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Freak Show – Chayne

14th Feb 2017 0

Chayne is the only pure human among the main characters of Freak Show.
He is an activist who fights for trans-humans’ rights, so for a time I had considered making him like some stereotipical, cartoony “I go to all the protests and I don’t eat food which had a face” kind of person.
Then I decided against it.

This is the first page I made, a while ago.

Freak Show - Chayne Character Sheet#1

I had no strong feelings towards any of them, so John picked up the youngest one.
I think his genuine look is fitting for an idealist, and I’m quite happy with the veil of innocence and ingenuity in his face.

Once we agreed on a general look, I made some full figure studies.
His clothes are consistent with the look I devised for the generic population, with the only difference that Chayne wouldn’t wear any head gear.

In purists worlds people would normally cover their head as a sign of modesty, and as a rebel I figure Chayne would not want to conform to that idea.

Also, I have to confess that I didn’t fancy one of the main characters to be wearing a hat that would make him look like the modern equivalent of a medieval farmer.
Anyway, here are some studies for Chayne.

Freak Show - Chayne Character Sheet#2

We picked the first from the left, but don’t mind his face.
I made a few more experiments on this round of sketches, but his official look is still that of the young guy from page one.

Now I’m *this close* (makes gesture with thumb and index drawing close) to starting with the panels.
I just need to finalize a secondary character and some security guards, then I’m ready to go.

So you’ll be seeing a few more concepts over the next days.

by Paolo Puggioni

Freak Show – Thrannak #2

2nd Feb 2017 0

Here some more concepts for Thrannak, another one of the main characters in Freak Show.

Thrannak is a trans-human, and as opposed to Zaquida, she comes from a trans-humanist planet.
I haven’t designed anything of the visual style of the trans-human society yet, but I know that, where Purists are severe, modest and sober, trans-humans would make a point of affirming their own individuality, so I’d expect a more eclectic visual language.

For the Purusts I used mostly straight lines, sharp angles and dark and desaturated colours, so it makes sense that, by contrast, trans-humans’ aesthetic will be more organic and based on elegant curves.

We won’t show trans-humans environments until later on in the story, so I think this is enough for now.

Freak Show - Thrannak Concepts Sheet#2

As far as Thrannak goes, some elements of her home world is already hinted at in her outlook.
First of all, she is obviously a “modified human”. The scars (or seams) on her body serve as some sort of “war paint”, as well as having the function of hiding all the gear implanted under her skin.

Contrarily to Purists, who seldom indulge in frivolities, she is wearing piercings and an extravagant hairdo.
Also, well, her skin is green.

I meant her to have a very masculine build, and I think that is already working.
I did take some male body builders as a reference, and changed a bit hip size, lats and neck.

In the first version she also had some marks on her face, but John rightly pointed out that it could be confusing when next to Zaquida, so I removed them in this iteration.

With this I’m getting close to having enough material to start working on the panels.
Some of it is already done, just waiting to be posted here.

Just some polishing on a space ship, a couple of characters and we’re good to go.

by Paolo Puggioni

Freaskhow – Zaquida

31st Jan 2017 0

I’m at the end of the concept stage for Freak Show, and I’m wrapping up the designs for some of the main characters.

Zaquida was the first one I made, so last week I went back to that first concepts page and applied the changes John and I had discussed aloing the way.
To be honest we were already quite happy with her face, but I hadn’t designed any of the clothes or thought of her overall look.

Despite her being a transh-human, Zaquida comes from a Purist planet, so before I could even think of her design, I had to figure out more things about the general aesthetic of Purists in general.

Purist society is harsh and authoritarian, and as you can see in the previous concepts, it imposes modesty and sobriety.

I figured Zaquida’s look should be consistent with those principles, but with some “twists” in her attire to account for her rebellious spirit.

For example, if Purists would always cover their necks and heads as a sign of modesty, Zaquida would stubbornly refuse to wear any headgear.
Where revealing any skin would be considered inappropriate, Zaquida would discreetely do so as a sign of defiance.
She would also wear some piercings, where those kinds of accessories would be considered too frivolous in her environment.

Freakshow - Zaquida

Basically I meant her to look extravagant and rebellious enough to her peers – as a consequence of her being a natural “free spirit” and somehow on the fringes of society – without going as far as making her look like their equivalent of a Punk.
Nothing too much in-your-face, so to speak.

For this reason I kept the rest of her clothing quite standard when compared to the local fashion: ample clothes to hide the shapes of one’s body, asymmetric tops, arm sleeve to carry wearable devices and so on.

I think I’ll pick the one with the yellow coat.
Its colour would be a further sign of her individuality (purists in Freak Show would mostly wear dark and colourless clothes), and also serve as a cheap device to make her stand out in the panels.

