Glorious Sonic Boom concept art post, and step by step matte painting

So I’ve been playing Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric lately. And this game is so gorgeous, it makes my crusty artist’s heart sing. Check out some of this concept art:




Arent’t they wonderful? As a Sonic fan from the mid-90s, seeing this kind of treatment makes me sooooo happy. I’ve been playing it, and the world is massively intriguing. Kind of civilization built on top of a previous, advanced civilization, only the modern day people are slowly recovering the old technology.

Anyway, I had to make a stab at drawing something like this, myself. It’s time for a matte painting!

Note: A true matte painting is made with photos. This is what they typically look like.

Dubrovnik Matte Painting

Since I’m an utter noob, I just painted over a free render from deviantart.

So! Here’s the render I started with.

As you can see, a fairly serviceable render. It’s just called Jungle Ruins.


Here I painted in the background. I started with just a lot of vertical strokes of light and dark green. Then I darkened the trees, and used a lot of Photoshop texture brushes to suggest foilage, moss, vines, all that messy jungle stuff.


I painted in the characters in various stages, as I worked out the light direction, and how they were going to interact with their environment. The statue was tricky, because it had to match the background as much as possible. I painted it with rough, messy Photoshop brushes to get that stony, mossy texture.


Now for all the foreground leaves and plants. This helps the bottom of the render to blend into the jungle. I could have done more on this, but I was just experimenting. My next will be better. Anyway, the arch above the statue, in particular, got lots of moss and vines, and leaves catching the light. Lots of moss hanging from the vines.


Beams of light for the win! This was when I added the highlights on the characters and statue, because I knew how strong the light was supposed to be, and what color it was.


I made a new layer, flood filled it with blue green, and set the layer setting to Soft Light. Makes a nice green cast over everything. You could achieve this same effect in physical media with a blue green wash.


Last was a lot of little details, like the circuitry on the statue, implying that it’s waking up in the presence of people. Gotta have a story in the picture, you know?

And there you go! Painting this was basically like eating candy, only afterward, instead of having a sick stomach, I had a piece of artwork. Score!

I can’t wait to try more paintings like this, only, you know, spend more time and make them far more awesome.


Cool coat

That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? Coats are warm, not cool.

Anyway, somebody on Facebook was passing around this coat from this company, where if you Liked the picture and shared it on your wall, you’d be entered to win the coat. I also snagged the picture because I want to draw it.

I mean, isn’t that totally awesome? It’s like Lord of the Ringsish or something! All she needs is wings. Because I’m always sticking wings on things.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting if the coat was a different color.

Here’s royal blue:

And red, for good measure.

I’m not sure which I like better. Although the red could easily become a Christmasy picture. I want her wings to be kind of ethereal, too. I’m also leaning toward a Bev Dolittle effect and making them hidden pictures in the background.

You know Bev Doolittle. Her art looks like this.

And that’s a watercolor. It makes me weep salty tears.

So what do you think? Black? Blue? Or red and Christmasy?

Thinking in sketches

A lot of times, it helps me sort out story stuff if I can sit and doodle related things.

I’d like to do “updated” pics of all the Spacetime characters, and make them look like real people. I recently found the perfect model for Xironi, so here’s a sketch.

You get the idea.

My Sonic story’s coming along nicely. But it’s brought up some ideas I need to draw. The thing I miss about writing longhand was the great doodles I could make in the margins of peoples’ faces. Or of the odd things I was writing about in that paragraph.

One thing I ran into was Mephiles. He’s this evil shadow demon thingy from the Sonic 360 game. He steals Shadow’s shadow and takes Shadow’s form, then later it turns all crystally and eeevil. Well, my version of Shadow is half robot, so I realized I had no idea how that would look on Mephiles.

I imagined all the robot bits would turn to solid crystal. I think this deserves a proper pic to explore the visual properly.

Also it’s funny to see Shadow stalking along, all badass, and have Nox trotting along beside him all like, “Hi Shadow! It’s a nice day, isn’t it? Aren’t you glad to be alive?” And Shadow’s all like, “No. Shut up.”

Cool medallion

This was my project tonight. My husband needed a logo image for his Let’s Play videos on youtube, and I made him this.

It’s the medallion from our story series, and it’s been his logo since before we were dating. (So, like, ten years, at least.)

I whipped it up in Illustrator for some nice clean lines, dumped it to Photoshop, added a metal texture I found on DA, then beveled and embossed the heck out of it. Isn’t it spiffy?

Visual notes

Remember last night when I was griping about needing a better idea for the climax of my dragon story?

I can has idea.

This sketch is my visual notes. You know how a picture is worth a thousand words?

The delicious thing is, nobody but me has any idea what it means. It’s better than writing in Vorticon!

More Dax

Refined it a bit and made it wider, so it’s not so scrunched. Also played with making some rocky pillar-thingies in the background. They kind of look like columns of smoke right now. It’s rough, but the idea is there.

Guy is giving a fish to the pterosaur, trying to buy a ride.

Landscape and color flavors

It’s kind of silly to be practicing a landscape in black and white, but to be thinking about color.

I made a curry chicken dish tonight, and I was thinking about how if yellow was a flavor, it would taste like curry.

It got me thinking. When I think of how all the colors taste, I automatically think of those colored fruit snacks I ingested in mass quantities as a kid. Red is cherry, yellow is lemon, and so on.

So I started trying to reassign flavors to colors.

Red is tomato sauce.

Yellow is curry, as mentioned above.

Green is spinach or lettuce.

Blue is swimming pool water. It makes me chuckle, but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything that was truly blue before. Even blueberries are purplish.

Blue-Violet is plums.

Magenta is red onions.

Do colors taste like fruit snacks to you? If not, what do they taste like?

Space/world ship

This is a concept sketch of the Gravitrix, an inter-dimensional ship that jumps from world to world via the power of gravity. Traveling on it isn’t much fun because of the nasty G-forces you get during transit.

It’s been described as a mushroom and a ‘UFO on a stick’. It’s flying over one of the shattered continents of Tyrona.

Long necks

I’ve wanted to do a pic like this for a long time. A couple of giraffes in the foreground, eating stuff from high places … and in the background is a brachiosaurus, the dinosaur giraffe, doing the same thing from an even higher place.

I want to experiment with spatial distance in this pic, the way they do in some of the Magic the Gathering cards. Where a critter is so huge that they have atmospheric perspective going on. And this one, too.