Thursday, May 28, 2009

Italian Street Painting Festival sketch

Somehow I missed the signup again for the Italian Street Painting again this year, so I had to quickly sign up, and get a concept together for this year's piece. I chose to do something from Xiola. I sketched out a few ideas, but ultimately chose this one here because it tells a little story and is not as edgy as the other two. Sponsors prefer to have their artists do pretty pieces.

In this painting, my main character, Eleya is standing in a tower, recovering from a battle. She is overlooking the Sidian city, a series of cave dwellings within the rock formations of the desert. A young man named Kodo is attempting to climb up to her tower and return her mother's necklace to her as she lost it in the fight.

I did this painting fairly quickly in Photoshop as I needed to finish an image tonight to send in tomorrow. The main concept is working, but I will probably do a little adjusting with the perspective and layout when I put it on the street.

This idea was when I was still trying to do an image of Eleya in her fight with the beast. I originally wanted to do my cover image, but there's no way that's appropriate for the festival. Giant monster with scary teeth fighting a girl. So I tried changing up the angle a bit. But it's still a big scary monster attacking a girl.

This is one of my other ideas. Kodo, the honey collector of the eastern reaches, is jumping out away from the cliff face as a cave beast pokes its head out from its den. there are a bunch of large bee hives attached to the cliff. the one above the cave is broken as Kodo was halfway through cutting away the honey when the beast popped out. This image would be fun in that it's a low perspective, it's action, there would be a column of smoke, and bees throughout the painting. I just felt it was borderline unacceptable because of the beast, and it didn't have my main character in it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Color test for the cover

My cover sketch for the first issue of Xiola had been bothering me, but not until a talk with my brother Jordan (, did I realize what to do. The original sketch was too far away. You didn't get a good look at the characters, nor did you feel part of the action. I like this close up view. Same action, but much more intense. Thanks, bro.

I was going to try and finish the final painting this weekend, but I ended up tightening up my main character design, and playing around with this composition. I think I'm going to be much happier. I threw in some preliminary type just to get an idea of where I'm going to go with it.
So this is a quick color sketch I did in Photoshop. I will be doing the final work in watercolor, but I was doing all this resizing and type stuff so it was quicker to play around on the computer.

What do you think?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Xiola#1 cover sketch

Here's my idea for the cover to my first issue of Xiola. I had wanted the cover to be eyecatching and cool. I was thinking of having the cover be of Robel, or Kodo, but decided I'd better make it obvious who the main character is right away, so I knew Eleya had to be on there.

Then it came down to, should I do a painting of her dance before the beast arrives, as that's the focus of the first issue, or do I show the beast in there as well. The first issue does end with the beast charging her, but don't start the fight until issue #2.

I ended up thinking a fight shot was probably the best way to go. I want to have something really cool to print up for the San Diego con in July, so if I can get the cover of the first issue printed up as a poster or some type of promotional material I can hand it out and get a buzz going. People like big monsters and hot chicks.

I am going to watercolor it, as I did with my Wanderings cover. The background will be a little soft focus. Her father will be standing on the dais over her shoulder on the left, and the arena is behind them full of people. The arena is built within a huge rock formation, so that is the top of the jagged peaks above them.

Let me know what you think. To me, it's a little flat, but I like the concept. I'll probably push the camera in a bit so I get more foreshortening on the characters. I'm digesting it right now, but I'm leaning towards it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Editing back down to 24 pages

I exceeded my 24 page limit on my layout book, so I had to go in and trim some fat. It turns out I had two sections that were bothering me. In this particular case I had a total superhero thing going on, that was a little unnecessary and lame.

I kind of turned Robel into Superman, saving the day and then giving a kid a moral lesson. "Don't hurt animals." I need to foreshadow the oxen as panicking easily, but I had taken it too far and given this little bit too much importance by giving it two pages worth of Robel jumping to the aid of this boy, saving his ox and handing the reins back over without scolding him.
In the edited version, Robel just stops the boy from hitting the ox, tells him to cut it out or else, and the story continues. One page was all I needed, and now Robel isn't as much of a goody two shoes. I like it better, and it saved me a page. YAY! two-fer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Business, and the King of Peasants

Got my Business license, sellers permit, fictitious business name and website today. That's what one day home from work with a sick kid can get you.


Here's Jol, the King of Peasants. He commands the frontline troops for the conquering warlord. As the emperor conquers, he takes prisoners, and if you don't want to die right away, you are inducted into the army and put into Jol's front line ranks.

Whereas the rest of the emperor's army is made up of well trained and armored warriors, the peasant army is given the castaway armor whatever they can find to use as weapons. They are the first ones into a battle and always take the most casualties.

Jol is a survivor and would prefer to run from battle, but he knows that his value is in commanding his men. If he cannot lead them, then Oshiro will have his head and replace him with another. So for now he will leads the peasant army, but he will always be looking around for an escape route for himself.

Jol's character is based off my friend and one-time collaborator, Joel Emslie. Joel was a founding artist of our original Xiola comic. He now works at Infinity Ward as a character artist on Call Of Duty games. He's a genius, and he's a peasant. WAHH!

Friday, May 1, 2009

More Paperwork

Turns out the BOE form I sent in to the San Diego Convention needs to be accompanied by a seller's permit if I'm going to be selling any comics at the comic con, which I will be. So now I've got to apply for a seller's permit, then put my permit number on my BOE form and send it in before June 1st or I lose my spot. I've got to take care of this right away.

Other paperwork I've got to do is get a business license in the name of Uncommon Comics and buy the website. It seems to be available.

Meanwhile I've finished my layout for the first book, but it's two pages longer than I anticipated. I've got to either go in and edit some stuff out, or just bite the bullet and make my comics 28 pages instead of 24. But that's four more pages per comic, which is 28 more pages total, and that's too much extra work. So I think I've got to cut some pages out. There are a few spots that are heavy that I can chop up. I'll post my before and afters soon.

Here's a detail of a cave beast when he's chillin' and when he's pissed off. I sketched it out the other day at work while in a meeting. I love meeting time doodles.