Here’s pencils and inks for page 2 of the Hexumi comic for Conflicting Kingdoms. The red ink is some amendments I made to the pencils after I’d scanned it into Photoshop to see how it would look (I really only scan the pencils to have a record of them before I ink them with the G-pen). Again, it’s a slow process with not much spare time, but the colouring is going a bit quicker now, so I’ll just keep plugging away at it.
Following on from my previous designs for Table Warfare, I’ve made a slight style change to the sketches. I pencilled them out then inked them up with Rotring Tikky pens and a Sharpie for the big blacks, then scanned them into Photoshop where I gave them a bit of texture and depth. I think they make for clearer and stronger images. I’ve added two mages to the vampire roster too. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
I’ve made a little progress on the Hexumi comic for Conflicting Kingdoms, after finishing the cover. Below is the first page pencils and partial inks, plus the finished inks. As with the cover, I completed the inks using my G-pen and Pentel Brush Pen over the pencils, then scanned it to finished the colours and lettering in Photoshop. This is the first proper comic page I’ve even attempted in about 15 years and it did take a while from pencils to colours (I’ll save the finished coloured page for now, you’ll be able to see it when the whole things done). I’m glad I’ve got the first page done now, I’m hoping the rest won’t take quite as long. I think part of the reason for this one taking a wee while was partly because of the scene setting and the detail in the first frame. Even when I was doing the Market Card for the game, it was a little tricky designing the market, but hopefully it works well. The next couple of pages should be a bit easier, their mostly character conversations, with a little bit of action. Keep watching this space.
Once you have the grayscale values done, it’s time to move on to the colouring. You still want to keep it flexible and loose at this stage, to make it easier for quick decisions-making.
Taking your grayscale from the previous stage, pull your blacks down to about 70% using Levels. Then create a new layer on top and set it to Multiply. When you start painting on this layer with colour it will darken what’s below, so pulling the blacks down in the previous step will counter this. Switch your brush to hard round with no pressure and start colouring. Just work in solid, flat colours for now, it will make them easier to change, since you’ll be able to Magic Wand a block of colour. This might take a bit of getting used to getting the colours right, but just play around and you’ll get the hang of it.
I’m not going to go into colour theory here, that’s a whole other set of blog posts and there’s plenty of them around. Work individually on each character and try not to let one influence the other, and play around with skin tones. Even if a colour isn’t working on one character, you can always try it on another. It also helps to keep some coordination within the colour palette for each character if you can.
Once you’re done with the basic colours, you can move on to the final stage of highlighting. Add another layer on top and switch the layer mode to Lighten. You should be able to colour pick beneath where you want to highlight, pull up the lightness and saturation of your picked colour and start painting. Work over the characters, you’ve already added the highlights at the value stage so this shouldn’t take too long. Try adding in a bit of complimentary light to the rim on one side to imply a secondary light source, just to punch the characters out a little more.
You could leave that as the final state but I’ve gone a little further and added a Normal layer and just painted over some areas to blend them in a little better and tidy it all up. I also added in a Colour layer to tweak some of the colours here and there, like the flames coming from the Sorceress’ hands. Then I added a Colour Dodge layer and lightly painted over some of the highlights to bring out more contrast. I also worked over some of the metal areas on that same layer, like the swords and armour, since the Colour Dodge method is great for adding sheen for these types of material.
Once you’re all done, hey presto! You should have a decent set of characters for your portfolio!
Later on, I’ll take two or three of these designs and work them up to a more polished character design with side and back views.
If you have any questions, or even any tips to add to this just pop them in the comments below.
Here’s the final set of cards for now, I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks from them while I get a few other things sorted out, and maybe work on a couple of other things. This set finishes the Konk themed, all five are location cards: a training dojo, a bridge over the waterfall, the air shrine, the Konk’s ‘canteen’, and finally the Konk’s treehouse market. The market was probably my most complicated and detailed card I’ve done, it was a tricky one to plan out.
I first did a couple of colour sketches to figure out the composition and settled on this:
After that I decided to go and build a rough primitive version in 3D, to help me both with the perspective and the lighting and shadows:
I’ve only tried this method once before, but it was a big help with getting the artwork finished quickly and on time, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.
Really looking forward to seeing these printed and part of the deck.
JUST ONE LAST NOTE: For anyone who has bookmarked or subscribed to this blog, please note that I’ve now changed the address from http://iluvpixels.co.uk to http://iluvpixels.co.uk. Now that I’ve got a bit more used to WordPress this seemed like a more sensible idea, so don’t forget to resubscribe or change your bookmarks if you want to keep receiving updates. Thanks for your continued support.
Well, my old G4 Mac’s been holding out up to now. God it’s slow, but it’s better than nothing, and the Conflict cards aren’t overly big images, so far so good. This is the next five cards for my themed ‘Konk’ deck. It includes a couple of cards for the deck’s Avatar, Master Hexumi, two creature attack cards, Brink Rats and Brink Bats, and one location card, the Konk’s live in the woods in an area called The Brink, and use the cover of the mists to attack and hunt. I have five more cards to finish for the themed deck, which I should have finished by the end of the week hopefully.
The game is being launched with the Starter Decks at the beginning of June at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham, and I’m hoping to pop over there for a couple of days. I’ve never been to a convention before so I’m quite looking forward to that, if I can make it. As always if you want to follow the games progress check out the Conflicting Kingdoms page on Facebook.
I’ve had a bit of a technical disaster since my home iMac gave up the ghost on me a couple of weeks ago. I ‘have a man’ (you know who you are), who’s hopefully gonna give it a going over with some serious soldering work so fingers crossed that the surgery will work. In the meantime, I’ve had to take a technological step backwards by about 10 years and get my old G4 desktop working again. So far so good, although it’s slow as hell, but it’ll do for now. Good job I had all my artwork backed up to an external, so no worries there. The only thing art-related I might have lost are all my custom Photoshop brushes, but they may be backed up somewhere too, that’s next on my list to do.
For now though, I’ve finished these four more cards for the Conflict game. The guys at Conflicting Kingdoms have now asked me to work on a themed deck for the game. You may have noticed I’ve done a lot of ‘Konk’ related cards so far, so that will be the theme of the deck containing my artwork exclusively, so I’m pretty excited about that. I still have about 10 or so more cards to do for that before May, so here’s hoping the G4 holds out til then!
On another note, I’ve just started another blog up called ‘I Luv Voxels‘ where I will be keeping any Blender 3d work, for anyone who doesn’t want to wade through all the 2d stuff here. I’ll probably double post it here too though, just in case! **Edit 28/5/2013 All 3D content has now been moved to this blog, I Luv Voxels no longer exists.