SuperGirl – Peaceful Summer

Well this is a manip I have been working on of Kristiana Locken as Supergirl (the actual photomanip isn’t finished but I wanted to try something different with what I have done so far.) The original pic of Kristiana was of a magazine cover and she is wearing a purple swimsuit. I manipped on the costume (will provide details when I post the actual finished manip) and then have been trying to tweak it for the past week or so. Anyways I wanted to submit something new and I thought I might try giving it a sketchy look.

I have tried this before with various levels of success and failure but I think this one turned out ok. I merged all the layers in my WIP together to get Kristiana in costume cut out on a layer of her own then I found a nice background at which matched the lighting and coloring of kristiana quite well. flipped the background to match pose and merged both layers together. duplicated the layer. On one layer I added some random white noise and then used my trusty old penpartner tablet and began to ‘scratch’ away at the picture to give the impression of pencil strokes. The other layer I used the edge preserving smooth at max and then enhanced edges and finally traced contours to give ‘layout’ lines and add some definition back to some of the shapes. all in all I think it came out quite well.. and now back to the manip itself.. maybe.

Kevin Newburn’s Spy Girl (Colored)

Well I have had the pleasure of coloring Kev’s work before and so I thought I would give this a go when he posted it. Hope you don’t mind I took the liberty of flipping it so that I could put the logos on the left. Done using lots and lots of multiply, screen and overlay layers and much smudging with the old pen and tablet (especially on the hair) You may recognise the background I used before on one of my Blink pics. The window itself was created totally from scratch based on Kev’s layout. Original Pencils

Above Metropolis

I found a sketch of superman in my images folder, i’m not sure who it was by, possibly Khary Randolph. Anyway I decided to color it in PSP using vectors. Picked out the best lines from the sketch and used bezier curves to ‘ink’ the drawing. I didn’t like the angle of the left hand (looking at the picture) hand or foot and so drew my own. Then picked my fill colors and line colors. The shadows are done with vectors also and set to multiply at 25%.

The pink sky background I found on google. I added the city skyline at the bottom using filled shapes to create the buildings and set it to soft-light. The superman logo at the back is my own vector one.

I like how it turned out, a sort of retro animation feel.

Green Lantern: There Can Be Only One

I saw this base image of an underwear model and I thought with this pose he might make a good John Stewart GL. And then I had the idea that for some reason he has ended up with two power rings (a fellow Green Lantern was killed in whatever battle this was and John took the ring rather than it fall to enemy hands) Anyways that’s what I thought. This is another of me trying to keep my hand in until I get really inspired. Lots of smoothing and smudging on the costume, think it turned out quite nice. The planet background I had downloaded from somewhere but recolored it here. The dirty green interlocking tile texture is one of my own made from multiple source materials.

Believe! Superman/Superboy Concept

Just keeping my hand in with manipping really. Here we have Marcus Schenkenberg (whom I’ve used before – see my ‘Blink’ piece) as a younger Man (Boy?) of Steel.

Had to do a fair bit of cleaning up on the original image as there was a lot of text to remove. The costume was made by first creating a composite texture made up from three separate elements – leather, faux suede, and chainmail (much reduced in size) – to try and give it some texture (similar to spidey’s movie costume which I love the texture on the blue sections) Then I created a layer to apply the texture. Using the lasso tool to create appropriate areas, the texture is applied at various angles to match the body shape at that area. I then mask of the extra leaving the areas that would be the suit. Using the same mask I duplicate the original model layer, tweaking the muscles and smoothing/smudging where necessary. this layer is then duplicated again with the original layer’s mode was set to multiply and the second layer’s mode set overlay.

The logo was created from scratch in vectors a while back for another project, simply here reduced and distorted to fit the chest then used to create selections to apply the soft embossed feel. I tried to give the cape a believable flowing feel, not sure if I did, but I like how it turned out. It started with a solid block of color on a layer behind supes. Using the lasso tool I created gradually darker blocks of the red (using HSL adjustment) to give the feel of folds in the cape. The same method used to create supes shadow on the cape. Then used free hand soften tool to blend all the shades together. Over the whole lot applied a gradient fill to darken the cape further where it curves over the shoulder to light at the bottom.

The actual shoulder pieces are on a layer to the front of supes, again beginning with a couple of solid blocks of color. Used gradients, the lasso and HSL to create the tighter folds and wrinkles (where it’s stitched/joined to the costume). Over the whole lot I introduced some granularity. This had the effect of giving the cape some texture post smoothing. blended in the flag in the background to further enhance the ‘belief in something larger than yourself’ feel.