So there you go, Zaquida’s official look.

Next drawings about her will be style studies, that is, how she will actually be in the comic.
I have to confess I’ve been dreading that bit for a while, but it will be another couple of weeks until I start with that.

by Paolo Puggioni

Freak Show Generic Characters

24th Jan 2017 0

After the first batch of sketches for Freak Show, I am now moving on to the main characters.
It’s not like everything is set in stone, but I thought that now that I have a general idea of how most things would look like in the first panels, I could start focusing on better defined character pages.

I meant to work on Zaquida first, then I realized that, as she comes from a Purist world, her look should at least partially reflect the kind of aesthetics you’d find in that environment.
Which is why it made sense to explore further the kind of clothes that people from Purists worlds would wear, before I committed to the design of a main character.

In video games you would call these NPCs.

Freak Show Generic Characters Concepts

There are a few features I deemed fundamental in these designs, and which will be a common trait of all Purists in Freak Show.

The first one is that I’d like their attire to be conservative: as little revealing as possible, modest, no embellishments.
Most characters would wear some sort of head gear as a form of modesty. Purist society is supposed to be authoritarian, so their outlook should reflect that.

I thought they would also wear ample, baggy clothes to hide the shape of their bodies, as you’d espect in a society that doesn’t encourage frivolities.
At the same time I tried to use straight lines and sharp angles, to emphasise the “aggressive” nature of the society.
I’m not sure I got there yet, so I might have to make more work on this.
Along the way I accidentally came up with that sort of over-trousers you see in the two people from the right, and I decided I’m happy with those. So I think I’ll stick with them, maybe with some youngsters with slightly more liberal ideas in terms of fashion.

As you might have noticed they’re all carrying some sort of touch screen, which is a feature of their technology you’ll see later in the actual panels.
The design of the clothes and their asymmetry accounts for that.

This first detailed page wraps up a bunch of early sketches I had made a while ago, in which I outlined the main guidelines of Purists aesthetics.

Freak Show - Generic Characters 1

Freak Show - Generic Characters 2

So, next I might be working on the first main characters, or go on on these generic concepts, I haven’t decided yet.

P

Krita Cloud Brushes – Part II

18th Jan 2017 1

This is Part II of my Cloud Brushes Set for Krita.
It’s not like I use this particular set that much (there are so many instances where you actually need to paint clouds), but I haven’t seen cloud brush sets around often, so I chose to start with these.

You can download part I of the set here. When I’ll have enough stuff shared to justify a new section on the website I’ll put them all together in the same page.

As I already said, there are a few small things to point out:

– I like my popup palette in Krita to have 12 brush icons (it’s just a matter of preference), so my sets will always be made of 12 brushes. When the brushes exceed this number, I’ll split them into multiple sets (like Clouds I, Clouds II, etc).

Krita Cloud Brushes

– for the cloud brushes in particular I had started doing some research in metheorology so that I could name each brush the proper way (cirrocumulus, altostratus, etc). Then I stopped because I’m not mental:)

– I believe there’a a bug in the way bundles are packed in Krita (which I’m about to report), so the safe – albeit a bit less straightforward – way for me to share these brushes is still “the old way”.
Instructions are below.
I would recommend watching the short video below before you download, it will show how the brushes are used and what they look like.

Download

Cloud Brushes part II
 

Installation

The zip contains two folders: “brushes” and “paintoppresets”. You have to move the content of these folders into the similarly named folders, brushes and paintoppresets, in your Krita resources directory, as follows:

  • Linux

Unzip downloaded file into $HOME/.local/share/krita/ (merge if prompted)

  • Windows

Unzip downloaded file into C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\krita (merge if prompted)

  • OSX

Unzip downloaded file ~/Library/Application Support/Krita/ (merge if prompted)

Krita Cloud Brushes I Usage and Previews

The thumbnail on the left is the icon of the brush as you’ll find it in your pop up palette, the strip on the right offers a preview of the brush stroke.
All previews have been painted with a single brush stroke, just varying the pressure.

puggioni-clouds13

puggioni-clouds14

Krita Cloud Brush 14

puggioni-clouds15

Krita Cloud Brush 15

puggioni-clouds16

Krita Cloud Brush 16

puggioni-clouds17

Krita Cloud Brush 17

puggioni-clouds18

Krita Cloud Brush 18

puggioni-clouds19

Krita Cloud Brush 19

puggioni-clouds20

Krita Cloud Brush 20

puggioni-clouds21

Krita Cloud Brush 21

puggioni-clouds22

Krita Cloud Brush 22

puggioni-clouds23

Krita Cloud Brush 23

puggioni-clouds24

Krita Cloud Brush 24

Licence:

All brushes are released under Creative Commons 4.0, CC BY-SA to Paolo Puggioni, www.paolopuggioni.com

This license lets you remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as you credit the creator and license your new creations under the identical terms.

by Paolo Puggioni

Freakshow – Thrannak Concepts

17th Jan 2017 0

Second main characters of our comic Freak Show, Thrannak will be the one to take care of things when the situation requires physical strenght.

