THE STORY ++Today, I will teach your kind the meaning of wrath. I will kill
a thousand of your filth-breed before your blood
dries on my gauntlets.++
++Gabriel Seth, Chapter Master of The Flesh Tearers++
Other bucketlist items I had to do for my inner 40K fan, hope im not pissing any hardcore fans off: -"Oh my god... its full of stars... *kssshh* ...nope they're just tracers-" -"This is Rhino 2-9 to Titan! Please advise on subsequent plasma trajectory...previous strike danger close-" -Trying to stay faithful to the concept of Bolter rounds on impact. -A friend kept saying how much he loved 'Beakie' helms. -Re-purposed harness for Assault marine into webbing for extra ammunition/gear carrying capacity -I loved gargants, and so I had to throw one in as tribute to how Epic 40k captured my imagination as a window-gazing kid. -Crowd surfing marines, because when you're armoured like a tank, fighting eye to eye is so last millenium...
Hi all, its been a while! I've been keeping busy working for the wonderful folks at GW/Black Library on illustrations for their various Codex covers, Novels and their audiobook line, as well as more IG covers for Fantasy Flight Games. For the fans of the franchise- that basically means there's quite a backlog now that have yet to be announced...
Amidst all this grimdark carnage of the 41st Millenium I am spending my free time developing my indie "cyber spacepunk" game project which I'll be sharing more info on as soon as I can :v Not only is it a bucketlist item of mine but I find it keeps the voices of Chaos at bay...
So anyways, back to The Imperial Fists, and was probably the most self-pressuring coverwork to date simply because its former IFS colleague and now GW artist Kevin Chin's favourite chapter. The brief was as always, brief(hur hur), along the lines of "make 3rd coy marine look good while wielding a two handed bolter, and it would be nice to have some iron warriors in it if possible".
Tangent: I can tell you that my respect goes up exponentially to the artists at GW with every similar worded brief, for 'simply' being able to draw the same specce muhreens doing their thing for decades, and keeping it fresh somehow.
So like with my other GW illustrations, I turned to visual metaphor to hopefully add a little something extra for the fans. My first cheeky try was him looking like he was taking the full force of the explosion and trying to stay up, which was off brand and so heretical to see a marine flinch that I had to think of a different way to present my idea. In this final direction, the Fist is almost effortlessly bracing against the shockwave of some heavy artillery impacting next to him. I thought it was a subtle enough nod to their infamous fortitude and stubborness and almost natural enough to be handwaved as a natural byproduct of a crazy warzone. Form and function OCD streak not completely satisfied, I then turned my attention to the suit. I put this off objectively to incompetence on my end as an illustrator, but I find it quite a necessity to exaggerate certain proportions to lend personality to the characters that I illustrate. But I really hate to be too blatant about it and enjoy challenging myself to redesigning functional bits of armour to achieve that same aesthetic goal while hopefully maintaining the illusion that the human form within it remains unchanged. And where it comes to marines in armour, I've thankfully been given a pretty wide berth. For this Errant Pattern wearing soldier, one of the first things that came to mind was bulky arms, definitely Joe Mad inspired Something I felt would complement the wide collar and 'compact' 2-handed grip that was needed to keep a marine centered in a shot without going stylistically overboard. So one idea I had, more of a spillover from my Phobos Tactica piece was a dual layer gauntlet that doesnt add bulk to the hand -so dexterity can be maintained in the grip- but just adding protection to where its needed most, forearm and top of hand. The bevels and hinge were smoothened down to maintain the more classic space marine 'cut off at the cuff' gauntlet silhouette. Fingertips are tapered to better sink into the eye sockets of opponents I suppose?
One other element I fondly recall spending unnecessary time debating with myself on was the thigh bag which I really wanted in, cause if you're a heavy duty defender you're going to need ammo... and for some aesthetic reason a standard buckle just didn't seem right. It called too much attention to itself. So I decided with an inverse button setup or something that resembled a velcro-quick application(without...you know..being..velcro..) with padded material to give it some bulk.
Lastly, one thing I really adored in the classic 40k imagery was that sexy fashion magazine waxy gloss on marine armour. And while hunting for more modern takes on the imperial fists, Neil Robert's Shadows of Treachery fists boarding party looked so sick especially with the gloss look I remembered as a kid I had to just throw in the gloss effect for inspiration sake. Seems legit enough even in ground war, plenty of downtime during the siege to polish up and keep your gear clean! Wax on... wax off... grasshoppah
In any case I hope you Imperial Fists loyalists out there enjoyed this tribute to your chapter, to Dorn, and to glory!
The brief for this one was a three-way melee between Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars, Tau Commander Shadowsun, and Captain Kayvaan Shrike of the Raven Guard, amidst a mixed-force battle of White Scars, Raven Guard, and Cadian IG versus the Tau fighting atop a rocky promontory with jungle.
The main focus of the show is Shadowsun, whom according to the reference and specs sent to me, often fields two shield drones. I thought that could be a perfect excuse to not end up in an awkward "2 on 1" prong attack. So that resulted in our assault marine captain Shrike pulling off a DFA and Kor'sarro timing a strike to take out her shield on one side.
Given the hardback template/format I decided early on to have two back to back crisis suits behind the main trinary to visually frame the action and hopefully some narrative link to what was going on in the background. While sketching in comp ideas I was thinking of World in Conflict FMVs (yeah I watched a compilation vid of the different sequences but set to just Audioslave's Shadow on the Sun... how apt for our Tau commander ) which inspired that jungle crossfire for the back cover (left of image), along with some physics logic I thought should be observed such as "if plasma based weaponry gets spammed in the general direction of a forest, there should be a moderate to high chance of a forest fire occurring" which kinda explains why we see the charred dirt and branches and hints of trees on fire in the back.
