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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Skylanders Battlecast: Grave Clobber

Here's another piece I painted for Activision's Skylanders Battlecast. It's one of my favorites. The character, Grave Clobber, has just been dumped out of a water pipe and he's feeling a little stunned.

Like all of the Battlecast paintings I've been posting, this one was painted digitally, in Adobe Photoshop.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Skylanders Battlecast—Cali

I've been given permission to post some more Skylanders Battlecast art so here we go...

This painting features Cali, an explorer/adventurer in the Skylanders world. She's being airlifted away from a group of green Chompies!

I've included my preliminary drawing above. All of the images I painted for this game are intended to fit into a card format that, in places, intrudes slightly into the picture. Consequently, there's usually a bit of extra space around the perimeter of each composition to allow room for those elements.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Green Thumb and Machinecraft

Here are two more card paintings for Activision's new game Skylanders Battlecast, Green Thumb and Machinecraft. These are simpler compositions than the multi-figure scenes I've posted the last two days, although they both presented challenges of their own. For example, I wasn't sure at first how I wanted to paint Broccoli Guy's head in Green Thumb. It took a bit of experimentation to arrive at an approach I liked.

The holographic belts and gears in Machinecraft were a challenge too. They needed to read very clearly but they were also supposed to be slightly transparent. Creating the "factory" background was a challenge too. There's quite a bit going on back there.

Friday, June 3, 2016


This one has a delightful title, eh? It's another of my favorites among the paintings I did for Activision's Skylanders Battlecast. The little blue creatures with the glowing eyes are called Chompy Rustbuds!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hoist of the Century

This is my favorite of the Skylanders Battlecast cards I've done so far. They've all been fun but this one provided an opportunity to do a scene with some real depth and multiple characters. It was difficult but rewarding!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Skylanders Battlecast

Last summer, I was fortunate to get involved with a new game, Skylanders Battlecast, which has just been released. It's based on the popular Skylanders video game universe and published by Activision. I encourage you to check it out! It's a free mobile game. The game itself involves cards and battles. You can buy actual, physical cards, digital cards or both!

Now that the game has been released, I can finally share some of the art I've been doing for it. I'll "roll out" some new art every day for the next few days so if you like what you see, please keep checking in.

The first two pieces I painted were Finishing Blow (which features the eagle character Jet-Vac) and Skylithium Scale, which features a gem dragoness named Flashwing.

Both illustrations were painted in Photoshop.

I have loved working on this game so I hope you enjoy the artwork. I'll post more tomorrow!