As opposed to Zaquida, Thrannak comes from one of the Transhumanist worlds, and all her augmentations have been designed to make her more effective in combat.

Freak Show - Thrannak Character Sheet 1

As you can see, all her augmentations are installed under her skin, and are developed when needed.
Initially I had thought the seams should be as inconspicuous as possible when the weapons are hidden.
Then we decided she would look thougher with lines running on her body in intricate patterns, like a Maori warrior or something like that, so I’ll make another version to see how she looks like.

John and I haven’t really decided yet if the communication devices implanted in Thrannak’s skull should be more or less visible.
In the concept I made them hidden under her scalp, whereas John would like them to bulge a bit more.

I’ll have to look into that too, although I have to confess that at least in “rest mode” I’d be happier for them to look more like scars.

I have to point out that these concepts are just meant to be a study of how Thrannak would look like in general, all the clothes she is wearing right now are just to avoid drawing her naked:)

I’m going to make a set of concepts to design the clothes she’ll be waering when fighting in the Freak Show, and then more sets with maybe a combat suit, generic overalls and so on.

I really dislike the “super hero costume” kind of idea, so I’d like to change her attire as often as possible as the comic develops, and instead use other elements to make her more iconic and recognizable.

Next bunch of Freak Show concepts coming up soon.

by Paolo Puggioni

Freak Show, a New Comic

12th Jan 2017 2

I am very, very happy to announce that John Ayliff and I have started working on Freak Show, our very own comic.

John is the author of Belt Three, published by Harper Collins.

Before he became a full time writer, John and I used to work together at Jagex, where I was Lead Concept Artist and he was Senior Game Developer, one of the guys who wrote the storylines of our Runescape quests.
His story lines were always a pleasure to read. Deep, unpredictable, imaginative, exciting.
Every time I was told I was to start working on one of his Runescape quests I thought “oh, this is going to be good”, and I was never wrong.
My respect for his work is what prompted me to get in touch with him a few months ago to propose a collaboration on a comic.

I always wanted to try my hand at working on something as challenging as a comic book, but for one reason or another I never thought I was ready for it.
For an artist, it’s like the end-of-level boss, the Emperor Palpatine of our craft.
It requires complete mastery of perspective, composition, visual storytelling, anatomy, character design, plus a dozen other things I can’t even think of right now.
At the same time it’s a huge endeavour, it requires planning and perseverance.

A few months ago – I can’t remember what triggered the thought – it suddenly dawned on me:
“Hey, maybe now I can sort of do that”.
“Oh, and that”.
“Ah I can also handle that bit if I try hard enough!”

So, although I still had some doubts about my ability to do everything to professional standards (I’m not a professional comic artist yet!), I got in touch with a professional writer – John – who was happily willing to work on this together.

After a few months of email exchanges we came up with a plan, a name and a synopsis.
I obviously can’t share too many details about Freak Show yet, mostly because it’s still in its early stages and many things might still change.

Freak Show is set a few centuries in the future, where a social struggle is ongoing between “altered” humans (called Transhumans, those who enhanced their body through technological or genetic means) and “pure humans”.

On some of the planets Pure humans are predominant, so Transhumans are regarded as Freaks, held captive, and displayed in road shows, even forced to fight against each other.

The story focuses on a small group of characters, and how their story develops within one of these freak shows.

The concept below is the first design I made for one of the main characters.

Freak Show - Zaquida Character Sheet 1

Her name is Zaquida, and her particular augmentation allows her to interface with computers of any kind and gain control over them.
I explored different ages, and eventually we went for the third from the left, the 20-year-old.
My favourite was the 14-year-old, but the story needed a slightly older character.

For the next couple of months I’ll be concepting every bit I need for the first few pages of the comic: generic characters, spaceships, props, main characters, buildings and so on.
So you’ll see more of this in the near future.

by Paolo Puggioni

Krita Cloud Brushes I

10th Jan 2017 4

I’ve been trying to post some of my Krita brush sets for quite some time now.
Due to lack of time or other reasons I never got the chance to do it until now, so there you go.

It does take some time for me to put everything together in a way that’s usable for other people, so I’ll release all sets one by one when I can.
At the end I’ll probably create a “Downloads” section on this website so that they’ll all be easily available in the same place.

A few small things to point out:

– I like my popup palette in Krita to have 12 brush icons (it’s just a matter of preference), so my sets will always be made of 12 brushes. When the brushes exceed this number, I’ll split them into multiple sets (like Clouds I, Clouds II, etc).

