Portfolio Building Challenge – “Jack the Raptor”

This is a (very crappy) scene I came up with, for the Portfolio Building Challenge some students of the Watts Atelier have organized. Each month a different topic. This one was about a “Genre Mash-Up”, an illustration for a fictional book cover. I choose Detective and Dinosaurs as themes (if dinosaurs can even be called theme).
It was quite a struggle, as it’s the very first time for me to do anything this complex.

I started with a few thumbnails to put some ideas down on paper:

The first one was my favorite, I couldn’t really beat the original idea, so I carried it to a more complete stage in pencil:

And finally rendered the first image in gouache. Everything is from imagination, although I did use references to plan the composition and add believable elements. I used a couple of action figures for the detective and body poses, while I built myself a simple maquette to replicate the Velociraptor’s foot:

Portfolio Building may, velociraptor foot maquette
All in all what gave me more trouble was perspective, although I did not really dare venturing into color yet (I tried something digital but miserably failed), as that would have been a complete disaster.

p.s. Jack The Raptor is copyright Bob Green 😀


Japanese atmosphere

Japanese shrine atmosphere pencil sketch
I was walking up steps to a shrine near USA city in Japan, and came across this very nice…thing? Not sure what the name is but I thought it would have looked nice as vignette.
(It’s missing the last kanji, I drew them too big :D)


Tales of the Shepherd

Tales of Zestiria - Sorey

I’ve been playing this amazing game named Tales of Zestiria recently. Since the style resemble japanese anime, and the protagonist is so cool (!) I thought I could spend a few hours drawing him. The english name is wrongly translitterated to Sorey, although it should really be Slay.

2b and mechanical 2b (for the refined parts) on Winsor & Newton Cartridge pad, A4


Psyche Abduct – Master Study of Bouguereau

Psyche Abduct - Master Study of Bouguereau


I’ve been working on this study for the last week. Following the shading principle of parallel lines, as described in the 1917 classic “The Practice and Science of Drawing” by Harold Speed (Free version here). I chose this famous painting by Bouguereau because the original has a very delicate shading, which the parallel lines help to achieve in pencil, not making shapes too bold or strong)


Sketching at the Natural History Museum

My town has a tiny but interesting collection of stuffed animals (mainly birds), and a few archaeological artifacts, stack together and showcased in some old school rooms. I wanted to do some life drawings today, so I packed up some water soluble pencils, a water brush, and my loyal Lumograph 2b, and made my way to the museum.

Big Shell of the museum - water soluble pencils
The first sketch is a big, white shell I came across in one of the rooms. I cursed myself for not having brought some darker ink to paint the background and make the shell look as white as it was. It was kind of back lit because of an open window, and had some tiny led lights over it as well. It was sitting on a blue  carpet so there was a lot of that blue in the bottom part’s shade. Sadly, I failed to capture the right darkness of this bottom part.

Pencil Sketches at the museum
I then move to the archaeological area where I sketched out various things in pencil (it’s not the same sketchbook, this is one I made myself with Fabriano extra smooth paper). That Ursus thing is actually a Bear’s leg. Ursu Spelaeus should mean Cave Bear.

Sketch of a White Stork at the museumIn my last 50 minutes I headed over to the birds collection, and find this white stork pretty inspiring. The beak was of a flame red but I didn’t have any bright color of the red family. My only reddish hue was brown, so I tried using that. The yellowish areas were made by blending a light olive with brown/umber. I used the black pencil again to get the background and try having those white feathers stand out a bit.

Next time, I should really take the inks with me as well.