Friday, 31 December 2010


Just a photo study from last Friday, from a photo by Jack Davison. Used with kind permission. (thanks! :))

Photoshop, about 2 hours. I used a technique similar to the one I used in Spaceborn, i.e. low opacity brushes with no pressure sensitivity. This involved a lot of colour-picking within the sketch (not from the photo!) from an initial limited palette of blue, brown, cream, green and red, and multiple brush strokes to get smoother blending for some areas, but overall speeds things up and helps me paint more deliberately. I varied opacity manually, at around 70% for defining features, 40% for most detailing, and 15% or less for larger areas of the skin. Looking at it again now, it's still a much sloppier job than Spaceborn, but I wanted to keep a messy look anyway; my main focus was colour to begin with. As a note, colour-picking WILL muddle your colours. A good way of countering that in Photoshop is to use a Vibrance adjustment layer at the end to make the colours pop a bit more, and a Curves layer to fix contrasts.

Progress shots:

Also, Happy New Year, everyone. :)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Saint Basil

This should probably wait until 1st January; but I suppose it sprang from my annoyance at the Americanised figure of Santa Claus, red and fat and jolly, and all the ho-ho-ho's and rampant consumerism that goes along with it.

In Greece gifts were traditionally exchanged on New Year, which is Saint Basil's day. There's a carol for New Year's Eve that describes him as 'coming from Cesaria, holding a picture and paper and inkwell' and a young boy trying to draw his attention. So I guess it could be an illustration for this carol.

My mother (who is an iconographer) has painted St. Basil numerous times in the traditional byzantine style, which I think shows here as an influence too.

Anyhow: couple of minutes at Photoshop, no reference. I'm quite fond of this clumsy little sketch. :)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Ithaka, sketches

Back from Italy!

Painted this on the ferry on the way back to Patra. The view is of the Ionian sea, or a collage thereof, since the clouds and light kept changing. :)

Also, some sketches: 
(My dad ended up looking like Lenin in the top left one. :p He also handed me a new sketchbook, identical to my old one, which was probably the handiest sketchbook I've had!)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

First Snow, Heather Elizabeth

I'm seriously addicted to painting these days. So much that I dread my upcoming, 10-day or so trip. I need a new sketchbook.

From this morning (and for the Daily Sketch Forum at CGSociety, topic First Snow):

Photoshop, about half an hour.

And also, a tiny pencil drawing of Heather Elizabeth Sumpter I did yesterday. She's pretty! :D Also, make sure to check out her lovely photography at

Whiteout, in progress

Where did she come from? I'm not sure. :) I do, however, know she's a character in an old story that was discarded (and then worked into a different one). In that story, she was bound by an infernal influence – or artifact – to an icy hell, eventually absorbing its essence and becoming its warden.

Latest update, 9/12

Previous steps:
Couple of hours on and off. No reference so far, but I'm probably going to need some for the hand. :}
I like the face.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dreamscape Challenge: early concepts

I've entered this year's CGSociety Challenge, Dreamscape. I've no clear idea of what I want to do, but probably an assemblage of strange but intensely scenic dreams I had.

Putting some draft concepts together:

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

More pose sketches

These should come in larger quantities, but I'm only stealing some time from work to do them.

I did a couple more from Posemaniacs, but I'm not quite pleased with them. Most poses look stiff, and joints are often downright off. So today I started working from photos. These are from M.J. Ranum's deviantART stock account.

I've got more stuff in the works, will show some later in the week, I hope. :)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

November 2010 sketchbook pages

Scanned in the last few pages of my sketchbook. Gotta get a new one! :)

I also need to practice more on anatomy and poses. These are from

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cats like magic

Or whatever. I like cats, anyway. :)

Painter + Photoshop, but lost track of time with this one. I assume a little more than an hour.

I was thinking about this scene yesterday evening at the metro. I thought first of a fiddler on a roof (probably because I was listening to Gogol Bordello), and then of a cat on an opposite roof listening. But when I sat down to sketch it today, I couldn't get the composition right, so I cropped the cat side of the picture.

Painter is wonderful for such quick colour sketches, but on this computer it's misbehaving a bit. I particularly couldn't get Pepper Spray (one of my favourite tools for textured washes) to tilt properly. So I took the image back to Photoshop and fiddled (heh!) with it some more there.

Friday, 26 November 2010


For the CGSociety Daily Sketch Forum, again (topic: fog)

Photoshop, ca. 45-50min. I looked at this stock photo for (loose) reference.

(Old English weard (ƿeard): guardian, watchman)

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The girl with pink hair

For CGSociety's Daily Sketch Forum, DSF 2340 60 MN - "The Girl with the Pink Hair".