Other favourite points of interest that I recall from half a year back:
-Singed/scorched Imperial armour versus cracked/gouged tau armour -Drones buzzing a tree (near the sun) -Devastator Raven going head on with the battlesuit turned away from us, armour in the process of being seared off chunk by chunk. -White Scar reading poetry on the lawn in an admirable last stand -Unfortunate IG, now literally half the man he used to be. Courtesy of being in the open when Tau heavy artillery drops.
Pedro Kantor stood his ground as the Ork Warboss charges, this is a warboss like none others, towering over everyone in the battlefield. But Pedro will never retreat, not against this hated enemy.
His Iron Halo crackled and the conversion field activates, deflecting the Power Klaw, and with his power fist risen and ready, Pedro is ready to return the blow
~Artist note~ Been wanting to do a bigger scale 40k piece for a while, and inspired by my good friend Kelvin Chin and his amazing work for Games-Workshop. This will probably be one of the most epic piece I had done so far,so I thought why not I do a piece with 2 of the traditional match up.
Initially, I planned to have a Terminator Captain with a thunderhammer and stormshield slugging it out with the Ork warboss, but after deciding to go with the Crimson Fists Chapter as Chapter of choice in this piece, I ran into a little problem... They don't really have a 1st company captain.... that role is held by their Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, who I checked, don't wear Terminator Armour, non carry Thunderhammer and Stormshield, so as a result the sketches had to be changed.
"Even till death I will serve, for the honour of the Emperor"
The Battle for Drakkarge Hive had dragged for months since Orkish reinforcements swept the Imperial Guards regiments off the Plains of Pelida, in response the Imperium commander held back 4 Black Templars Fighting Companies till the Orkish momentum was broken after Orkish invaders battled the entrenched Imperial Guards forces amongst the streets of Drakkarge.
Over the skies the Imperial Navy vessels kept the Orks pinned when the great gates that lead into the inner hive open as Black Templars lead by the Venerable Brother Hildebrand came charging out.
"No Pity! No Remorse! No Fear!"
Brother Hildebrand had been in the service of Black Templars since the early days of the Chapter, best known for his preference for close combat, he rises through the ranks and during the desperate Siege of Khadon he become the Emperor's Champion after receiving the vision of the Emperor.
Amidst the chaos of battle, he managed to seek out and cut down the Ork warboss, Grim Ironmaw Argok in a duel, after which he continue to hack his way through the green horde, only falling from his many wounds when Imperium victory was assured. Despite the severity of his wound, death is not an excuse from service for this Champion, he cling on to life as his battle brothers retrieved his broken body and was immediately interred into the cold sarcophagus of a Dreadnought.
Even as a Dreadnought, his righteous zeal and his preference for close combat never ceased, while years of services had brought him wisdom in battle, he will not hesitate to charge into battle with his Great-sword leading his battle brothers.
~Artist note~ I do not have a live stream because I am just not too used to painting before people, and I really took my time to paint personal stuffs, so it can get very boring
But here's a time lapse video instead, basically, I tried saving every a couple hours (maybe even lesser) into the painting
~Nothing shall evade our cleansing fire, not Daemon or Spawn or Renegade. Fore we are Man's Divine Blade!~
I had always wanted to try a painting on the mighty Space marines of the Warhammer 40k universe since I was first introduce to them when I started work in IFS. How else but to start with the mightiest amongst them, the Grey Knights.
I had the most fun during the research and studies of the chapter, and it really lifted my mood during the the entire period.
Hope I did them justice, no pun intended
P.S Forgot to add, 666 is the Chapter number of the Grey Knights for those who don't know Forgot to mention it, half assuming everyone is into 40k here
This piece was commissioned by an ultra cool Swede who wanted to see he and his brothers depicted as some uber badass Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Terminators of their own custom chapter (what's not to love??).
If you're interested in commissioning your own 40K or Fantasy themed portrait, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. I also do portraits in other settings (D&D, Skyrim, whatever you can imagine) so please don't hesitate to reach out.
Welcome back friends, the saga of my Black Templar painting finally comes to a close here! After what seems like an eternity of leaning against my Cintiq, the Black Templar (and a few friends) are now ready to strike force and burn a holy path through the forces of darkness.
This piece took a super long time to do... I honestly can't gauge it accurately but it's somewhere in the ballpark of 14+ hours, possibly even 18 or 20.
Everything was done in Adobe Photoshop and (if you are kind enough to wait) you can view the PROCESS VIDEO for this piece tomorrow once I edit my screen recordings and begin narration. When the video is ready, I'll make sure to make a big, ugly update at the top of this painting's description so that everyone can see. :-D
Thanks for checking out my piece, I really hope you like it. Once again, don't forget to check out my blog... there's good stuff there, I promise.
This is for a commission. Lantern Marines are Dark Angels successors, Monastic but with a Tiki/Polynesian native origin that shows in their armour. They have Lanterns hanging on their backpacks that can, if nothing else is available, be used as powerweapons.
This was all in the brief (though I shortened it down).
They also have sort of a metal-rock theme going on, which explains some flame-motiefs.
Ragnar Blackmane was born a barbarian in the local tribes of Fenris, of the tribe of the Thunderfists. He was chosen to be a Space Marine of the Space Wolves chapter by the Wolf Priest Ranek. He was chosen due to his extraordinary fighting talent, using beserker like rage to slay many of the invaders.