I've been promising to show Bob Molesworth's worthy winner of the 2000AD message board art competition for absolutely ages, so sorry to Bob and Owen 'Crazyfoxmachine' Watts for taking so long! Bob won the March competition where the theme of the was 'Robots of the Galaxy's Greatest'. Among the robo-stogies, Mechanismo droids and ABC Warriors was Bob's stunning Mongrol, which captures the essence of the character perfectly!
Over to Bob to tell us more...
"Ok, so here is a quick walkthrough of the processes I used to create this image...
I started out pretty loose with a coloured pencil tool in photoshop just getting down the basic shapes and trying to capture a sense of motion, and from there working into it until I have a finished sketch. This is probably the most important stage of the image, so don’t be tempted to rush towards the colouring stage. If you get the pencils right everything else will fall into place. Pay attention to your perspective, composition, anatomy, line weight and basically everything, this is where it all happens. To get a sense of scale on this image I used some foreshortening and a low point of view to give the impression that he is really, really big."
Once I am happy with the pencils it is time to move on to the inks. I used a black pencil tool on full opacity on a separate layer above the pencils. This is pretty much tracing, but as you have got all the basics sorted in stage 1, you can really concentrate on line quality here. Generally the closer something is, the thicker the line will be. This gives more weight to closer elements which pulls them towards the front of the image. On this image I drew the line work for the background on a separate layer to make it easier to manipulate later."
Now we can turn off the pencil layer leaving us with just the inked line work. From here I start to block in the basic colours. Just lasso the areas using the magic wand tool and fill with the paint bucket tool on another layer underneath the inks. To get the basic shadows I use the lasso tool to mark out the main areas and on a separate layer above the basic colours fill with a dark purpley or browney colour. Then stick the layer onto a multiply blending mode at about 50% opacity. Using a single colour for the shadows helps unify the different colours across the image. It also avoids the image getting muddy or grey as it would if you used a straight black for the shadow layer."
Blocks n rocks
Ok, now we are on to the splatty bits. Open a new layer between the shadow layer and the block colour layer, use the magic wand tool to select the area to work on, and paint splatty bits on. I used the paintbrush tool on a low opacity (about 20%) with a dirty browney colour and built it up using a combination of grungy, splatty brush shapes. With the shadows being defined by the layer on top of this one you can work across the light and dark areas of the image without worrying too much."
A splatty Mess
Open a new layer above the line work, set the blending mode to screen. I selected the areas I wanted to highlight and used the gradient tool to fill the selection with a light orangey colour. Using the brush tool I started to pick out some of the details, like the light across the bottom of the jaw. Think about primary and secondary light sources. The main light is coming from the top left of the image, but there will also be some glow given off by the explosion in the background which will reflect across the underneath of the body."
The light fantastic
So that is pretty much it. I added a few last minute tweaks, like reducing the opacity of the background ink layer, to strengthen the feeling of depth to the image, adding some blur to areas to give an impression of motion and a couple of colour washes to unify the image."
"I tend to stick pretty rigidly to the first 3 stages but I would encourage anyone trying to follow this to play around a bit. The beauty of digital art is that as long as you keep your work on separate layers you can always delete one if it does not look right. If you are new to digital art there are loads of tutorials on line you can follow, choose the bits that work for you and you will develop your own style.
Thanks for reading; I hope you found this useful.
No, thank YOU Bob, that was excellent! Check out Bob's fantastic blog right here.
I plan on featuring each winner of the 2000AD art comp here, so enter today!