Hi there!  My name is Jared and I like Monsterpocalypse.  That’s not exactly true.  I enjoy smashing cities and throwing monsters into exploding skyscrapers while crashing jets into them.  Since that’s a hard experience to capture, I settled for Monsterpocalypse.

I also paint now and again (and again and again).  That’s me being modest and/or uncomfortable talking about myself.  Painting has paid my rent for the past few years (my rent is cheap, obviously) and I’m very humbled by my good luck/having sold my soul.  That said, the money I do make has to go somewhere.  Sometime last Fall, it was swallowed up by a blessed hole in the ground called Monsterpocalypse.  As geeky hobbies turn into addictions, eventually they start to bleed into my my work.  So let’s talk about that, shall we?  Maybe?  Oh lord.  I’m feeling kind of weird talking about this sort of thing but the kind folks here at Team Covenant asked me about my methods and it’s a question I’ve been asked a few times before…so why not  give it a shot?

Tools of the Trade

Let’s start with something simple.  My favorite quirky monster these days is Grindix, so let’s do a quick sketch of him to show you guys what the process is here.  As a plus, there are no legs to paint…so we’ll run with it.  Below, you’ll find a scanned image of the original pencil drawing.  It only took a couple minutes and is pretty rough, but most of my drawing start out like this.   Fast lines fleshing out the shape quickly, the average line being “correct”.  Sort of.  I told you, I suck at talking about my work.

So now what?  Basically now we have to decide if I’m going to use primarily watercolors & penwork or ink the whole thing with brushes.  I don’t know if I’m explaining that right.  While I did study art as a kid, I kind of stumbled into this whole painting thing.  As far as materials go, don’t think that the more expensive tools are the best.  When I started, I only was using a 2 dollar pen & a kid’s set of watercolors.  You know, the kind you give to 8-year-olds for art class?  You’d be surprised what you can do with those things.  I’ve moved on, but yeah, tools aren’t everything.  Here’s one way of following-up with the original sketch.

Ok, not bad for a tutorial image.  Basically, here the process was:

1.  Ink the original sketch and erase all pencil marks.  (Also add any details that need painting that got missed, like the hole in the ground.)

2.  Paint the first layer.  The first layer for the background was a dark green, while Grindix was light greys, red-browns, and a flesh tone.

3.  Paint the next layer.  This is where some of the “un-inked” details can come out or shading reveals itself.  See the Dark Brown highlights on the armor?  Added later for texture.

4.  Re-ink the painting.  This is done partially to hide any painting mistakes but mostly because painting over the original penwork dulls the lines.

And there you go.  If you’re still with me, let’s look at another way to go about it.  Since I scanned in the original sketch, I printed out a copy so I could show you another way to go about this, without watercolors or pens.  I usually flipflop between these two methods, so I figured it’d be worth sharing.

Same sketch, only I used only ink with brushes and didn’t erase the pencil marks.   Playing with ink is a much faster process, but not as “clean” as the watercolor one.  Which way I go really depends on the audience of the piece.  Most of my Gaming art has been done in the watercolor method because, really, I don’t know how tolerant folks are of me when I get weird and artsy.  By the by, the tools I used for the above include a few different sized brushes, some colored inks, and a little acrylic to make the eyes/drills/buzzsaw pop off the page a bit.

So there you go, two of my more common methods in a nutshell.  Dear god, it feels weird to be typing this sort of thing.  Next week, let’s pull the bandage off and keep going with a “real” Monpoc painting that someone requested and that I spent a fair amount of time on. Stay tuned!