Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Optimus Prime Step by Step

When the time came to do another sketchbook cover, I wanted to take another crack at Prime, both with maybe a more exciting cover image, and something that fit the frame dimensions better.  I created a mock-up of the title and lettering for the sketchbook, and set about sketching a pose that would fit the best in the work area,

I settled on a pretty basic tactical position for Prime, called a Patrol Carry - I wanted him to look like he was ready for action at any time.  After roughing out the basics of the idea, I took it digital.

I shifted a few things around, tweaks and tilts here and there, and finally settled on a pretty cools pose that fit the frame well.  Now this is G1 inspired of course, but I put in about twice the usual amount of functionality, gave his chest a bisection to really be able to swing his shoulders a much larger range, and be able to conform to that humanistic weapon handling.  I also tried to keep all the cues intact, but I did move up the gas tanks to the upper leg.  Happy with the drawing, I moved on to colors...

Just flat colors to start with, as usual, and a general background to help the range of colors of the figure.

Created another layer, set it to overlay, and picked a light and dark color to build the secondary and tertiary colors.

I make some color adjustments to the overall image, along with getting an idea of what I may want to do with the background, and then I begin the detail passes.

At this point it's pretty much busywork, making pass after pass, adding and sharpening details as I go.

Then I get to the final, making last detail tweaks, and color adjustments, then adding a final shadow/highlight pass.  I scrapped whatever the heck I had going on with that background.  Finally I just grabbed a piece of paper and a jar of ink, and made some spatter and drip patterns, scanned it in and placed it in the frame.  Much better.  Made a smokey fade at the knee, to help blend the figure and background , and called it done.

This is the print version, (available at BotCon, starting this Friday by the way) the sketchbook version is slightly moved up, to allow for the text.

All right, that's the last post until later next week, I'm strapping on my Soundwave Nikes, and heading to Dallas!

Friday, April 20, 2012


And to round out the three original Seekers, I give you Skywarp.  This is one of my favorites of the print series so far...

Oh, and look at this, originally drawn facing one direction, then flipped.  I didn't want it to be too close to the Starscream image - I brought up all three to see how best they would all fit together, and it also informed the colors for the background, giving it a subtle transitional flow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The road towards BotCon 2012 continues, with a new print I'm debuting at the con - Thundercracker!

Here's the comp sketch for the image:

Later this week, Skywarp!

Friday, April 13, 2012

BotCon 2012 - Dallas TX!

It's just TWO WEEKS away!

And again this year, I'll be appearing in the Artists Alley during the convention.

 I'll have plenty of stuff for sale, the above image is the cover, and back cover  to the new sketchbook, 20 pages, and some leftover vol. 1 will also be available - for a mere $15 each.  Here's some preview images of what you'll find in there...

Lady Mirage, a female version of the classic G1 character.

The Protectobot Scout, a character I designed from the Revenge of the Fallen game.

And the centerfold page, Devastator VS the Dinobots!

I'll also be doing head/bust quick sketches in the front cover of the sketchbook, for an additional $10, for anyone interested.

Also, I'll have prints available:

 These will run you just $20 each, full color glossy 11x17" - by far I will have mostly Transformers images, (and even a few more than even what's shown above) but I'll have some of the Marvel images available as well, Predator, etc.  Lots of original art will also be available, most of the sketchbook images, among other things - you'll just have to stop by to see what I have!

Also, I'll be taking commissions at the con, but I can also take some preorders,  that you can pick up at the con, contact me for more details at ken@badflip.com.  It's $70 for a 9x12" B/W marker sketch, a single (existing, no new concepts) character, usually waist up.  Here's a great example of one that's going to be picked up at the con:

All right, that's about every last thing I can think of, hope to see you there!

Sidenote - I'm pretty excited.  I'm turning it into a bit of an adventure, driving Route 66, from LA to Dallas.  And on the way home, along the border, taking the 10, through Tombstone, AZ.  That's right, I'm going to the OK Corral.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One more Thor!

Versus a Frost Giant, no less.  I wanted to do another Thor, but this series of images called for an action scene, and since I had done Thor before, he got the call, in an effort to change it up a bit.  Above, the pencils.

And this step has essentially become Clean Up and Tone, prep for introducing color to the image.

Here I lay in the flat colors, setting the initial palette.

Thus begins the tone variations, with light and shadow colors being introduced.

Further details and color adjustments, working the image towards the final.

Final details are painted in, along with lightning effects and highlights, and further color blending and adjustments, until I guess it's done!  Thor drop-kicking a Frost Giant.  I wanted to see it, and now I have.

OK, BotCon 2012 is right around the corner, so from here on out, expect a lot of Transformers stuff...!

Friday, April 6, 2012

ECCC Aftemath

Emerald City was a blast, thanks again to Adi and Tamsin for sharing their table with me.  I did a few commissions during the con, above is a Galvatron...

An Optimus Prime based on the new sketchbook cover...

G1 Starscream, done for a girl in a great Punisher costume, no less...

A Jango Fett in this guy's book that had a ton of really cool Jango Fett drawings...

And a couple for me, in between sketching and chatting:

Bumblebee and Snakes.

And ol' Wolvie.  It WAS a comic con, after all...

I did some sketchbook interiors head shots, but didn't have the presence of mind to grab pics of any of those...but there's always BotCon!

Someone sent this in after reading the post - thanks Jason!