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Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

.
Hi folks. I've recently taken up a pencil and sketch pad and started drawing 40k inspired scenes and characters as illustrations for my Grot fiction here on Dakka.
This is really my first ever attempt at doing anything like this before and its been a learn as i go kind of experience.
I've been sharing some of my pictures on other threads and have linked many to the original fiction threads they were drawn for but I thought it would be good to set up this blog as a dedicated space to talk about the whole process.

Now I'm not claiming to be some sort of serious artist. I just wanted to see some pictures of my grot fiction characters and didn't have the time to painstakingly source and build everyone in miniature form.

I'm going to go through everything one picture at a time and talk about each in order of when I did them. I'll explain what we're seeing, how I like the finished picture etc. Hopefully it'll be more interesting than this log boring introduction.

I fully welcome all comments and criticism. I'm not aiming to get a job with the Black Library. I doubt they'd have a spot in their publishing schedule for something approaching an illustrated children's novel. This isn't the grimdark world of 40k as you may know it.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
The first picture that hit the page was this scene.



Its a scene from Chapter 2 of my yet unfinished (and unposted) second book of Grot fiction, Smirking Da Chosen One.
The orks under the direction of BlackGull the Shaman have dressed a grot sacrifice in bat wings and tossed him into a Volcano. But something huge is falling from the sky.

I'm not really happy with the giant fireball up top but you know, first shot at this, not too bad. I like the colours.

I'm penciling the picture the lines and when I'm happy with the picture I'll ink over the lines and then rub out the pencil. I've got a set of fine ink pens that I'm using for colouring but they're not really the right thing. I really should be using watercolours. But hey ho, I'm working with what I've got.
Last step of the process is to scan it and enhance in Photoshop. I did some tidying and played with the contrast etc. so this version is looking better than the original in my sketchbook.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
My first attempt at some proper characters sees BlackGull in Chapter 1 settling the anxieties of the rival ork clans with his plan to invoke the power of Da Godz.



I was pretty happy with the overall look of the orks. Very cartoonish but lots of character. Most significantly the grot in the centre is the defining originator for all my grots to follow. Pleased as punch with how he turned out.

I didn't like the dark ork on the left, too dark. So I decided to just use the lighter green for all my greenskins, orks and grots. This one needed plenty of photoshop help to smooth out the mess. Actually looking at that "dark" ork on the left it looks like I photoshopped him back to a lighter green. Its the fella in the pirate hat.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2017/09/08 06:30:11


   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Third attempt at this and its on to Chapter 3 of Smirking Da Chosen One.



Smirking finds himself alive and in possession of some permanently fused on wings!
I liked the way this one turned out. Nice colours in the sky and the sea, and on the sand. The little further away part of the island was a bit too dark though, so part of the post production fix up was lightening it and of course brightening the reflection on the water. (Which really shouldn't slant like that)

Also this is my first real attempt at depicting our grot hero Smirking Da Chosen One in the form he'll take for the rest of that story. He's supposed to be all burned up and his face is scarred into a permanent toothy smirk.

That smoking island in the background is the thing that fell from the sky and crushed the volcano island.

   
Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

I like your style, i think it represents grots really well! I've seen it in the other threads but i do think that picture with the smoke and sun is excellent, even without the written backstory i had a pretty good sense of what was goiing on.

I am looking forward to more

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks amazingturtles. I'm hoping to lock down my story ending for Smirking Da Chosen One soon before posting it all here. But at this rate the pictures will have the story told long before the text goes up. You won't have to wait long for more as I've a bit of a backlog still to post and drawing more every day.

The next scene is following on into Chapter 4 of Smirking Da Chosen One as our castaway comes into contact with the Gorka-Fleet Krooza 'Grondhammer'



A very different feel, smaller figures and a very large man-made (ork-made!) non-organic object as the main focus. I enjoyed the technical challenge here. Still looks a bit cartoonish, which is fine, I'm not trying to work up a serious schematic here.
Going for blue as a Gorka-Fleet colour so Kaptain GorGoff's totem on the boat is blue.

   
Made in gb
Agile Revenant Titan






These are really cool! I like them a lot can't wait to see what's in store for our diminutive hero.

Check out may pan-Eldar projects http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/702683.page

Also my Rogue Trader-esque spaceport factions http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/709686.page

Oh, and I've come up with a semi-expanded Shadow War idea and need some feedback! https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/726439.page

Lastly I contribute to a blog too! http://objectivesecured.blogspot.co.uk/ Check it out! It's not just me  
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks Ynneadwraith. If I ever decide to draw illustrations for my Eldar fiction I know where I'll look for inspiration.

And my largest drawing to date, almost a full A4 is from Chapter 5 of Smirking Da Chosen One.



This is the scene that greets Smirking on returning to his former island home now the location of the fallen GorkaMorka. One side of the island is home to Gorka-Fleet and their shipyards and ports. The other side houses The Morka-Wing's airfields and factories.

