Since the game is audio only, I decided on making my poster an album cover. I didn't want to design any of the threats experienced by the player while playing the game, since having the creatures left entirely up to the players imagination is probably way scarier. So instead I tried to imagine a visual representation of the sonar that the player uses to track and kill the creatures they encounter.
There will be 12" prints available at the show, and then online afterwards. More details on the show here
This is my piece for IAm8Bit's Nickelodeon themed art show "It's The ShizNICK". I based it on this classic Action Comics cover, where the man of steel is about to punch a circus lion right in the face.
When I was a kid, The Ren & Stimpy show taught me that it's OK to be a bit weird. As a weird kid, that's a big relief.
There will be 40 limited edition 7x11" signed and numbered prints at the show which opens this Friday.
I've got work in two upcoming shows, one in L.A, and one in New York.
First up, opening April 19th and running through to May 5th, is IAm8Bit's Nickelodeon themed show, It's The ShizNICK! Over 60 artists interpreting their favorite Nickelodeon shows from the 90's. If you are in the LA area and want to go, you can RSVP here.
Here's the poster by Zac Gorman.
Following that, on Friday May 3rd, will be the No Quarter show, hosted by the NYU Game Center and Attract Mode. The show will exhibit some of the great indie games that have come from the Game Center, including the game I made a poster for, Robin Arnott's Deep Sea.
Here's the poster for that event by Cory Schmitz.
I'll share the pieces themselves soon. Both of these pieces are a little different for me, I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone by toying more with looser digital painting rather than tight polygons, so I'll be interested to see the reaction to them. There will be limited-edition prints of each at the respective shows, along with the work of lots of other great artists, so if you happen to be in either corner of the country, drop by and check them out.
A few people have asked about my digital painting process, so I put together this GIF of my Jeff Leppard painting in various states of completeness.
I paint mostly in Photoshop, though I often sketch in Sketchbook Pro. Here's a brief description of the steps I went through.
1. Rough line-work using a pencil brush in Photoshop. The brush I like is included in this pack by Ray Frenden, along with some other really nice brushes.
2. Refined line-work using a thicker brush.
3. Adding values. I block in the shape of the figure with a standard hard round brush, then set the layer to 'lock transparent pixels', which allows me to render the shadows and highlights of the figure with a soft airbrush. The arrow is just to help me visualize where my light source is.
4. Blocking in color using a soft airbrush on a new layer set to 'overlay'.
5. I cleaned up the edges of my linework, then masked and colored it to blend it in by color-picking local colors (If anyone is interested I can go into more detail on how I do this step.)
6. I add some adjustment layers to increase the saturation and alter the color balance a little, then I start painting in small details and some strong shadows to improve the depth using a hard round brush.
7. Added in a background and some smoke from the RPG. You can see the beginnings of the text at the bottom. At this stage I opened up Illustrator to work on the custom text.
8. The finished piece. I added some more adjustment layers (quite a few actually), as well as a paper texture to give it that fold-out poster look. Also added a handmade lens flare, because try as you might to deny it, lens flares are just cool.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
One of the best gaming experiences I had last year was playing Capy Games upcoming masterpiece Super TIME Force at PAX. This picture is my take on their ludicrously named character, Jef Leppard.
I've been getting back into some digital painting lately, since one of my current projects involves painting lots of faces. While doodling away with some new brushes in Photoshop, I sketched out this picture of Jef and his kitty friend, joyfully raining down some rocket-fueled death from above. I liked it, so I decided to finish it off. This is a different style I wanted to explore, inspired by the Adventure Time episode title cards (anyone know how I get to paint one of those?) and it seemed appropriate to turn it into the kind of fold-out poster you'd find inside Teen Heartthrob Magazine, usually depicting a mulleted John Stamos casually draped over a shimmering white Countach.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, prepare to have your mind blown by this ridiculous trailer. It will probably leave you more confused than when you started, but it's amazing, and your life will be enriched from having watched it...
This is what scntfc has to say about the project:
"A lot of kids watch a whole lot of television, and a whole lot of that television is actually advertisements for things that probably aren't all that great for their physical (and mental) health. The Pacific Science Center put together a few salient statistics and asked us to distill them down into an info-motional-graphexplanationary-metric-o-graphic short film that should make us all think more about the messages we're sending to kids."
It was produced by Joshua S. Warren for the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, and will be part of the Wellbody Academy exhibit which aims to educate parents and kids about healthy living. If you live near Seattle you can go check it out, the exhibition is open now.
OK, let's kick off 2013.
I made this Street Fighter inspired poster for the Double Jump show this month. I've had this idea since finishing the last poster, so I'm glad to finally get it out of my head, although immediately after finishing this one, I have an idea ready for the next. Some projects are just like that.
Thanks to Christian and Jeff for giving me their best fighting poses. Fun fact: The flaming fists and lightning eyes are real superpowers they possess, they're just too modest to talk about it. Who knew?
If you live near LA, you should go see the show at the Nerdmelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics on January 11. Tickets available here.
Here is this years Christmas card/movie poster. This would probably be the second best Christmas movie ever made. Just in front of Christmas Vacation, but still behind the most festive, joyous Christmas movie of all time, Die Hard.
A fine Yippee-ki-yay to you this holiday season.
