“The Rotunda.” A Future-Fantasy Cityscape

"The Rotunda." A fantasy cityscape. (c) 2015 Michael J. Barnes.

“The Rotunda.” A fantasy cityscape. (c) 2015 Michael J. Barnes. (click on illustration to view larger image)

The Rotunda is a new concept work depicting a futuristic fantasy cityscape. I wanted to depict a bustling city of the future with it’s towering skyscrapers surrounding a much older appearing structure that serves as the city’s civic, or maybe even religious center.

This illustration, as well as many others is also uploaded into my Illustration Portfolio.

 

The Defiant One: A Political Cartoon.

"The Defiant One." (c) 2015 Michael J. Barnes.

“The Defiant One.” (c) 2015 Michael J. Barnes.

There is one good thing about being out of work: I have had a lot of time to discover various styles and techniques. With that said, I have finally discovered a cartooning style that I like and think I will continue to use.

This piece I have names The Defiant One. This political cartoon depicts President Obama’s recent announcement of his “need” to bring out his veto pen even before the new congress began its new session. In this illustration, Obama wields his Veto Pen to fend off the offense of bill swinging Republican congressional leaders, while Congress Minority Leader Pelosi offers the President her favor.

For this illustration, I pulled out a piece of software I haven’t used in a while… Corel Painter. I hope you like it.

 

 

 

 

 

New Background Matte: “Town Center”

"Town Center." (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

“Town Center.” (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

I am currently working on a new “commissioned” illustration for a future book cover and I needed to create a background for the concept. Welcome to the “Town Center.” I wanted to create an old, somewhat dilapidated building in the middle of a dessert. I can’t go into any detail of the book, but the setting I am creating fits.

I initially created the building proper in Google Sketchup. I took that initial model into ZBrush for the detailing. The model was then rendered in Bryce and the final image composite produced in Photoshop.

This is currently a work-in-progress, and I will post the final image when completed.

 

“Elsa” – A Character Concept

"Elsa." Character Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

“Elsa.” Character Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes. (click to view hi-res image)

I recently completed a new character concept, and am posting her up today. Meet “Elsa.” I began working on Elsa about six-weeks ago, but put her off for other work (mostly because I wasn’t happy with how she was turning out, and I had decided to work on other concepts).

Ceremonial Armor

It had been recently pointed out to me that I need to add a bit more back story to the characters and creatures I am creating. So here goes… Elsa is a fierce warrior from a far off alien planet. Elsa can be seen here wearing her ceremonial armor, which she typically wears when escorting and guarding her warlord. That’s all I got about her back story for now.

Elsa was created in ZBrush, with the final image produced in Photoshop. I hope you like her.

 

 

New Creature Concept: “George”

"George." Digital Creature Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

“George.” Digital Creature Concept. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes. (click to view full-size image)

Yes, I have done yet another creature concept. This one I’ve named “George.” I have been doing these creature concept for several reasons. First, to build up my “Characters and Creatures Portfolio.” Second, to keep practicing using my ZBrush application — specifically practicing creating believable muscle masses, as well as different texturing techniques. And finally, because it is fun.

That’s right, I’m having fun. When I first started with this concept, I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of creature George was going to be. However, as I started building him up, I decided to make him into an amphibian-like monster. I initially thought he would be an alien scientist, but I just finished watching one of the “Hobbit” movies… so I concluded George would be a monster.

Full sized image of George's head. Note the "gills" under his ear. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

Full sized image of George’s head. Note the “gills” under his ear. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes.

On the technical side, for any fellow ZBrushers who may be reading this blog, this is the first time I’ve used ZBrush’s “body parts” insert brush to build up the torso, arms and legs. Typically, I use a preset base mesh when sculpting humanioid characters, but I found it to be much easier to use this insert brush. I will be definitely using this brush for future sculpts.

And there is a video, too!

I have also created a video depicting my sculpting workflow. I do these videos (of which all of them can be viewed on my Videos page) for a couple of reasons. First, to help me with my self-promotion. Second, so I can review and hopefully continue to improve my sculpting techniques.

As before, George here was created in ZBrush, with the final image produced in Photoshop. I hope you like George as much as I do.

 

New Creature Concept: “Waldo”

"Waldo." Creature Concept Sculpt. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes. Click image to view larger version.

“Waldo.” Creature Concept Sculpt. (c) 2014 Michael J. Barnes. Click image to view larger version.

Continuing my series of fantasy creature concepts, I am ready to present “Waldo.”

Waldo began life as a very rudimentary sketch (which can be seen in My Sketchbook). When I say very “rudimentary sketch” I mean VERY RUDIMENTARY.  I wanted to create a “horse-like” beast, because I will be using this model in a future illustration. Waldo was created in ZBrush, with the final composite produced in Photoshop.

In the above image, Waldo “hams it up” for the camera.

If you would like to see the creation process, I have recorded it and the video can be viewed here.