Sunday, September 27, 2015


I wanted to create a personal digital painting with a bit of a story behind it.  The image started with just the human male talking to a tall alien guy on an alien world.  I wanted it to be wider than tall but I had a problem with the composition unless I added more characters or something else on the right side of the image.  I decided to fill it with a wife and child then I added one more young kid hanging on to the young father's leg.  That inturned prompted me to add a creature of some kind for the kid to be interested in and that lead to the tall female looking alien on the far right to direct the composition back to the male talking to the tall alien guy on the left.

I just thought it would be fun to explain how this image started with a random idea that evolved because of compositional choices.

At one point I had a dog-like creature on the right side but it didn't look right no matter what size I made it.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Bounty Hunter Standoff

It's been a while since I found myself painting an image that I couldn't stop working on.  That happen with this image.  I had been playing around with an image in my head very much like the image I created but it was the bounty hunter ship in profile.  The bounty hunter would be standing in front of his ship on a landing platform with a hazy sunset lighting and a large planet in the sky.  I had the 3D build of the ship on the landing platform.  I had built it a while ago but when I tried to get the profile of it I was imagining I didn't like how it looked.  The design of the ship kept me wanting to see it from the front position.  With the aggressive forward sweeping, cannon mounted wing design, it made more sense to position the view looking toward that.  Having moved to this new position on the 3D model I set up a different image than the one I had in my head.  No longer was it and image of the bounty hunter meeting with the evil Universal Oversight from the board game story, It became more of a standoff between the Liberty ship's crew from the game and the bounty hunter.

My favorite images from Star Wars are the images of Cloud City.  So this is my version of the Falcon on the landing platform.

I started this image on a Sunday afternoon and worked on it until about midnight.  I was able to start with a base 3D model of the bounty hunter ship and platform to which I added the front nose of the Liberty crew's ship as another 3D element.  The angle saved me from having to repaint the bounty hunter as I had already painted him at that same angle.  I only had to plunk him in and add some haze and coloring overlaid on him.  Eli the one facing the bounty hunter with the red shirt is the only other character I painted new.  I pulled the other characters from a card I had done for the Space Movers board game.  So that help speed up my ability to finish in a day.

The sky is a photo I took about a month earlier.  I remember thinking that it was a perfect sunset image.  I would like to use it for the backgound and sure enough it worked into this image very well.  I had to paint out the Kentucky Fried Chicken building in the middle of it but it was worth it as it set the perfect mood for this image.

I wasn't asked to make this image for the board game for KnA Games but it was one of those images I just had to make once I had it in my head.

Bounty Hunter Ship

I was asked to build a space ship for a bounty hunter character I created for the Space Movers board game by KnA Games.  After sending Kevin and April six simple silhouettes this is the design they decided on.  I took that simple flat shape and imported it into SketchUp where I began tracing it then building it in 3D.  I like the idea that his ship is like a truck with living quarters so I built a cockpit with a blister window near the nose of the craft with another flat window further up for his living section in the back.

The above images show the build up of detail from the 3D model to the final image with glowing engines and a blurred starfield.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bounty Hunter

This is a new character for a Space Movers board game expansion card set.  It's an update from the one I painted recently on the right.  The game is a love letter to science fiction so we use identifiable tropes from it.  My original bounty hunter image was done to mimic that of Boba Fett but it ended up looking too much like him so we decided to step it back a bit.  This is now what we agreed fits the look without becoming too much of a copy of the character we all know an love.  I also decided to paint him into an environment for this image.

Here is a link to the Space Movers board game:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Space Movers New Roll Board

I just finished a new image for the Space Movers board game.  With some added graphics it will become a new roll board for the game. 

Kevin Cox of KnA Games asked me to make another image of the Liberty spaceship flying through a cityscape with the crew visible in the bridge. 

Knowing that I would be drawing the ship many times from different perspectives for the game board, cards and comic book, I had built the ship as a basic 3D model in Sketchup very early on in the games production.  I had even added more detail to the model and had built some basic scifi building shapes in an attempt to animate it for fun back in January so I only had to screen capture a view of the 3D ship and the buildings to use as my sketch for approval.  Once approved I painted over it all in Photoshop with the ship on a separate layer. 

I only have the free Sketchup so my 3D models are crude.  There are no curved rounded shapes or color on the 3D model.  The bridge was also built in 3D but as I had ended up building another more detailed model of the ship the bridge was no longer built within the structure.  For that reason, I had to carefully match the angle of the bridge to the ship so I could paint over it as well.  Luckily it ended up looking pretty convincing.

Here is a compilation of the animations I created after discovering that Photoshop CC has the ability to do animation.  I wanted to make sure I could animate the ships in 3D before attempting the 2D animation of the characters.

I won't go into explaining what I went through to make this but ultimately I discovered to do what I really wanted to do I would have to purchase the animation feature of Sketchup.  I'm not ready to devote that kind of money or for that matter the amount of time needed to animate this to the level I really wanted so ultimately I decided to drop the project.  I hope some time in the future I will be able to devote some time to play around with the Photoshop animation feature though.  It would be a ton of fun.  Unfortunately I just don't have the time for it right now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Martian Mega City

Cowboy Bebop influenced my idea about how to build a city on Mars for this image.  I'm sure it would never work but the idea is to have a habitable environment within the confines of a walled in city.  I added forests covering the tops of the buildings to show the separation of the city from the desolation of Mars just beyond the wall.  I couldn't pull myself away from finishing this up.  I believe I sat down at 1pm the other day and didn't stop playing around with it until 11pm.  I haven't done that in a while but I just got caught up in the fun.

I built the city with SketchUp then painted over it in Photoshop.  I used photos of forests and an actual image of Mars for the landscape beyond the wall.  Much of this felt more like a construction than a painting as I would design window and surface details in a different canvas then overlay them on sections of the buildings.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcoming Committee

My latest digital painting.  Painted with Photoshop CC taking about five days to finish working on and off a couple of hour each day.  Below shows the early sketch and a few steps adding color and details while continually tweaking the contrast and color intensity along the way.