Company of Wolves | Blog

Angry Guy (Step by step Progress)

Grizzly
This illustration was done for the book ‘Alexander Trout’s amazing Adventure’, which will be released some time next year. The animated gif above shows the painting steps for the image: I begin with a very rough and undefined sketch, which outlines only the most important, basic contours of the bear. I now start to block in the colors roughly. I use dark colors for this step (the brighter colors and highlights will follow). After the foundation is done, I quickly start to define the bear – I roughly add some fur and decide from which side and direction the light should come in. I gradually add more details as well as strong highlights. Whilst working on the illustration I noticed that I didn’t like the posture that much – the bear’s right claw didn’t look so great, I wanted a more impressive posture and felt that I needed to change the position of the claw a bit. I continued working out more details and gradually added shadows and light adjustments and also rendered the fur and face until I felt satisfied.

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New Book Project:

Alexander Trout’s amazing Adventure

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I am very excited to announce that I am currently working on a new book project! Together with the writer Steve Richardson I am bringing the unbelievable Adventure of Alexander Trout to life!

High in the maze of the enchanted woodland canyons and cascading streams of Rocky Mountain National Park there once lived a trout named Alexander. In the waters of Paradise Creek and Grand Lake life couldn’t be more carefree for him and his best friend Gingrich Salamander, until the events of one fateful day change everything! Alexander suddenly found himself facing the greatest adventure of his life. Egged on by a burning curiosity, he was willing to dare the impossible: to go on a journey beyond the great rivers and even far off oceans to the mysterious land of his ancestors. Alexander quickly realized that it was a perilous path he was taking. Fortunately he did not have to go it alone: help and true friendship came when he least expected it.

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All illustrations will be high end color artworks with a lot of details. There will be loads of cute new animal characters and as you might already have noticed even a little cameo appearance of two inseparable and familiar friends. You will follow our hero Alexander to amazing places and experience the most beautiful scenery: majestic mountains, luscious green canyon woodlands, deep oceans, colorful rivers and streams and even cities. Along the creation of this book I will share concept artwork and character designs with you and occasionally provide you with a sneak peek of a new illustration.

We also fixed a facebook page for this project: click here to like it 🙂

A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN WILL LAUNCH LATER THIS YEAR.

In order to be able to afford even more illustrations we are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign later this year. We are hoping to get the funding for as many additional illustrations as possible. I will keep you posted on this!

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Steve Richardson also wrote two award winning books:
Lavender Blue and the Faeries of Galtee Wood
Canlandia

Spring is coming!

I proudly present: Spring is coming! This is the new painting I was talking about in my latest post. It was a big project: very high resolution (you can basically print it on your wall :), loads of detail and I sat more than two weeks with it from first draft to finish.
An early day in spring: The snow is slowly being melted away by the first warm rays of the sun, snowbells and crocus flowers are starting to bloom, the forest animals are playful and happy that a long winter finally comes to an end.

Sketch to finish: Mother Raccoon

I am working on a new painting right now. This is a character who will be featured in it and I thought I will share the progress for this one with you.
1) First I do a sketch which lines out the important features, I don’t focus too much on this in order to stay flexible in the later progress.
2) I am blocking in the main colors I want to use.
3) I start to define light and shadow and give the image more nuances.
4) I render the character by first painting in some fur very roughly and then using a thin brush to paint in the fluffy, well defined hair strands and single hairs. I focus on the form and shape of the raccoon and try to underline it with the direction of the fur. I use ‘screen’, ‘overlay’, ‘multiply’ or ‘linear dodge’ brush adjustment modes to work out some highlights or to add shadows.

What inspires me?

I already showed you in my short video ‘Meet my little friends’, that animals and nature inspire me a lot. But there are many other things: I find a lot of inspiration in the things which surround me. I go on long walks to enjoy nature and quite often I come back with new ideas about what I want to paint. I like to observe nature – weather conditions, the play of light and shadow, seasonal changes and moods connected to these things. Animals of course also inspire me a lot! Apart from this I enjoy to read and study ‘The Art of’ books. I have a quite large collection which ranges from Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks animations to games as ‘Tomb Raider’ or ‘Assassin’s Creed’. I also absolutely love Studio Ghibli and find their style and especially the way they picture nature extremely inspiring. Their art sparks my imagination a lot! There are also some traditional artists which influenced quite much: Caravaggio – the master of shadow and light, Burne-Jones and J.W. Waterhouse amongst other Pre-Raphaelites or Alphonse Mucha are some I want to mention. Last but not least I enjoy browsing the internet. I check out the latest works on behance or one of my favorite picture blogs.

Happy when it rains

A fox for a change. This time I wanted you to smell the wet earth and the rainy fresh air, to feel the raindrops on your skin and hear them dropping onto the leaves and into the grass.

Clouds on the Horizon

‘Clouds on the Horizon’ was done for an app project (‘Sunny‘ by Taptanium) which features it as well as 5 other illustrations of mine as parallax scenes which all come with stereoscopic 3D sounds of beaches. The challenge was to catch the atmosphere of each sound and also tell the story of a man, who is journeying across the Seven Seas to follow an ancient legend his forefathers retold from generation to generation. The scene should have an overall relaxing and calm mood but still spark the idea of an adventure lying ahead.

Bad Boy

Originally I was planning to do a very simple illustration for a shirt design. But it turned out to be a fully rendered illustration because it was so much fun to work on this one so that I couldn’t stop.

New Book project: Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin

I am happy to announce my cooperation with True North Publishing and the authors Luke Matthews and LK Griffie. I am illustrating a Chapter Book series for children from 5-8. The first book will be called ‘Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin’ and the series introduces rare and endangered animals into the lives of children who are experiencing emotional and physical challenges.

This is what the first book is about: Eight-year-old Timmy Hawkins dreads going to school each day. Not because of the hard work, but because of a mean bully named Zeke who makes Timmy’s life a nightmare. Even worse, nobody seems to understand or care what Timmy is going through. He is about to give up hope when a very specialfriend appears outside his window one night in the form of a rare Golden Lion Tamarin. Timmy soon realizes that the Tamarin, who he names Rin, is invisible to everyone but him. When the critter sneaks into Timmy’s backpack one day and goes to school with him, it results in some hilarious antics that puts Zeke in his place. Soon, Timmy is feeling confident, all because of his “guardian angel animal,” and with Rin’s help, he finally finds the courage within to make a stand against Zeke and his bully pals once and for all.

The book release will be in spring or early summer 2015.

A Winter Tale

Winter is coming… and with it comes a new painting: A Winter Tale. You find a making of with progress steps and a short video on behance