Krita Cloud Brushes

– for the cloud brushes in particular I had started doing some research in metheorology so that I could name each brush the proper way (cirrocumulus, altostratus, etc). Then I stopped because I’m not mental:)

– I believe there’a a bug in the way bundles are packed in Krita (which I’m about to report), so the safe – albeit a bit less straightforward – way for me to share these brushes is still “the old way”.
Instructions are below.
I would recommend watching the short video below before you download, it will show how the brushes are used and what they look like.

Download

Cloud Brushes I

Installation

  • Linux

Unzip downloaded file into $HOME/.local/share/krita/ (merge if prompted)

  • Windows

Unzip downloaded file into C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\krita

  • OSX

Unzip content of zip file ~/Library/Application Support/Krita/

Krita Cloud Brushes I Usage and Previews

puggioni-clouds01
Krita Cloud Brush

puggioni-clouds02
Krita Cloud Brush

puggioni-clouds03
puggioni krita cloud brush

puggioni-clouds04
Krita Cloud Brushes

puggioni-clouds05
Krita Cloud Brushes

puggioni-clouds06
Krita cloud brush

puggioni-clouds07

puggioni-clouds08
Krita Cloud Brush

puggioni-clouds09
Krita Clouds Brush

puggioni-clouds10
Krita Clouds Brush

puggioni-clouds11
Krita Cloud Brush

puggioni-clouds12
Krita Cloud Brush

Licence:

All brushes are released under Creative Commons 4.0, CC BY-SA to Paolo Puggioni, www.paolopuggioni.com

This license lets you remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as you credit the creator and license your new creations under the identical terms.

by Paolo Puggioni

Game of Thrones – Time of Plenty

8th Dec 2016 0

Time of Plenty is the second illustration I made for Game of Thrones’ Lions of Casterly Rock.
If you want to have a look at the first one I posted, it’s right here.

The brief read: In a blood orange grove in Dorne, a pair of Dornish peasants (one male, one female) pick oranges from the trees. Each of the peasants carries a large basket full of oranges, and the trees in the grove are bursting with fruit.

So this is what I came up with:

Game of Thrones - Time of Plenty

I remember that when I read Game of Thrones, Dorne left me with images of Andalucia, or Southern Italy, maybe Sicily.
So that’s pretty much where I got my reference from.

I meant to add some Dornish city in the distance (as you can see from the sketch), but in the end it looked too cluttered so I decided against it.

Game of Thrones - Times of Plenty Sketch

Again, this was one of the first actual drawing I made with Krita, so I did struggle a bit to get the foliage right.
In fact, I had to make a whole new set of brushes specifically for this drawing.
As soon as I have some time I’ll make them all available for download, likely next week.

by Paolo Puggioni

Golden Tooth

1st Dec 2016 0

Golden Tooth is the first illustration I made for Lions of Casterly Rock, the latest Game of Thrones game expansion by Fantasy Flight Games.

As I said in my previous post, the card is featured together with Lannisport Treasury on the product page, which, random an event as it may be, is still a small satisfaction:)

As it always happens, the expansion has seen its release quite a long time after the art had been produced for it, as – if I remember correctly – I worked on it almost exactly a year ago.
This was also the very first professional illustration I made with Krita, and I have to admit I was quite nervous about it.

Most of the workflow with Krita is no different to that of many other drawing programs, but still, most of one’s productivity relies on muscle memory, and using new tools and brushes when you are on a deadline tends to make you feel dizzy.
The fact that everything went smooth is what eventually convinced me to stick with Linux in general, and Krita in particular.

What really made me think “ok I’m sold”, however, was the natural feel of the sketch brushes.
The one I used for Golden Tooth has evolved a bit since this sketch was made.
Still, the feeling was already pretty close to that of an actual 5B pencil.

Golden Tooth Sketch

The real struggle started with the rendering.
Getting things to a state I was happy with did take some learning.

Golden Tooth

My usual procedure would normally imply dropping colours on the canvas very loosely, then using a series of mixing brushes to blend them together and drawing finer details in when needed, close to what you would do with wet-on-wet with oils or acrylics.
The mixing brushes that ship with Krita weren’t quite exactly what I needed, so I did spend some time to create my own.
You can see some of the blending brushwork in these spot.

Blending brushes detail

Another hurdle was making custom brushes for the grass on the hills and the stones of the castle walls.
Still, somehow I managed.

Grass and texture brushes detail

These were admittedly a bit primitive, the ones I’m using now are a lot better, I’ll share them when I can.
Apparently there’s a bug in Krita that prevents bundles from including brush tips, so I have to look into that before I can share my own.

I’ll post the other cards I made for Lions of Casterly Rock next time.

by Paolo Puggioni