Saturday, May 16, 2020

Storm Matoran

Stovau, the storm Matoran was an unexpected, but fun project to randomly start while my eyes spotted the picture in the bathroom tiles.

In short, I see pictures in textures, in this case my bathroom floor tiles, and sometimes I like bringing out the pictures I see within a texture. In this case I saw a Matoran's mask, and then the scenes of a stormy sea and an island in the background.

I brought out the picture in black and white first, then added color over top, thought it looked pretty interesting for being something I saw in a couple of tile textures.

After the pictures were done, I created my journal records shown below, choosing to make this setting look like an old journal being written in by my character, Pearllight. Because Pearllight is supposed to be the one writing, I used cursive to tell a story and talk about art process. 

Not everyone may have an easy time with reading the actual pages, so beneath each one I've added the print translation. 
Storm Matoran

There was a story once shared between the Ga Matoran about a male water Matoran named Stovau.

He was said to have been granted the power of a Toa after touching a strange, rare artifact from the ocean. Try as he did to never use such abilities for fear of hurting others, he discovered all too late that his power was no normal one, effecting the weather and not a single element itself.

His emotions at times could get the better of him, his friends feared him ever since he became a “short Toa”. One day when they once more called him this, he could no longer contain his anger, which lead to a mighty storm with lightning, a tornado, and a raging sea. In guilt, hoping to save his friends, he swam from the island as fast as he
could, hoping the unleashed power would go with him and stop the storm.

As he looked back at his island, illuminated by the yelling thunder,bombarded by the raging waters, he was quite literally struck with amazement as a bolt of lightning hit the water near to where he clung for dear life onto a rock.

It’s then claimed that the electricity pulsing through the waters coursed through his body and recognized the elemental power within him. Out there in the ocean he was granted the full form of a Toa.

With the extra boost in power and size, as he floated unconscious over the violent waves, he woke just in time to realize he could bring all his power back to himself and stop the storm. This he did with great determination, then swam back to his island hoping his people were okay.

When he arrived the villagers greeted him and praised him for saving them from a storm caused by their friend. They didn’t recognize him anymore, and spoke about him like he was a stranger, telling this new Toa that their friend Stovau had caused the storm and may have died out at sea.

Rather than showing regret they simply asked if his body had been found, and that maybe the storm stopped because he drowned.

Toa Stovau stared at his friends with a hard, stern glare. “See here, your friend tried to save you by going out to the ocean hoping the storm would follow him, and it did.”

His friends wondered how he knew, then realized their mistake. They asked him to stay, but he realized this island was no longer his home, and left to find a new one.

Ga Matoran claim he was the prototype Toa that lead to lightning Toa being made, and that they too held a weight in their hearts much like Stovau, which is why they’re so temperamental.

Right page written in Matoran-

(His tears
the sea.

Stovau, the
Matoa of

Before the wide version of the Storm Matoran picture, I had started on a smaller close up image. The illustration, cropped or full, originated from pictures I’ve spotted in the bathroom tiles.

I took photos of the tiles that I see pictures in the most,and then worked over top of them
with digital paint.

- Tile photo.

Somewhere in the texture I spotted an island,and later the mask of a Matoran. Stovau’s mask was the first thing that brought out the rest of the illustration.

I started by painting over the textures to create his mask first, then built upon the picture from there. Stovau’s mask is a mask of weather. The design was adjusted in the wide illustration.

Right page title- (Peeking from the sea).

The pictures on these pages are actually just unfinished prototypes of the full picture.
To create the wide version of the Storm Matoran illustration, I took two tile photos and put them together. These tiles are side by side on the floor, but I had to do some merging of them on the computer.

I like how the texture of the tile becomes part of the illustration when you paint over it using multiply or overlay options.

I’ve always seen a storm and an island when looking at these tiles.

Multiple characters have been spotted in the texture, but the scene has remained the same, a stormy sea with a lightning lit island in the distance.

Many other illustration could come out of this texture, but the Storm Matoran came first.

I realized paint alone wasn’t the best way for me to bring out the picture, and instead I used the burn and dodge tool to bring out the values first. 
After patient burn and dodge painting, the results are a stormy, black and white picture that looked pretty cool to me even without color.

After this step was done, though I wasn’t sure how well another could make out the scene as a black and white, I went over the whole thing using a watercolor brush set as an overlay layer. I added extra dodge effect on the gray underlayer where needed.

right page Matoran translation- (The shock of his life).

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Toasty Kino

Toasty Kino- Toasty Kinbean (keen bean).

"That's it", she thought, "just inch by inch and I'll make it through over these really really hot gaps of lava and be home safe." As she spread her legs across a boiling spring, though skinny compared to others she had seen, she thought about what a friend back home would say, "If you get too close to the source of a hot spring you either end up as a steamed fish or a roasted pile of goop like the beans you're having for dinner."
"No!" she huffed to herself as sweat dripped down her brow, "I will not be a Kiinbean, I won't go down in history as bean soup, I will make it out of here even if I am a little toasty."

(A little story bit of 'Kiinbean's' thoughts as she traveled through a dangerous volcanic area, the heat source of her favorite hot springs nearby).

Kino, or Kinbean were quick nick names for Kiina when I was trying to name my art files for this picture.

I wasn't planning on making this into an illustration. It started with wanting to play around with some Bionicle symbols, and Glatorian/Toa mask icons. Some mixing up and size adjustment of said icons gave me something that looked like a built, semi buff Kiina.

I wasn't sure about background, but her pose looked like she was trying not to step in something while looking down. First I thought maybe she was edging her way along a narrow strip of trail dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. When I went to figure out how to make that happen, it went another direction and instead I thought it would be interesting if she were carefully traveling over lava veins.

