Archive for July, 2008

Meet liquidology!!! aka Christian Lichtner!!!

Yes, the guy coloring Ulitmates with pencils by Joe Madureira.

Well let me start this post by saying a HUGE thanks goes out to Christian Lichtner for taking time out of his busy day to be interviewed…this interview was Very cool to say the least.  If you were a fan of comics in the past 10-12 years you could not know who this guy is.  Back in 1996 he partnered with Aron LUSEN.

Together they formed the dynamic duo of Liquid! and changed the way comics were created.  It is one thing to be pretty good at what you do…but to change the way things happened in any industry is pretty jaw dropping!
Well that was the past, the present is here, and the future is Now.  Christian works mainly in the Gaming industry still busting smooth and breathtaking images alongside with Joe Madureira.  He and Joe are now crushing all that come in their path (my words not his!) with their work in comics and video games. What game you ask? Darksiders: Wrath of War.
Ok, now on to the interview!  I tried my best not to show any fanboyism in this thing, but you know things happen…
Questions by me Answers and Great artwork by Joe Mad and Christian Lichtner
“First could you do a brief introduction about yourself…I know people know who liquid! is and what they did…but what about who you are and how you plan to take over the world!”
For the record, liquid was started by Aron, and myself a few years back, but after doing it for a while I was starting to look for something new I wanted to do. So for the last few years, I’ve been working in games, and I can’t think of another business I’d rather be in. So at some point, hopefully I’ll be able to work on my own games!!
How did you break into the world of comics?
I got some really positive feedback on some random colored pieces I did, and as soon as I submitted them to publishers, I got some offers. Keep in mind, that I tried getting work as a penciler for some time before that with limited success… (ie. no success) )
Do you and Joe (Joe Mad) communicate with each other regarding final illustrations or are you guys just in sync by now of what to do. I know you and Joe have been working together for a while now. How does this relationship differ from working with other artist? 
Joe is really easy going, so when we tend to talk we seem to talk more about catching up then what colors things should be. Then again, we’ve worked together for some time now, so I generally have a fairly good idea what he likes and what he doesn’t. That said, I do love talking to the artists I work with, because I feel the more I know about your thinking process the closer I think I can come to doing a decent job. In the end, all I care about is making sure the artist I work with is happy.
Many artist don’t realize the difficulties (and pressure) of being a top quality artist in professional comics. (Pressure from getting paid to do art!! What pressure right!?!) What are some of the things that could “attack” an artist and hurt their career? (art fatigue, boredom, laziness, etc…) 
All of the above! I think first off, you should really only do work that you’re excited about and that you’re happy doing. If it feels like ‘work’, then you probably should be doing something else. That’s not to say that you won’t have days where it’s ‘work’, but overall you should be excited about some aspect of the work. Most importantly understand your clients needs, and try to make sure they are met to the best of your abilities. 
Any tips for an aspiring colorist/artist?
The more you do it, the better you get. I think Adam Hughes just mentioned that there’s no way you won’t be better after doing your 10,000th drawing versus your 100th. But my best advice would be to make sure you draw inspiration from all over… don’t just look at comics… it’s a small field. 
What systems do you own and what games are you currently playing? And what is your Favorite Game Ever. 
PS2 and XBX360. Because I work in games I get to play almost every system there is at the studio. I am a huge Wii fan, but I have more fun playing it with people than just at home, so there’s no need to own it.  PS3 is still too expensive, and not worth getting just for MGS4… so it’s gonna have to wait.

Favorite game ever… hmmmm… there’s a few, but I think Jak1, MGS1/MGS2, Team Fortress, Shadow of the Colossus, Counter-Strike, Final Fantasy XII, more recently Gears of War, and COD4… figures… not really ‘one’… thing is, each one of those was epic for me when it first came out… and even as I am typing this, I’m thinking of a bunch of other ones that I should put down… 

So for the record…you are mostly in the gaming industry at this point? with Joe Mad right? And you still have time to do comics?
I took a break for personal reasons — so as of this moment I am doing contract work, but there’s a really good chance that will change shortly.
Well you have the dream job of every man growing up in the 80’s….working with video games and comics…Talking to someone in the field is really getting my creative juices going…I will have to put together some serious work and persue the dream…we’ll meet one day…I promise you that! 
Thanks for everything! 
There’s no reason you can’t do the same – trust me. You just have to decide how badly you want to work in either comics or games… that’s really the only difference.    

