large mechanical spider legs considered heavy armor support to the Disciples of Umex… MISTRESS ZEMBA “Murderous Seductress” Dominatrix Soldier to the Disciples of Umex, she laughs at the screams of the dying, waiting to skin the survivors alive. Zemba will use her Flesh Whip to flay her victims to death after she seduces them for any and all information to increase her Leader UMEX’s foothold on the power struggle he faces against the LORDS OF THE COSMOS…. SHREDTOOTH Soldier to the Disciples of UMEX Defilier of the oceans of AIDEN Shredtooth is dangerous underwater, or on land. His teeth are razor sharp and equally as dangerous his claws, dont let his odd body put you at ease, he is frightfully fast in close quarters in any environment. His head appendage is a natural light to lure victims in dark places to their ultimate end…. WE ARE THE DISCIPLES OF UMEX
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!
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!
So here is the new cover for my latest project- THE ART OF JASON LENOX VOLUME #2 ….the follow up to my first art book in 2012. Which now make it a series, and that is really cool.
So- if you are reading this, and dig my work, and you know that is a killer cover, hit up the kickstarter link here and donate a few bucks and get some awesome swag from yours truly!
I also want to give props to graphic arts student Aaron Wharton for the execution of this in Photoshop, I would be lost without his expertise.
You can read Aaron’s musings at
Here is the final inked version of this pinup- the biggest insight I can give is there was an old fake leather product my Grandmother had on a purse that I didn’t care for- it looked and felt weird- so I tried to mimic that on the Hydra’s heads for an otherworldly texture that also offset the lifeless eyes. I also gave Barron’s skull head a tweak to make it more 3 dimensional- it seemed off in the pencils with the head more a straight profile and the jaw on an angle- so I balanced it out. His right hand was altered as well in the inking phase to make it more realistic as well as creepy, It seemed to go from a weak element in the pencils to a strong one in the ink phase. Enjoy – and check out Joe’s book here- it got funded at over 100%
Really pleased and proud of how this turned out, and another Lenox Dragon is always a good thing to see…. Enjoy!