Thicc Hammer Chick – Coloring Video

Some folks have been asking me about making videos going into how I color, and while I haven’t quite had the time or ability to make a full commentary video yet, maybe this will do for a start.

I made up a time-lapsed video of my coloring of one of my recent Random Practice Babes, which I call the ‘Thicc Hammer Chicc’. It has a little text commentary and it condenses about an hour’s worth of coloring into three minutes or so. You can view the video here.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Jonathan

So what is WCL, or WEAPON Combat League?

You may have seen my posts here and there (on my DeviantART or Instagram or somewhere else) mentioning something called WCL, or WEAPON Combat League, and maybe you’re not as familiar with my work as say, the folks who I’ve known for a decade or more through deviantART. You might have found yourself asking, “Just what IS WEAPON Combat League?”

WEAPON Combat League is a concept I originally came up with in 2003. The easiest way to describe it is “Mega Man meets King of Fighters”. It started out as a fighting game idea, but I wanted to make a fighting game that had a story that was actually worth reading. I may have gone a bit overboard (I wrote two novels and half of a third telling the story of the concept; you can find links to the first two on the Products page–but since I realized WCL is a story best told visually, I’ve decided not to put too much emphasis on the prose novels).

The story centers on the titular WEAPON, or War-Equipped Armor for Protection, Offense and Navigation (acronym subject to change) and the people who use it. It takes place in a futuristic universe not unlike Earth, in a fictional city called Terradin, the most advanced civilization in the world. The setting (but not necessarily the technology) is inspired by the settings of movies such as Appleseed (and its sequel Ex Machina), Ghost in the Shell and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The WEAPON starts out as a tool of the Defense Force (Terradin’s military and law enforcement unit), but a few years before the start of the story, everything there is to know about WEAPONs is released to the public and soon the devices flood the black market. The WEAPON can be customized much the way software can be programmed, but in this science fiction fantasy universe, the customizations can be used to give the suits unique powers, far more radical what the Defense Force had ever produced.

Faust Raven a.k.a. Ruin, captain of the Reaper Team

The suits are illegal for civilian usage, but this doesn’t stop people from doing what they want. Before long, black market enthusiasts, underground fight circuits, and of course, criminals start spawning all over Terradin. The Defense Force can barely keep up with all the WEAPON-related crimes.

Soon it becomes apparent that if something doesn’t change, Terradin will face civil war. So General Patricia James, the supreme commander of the Defense Force, comes up with a new plan: instead of fighting the custom WEAPON-wielding civilians, embrace them.

The Defense Force starts a legal, sanctioned competition featuring the best of the best WEAPON wielders. Promising them fame and fortune, General James hopes to encourage them to do positive things with their WEAPONs instead of criminal acts and property damage.

These are designs from 2012-2013--I'll be updating many of them.
These are designs from 2012-2013–I’ll be updating many of them.

Twenty-four warriors are chosen and divided into eight teams; each competitor with their own motivations and their own unique, customized WEAPON. A tournament is structured and the battles begin. The WEAPON Combat League is born.

But not everyone in the military–or government–agrees with the idea. Some want war. Others want martial law. Some just want to take control of all WEAPON wielders and either force them to serve the greater good of Terradin, or be crushed under its heel.

A story of epic battles, of rivalry, of love and loss, of haves versus have-nots and a vast conspiracy tying both the military and the government to a dark secret thought buried in the past–this is what WEAPON Combat League is.

I’m giving WEAPON Combat League one strong, solid push starting now. I have resumed working on the comic I’d been planning since the concept’s inception, and I am now well into the second chapter. I intend to post the comic on Patreon, starting once I’ve built up a substantial buffer of content. So far, my momentum is high and I’m doing well.

WEAPON Combat League, Book One, Chapter 2, Page 1

Any questions? Concerns? Feedback? Feel free to contact me!

Ready to read the story of WEAPON Combat League? Start HERE!

August Update

In the wake of the completion of the RPB Book I’ve decided to move onto my next project, which is finally getting my WEAPON Combat League property off the ground. I actually completed the first chapter in the story in comic form sometime last year. I had a data loss that cost me the original files from that comic but I thankfully uploaded a PDF onto my DeviantArt Page so I was able to salvage the completed pages at least.

My intent is to put the comic online through Patreon. I want to have enough content to make it worthwhile to readers, so before I make the page go live, I’m going to complete the entire second chapter, which I call Clipped Wings. A few of my online friends and supporters have read this chapter a long time ago; it’s a core component of the WCL story that introduces one of the plot’s major rivalries and central characters.

