Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pearllight Origins Book Cover

Pearllight Origins is a long developing fan fiction about my MOC character directly. The two concept covers above may be a somewhat odd style of realistic and painted together, but the concept is what counts, right? I may or may not make a more official cover at a later time for the series, one that's fully painted, but I think I like this one for the time being.

Since I play around with settings I've displayed the official choice on the left and the concept one on the right. The one without red eyes and hands felt too calm and open to me. 

Symbolism: Gali is the main Toa who is involved with my character in the series. Pearllight (me) wears a special stone she's not suppose to have and got it by accident when it fell to her planet through a portal. The crystal of elements, as it's known, is said to hold unknown energy that can be wielded to obey the wishes of the mind, which if in the wrong hands could be deadly. Teridax wants this stone for power and takeover, doing anything he can to get it from Pearl. Hence why Gali is on the left, lifting her hand to the stone which floats in reaction to high brain wave activity, Pearl staring up at her with mixed feelings of fear, hope, and curiosity. All the while spooky mist and symbolism of Teridax reaching from the darkness to get the stone is set in the background.

The fan fiction and its contents haven't even passed two chapters yet, but has developed through many years from the time I became a Bionicle fan to now. One day I hope to introduce the story fully.

Tips: Gali and Pearl are photographs adjusted to size and tweaked. The necklace is an actual quartz stone necklace I have, and it was held up with clear thread to get that floating look, shown below.
 Editing of course helps greatly.

Final notes, the hands of Teridax were made over a photo of my own hands, tweaked to have claws and be made of red clouds.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mata Nui Investigators Book Cover

Mata Nui Investigators (MN-I) is my newest fan fiction, a result of the MN-CN-I RP (Matachilli universe). The mini fan fiction is still in draft stages and currently still in writing stages, incomplete, but growing.

MN-I is about two Mata Nui guard investigators, a Bionicle mystery fan fiction. In this series Kyrian Silver and Sicline Orvel, investigators brought together as partners against their expectations, find themselves facing challenges in their job of solving complicated crimes all around the island. Both of them find their biggest challenge is to catch Makuta who taint the system of the island. Their biggest threat is Crazar, a Makuta scout and mob lord of his own rebellion from Teridax. He pulled away and took matters into his own hands, spreading toxins across the land to in attempt to enslave Toa and Matoran.

My basic goal has been to make book covers to introduce the stories I have in mind. Lets talk about the MN-I book cover stages and symbolism. Above are the first two stages of the cover with its torn border and green cloud cover on the edge. The pure white backdrop wasn't appealing and I made it shady at the top (that made it pop and emphasized on the Makuta, representing the shadows which loom over the investigators, watching them ). The green clouds were based off the color of Teridax's lair, but I decided it didn't fit too well.
That's when I created two different shades of cloud cover; mint grey (left), and blue vapor (as I call it). These two shades held a certain gloom I liked more, and pulled it all together.

Onto symbolism. A lot of my work is made according to symbolism which can tell a story before the words are written. The clouds of the border represent toxins and vaporous venoms (drugs) of the Makuta; they also stand for the mists of darkness. The mask is of Teridax is there to represent the Makuta as a whole and his control over his men failed when they rebelled and sided with Crazar, his head scout. The wings represent the wings of Crazar (the main Makuta who rebeled Teridax's reign and started his own Makuta mob. Crazar has wings for flight.) The red letters stand for the shades of Makuta and death the detectives deal with (color of blood). Then the detectives become the focus, and that blue ring that encompasses the abbreviation of the story name, the detective's heads, and the Makuta symbolism stands for a magnifying glass (only it's a representation of Siciline's crime scope, a scanner she connects to her mask, her focus on all things important).

Yes I used the already existing detective image I had on hand. Seemed fitting anyway, and I didn't feel like drawing a new image for concept cover.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Takanuva's Travels Comic Book Cover

It feels so good to crack down on making concept cover art for the multiple fan fiction ideas on my list, ranging from written novels to graphic novels.

As some of you may have remembered in past posts, I've mentioned about the Takanuva's Travels series, an idea which still remains a slow going process that may or may not make it to being an official fan fiction comic book of random events, each chapter an individual "episode".

