art

The Crossroads Battle

Time for more “Hrug’s War” WIPs again.

I’m about to block out the comic’s first “real” “military” combat action:
south of the Great Cataracts of Melondel, two ancient roads cross – one, which once connected the North of Olveare with the ancient seaside towns at the Oriador opening, and another one, which leads from Eastern Olveare right to the Cliff (note to self: need to provide a map …).
It is Moruk land.

But Hrug’s minions and allies do not care.

Horseback Moruk warriors are about to drive a band of their old enemy, the Boneheads off, when they run into another enemy: a company of Northmen, well-trained elite warriors clad in iron, on their way to strenghten Hrug’s advancing forces …

Crossroads Battle #1
Crossroads Battle #2
Crossroads Battle #3
Crossroads Battle #4
Crossroads Battle #5
Crossroads Battle #6
Crossroads Battle #7
Crossroads Battle #8

C&C welcome.

NSFW

Well, a few days ago I read through the first boy love story ever in my life, drawn by Aero Zero, a really stunningly talented fellow comic artist at Webcomicunderdogs. Even if the genre is not mine, it was a fun read, and it reminded me of a couple of illustrations I painted a few years ago, on the serious NSFW side of things too.

In fact, it inspired me enough to rework one of them a bit, one I liked, but whose screwed up anatomy and proportions I could not endure anymore these days … and left me with the intention to do some more of that kind of work, at times (in fact, I even had plans once to draw an erotic short comic, a small episode of the Telaya & Dioman saga which lends itself to it … we’ll see about that).

Remark: I usually don’t use reference images, but take time instead to allow me to see, understand – and fix – the flaws my imagination likes to produce in the first instance … at least, if there’s no timeline to be kept.

Here is the result of the beautifying process. Unfortunately that yellow smiling pill sneaked itself into it, and to my great displeasure now destroys all its effect. Anyway, enjoy:
Just A Smiley

More might follow. At times. 🙂
.

Into Oriador!

Time for some new WIPs!
I’ve started to concatenate some scenes of the book’s PoV threads, which resulted in a consecutive sequence of 167 pages so far.
Things are gaining momentum slowly, but irresistably – the second-last scene of the sequence:

Descending into Oriador #1
Descending into Oriador #2
Descending into Oriador #3
Descending into Oriador #4
Descending into Oriador #5
Descending into Oriador #6
Descending into Oriador #7
Descending into Oriador #8
Descending into Oriador #9

At the moment, I’m indeed thinking about splitting Hrug’s War in two parts, as there’s almost a rated break point in it’s middle, which would provide a very nice cliffhanger, and yet result into two parts with sufficient pages to read, probably >300 each.

I’m also thinking about color.
A quick experiment: adding a quick color layer to a greyscale image:
Cin'Thele Cat Girl in B/W
Cin'Thele Cat Girl colored

Not sure yet, and there’s still plenty of time to make that decision … if you like, write me your opinion.

Citing Frank Frazetta

Well, in a way the whole project is inspired by Frank’s great paintings.

However, there’s a scene in “Hrug’s War”, which lends itself to a close-to-literal citation of the master’s works: Cin’Thele tries to convince a great jungle cat to spare her friend Sneaks, who hides somewhere below big tree trunks.

The idea made me use colored pencils again – did not know that I still had a box of these, almost untouched, forgotten since a couple of relocations:
Cin'Thele Catgirl, colored pencils

Also forgot how much fun it is to just scribble in colors, on real paper (had to throw in *any* color in the box, obviously 😉 ) …
However, the citation probably will be more verbose, resembling Frank’s Catgirl more closely (quick digiscribble):
Cin'Thele Catgirl, Digiscribble

As I’m talking of hommages to Frank, here are a couple of others, not related to the scene idea, but hey …

The “Wolf Queen”, Cin’Thele the warrior, done in 3D with background matte:
The Wolf Queen

“Snake Girl”, my largest-format gouache painting (roughly DIN A0):
Snake Girl

Enjoy. 🙂

Ulog, Nala, Morm … aaaand: HORSES!

To be honest, I’ve always been afraid of drawing them.

