Sunday, November 28, 2010

Treasures of the Odryssian Warriors

Just a quick one today - a link to a Flickr album with photos from an exhibit. Wonderful items from an Odryssian burial which haven't been published anywhere before (as far as I know). Odryssians were

Treasure of the Odryssian Warriors flickr album

You can read some about the Odryssian kingdom here:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

History of the Sleeping Gods

The Cthulhu Avalon book seems to be finally available so I can share some art I did for it! Yay! Some descriptions are on my DA if you're interested.
These pieces were a ton of fun to paint, Jon (the wonderful AD and overall a rad guy) sure knows just what I like.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

History is for nerds like me

Looking back pt 2 is coming (as is some art by me), I'm just stupidly busy with other stuff.

Today I've painted a historical reconstruction piece, all during my break after lunch. It's something I would love to do as a job - to be given archaeological and historical material and draw a reconstruction of historical dress, arms and armour, every day objects...

I just find this "guessing game" fascinating. So I gave it a shot - a friend of mine is working on a mod set in the Peloponnesian War and he needed a concept for Persian cavalry.

As base I used my previous knowledge of the subject and a relief found on a certain sarcophagus in Turkey. The carved cavalryman looks quite strange and figuring out a way for this armour to work was a challenge. And fun. :D (I can just about hear you being bored out of your skulls by now)

It's not so much fun when people who know more than you do about this stuff point out the things you got wrong. (like the leg strapped sword in my case, there probably was a belt and a strap attaching the scabbard to said belt, but they were just painted in red on the relief and have faded away by now). But I can always paint another version sometime. When I'm not so busy with painting stuff for other people. :)

In the second half of this post I'd like to show you something I think is quite rare and that not many people have seen. (I've downloaded the images on the artist's website long ago and have forgotten who he is. If you know, tell me!)

EDIT: The elf-eyed Eric Lofgren ( kindly informed me that the concepts were drawn by none other than Chris Achilleos, a worldwide known artist and overall an awesome man.
You can see them (along with a few I didn't have) and many others on his website:

I have compiled all the concept drawings made for the King Arthur movie here (warning BIG IMAGES):

They are just beautiful. Nicely drawn and very creative! They're not historically accurate, but they're obviously based on some historical knowledge of the artist and then spiced up in a believable way. True, they use more 3rd and 2nd century roman elements than the 4th or 5th which would be more appropriate, but they're still a TON better than the garbage that eventually ended up in the film. Some of the props look somewhat similar, but they're just poorly made I guess.

If you're wondering what romano-briton soldiers would've really looked like during the time of "real" Arthur, I recommend taking a look at this website.

Comitatus - late roman reenactment group

Everytime I see their reconstruction of late roman cavalry, I can't help but drool.

That's all tonight!

< / Xena mode >

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Looking back pt.1

+ Monitor Woes.

Looking back pt.1

Jeremy McHugh at the Ninja Mountain podcast blog encouraged us listeners to post on the topic of "How has your work improved in the past year?", either in the comments, or on a blog. And I will do just that, in "Looking back pt.2", most likely tomorrow.

The first part will consist of me looking back at the first book cover I did.

Street: Empathy is the first book of a cyberpunk trilogy written by Ryan A. Span - it's very enjoyable and if you're into cyberpunk or SciFi at least a bit, give it a shot. It's not expensive and you can buy the 2nd edition of the book, which should be coming out soon!
I did a cover for the first edition almost three years ago and since then it didn't age very well I must say. So since a second book of the trilogy (STREET:Clairvoyance) has been released recently, also with a cover by me, we decided I'll paint the cover again for the new edition, so it's up to Clairvoyance's standard.

You can either buy the books in paperback, for Kindle, or you can read both books online for free here:

Here are the two versions of the cover: (I would say "side by side", but I have no idea how to format the thumbs to be side by side :D)

The second edition cover is painted entirely in ArtRage Studio Pro mostly with oils.

Monitor Woes

During the process of painting this cover I discovered my monitor is most likely not entirely well calibrated. I noticed a slight change in the image after exporting from AR and looking at it in Gimp or FireFox. Little did I know of icc profiles at the time.

I remembered a story Andy Hepworth shared on the NM podcast once - when he kept jumping between Photoshop and Painter while one was set to RGB and the other to CMYK and how the image kept getting darker with colours changing constantly.

I thought that wasn't my case, because my image was actually getting slightly lighter and washed out blue.
The thing is - ArtRage is a bit "dumb" in this matter and doesn't use icc profiles for colour settings. It uses the native or default system profile, in my case Monitor RGB, which is a colour profile set up by my monitor's manufacturer. And it's off apparently.
Applications which are "smart" recognize icc profiles attached to files, programs like FireFox or Photoshop.

Sure enough, the problem was having different profiles set up in various applications, sRGB was the culprit. I still need to calibrate my monitor, but I set sRGB as a default profile and my images at least look the same in all applications.

"Looking back" will be continued in part 2 soon.