My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


My Queen's Herald: the Work-In-Progress

So, this is the final version that I submitted. A fun little project that I enjoyed participating in even so it was mostly last minute crunching (I was sick most of Saturday, bleh, so no artwork), especially since it stretched my skills a bit and forced me to make painting decisions rather quickly in order to meet the Sunday midnight deadline last night. While I wasn't able to include everything that I wanted to, I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with; and the best part, I can continue working on it so that it's a bit closer to the vision in my head, and finish the bits I had to leave out. Yay!

I really enjoyed the research for this particular project, too -- from learning about heraldry and all the rules (I ran out of time to fully include the design idea in my banner), to learning about various types of armour and associated finding reference photos online of what I think is an attractive man (part of the extra criteria I mentioned before, heh). Yup, that part was particularly many interesting choices. :)

Anyways, here are some of the progress shots from the initial revised thumbnail layout I mentioned previously to the final color that I posted in the CHOW 99 thread.

Thumbnail of my revised layout:

Progress 01: Working on the detailed pencil
(hot press illustration board, 2H pencil)

Progress 02: Working on the detailed pencil
(hot press illustration board, 2H pencil)
I initially was planning on doing two illustration boards with the Herald on one board and the background scene of the Queen and her entourage and the gateway (the black frame -- gateway art wasn't completed to meet the deadline), but time was running out so I ended up doing less detailing for the underdrawing and planned on painting it all instead...depending, of course, on how much time I had left at the end. The Herald, though, being the main subject of the piece needed to be detailed and finished even if I couldn't get to the background.

Progress 03: Final detailed pencil
Scanned in sections and composited in Photoshop at 240dpi, approx. 10"x14". The final detailed underdrawing took about 4 hours time and included pulling references (armour, etc.).

Progress 04: Color decisions and blocking in elements
(elements are on various layers):
I wanted the Herald to pop from the background and I was already planning on him being warm red with layers of color over that so that's what I blocked first. I also wanted the background to be green (think forest) with cool blue undertones to provide some nice secondary lighting as well as be a nice compliment to the Herald...and with the right mix of colors the overall color choices would help maintain the fantasy look that I was going for.

Progress 05: Focusing on painting Herald
(the handsome face - most important!):
I wanted a rather detailed face for my herald, since I was trying to create an interesting and attractive character (at least, to me). So that was my initial focus. Once that was finished I planned on working broader rather than one small area at a time.

Progress 06: Still focusing on painting Herald
(close-up of the almost finished face and his little fierce dragon announcer):

Progress 07: Still focusing on painting Herald
(close to final paint of Herald):
At this point, I was seriously running out of time so I stopped creating progress JPGs and simply focused on finishing the concept. So, for my final post, here are a couple of detail shots of the submitted piece.


Oh, that Herald

Did a couple more quick sketches of my Herald after doing some thinking of the layout. I didn't feel that the pose as it was in the initial sketch was very dynamic. He's just kind of standing there, isn't he? Anyways, there's also the point that the Queen (maybe that's who it is in the back, maybe not) is rather far away from her bodyguard (remembering the brief). However, my original thought was that this particular Herald of mine was one of several in attendance to the Queen at this particular function. But, without me telling the story (and since I'm planning on leaving alot of the detail out of the background to focus on the Herald), how will the viewer know?

So I'm rethinking the layout, too. Not sure I'll have time tomorrow to sketch some more (don't have time at work, that's for sure...too busy) so Saturday will have to be crunch time since I want to get this concept finalized. And that means a bit of color, and definitely tighter lineart.

Oh, and I finally got my hair cut. I was getting tired of trying to see through my bangs - felt like an English sheepdog. But, there's still a nice bit of pink along with the blonde. Whee!


The Queen's Herald: rough sketch

Over on the CA forum, one of the weekly concept challenges is designing The Queen's Herald (although for this particular one, 2 weeks dev time has been given, although I'm only just starting today with the due date on Dec. 9th).

So...what is a herald? The internet has quite a variety of definitions, of course. Anything from the medieval horn-blowing announcer or a tourney score-keeper to a diplomat; a knight in shining armour or a commander of armies to a police constable.


Per this particular character's artist brief, the Herald is "...a powerful member of the Queens' court, announcing her arrival and departure, and acts as her body guard and protector. A knight of unrivaled power, The Herald is the one who champions the Queen and all her ventures. This character must be powerful. Watch your anatomy - we need a heroic, but believable character. This character needs to look the part - poised, strong, in control even in adverse situation. The character needs to be executed in a more realistic manner - no cartoons or comic styles will be accepted."

I need a temporary break from my own stuff. This will do most nicely. I particularly am also enjoying the added spice of the, er, creative suggestions from the "private" section of the CA forum, heh.


That Neo-noir film

Went to see Blade Runner "Final Cut" last night at the Dallas Inwood. Great film to see on the big screen. Had some fun discussion with my friends both before and after the film. We got there a bit early to have some chat time in the bar before the movie. It was all good. :)

Brought back to mind of another Halloween costume I threw together several years ago (my how time flies...): I dressed up as Pris. That was fun. Stuffed my long hair up under the short platinum wig, got a studded dog collar to wear around my neck, and painted my face and hands white, and finally did that black streak across the eyes. I still remember dancing in the window over at one of the clubs in West End...heh.

Yup, that would be the inspiration for the above quick sketch. Eh, still need to fix that's not right and is bugging me. Later, maybe.