Greyhead Hearthstone

or Liath Leac-an-teintein in his own tongue is one of my RPG characters. I created this from a Joe Maduriera drawing of a Battle Chasers character. Altered and ‘Inked’ in PSP, the original was missing legs and the arm to the right of the picture was incomplete. Added all the extra leather elements from scratch. The images depict the three main looks the character has. You can read his bio below the images.

Name: Liath Leac-an-teintein (Common Tongue: Greyhead Hearthstone)
Birthplace: Carraig Fàrdach – (Common Tongue: Rockhome)
Actual Age: 114 (although he has almost stopped counting)
Physical Age: 30
Height: 9′ 3″
Breadth: 5′ (across shoulders)
Weight: Approx 500lbs
Skin: silver/grey (and tough as Granite). Often painted with clay dye to pass more easily amongst strange peoples.
Eyes: Brilliant Blue (like a clear mountain sky)
Other: Liath’s people paint markings on their face and body and arms. These have spiritual as well significance and is done as a homage to their ancestors. Liath travels with a wolf named Stràcair (or Wanderer in the common tongue).

Born with skin the color of the local granite, Liath (Grey) got his name because of his silvery-grey skin. His appearance at birth was just presumed to be natural, if slightly darker than the normal pallid skin of the rest of the the mining community in which Liath (Grey) grew up. Liath (Grey)’s lack of any hair did set him apart slightly from the rest of the community, in which the men and women tended to long fair hair. Even as a youngster his skin was very thick and provided good protection protection against both weather and the usual cuts and injuries which plagued the other children in community.

The granite of the Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) was much prized throughout the region for both it’s strength and the fine silver look it took on when polished, however the process of extraction left the area strewn with sharp rocks and boulders. Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) itself was a multi layered complex of caves and tunnels cut directly into the granite itself. It was a hard life which bred a hard people. Commonly the people of Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) were held up to be very cruel and brutal even towards each other. This was mainly due to their affinity with the rock and stone, and their straightforward no nonsense nature. Among themselves the people of Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) were very social and caring in their own way. They agree on most subjects (other than an individuals own preference for decorating stone) and defend each other. Should someone be in trouble in the community, all would come together to help them. Despite their status as craftsmen, the people of Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) were also proud warriors and hunters, able to track prey over even the barest rock. Everyone was willing to furiously defend clan and residential area when needed. Men and women are equal warriors and both take up arms in threat of danger. Their main foodsource were the many animals who lived in the forests surrounding their community, animals such as deer, reindeer and even beasts like bears and wolves living in hills and mountains. Due to the harsh nature of their existance, Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) didn’t cultivate anything nor breed cattle. Any grain or vegetables had to be traded for, although the people of the community did have knowledge of edible plants and roots. Wether rock, flora or fauna, they only took what they needed to survive. The villagers prefered weapon for the hunt was the slingshot, with which they were all extremely skilled and proficient. The hunt was always a test of skill, the villagers against their prey and the bolts seemed to leave them feeling that the weapon had beaten the prey and not their skill. In their dressing the people of Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) favor animal skins and simple fabrics. Leather is achieved from game animals and fabrics were usually gained in trade for smaller stone trinkets and implements. Thanks to his thicker skin, the importance of clothes to Liath (Grey) against weather was very minor. Excluding trips to the far northern regions as a youngster, the amount of clothes he wore was small and usually consisted of simple leather breeches, although he occasionally wore a sleeveless shirt. Liath (Grey) never took to wearing shoes, preferring the feel of the ground between his toes. Liath (Grey) spent his early years as did most of the youngsters, studying rockcraft at the feet of their mothers and fathers. Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome) was justifiably proud that it’s sons and daughters were equally as skilled in working of stone. They were also skilled in the use of various powders and elements in healing and would often use combinations of these under the supervision of the Granitemaster, the leader and shamen of the community, to take part in Stonequests. These involved using heated pots of powders and stones to induce a dreamlike state. It was during one of these Stonequests that Liath (Grey) began to feel a greater affinity for the land around him, almost feeling part of it. This had a great effect on the young Liath (Grey) and he spent as much time as he could learning the skills of the shamen in order that he could recreate the experience.