The simple concept of the comic is the large factor of what ifs which swirl through my head full of possibilities that branch out like a giant tree. Takanuva's Travels is the what if side that spins the ball from canon what ifs of the Bionicle universe, to the broader what ifs of other worlds entirely different from that of the Bionicle universe. 

In canon story we know the olmak was damaged and sent Takanuva to other alternates of the Bionicle world; dark twists of what could have been if something were changed or altered in his universe. In this fan fiction comic idea, Takanuva gets tossed into worlds far away from his mark, experiencing the stranger side of the universe during his quest for Karda Nui. By stranger I mean places not populated with the Bionicle species and rather places that contain evil fairies, the men in black, odd moon people who look Human, and so on.....you get the idea. Granted, I also have the what ifs for the comic which do fall back into the Bionicle universe, just not of the same dimensions.

Lets talk about the covers symbolism. I think this will remain the official cover for the series if I ever make it. I chose a background that matched the theme I was going for of dimensional space travel (credit for background goes to the artist who made it, wish I knew who that was). The swirling vortex came next, used as a portal, and then came the title. You'll notice I have two different versions, the one on the left containing a large pi symbol, and the one on the right not. They both have a certain appeal, but why the pi symbol you might ask?

That question gets into the planning of names. I went through several concept names before settling on one. I went from Adventures of Takanuva, Takanuva's Travels, and Travels of Takanuva. Since I was having difficulty deciding on which name to use, I abbreviated each one to see how they looked and if they spelled out anything. AOT didn't appeal, TT followed, and TOT is what spelled out for the last name. 
Takanuva's Travels appealed most to me, seeing the abbreviation had multiple meanings that fit perfectly. The abbreviation TT looks like a pi symbol, and as it goes pi is an unlimited possibility number. Takanuva's Travels happen to consist of unlimited possibilities which make up his adventures in the thrilling concept. Furthermore, TT can also abbreviate for Time Travel, Teleportation Travel, Takanuva's Troubles, and even Teleportation Trouble. With such a wide variety in a single abbreviation, I held onto the double T and applied the symbol of pi to the cover, Takanuva stepping out of it like a doorway which represents random possibilities just beyond the portal, hence the added text at the bottom which says (Worlds Beyond). The spot seemed bare, so I added those words which excited me for some reason.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Water Generator Room

"Hahli's Entry to the Generator"

Hahli finds that after stepping onto an odd platform she's brought to a room where the platform lowers into a vat of water and suds. What is this place? What's it for? Where does it lead? Questions that could lead to a story of multiple concepts and outcomes. The inspiration history is explained at the bottom of this post.

"Observing the Chamber"

One of my favorite poses for Hahli. Reminds me of Samus first arriving in some alien room.

I experimented with this image. The left version is the first one I tried. The final results above seemed more appealing to me.

I darkened the back wall, and changed Hahli's eye color to blue so it matched her character as it was in the first Bionicle movie.

The blue eyes seem to make her calmer looking, and all at once captivating like in the imaged below.

"Looking Up" (right)

The lights above in the generator room capture Hahli's attention and leave her awe

Amazing how a downward angle with lighting tweaks and tone change can make something seem so captivating.

This photo interests me most out of all the Hahli pics in this collection. Imagine all the things going through her head as she stares at those glowing lights.

Still wondering what she's standing on? Keep reading. :)
My next character of choice was Gali.

 "First Arrival" (left) "Caught by Surprise" (right).
 "What's Down Below?" (left) "The Light Above" (right).

A final image as a joke and pun which slipped in my head because of a photo I saw on DA. Gali
certainly knows how to "sink" in
The inspiration. This idea sprout from a very simple thing, the racks of a dehydrator soaking in a sink full of soapy water. The racks were large enough that they stayed put in the sink and didn't float around. When I saw this and how it was emerged in water, a scifi concept of some kind of platform partially submerged, gave me this strange idea of a generator room powered by liquid. The prototype name for the collection was "Water Dehydration Generator".
With adjustments in PSE like a new background and color change, plus light glow, my dream was expressed. 

Left image above is the full view of that joke image above "Sink" right in.
 Outtakes. These two images of Hahli I decided not to make part of the collection and left them raw.

