Archive for the ‘Illustration’ Category

Teen Detective

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here’s another commission from Richard Williams, this time for his Veronica Mars inspired C’thulhu Dark hack “Teen Detective”, which you can read about as it progresses here. He requested an illustration of three teenage girl detectives of varying ethnicities, body types and personalities, in a composition with one main lady in the front and two supporters to her sides. The style he was after was like my Bad Bones Lawrence character design.

Tip for commissioning artwork: adding a reference image that shows the style you’re looking for – lines, colour, cartoon/realism, flat/3D, level of detail – is really helpful. It means the artist knows what they’re aiming for, and the client knows they’ll get a result close to what’s in their mind’s eye. Picking a reference image out of the artist’s portfolio is even better, because it shows that a) you’ve looked at the artist’s body of work and chose them specifically; and b) the artist has worked in that style in the past, so it’s in their creative “arsenal”.

Richard also wanted each character as a separate image, so we started with Main Girl (naming not being our strong suit at this point). First I sent Richard two options for her design and pose:
Teen Detective: Main - concepts

He picked the left one, and asked that I make her convey “the cynicism of the private eye, the sense that she can read your guilt on your face, and her status as an outsider”, as well as give her sliiiightly more asian features to make her look more mixed race.
Teen Detective: Main - sketch

After a couple more adjustment to her outfit, I sent a rough colour version to make sure we’re on the same page before I move on to the long process of painting.
Teen Detective: Main - rough colour

Colour doesn’t come naturally to me, so I prefer to start rendering in black and white to get the tones and shapes right, and only then apply colour. Here’s the black and white version, which I also sent to Richard to make sure I didn’t veer off the original sketch too much, which can often happen with painting.
Teen Detective: Main - black and white

And lastly, the final colour render, with all the details and patterns and stuff.
Teen Detective: Main - final colour

It was a good call to go through the whole process with just one girl first, because after looking at everything, Richard found the rough colour version appealing in its cleanliness and simplicity, and asked for the other two girls to be in that style. If needed, we could always pick up from that point and go the full painting route in the future.

So for the other two girls (named “Snoop” and “Tough” for work process purposes) we went through the same steps, starting with two quick options each.
Teen Detective: Girls - concepts

A little mix-and-match and some outfit comments later, here’s the clean pencil artwork for the two girls:
Teen Detective: Girls - pencil

And finally, the finished illustration in flat colour:
Teen Detective: Girls - colour

You can see Richard’s progress in the game’s Google Plus collection page. I’m looking forward to being a cool teenage detective when the game is fleshed out!

Aviv

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Space party, table of seven!

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

I was recently commissioned by James, an Edge of the Empire GM, to draw his campaign’s party. He runs a game for his two friends and their five children, which is so cool. How does the saying go, a family that harnesses the light side together, stays together?

He sent me descriptions of all of their characters, along with helpful links (because I warned him in advance my Star Wars knowledge is limited to what I’ve learned from the Bacta Basics segments on the Campaign podcast), and we agreed on a police lineup type poster, because they’re a bunch of scoundrels (and I’ve literally *just now* learned that Timothy Zahn’s book “Scoundrels” features the same image style on its cover. So…force-sensitive minds think alike, I guess?).

Here’s the layout I created to make sure I got the body shapes, heights and poses right, and – following James’s approval, the clean sketch.

Edge of the Empire party: layout sketch

Edge of the Empire party: pencil

For colour, James mentioned his friends’ family had a system where each member has their own colour for stuff – water bottles, backpacks etc – so they know what belongs to whom (apparently that’s helpful in a family of seven people). I loved that idea – both for real life and for the poster – and tried to incorporate each person’s colour in a clear, but subtle enough way.

This is what we ended up with, which I hope the party likes! You can read their adventures on their Obsidian Portal adventure log: http://deathfrombelow.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log

Edge of the Empire party: colour

May the Force be forever in your favour!

Aviv

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A Town with Pep

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

I finished the illustration for A Town with Pep – the Riverdale-esque game by Richard Williams – that I showed a process for a few weeks ago. Below are the ink and finished colour stages.

A Town with Pep - ink A Town with Pep - colour

Did you spot the difference (other than, well, one being in full-colour)? After seeing the finished piece, Richard mentioned that for a title illustration for a game called “A Town with Pep”, there’s very little “town” in the artwork. Luckily we found just the right spot to quickly build a little settlement, complete with a small factory that I borrowed from one of the early background references Richard provided. There’s always some pep happening around a factory.