WCL: Clipped Wings Page 1
Page 1

My goal is to have all 16 pages of this chapter drawn, inked and colored by the end of August. To this end, I am moving away from commission work and putting aside other mediums I tried in the past. I’m shelving ZBrush, game development, and Jet Dancer for a while so I can focus on bringing this concept to life.

Watch this space for further updates, a link to the Patreon page will soon follow.

July Update

It’s July, and I’m having a very creative summer so far.

I actually finished putting together the 100 Girl Art Book, officially titled R.P.B. (which stands for Random Practice Babes), cover and all. I’ve submitted the files to Ka-Blam, a printing company, and as far as I know, there aren’t any problems. I could put out a digital version right now, but I want to see what the print copy looks like first. When I’m comfortable with everything, I will likely be making the book available through Amazon, IndyPlanet, Gumroad, and eventually through direct sales when I can afford to order enough copies.

I’ve opened up some extremely low-cost commissions for folks who want to see characters drawn or designed fast and easy with cel shades. For only $25 you can get a character drawn in full color by me, no limit for now. Here are a couple I’ve done so far:

Viper 6 for Mina Korzan
Viper 6 for Mina Korzan
Exces for Chris Turner
Exces for Chris Turner

You can contact me here and make a $25 deposit for your spot through this link: PayPal — make sure you mention it’s for the commission sale and send me references or descriptions of your character.

As for the future, after much deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m going to resume game development. I thought about making comics but that path just is not for me. Game development lets me continue problem solving, which I love, and I’m still drawing and designing characters. I love retro 2D games and I want to make a library of them featuring my characters and ideas.

While the Jet Dancer game is foremost on my mind, I’m also thinking that it’s a bit ambitious and I need to train myself to actually publish games, so I want to make something simpler as well, like a shooter or something. But I won’t enjoy creating it if it doesn’t have a sexy element, so…I’m pondering some unique approaches.

And as a reward for reading this all the way through, you get an exclusive look at one of my hundred girls!

Knight Sister–Girl Number 83

Knight Sister is the latest illustration for my art book that I’ve uploaded online, but I’m not showing every single image I’ve done since the last entry–I’m actually up to 86 images now.

How I put the Knight Sister together

This one was kind of a process. Still getting used to drawing on my Chromebook Plus, I decided to start it in an Android drawing app called Infinite Design, a vector app that’s really awesome. (It has an infinite canvas! Started your drawing too close to the middle and feel like you might have to cut the feet off? Not with this…just zoom out.)

Digital rough sketched in Infinite Design.

But after I got comfortable with it, I said “eh, I think I want to go traditional” so I printed the rough out.

Then I said “nope, I need more clarity”. So I opened the digital rough back up and cleaned it up a little in Clip Studio Paint on my Cintiq Companion. Then I was like “okay, NOW I’m ready to go traditional” and I printed out the clearer rough on cardstock paper and inked it with a Sharpie Pen.

Traditionally-inked version on cardstock paper.

I liked it, but even if I wanted to color Knight Sister traditionally, I wanted to protect the inking first. So, I scanned it into the computer so I could AGAIN take it to Clip Studio Paint and do the final rendering. I decided to get a little looser with cel shading to give her armor a sort of weathered, not-smooth look. Honestly, I think the lines suffered a bit from all the back and forth, but I like the color.

The scanned and flatted version, in Clip Studio Paint.

Moving Forward…

The road to 100 Random Practice Babes continues, including a basketball player (see my Instagram for that) and something much more mythical (you probably won’t see that until the whole book is done though).

Production is going to slow down a little as I’ve picked up some client work. I’ve been enlisted to create some toon likenesses of models for a series of book covers, and it’s going well so far. Grateful to have gotten some commission work again, and I need to be sure I’m putting my all into it. The subject matter suits me perfectly; it focuses on beautiful black women.

Jon

Latest Art–See the Derpy Angel!

The number of illustrations has gone up: 82 of 100, the “Derpy Angel”. I named her that because my son is always calling silly expressions ‘derpy’ so it popped in my head.

Derpy-Angel

I’m getting close to the finish line here. Thanks to my Facebook friends, I have a fresh amount of inspiration and ideas, so while I won’t promise the exact words will see the light of day, I should be able to mix and match inspirations and come up with some interesting images. I should be able to get through the remaining eighteen images in decent time.

Truth be told, a lot of them are wearing very little (by my count, some 40%), so for the last set of illustrations, I’m going to strive to add more detailed attire to my girl drawings, just for the sake of balance. Armor, clothing, or perhaps different textures entirely–a metal girl, another one with fur but different from my FoxBunny, maybe more beastly. Maybe all of the above.

Feel free to chime in if you get any unusual ideas. I only have eighteen illustrations to go, and I’ve already started two, but I still think I should be able to squeeze in some suggestions in all the last 16 pics.

