Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monster Commute Character Concepts

Recently Bobby Chiu commented on my "Unbridled Optimism" post (Oh snap! Bobby reads my blog?). It got me thinking about his Whaleboy painting. Bobby's painting was actually a "re-imagining" of Patrick Morgan's WhaleBoy.

This inspired me to do some free work for a friend. I've been reading/inspired by Daniel Davis's webcomic Monster Commute. It's about two characters, a red-goat like character named Beastio Wand, and a skull enclosed in a glass-dome-robot body named Chadworth Machine. The plot and suspense is REALLY starting to build on the comic so if you haven't checked-it-out, you should.

I looked at his characters and thought, "what would I do if I where creating concepts for a live-action film of Monster Commute?"

I approached this work with a Martin Laing flair. I love how his technique is approachable. Much like a great matte painter, when you really get up close you can see all the little brushstrokes and differences in image resolutions. But looking at it in its intended size, everything tightens up. You can't tell the difference between a piece of leather and a
brushstroke. I decided to work loose, but at a very large resolution , and just try to blend a bunch of different brushstrokes and photos together.

I started collecting the needed photos from sxc.hu (and used only royalty free non-attribution photos). For Chadworth I used a bunch of tractor parts, steam engines, and a grain silo. I painted the glass bubble myself because I know that you can never find good transparent glass that is even close to the shape you want. After I positioned these parts on the canvas I just started painting them together till I was happy with the result.

The same pretty much went for Beastio. He's made from several goats and bears. The funny thing about the smirk on his face is it wasn't there in the original white goat photo I swear. It sort of just emerged and I accentuated it.

The methods I used for matching photos and painting were really matte painting techniques.

Here's the final results:

I sent the results over to Daniel and he even liked them enough to post them to his blog.

This was a really great exercise and I really recommend supporting your friends by creating something inspired by their work.

1 comment:

Peter said...

love the colors and design.