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Showing posts from 2012

Torment and Fugue : Salvage

More Paintings from the Story:

Beyond the Patchwork Circus : The Midwinter's eve

A two headed dragon, and their rodent navigator are searching for the witch Rayleigh, who mysteriously disappeared just before the midwinter's fest.

A Voyage to Redemption

A Voyage to Redemption is the sixth chapter of the short story: Torment and Fugue.

More previews here.

Hope you like it! Happy Holidays.

Little Girl's Diary: A Dragon in Distress

Torment and Fugue: Soliloquies and Solutions

"In ordinary circumstances, he would have found the sight of the waterfalls, the vines, and the carvings to be beautiful, maybe even mystical. But, all he could see and feel was a sense of decay, antiquity, and a foreboding of some unwholesome revelation, or a confirmation of the acrid truth, which chilled him to the bone..."

An Excerpt from the upcoming story "Torment and Fugue" which is one of the stories in The Nightmare Theater anthology. More excerpts from the anthology here->


Summer Solstice

From the story 'One of Many Winters' which is a part of The Nightmare Theater anthology.

More from the story  here.

Gestures, Head and Hand Construction Videos

I recorded some quick videos on how I start out sketching simple gestures, heads and hands.


Hand Construction 

Head Construction

The Command System on Terminus

"Not yet. It is enough for the moment that you know that a scientific refuge will be established on Terminus. And another will be established at the other end of the Galaxy, let us say," -Harry Seldon, Foundation

One of Many Winters: Excerpt 1

Here is another painting and an excerpt from the upcoming story "One of Many Winters" which is one of the stories in The Nightmare Theater anthology. More excerpts to be released soon!

"Ole Lukøje swiftly glided over the long, bowed bridge that connected Gray Street to the vacant grounds of Riverton Elementary School. Whispers of water could be heard from a distance; the accumulated ice had stifled much of the river’s flow. A flock of noisy larks trotted in and out of a frozen bush at the school-end of the bridge..."

In collaboration with my talented friends, Nathascha (painter) and Vidyuth (writer).

The much anticipated twirl.

They waited and waited, and then she finally did it, though in her own idiosyncratic style.

Danse Macabre

"'I’ve taken you by the hand , for you must come to my dance'. These are the words I utter on this day. On this occasion, I took a more visual approach, since I've taken a particular interest in environments. And thus, I painted the Danse Macabre. Humans are occasionally admirable, but more often than not, they just amuse me."

Signed, Grim Reaper- 1578 CE

Some music to go with it.

Book Reviews and Musings.

It's my opinion that science fiction and fantasy have had a significant impact on society beyond just entertainment. We see various ideologies of societies being reflected in these works of fiction along with other human, moral or social dilemmas.In a sense, I think art and life influence each other. As an illustrator, I'm often inspired and influenced by the books I read. I make an effort to see the underlying themes and thoughts of the writer, and see if I can learn from them and add further philosophical or sociological depth/intrigue to my illustrations. Here are some of my thoughts on the books I've read in the last month or so.

The City and the City: My first China Miéville novel and it's mightily impressive. Very pulpy and dare I say, very classy , the story is based around two really bizarre cities, with political and social intrigue. The cities are incredibly fascinating. The backdrop is  possibly a commentary on the minds of  the common people, mor…

Seeking Samarkand: A collaboration.

Here's another collaboration with Nat. It was a contest submission for  The Lost Kids. Hope you like it.

Piper Series: The Remnants of Invention

She who was once a bride.

I was inspired by Robert A Heinlein's quote.
"Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them."

 Though I'm…

Studying Composition

I've been studying some of the old masters to get a sense of how they arranged multiple figures to create a sense of mood,atmosphere or indeed add to the narrative. Here are some of studies. I've been looking up Gustave Dore, Gerome, Russian Socialist painters, Repin, Shishkin and a few others.

The following is a breakdown of some of the studies. I find it really helpful to do this. Studying the shapes and the implied lines helps me to see how the eye is guided around the painting.

I also find it a really good exercise to experiment with abstract shapes. Designing big, medium and small shapes, contrasting the soft curvy shapes with the hard ones. Soft, round shapes and big S curves evoke emotions of calmness,stability whereas the harder, sharp ones bring out anger, unrest or danger. Molly Bang talks more about this in her wonderful book on composition. If you're working digitally, the lasoo, marquee tool comes in handy to quickly build up compositions. Later on, you can pos…

le portrait d'un appartement

Exploring Portrait Styles

I usually approach painting portraits with a simple complimentary color scheme.(Reds, Browns, and Greens). I slowly build up the tones and colors with each layer to get the subtle variations. It does help if you apply a color layer on top in Photoshop, and subtle color variations. Even if the choices are arbitrary, it gives the piece a certain kind of 'color quality'. I also like to have my brush strokes to be visible. So, I leave some of the areas unfinished. It serves as an interesting compositional element, in that, there is a contrast between the rough and the well rendered. Here's an example of how I usually paint portraits (or have been of late). This is more of a quick study than a finished piece.

This Week, in our weekly Skype sketching sessions,  Matt and I thought we would explore various portraiture styles, picking out a reference, using one of our favorite artists and spend two or three hours working towards the style.

Richard Schmid has a style that evokes a …

Steampunk Rickshaw and Others.

Here's a time machine put together by a mad scientist with a very specific taste in design.

Some of his design/stylistic explorations.

Jaqen H'ghar

Continuing my exploration of A Song of Ice and Fire characters.

Concept Pirate Ship

Originally a fighter ship, it was later hijacked and redesigned by pirates who fancy themselves as artists. It can possibly navigate through both air and water(Though, the functionality is a bit suspect).

Comps, Thumbnails, and More Ships.

Nightmare Theatre: Act 1: Sandman of Slumberland.

I haven't collaborated with anyone before, so this was a very interesting and an exciting experience, not the least because I wanted to learn from Nathascha Friis' stylized approach to things.  You can check out her interesting blog over here.

The choice of a theatrical setting was made so that we could study lighting, compose multiple figures in perspective, and see if we could add emotion and mood to the piece. A particular inspiration was Helnwein's theatrical work.

We decided that I would work on the background, and that Nat would develop most of the characters. As it turned out, we did a bit of both. After a while, it seemed prudent to paint over in turns since our styles complemented each other quite well,and that did save a lot of time.

The difficult part was to make the characters seem real enough so that it would seem like a  stage play, and still have a surrealistic, dream like feel to them.

The following is a …


Long Duration Figure Studies 2

References from mjranum.

Long Duration Figure Studies

Photoshop- Around 8-10 hours.