The background is of two different Toa element symbols, then gradient was added to the different pieces for color, and finally I played with some texture overlays and filters for either a glowing look, or a scorched look.

Process pages of Toasty Kino. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Buzz Core

Marker overlay version with plants (left). Buzz Core- Paper texture only base version (right).

In the thick of a swamp sat a pool of energy. The pool itself was meant to keep an actual energy source cool, that energy source was cased inside a special container that had to be removed and replaced every now and then from its unit embedded in the coolant. Normally a Matoran could do the job, but replacing this battery was a special case.

A fracture had formed on the barrel, a leakage broke out. What could be the source of the problem? A toa of air was sent to fly over the area to determine how bad the leak was. What he discovered was bad news, the swamp had become home to a species of hornet, normally harmless, but these hornets had a queen who decided to nest on top of the battery. 
These hornets liked cooler environments for their eggs, a cooling pool was too inviting to resist.

The queen hornet was none too happy when the toa landed and tried to bat her away. Bearing through several stings and having the queen bug cling to his head, he dutifully removed the broken energy pod and replaced it with a new one, then left the hornets a warning by blowing their nest away.
Dreams of the hornet lair. Sounds scary, looks pretty. Gradient color experiment with marker overlay. Has a kind of watercolor effect. I was aiming for something that looked like a quickly done sketch in a field journal. I think I’ve played around enough for this project now.
A reflective version came last. I had played around with this in the quick guide of PSE 12 to create reflections,then did some of my own tweaks afterward. The water effect added a lot of extra interest to the picture I think. This may just be the final stage of the picture.

Some details are missing in the reflective version. You can’t see the unit that holds the battery, which is submerged beneath the water.

There are also no signs of the hornets nest in the scene to show the mess built on top of the exposed part of the battery unit. The only way to make true sense of what’s going on in the scene with added reflection is that this is the broken battery which the Toa carries away from the unit, and the queen hornet came after him, summoning her swarms to pursue the attacker of her nest.

This picture didn't really have a story when I started it. It was a random illustration started with some experimenting. Details about the process and origin of the picture are shared below in the process pages.

I've recently been starting compilation process pages of projects and other subjects to remember things I used, techniques I tried, steps I took, and history behind the project too. I find I like creating digital journal records like this, and would like it even better if I could have enough pages together to print out as a book so I can escape the screen more often.
  Buzz Core-process-page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Page 6

There are other pages from my records, but not important pages talking about the base steps of the project. A lot of the extra pages are compilations of what I've already written in this post.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Swing Into Action Kalea

Kalea: "Yudron, a Glatorian asked me if I could swing into action. I sure can!"

Kalea enjoys her little side wood swing. This is when she feels more in tune with her internal element of air. "Swinging is like flying. Your legs dangle from the seat, and with a lean-push you go higher and higher till you feel like the wind is going to knock you into the sky." she would say.

Sometimes she'll swing so high her toes touch the tree leaves above the support branch. She especially likes it when a few fall, like green glitter that wind-drifts.

I was asked by a Deviant Art follower, Yudrontheglatorian, if I could try to draw Kalea in a different pose besides her forward stance in her design page. Here she is, swinging.

I tried adding a marker overlay to this one too. The difference is subtle.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Kalea the Wind Jumper

Another female Toa of air besides Onah. This character design came from some doodling with a symmetry brush in Firealpaca. A little selecting of shapes and merging them together gave me full body forms of a female Le Matoran, both as a Matoran and then as a Toa.

I had thought about making her into a character idea I've had for awhile, Kelekena. But Kelekena is meant to represent me if I were to make a character of the Bionicle world. I wasn't sure if the structure of this character quite held the right personality for a character that represents me. I know I fit the element of air pretty well, but still haven't decided on a design.

This character may be named Kalea, or Yolana. Both details about those names are shown in the character display sheet above. 
I'll just go with Kalea for now. Here she is as a Matoran traveling through the forest with glee. The left version is textured with paper and marker overlays. The right version is the base digital illustration.

Kalea's background and character build aren't yet thought of, but a design is a design. I only know she's a joyful, free spirited and outgoing kind of personality.
Toa Kalea.

Base digital illustration on the left, textured version on the right. I think I like the textured version for this one. The marker overlay gives it kind of windy feel, as though a cyclone is spinning around her.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Great 'Jaller'peno-Comic

The Great 'Jala'peno 

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I have to say it's not till recently that my Bionicle nostalgia returned to me and I've been in a big mood to dabble in making simple comic pages.

Remember how Jaller's name was once spelled Jala? So many pun related things pop into my head, I've been making a list for Bionicle ideas mainly to make into comics or illustrations (possibly single illustration comics). 
One night I imagined Jaller with a grumpy face while wearing a red jalapeno costume. You can figure out why that happened, it's obvious. :P He's a fire type dressed as a pepper, which makes him hot in more than one way.

Originally this was meant to be a single illustration of Jaller and Takua, specifically the middle panel of this comic page. It only took moments for extra dialogue and characters to pop into my head and become a comic.
Here's a look at the outline and blue roughs of my process. A day and a half passed by while working on it, but my time spent working on it was on and off. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bionic Home

I've been visiting old digital sketches in my Bionicle files and tweaking them, then adding some color. This one is a Bionic home, a place that may be a manor for Matoran. Either it serves an inn, or a place of schooling for learning different art forms and sciences. It has a greenhouse, observatory tower, and large library. The Garage was crafted to look like a mask with mouth door and eye windows.

I did adjustments mostly for the background, mainly the trees, rocks, plants, and sky.

It's not often I do cloudy light settings, so this one was a first. It kind of just happened unintentionally, and I liked it. 
The black and white sketch was done a long time ago, I don't even remember the year.