Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Pilot Hunk

Hunk the Yellow Lion pilot
Hey everybody! This is 9of14 in my Voltron series. His name is Hunk and he pilots the yellow lion who becomes the left leg of Voltron. This painting was difficult for me to post. For starters he isn't a favorite character and he is a fairly dopey character in the cartoon. But he is one of the Voltron pilots and so he has a place here. I tried to make him a more real type of a strong-arm. A guy who likes to eat alot. He always seemed to want to deal with obstacles in a physical way and intellect wasn't a featured attribute with him. Also his lion was hidden in the barren or desert wastes so i figured that landscape would be appropriate. All things considered, using full daylight with no hard shadows is probably what crippled this portrait the most, outside of the fact he is unpopular. Hopefully everyone is still on board to see the rest which I plan on making exciting ^_^
Hunk from the 80's cartoon
Thanks for viewing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coran Royal Advisor

Coran Royal Advisor Painter12
Coran from Television
Hey everybody! So I'm finally going to finish my Voltron series. Its time the good guys are painted and Coran is going to be the first character. It took maybe around 35-40 hours. Hair can be a real killer, but I wanted his hair to have that crazy wave. I used ref for the candle, collar, and face (Tom Selleck). I had to play down the candle so the eye doesn't go to it every time. It's so bright. Also since he isn't a combatant, more of a royal advisor, I thought I should not paint his costume torn up. In the cartoon I remembered Coran and Princess Allura hiding in the castle when it was very dark, so I figured I could paint him in that setting for the story's sake. Anyway, the characters left to paint are Sven, Pidge, Hunk, Lance, Keith, and Allura. Stay tuned...

Even though I'm not posting, I'm still painting almost everyday. Never give up!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Escape Your Pit

Hey everybody! So yeah its been a while. I'm gonna keep this short and sweet because I feel its redundant to repeat whats going on in my mind. If anyone has questions feel free to email me.
This is the finished version from the earlier post of a monster with bat wings that could be used for card art. Well, so I wanted a more benevolent creature having hope instead of a minotaur in chains. Its been done for a while (over a month), but i added some details right before the post. I hope I captured the emotion of fighting for freedom in this painting. Cheers to all who work very hard pursuing their dreams.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Get some action!

See Boba Fett Run

Boba Fett -gunslinger!
Hey everybody! I've been busy trying to learn how to paint better atmospheric perspective. And doing full figures to boot ^_^ Its def refreshing to get back into that subject matter versus portraits. I feel I need to take some time out to make sure I stay well rounded in my art mind. On top of that since I'm now going to do the good guys in Voltron, I wanna make em extra special. I feel doing these paintings will help push em that direction. What I've posted here are Works-In-Progress. I've been practicing composition and color usage too.
Dropping the axe!
So in the first painting here of Boba Fett I really wanted to show dynamic action, but he isn't that sort of guy who jumps like a super hero. So I made him dash like the Alfred E. Neuman character of Mad Magazine. Too goofy. So how can I make Boba Fett different than all the others out there on the web? I dunno. That's why I made him run like crazy ^_^ It wasn't serious enough I suppose so I tried making him stand more like a gun slinger. He always seemed like a crafty desperado to me. After reworking him a bit, I have what you see 2nd.
Now this bottom picture is going more into the direction of atmospheric lighting that I want. The goal in mind for this one is making an image that could go for card art. Something that shows what a play could look like, ie: retaliation, escape, final stand, et cetera. The colors are not final, the cloak prob will compliment some armor that has yet to be placed on him.
So yeah, my painting techniques are pretty much the same except I'm not painting in gray scale so much anymore as a foundation. I try to work in the foundation values in any color and start to add the correct colors as needed. I'm still experimenting with Painter12 and its making me so happy as a digital artist. A real pain at first, but it helped me to grow into a more bold painter. If you have patience, I recommend it highly. Keep painting and drawing. Set your goals, act on them, be patient for opportunity.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Voltron: Ultra Droid

