Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hearthstone: Broom

This is my favorite of the pictures I painted for the new Hearthstone expansion One Night in Karazhan. It was a chance to get a bit silly and I love it when I can really embrace a humorous approach to a painting or a character design. In this case, I was able to paint a mean-spirited, magically-animated broom! It was a good time from start to finish.

I've included my initial concept sketches for the broom at left.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hearthstone: Protect the King!





















Here's another illustration for the new Hearthstone release One Night in Karazhan. This one was a real challenge. I needed to depict chess pieces with no legs in motion. Eventually, I needed to work magical energy into the picture without creating chaos. Both the composition and the color scheme went through some big changes.

As you can see below, the original composition was more expansive, showing more of the pieces on the board. A decision was made to zoom in on a section of the composition so it would read better at the size of a Hearthstone card. From there, I did a complete value study in black and white to clarify the picture before adding color. I rather like the image this way, with black and white pieces actually painted in black and white. I wanted to preserve some of that feel so my initial approach to the color scheme was to use analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel—in this case, blues and purples).

Ultimately, the final art had to be much more colorful than that and I needed to work in magical energy so the pieces became a warm purple and ochre and I introduced red and blue energy. I think it works and in the end, I have a nice example of just how much color can change a piece even after most of the values have been established.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Hearthstone: Avian Watcher






































I painted this illustration of for the new Hearthstone release, One Night in Karazhan

I've included a preliminary study in gray. I was initially leaning toward something dark and moody but Hearthstone is a very colorful game so in the end, the color scheme ended up being rather electric, with a highly saturated palette, right down to the glowing green eyes.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Skylanders Battlecast: Crypt King and Bad Juju

























Here's another painting for Skylanders Battlecast, this time featuring the characters Crypt King and Bad Juju. The latter is in the background and he's trying to control the actions of the former.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Smash Hit: Process

As I mentioned in my previous post, this painting went through some interesting changes during the development process. Here are some of the steps along the way.

1.) My preliminary sketch.

2.) Working in Photoshop, I blocked in basic colors and values and started developing a few details. The latter were only added after the blocking-in process but alas, I didn't save a version of the painting with just the basic colors and values in place.

As you can see, I also added a texture over the ground using a transparent layer. 


3.) More development: At this stage, I had begun working on the girders in the background and I shifted the color of the cement-slinging vehicle from orange to a bright red. Most of the work was done with the Hard Round brush in Photoshop, or with a brush named "Airbrush Pen Opacity Flow". 

4.) The color of the girders in the background was changed from red to a cool blue to push them back and keep them from competing for attention with the foreground elements. Texture and detail were added to the vehicle.

5.) Next, I began developing the character by adding details and refining shapes. I also did a bit more work on the background.


6.) Having completed the central elements of the picture, I refined and developed the rest of the background (and the actual ground) and the picture was finished...

7.) ... or so I thought! It turned out that the girders weren't an appropriate element for the game setting so they had to be removed. They were replaced with more clouds and stacked bricks and then the picture was truly finished.

I actually prefer the version in step 6. I think the strong vertical lines of the girders really added something valuable to the composition but hopefully, both versions of the picture are successful.

Questions are welcome!








Skylanders Battlecast: Smash Hit

























This painting for Activision's Skylanders Battlecast game features a character named Smash Hit and a cement-slinging machine he's invented, Designing the cement slinger was a hoot and I had a great time with this painting as a whole. It went through some changes along the way so I'm going to share the process for it in my next post.