Long Time, No See

Yo it’s been a bit. I’ve been busy working on school stuff and while I have been posting things, I seem to have neglected this blog. Let me catch you up (if you still follow me, that is).

First and foremost, I changed my logo recently after feedback that it looked “straight out of the ’70s” and “I wonder if this business card is current or if it’s ancient and I should toss it”.


I also redesigned my Sachtberg characters, as I am working on redoing an animated storyboard (animatic) for a potential short film.


I experimented with a new painting process which involves using a “Digital Maquette”. I use Blender Cycles to make a 3D render of the subject with lighting and materials. I then use this as reference for painting. It’s the same as making a maquette (miniature posed sculpture) out of clay. The results are good, but rendering the maquette takes almost as long to do as it takes to paint the final picture.


Here is a sample of one of my render trials for a painting. I used spheres to gauge the lighting from all directions as well.


Both of these paintings were completed using digital maquettes for perspective, lighting, and material reference. Yes I know it’s obnoxious that I continue to paint these characters but whatever. Read on to find out my thoughts on this subject.

I have made the decision to focus my character design work on creatures, animals, and humanoid animals. Personally I feel more interest in designing such characters as I believe humans are “boring”. Not to say I won’t design human characters any more, but they won’t be my “preferred area of work”. Humans are still artistically “beautiful”, and the human figure is a wonder of nature. However, I find it more entertaining to apply these human characteristics to something non-human, and to invent new species through all kinds of “Genetic combinations” and biological research and what not. My drive as an artist is to create a new world. I apply algorithms and research and extensive effort into new cultures, new histories, new ways of life. Perhaps a mockery of this world, or a reflection of what could be possible out there in the mess of universes. It may be my personal opinion, but I find animal characters fundamentally more interesting to look at- especially if human qualities are cleverly applied. In addition to creating sentient animal-people characters, I also think Artificial Intelligence a fascinating subject rich with designs to explore.

An interesting perspective to the question, “What is it to be human?”

FROM GREATNESS TO DUST update: My comic isn’t over, I’m just pulling back and reconsidering my approach to delivering the content. The comic page format looks nice, but it takes a long time to produce. The rule of comics is “show, don’t tell”, and I find this rule disappointing because it makes describing things deeply a challenge. I am aiming for a more “mixed media” approach- including comic formats, novel-like text with illustrations, and even animations. Keep your eyes out for the next release.


Comic: Part 2, Page 1 released


After delays with the holidays and getting my drawing tablet working, I’ve decided to post what I have finished of part 2 so far. Check it out at http://greatness-to-dust.tumblr.com/post/107403052062

It appears the process of going from rough sketch to inked/painted page takes quite longer than I had expected. This page took me a combined total of about 12 hours. I’m hoping it’s just because I haven’t developed a rhythm yet.

From Greatness to Dust and Back Again: Chapter 1 (introduction)


I just completed the first issue of my comic series, “From Greatness to Dust and Back Again”.

Check it out on tumblr!

Summary: “What is it to be human?” A science-fiction and philosophical exploration into what constitutes as a sentient being. Life, love, death, terror, and everything in between. Follow a young Lisovyek man named Aleks as he finds his place in the world- an alternate universe populated by species of genetically modified animals.

Keep an eye out for the next issue in a few weeks. If you like it, be sure to follow the blog so you’ll never miss an update.



(a final draft board for one of the pages in my first issue)

Since this is my artist dev blog, I’d like to explain a little behind my process. After putting together my plot outline for the entire series, I started by fleshing out each issue with more elaborate detail. For this issue in particular, I started with the text, “What is it to be human? … ” and then sketched out rough ideas for each board. I then consulted my friend who is much more familiar with comic panels and composition with help on how to refine each board’s layout. I moved to the final “draft” pass, and then a completed paintover. The entire process ranges from a week to two weeks for a single issue.

Final Render of Marija K.


I spent way too long on this because of a few reasons: I was figuring out how to use Cycles shaders better, I was limited to slow computers with bad render time, and I had to learn a lot about fur systems in 3D. At least I’m done with it now.

Rendered with Blender’s Cycles engine and cleaned up in Photoshop.

Sketchbook: Week 1

9_24_14_sketchbook1 9_24_14_sketchbook2 9_24_14_sketchbook3 9_24_14_sketchbook4 9_24_14_sketchbook5 9_24_14_sketchbook6

Pages from my “From Greatness to Dust and Back Again” story sketchbook over the past week. Character studies, inventing a new tribal-clan culture idea, cosmonauts, sketches of a few inspirations, personal criticism on mistakes in drawings, and making fun of myself and my characters being “furries” (all in good spirits, of course). I intend to upload weekly with my sketchbook work to keep things alive around here while school is going on.

(artist who drew the mech I referenced: Simon Stålenhag)