Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

Continuing on a theme, a character whom I actually believe to be the evilest in the Harry Potter series; Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort may have been a nasty piece of work but at least he was an insane megalomaniac- Bella was motivated purely by a desire to cause pain and misery. A nasty, nasty piece of work if ever there was one, she is personally responsible for the deaths of two of my other favourite characters- Sirius Black and the aformentioned Nymphadora Lupin (nee Tonks)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Work... FINISHED (More or Less)

Following the constant goading of literally no people I've managed to get this picture complete to a level that I can unashamedly call 'finished'. Yay me!

I think the only extra work I could put in would be to maybe add a shadow and a bit of outlining but I'm not going to let that get in the way of achieving my target of having it finished by the end of the day so there.

Why Tonks you might ask? I dunno, I always liked her and she and Lupin both have this kind of tragic appeal to me. Maybe I'll do him next. By the way; am I the only one who see's J.K. Rowling setting up a Harry Potter: The Next Generation eleven years down the road starring little Teddy Lupin? I called it here first!

Let me know what you think of the pic- it's the first 'finished' piece of art I've produced in about three years!

Work In Progress V.

I aim to have this more or less finished by the end of the day...

Work in Progress Er.. What Was I Up To...?

Just in case you think I forgot or something, heres a screencap. Nearly finished the first colour pass. After that I'll start inking and tidying up.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Work in Progress III.

This is probably the last update for today- the pencils are more or less finished and the next stage will most likely be to take a high res scan and start going at it with my tablet...

Work in Progress II.

Told you I'd update! Now she has (some) clothes!

Work in Progress.

I know ok, I know! I didn't post that Tales From the Darkside I promised and I haven't updated for a couple of days; I suck.

The fact is I'm on holiday and the last couple of days I've spent basically doing absolutely nothing- feels good to take the time and fill it with bone idleness, but now it's time to do something so here you go.

I've been listening to Stephen Fry's Harry Potter audiobooks and I must say they're a great way to keep your brain occupied during the walk to work or while you do the housework. I'm up to 'Order of the Phoenix' and enjoying it massively. In fact I've even been inspired to draw something yes, you heard it here first- I'm drawing something and I thought I'd let you all in on the process so here you go, a work in progress for my picture of Nymphadora Tonks. Updates to come as I continue to work.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

I'm blue dah bah dee, dah bah dah...

I found the blueprints for the Swallowtail fighter- looking at them now it's hard to believe I ever thought in that much detail; I think the resolution of my imagination has dropped a few levels since then. I got the blueprint effect by scanning the original pencils then inverting and adding a blue filter- pretty simple really but I was happy with the effect.

I also found the blueprint for this puppy; the UISC Starrunner. This thing is designed to be an exploration vessel equipped with Swallowtail fighters. If you thought the level of detail on the fighter was nuts, check this guy out! I only regret not having produced front or top elevations for this, but as I recall the original drawing for this was rather large and I didn't have space on my drawing board to construct them from the side elevation. Boo.

Seeing as how this is yet another Deadend post I think I'm going to have to add some variety so I'm going to post some more Tales from the Darkside tonight...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Making it look easy...

Just to demonstrate that it doesn't always happen as rapidly or easily as it did with Anthony Hayes I thought I'd share the process that went into the creation of Rachel Myers, one of the other characters in our team. I apologise for the very poor quality of some of these scans, but they're ancient and I cant currently find the originals to make better copies.

1.) This image shows what I think is Myers' first ever appearance. Bang in the centre of the page you can see her, tattoo on the wrong side of her face wearing a very poor Alan Davies hairdo and a very baggy space suit.

2.) More of the baggy suit and the horrific hairstyle. I seriously have no idea what I was thinking. I know I was trying to make Earth technology look a little bit backwards and unadvanced (as indeed was the concept for Deadend) but the hair... really don't know what I was aiming for there.

3.) Getting closer... The horrible hair is finally gone, replaced with pretty much what has come to be Myers' trademark style, but she's lost her clan tattoo and gained some piercings... starting to get a little alternative, but the bulky spacesuit is still there.

