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Storn Art for tha' swipin'
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Storn...
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Storn
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Location: Southfield, MI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fanchergw wrote:
Hi Storn,

Regarding the dwarf in the new pic, I love the image, but what are those things in the quiver on his back? Since there's no feathers, they don't think they can be arrows / bolts / throwing darts. Maybe some kind of very short throwing javelin? Tent stakes?

Regards,

Gordon


They are javelins.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, a couple of nights ago, I had insomnia. I have insomnia quite a bit, I'm afraid. And I'm not even a night person. Nope, I'm of the dreaded few, a morning person. Often, it is good things that keep me awake... like musing on art.

I will turn and toss a piece of art around in my mind, bringing in colors and design elements, switching camera angle and thinking about setting and mediums. Inspiration can really keep me up nights.

The other day, I got a facebook message from Matt Forbeck, a great game designer and all around cool guy, about his new Kickstart project called Shotguns and Sorcery. Stupidly, I didn't go the project website or do any research. I was going to do that the next day as when I read the message, I was almost done for the working day. So. I went to bed with Matt's Shotguns and Sorcery title kicking around in my noggin and awoke at 3 in the morning.

And I came up with an image, the sketch below, which I thought was kinda cool. I manage to fall asleep for a bit, waking again at 7ish and went straight to the drawing board to jot down what I had worked out in my mind. I quickly scanned it in, jotted a few notes in photoshop and sent it to Matt. Problem is, it is TOTALLY wrong for Shotguns and Sorcery. Shotguns and Sorcery isn't a western-fantasy mash up, it is a Noir-Fantasy mashup. I should have read the site. But still, I like the sketch. Glad I did it. Maybe somewhere down the road a project might find a place for it to live.

And I thought y'all might like to see a quickie preliminary cover idea sketched out, along with how I think about stuff written in the margins. And get a chuckle out of my knuckle headedness.

Here is a link to Matt Forbeck's project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/forbeck/12-for-12-20-shotguns-and-sorcery-novels

And here is my erroneous sketch:



Also, on a different tact, another superhero (or villain, not sure, didn't get that distinction in the art direction) for long time patron Death Tribble. Pencils were done over a couple of our "working lunches". Ethan Young and Steve Ellis are both local artists who've I've been hanging out with quite a bit. I did working lunch in quotations because, 1) we go a lot longer than lunch, 4-5 hours. 2) We actually get a lot done. It is almost like working in an old 30s-40s studio situation. So nice to have another couple of eyes looking at your work. The camaraderie is really nice and keeps one motivated. And we learn a lot from each other. I think we will be doing a lot more of it in the future.

Now, I just have to finish the 4-6 sketches that need to go to finishes!

Here is Supersuit:



See y'all in a few!
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally though Western and Fantasy too when I read "Shotguns & Sorcery." Love the picture though and think it would be fantastic for Deadlands. Who knows, maybe Pinnacle will take you up on it?
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Storn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thunderforge wrote:
I totally though Western and Fantasy too when I read "Shotguns & Sorcery." Love the picture though and think it would be fantastic for Deadlands. Who knows, maybe Pinnacle will take you up on it?


That would be nice!

First up, we have an "indiana jones" like bard. That was in the art brief. I'll let y'all decide if I succeeded.



Next up, we have Skip. Skip is single. He is a Mind Flayer (or Illithid among his own kind). He likes walks on the beach during sunny dawns. He loves puppies. He has a steady job as a top notch barber. He plays whist. And Ladies, he is a budding top notch amateur gourmet french cook.



yup. another death tribble production!! <g>
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love your "erroneous sketch." Also really dig the Illithid barber. That one is just plain fun.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newForumNewName wrote:
Love your "erroneous sketch." Also really dig the Illithid barber. That one is just plain fun.


Thank you!!! I like both of those too!

Yup. I'm involved in another Kickstarter project. And folks, I really hope this one gets off the ground, because I really, really want to do the "old school" dungeon module cover for it. I worked up a bit of art for the interior, "The Beast", hopefully to drum up some support for JB Mannon and At The Table games.

Here is the blurb that At The Table provided me:

Within the Devil's Reach is a group of three adventures all set in the backwater town of Devil's Reach. The town was already about as close to hell as you could get but things are getting worse. All three adventures are great intro adventures for the Dungeon World Roleplaying Game. Dungeon World is a light weight game that is focused on delivering an old school, dungeon crawl experience.

Now I haven't had the opportunity to play Dungeon World, but it gets great buzz from Story Games. More importantly to me, my good friend Judd, has really enjoyed running it. From what I can tell, it is D&D old school, but lighter and tightly integrated mechanics with a lot of flavor for each "class" you play. Kinda the best of "old school" combined with "new school" game design. Dungeon World is reasonably priced too, although only available at the moment as a pdf, print is coming out this Gencon.