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#Mermay

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

This year I learned that May is apparently mermaid month, in the sense that everyone draws a mermaid every day. Some people uploaded really spectacular ladies (and gents) of the ocean, do check out the hashtags!

I only managed a few at the beginning (some of them might seem somewhat familiar) and one for the last day, which also happily coincided with World Otter Day.

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Objectifying Characters

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Much has changed in the year+ since the last post. Well, not MUCH, but one big thing: I’m now a full-time freelance illustrator! My website got a small renovation, which this blog and my Facebook Page should probably share at some point, but if I waited with updates until that was done, well, it might have been another year before the next post.

The reason I decided to become self-employed is that – while I really enjoyed working on Viber sticker packs and being part of that awesome team – I wanted to branch out and do some different things as well. After a little more than a month “on the job”, I can happily say that I’m doing just that.

One project I recently started is an illustration for “A Town with Pep“, an indie RPG from Richard Williams. It’s the first in several projects Richard commissioned, which is great because a) they’re all different and interesting, each in its own way; b) Richard is a client who knows what he wants, knows how to convey that, and still leaves a lot of the creative “reins” in my hands and c) he’s totally cool with me sharing my work in progress. Which is what’s happening now.

A Town with Pep

“A Town with Pep” is a “Teen mystery drama in small-town America”. Think Riverdale in RPG form. Richard commissioned a title illustration featuring 5 teenagers – examples of the characters one might play – and he gave me complete freedom in designing them. But, since complete freedom paralyses me artistically, I asked him to give me some character design “seeds” in the same way a player would start creating a character in the game: picking an object that symbolises the character. Richard sent me these five images of everyday objects. As a little exercise, see what kinds of characters come to your mind before reading on to see my interpretations.

A Town with Pep - Objects

Looking at the objects, I started getting ideas for some of them, and collected references that came to mind from various media (mainly TV). I often do that when coming up with characters for roleplaying games as well, probably because I watch ALL the television and that’s just what my mental library is composed of. After getting a more or less solid idea of each character I drew a quick sketch for each. Are they anything like what you imagine when looking at the objects?

A Town with Pep - character concepts

The next step was tackling the composition of the image. Richard gave me a good reference shot (from Riverdale actually), and I tried two takes on it:

A Town with Pep - composition sketches

#1 was approved, and I moved on to pencilling the scene. During feedback on the first draft, Richard got the idea of showing a “missing” sixth teenager made up of negative space. I like it because it makes the composition more interesting, as well as playing into the sense of mystery this game is all about. Here’s the approved pencil stage.

A Town with Pep - pencils

That’s where we got to so far. Work in progress, whoo!

Aviv

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Fanart, food and further

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

I’ve started a new illustration project a few months ago, once again fanart-based and following the ABC. It’s a good frame to get me drawing: serialised, with a clear end point, and otherwise completely open; which is why I always add another “rule” or two to get some more focus. In the last one it was two characters per letter, with a secret connection between each following couple. This time it’s a character, a verb, and a giant-sized food item, all starting with the same letter. It’s strange up in my head, but also very organised.

Here are the first five. In days long past I would upload each one in its own blog post, but today, with so many quick channels for sharing things, it feels more cumbersome than ever to start a new post for every single piece. That’s my long-winded way of inviting you to follow my Facebook page if you want to stay up to date.

ABChow: A ABChow:B ABChow: C ABChow: D ABChow: E

Let’s see, what else is new…

Up to Four Players

We’re just starting a new story arc over at Up to Four Players. It’s one about conventions, fandoms, cosplay and family, and it has a lot of colourful hoops. Like, A LOT. Many more than I would have put there had I given some thought to how long it’s going to take to draw all of them in every single panel. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or at least slightly averse to the colour magenta.

Up to Four Players 76: Comic Can't

Noisy Person Cards

James and Kat, from the podcasts One Shot and Campaign that I must have mentioned before, are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign for their new game NPC – Noisy Person Cards, a party game for improving your character voice acting. We at Up to Four Players tried the beta version (see us on the Tube) and it’s super fun, so I’m really looking forward to the final product, which will include a lot more illustrated cards from various artists, myself included. Check out their Kickstarter page, and if it sounds like something you might enjoy, consider backing!

Completely unrelated to their game, I’ve also done some more fanart of their Edge of the Empire party on the Campaign podcast, with clear Zootropolis influences. How awesome was that movie?

Furry Crew of the Mynock

See ya in…a few months, evidently!
Aviv

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