I made an attempt at some directional lighting here with an orange glow from the right side of the picture.
Wanted to make the GorkaMorka kind of anthropomorphise the whole island so the slopes around the top form a sort of arms and shoulders shape. I had lots of fun adding details like one of Belfast's Harland & Wolf cranes, and lots of chimneys and pylons.
Fine ink pens, great for detail, not so great for large area colouring like the sea. Still just working with what I got.

I was so chuffed with the way this one turned out that it really encouraged me to keep going and see what I was capable of.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/09/19 22:19:35


   
Made in gb
Boosting Ultramarine Biker






Cardiff,Wales.

Incredible amount of details on the chapter 5 island,gives off a nice sci fi feel that one,like the airship,oil rig out at sea,the boat plane and several other little details you put in there.
All Very cool so far,look forward to seeing what else you draw in the future,keep um coming!

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks mate. My hobby time these days is pretty much exclusively drawing, so no progress on those 20 odd objectives I had ready to paint. Don't worry, some of them will be worth waiting for, and even if it takes a year of two I'll happily necro your objective marker thread any time.

So I got a proper sketchbook and immediately noticed an improvement from the better quality paper. The ink spreads a little nicer and doesn't look so scratchy.

Took a few pot shots at some individual grot characters from Smirking Da Chosen One (Interestingly not Smirking himself)


Goggz- Grot Bomba crew


Kanz - Grot navigator


Sleekit aka Da Grotfather -Revolutionary Grot general. (Not happy with this depiction of him at all.)


Unnamed Grot with Blunderbuss. (Go on, name that grot)

Nice bit of play in variations on shape of noses and ears and activities here. Trying profiles and more straight on angles. Bit quicker and more fun than my last epic effort.


   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

The next set in the Sketchbook sees another few grot character sketches. These guys are creations from a thread I have going in dakka fiction Give it yer best grot!


Sgt_Smudge's Sniper grot Gakkit- Da Eye of Mork. (Honestly I like Sgt_Smudge's story a lot better than this drawing. I should re-read it and do a better picture.)


Sikkum- the Feral Grot



A bit of an experiment in conveying motion. Wotzit is kicking Sikkum in the rear. I found myself imitating the pose trying to figure out where Wotzit's hands should be to keep his balance. Then Sikkum is just arms up feet off the ground, all very cartoony.

This scene is of KommissarKiln's character from the same thread Grimy the Ex-Grot Oiler.

In KommissarKiln's story Grimy has just been shoved off a trukk just as it takes a missile hit and he's the only survivor.
I liked the character's attitude and the story made for this neat little snap shot. So I'd say this one is probably more of an exercise in story telling in one small frame. We've got the character, his attitude, the empty ork helmet, the wrecked vehicle in the background. I included the heavy shoota he finds at the end in the middle distance but I don't think it improves the picture. Maybe just one story element too far.

If you'd like to contribute to Give it yer best grot! come on and jump in with a new grot character story of your own. I look forward to drawing him almost as much as reading about him.

   
Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

I think that the grot with the blunderbuss should be named... flinto?

or maybe not.

i love the island. it reminds me a bit of some of the settings in the borderlands games.

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in us
Mutated Chosen Chaos Marine





I love how you have a children's book style meets grimdark subject matter. Really fun stuff.

Help me, Rhonda. HA! 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks guys. Glad you're enjoying my madness.
I hope I'm not loading these on too fast but here's the next one.

It was at this point I decided to look back at my old original grot fiction story The Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life Starring another grot by the same name (my main protagonist grot is always called Smirking) This guy is the original Grot called Smirking imagined back in 2009. The fella with the wings is a newcomer from 2015.



I thought it would be great to see Smirking as we first meet him in Chapter 1 at the spawning ground. Trouble is spawnlings presumably don't have clothes so he's butt naked eating a bug.
I actually really like this picture, not just because I drew a butt naked grot. He looks happy but more importantly I think anatomically it works which is so important for this one. Clothing is much easier to get away with doing roughly.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/09/07 01:03:26


 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

And back with Smirking Da Chosen One following on to Chapter 6 where GrodMek's secret weapon is loaded aboard a Gorka-Fleet Mega-Krooza 'Gargantic'



Pretty happy with this one. The boat isn't particularly orky but it's Boaty which is more important when trying to draw a boat. Also the perspective on the ship's deck I think is off but it seems to work anyway somehow. I had a lot of perspective issues trying to do the looking up at things angle. Had to totally redo the crane at the pencil stage.
The crane is based on a Harland & Wolf crane from the Belfast ship yard.
The ork glyphs on the side of the box say Grod Mek.

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

So what would a grot mob be without its fearsome ork minder? Free, revolutionary, still awesome! Ok all those things but there's a Runtherd in "Smirking: A Grot's Life" So here he is.
Introducing SkagNet, an old ex-Bloodaxe Kommando who's resorted to catching and selling grots for a living.



This was my first attempt at him and I was happy enough. His legs are a bit odd. I like his long face, looks kinda tired and hopeless. I dropped a little Smirking in beside him just to annoy him. Look at that happy little guy! I like seeing Smirking in this kind of totally benign attitude.

