Friday, February 24, 2012

Nintendo Tribute: Ring King

This week's post is "Ring King" from the NES. I played this one a bit, but I did NOT play this one as much as I played Mike Tyson's Punch Out (Ring King didn't even come close). This one was especially difficult for me, because of the issues with anatomy. In addition I am finding that for some pieces, there is a discrepancy between the initial sketch (which I am pretty happy with) and the final execution. For example, you will note that the width of the character between the sketch and the final piece are dramatically different. This is because between the two, the tricky part is making the painting look convincing, while keeping the energy and dynamic action in the final painting. It's tricky. So much so, that I had to start this one over at least 3 times. In the end though I like it, and it's going to go in the book. After this one, I just have one more left to do, "Legend of Kage", and then i'll be done. Then it's on to the cover, and the surrounding promotional materials. 

I love the fact that the game is tested and proven by Ray Leonard Jr.! What?!?!!?!?


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nintendo Tribute: Ducktales

This week tribute is Ducktales, which is a game that I played a lot and was surprisingly addictive.
I don't think this one was as popular as the other main Nintendo games, such as Metroid, Mike Tyson, etc. etc. however this game was still a fun one to play. Nothing really special in terms of process that I did for this one, just the same basic steps. Hope you like!


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nintendo Tribute: Elevator Action

This week's post is of Elevator Action, which is not necessarily a game that I so much played on Nintendo per Se, but more a game that was still fun from the 80's. So I figured "why not include it in the book".  There are some things that I tried in this piece, that I think worked out pretty well, however there is always room for improvement (in this case namely with the color). At any rate, below are the steps for how I got to the final piece.

Below: I wanted to come up with an interesting composition, so as always I did a number of composition studies, but they were all of the side view. I finally realized that the best view would be to have the main character shooting/looking/interacting with the viewer. Much more interesting than a boring side view. So after a few sketches, below was the final composition that I came up with. I wanted to have him running away from enemy agents, and shooting over his shoulder to have a feling of action to the piece.

Below: Now depending on the idea/subject matter, etc. I normally just skip right into drawing, etc. after doing some research etc. this case I realized that in order for this to not* look like crap, I would need as close to a live model as possible. Since I didn't have one of those handy, I decided to just use myself. I set up my camera on my mantle, used the self timer setting and then took one or two shots of me looking over my shoulder while "dashing".(I used a pair of scissors as my "gun"). Despite the fact that I do NOT look like a super awesome secret spy, I decided that this would be a good reference to start work. As I go I am realizing how important research is, because without it, your drawing is just not going to look right.

Below: I did an initial sketch, then did a basic line sketch on top of that, and then started filling in the shadow layers and the highlights.I wasn't sure who to make the character look like, so I used Errol Flynn as a model, which I thought worked ok....I of course gave him a face scar...because....really who is going to mess with a guy with a face scar, would you? The lesson learned here is that structure, form, value and lighting are pretty much the most important parts of your piece. Without it, the rest of the piece is going to look sucky. It took me a couple of tries to learn, that, but hopefully I just saved you a lot of work.

Below: Now the biggest issue that I had with this one was how to apply color. As a matter of fact, I got to the point where I would add the color, and then get to a certain point, and I would hate it! A lot. I was getting bogged down in the order of whether to apply color first, and then shadows, or* whether to apply shadows and then color. On top of that, I was also getting bogged down on HOW to actually apply the color in the piece, because I would try a number of tactics, and it would not work.
It took a couple of tries, but I finally figured out the proper order for how to apply each (it still needs some finessing, but at least I have the basics down)--for now until I find a better way.

Below: From there I went in and I worked on top of everything, using various combinations of multiply, softlight, overlay, etc. and layer adjustment settings to get things to where I wanted them.

Again the biggest challenge here was the lighting (it always is). I wanted parts of the piece highlighted, and other parts not as prominent, I think it works, but again there is always room for improvement. 
I also learned that painting metal is def. not easy. I will need to work on ways to make it not look so "chalky". Anyway, Elevator Action is done, and is def. going in the book!

Small piece of trivia...I just discovered that the name of the character that you play in the game is "Agent 17: aka--Otto"! Who knew...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mighty Bomb Jack! (Again)

So here is the final Mighty Bomb Jack piece. I had posted this before, but of course I am never happy with anything that I do, and until I am, I am always tempted to do things over and over again and experiment. In fact that is one of the benefits to Photoshop, and it's hinderances as well.

There are so many layer settings, button options and menu options in the program that the possibility for outcomes is almost infinite. This of course makes this overwhelming when you are trying to develop a style and be consistant. I am working on another fun piece now (Elevator Action) which is getting there, but I had to basically start the thing over three times, because I was not happy with how it was coming out at all (and I might be a semi-obsessive-compulsive perfectionist)

All in all though the theory is that the more work you put together and the more work you do, the sooner you will arrive where you want to be. At least that the goal.


Recently Published in Accent UK comics!

In other great news. Last year I met the chaps over at UK comics at MOCCA fest (the indie small press comic book festival and trade show) they were def. cool guys and I have kept in touch with them over the past year.

A while ago I got asked to contribute a piece to the hard cover anthology book (the theme being about robots of course). I found out last week, that I recently got a piece published.
The book is a collection of short stories about robots...and who doesn't like robots?
You can learn more about the anthology and about Accent UK comics here:

Snake Plissken!

Just a little Snake Plissken action for your Sunday!