The guys I know that are most successful, draw every minute of their waking lives… I have friends that concept at work for 8 hours, get home, eat dinner, and draw for another 4-5 until they fall asleep… on weekend, they draw… so keep in mind, if you’re not that committed, then you’re up against guys that are… 

There we go.  It was a complete blast interviewing this guy!  One thing that stands out apart from the talent is how humble he is.  This guy always responds to comments on his stuff and he always gives good advice.  So even if he wasn’t all famous to uber talented…he would be a cool person to be around which is cool! 
Well that is it.  Hope you guys liked it, I know I did.  Here is his official site! Liquidology²   Check it out if you haven’t already, and BUY his stuff, because it is that good! He is also on Deviant art as liquidology.
Thanks again Christian it was a blast! 

Meet lukedenby!!!

Another installment of meeting another artist on the internet who dig games! 

This artist has some amazing stuff in his gallery! lukedenby click the name and check it out! 

Like I have stated in previous post…these artist being interviewed have some serious talent and a love of video games past and present! I have either met them through deviant art, xbox live, or some other weird connection!  Well let’s get it crackin’. 

Questions by me.  *All fantastic artwork by the talented and patient Lukedenby! 

Lukedenby, please give us a brief introduction about yourself.

My name is Luke Denby. I am 26 years old and currently living in Portland Oregon with my wife Corianne. I went to school for Graphic Design and Painting at Indiana University. I once almost choked on a lifesaver candy.

 

Whoa…gotta watch those candies…

 

You are a fantastic traditional artist as well as digital one. Do you see traditional art (acrylic, watercolor, oils, pencils) dying out in the wave of these amazing new programs like photoshop/painter or can they be fused together to create a better understanding of each other? (long winded I know but man you have a sweet traditional gallery!) 

I don’t think traditional mediums will ever die. The prevalence of digital art no doubt will only grow as this and future generations age but the tangible aspect of traditional mediums will always trump them. But as technology continues to grow eventually you could make an amazing digital piece and have it print out with actual paint just as easy as we use an ink jet today. Even though these days my work is leaning much more toward the digital side of the spectrum I would like to think my heart is in the traditional world but the ease and speed of the digital world is amazingly tempting. Ideally I would do digital works as a springboard for finished traditional pieces.

 

Fan of the 80’s are we? Name something (tv shows, cartoons, movies) that 2008 can’t touch that was common place during the 80’s.

Everything I say is through nostalgia tinted glasses on this topic. Although many shows were just big commercials like a great deal of this generation of television there seemed to be a lot less pandering to the kids back then. To answer this honestly I would have to be a kid today. I think part of it is also those 80’s pop icons are so iconic now but that can be true of anything that stands the test of time. Maybe in some dystopian future Bratz dolls will be given the same regard as Jem.

  

I still say Voltron Whomps!  Original Transformers Whomps! GI Joe Whomps! And they all beat down the stuff that airs today! …sorry about that…feeling that old school feeling again! 

What video game systems do you currently own? Game you are playing now.

Xbox 360, Wii, Dreamcast, PS2, and Nintendo DS. Although I mainly play my 360 and Wii currently I can’t get rid of the Dreamcast because it still has some amazing games. I’m currently enjoying GTA IV, been a fan of the series since the first one on the PS1 Plus I’m messing around with Wii Fit. That seems to be how I mainly use my systems. 360 for more serious fun and the Wii for some silliness. I’m also looking forward to the new Animal Crossing, Resident Evil 5, and Gears of War 2.

You need to click me because I am full of detail! 

Yeah…still got my dreamcast too…and my wife really wants a DS…

How long have you been a gamer? How long have you been an artist? 