A final concept that came to mind was that this generator room is somewhere in the lower levels of Marine's kingdom from the Life of Lewa series.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Axal T8

 The Axal T8, a collage piece inspired off the Axalara T9 shown in the corner for reference. I've always loved the ship, so I made something similar using colored pencil, and flier images of random tech put together to make a ship. Year I made it...can't recall. Likely 2012.

It almost makes me feel like the Axal T8 is like a prototype of the real ship, left in the basement for display. A tests of slapping odds and ends together till you have a ship. :P

This is the first Bionicle based collage of this scale that I have in my art collection.

I made a basic image without the reference in the corner (left). Main reason I included the reference is because a lot of viewers have trouble telling it's a ship unless they have the reference next to it.

The background, lens flair, editing, and reference image are digital extras. I felt they helped bring the piece to life, made it have more of that inside the Codrex vibe.

Note, the Axal T8 is almost like a combo of the Axalara T9 and the Rockoh T3.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Glowing Cave Waters

 Keeping the ideas flowing, it has remained a side goal for enjoyment to use old sketches as elements in illustrations. Look closely, can you tell where these characters are from? If you guessed the first Bionicle sketch dump, you're correct. These old pen sketches have been brought to life with color and environment as planned.

This picture could have a number of stories attached to it; from the top of my head I'd say Toa Tarisa and an Agori explorer have come to the cave of glowing waters to discover the unknown mystery of why the water itself has a form of bio-luminescence to it. Being that the two are both water types, it makes sense for them to seek out the element they're in touch with. After a lot of searching they come across one of the main pools, but the question is where the water source is coming from. Tarisa is even more puzzled by why the cave appears to be leaking; water trickles from the ceiling and spreads along the rocks below, all of it making its way back to the pool at some point.

I couldn't quite pin point why the foreground figure seemed so familiar till I realized it resembled Tarisa almost exactly. This sketch may have been a rough test of her form. I liked that, made color choice easier since I have an existing image of Tarisa and her color scheme. 
Both Tarisa and the background figure (no name yet) were separate sketches, but there was something about size and pose which made them work well together. Even on the sketch page I immediately wanted to combine them into a single illustration. 

 I worked with their poses, despite the fact they're on the stiff side, and made a background they could fit into and seem natural in. I asked myself questions, like why Tarisa's hand is outstretched, what is she looking at/holding? Same goes for her Agori friend; I asked myself what they were touching, looking at, why are they bending over and putting their hand out, what are they observing? These questions helped me decide on environment, this environment being a cave setting with an odd glowing water. At first I thought maybe I would have Tarisa holding a glowing orb of water in her hand, and the Agori might be feeling a rock in the background, but as I formed the cave environment, choices changed and I ended up with something that feels more appealing than original ideas (at least to me).

I think the part I enjoyed the most in making this was the background itself. I've been more determined to experiment and test myself on lighting and backgrounds. Digitally it's less challenging, especially with lots of brushes to choose from including rock formations. I enjoyed the process of trying to make a cave environment, water is still challenging, but for a test I think it came out pretty well. It was especially fun adding the water trickles dripping from and onto the rocks.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bionicle sketch dump 2

 Some of you may have remembered my first sketch dump of Bionicle sketches. Seeing I haven't been as motivated to create full fledged illustrations or colored pieces I've started with the basic show case of what's to be worked on in the near future perhaps. 

Each of these sketches ranging from pencil, pen, and digital all have a place in the many ideas swirling through my head, but as I mentioned in the last post for sketches, I hope to just use them as they are in a simple illustration with a bit of color.

As usual, I find a story is told through every sketch, how one interprets the story is solely based on your own imagination. In the top row I have a Toa greeting my character, a Matoran who seems to be  a thief, and an anonymous figure standing on the very end to the right. Then near the middle we have some anonymous figures draw on a whim digitally, among them being several Lewa interpretations. Bottom row I can remember is a fancy Jaller sketch, Pohatu patting Pearl's (my character's) head, and the figure on the right is a sketch that could assume multiple identities as a base structure for one of my MOC's (either Moonbreeze or Kiana).