Ultra Droid by Josh Burns -July 2012
Art from the cartoon Voltron
 Hey everybody! So here is the Ultra Droid I just finished. It took about a week in my spare time after my normal work. I'm including the old painting that I started in photoshop below to show again that if you paint differently now, don't waste your time trying to save an old painting. Just move on. I've been focusing so much on using dynamic lighting and textures that I have no choice but to start fresh. Originally I thought I would reinvent the style of the Droid, but in this new painting I really didn't need to. The cartoon droid in my opinion still holds good design for a generic soldier. I did have to slightly redesign the gun into a rifle because i wanted 2 hands holding the gun. If the droid were inside of a structure of some kind, I may have let it wield a pistol (for close quarter combat). Because these soldiers are so dark in color and because these Voltron paintings are portraits, I wanted to make the face and such as if it were straight from the forge and put into the battlefield. I wanted it to have a Terminator feel. It is fearless and keeps coming until the enemy is neutralized. I also wanted to keep the spooky and demonic visage since it is a villain droid. And this is the last of the villain portraits in the Voltron series. I know there are more such as Karp and the robeasts, but its time to do the good guys. I'm not sure which one I'll start with so unless I hear otherwise, I'm gonna paint according to my whims. Thanks everyone so far for keeping up with my posts here and I hope you are enjoying what I'm doing. If you have any questions with what I'm doing so far or want to leave a comment, I'll do what I can to respond. So of course, keep painting! Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop! ^_^ Cheers!
Ultra Droid WIP -December 2011

Friday, July 6, 2012

Queen Merla likes Purdy Birds

Step-By-Step of Queen Merla
Hey everybody! So today I'm posting a Step-by-step painting I finished of Queen Merla in the Voltron series. This is kind of a milestone for myself as an artist. I never have posted any process that I can remember, but I'm growing as an artist. Its time to share since I have learned from others in this way. I hope it is beneficial to those who take time to absorb what changes go on from frame to frame and read my thoughts on each. Here goes...
I had intially started Queen Merla in another pose (and in Photoshop), and I was really detailing more than I should have in just Gray values. I have learned to paint another way which is better for how my brain processes hues and values. So I started a new. No photoshop this time around, only Painter12,
1- With my refs (pictures of various vultures, skies, different face angles of a Brazilian model, etc.), I very quickly painted in a base of what I was seeing in my head, and using 'colorize' splashed some color over it so I had something to work with. It doesn't matter necessarily how accurate it is in the beginning because what is important is having something at all.
2- The head was out of perspective and shaped wrong so I fixed that.
3- I began to pay attention to features and how the expressions were. I turned the bird's head to see the viewer better and tried to give Merla a sense of intention of some kind, instead of a sleepy look. Its important to establish in the beginning what the characters are feeling so that the rest of them is in accord. I have always been frustrated when I have a hand or arm with no place to go. Neutral faces are worse.
4- Time to pay attention to the coloring so the lighting is correct over all. I tighten the details a bit more.
5- Still rendering details such as on the bird. Backgrounds should actually be planned at the beginning in the 1st frame, but I had an idea to place more clouds and have lighting streaking down for a more epic feeling. Something wasn't right about it so I left it alone and kept going.
6- I decided instead of an alien vulture head, I would just make it a snake head. Its quite similar in design to the cartoon but its a snake. I liked where it was going so I pushed it. Also I added a bit of important details like Merla's pupils and shiny spots to her lips and nose. Hair braid and such.
7- A new day and fresh eyes helps in seeing what isn't right in the painting. Normally flipping a painting horizontally will jump things out that are wrong, but sometimes it doesn't do the trick. Anyway the lighting on the snake head was too bright. It didn't make me believe it was close to Merla's face so I added a midtone to the neck being careful to not stop the moon's light from wrapping over the crest. So.. it still looked plain to me.
8- Time to paint proper hues. I looked up a few snake heads and referenced them for color. I added the oranges and other colors which made me feel better. I also had been trying to decide how i wanted Merla's headband to appear. Black metal? Chrome? I decided to do the polished steel look. I added a bit more detail to her facial features. Oh yeah, the sky wasn't right for a villain queen. Green seemed to be okay to try, and I decided the lightning was trash. It only makes sense to have more vultures so I painted them in instead.
9- I adjusted the shadows on Merla's face and neck and ears, softening and correcting so it makes more sense. I began painting the lighting on the armbands and neck collar to look more like steel that was beaten, getting it ready for details. The sky was so generic, so i screened back my green colorize layer for the sky to 60% and saw the red underneath. It was working.
10- Now is when I have a little more fun. I get to add scratches, dings, stray hairs, tears in fabrics, creases and such. I also add subtle colors to Merla's face and eyeshadow. The bird is bothering me now that Merla is finally coming together.
FINAL- I figure instead of repeating the final image with the Voltron logo I would just finish it here. So I did a little more painting on the birds feathers to make it feel more like bird anatomy. The neck didn't make sense to me as I looked at more vultures. I had to place the bib further back so the neck looked more accurate and I added stray hairs I noticed most other vultures had. Merla's own hair seemed too flat so I added some height to it. I textured the metal a bit more along with the rest of the painting. Since Merla is something of a lizard race, I had to invent how her skin would be textured. I felt happy enough with it. I also added eyelashes lastly. I always end up doing those last cause I keep painting over em ^_^ The sky was looking a bit dull so pushed the yellow to give it more energy and added more magentas and purples where it pleased me. Once I looked over the whole thing one last time I add the Voltron logo and place my email so anyone can get ahold of me if they want to.
Queen Merla by Josh Burns
Queen Merla of cartoon Voltron
That's about it! Mostly afternoon work and 1 solid Saturday, its my side project ^_^ (I make the time after my normal work). Of course it doesn't show every little bit of my process, but each artist should invent a way to paint for how their brain works. I like to paint as if a Polaroid instant picture is developing and coming into view. A technique taught to me by John Hrehov, a teacher and friend I had at school. Learning never stops and I am already in the process of painting the Ultra Droid. Hopefully its a bang!