I have been a gamer ever since I got my Super Nintendo for Christmas in I think 1994, so 14 years. Before that I was incredibly envious of all the kids who had a NES and I was limited to my Amiga computer (which was part of the reason I enjoy digital art) One time I even told my mom I felt I was depraved because I didn’t have a Nintendo. She looked at me shocked, that’s when I learned the difference between the word depraved and deprived. I have been into art as long as I can remember though, so 26 years on that front.

Sorry had to throws these guys in!! We love halo around here! 

Has there been a game where it’s art direction made you want it?

I think a greater influence has been the art direction making me not want a game. I’m a big fan of Gears of War but it’s art style is just too heavy for me, it took some time playing the game before I could enjoy the great gameplay. 

  

Where do you think the future of gaming is headed? (Multiplayer/ online/ sequels/etc.) Are you happy with the games of today compared to a decade ago.

Community in games seems to be getting pushed more and more. While online seems to be the main area I hope the time of sitting on a couch with your buddies isn’t forgotten. One thing I hope is a future trend in more user created content. Like the forge in Halo 3 and what looks to be awesome in Little Big Planet. I hope consoles start playing with this more. I love games were you can make the game your own (was a huge fan of the RPG Makers on PS and Magic Pengel along with the level editor in the Timesplitter games).

Best game ever??? 

An impossible question but I may have to go with Guardian Heroes by Treasure on the Sega Saturn. Not a game I would really call high Art (a good example of me almost not getting a game because of the art is the American version of the cover) but it was amazingly fun. It was a mix of a Fatal Fury’s multiple fighting planes, a cool side scrolling beat ’em up, and RPG progression and leveling. Also it had an amazing 6 player fighting mode where you could use any character you had killed in the main game. So you could play as one of the different last bosses (it had multiple paths and endings) vs. a team of scrawny villagers and rabbits. I would love if this came out on the Wii Virtual Console.

Thanks Luke for the great interview and sharing your rockin’ awesome work with us! 

Don’t forget to see check out his gallery lukedenby!

Who I am…Father…Husband…Gamer…Artist

Warning: The following post is a long read…only start if you have the time.  Scroll through fast if you only want to see pictures…Have a nice Day!!! 

Welcome back to the latest ramblings from the Gamer who digs art! Well I thought about it…and it makes sense that I do a post about me.  People are probably thinking…who is this guy giving away games once a month…..well hope you enjoy a brief bio about myself…

This is me…not photoshopped or anything!! 

I graduated from MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2003.  My major was in illustration. I got married in 2004 to the Beautiful teenygreenbean aka Ellia ana Hill.  (As mentioned in previous post her blog is pretty awesome and has been thriving for around 3 years now!)  

http://www.greenbeanbaby.typepad.com/

She is the most precious, beautiful, greatest joy ever to have! She is my everything! She plays a mean halo 3 online also!  In fact she plays more than me!!! (I’ll do a post later on getting your girl into games!) 

Well after being married for a while we had our first child in 2004.  Diego.  Something always told me that my son would be artist like his mums and dad! 

Diego is the best.  Nothing changes your life like having kids of your own.  This little man wants to be so much like his pops.  Being responsible financially for a wife and son rearranged my art goals. I had to get job to pay the bills.  This led to my semi-retirement from art.  My wife always got on me for saying that because she told it wasn’t retirement just on hold, and I thank her for that encouragement!  But having a son was just the greatest thing to ever happen to me.  My father wasn’t around when I was growing up, so it is really satisfying to have such a strong influence on my boy’s life.  I have a lot of flashbacks to my childhood when I see him playing with his toys…and toys this kid has in abundance! 

Yeah…he is turning 4 in like a week and has plenty already…more than I ever had for sure!!!

It is funny how things past down.  I love batman…plenty of comics read, cartoons watched, and now my boy thinks he is batman! He has a collection of batman figures…

And he really thinks he is Batman!!!

Well, here is Batman jr.

The things kids teach you about yourself are amazing.  They keep you honest as they get older because they question everything…and I mean everything.  Here some snippets of my boy!  He is awesome! 

