Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Space Cadet Illustration, Step-by-step

Space Cadet: by Robert Heinlein. 
This is another cover painting for a Full Cast Audio package.

This is the finished cover art.

Concept sketch & Comp.

This is the rough concept; the initial sketch, and the comp (comprehensive) that I presented to the client. They liked the concept, so I started exploring composition & lighting.

 I built a helmet and a rough hatch, and posed a model in 3D software so I could explore the composition, lighting, and camera angles. The helmet gave me good reference for reflections, and shadows on the face.

Here's another angle, which I kind of liked. We decided we wanted the boy facing more toward the viewer.

Here's the final pencil sketch which I scanned and placed on a colored background in Photoshop. The colored background shows through in places in the final art, and helps tie everything together. I drew the space suit based on several reference photos I have on hand, plus the helmet I built in Strata 3D. The story refers to the helmet as a "fish bowl".

Beginning the painting with the face, which went through several updates throughout the painting process. I decided I didn't like the "accordion" neck of the space suit, so I painted over it with fabric.

A closeup of the panting further along. I used a Wacom graphics tablet and Photoshop CS5. Most of the panting was done with one brush, a pastel-like brush that gives some texture to the brush strokes.

The final, un-cropped painting.

[click on an image to view larger]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Giant Hogweed

Another one for the Adirondack Explorer. Giant hogweed is a very large (some over 20 feet tall), noxious cousin of Queen Anne's Lace.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sea Shepherd

This was for the JAN/FEB issue of E Magazine. The article is about the Sea Shepherd (as seen on Animal Planet's Whale Wars), a group who uses some extreme measures to fight against illegal whaling. The wave in the image is based on a well known Japanese watercolor. The Sea Shepherd regularly goes up against Japanese whaling ships which are in violation of international whaling laws established to protect threatened or endangered species and prevent overfishing.
1. Sketch  2. Final art

This is the concept sketch I sent to the client. Normally, rough concepts are -- rough, but I was pretty confident that the idea would fly,  so I went to a tighter sketch that I could use as a guide for the final art.
Painted in Photoshop

Freshwater Sponges

Who knew? Evidently, freshwater sponges live in cold streams in the Adirondacks. Here's an illustration I did for the upcoming issue of Adirondack Explorer about the subject. The colors are very saturated and brighter than they appear in print. This is intentional so that on newsprint, the colors don't look too dull.
1. Sketch 2. Line art  3. Final art.
Concept sketch
Line art
Final art. Line art is scanned and color is added in Photoshop.