Fire and Fury

Making Of / 22 October 2019

Ever have a piece you just fight with? This was one of those pieces. It's my third entry in my creature folk series, Fire and Fury. The basic idea was for a villainous character who explodes with anger. The rough idea was to combine a Korean tiger with a Korean warrior with a good dose of anger.

If you've ever seen a Korean Tiger painting, you can hopefully see where the idea came from. They're savage, fierce, and the teeth on them are amazing. I wanted a beast full of fury who used his claws to tear apart his opponents.

The original idea had a mix of bone and fur. His stripes were going to be of iron or bone protruding from his flesh with fire pouring from around his body. There are several weak points in this piece. The pose is bland, despite his mighty roar. The perspective being off is another weakness, and I'm honestly not sure how I messed up so badly on that. He also appears squat.

Version 2 gave him greater life. I fixed the perspective issue, and began to go ahead with the idea. I still wasn't quite sure about what to do about his midsection, but I knew I wanted it to be wreathed in flame, along with the ends of the armor which hangs on the head, arms, and legs.

I abandoned the external flame for a more internal solution. His rage is what fuels him and bursts forth from his body and scars. I kept the ends of his armor as bone, added scale to help bring him more in line with traditional Korean armor, and solidified his stripes into larger groups of bone.

Flame flows from his scars, and bullet holes allow fire to escape. The bullet hole idea came from the zombie drama Kingdom. One of the main characters is thought to have been a tiger exterminator and he is one of the few people who can use a gun well. The angry spirits of tigers who have been killed by the exterminators coming back in fury sounded like a cool idea. 

I also removed some fire from his chest and decided to show a bit more of what his head armor looked like. I thought it seemed too disjointed and the idea didn't come across.

I knew what I wanted to do for color. His bone armor would be the stripes, his scale would be white. Later I also changed his hands and boots to white. I thought it would look too boring otherwise.


I added a sash in the middle to be a bit more faithful to the armor design. The fur around the arms is for cohesion.

Fire pours from his wounds and midsection. It allows me to show that he is consumed by rage and allows me to be a bit more faithful to the design of the original armor.

Some extra details in the final piece. If you've seen my files, you know I like to keep my work clean. Folders contain every layer and bit of information for a particular section. This file did not end up this way. 

I think next time I would like to not feel as if I needed to hold so closely to the original design, or find more creative ways around it. I also think that although I had a basic idea early on, I want to have something more fleshed out and a working story before getting so far into the design. He fought me every step, but now it is time to head on to take what I learned and head to the next challenge.

J4-Kalope Part 3

Making Of / 09 September 2019

And so the J4-Kalope is finished!

     And so the J4-Kalope is finished. There were a few more changes since the last update. I fixed a few areas I was unhappy with, such as the gun spikes on her chest and the guns on her arms. I also pushed a few of her antler guns back by using masks to give the idea of atmospheric perspective. Although I originally had eyes on her antlers, I wasn't happy with the idea and removed them. 

     Below is the process video for my bombshell J4-kalope. Thank you for looking, and I look forward to seeing you on the next one!

J4-Kalope Part 2

Making Of / 26 August 2019

A little more progress on the J4-Kalope.

There are some substantial changes since the last image. Most noticeably in her head. I wasn't happy with her facial structure. The face was smooshed in an undesirable way and it felt small. I went though a few different ideas before settling on the current head. Her feet also changed and I think look better than their last incarnation. 

Inking was done using both the pen tool and the brush tool. Detailing like this is usually kept on separate layers so I can easily select the areas I need for color.

I wanted to use only a few colors for her. The Jackalopes I've "seen" tend to be white, so I kept that for her fur. Going with the "bombshell" idea, I gave her blonde hair and blue eyes. Her antlers I made a bit more reddish for both the "'Merica" idea, and the old west leather type clothing I used as inspiration. I gave a few gradients on her hair to show a transition from fur to actual hair.

Next comes the task of adding light and dark.


Making Of / 07 August 2019


If you'll forgive the naming convention, I'd like to tell you a bit more about my J4-Kalope! The idea for the second in my series of monster folk came during the 4th of July here in the United States...ok, that, and all those wonderful Area 51 memes. 

The Jackalope is not quite a mythical monster, but it did have potential. Along with the Jacklope, I wanted to "'Merica" her up, and so came the idea of the firearms and a "wild west" kind of influence. Horned material form her boots, chest, and bracers. On her bracers she can extend guns like those little derringers you see in old movies. Her horns on her legs, chest, and head contain cannons because, well, why not?

The next step in the process will be to ink her, and should give a better indication of the final piece.

Thanks for looking!

Nekomata Ninja

Making Of / 07 August 2019

Done for the #cdchallenge: Ninja Cat!  

I had a recent conversation with a friend about who I am as an artist. While my current portfolio expresses my interests, I don't think they actually communicate who I am. This is the beginning of that. 

With the theme being "Ninja Cat", and close to what I want to do, I decided to do a Japanese Bobtail Nekomata. With evil soul magic! 

The design was based off a few images I found online. One of a young woman wearing a mino (a straw cape), and another of an archer wearing what I believe are called sashinuki hakama, which looked similar to the kind of pants Inuyasha uses!

While reading about Japanese cats, I found stories of the Nekomata, one being about a cat that was causing paranormal activity by carrying a shikigami in it's mouth, and another about the nekomata being necromancers. The idea then became that this ninja carries the souls of unfortunate people in her mouth and uses them as her ninja tools. 

In this series I want to blend the human, monster, and clothing elements in a way that seems they are all part of the natural body. Using the mino, hakama, various ninja and cat images, I built my character. Although part way though I did rework her ears and swords to something that I thought would be a little more visually interesting and thematic.

For me the most fun element was her mino, which is at the same time her hair, hood, and pauldrons. 

Thanks for looking!