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Monkey Island 2, Guybrush Falling

I based on the classic Monkey Island 2 game intro.
Guybrush Threepwood falling and holding on to the Big Whoop Treasure.

Click to enlarge any image!

Monkey Island 2 Guybrush Falling
Monkey Island 2 Guybrush Falling

I decided to add Murray the demonic skull to the front of the big whoop chest just to make it a bit more interesting.

Looks a bit like a book cover which is what I was going for.

Shot I started off with this shot from Monkey Island 2:

GuybrushFalling ScreenShot1


I started doing some thumbnails of the pose, trying to figure out what I wanted.
I was looking for a pose that felt mid-motion and at an odd angle so I could have some perspective distortion going on.


I choose a thumbnail and scaled it up about 300%.
Bigger than a thumbnail so I can get anatomy working properly but not so big that I need to get details right.


Next step – cleaning up the line art. I’ve been toying with dropping this step because committing to the line art tends to push my pictures in a certain direction and style.

GuybrushFalling_ SketchSteps_1

During the line art process I also looked at the overall composition, I wanted some nice spiral in the picture. I had a feeling the arm and chest position was close but off a little. But I already had in mind that I’d try and be flexible with this later in the process – I wanted to crack on. If this was a paid job or if there was an actual background in this picture I would have fixed the issue at this point. The background is going to be basically black so I new I could fix it later.

Guybrush Falling Steps_Sprials
Guybrush Falling Steps_Sprials

The main reason for creating this picture was that I wanted to approach it a little different from what I usually do.

Normally I would block out the colours and then add lighting.
This time I wanted to get the black and white version of the picture 90% done first. Focusing on just the value and lighting definitely made this picture work easier and faster than my normal approach.

Guybrush Falling_Steps_2 LineArt

Next I blocked out the colours. I set most of the layers to overlay or colour – this got me relatively close to where I needed to be. To be honest, when I looked at tutorials, other people seemed to get a much -closer to final- look. So maybe I’m doing something wrong here.

Guybrush Falling Steps_3 BW
Guybrush Falling

At this point I basically merged the character down and started painting over the top of everything. I didn’t try to accommodate or use the black and white layer by changing layer states of anything. Just straight up painted.

I tend to use a basic Photoshop round hard brush and I change the transparency of the brush between 60-80%.

Guybrush Falling Steps_4 Colour
Guybrush Falling
Guybrush Falling Chest
Guybrush Falling

In this last step I fixed the composition; you can see below that the Golden spirals line up much better and the two heads are now on two-thirds lines.

Adjusting the chest and the arm as well as moving the character to the right to fit in a nicer spiral. A found some pictures on-line of dust moats and added these behind and in front of the character to add a bit of interest and detail in the cave and a bit of depth.

I took the logo from the web and added the 2 from another Monkey Island logo.

Finally, a little bit of colour adjustment, and I also took all the character layers + chest, merged them down and blurred the image. I took that layer and had it as  a soft glow overlay.

Guybrush Falling Steps_6
Guybrush Falling Steps_6

D&D-Character Post Update

So I’ve started playing D&D again recently and I promised the guys I’d draw up their characters – assuming they lived through the first session – so here’s #1 Xanaphia.

Xanaphia is female elf, currently wearing red pantaloons and likes gold… Thief – dual daggers.
Xanaphia is female elf, currently wearing red pantaloons and likes gold… Thief – dual daggers.

The description I was given was: Xanaphia is female elf, currently wearing red pantaloons and likes gold… Thief – dual daggers – bit of a lone wolf and distrusting – very motivated by coin. Not much to go by but the Red Pantaloons are the first thing she stole off a corpse so had to get those in!

Long story short – we’re all lvl 1, and we’ve been thrown into some sort of tomb after a year of servitude in a prison, the first session was a bit hectic so we haven’t had a chance to swap backstories (we’re not discussing our characters backgrounds/skills/motivations out of game). So from what I can tell so far she’s friendly – happy go lucky but will get to every corpse before anyone else and steal all the money! – there must be a point where we start noticing her large bulges and odd klinking noise when she walks?!

She took the red pantaloons from the first body we found – here’s hoping they’re cursed or something because now that i’ve drawn ’em – it’s safe to say she should never be allowed to take them off again!!

#2 Shus Mallnow – Bard.


The Description: Gnome, carries a crossbow, not much of a fighter, he’s never without paper and quill. All his perform points are in Oratory. He has very high charm and is a bit of a rogue. Shus Mallnow (one of his many names), has had to stay at the back a bit during fights, but in my mind he is the leader of this troupe. I couldn’t help but take a bit of Shakespeare inspiration for this image. In the middle of the fight with the elemental he gave a stirring speech to rouse us on to victory. The idea of an epic Shakespearean speech mid-battle makes me chuckle – especially when Arcane Mark is getting his face caved in at the same time!