As he grew in years, so did Liath (Grey) grow in size, soon outstripping others of his age in terms of strength and size. By the age of 18, Liath (Grey) already stood at just over 9 foot tall and almost 5 foot across the shoulders. His skin had also undergone changes, gradually becoming less like tough leather and taking on a much harder more rock like texture, becoming almost a reflection of the granite they worked. His great strength and skill in cutting granite from the rock face soon elevated him in the community. It almost seemed as if he had the ability to feel the rock and know where it was weakest and of no use for building. By the age of 50 Liath (Grey) had taken the position of Granitemaster, becoming the leader of the communities endeavours. During his many years as Granitemaster, Liath (Grey) encouraged many improvements, leading the small community into a time of great prosperity. With his guidance, their stone became prized much farther afield, even too the far south where the then newly ensconced Norman invaders were set upon fortifying their position. Time passed slowly in the mountains, but even Liath (Grey) noticed that even amongst the long lived people of Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome), he did not seem to age as did the others around him. Friends and family came and went. Despite of his enormous size and rocky outlook, Liath (Grey) was still surprisingly flexible and agile, an attribute that was essential for moving in the caves, mines and rough roads of mountains. Even into his 90th year, Liath (Grey) enjoyed leading raiding parties out into the forests hunting for food and supplies for Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome). His gray stone skin helped camouflage him well into the rocky terrain, becoming almost invisible and his body was still as it had been in his 30th year. It was one of the simple pleasures he enjoyed where he did not have to consider the welfare of the entire community. Unlike most of his generation, Liath (Grey) never took a wife, as he had learned not to make too many close attachments, knowing the sadness and pain the passing of the people he grew up with caused him.

Not knowing how long he would live and beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of his friends who had now passed into the sleeping caves, Liath (Grey) decided to take his leave of the village. It was the hardest decision he had ever made, but he felt he could no longer watch while everyone he knew went before him. Taking only what he could carry easily, Liath (Grey) bade farewell to everything he knew and set off out of the mountains he called home, intent on seeing as much of the world beyond as he could. Several months after leaving Carraig Fàrdach (Rockhome), he had come across a pregnant wolf whose leg had was trapped. Approaching the animal carefully, Liath (Grey) spoke soothingly to it while he pried away some of the rocks allowing it to pull free. The wolf quickly sprang away from him, looking at him suspiciously for long moments as it tested it’s weight on the formerly trapped limb, before moving off into the nearby forest occasionally glancing back at him. When it saw he wasn’t following the wolf stopped and cocked it’s head at him, almost questioningly. Liath (Grey) decided to follow it, moving slowly and keeping his distance. This seemed to satisfy the wolf who moved ahead, leading him to it’s lair. Deciding this was as good a place as any to rest, he set up camp a short distance from the lair. Several days later the wolf gave birth to a litter of four bundles of fur. Intrigued by the apparent trust which had been extended to him, Liath (Grey) decided to stay in the forest for a little while longer and would visit the lair, watching the wolf cubs grow. For the wolves part it was almost as if he was part of the scenery, as if they knew he would no more harm them than would a tree or blade of grass. Indeed only one cub from the litter seemed to take any interest in him, often following him almost all the way back to his camp and indeed on his hikes into the surrounding foothills. After pausing in that idyllic spot for several months, the wanderlust took Liath (Grey) again and he packed up his few belongings intent on moving on. He spent several minutes standing watching the wolves play outside their lair, his heart heavy at leaving them despite his conflicting desire to be on the move again. As he turned away the wolf cub which had adopted him leapt in front of him, blocking his path for a few moments as it looked up at him with the same questioning eyes as it’s mother. Even though it was only a few months old, it was a clever and sturdy little tike, all muscle and sinew from it’s time spent wandering with him. Liath (Grey) looked down meeting it’s gaze, then stepped around it, heading southwards out of the forest. Behind him he heard the familiar pad of soft furred feet and couldn’t help but smile. Although he didn’t seek out the attachment, he had grown used to the little one being there. <“If you are going to come with me, you shall need a name my little wanderer.”> he said over his shoulder. <“That’s it! Wanderer.”> And so Liath (Grey) travelled ever southwards with Stràcair (Wanderer) growing larger at his heel.

Liath (Grey)’s great strength proved a boon on their travels, often affording them the opportunity to aid someone in return for food or money or shelter. They tried to arrange their passage through villages or settlements during festival times, when there were often strangers about. It was during one such encounter that Liath (Grey) got involved in a show of strength by wrestling several men from the village at once. Naturally he was victorious and later that evening as he sat by a roaring fire with a large flaggon of a heady mead in his mighty fist, a full stomach and Stràcair (Wanderer) sitting under his chair gnawing on a huge bone, he mused that perhaps this might not be a bad way to see the world.

