Sunday, July 3, 2011

Anubis, the Comic Book....

I'm in the throes of illustrating the first issue of the comic book "Anubis" from creator and writer Sage Howerton.  (The final cover is shown on above.)

"As the sun sets on the Bronze Age a dark shadow hangs over the gods of ancient Egypt. The mysterious and inexplicable death of the goddess Bast has disquieted her immortal brethren. Lurking in the shadows is a force not of this world that even most gods could not stand against. Only Anubis, god of death, can hope to balance the scales in the millennia to come..."

Every interior page has been thumbnailed and laid out and now I'm diving into fully rendering each page.

You can see from these images the process of jumping from those initial rough marks to the final interior art, full of texture, color, and life.  I hope, at least. :)

And here's some more promotional art that features the title character, Anubis.  His costume and staff has evolved a little since this pic.

Check out the latest updates on the project at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Halo: A Fistful of Arrows now has a permanent home... Leviathan.Bungie.Org!

Where you can read the entirety of completed pages for my fan-created graphic novel that details critical moments before and after the events of Bungie's Halo: Reach.

Huge thanks to Halo.Bungie.Org for hosting it!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Timelapse Video

A much better version of the type of video I was trying to do last time. Watch in HD to really see the change in details.

Here's the art that the video shows the making-of.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Commission Cross-section

Bry of Virtuous Sanctum commissioned me to do a special piece for him and his friends, depicting their created Elite/Sangheili characters from the Halo universe.

After getting the idea of what the piece should be worked out with him, I started sketching thumbnails, eventually getting an approved shot like this:

Where the Elite aliens are gathering together one last time before shipping out to war.  Alien spacecraft are launching in the background to head to the front lines.

I created the background when I had sometime, before heading into the harder work of the characters themselves.

Some time passed before getting back to the piece, and when I did, I felt that the shot was too far drawn out to really capture the emotion of the characters - the most important part of the piece.  So I cropped in close, stretched out the background to fit, and started reworking it.  I sketched the Elites out first on paper with pencil, then scanned it in with my large-format Brother MFC-6490CW (college graduation present-boy is it helpful!).  Here you can see the piece with some base colors thrown into the sketches.

After getting some feedback from Bry, I revised a bit and then started in with the details, trying to perfect every centimeter of the piece, from really rendering the characters to detailing the background and the spacecraft.

I'm particularly found of the sky.  It turned out beautiful, I think.  Definitely not what I had started out trying to do - it just happened in the process.

Here's a little experiment.  I created a basic little video to show the rough draft fading into the final piece...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Origins of 'Halo: A Fistful of Arrows'

I've been creating a Halo: Reach-inspired web-comic in my free time for the last few months.  Recently, I just posted page 23, which should be around the halfway mark (at the least, I hope).

The comic had started out as something I was doodling while waiting for the next Halo multiplayer match to start.  Originally, it was going to be between 10 and 15 pages long (around the same length as an older Halo fan-comic I had done some time ago) and was going to just be a fun little story showing a super-soldier named Jun and Dr. Halsey, an important scientist, getting to a secret base.  It was a loose end that the game did not tie up... so I thought I should try my hand at it.

It was going to be simple, really, more an excuse to doodle spaceships blowing up and super-soldiers shooting at aliens than anything.  I was also going to try and make this real quick, with a hasty-but-pretty style.  I originally felt that I had already made too much Halo fan art - I needed to spend my free time doing other things, perhaps (something that could get me a job, for example) so this would be might last, great, Halo-fanart farewell...  So I sat my sketches down next to the computer and opened Photoshop and started to draw/paint

And then I made this:

Which is NOT a simple or quick style, nor the first few pages I had sketched and planned, nor pertaining to the story I had originally set out to do. Nope, I had created a monster...

Now 23 pages later, I'm still only halfway done with a story that 'grew in the telling' and now encompasses flashbacks and flashforwards (thank you past-Levi for watching hours and hours of Lost), main plots and subplots, themes of sympathy and honor in warfare, and personal character development delving into guilt and cases of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder... Yep. What the hell is wrong with me?

... But I'm just having too much fun. :)

I'll be posting again sometime soon about the process of making these pages, going into the planning and thumbnailing, to getting references and then the actual digital-painting.