Front Cover for a Magazine, a personal project. Photoshop + Illustrator + Indesign.

Endings & Beginnings. Funny, that was the title of my first post on this blog back into 2009 and I couldn’t think on anything more appropriate for this entry. As you may noticed I’ve changed the blog’s theme and the main title from “Portraits of War” to “Forjador’s Sketchbook”.

Many changes are happening in my life right now. If you’re familiar with Judo, it is like being thrown by a stronger and more technical fighter. When you get caught you just need to keep your chin tucked in, go with the throw and breakfall. You’ll live to fight another round, and another, and another, because to surrender is not an option in life – you keep fighting.

I’ve been made redundant at work and my last week ends with the month. The company is outsourcing our jobs to India… in the spirit of the motto: Keep It Local. But there are not hard feelings, that was a business decision and we knew we were only a number. It is however a wake-up call for me. I can do better. So I’m taking a month off to get myself ready for my next step.

One of the things that I’m doing is expanding my horizons. I’ve been so focused the past few years showing the art I do for Warhammer as a fan but there is so much more I can do. Warhammer will always be a passion of mine and the reason I started blogging but I want to show on this blog the artwork I do regardless of the subject. That’s why I’m changing the blog’s title. Don’t get surprised if you start seeing me posting artwork about Guild Wars 2 (that I’m going to be playing as from tomorrow!), any other subject besides gaming or any of my personal projects. I want to push myself to the next level, I want to improve my technique and be more adventurous – I want to take more risks. I may be posting sketches or works in progress more often as I will be much more critical with my final pieces 🙂

I have also updated my website and I will continue doing so on a regular basis. I am as well open to commissions as an Illustrator/Graphic Designer.


P.S. I hate Comic Sans 😀


Photomontage, Photoshop + Wacom

To see a bigger picture please click on the image.

This is the book cover I’ve designed for the horror anthology: The Black Wind’s Whispers. I can’t disclose much about it at the moment, but it is a collection of stories created by a selection of talented writers from the Bolthole. The theme is nouveau classic monsters and they are looking at a release date later this year. The anthology will be available as an e-book on Amazon.

The master mind behind this project is James Fadeley (a.k.a. He2etic) and I’ve to say it’s been a pleasure to work with him. We’ll have to do it again 🙂

I know I normally stick to post my Warhammer fanart, but as the good folks at The Black Library Bolthole and myself share a passion for space opera and dark, gritty fantasy; I thought good idea to share this anthology with you all Warhammer fans.


Ball-point pen on paper

To see a bigger image (and I mean bigger!) please click on any picture.

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 😛


My Corner

Posted: April 29, 2012 in My Corner, wall of text
Tags: , ,

Working areas can be interesting places, they can tell you so much about a person. I’ve a small house and with no room to spare (yet) I’ve claimed a corner in my living room, my corner.

My corner is warded by a fierce looking Spawn wielding a 2-handed runic sword. He keeps an eternal vigil, stoically standing over his tall tower of books. He knows the importance of his task, for such books contain the core of my inspiration.

To my wife’s dismay the wall of books that surrounds my corner keeps growing. I have around 150 books next to/on/in/underneath my desk and many more on shelves around the house. I like the smell of them, the texture of the paper and the weight. Don’t get me started about e-books…

I don’t know for sure when this fascination for books began. But I remember fondly when I was just a child and I used to go to visit my grandad over the weekends. He had a massive library at his study, tall shelves with books of all sorts. He would let me go loose and explore this magical room to my heart content and some times he would read countless stories to me, his eyes shining.

Now over 30 years later I’ve my own collection of books of all sorts. I don’t have a big study I’ve just a corner, but it is my corner. And when I see the books towering over my desk I feel like that little kid once more, my eyes shining.


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 😀


Manuel Mesones’ Imaginarium

Posted: February 10, 2012 in wall of text

The past few days I’ve been busy working on my website. It was screaming for an update. Now it is simpler, cleaner and very easy for me to keep updated. Have a look! Manuel Mesones’ Imaginarium. I still have to upload some artwork on the Design section, but the Illustration section is all set 🙂

I want to thank my good friend and colleague James Senior for his help with the HTML on my website. James is a gentleman, a scholar and a graphic designer extraordinaire  among other things.

I’ve also just realized that this month Portraits of WAR is celebrating its 3rd birthday… Wow, doesn’t time fly by? I’ll have to think on something to commemorate the event 😛

Plans for this year. Well, I’ve lots of things in mind I want to illustrate, but first of all I want to finish the drawing of Caligula Kaddon. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’m loving drawing on A3, I’d adventure to even bigger formats but I lack the space for now.

On the gaming side of things, Skyrim kept me out of trouble for a while (still does). Star Wars: The Old Republic is keeping me entertained – as you may know I’m a confessed and unashamed altholic. I’m looking foward to Guild Wars 2 and few other games on the horizon (keeping my fingers crossed for the Warhammer 40k MMO). Sadly I can’t see any changes on Warhammer Online to make me want to go back. We needed 3 factions damn you! But you never know…


Pencil on paper.

I’m quite enjoying drawing these Chaos Space Marines. As you can see this is just a sketch, I haven’t even finished giving weight to the lines. But I was really eager to show you what I’m doing at the moment – I’m really itching to start shading this artwork with my trusted ball-point pen. I might even take it to Photoshop and paint it.

I meant to do this drawing long time ago, it is inspired on a Warband created by Razhbad, one of the many talented fanfic writers at the Bolthole. I’ve however taken a lot of artistic license as I couldn’t help myself and got lost adding details to the drawing. Caligula Kaddon’s (the mean looking guy with the axe) gear supposed to be pretty standard Black Legion, there is no mention of him wielding an ancient relic… but hey 😉

I want to start doing more complex pieces this year. More action, more people… more gothic space opera.