4.) Final version. We have the hair, the tattoo and the piercings- perfect! She's even smoking a cigarette (cos she's got attitude, see?). Plus I've disposed of that nasty spacesuit and replaced it with something better looking. The new suit is not, as you might expect, an excuse to slip a female character into something skintight and superherolike- it's a 'squeezesuit'- an actual scientific concept for a pressuresuit. The idea is that instead of wearing a suit that contains a pressure of one atmosphere you could instead wear a suit that exerts a pressure of one atmosphere on its wearer to hold them in shape. Such a suit would be much more compact and would restrict movement to a much lesser degree. Also it looks much sexier!

Frantic, part 2.

Just noticed there's a lot of stuff about the Swallowtail fighter in these sketches. I actually produced a full blueprint for the final design at some point- even coloured it blue! Think I'll post it if I can find it... The Swallowtail is the main fighter featured in the UI fleet an is piloted by Rachel Myers and would feature in her story quite a lot.

Frantic, part 1.

Most of the pictures I've posted here have been completed drawings or at least well finished sketches. It might be helpful to know that ideas dont necessaraly pop out of my head in such a complete fashion. Above are a series of standard pages from one of my old books, presented sequencially so you can see how ideas have developed. Most of the subject matter is Deadend but there's also a few bits of Star Wars and even a few bits of stuff based on an Iain M. Banks novel (though I forget which one).

I thought looking through some of this stuff might help inspire Simon to get on with some Deadend stuff, which he seems to be enthused about according to his blog here.

More to come in a minute...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

New World Man.

This is Anthony Hayes. Anthony Hayes is very special, in more ways than one.

Hayes is the only character Simon and I created for Deadend who has remained pretty much unchanged from his inception. He's always been a well built, tall human male in his mid twenties called Anthony Hayes. Unlike Sam Campbell (name change), Martin Baxter (race change) or Rachel Myers (random changes in height, hairstyle, facial piercings, tattoos...), nothing has changed in his designs from my earliest sketches.

Hayes is something of a genius. A wunderkind perennial underachiever he works in the R&D department of the United Industries Security Force (UISF) and fulfils the role of support for our illustrious squad of heroes.

Hayes is a 'G-man'- a genetically engineered superhuman- that is to say physically fit, super intelligent and disease resistant. This kind of modification does not come cheap however and Hayes is not from a rich background. In fact he is an orphan, though through no tragic circumstance. Three generations of his ancestors voluntarily entered into indentured service and worked their entire adult lives to fund his geneering and upon the completion of their contract Hayes was produced in a biowomb and raised to adulthood at the expense of his parent company- UI.

Sadly it would appear that Hayes is somewhat afraid of failure or at least unwilling to live up to his full potential and as such sought employment in the security force, where he spends his time hacking criminal networks, developing new technologies and field testing new weapons systems, the geneering program apparently having no ability to influence the human nature to rebel.
Hayes wears spectacles although he has no need for them and in fact has better than perfect eyesight and constantly smokes, because his advanced biology suffers absolutely no negative effects from doing so.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

What's that coming over the hill?

I'M NOT DEAD! I've just been.. er busy... er than usual. Really.

Ok- fine; I've been seduced by the green eyed cyclops and done little more than play xbox for the past week. I noticed that one of my friends was in danger of overtaking me on gamerpoints so I found it necessary to hammer out as many cheap achievements as possible (sorry Toby) even going so far as to buy 'Blazing Angels II' for £8 from Tesco (on the same note, anyone think it's worth picking up 'Eternal Sonata' for the same price? It's notoriously difficult to earn achievements from JRPGs but I must say a Namco game set in the world of a dying Chopin's dreams seems weirdly appealing...).

Anyway, the guy illustrated above is another of my creations for my steampunky fantasy idea; 'Untitled Fantasy Project No. 2'. He is but one of a whole range of nasty beasties I envisaged to inhabit the valley floor below the floating islands of the Avian people. These guys I imagine to be somewhat akin to the Morlocks from H.G. Well's 'The Time Machine'- devolved canniblistic cavemen. Looks pretty threatening, no? I wanted to create a kind of hulking heavyweight creature without putting all the strength in the arms, which seems to be the cliche for such things. This guy carries all his muscle in his chest and neck, supporting powerful jaws for clamping and ripping.