And don’t forget, if you can’t wait for me to finish the 100 Girl Book and you want to support my art, I have several already-finished productions, all of which can be found by going through my Products for Sale page.

Quinn Royce Fan Art! 

Quinn Royce, codename Saber, is the flagship character of WEAPON Combat League, my epic sci fi/fantasy competition drama.

Here he is expertly rendered by Gary Pope (https://hulkdaddyg.deviantart.com) with a new look. Quinn’s standard look shows him with cornrows but here Gary depicted the antihero with a bald look that works really well for him. 

Visit Gary’s gallery for much more super heroic style art, including his own super strong original character Gilead!

Number 66 Done

Having completed the 66th girl for my 100 Girl Art Book project, I felt it important to remind myself why I am doing this and what direction it’s going in.

What is the point of the 100 Girl Book? What is it for? Why am I doing it?

To produce a tangible product to sell on and offline. The idea was to produce and/or collect 100 unique illustrations of black women I’ve done, put them in a book, print it and sell it digitally as well, along with prints of the more successful illustrations from the book. I originally started the project because I realized that one part of becoming a professional artist is putting myself out there at conventions and such, but I had no tangible products to peddle. I spent so many years making art and starting projects, but never finishing anything or taking things to a real physical conclusion; despite having over a thousand images online (at my deviantART for instance), I literally have nothing to take to a convention and market as something that represents me as an artist, and I’ve attempted so many things (novels, comics, pinups, commissioned colors, even some 3D) that I don’t know who Jonathan Price the artist really is.

I figured, since I was doing all these “Random Practice Babes”, and I was enjoying them, it was clear that this theme was the driving force that compelled me to keep making art. It was clear that I was either unwilling or unable to keep telling myself I was some sort of comic book artist when drawing comics is something I basically had to force myself to do, while drawing these women was more enjoyable, led to my art getting more attention and sometimes commissions, etc.

However, the more of them I do (and the more I find myself refining old drawings instead of making new ones), the more I start thinking, how many is enough? If I want to use this as a portfolio of some kind, 10-20 of them would have been more than sufficient. Are these drawings really showcasing my skill? Are they at all marketable? Am I doing the wrong thing with my skill? I’ve entertained the thought that maybe I’m not much of a ‘fine artist’ and I should devote my art to being part of something greater, like a comic book, a game, etc., and trying to sell something on the strength of my drawing alone is hurting more than helping me. Hell, if I said the goal was to produce 50 images for a book, no one would be saying “no, go for 100”. The only reason that number is mentioned is because I originally mentioned it, and the plan can change.

I have other ideas that I could visualize being used to represent me at conventions and such, comic ideas, story ideas, and a part of me is like “Finish the girl book first” while other parts in my mind are like “Life is short, do things now, it’s time to move on.”

The words “Follow One Course Until Successful” (F.O.C.U.S.) have been repeated to me often over the last few weeks, but I’m always caught up in trying to decide what that one course should be, and I’m not sure I’m patient enough to wait to get to 100 to see if this course is the right one.

But I won’t know until I try. I just wish I could come up with a definitive answer to the question: is 66 enough, or should I keep pushing to 100?

Although…it should be noted that I’ve asked myself this question a lot over the course of the project. Is 30 enough? Is 48 enough? And that number keeps getting higher.

I really just need to stop worrying about it and get to 100, right? Haha.

Been busy with Rendr 

I’ve been drawing a lot of traditional art lately, energized by getting my hands on a Crescent Rendr sketchbook. It’s a pricey but high quality sketchbook whose claim to fame is the bleedproof paper, resistant to pretty much any media. I’ve been trying to find paper that made me enjoy drawing with pencil again, having gotten burned out with digital for a while, and this paper fits the bill nicely.

One drawback is the book I bought isn’t spiral bound (they are available) and the binding doesn’t lend itself well to scanning, so for now, photos will have to do as far as showing what I’ve done. Once I’m done with it, I’ll likely use some sort of cutter to sever the pages from the book neatly and scan them. Many of the images I’ve done so far will make fine additions to my 100 girl book project.



The paper is excellent for marker coloring too… I’m going to use a few of these for practice.

UPDATE: Managed to scan these pics in after all. Took a bit of effort. I decided not to bother with the spelunker girl right now, but with a bit of elbow grease and a lot of Photoshopping, I managed to scan them in and clean them up enough to be colored digitally.

Now I can take the markers to them with…a little less fear.

In other news, I recently hit a milestone with the Jet Dancer game: I have a working title screen and a help screen that shows the controls based on whether you’re using a game pad or keyboard. Won’t be long before I have a playable demo for you guys.