Friday, January 20, 2017

Frog Thor Critiques


Rupam Grimoeuvre. THOR: RIBBIT. 
2016. Oil on paper, 14 × 21″.

I recently had a couple burgeoning illustrators ask for advice on similar subject matter: Throg. (For those of you scratching your heads, here's a primer.)

The first, a faux movie poster, was sent to me by Rupam Grimoeuvre, who asked for some advice. I gave him some first impressions and general pointers, listed below. You can see his process for the poster at his blog.

Overall, the composition works, just needs some minor tweaks.

- In general, the title (especially for a movie) shouldn't be covered, so get that plant out of there.

- The plant is hitting the frog's elbow at an awkward spot. Be wary of tangents, try to make this overlap as clearly as possible.

- Lightning should probably be pure white, maybe cross over Thor's hair a bit (right now, it's just dividing the comp in 2)

- Lightning through cape should probably be more diffuse, maybe pure red or orange?

- Frog legs (especially red feet) are interfering with the title. Should move title down or him up.

- Decent likeness on Hemsworth, but I'm not feeling the hair. Don't worry about rendering each strand (in front of face is fine), just block in the general shape and it will read right.


Nick Lasovich. THROG (wip). 2016. Digital, 12 × 18″.

The second Throg piece was done by Nick Lasovich. We went back and forth through a few iterations, but my main recommendations are listed below, followed by the finished piece.

I wouldn't worry about the black — that won't really add anything to the composition. What could help, however, is some selective lighting to better frame Throg. Right now, when I squint at it, I lose most of the figure.

There are a couple ways you could do that.

1. Have the lightning hit closer to him (on or off panel) giving him a near-white highlight or rim light. If rim, you'd have a nice opportunity to play with light bouncing off and shining through the red cape.

2. Illuminate the air. Get a little more atmospheric perspective in there to create a distinct silhouette.

Also, the setting seems a bit vague. You don't have to go into crazy detail, I just need some key points so I know where he is. I might have suggestions, but I need to know what you're going for. Hope that helps!


Nick Lasovich. THROG. 2016. Photoshop, 3000 × 4500 px.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 330

LINK. 2017. Gouache & Acryla Gouache on paper, 9 × 12″.

I've been spending a little too much time on these commissions as of late, but the result is a more painterly style. This latest batch has been done in gouache and usually clock in around 6 hours. Previously, these portraits were done mostly in watercolor and took 3-4 hours.

I've also been playing with lighting thanks to the Handy app on my phone and tablet. Cast shadows have never been easier!


(shhh... I used the female head)


raw scan

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gwen Stacy (NYCC 2016 Pre-Commission)

GWEN STACY (after Romita). 2016.
Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.


high-res raw scan

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 329

SPIDER-MAN STYLE GUIDE. 2016. Gouache &
Acryla Gouache, Photoshop on bristol board, 11 × 17″.

Marvel asked me to do a style guide pin-up of a certain popular character and I was more than happy to oblige. The only stipulation (besides "make it look cool") was that the figure had to be on a separate layer from the background. That being the case, I painted the main figure in gouache and the buildings in Photoshop using Kyle T. Webster's brushes (mostly the gouache set, and a few mods of my own).


Come at me, bro!

I wanted the figure in direct sunlight, so I took my handy mannequin outside to get the right light. I had to take a couple different pics to get the effects I wanted. I've also been working on a pair of legs in Sculptris that I lit in Photoshop for highlight information.

I have no idea where this will end up, but keep an eye out for it... and please let me know if you see it out in the wild!


raw scan of gouache painting


digital drawing with guides


digital color study


digital sketches


digital background


wip screen shot

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