 

The ninja turtle batman…just one of those crazy nights and a school pic of Diego! 

 

Sporting his new hair cut, and going classic with a mario shirt from 1984! 

Like I said nothing comes close to being a father.  The responsibility is frustrating and rewarding at the same time.  Just when we get the hang of having a son…we go ahead and add another to the mix.  On Apri 17, 2007 little Isabella was born.

This cutey is my princess and she knows it.  She comes running and screaming for me when I get home for work daily! It is remarkable how fast kids develop a sense of love and connection in their lives.  This girl loves her mama…but is crazy about her daddy and I say that proudly! Here are some pics of little bella! 

 

Being a girl and being very cute playing with bubbles…

 

Still being a cute girl..and looking up to her mom and wanting to become a grrl gamer! 

Well having two kids is all about balancing…

 

Both kids will fight tooth and nail to get attention.  The role of father has played so heavily in my life in recent years.  When you take that role seriously you can’t help but step back from the bigger picture of life for while so that you put your all into your kids.  You want them so badly to succeed. On the days I have them to give my wife a break, I try my best to make the most of the time.  

My wife watches them more than me, but I do my fair share.  When else is Isabella gonna be able to eat chocolate cake all by herself! 

 

Raising two kids is no joke.  Ask any parent.  They make you run wild, tire you out, but I tell you it is the best feeling in the world to have moments like this! 

Nap time: For the kids or for Dad???

Those two are the best…I couldn’t ask for two better kids! 

 

And yes kids are VEEEEERRRRRYYYY impressionable.  They will mimic you to a T. Check this pic out! 

This one is called Kids dig games!! Man what trip.  My son’s first time actually playing and doing good in a video game.  He beat 4 levels of teen titans for Game Cube by himself! (With moral support from his sister on the 360 controller!) Go Diego Go! 

Well that is being a father…being married is another part of my life that is HUGE

TO ALL SINGLE PEOPLE OUT THERE!!!  Listen…marriage takes sacrifice.  If you are not willing to sacrifice your time, money, sleep, etc. do NOT get married! For me sacrifice is just normal these days.  It was not always the case, and we have had our rocky moments.  But time will test love and marriage and we are ready to handle our hard times well.  

 

My wife has been kicking butt as a house wife for four years now and she does such a great job of taking care the home.  I’m not talking just cleaning…she brings stability and balance to the home.  She also establishes a great sense of order when things get chaotic.  She balances being a Mom, Wife, Artist, businesswomen, and Gamer very well.  She makes art and sells it through ETSY.  (Kinda of like ebay but for art!) http://www.greenbeanbaby.typepad.com/

  

She is always there rooting for me…having my back as I do her’s.  Being a husband is just another gift I have in my life because greenbean is such a treat!  She is my love!  (and a Halo fanatic~but in good way!)

Me the Gamer…what is there to say… have gaming since Atari.  My first system I owned was a Nes. We (my brothers and I) later got a Snes and Genesis.  Then we sold them to Funcoland (old store that came before gamestop) to get a 3DO..what bust that was..then we got a playstation, n64, dreamcast, then I stopped playing games for a while.  During college I bought an xbox.  Then I got a PS2, then I got a Gamecube for the wife and Ps2 for me.  Some one gave me a 360 bless their heart! And that is it! I have a very nice collection of systems and games.  (But I sold over 600 dollars worth of equipment to start what I am doing now.  Giving games away in the contest!) 

I am a true gamer so that makes me a little more talented than most in games…I won’t go farther than that. 

Favorite game ever? Chrono Trigger (See first blog post) Favorite current game: Halo 3!(Because my wife and I can spend quality time playing it together!) 

The Artist…I like art.  Always have always will.  I was always drawing or sketching as a child.  A pencil is my forte.  I will try to step my art game up this year and hopefully put together a nice portfolio for something cool, you never know! Dream big they say! I am a little behind in the digital area..just for now.  I am reading and practicing photoshop as a recommended by a online art buddy told me to do. (Thanks Kalel06) But here is a bunch of art that is not digital! Hope you Enjoy!  