My Shadow of the Colossus themed print for Fangamer VERSUS Attract Mode is now available online for anyone who couldn't make it to the show. It's a super high quality giclee print on heavyweight, 100% cotton rag paper.
I only made 40 of them in total, and they've all been signed, numbered, and personally whispered kind words of encouragement to by me.Sexy up those blank walls right here.
I've swapped my site over to the new version of Squarespace, and made a few changes at the same time. The new site should be mobile friendly, and should also look good in almost any size window. It may take me a little while to get used to all of the cool new stuff I can do here, but I should have a lot more freedom when putting together posts.
To celebrate, here's some concept art I did last year for an unreleased video game. Looking back at these, the city one is a little boring, but I still like the way the others turned out, I think this is a world I'd like to explore. Unfortunately, I don't think this game will ever come out, but one day I hope to create concepts for more games.
I made this piece based on Shadow of the Colossus for the Fangamer VS Attract Mode show in September. The theme of the show is VERSUS, and the first thing I thought of was this game, since it's essentially just sixteen boss battles in a row.
The show is in Seattle at 7pm on Saturday the 1st of September, which is the weekend of PAX. I'll be there with limited edition signed and numbered prints of this piece, and there will also be all kinds of awesome art from a bunch of amazing artists.
If you're in town that weekend be sure to drop by, say hi, and get some cool stuff.
I had a little spare time to paint some portraits recently, and as such, may I present to you film and music maestro Scntfc (aka Scientific American, aka C Andrew Rohrmann).
To be honest, Andy's beard made me panic a little, it was too neat to be portrayed as flowy vectors, but too long for me to just make the appropriate polygons hair colored. I prefer to keep things as simple as possible, since I think that when there is too much detail, the image becomes too noisy, and it becomes hard to draw focus to any one area. But in the end I like the way the subtle texturing turned out. Feel free to stare at it (though not in real life, that would be creepy).
You can listen to, and buy, his amazing soundscapes here.
So my friend Max recently spoke to the year 6 students at Bygrove Primary School in the merry ol' UK, and presented an animation workshop. As a homework assigment, he asked the kids to design their own characters, and then got some of his animator/illustrator friends to redesign the characters the kids created.
This is REX. He may have begun life as a tracing of a Transformer, but I liked the primary color scheme the student chose, and hey, he's a robot that turns into a tank which is two kinds of awesome. So I picked him.
If, like me, your favorite Transformers movie is the 1986 animated version, then 1: You have a special place in your heart for Stan Bush's aural masterpiece 'The Touch', and 2: You'll probably agree that the modern Transformer designs are a little over-the-top.
So my goal for this redesign was mostly to simplify the silhouette to give him a more unique look, but to also keep enough of the decorative elements, and the same color scheme to tie it back to the original. A high-res version of this image will be sent to the student who created REX, I hope he likes it.
You can read more about the project and see all the great characters the kids designed on Max's blog.
Here is a portrait of Celsius Game Studios founder, creator of galaxies, and Canada's premiere cat-whisperer Colin Walsh.
Between creating star systems for his upcoming space trading game Drifter, Colin can be found hurtling through the universe, dishing out intergalactic space justice with his occular death rays.
I made this portrait of soundtrack auteur, Arizona native, and experimental facial hair aficionado Danny Baranowsky. Pause for a moment and soak in the luxurious splendor of that hair. Yep? OK.
For those who don't know, Danny is the man behind the smooth and sensual sounds of Canabalt, Super Meat Boy, The Binding Of Isaac, and tons more. He'll also be making the music for Drifter.
You can get his music all up in your ears right here.
The Drifter Kickstarter campaign is cruising along nicely. But a few people have been wondering about the boxed copy of the game, and will it include an actual disc, or a download code. Colin asked me to play around with making the poster design work on a disc label, and this is the result. I remixed the elements a little to fit the round format, but I think it keeps the original retro vibe intact.
There are also T-shirts now available as backer rewards, as well as mini versions of the ship model. Also, if the funding reaches $75,000, I'll be designing UI for the game.
I made this piece for the Sworcery AV Jam this weekend. If you haven't checked out all of the amazing submissions yet, you really should. Well, go on, I'll wait...
Back? Ok, great.
This is now the third piece I've done with a bit of Sword & Sworcery flavor in it, so if you still haven't played the game yet (it's now available on PC with a Mac port on the way), then you should probably go play it right now. Yep, that's right, I'll wait...
I was recently contacted by Drew Taylor, the editor of Jumpbutton Magazine about doing an illustration for them, as well as an interview about all of the videogame themed pictures I've been drawing. The theme for issue #2 of the magazine is 'character select', and Drew suggested an ensemble piece with some of my favorite indie game characters.
The result is what you see above, the character select screen from my ultimate indie adventure crossover game. It was a lot of work getting this many characters to fit together just right, this is definitely the most complex piece I've made, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It will be appearing as a spread inside the magazine, and parts of it will also be on both the original, and alternative versions of the cover
I've made up a bunch of wallpaper sizes to put on your devices. But to get the full size image, as well as more info about this illustration, how I work, Atari 2600's, nostalgia, Goldeneye and fashion design, you'll have to pick up the mag. It should be available (in both print and digital forms) soon, but in the meantime you can buy or download some back issues. You should, it's super great.
I'll keep you posted.