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Well, hello there. I’ve been busy running from one place to another the whole spring but finally I have some time to sit down and write about stuff.

In May I’ve been to Barcelona for a Donald duck group mentoring session and to listen to Neil Gaiman (yes!) give a nice talk and I got his two last books signed. My pal Berta and I travelled to London for the MCM to launch our Jules Verne comic compilation that we put together during the winter. The sales went well and we met some really nice and talented people.

And during all this fuss, with me running from one place to another, the boardgame I illustrated this winter for nestorgames appeared in the online store. It is so exciting to see something I’ve done in the real world, printed and tangible!

Look! ūüėÄ

Now back to normal, there’s like a million things I’m taking care of, including more Donald Duck homework, a misterious baby shower gift I won’t unveil yet (don’t want to spoil the creative magic) and collaborations with several fanzines… Won’t get bored this first summer in ten years not living by the seaside.¬†

I thought I’d take advantage of the fact that I’m doing some high standard personal work ¬†and show you a bit about how I work. I don’t think there’s anything special about this workflow. I just systematically incorporate to my process whatever advice I find sensible enough by more experienced people than myself. Lately Chris Oatley‘s advice and blog posts have had a major influence in me trying to alter my workflow, mainly in the reference studies part of the process.

 

Briefing

Pick three Jules Verne’s books and do a cover illustration for each to turn them into postcards.

Research and thumbnails

I chose “Journey to the center of the Earth”, “From the Earth to the Moon” and “The Steam House”. I did a little research on the books to refresh my memory, as I had read the three books a long time ago. I started thumbnailing as I read.

Once I was more or less certain of the direction I wanted to take, I started to gather reference and doodling a bigger version of the winners at the same time. In the research process I changed my mind and found another way to go with the “Journey to the center of the Earth” concept. We all know google works in mysterious ways and among the results of one of many search terms it threw at me was Caspar David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the sea of fog”.

Full size rough sketches and reference gathering.

As I was sketching at the same time I was gathering my references, I could take this chance to change my mind about the concept for “Journey to the center of the Earth”. It is an organic process in which reference and sketches determine where each other will go next.

References for these three images include general matters such as composition, colour and lighting inspiration and also detail references, like mushrooms and dinosaur bones, certain poses and gestures, furniture, machines and architecture. Everything that will help me figure out the details in the final work.

Reference studies

The clean up is not the place and moment to face figuring out the details of the piece and after all the time spent selecting relevant references it’s worth it spending some time studying it in order to learn, plan and figure things out. I had never drawn dinosaur bones or mushrooms, I wasn’t aware of their variety. And for sure I had never drawn a mechanical “dancing” elephant anthro thing. So I spent some time making sure I learnt how some things worked like buried dinosaur skeletons, mushrooms, hands stirring tea, how does an explorer hat fit or how to bend the joints of my steam powered Ganesha.

Now, am I ready for cleaning this up or what?

To be continued…

The other day, after I wrote I had just passed my second dan exam I realised I probably have never ever in over three years spoken in here about kendo and the fact that I practise it. Well, today I won’t either but I decided to do a related warm up session with samurai and martial arts related doodles. I was happy enough about these for to throw some quick colour in and upload them.

In the mean time I’m working on some merchandising designs for the MCM. I’ll keep you posted. ūüôā

Samurai doodles

Am I the only one who feels it’ll be Christmas by next week by the pace the year is advancing at? March,¬†Epic Month by the way, although I was sort of in stealth mode, sorry about that. Suddenly I was buried in a mountain of work I couldn’t really say much about, but now it’s done I think I can at least talk about it a little.

I also took my second dan examination (successfuly!) and was in Barcelona for a short while, cause I had¬†The Egmont-Disney Meeting, which I will talk to you about not today but soon-ish, just because I’m such a tease. :o).

 

So yeah, March, Epic Month. Let’s break this down.- Said Jack the Reaper.

– Around December a friend brought me in contact with nestorgames.com¬†and they gave me the opportunity to be in charge of the art of one of their next boardgames, one about ninja factions’ fights, awesome!¬†During February and March I’ve been working on the art for the board, the cards and the counters of the game and¬†The house of the flying blades and it’s expansion pack, The temple of the flying blades is now in production. I. Am. So. Excited.

Down here you can see some of the sketches I did when planning the content of the cards and a basic colour comp for the board. Bear in mind, these are not final pieces.

– Also between February and March I have worked in a map for a LARP/RPG related project commissioned by a writer. The map hasn’t been shown up yet but I thought I’d share some of the elements I composed into it. I worked the map and the elements surrounding it traditionally and in separate sheets and then composed it afterwards in Photoshop. What you can see here are some of the ink and watercolour drawings, more specifically the ones of the monsters that framed the world and relate to the mythology of the world I was mapping. This commission sky rocketed me out of my comfort zone and for that I am grateful that I decided to take it. I hope I will be able to show the entire thing soon.

