Barbwire Beach – This lonely beach sits on the edge of a foggy island blocked by rusted barbwire. Is it there to keep people out or to keep something in? The wind blows across cat tails grouped together while the mysterious rocky piles of unknown origin stare off with no expression.
Hello everyone! It sure has been a long time since I did any writing on my blog. Be that as it may, I have for you a piece from the medieval realm of the Old Kingdom. A forgotten battlefield worn by war and by time. The ground itself is releasing its fury into the sky and bellowing the fires of conquest back into the sky above.
About the Piece
How in the world did I come up with an exploding battleground you ask? Well I have been wanting to do a study on battlegrounds that have been forgotten in time along with some environmental concepts of the same. Worlds that have been torn asunder and left behind to be claimed by time. I recently watched Thor Ragnarok and was inspired by all of the mayhem to make a place of my own that was meant to be doomed.
This is the part of my blog posts where I like to discuss some of the techniques used in the design. This was created using Clip Studio Paint and I used a 600 x 600 dpi canvas. I normally change the color of the background to grey before I start but this time I left it white. By the way, I set my brushes to 300 dpi from the start. This way I don’t have any strange nuances created by a 72 dpi drawing. The pen strokes just don’t look the way they are supposed to.
The Line Drawing
The line drawing was kept simple and flowing to allow enough space for all of the elements that I wanted to include without overcrowding the scene. See how I vary my line widths? The lines closer to the camera are thicker that the ones farther away. Depth is achieved this way by trying not to make all of your lines the same. On another note, I used many of these lines as containers for my flat colors. It is much easier to select and fill than to just paint all over everything.
See how the mountain lines are gone? I put them there at first to shape them and add the fills in. Once I got beyond that point, I erased them from the inking layer. This makes the mountains look more a part of the natural scene without looking drawn in. I removed the reds in this layer so you can see the mountains easier. I used everything from pencils to water color brushes to add color and highlights. The cloud shapes were sketched in early on and I used texture brushes to flesh them out. I used air brush tools continuously to highlight and shade and blend and repeated the process continuously.
If you look closely at the hand, there is a lot of stuff going on. I varied my colors a lot here to make the look of a decomposed hand seem more realistic. The trees in the distance make for a nice effect. Additionally, if you look close, I added metal defects on the bracelet.
That is all for tonight. If I left some things out that you may want to know more of, please ask. I am always happy to help everyone out. Also check out my book. You can find it here. Amazon Prime holders can get it for free. It is available in hard copy and E-book format. The book has a lot of these types of tutorials designed to help you come up with design ideas.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, maybe you’ll like the one I did during the fall. I also did an interesting autumn piece earlier this year as well. Also check out Pilgrim in the Woods. You will find some really cool tips and tricks that I used to create it. I always on the prowl to collect suggestions and comments from everyone. Let me know what you think.
This 12 month calendar has almost all of my designs that were used in the book. Now you can enjoy them in a .pdf downloadable from my store and on my book page. The file is in .pdf format can be printed in its entirety or just one month at a time. Use them on your desk or hang them from you refrigerator or any other place you keep important dates.
Wyntr is my latest character creation. He is the main character of a book that I writing and illustrating called Wyntr’s War. Wyntr is a snowman created by a young girl out of the snow in front of her house. Additionally, upon naming and believing him to be a knight, her faith gives him the power of existence and a purpose as her defender…but what exactly he will be defending her from is yet to be seen.
If you are following my news about this book, you may have noticed that I changed the name of this from War with Winter to Wyntr’s War. This title helps frame what the story is about…the plight of a snowman versus all of humanity against winter. Make sense?
My Snowman story, War With WYNTR, is currently in production. The story is about the bond a child forms with the creations that they create from the snow, their friendship, and sacrifice. Additionally, I am testing the limits with this story about how far that bond can go between creation and child. I have been working on the cover, the storyboards, and story maps for the story this morning. I saw this image in my mind, title and all. Out of compellation, I decided to run with it even though typical covers can be done last. I am looking for your thoughts though. What do you think of the font and the design? Please let me know what you think!
War with winter. Are you ready? The air is freezing cold and the ice of the night is biting at your nose. Despite the warmest of warm clothes you have on, the wind just blows through you with a torrent of discomfort and chill. You walk and you walk but your legs are numb with cold and the blood moves so much slower causing you to be almost paralyzed by the weather. Can you make it home you wonder? Why can’t you feel your fingers or toes? You know you have to so you force yourself to stop thinking about the pain the outdoors is causing you to endure so you take one look at your final destination in the distance, grit your teeth, and force march your way back home. This is war.
You just won your first battle…but will you win the war?
About this Piece
This piece was designed with three layers and a glow layer. There was a pencil layer but it doesn’t count since it was deleted very quickly. I used pencil layers to lay out the composition and then I draw almost exclusively with the G-Pen and some others. Depending on the complexity of the design, I will tend to use more pencil and build off of it. I consider myself a Bob Ross of Clip Studio Paint. I like to have a lot of “happy accidents” when I create. I have learned so much about this software creating this way. I am sure Bob, who was my first artistic influencer when I was child, would agree…but I digress.
I made sure to use a 600 dpi layer when I did my final inks for this piece. My goal was to have each element stand by itself and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave any unsightly spaces. This is a bad habit of mine but I am getting better about that. Why is this important you ask? Well, when you flat your colors in you will find that color starts to go wherever it wants to and you start to lose control of where your color is going. It is quite frustrating and can be a pain in the butt to go back and fix the layer to close all of the gaps.
I set my inks up as a reference layer and I was complete in no time filling in the colors. Snow scenes don’t usually have a lot of color in them other than whatever else is in the snow with them so no a whole lot of time spent on coloring. Because I took the time to clean my inks, I was able to bypass the earlier problem that I mentioned.
Coloring and Animation
Colors finished and time to go to highlights. I copied my flats layer and dragged it down below my line art. I locked the flat layer so that I didn’t accidentally select it. I set my first flat layer as a reference layer and then went it to highlight my new flat layer. I also used the fix pixel option so that I didn’t dribble into my background….no dribble is not a technical term.
The very last step in this process was to create some animation cells. What? Did I say animations? Why yes I did. This was the fun part. I love bringing my designs to life. I added 24 cells and then added some magical shimmers and some snowy rain. I think it gave the piece some feeling of movement…well it is animation after all.
Below is the final animated design. I think he is a little foreboding if you ask me. Those beady charcoal eyes will just stare right through you if you let them.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, maybe you’ll like the one I did during the fall. I also did an interest autumn piece earlier this year as well. If you liked this, my latest book discusses all of the pieces from 2017 and how I designed them.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Please let me know what you think! Your comments are important to me.