Liath (Grey) possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and durability, enabling him to lift (press) 10-15 tons. His skin has greatly increased toughness and density. Liath (Grey) can exert himself at high levels for about three hours before the build-up of fatigue poisons in his blood impairs his strength. His reflexes are above average human levels despite his greater mass. Liath (Grey) has found his lungs are of greater volume and efficiency than a normal man’s, enabling him to hold his breath underwater and during fires for up to nine minutes. Liath (Grey) has found his five senses can withstand greater amounts of sensory stimuli than he would if he was a normal human being, with no reduced sensitivity. Liath (Grey)’s body is able to withstand extremes of temperature from -75° to 800° Fahrenheit for up to three hours before exposure or heat prostration occurs. He can withstand the explosive effects against his skin with no injury. He is still susceptible to colds, disease, and emotional stress.

Liath (Grey) also appears to have a preternatural ability to read rock and stone, allowing him to see any flaws and weaknesses. During his time in his community his skills with powders and herbs became almost as legendary as his skill with the slingshot.

Possessions & Clothes:
In order to allow him to pass more easily, the people of the village gifted Liath (Grey) with a long leather hooded cloak lined with bear pelt, leather gloves and boots. He mostly wore these when passing through villages or populated areas. Under the cloak he wore his breeches and a simple leather vest, over which he occasionally wore the long smocklike shirt which was popular amongst his people. He also found by painting his features with a clay dye he had formulated he could pass as an exceptionally tall man, which was not uncommon. Around his leather pants, he wore a belt with pouches for various powders and herbs he had brought with him or picked up on the road. Hanging from the belt is was slingshot and a pouch of rocks and a small knife. On the other side hangs a small pot used for cooking and for Stonequests. When out in the wilds on his own or with those to whom he had revealed his difference, Liath (Grey) tended to wear only his simple breeches and vest, his extra outer-clothes bundled up in his cape and slung over his back. Although he does not consider him a possession, Stràcair (Wanderer) is an almost constant companion.

Wanted: Litigator. Apply Fisk Industries

Ok, I wanted to do a follow up to my Elektra/Loss Adjuster pic for a while now, and when I found this pic of Cindy Crawford I immediately thought it would make a great base for She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters.

The source image was a bit messy so I had to do some tidying before I began. The first thing I did was to broaden the shoulders and deepen the chest using the free deform tool. This was then blended back into the original image. I then created a mask of ‘shulkie’ so I could keep things neat later. The background is created from scratch over the original murky black curtain. I used some mauve gradient fills to create a floor/wall join and to provide some lighting. I used the same effect to create the window behind ‘shulkie’ making a faux 3d effect to frame the image of new york street signs I found on google.

The spidey is taken from a pic of a statue of him peeking in another window. I shaded him to make him darker and as if lit from the room. Over spidey and the street seen I created a glass pane using the noise filter then motion and gausian blur to give it some interest, and a white/black gradient to make it look shiny. The brief case was another google find which to which I added Walters stenciling and a shadow and floor reflection to blend it with the image. All pretty simple stuff, but I just wanted to make sure I kept my basic skills up during an otherwise dry creative spell.

Nomads: Sinistra – Redesign

This was my take on my friend’s Nomads RPG character Victoria Essex (Sinistra). In between missions she had a costume revamp to a more team-like uniform (with stylized N for Nomads in red) The rest of the uniform was styled after Enchantress costume with a few contempory touches. This was done using a few different drawings as a basis for various elements (Adam Hughes for Hair and miniskirt.. that sort of thing) which were then traced/amended to fit character. A sort of manipped sketch.

Valient: Firefly

Haven’t submitted anything in ages. This is a simple digital coloring of a drawing I found online. The original was by someone called Robyn (sorry I don’t have any more details, it was downloaded a while ago.) I altered the drawing to fit in with my friend’s RPG character Firefly. More hair, gloves, clothes added. background made from various images layered together with masked sections. It represents the view from the Valiant team base on Muir Island.

FXM Additional: White Queen Tryptich

Feeling a little jaded this year, so I haven’t done much new art yet.  To keep things going though here is a quick collage of the images shown being Emma Frost in my Press:FXM image from last September. Each image is a manip of Jaime Presley’s face onto Greg Horn covers for the Emma Frost comic series.  As these were going to be shown pretty small in the background I guess i didnt spend as long on some of the placement (left hand image) as I would have for a full size piece, still i think the effect is pretty good none the less.