– Last but not least, let me tell you about Crashed Asteroid, a project I have in common with Bamidala. A few months ago we got together and brought in some friends to put together a 92 full colour pages anthology of comics and illustrations tributing Jules Verne, one of the fathers of science fiction and steampunk. We have a table lined up at the comic village for the London’s MCM in May, where we will be first selling it. Being in charge of a book has been a great experience but so time consuming if you consider that we were contributing pages to it as well as managing everything. About my contribution, let me tell you it is seven pages long, full colour and displays a coming of age type story related to Verne-esque trips. Here I experimented in every aspect possible: style, finishing, colour and process. I spent an average of two days per page and I executed it almost entirely while listening to “Space Oddity” in replay. For now, I’d like to introduce you the ilustrious members of the Verne Society:

I hope you have enjoyed this catch up post. See you around for an update on¬†The Egmont-Disney Meeting, all kinds of information and previews concerning Crashed Asteroid’s first publication and more.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Practice practice

 

I always try to start the day with a few poses, especially if I am going to be drawing for a while, just to warm up. It is a fast exercise, the poses are tiny and I just try and make them dynamic. As you can see, I don’t always succeed but I can see an improvement from week to week in that area. The purpose of making them small is not to feel tempted to add much detail and to produce a lot of them fast.

Do you have an exercise that you recommend as warm up before getting serious?

Siempre intento empezar las sesiones de dibujo con una tanda r√°pida de poses. Las hago en peque√Īito para evitar la tentaci√≥n de perderme en los detalles e intento que sean lo m√°s din√°micas posible. A veces es frustrante porque no consigues plasmar el movimiento que tienes en la cabeza pero poco a poco se va mejorando en eso.

¬ŅHay alg√ļn ejercicio que usas para calentar motores antes de meterte de lleno en la tarea del d√≠a?

That’s all, folks! The last two workshops with the people from the Egmont Creative Center were in September and November. It was sad in a way, cause the whole experience has been super fun and very intense and it is a shame that it is over. We have had these art monsters teaching us about the industry and comic art, it’s been mindblowing and I can see by looking at the drawings from before and after that I have grown and learnt and improved a great deal.

Now that I remember the long Christmas nights preparing portfolio pieces I am convinced that it was all 100% worth it.

I have nothing spectacular to show from the last two workshops as we mostly worked on polishing everything else we had already been through until the summer. We also did some inking and planned the visual narrative for the final assignment, from which you can see bits below.

Meditation Meditation 2

I wrote a gag about how Donald tries to do some yoga for self-improvement. Just go figure how that goes. On the left you can see the main idea for the cover. For some reason, drawing Donald with that huge guru turban is something I’ve been wanting to do.

Now that the final assignment is due a final evaluation is coming where they will tell us if the progression through the year has been good enough to get to the level they are looking for in new artists and if not, what is left to improveo to get there. I am excited about that meeting in either way.

Just a quickie to wish you all a belated Happy Valentines!

I started it really late in the day but I wanted to do it anyway to thank you all who are still with me despite the fact that I am so inconstant in here. In the weeks to come I am going to be showing and telling you about what I have been up to in the last months of silence.

Long time no see! I have so much to tell you all, like where have I been, what have I been doing, how’s life and how did the Disney comic course wrapped. But for now, my yearly Ororo with love. ‚̧

Ororo 2014

After all year drawing ducks you really should have seen this one coming. :o)

My roommate has been trying to get me to play Journey for a while now and the other day I just couldn’t resist it any longer. I had to say yes. I had to play it. And all I could think about during those two hours was “I really feel like painting now.”
There’s something really inspiring to that game, call it the colour palette, the lighting, the feeling of grandeur and ruin…
So I made a fan art/speed painting thing. Enjoy it ūüôā

Mi compa√Īera de piso ha insistido durante el verano en que juegue al Journey y el otro d√≠a acab√© sucumbiendo. El juego ya de por si me llamaba, pero al jugarlo fue una experiencia completamente inspiradora. En las casi dos horas de vagar por el desierto solo pod√≠a pensar en las ganas que me estaban entrando de pintar.
As√≠ que aqu√≠ os dejo un peque√Īo ejercicio de speed painting que he hecho en homenaje al juego. Disfrutadlo ūüôā

Fanart Journey low res

Oh, hello! Do you remember me? I used to write a blog and all but then I graduated and considered myself on vacation and became extremely lazy.

One thing that stopped happening around here was the superheroe battle between Santi and me. It was all my fault. There has been a good side to the pause in a way and it is that I have been asked several times through the past months about the battle, that  has to be a good sign.

Santi’s been nagging me to post my goddamn hero so, here she is. Santi threw Professor Xavier into the ring and I don’t think he was imagining I’d hit back with Power Girl. The key element in here is¬†deception. First Professor Xavier gets deceived, them smashed and thus, disappointed.

Santi suggested one of the Phoenix five, but that’s just not the way I roll.

 

¬°Hola! ¬ŅOs acord√°is de mi? Sol√≠a escribir en este blog, pero entonces me licenci√© y me entr√≥ una pereza extrema.

Una de las cosas que dejaron de hacerse fue la batalla de superh√©roes con Santi. Es mi culpa. Ha habido un lado bueno en la pausa y es que muchos me hab√©is preguntado por c√≥mo iba la batalla y si hab√≠amos parado o segu√≠amos, eso tiene que ser buena se√Īal.

Y ahora, se√Īoras y caballeros, despu√©s de cincuenta millones de pullitas por parte de Santi, aqu√≠ ten√©is a Power Girl, lista para luchar contra Xavier. La clave en esta batalla es el subterfugio. El profesor primero es mezquinamente distra√≠do, entonces aplastado y, en consecuencia, quiz√°s algo decepcionado.

Power Girl

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