And here is #3 Arcane Mark.

Just an emo sort of look. Sorcerers don’t really wear anything on their top half as they need all wavy arm things while casting apparently.
Just an emo sort of look. Sorcerers don’t really wear anything on their top half as they need all wavy arm things while casting apparently.

The description.
Not really facial just an emo sort of look. Sorcerers don’t really wear anything on their top half as they need all wavy arm things while casting apparently.
Sort of a less badass, more emo version of the sorcerer from the players handbook is what I originally imagined.
Probably for familiar I am planning a rat or something, though later with some demonic influences I might change it into something cooler.
As a rampant graffiti artist he has also probably practiced some runes on himself, similar to the crappy ones most tattoo artists do when they’re starting out.

So Zac has been role playing this guy like a moody teenager – moping around not wanting to take part properly – saying “whatever” alot.
But he’s also been the most effective damage giver(?) in the party so far.
Although the highlight of the game was when Arcane Mark stepped into an Earth Elemental bed – it almost knocked in half- you can see his now permanent black eye 😉

– it’s safe to say she should never be allowed to take them off again!!

#4 Butch Bashstuff – Cleric.


The description: Butch Bashstuff is the strongest party member, and after being repeatedly hit on the head as a kid – not the smartest. Half-Elf – Cleric of Tymora. She’s a Red Head – Amazonian type / Irish boxer. Quite happy the way this one has come out, I’ve given her some leather armour and because, as a party, we don’t have any weapons yet she’s swing a femur.

#5 The Magus Extraordinaire; Myrddin Ambrosius
(A.k.a Ambrose) – Rogue+Mage Multiclass.

Stage Magician.
Desires all magical knowledge, hungers for magical items, bordering on kleptomania when it comes to magical items.
Has a thing for Halflings (because he’s taller than them), likes people who don’t know anything about magic. Disliking for elves, tall people and any real magic users.

Started as a rouge Lvl1 with no magic this was hard to play at first.

#6 Unfinished concept.


Indiana Jones

Thought I´d have a crack at Indy.

I´m not aiming for a spot on realistic image of Harrison ford. Originally I had planned to do a comic caricature (a la J. Scott Campbell), but with a coloured rendering similar to Adam Hughes´ works.

So what I´ve ended up with is a slightly stylized character that falls a bit between it all. Still, I´m happy where it´s going. The lighting is based on a screen grab from the films.


Indy Sketch

Up Close Capricorn

Let’s have a closer look at on of the Gala Coral scratch cards, we wanted to create a range of games that we could cycle and promote every month. Astrology being a popular theme amonst the Gala audience seemed ideal.

All the astrology range have quite alot of research behind it, we wanted to make sure that we wove some of the myth behind each zodiac sign into the picture, providing some background and story. Each Scratch card has a txt box area that explains the sign in a little more depth to reinforce the graphics.

The Zodiac sign Capricorn is represented by a sea-goat, part goat part fish.

“This constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother Rhea saved him from being devoured by his father Cronos (in Greek mythology). The goat’s broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty.”

“Capricorns strive to conceal their vulnerability beneath a confident veneer of ambition and material success, but passionate Mars is always bubbling just below the surface. When the curtain is lifted, the passion flows like lava from an erupting volcano.”



Step one was to lay out the basic elements that are present in all 3×3 scratch cards. I’ve left off the rough sketch of the background but obviously that would be the key step before moving onto refining the main elements in the scene. Then I started adding imagery that related to capricorn, the goats head, the horne of pleanty (cornucopia), some Capricorn symbols (in the candle stand).

I’ve used the pose and dress to suggest the tail, and tried to suggest horns with the hair style.



Colour wise I wanted to use golds and emerald green, colours that are related to the zidiac sign. For lighting, a contrast between red and blue lights as the sign is somewhat conflicted.

Capricorn Flash Full Body

Using flash I aimed for a quite realistic style. Bearing in mind that there was going to be some animation I couldn’t go into too much detail and there is always an emphasis on keeping file size down as well.



I this close up you can see how there is a suggestion of detail and shape through use of gradient.



And finally everything put together and fully rendered. Again you can see recurring themes gold and green, the cornucopia, sea-goats and other symbols repeated around the scene.

Photoshop WIP

This is a little practice peace, working on painting skin tones.



As usual I started with a little sketch, the face is based on Audrey from Twin Peaks.  I wanted to work on skin tones and texture so I started with simple daily light.



One thing led to another and I ended up turning this piece into an underwater mermaid scene. Not quite done yet but coming along nicely.