Photoshop, a bit more than an hour. Not quite the effect I had in mind, but I'm not unhappy about the watercolour-like feel.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Black Wall

From CGSociety's Daily Sketch Forum: CGS_DSF 2335 60mn "The Black Wall".

 (click for larger view)

PS, 45min. Reference from the Gaza Strip barrier.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Quick wake-up sketch from this morning. Might work more on it later.

Need to find a better way to simulate rain, though. This was an experiment gone awry. :}

Friday, 5 November 2010


I missed my old quick works, so I decided to do more of them. It's a nice excuse to go wild with colours and textures. :)

I think this may have been triggered by viewing a J.M.W Turner painting last night. I've always admired the intense and slightly chaotic feel of his landscapes.

Photoshop, ca. 2h, on and off. 

Saved some progress shots, too:

Thursday, 28 October 2010

St. Never

I thought I'd never finish this... :)

Photoshop and Painter for this one. I used a few textures for the background (which was done mostly in Painter): crumbled tinfoil, painted surfaces, and a texture by Aegean-Prince and one by DianePhotos (many thanks for sharing!).

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

sketchbook page + fluffheaps

I liked these two pages from my sketchbook. From Monday evening, some during transit. I was unspeakably tired.

Also, a bad case of unthinkies:

Friday, 15 October 2010


Touched up an older quick environment posted in March: I think the water looks decent now, if a little frosted (which would be fitting for a Stygian-like river like this).

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


From a mindless tiny pencil doodle drawn in February 2010, coloured in Painter and Photoshop. An earlier colour version can be seen in the March 2010 'Souls' post.

Original sketch:

Close-ups, at 25%:

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Fall-From-Grace, in progress

She crept up on me out of the blue yesterday afternoon. Succubi are like that, I understand. :p

For the uninitiated, this is Fall-From-Grace from Planescape: Torment (if you haven't played it, do: that game takes most fantasy clichés and trounces them, hard). She's a strange succubus, in that she's lawful neutral, runs a Brothel for Sating Intellectual Lusts, and is a priest who doesn't believe in any god.

Some 45-60 min for this one as yet. She's slightly referenced after a photo of Ingrid Bergman.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Look up

From mid September, a very quick pencil/watercolour sketch. Fixed a portion of the sky in PS, though!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

St. Never, in progress

Almost done... I think. Not too sure about the heavily textured background, though. It's supposed to be a highly stylized piece, but it looks kinda messy. The horse's legs need fixing, too; the hind ones are much thinner than the forelegs. I think in the next take I'll clean up the figure/horse VERY neat, with regular sharp outlines, and see how that will look against the busy background.

Friday, 24 September 2010


A meant-to-be-quick sketch gone overboard! I aimed for a stronger style with this one, starker lines, less fuzziness. It's quite liberating.

And yes, that is my version of Commander Shepard of Mass Effect. It's one of my favourite games. :}

Mass Effect universe & characters © Bioware

References: from various in-game screenshots.

Close-up, 50%:

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Turian, in progress

I was itching for a dynamic piece, and to try out a new technique I'm trying to get comfortable with. It involves switching between low and high opacity brushes, and use of the lasso tool to achieve stark outlines. I suppose I'm a little jealous of the strong bold style common among guys in concept art circles. :p

So far, there's this:

A few random colour blobs have turned into a turian (Mass Effect universe). I think I'm fangirling. -_-

Lack of time makes for a peculiar kind of 'speed' painting: only a few minutes spent on it a time, but over a span of several days. I think I've lost the pacing needed already. :(


Will post a steps sequence once it's finished, along with any tips I've learned. :)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Autumn Findings

I never got round to doing a proper spring cleaning, so I'm doing it now; I came back to Athens on Tuesday evening, feeling rejuvenated and seriously aggro against the clutter in my tiny apartment. Out, old stuffy stuff!

While sorting, I came across a few things that made me think "wait -- did I make this?!"

Tengwar Calligraphy!

A couple years ago I sat down and learned to write in Tolkien's tengwar script; I always thought it was very beautiful. I was faster at writing it rather than reading it (which was also the case with some custom scripts of my own I made up in my late teens), but right now it looks downright impenetrable.

Also, ancient history :p

A weird oil sketch I must have done around ten years ago; I think I was just out of school. Couldn't remember it for the life of me!

Plus this:

A sketch and some artsy-itchy thoughts from around 2005, the latter heavily influenced by AKTO post-modernism. Ack!

I turned 28 yesterday. Time flies!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Under the Sun

A wallpaper textured version of an unfinished sketch. (Right click for larger view)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Could be

I drew this with a friend's character in mind, but it doesn't actually look like her.