Horror Classics II: Icthyan Lurker

Wasn’t really in the mood to work on this rainy Saturday, so I decided I’d revisit a theme that was great fun for me the first time around.  And here I kick off HORROR CLASSICS II, with the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Like most people, I do a grayscale version of the artwork to define dimensionality in the piece.  This phase used to take me forever to do, and though I haven’t drastically changed anything in my coloring process, the use of a tablet certainly makes it a shit ton faster (and less painful).

Most of you can probably also tell that I drew a lot from Monster Squad, coz I feel the original version of the creature just looks a bit too dopey.  I like to think of it as a piranha-frog man, and that fed it into what you guys see above.

Creatures

It’s been a bit of a headnoisey day, comic work-wise, so I’ll just drop some notes about a side project and may seem a bit more schizo than usual.  Starting to type this just as I hear Brubaker say to Siuntres that he loves the fact that whoever follows him on DD is fucked.  I’m loving the Thunderbolts, but good luck, Diggle.  Just saw the season finale of Entourage and still can’t buy that Sloan’s marrying E.  No.  Planetary #27 just came out and I want to re-read the whole thing all over again.  Yes.

As I’ve probably spilled once before, I’ve been slowly piecing together this flash-animated online RPG with Tres Komikeros accomplice Alex Cipriano; and it’s taken months to get to the place we’re at now, but I can honestly say that it’s been a fun and interesting experience.  It’s a breath of fresh air, literally just being given lists and write-ups of creatures and environments to design, with free reign to just go nuts with every detail.  Hell of a fun gig.  I’ve never been much of a gamer though, so Alex has been indispensable in helping me understand just what the client’s been asking for.  We’ve worked out a sophisticated system of chirps and grunts to suit my specific comprehension skills… or lack thereof.
UnicornHalf way through the creature design phase though, it dawned on us that we simply couldn’t still have lives and do this well… so about two months ago, our buddy Leandro Panganiban came on board as a colorist, with Michael Dizon following shortly after.  So what started out as two guys pooling Mignola and Madureira influences spread out into this Falcoon and Phil Noto mishmash.  Between the four of us, we’ve magically got everyone believing that we know what we’re doing.  Go us!

Naturally, it’s a bit of a pain playing the wrangler in any bunch, and this herd can wander like nobody’s business, but seeing the work just come together is just a thing of beauty — certainly not bad for my first experience in game design.  I hope to be allowed to share actual designs from the game soon, but until then it’ll have to be vagaries and hush-hushitudes.

Comic talk in a coupla days.

Bed now.

Horror Classics: The Fallen Prince

Beer night at the Amor residence. Literally just got done drinking with a coupla siblings and their spouses. S’weird how much faster I work when I’ve got a buzz going. Skype’s a bit quiet tonight, and my ping ain’t good enough for me to play Counter-Strike. Here’s what I did instead after wrapping up my pages for the day.

Print available in my DA store. I’ve been meaning to do a theatrically-lit piece for some time now. Dracula just lent himself to the mood perfectly, so this piece was a ton of fun.

I’m really happy with it.

But I’ve been drinking.

So I’ll probably hate it in the morning.

Here’s a closer look at some of the detail though, just so I can remind myself that it’s okay to be happy about this piece and move on.

Horror Classics: The Cursed King

I grew up watching Harryhausen films and Rankin Bass cartoons, so I really enjoy drawing classic monsters and otherwordly creatures. Discovering Frank Frazetta’s art in Mad Magazine (the Blecch parody ad) at an early age led me to hunt down his stuff wherever I could, and that only fed the monster jonesing. About a year ago, I decided to pay tribute to a cartoon I grew up on by drawing some of the key villains in very “Concept Artsy” styles. Here are those pieces:

Thundercats Legends got a good dose of positive feedback on my DeviantArt account and practically got me enough attention to start doing some commissions. I’m no Bleedman, but it was great to be able to receive the appreciation.

Anyway… now, just about a year after I started Thundercats Legends, I’m starting Horror Classics, which will showcase my take on the classic icons of horror. This’ll allow me to both quench my desire to pay some sort of tribute to the monster movies I grew up with and use the techniques I learned from doing the Legends set.

The line art for this piece took pretty quick. I was worried at first that all the bandages would be a lot of work, but once I noted the overlaps and the contours of the form, it went somewhat smoothly.

I’ve recently gotten into the habit of toning my line art as well, so I can take cues as I proceed with the actual coloring process. This stage of preparation gives me a sense of where I’m going and enables me to not lose sight of my goal with the piece. Also, it just looks nice.

The actual coloring of the character involved a layer of noise that was blurred just enough so it looked like the actual drawing was uniformly shaded with a pencil. I essentially peeled away at this layer to “sculpt” the form, then applied some color overlays to apply tones. Finishing touches were mainly just dodge and burn tools. Getting the mouth to be the main focus, and not the golden snake, was a bit of a doozy… but I think it came out well. The burn tool also allowed me to emphasize some dark areas around his mouth — as a result, it looks kinda like he’s smiling if you look at him from a distance.

I applied a paper-ish texture as the background, since I want this set to seem like it’s all wanted posters or, failing that, old-style illustrations on scrolls.

The Cursed King is but the first in a seven-piece set. It is available as a print on my DeviantArt store.