Never stop painting! Go the distance to try things that seem impossible. It may take years, but it's what we like to do anyway. Why not fall short of impossible instead of achieving mundane? Do it! Cheers!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

King Zarkon

King Zarkon finished in Painter12
King Zarkon from Television
Hey everybody! I hope everyone who is keeping track of my progress through the Voltron series is still watching ^_^ Yeah far from done. I have never done a whole bunch of similar styled paintings before like this, so its a little bumpy right now. After having done some of these, and having grown more as an artist, I realize I made more work for myself at this point. What I mean is I should've waited to start each one once I am ready for it, or just do studies for the relative characters. Well, with this painting for instance I had to either start over or save my intial work. I really didn't like how I rendered the gray scale image shown below. I'm pretty sure Zarkon was the first one I started to do realistically. And he sat for months as I've been painting other things. I'm inclined to believe I should've just started fresh since I'm learning to paint differently. Here I am trying to save an old half finished painting, actually losing more time in the end. I really do like how this Zarkon turned out, but I regret the amount of time I spent. I could have had 2 new paintings done in the same time if I started from scratch. So yeah, my advice is try not to save an old painting if its not how you paint anymore. Cheers! Keep painting no matter how little time you have. NO excuses.
King Zarkon started in PhotoshopCS2

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

World of Warcraft Troll Hunter

World of Warcraft Troll Hunter
Hey everybody! So I mentioned I would be attempting to paint more painterly. I tried, and it is hard to loosen up, but I'm trying! ^_^ I was looking into purchasing new software for my art, and I did purchase Painter12. The learning curve on that app is steep. I did stick with it (frustrating) and so far I think it is helping to bring my paintings to where I want them. I do have to encourage anybody who has bought Painter12 to just stick with it and keep trying to use the most comfortable brush in the libraries. I found 'soft charcoal' to be my best bud in learning and I am now ready to try others I didn't want to try earlier. Btw, this troll is done entirely in Painter12 using mostly the soft charcoal. I've been changing how I paint as well, and I may post some step-by-step processes of this monster later.
Of course I did the values in black/white first, then did some colors on top in a Corel mode called 'colorize'. Leaving the colors on, I went back to the layers underneath and kept painting more in black/white. Every so often, I would leave the colors off so I could paint much faster using the eye-dropper tool, zoom out and adjust how it looked from far away, zoom in and tweak details, back out and so on and so on.
I have to add that I did this character to get the attention of Blizzard Entertainment. And I'm glad I did for another reason. Their designs have much attitude and really push how exciting characters can look. I may do another one if I have time, but I'm very anxious to get back to my Voltron series. We'll see though...

