Friday, September 28, 2012

Izzet Staticater

This is Izzet Staticaster, one of 5 pieces from me in the Return to Ravnica MTG set.

Like the others of this series it had simple origins in what I call a Lasso Tool Shape sketch. So I really didn't draw anything in the usual sense of using line. Rather, I made shapes and filled them with flats and gradients. What this did was let me not get wrapped up in the details too soon. But I was tight on Sketch deadline and threw some random bridge/industrial junk in the background, cause I had no idea what I was going to do with it yet. But it set the mood.

I call this next image a 'midstate', now, but at the time I thought I was just about finished! There were many more hours to go though. After a pretty thorough crit by some trusted peers, I had to dig back in to get it to where you see it at the top. Once again in this version and the final image, the program 'SketchUp' was helpful to get the background. I have always been a reference Frankensteiner, a face from here, a hand from there. I realized with sketchup I could do the same thing. A bit of this building, a tower from here, a flying buttress from there, merged with drawing out of my head to bring it all together. Sketchup won't give you all the answers, but it will give you a heck of a platform. Playing with Sketchup took the backgrounds on these cards further than I ever had before.

And here is a detail shot of the face. Some neat loosey-goosey stuff happened in the painting of it, and I resisted the urge to go in and overwork it. Sometimes you just gotta let the stroke be the stroke.


  1. So I'm intrigued by your Lasso Tool Shape sketching technique.
    When did you begin using this technique and what are some of the benefits of using it verses simply painting in flat colored shapes?
    Do you get more spontaneity in your shapes? Does the sharpness of the edges allow you to more quickly adjust the values of different shape 'pieces'?
    You've shared a little bit about this technique in an earlier post, but I'm interested in learning more.
    I'm always interested in learning new techniques to derail myself from the creative ruts I sometimes find myself in.
    Would you consider making a post which goes into this technique a little more? Please, please?

    1. Yes to all of the above Nassan! It it forces me to be loose so I don't commit too soon. Lets me easily judge values.

      I have a step by step somewhere I've been meaning to do a blog post about. Just gotta organize it.