But now, they just slipped in somehow, as besides Anukhai and Onoghu, there are also the Moruk, another human people living in Olveare, and they use to ride on them: horses.
As it happens, I’ve lived the last four years in immediate neighbourhood of a farm with a paddock, and I used to walk along it’s fence almost every day. Strangely, I did not pay too much attention, at least not from an artistic point of view, because when I came along it’s inhabitants, I usually had Sayuri with me, our four-legged wolf descendant companion, who likes to attract a lot of attention to herself.

However, when finally approaching the Moruk theme, I relied on the super learning effect: it would somehow just work magically, out of the box.

And, in conjunction with my relaxed digital shape finding technique, it almost did!

Hrug on his new mount

Not perfect, but hey … enough to enable me to work on the scene.
Which I did.

Still, I’m one scene behind completing the Ulog-Nala-Morm-thread, which is a bit … exhausting, from a mental point of view, because closing the gaps always tends to feel extra-tedious, and gaps magically grow larger, the closer you get on them.
However, this one is almost finished, and it once again brought forth new, cool and unplanned aspects of the story and ways to tell it.

If you want to have a look, click on the image below to open the PDF file (be warned however, it’s “lettered” manually, and it’s Pidgin English).
Ulogs Moon Wanderer

In the meantime …

… work on book 2 continues. As it seems, the upcoming volume of Telaya & Dioman will be quite a couple of pages stronger than it’s predecessor, and will also feature much more dialog – in short, there will be much more to read. 🙂

It’s title isn’t yet final. At the moment I think about naming it Hrug’s War.

I don’t want to spoil anything by revealing too much, so I’m going to be niggard concerning scene scribbles, WIPs, sketches and so on. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to show you some fragmentary stuff now and then, carefully selected to keep the greater workings hidden. 😉

To make a start, here are a few:

… Cin’Thele, wearing something:
A Pinup

… a scene idea:
A Pinup

… part of another scene:
A Pinup
Humans are naked at times, too … even if they’re male. 😉

During the Seelbach exhibition, Katharina and I talked a lot about ideas finding, sketching technique and related stuff. I tried to explain my usual digital workflow for page scribbling, which is probably best described as a stripped-down digital painting style, reduced to a few discrete shades of gray, cell shading only, characters often – but not always – blocked in as shapes first, outlines drawn later.
Unable to provide a proper description of how to find shapes by gradually refining contours of color blobs instead of immediately working on outlines, I gave up on verbal explanations, and went for a demonstration via tablet and beamer instead … turned out to be a bad idea, because I plugged the HDMI cable into the wrong tablet port and immediately shut it down. :/

So when she left, I promised her to capture a scribble session … which i finally did. Here it is:

PS.:
This has not been particularly fast, about 60min to complete.
Right before, I had done my daily gymnastics routine, resulting in an exhausted and extremely tremulous hand, I completely failed in drawing smaller detail …

Still there :)

First of all, thanks to anyone of you who actually supported the project over the last weeks. I decided to publish chapter 5, but as I am rather busy with other tasks at the moment, it will have to wait a few more days yet (among other challenges, our relocation is looming near … yes, we’re leaving the Black Forest area, for a variety of reasons … sad, it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Germany).

Currently, I’m also doing the promotional video for my good friend Jenny and the soon-to-start crowd sourcing campaign for her illustrated novel Darkness Over Cannae, an incredibly captivating, very emphatically written (and illustrated!) view on that one bloodstained day, which – almost – decided the Second Punic War in favour of Carthage.

Have a look:
Darkness over Cannae

I’ll write a dedicated announcement as soon, as the campaign launches.

This project also gave me a reason to finally dive into Blender’s video sequencer functionality (I can just say: great!), which implies, that the barrier to create the “This Side of Darkness” movie final cut has fallen.

It’s the next topic on my ToDo list now (except getting more book 2 work done, stemming the relocation) …

For my German-speaking readers, here’s a little content gap filler: these were the posters I showed at the Seelbach exhibition. There’s a bit of backstory, a Tanai legend on Amaro, and the Why-All-The-Nudity explanatory text in German.

Viel Spass beim Lesen. 🙂