Remember we are learning together, pushing through frustration, and developing problem solving skills. Make time for your art and cherish the time you have to do it.
Until later, Cheers!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Orc Cook

Orc Cook
Hey everybody! I know I don't really do monsters as of late, but I've been a fan of D&D since I was 9 years old (25 years ^_^), and my friend Caanan White told me about an art test they are promoting right now. Of course I went to work and submitted to them this piece. I like painting the more off-beat things like a cook versus a shaman, but I could do both. I just like doing what is different, or what isn't commonly seen. It helps to stand you out of a crowd I think.
So anyway using photoshopCS2, I started again in gray values and added some color to see where it was going value-wise (which I think works best) and then made the changes until it seemed to be in a 3D space. I continued to play with colors until I thought it was balanced and led the eye around well. Of course I went in and added bits of detail last to help it pop.
If I could change anything it would be the fire place. I see the fire and lighting isn't as accurate as it should be, and let me tell you to practice painting fire around coals, wood, rocks, etc. I know I need more practice. It is difficult to make it believable.

I hope you all enjoy, Cheers!

Also, here's a link to Caanan's mighty pencils and paintings too!

Keep painting as much as the day allows!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Castlevania -Symphony of the Night

Richter Belmont
Hey everybody! I did a painting of Castlevania's Symphony of the Night for a friend Marek Wittner, aka Excelsior EX, who is working for Konami composing music. The layout was pretty much already decided by Marek, so I mocked up a painting using Photoshop through his verbal direction, actually IM via FaceBook. He was very happy with what I wanted to do and I started finishing the paints. I did it all in shades of gray first like usual and then added color using a 'color' mode layer. Of course that way can be tricky, so I created another layer under the color and began adding more shades of gray darkening and lightening as needed. The moon had to have a specific look for me so I added a Hard Mix layer over it to get that harvest moon spookiness. Once done I tweeked the details and added an overall color filter to create a limited color palette feel. I'm very happy with it. I definitely feel as though my paints are loosening up and are becoming more confident. Enjoy and Cheers!
Btw, I just bought Corel's Painter 12 which should help me push my painterly direction I'm trying to pursue.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Prince Lotor -pushing boundaries..

Prince Lotor
Hey everybody! Sorry for the hiatus! I have been very busy organizing angles of my life, so in turn thinking of ways to be more efficient with my time. Well, any way, cutting back on sleep isn't working and I'm glad I'm not sick from it. I may be painting differently to target what is really important in a painting, and learning to accept more unfinished strokes that I leave in the final product. I always love seeing other artists do this, but I have a hard time following the example... each new painting I push my comfort level and move forward. There is only so much time to paint, only so many paintings I can do in my life, so I do not want to invest time over-working an already 'finished' painting. I hope you all enjoy where my art is going. Here is Prince Lotor, another villian from the Voltron universe which I think is one of the more popular characters. Cheers!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Commander Mogor

Commander Mogor
Hey everybody! This character is finally done! He is Commander Mogor who replaces Yurak in the Voltron cartoon if you care to know... This post was long waiting because I had not yet finished its values in black and white. I also had to make him look more real to match the other characters. I basically had to repaint the whole picture and I am happy with how it turned out. But I wish I had placed the core shadow across his face somehow rather than the side of his head because the dynamic lighting doesn't seem strong enough. Maybe the next painting will have a contrasting light source from behind the character for rim lighting which shows texture. I dunno, wait and see. I did however focus on atmospheric depth again which I feel helps a lot. Cheers!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moving on to the next painting helps...