   

Two paintings inks and watercolor “Beauty” and “The Race” 

  

Two more paintings “Alive” and “The Getaway”

  

Two paints “The Giant” and “The Coat”

Painting “When giants Slumber”

Painting “The Last Battle” 

Painting “Shivas Daughter” 

These are some samples.  Go to dreno360 for a full gallery of my work.

Well there go go.  A nice long post about my family…so if so haven’t seen an update on my stuff in while you will know why…either Diego, Isabella, or Ellia or maybe even xbox live has my attention! 

 

See ya soon!

Break down of my 1st photoshop painting…

Hello everyone…

I thought I would show a little of my art today.  This is a current series I am working on right now.  The series is called The Hunt and it stars three Jackals from the Halo Universe. 

Ok I am not a pro or anything at photoshop…but I can get by for a rookie in the medium.  I do have a background in painting some what so I used those skills in this digital painting.  I will go step by step on the first piece I did.  

The concept of the piece started with this sketch of a Jackal.  I liked the body structure from this sketch and decided to do an illustration on these characters.  Many people do halo fan art.  Many people do Elites and Grunts and Master Chiefs…but few jackals have had their own star to shine on them so I took it to task.  

So here we go three jackals all with weapons ready for action.  Simple pencil drawing…

After the pencils I decided to ink it….

I started laying in flat colors to all objects in the drawing then I started in with details using different size brushes, and different opacities…

Continued to add details…

 

Coloring all three jackals…and attempting to create some texture on their clothing…

moving on to the weapons and the foreground that they are all standing on…this may sound backwards but i do my middle colors first then go in with darks, then finish with lights again. Also starting the background rock.

More polishing and detailing the jackals and the environment…

Now here I thought I was done…but I felt something was missing so I had some people on HBN | LTM  take a look at it. (they follow the game and franchise pretty closely so if anyone could give me a tip or two it would be them!) 

So now my task was to add some ships in the background…

  

So I did two quick sketches on some Banshees…

 

Colored them in photoshop…

 

And here is the final…

 

Like I stated before I have a long ways to go in photoshop, but I do like it and hope to continue to get better.  All coloring was done with a mouse. (No tablet just yet)

I wouldn’t consider this a tutorial as I have so much to learn myself…this was just a peek inside of my way of creating art! 

Now I will finish with a “little” Master Chief! 

 

See ya soon!

Meet DrManiacal!!!

Over the next couple of weeks I will be interviewing fellow gamer/artist I have met on the internet!  The interviews are to get exposure to the growing world of talented gamers who are also artist! 

 

Everyone knows artist are involved in creating games on all levels.  But one thing I have noticed is that so many artist who grew up playing video games are now artist that love creating art depicting what they love to play.  Whether it is fan art or fine art, video game art is produced by the thousands on a daily basis.  

I showed some of DrManiacal’s illustrations over the weekend, and now we get a closer look at the person behind the art.  

Meet DrManiacal!!!

DrManiacal thanks for participating I really appreciate you taking time out for this!  Introduce yourself…

“Alright let’s see…”

“My name is Chris, but I go by ‘DrManiacal’ or just ‘Doc’ online. My interests include gaming and art of course, but I also enjoy golfing and bowling, as well as going to the movies, amusement parks, the mall, and various other places my friends decide to drag me to. My family also owns a boat, so fishing, tubing, swimming and simply riding around are some other things I like to do.”

 

*questions by me* *answers by DrManiacal* All artwork by DrManiacal

 What do you think the role of traditional art plays into in todays growing use of digital media? 

“In my opinion, traditional art is sort of being eclipsed by the new, digital media that has been developed over the past few years. You see more and more professional artists producing their work with programs like Photoshop and Corel Painter, rather than traditional media such as paint and canvas. I believe this is because the artist find that they have a lot more control over what they are creating, and that it is easier to put amazing detail into their work with digital media than with traditional media. Plus, certain features of Photoshop and Painter make painting with a tablet and the like a much quicker process than using traditional media. And time is a very important aspect to pro artists everywhere.”