Here is a link to the kickstarter from At The Table: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1154791902/within-the-devils-reach-dungeon-world-adventures?ref=card

Here is a link to Dungeon World itself: http://www.dungeon-world.com/

And here is my teaser art, "The Beast". I haven't inked in some time for a project that is to remain black and white. I ink all the time for my "superhero style", so it was fun to go back to an old friend and ink this up as a piece of black and white artwork.


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Storn
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is odd how sometimes character concepts and commissions seem to run in similar thematics. I remember getting a few years ago, 3 speedster archtypes in a month. While 2 is not quite a trend, they did sorta tumble into my to do queue at the same time.

First up, we have a samurai for Death Tribble that called for a pretty straight forward treatment in the concept description.



Next, we have a character from a Legends of the Five Rings campaign. A monk who started out in the Spider Clan, became disillusioned, and went over to the Phoenix clan. But the white swash is symbolic of Takijiro being of two worlds. (Very similar to my own Tsuntake PC who was of Dragon Clan, but his mom was Unicorn and she died saving a lot of face for the Dragon, so Tsuntake was raised knowing he would go serve Shinjo Shoji of the Unicorn...also a young man of two worlds.)



Lastly, for today, I've got another one done for Inkwell's Monster Project kickstart. This time, I got to do a White Dragon. Dragons are tough. So many artists before me have done Dragons, hard to bring your own stamp on it. I think it is informative to show my mistakes and missteps. The first draft of this was rejected by Inkwell and rightly so...although when I had done it, I was too close to it and thought it was fine. I was rather happy with it. But after it's rejection, I started to see its flaws and a talk with my wife about it really cemented that it, well, sucked... and that I needed to do better. So here is the first sketch:



And here is what a good art director, a good wife, a couple of tossed away sketches, and drawing with chums at a coffee shop can accomplish. In my opinion, so much better. Joe over at Inkwell deserves a lion share of the credit for pointing out a much better wing attach to body arrangement. I also wanted to say that I really enjoy working in light colors sometimes. It is fun to do almost watercolor over pencils digitally.



Let me know what y'all think...

And here is the link to Inkwell's Monster Project kickstart in case anyone missed it before and are interested: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inkwellideas/monster-stock-art
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The samurai is awesome. And, I'm not a dragon expert, but I think it's pretty good.
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The painted dragon looks good, but I personally don't really care for the really obvious bone that goes into his wing. That's more of a personal preference than anything else it seems.
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Cryonic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thunderforge wrote:
The painted dragon looks good, but I personally don't really care for the really obvious bone that goes into his wing. That's more of a personal preference than anything else it seems.
The obvious bone is fine... except for the fact that there is flesh in front of it rather than the bone being the leading edge of the wing. Also the back of the wing seems to be just loose flaps of skin which is bad for flight.

I'd suggest checking out the anatomy of flyers like bats or even older creatures, like the various dinosaur flyers (pterosaurs) to see how the wing should be built/structured for flight.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two commissions, but first I wanted to let folks know that 6 supers are up in the latest portfoilo from moi and LPJ designs. So. If you are looking for superheroes (or villains) clipart that is print quality and reasonably priced, look NO further. Well.... look further by clicking on the link provided. This, by the way, is my 15th!!!! portfolio. So thanks to all the patrons who keep my drawing their characters and cranking away.

Here is the link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=100228

This commission has been done for awhile and goes with the fantasy group that I've posted earlier. But I simply forgot to stuff it onto my photobucket so I could link it here and show it off. I like this one, I felt that young mage as gunfighter was kinda fun concept to play off.



Next is another for patron unstoppable, Death Tribble and it is request for a cheongsam wearing korean (beautiful) martial artist. This was a fun one to do because I was breaking in a new brush pen from Pentel that I picked up that day. To be honest, the paper was bleeding just slightly and I spent a bit more time doing clean up than I liked. But the brush itself, the Pentel GFKp rocked for doing the inking. I usually ink with winter sable kolinkskys from Weber, dipping it in india ink (or sometimes using dip pens too, depends on my mood). But the GFKp (I have no idea what the initials stand for) is a nice portable inking tool.

And since I was working at one of our Thursday coffee shop work sessions, I bought the Pentel GFKp (not easy to type that) at our brand new awesome art store that happens to be right NEXT door to the coffee shop! How cool is that? Well, y'all out there in internet land probably don't care... but I think it is very cool. Went in for a new kneaded eraser and came out with a very cool new tool. By far the best mechanical brush pen I've used.

Anyway, that was waaay too long discussion about my passion over art supplies. Here is the art and I will shut up. Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the korean martial artist. And I love what you did with the dress and the perspective. It gives it that sort of Bruce Lee waving-the-opponent-to-try-again look.