Commander Yurak

Haggar the Witch
Hey everybody! I know earlier I had posted a character named Yurak which was a bit unpolished and I decided to do some quick fixes, and I had even mentioned that 'haste made waste', but in all honesty I was still being hasty. After I had posted the so called 'fixed' art I had a sinking feeling that I had goofed again, but I didnt really know what else to do at that time. I know I want to do freelance art for Blizzard Entertainment so I thought I would punch color and add some heavy glows. I'm not saying that epitomizes their art, but I want my art to appeal to their art directors. Yurak still wasn't right. Well, I moved on to finish another character named Haggar who is a witch in the Voltron universe. In working on her, and just looking back on Yurak I began to see differences in the lighting and color usage. Also how I painted atmosphere. Well I think its definitely better. The new piece of Haggar seems pretty good to me too. I hope you all enjoy how things are coming along and being patient with the frequency of my posts. I could paint more in the day without a day job eating 40+ hours a week, but the bills have to be paid. Life is good though so I'm not complaining, I just wish I could paint more instead. Cheers!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Commander Yurak Edited

Commander Yurak
Hey everybody! Haste made waste. I didn't wait a day to 'proof read' my work and evaluate where it was weak. This is an edited version of my previous Commander Yurak posted 3 days ago. It is a bit more polished, I punched the color, and added some extra details. I also added my email, and the Volltron logo so people know what franchise this guy belongs to. I hope everyone appreciates the differences that can make all the difference.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Commander Yurak

Commander Yurak
Hey everybody! So here is the first of my Voltron characters
finished! This is Commander Yurak, general of Zarkon's Doom Fleet. This was the very first one I sketched after I decided to do this Voltron series. I had been working on getting the face right and thinking ahead of how he would be real. He is older so I thought about age spots and gray hair, instead of purple like his skin. Also I added details to help explain him like the scar across his lost eye. Since he is in a spaceship cockpit I have dust floating in the air to create atmosphere. Once I thought I was ready to add color, I realized his light sabre was wrong. That was repainted to be accurate. So I created a 'color' layer in Photoshop and began painting a 30% opacity of colors where I wanted them and would do a Gaussian blur as needed to blend the colors. I did a total of 3 color layers: one for color itself, another for Rim lighting, and lastly for bounced lighting. After I was happy with all that I added the very little things that make a painting better like random hairs on his head where Rim lighting would light em up. He is 1of14 so stick around. 


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Haggar the witch WIP

Haggar the witch
Hey everybody! So far I have been trying to push realism, but with Haggar the witch from Voltron, it just did not seem to work well so here is how it is now. I'm happy. It's creepy just like I wanted too. Its pretty much ready for color at this point. I know there are minor details to work out like missing whiskers, but this is still a Work-In-Progress. Cheers!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Creative Reference

Pidge_Pilot of the Green Lion_Voltron
Hey everybody! So here I have an example of an unexpected reference I needed to use to achieve the particular look for this character. This character is an adult, and because he looks like a boy, but dresses like 'Howdy-Doody' I figured I could use a picture of Punky Brewster I came upon. He sort of looks gender neutral too so it worked. At first I kept looking for ref's but this just seemed to be what worked best. Sometimes you can use the unexpected reference when nothing is working. I left his glasses out for this post... you'll see the finished product later. Cheers!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Using Reference 2

Royal Advisor Coran
Hey everybody! Here is another Work-In-Progress portrait I'm working on for Voltron. This character is Coran. I always remembered his mustache of all things so I really was looking for a good source. Tom Selleck. Of course I had to change a few things, but I like how its going! Cheers!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Use References

Ana Beatriz Barros
Hey everybody! I thought I would post a painting I did of Ana Beatriz Barros. I wanted to find a model who had big eyes and a young face, so I could study light and form, and better paint Princess Allura for my Voltron series. Hopefully I can create a good likeless in the end. Enjoy and Cheers!