How long have you been an artist? How long have you been a gamer? 

 “I’ve been drawing since I was around the age four or five, when my father brought home my first pack of crayons and a massize, poster sized sheet of paper he took from the newspaper company he worked for. But, I’ve only gotten serious about my art in the past year, since I figured out how to paint and make cool things in Photoshop, and since I met Raimu, the guy who is now one of my best friends and who served (and still serves) as my ‘art sensei’, so to speak. He’s played a major role in my developement and improvement as an artist in the past year, and I’d like to thank him for it here.” 


 What systems do own? What are you playing now?

 “Right now I own an Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, Gamecube, Wii, and N64. And even though I have most of the next gen, newer systems, right now I’m playing my N64 the most and revisiting my older games like Mario 64 and the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Though I play Super Smash Bros Brawl online quite a bit as well.” 

 How do games of today compare to games 3 years ago in terms of game-play/ replay value/ originality?

 “Hmm… well that’s kind of tough. Honestly, I’m having just as much fun with current gen games as I am with ones that date a few years back. Time Splitters 3: Future Perfect for instance is a couple years old now, yet I still find it nearly as entertaining as other, newer shooters like Halo 3. Newer games have massive graphical improvements over older games of course, but in my opinion, gameplay is still just as fun in the older games. And that’s what counts.” 

  Where are the future of games headed (next 3 years)?

“I really can’t answer that for sure… I know we’ll be seeing better and better viuals in games as the years pass, I have a hunch that there will be more and more MMO games like World of Warcraft produced do to their popularity, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing new systems produced by the three major gaming companies (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo), but otherwise I don’t really know.”

 What do see yourself doing with your art? (Dreams/ goals/ ambitions)

 “Well, I’d like to improve my skills to the point that I could become a professional illustrator or concept artist, and work for gaming companies, or anyone else who would need the services of a good artist. But I have nowhere near the level of skill I’d need for that kind of career at this point, so I can only practice, and dream…

Last Question: Favorite game ever? 
 “Ooh, tough question. I think I’m going to have to say Super Mario 64 though. It was the first game I ever played back when I got my N64… 12 years ago I believe, and I’m still having fun with it today. I’ve played some amazing games like Smash Bros Brawl, the Halo series, Gears of War, and the Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (which is a close, close second to Mario 64 in terms of awesome),but my first game still takes the cake.”

Thank you DrManiacal!  It was a knock out of an interview!  We will all be looking forward to more work from you!  If you want to see his full gallery click DrManiacal

He is always looking for some heads to crack in Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii!

The wife who digs art…

My wife has been blogging (http://www.greenbeanbaby.typepad.com/) and doing art for some time now…a lot longer than me actually.  When she knew I was getting my site going she made some illustrations for it which I posted earlier.  One of those images (baby Kratos) made it into the reader art section of Gameinformer.  They are only like the number one in video game magazines’ sales nation wide!  They are also connected with gamestop and eb games.  She sent two submissions there and the second one actually won!  Here a scan of the page! It is the current one available. (August issue with Wolfenstein on the cover)

This is the August Issue by the way! 

Coming up next artist interview! 



And the winner is…

SangheiliArtist.  He is an artist I met on Deviant Art.  He is hard working and shares a common interest in Covenant art (Elites especially!) 

Here are some samples of his work! 

  

  

As you can tell he likes the Elites (or Sangheili) a lot! 

Make sure to check his entire gallery out. (SangheiliArtist)

So the contest was entitled the Big Three (http://gamersdigart.com/Contest.html) Rules were simple. Illustrate one character from each of the big three (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) consoles together.  

Here is the winning illustration.

The Terrific Three (Watercolor and inks) by SangheiliArtist.

 

And this is what was shipped to him today.

Metroid Prime 3 Corruption for the Wii.  The winner of every contest will receive a free game of their choice (max $60.00 game) 

Thanks for participating SangheiliArtist

Next contest is called VS.  Rules: two characters from different games (could be the same console) in battle. Deadline is August 31, 2008

up next: My wife won the reader art in Gameinformer: how cool is that!