I made a bunch of little illustrations for an article on Polygon.com about the future of the current-gen consoles. I decided to make the images as though they were interactive displays in some future videogame museum. You can see all of the images below. The images in the article itself are animated and react to the readers scrolling, you can check out the article here.
At PAX last weekend I got another chance to play Capy's upcoming time-bending shoot/explode/slash-em-up, Super Time Force. The game has changed a lot in the past year (since I painted this pic) and I thoroughly got my ass handed to me this time around. It's still brilliantly fun though.
Anyways, here's a picture I painted of one of the games many characters, Jean Rambois.
I made this F-Zero X inspired print for the Fangamer X Attract Mode show this Saturday night (8/31/13) , signed and numbered limited edition of 50 11x17" prints.
F-Zero X was one of my favorite N64 games, where I dominated the perilous hyper-speedways of the future with the fearless Wild Goose. If you happen to be in Seattle for PAX (or any reason, really) you can come to the show, have some drinks, buy some awesome art and play some sweet games. I'll be there high-fiving suckers like its 1995.
Here is the complete set of prints I made for the iam8bit Entertainment System show opening TOMORROW NIGHT! Each 6x8" print is printed using archival inks on heavyweight bamboo/cotton paper, and are signed and numbered in a limited edition of 50.
There will be a bunch of great art available to buy at the show by some amazing artists, AND a life-size Scrooge McDuck money pit to dive into. If you'd be so kind as to buy all of these prints, I'll finally be able to begin filling my own money pit.
If you live in LA or are there for E3 next week, go check it out, and take some pictures.
The show runs until June 30 at the iam8bit gallery.
The little Double Jump show is growing up so fast, soon it will hopefully be settling down into a stable relationship. On May 30th, Jeff and Christian taped some live episodes for the Nerdist Channel. I made some title cards to put up on a screen on stage, mostly based on my earlier posters, and then one new SMB3 based one, which then evolved into a twelve by six foot print for the backdrop.
You can click on any of the title card images to get a wallpaper sized version to pretty up your desktop.
This is 'Arthur', the first in a series of pieces for the upcoming iam8bit Entertainment System show opening in LA, celebrating the classic consoles of yesteryear.
Back in the day, video game characters were fairly one-dimensional. They didn't get much in the way of back-story or motivation. I wanted to give them some humanity, so I made this series called Character Flaws.
They'll be available as 6x8", signed and numbered prints at the show, and any leftovers will be available online afterwards.
More to come...
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.