Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Heated Tempers - Process - Star Wars: Stay on Target

Today I have for you another overdue process post, this time around it is for my Heated Tempers interior illustration from Age of Rebellion: Stay on Target. I first shared this with you back in December of 2014. This was one of the last pieces that I painted digitally for Star Wars. Here is how the final Heated Tempers turned out...

Heated Tempers
12.5 x 14.5 - Digital
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

The assignment for this piece was to depict an heated exchange between a Bothan mechanic and the Chadra-Fan pilot whose ship is not ready for combat. This was my first opportunity to paint an A-Wing fighter, a Bothan, and a Chadra-Fan... so it was a WIN, WIN, WIN for me. It was a fairly straight forward piece that needed to focus on the interaction of the two Rebels, a ship, and a gloomy cavernous hanger. As always this piece came to life with a photo shoot followed by thumbnails. Here is how the thumbnails turned out...

Heated Tempers - Thumbnails
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This thing about the interior art for the Star Wars RPGs is they need a ton of bleed depending on size and placement on the page. Silly me, I forgot about that when I worked up these thumbnails. I made them to size, but forgot about the bleed. It was just a matter of adding background to resolve the situation, but I felt like a rookie forgetting about the bleed in the first place. A thumbnail was selected and I was asked to adjust for the bleed and resubmit it. Option "B" was the winner...

Heated Tempers - Revised thumbnail
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

The updated thumbnail was approved and it was time for the drawing. Through out this entire process there was a lot of issue with the scale of the relative elements in the illustration. The first issue was the size of the A-Wing compared to the figures. Historically, the A-Wing has been depicted as a rather small ship, maybe the size of an average car. I guess over the years the A-Wing has increased in size in the Star Wars universe and there was a bit of back and forth with the AD to get it the right size. I still think I was correct and it is small, but my job is to fulfill the wishes of the client and I made sure it was as big as they required. Always be a professional! Here is how the finalized drawing turned out...

Heated Tempers
Age of Rebellion - Stay On Target
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

I mentioned reference earlier and once again I have some super top secret reference of me as the alien monsters... in costumes no less. Who knew that mechanics that work on star fighters use pipe wrenches, but I am sure there have to be at least one pipe in a fighter. Posing for reference allows me to get into the physicality of the assignment, work out computational and anatomy issues, and get much needed lighting and material reference. You can make it up and risk getting it all wrong or use reference and let the reference to inform your choices to get a lot of it right. Enjoy the reference...

Bothan and Chadra-Fan reference! RAWR!
Photos by Achsa Nute

Time to paint! In just twelve easy steps you too can have a completed painting of some Rebels arguing over repair completion times. ...or not. Here is a look at the piece coming together...

Heated Tempers - Process progression
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

You *MIGHT* have noticed that the Chadra-Fan greatly changed size near the end of the painting. In fact, she changed size after the piece was completed and long after it was turned in. The person at Lucas Film that approves everything felt that the Chadra-Fan was way too big. I know that Chadra-Fan are very tiny creatures, this one, in the context of the illustration, is the right size as I painted it. She is in the foreground close to the viewer looking at the Bothan up over there in the middle ground. By shrinking her, she is moved into the middle ground right next to the ship. This effects the composition, tangents, and the interaction between the two figures. I explained that she was in the extreme foreground and she was the right size. I then made the change because that is what the client wanted and I am a professional. If this has been a traditional painting I most likely would have made the change digitally and left the original as I intended. I think I still like the Chadra-Fan larger, but that is not my call. Here is a better look at the process coming together with a handy dandy animated gif...

Heated Tempers - Animated process progression
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Once again here is a look at the final published illustration in all its heated temper goodness...

Heated Tempers
12.5 x 14.5 - Digital
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

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