I’ve been working on a book cover commission for the last two weeks. Today was the final push to really get it finished. The author has been showing it off, so here’s my heavily-watermarked version.
This is for Reformed: The Supervillain Rehabilitation Project by H.L. Burke. As of this blog post, it’s not out yet, but give it another month or two.
Here’s the progress pic:
You can see some of my initial sketches, figuring out layouts and poses and such. Then the refined sketches where I was changing angles and positions and things. There were quite a few more of those, but I didn’t want to bore viewers. Then I moved to inking, then color roughs to figure out the mood. Heidi wanted an overall blue color scheme, so we went with a nice rich dark blue.
I personally can’t wait for the book to come out so I can read it. 😀
A City family was surprised last week to find an unexpected Dawning gift in their tree.
Gera Hurst and her two children, Freda and James, were eating dinner last Thursday when Freda, 10, made the discovery.
As Freda cleared the table in another room, Hurst heard her exclaim, “Traveler’s Light!”
“She enters the room very dramatically and goes, “‘Mama, that ornament frightened me!’ Then she burst into tears.”
Hurst explained that she’s a big fan of Ghosts. She had about a dozen Ghost ornaments on her Dawning tree. That’s why Hurst thought Freda had just seen an ornament. As she took a closer look at the tree, Hurst saw the ‘ornament’ blink his eye.
“And I’m going, ‘Oh, that’s a real Ghost,'” Hurst remembered as Freda ran into another room crying.
If that wasn’t strange enough, the Ghost had been in the family tree for more than a week. Hurst’s husband, Rand, told the news they had bought their tree two days after the Festival of the Lost.
“It was about to snow, you see,” said the Ghost, who called himself Dusk. “I was hanging out in the tree lot, looking for my Guardian, when this family picks the tree I was hiding in. I figured this was a great way to get out of the cold for a while, so I just kept quiet and hidden.”
“But didn’t you spy on the family?” our reporter asked.
“A little,” Dusk admitted. “But I stayed in the tree, and they seem like a nice family. I didn’t mean to frighten the little girl.”
That was all we managed to get out of the Ghost before Gera Hurst chased him out of her house with a broom.
I’ve been working on some art commissions lately. I thought it’d be fun to show the one I finished last week.
First off, my commissioner asked for a scene from one of her fanfics, where a guy finds baby Sonic lost in a snowstorm. So I did some thumbnail sketches of how this might look as a pic.
She liked the one with the guy holding up the lantern, so I sketched it out in a larger size.
When she approved that, I colored it. I did the background first, working off a spiffy picture of some mountains in the Swiss Alps somewhere.
It’s supposed to be a very cold, sad sort of picture, with muted warmth from baby Sonic in the foreground and more warmth from the guy in the background, with the lantern.
Also, snowflakes are really fun to do. These were just a fat airbrush set to a really big size, so the dots were a couple pixels wide. Most are dark blue and some are lighter, right around the light source.
I’ll show off my second commission once I get it finished.
A lady commissioned me to do a couple of black and white illustrations for her upcoming novella (short story?).
Naturally, my tablet decided to crap out immediately. No amount of fiddling with the cord could induce it to work.
Fortunately I’d managed to get one sketch done. She asked for a particular kind of sword with vines of ivy wrapped around it. Here was the concept, working off a reference photo she provided:
I dumped it over into Illustrator and traced it all out in vector. I experimented with different ways of shading, and decided that gradients made it look too artificial. So I went with a pen stroke to give it an “illustration” look.
Here’s how it looks with leaves.
I’m on the fence about it so far–the leaves obscure the sword if I make them darker, and the whole image is too busy if I give them lots of detail. I’m tempted to print the thing out, add all the extra bits by hand with pen, and scan it back in. Illustrator doesn’t like crosshatching at all.
I’ve been working on a new batch of commissions lately. Here’s their conceptual sketches.
This one is more characters from Rachel’s Zyearth books. Here’s Trecheon and Matt, with Leah in the background trying to break up the scuffle.
This one, my commissioner asked for her character with an eastern style dragon. My first concept is that her character visits her world where one of her alternates has been born as a dragon. It has a hurt foot.
Then I did her character in a kimono with a Chinese dragon all swirled in the background.
Note to self. Get a kimono. They look awesome.
Third one is her character commanding one of those Chinese air dragon god thingies with a glowing sphere. She’s holding a baby one.
I like this one so much that if she doesn’t pick it, I might revise it, swap out the characters, and finish it up for the win.
Mostly conceptual stuff and trying to figure out what pose looks good. I tossed these back to Jess tonight and we’ll see what sort of pose she prefers. The griffin’s half-eagle half-falcon (his name is Halvden), so I was trying to come up with a look for that. Also he’s wearing armored gauntlet things on his claws, so I had to figure out how that would work on long skinny eagle toes.
Here’s how it looks so far! I spent the evening working on the dragon, and only got to the Doctor in the last twenty minutes or so. I’m trying to keep his face very simple, because it’s only like 50 pixels tall. Why do I always do faces so small? They’re so DIFFICULT. Anyway, he looks sort of like Matt Smith. Likeness is so hard for me still. Especially Matt Smith with his weird pointed goblin face.
Been working on two commissions. First, the dragon. I made some clean fill-ins of the main color masses, then added some basic shading. And also a background of a park. Because for some reason this is happening in a park in my mind.
Also worked on another commission, this one of a scene from an audio fanfic.
I love drawing the Sonic characters beating each other up. The trouble is, I have to bust out my Sonic action figures to see what they look like from such odd angles. Then I have to find pose reference.