Archive for the ‘ball-point pen’ Category

2D Digital + 2D Traditional (ball-point pen)

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Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
In fields and villages
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom.

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Across the spring sky,
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the air.
Come now, come now,
Let’s look, at last!

-Traditional Japanese Folk Song

I have been having fun playing around with some Cyberpunk ideas. I started doodling with a pencil to finish shading with a pen. But that wasn’t enough so I scanned the drawing and created a background to give it some atmosphere. That led me to paint a close-up of the cyborg’s face… and I got carried away and made a little advert for the fictitious Sakura Corp (a la Deus Ex).

I’m thinking on creating an exoskeleton for the cyborg, I want to see more wires, more metal, more flesh and definitively more action. And hum, perhaps some mechanized units would be nice.



Ball-point pen on paper

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This is to date the biggest drawing I’ve done using a ball-point pen: A3, and now I really want to try drawing on larger dimensions. My problem is time and space but I’ll work a way around. Completing this illustration has taken me more time that I’d like to admit… just over 70 hours. I haven’t rushed and I have used a normal Bic, all the shading is done by the different pressure you apply to the pen, as simple as that.

Caligula Kaddon is a character created by Razhbad, one of the many talented writers at the Bolthole and this illustration pictures his warband. This particular group of Chaos Space Marines worship Chaos Undivided and I think are mostly renegades from the Black Legion.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on a colour illustration, it is for a project I’m very excited about. I’ll let you know more about it in time 😛


Just to give you an update!

I just had some days off work last week and I was able to spend some time inking Caligula Kaddon. So far I have around 33 hours shading this drawing and I reckon I’ll need at least another 20 hours to finish it off. Bear in mind this is a full A3 and I’m not rushing it at all, I’m really enjoying working on it.

Some people tell me that they wouldn’t have the patience to spend so much time on a single drawing. But when I’m shading I truly lose track of time. Hours pile one after another and I don’t even feel hungry (which is very unusual!). My mind just go to different places and I find myself at peace.

I have to admit that as much as I like doing colour illustrations digitally, I much prefer my trusted ball-point pen 🙂

On another note I’ve updated my blogroll and my links in general. Sadly there were many Warhammer blogs that have died and I have taken off my list. I try to keep the links up to date, I find very handy to have all Warhammer related links in one place. I have added few new blogs from some of the Bolthole folks. If you happen to know about any interesting links related to Warhammer that are not listed, please let me know. Also, if you happen to have linked this blog to your own, please let me know so I can return the courtesy 😀


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Ball-point Pen on Paper

From the Lexicanum:

“The Adeptus Custodes are the guardians of the Imperial Palace and the Golden Throne, as well as being the personal bodyguard to the Emperor. A small elite of three hundred Custodes, known as the Companions, form the Emperor’s personal bodyguard and never leave his side. Due to the vast size of the Imperial Palace, the Custodes always act as a defensive army. The Custodes themselves never leave Terra, and only rarely leave the Palace.

It is the Adeptus Custodes that decide who may enter the throne room of the Emperor, and when.”

The Adeptus Custodes are larger and stronger than the Space Marines, they are not mass produced as the Astartes are. They are trained as Bodyguards rather than soldiers; they excel in the art of assassination – in order to counter possible assassination attempts to the Emperor.

An interesting fact about the Custodes training is what they call the Blood Games: an exercise were some members of the Custodes act as enemy fighters and attempt to penetrate the security of the Imperial Palace on Terra. On the subject, there is a short novel by Dan Abnett contained in Tales of Heresy (the 10th book in the Horus Heresy series) called… Blood Games. Worth reading – I’m a confessed Herr Abnett fan.

I meant to post this drawing back on June, but I had problems finding an A3 scanner. I’m loving drawing on A3 format rather than A4, I’d love to try bigger sizes even. But until I can make some space at home where to fit a proper drawing board I’ll have to stick to my A4-A3 sketch pads.


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Black ball-point pen on paper.

According to the Lexicanum, the Codex: Sisters of Battle 2nd edition states: “A sign of the Sisters strength is the fact that in their entire history only a single sister, Miriael Sabathiel, has fallen to the lure of Chaos. How Miriael fell is unknown, only that she was turned from the Emperor’s light to Slaanesh worship, and now serves as one of the prince of chaos’ greatest warriors.”

Miriael’s combat prowess is well documented: her blade killed Khorgath, Champion of Khorne. Her bolt pistol executed Justicar Tankrius of the Grey Knights. Her machinations trapped Autarch Eliathon of Ulthwe.

Most images portrait Miriael on her prime: a Champion of Slaanesh, glowing runesword in hand, armour sealed with demonic wards. But I wanted to explore a different angle. It is said that Miriael’s most powerful weapon is he siren’s beauty, so I wanted to show Sabathiel at the beginning of her falling; naked and wielding no weapons – looking almost fragile. Get drawn into her eyes, get lured by her flesh… is your will going to be strong enough to resist?


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Ball-point pen on paper.

This is a warrior from Norsca, a Graelinger, a marauder on the path to become a Chaos Champion.


Some people have been asking me about my approach to digital painting. So I thought to take my last illustration as an example. First thing you should know is that I love drawing, specially black & white: pen, ink, pencil, charcoal… it doesn’t matter. There is something about drawing that I find very appealing, it just connects… and makes me lose track of time 🙂

We can say everything starts with a mental image. I like to take mine to a piece of paper (though many artists start sketching straight away on the computer using a Wacom). I sketch freely on pencil, sometimes I decide to shade the drawing with a ball-point pen (that is my favourite technique), sometimes I just leave the drawing as a line art. Either way, once I’m happy with the results, I scan the image and take it to Photoshop – like the picture below.

The next thing I like to do is to get rid of the white space. I use a plain colour as a background and this is going to dictate the mood of the artwork. Then I start placing solid blocks of colour to separate the different elements. On the image below I’m still keeping the line. At this stage I was still deciding if I was going to paint this “comic style” (keeping the line and airbrushing the artwork) or to lose the line and go for something more complex.

On this occasion I decided to lose the line. I started working on lights and shadows to give the piece some volume. I also started amending or changing things here and there, like for example, on Malakai’s goggles – see if you can spot the difference 😛

Lastly, my favourite part. I work on all the details, correct the colours and add textures. I’ve to be very careful or this stage would be never-ending! I could spend an eternity just messing around with the artwork. At some point I require of some mighty willpower to let it go…

This was just a very brief explanation about my approach to digital painting. I haven’t mentioned any technicalities: how many layers I use, what kind of brushes, etc. But if you have any questions please feel free to ask. 🙂