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All Hail The New Commander!

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Cobra Commander art for Robert Atkins contest

This is some card art I painted of the new Cobra Commander from IDW’s G.I. Joe comic for the contest that Robert Atkins is hosting over on his art blog in conjunction with Joecustoms.com. The contest is actually for a custom action figure, which I’m almost done with as well, but I’m constantly pushing my self to create custom packaging and artwork to go with customs. I really feel like it brings everything together, and creates a total package. I’ll show the figure Next week if I get time to photograph it.

The Art itself is done to mimic the current 30th anniversary card art from the G.I.Joe line. I made it in the course of about 6 hours using Adobe Photoshop CS5 and my brand new Intuos 4 tablet that I got over the holidays. I also got a brand new custom laptop to go with it, but the hard drive failed and I found my self with out a computer for about two weeks. This put me on a huge time crunch to try and get the figure and the artwork for a packaging mock up around. Because of this I chose to use Mr. Atkins’ character art for the pose, additionally I felt it really fit the new tougher Cobra Commander really well.

I started out by taking the existing artwork and working up some flats over the top of it using the pen tool. I set it up so that when I go back to do the shading I can make each additional layer dependent on the flat layer it goes with. Once the flats are in place it’s time to add any line work that might be needed, say the seams on the armor or the extra detailing on the web gear. After that is set I go back and begin the process of shading each component. Some people like to flat in the darkest color and the lighten, this process works well, but I’ve become more comfortable picking a mid tone color and adding both shading and shine. It also lets me go back and chose specific colors for each part (IE: if i need the shirt to absolutely be PSM 234, or something like that).

This part of the process takes the longest, and has to be done for every peace of the subject. After that I go back and add texture and logos as needed (like the Cobra logo on CC’s armor). At that point the art is pretty much done, and just needs to be added to the cardback, which I’ve already worked up a template file of.  For the 30th Anniversary cardbacks you really only get to see the character from the waist up, so I primarily focused on the upper body and probably didn’t dedicate the time to the lower half that I might have if the entire piece was going to be seen. But it works just fine for what I was using it for.

Let me know what you think and wish me luck in the custom contest!

The painting process

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