I don't particularly like her stance from a purely functional martial arts perspective though. Personal preference, I guess.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You now can wear ME on YOUR chest!!!

Silver Branch games has taken two of my covers and made them available as t-shirts. They look kinda snazzy, if I can say so myself. I want one.

Check dem out here:

http://silverbranch.spreadshirt.com/
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations. They look like pretty nice shirts too.


... I need to figure out how to get my GM to give me the Very Rich edge for a couple of years.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks, there have been several events in motion behind the scenes at Studio Storn. I am about to embark on a 3 month (or so) project involving a comic book/video game that I am NOT at liberty to discuss. But it is a ton of work. I also have been working on a facebook game, helping with art chores on that. And several covers have made it to my desk.

So. I am raising the price on my private commissions from $45.00 to $60.00.

I have several reasons for doing this.

1) So, while I absolutely LOVE doing private commissions for folks, I need to slow down the rate of which I've been receiving them. A price increase will do that. The demand on me sometimes gets in the way of taking on publisher's paying work.

2) I haven't raised my rates since I've started to doing this (I lowered the prices when I very first started this gig).

3) I feel that I spend more time on each commission than I did when I first started, and there is a higher degree of polish and finish on my commissions and that takes time. While I am fast, a living wage is in danger of being a barely making it wage the more time I spend on these.

If and when my business gets sparse, I might lower my prices. I wholly admit this is an experiment and I expect folks to be a bit bummed about the price raise. So I might have to change my mind.

I really appreciate all the acceptance and support and work I've gotten over the years and I don't do this lightly.

So. Now that is out of the way, let me lay some art on y'all. This is a superhero group of past commissions gathered into one group shot.


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Lord Karick
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds fair to me.
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The Dread Polack
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you, Storn. Happy to hear you're keeping busy, professionally. Even at $60, it's a good deal. And, looking forward to hearing about the ne gig.
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Cryonic
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful. Raising your rates might actually cause you to get more business, not less. This has been one lesson I've found out doing contract IT work. Raised my rates to reduce the number of clients, and actually ended up getting more, heheh. For any task there is a sweet spot of price vs business.
In your case you might have been charging too low. Especially if you haven't raised them in a while (to compensate for inflation and Cost of Living increase).
One of the rules I was taught for doing contract work is figure out your desired annual salary, divide it by the number of hours working 40/week (~2000 per year). That gives you an hourly rate. Now triple that number to deal with taxes and other benefits (and the fact that you won't necessarily get 40 hours of work every week) and you should be at your rate.
So, if it takes you an hour to do each drawing and you've been charging $45 per, then you've been working for a salary of about $30,000 before taxes and such.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A person who seriously wants what you do (what ever the craft) will assume if you charge more you are that much better.
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Storn
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things have been really, really busy here at Studio Storn. I just spent a wonderful extended weekend in Ohio and Michigan. My step-grandfather passed at 89 in Dayton and he had a wonderful life and a wonderful family. I love 'em to pieces. So, please, no condolences. So, we passed through my old haunts in Michigan on the way to the memorial. Had a wonderful time with Eric, Rick and Neil, my old gaming buds. Had an awesome time at the memorial seeing family I haven't seen in decades. It was a very happy time!

And oddly, the best service in Ann Arbor ever! Way better than when I actually lived there. Kudos to Zingermans and Red Tractor BBQ. Just the nicest folks working there. Millie, my wife, loved Ann Arbor.

Getting back to the studio has been really busy with my NDA project and wrapping up other projects. So I have not been posting anything. I've got a couple of things to lay on ya.

First. I don't do many logos... but Darren Watts, formerly of Hero Games, asked me to do this one, because I've done Apes for him before. He is starting up a publishing company called Silverback Press. Here is a link to Silverback's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SilverbackPress

And here is the logo:


Next up is a private commission I of a character I believe is in a 7th Sea/ Legends of 5 Rings game.... so I went sorta fantasy-ish in that direction.


Lastly. Another LPJ Portfolio of my clip art work has come out. This one is fantasy, some pics are much more fully illustrated than the single figure, no background thing. A preview is available here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/100689/Image-Portfolio-Platinum-Edition-17%3A-Storn-Cook

So. Yeah. Posting from me is going to slow down a bit, as I won't have tons of new art to show as I work on the new NDA project. Millie's daughter has moved in with us, she will be going to school at Tompkins Cortland Community College for free, where Millie is a professor. And we might have to seek a bigger house. I so love moving.

I know that I have one painting that has been done for a couple of weeks, just waiting on the client to get his ducks in a row, so I can give him some free guerrilla marketing. And I will hopefully get some of the smaller commissions out here and there as we go along. Check back in a few days!
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