Seeing old Skaggers made me want to see the rest of the gang, so here they are, the real core group as they are around chapter 6.



Left to right this is SkagNet, Smudge, Unki, Nurd, Slakka, Smirking, Runt and Snikkit.

I really enjoyed this little set of all very different characters. Drew them on a nice long bottom third of an A4. (Crummy copy paper! My pens don't like it) You'll notice Snikkit is pretty much the same as Sikkum from before. They're very similar characters, manically violent feral grots. And look at little Runt, isn't he just adorable!
This picture is the most children's-book-like drawing so far. "Smirking: A Grot's Life" Really belongs in some kind of Cadian Children's library.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/09/19 22:17:04


   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Next up its the top and tail of Chapter 9 of The Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life in two very different pictures.

This time I can actually show some work in progress shots I took as I was going along.

Goff Boss GorGoff gives SkagNet's grot mob a nasty mission from Boss GorGoff. This one is at the beginning of the colouring stage with the red just going on. I've ink outlined all the pencil drawing and rubbed out the pencil already.

This is the next scene in which it all goes horribly wrong. I had originally intended this piece of paper for a rough concept plan. But by the time I'd gotten the Sentinels looking right I'd done that much work on it I just continued on the page. This is the pencil sketch almost ready to ink the outlines.

And once they were both inked and coloured and done and after a bit of computer touch up the two final pieces look like this.



Really pleased with this although I'm not sure if GorGoff looks big and nasty enough. Or if SkagNet looks old and tired and put out enough. A first of this kind of thing, closer up character stuff. Still working on my skills at doing certain expressions. I'm finding it tricky.



Enjoyed this one too even though the copy paper didn't help. Very technical and fiddley trying to do those Sentinels. One or two small things I'm not dying about, Smirking for one is a bit naff. Despite that though I do love the interaction between SkagNet and Nurd in this one.

Thanks to everyone who's following my progress here and commenting. Its an odd thing, I know. Not everyone's into drawing silly pictures of 40k stuff. So I really appreciate all your encouraging feedback so far.

   
Made in gb
Boosting Ultramarine Biker






Cardiff,Wales.

Liking the Ork battleship cool AA guns and Cranes,interesting chapter one pic definitely gives off a fantasy world feeling with the mushrooms and naked grot,Totally agreed on the cuteness of the runt ,Also Lol the hell is the one at the back doing,eating a Tree!
And i see what you mean about the sentinels,lots of weird angles on them legs musta been hard to draw.

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Ha ha. Yes, he's eating the tree. No actually Snikkit is breaking the tree into spiky sticks for weapons. He's awful staby that one.

   
Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

Sentinels look quite difficult to draw with their spindly legs and such, i think you got them pretty good. Runt is certainly my favorite in the group shot

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

I once retold the whole story of A Grot's Life in verse and couldn't resist this time adding a few lines from it to this picture.



Total children's book material! Grimdark it ain't! Apart form the whole subtext of slavery thing of course.

   
Made in gb
Agile Revenant Titan






Haha all fantastic work! Really enjoying this

It also fits into my headcanon about orks basically, I always imagine that to the orks the entire world runs through their head like a sort of cartoon strip. So, where an Imperial soldier sees a ravening hulking murderous brute the ork sees a load of cartoony characters where everything's a bit of a joke and not really real.

Check out may pan-Eldar projects http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/702683.page

Also my Rogue Trader-esque spaceport factions http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/709686.page

Oh, and I've come up with a semi-expanded Shadow War idea and need some feedback! https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/726439.page

Lastly I contribute to a blog too! http://objectivesecured.blogspot.co.uk/ Check it out! It's not just me  
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks man, still enjoying it myself. Not getting much painting or writing done but sure its all good.

On with the next page.
A brief trip back to "Smirking Da Chosen One" (I know its confusing that I have two stories both starring a grot called Smirking but not the same grot)

Honestly these are my two least favourite pictures so far. Smudge reveals the BigMek's secret weapon is a giant grot bomb.




And Sleekit assures the grots that their hero Smirking will fly it and survive!



Sorry to be a moan but I don't like how I'm doing Sleekit (he needs a total character redesign), I did Smirking too dark (trying to make him look burnt, just looks crappy) and Smudge's face paint looks a mess. (I had it alright bit then added darker lines and ruinee it.) Not to mention the scratchy background surfaces (the whole filter is an attempt to smooth out and fix this in some way) and sub-par crowd characters. (No excises I was just being lazy.)
Not a big fan of either of these drawings but I suppose its a learning process and you gotta accept that not every step of the way will be a big hit.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/09/12 21:39:49


   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Total style departure here from previous pictures. Big mad close up for the big mad ork as WazzBad the weirdboy gets some face time.



Just thought the old wierdboy suited a looser more erratic scrawl. Lots of scratchy lines giving an altogether wilder look to this portrait. I gave him a freaky squared spiral of Waaagh! energy blazing from his eye. Don't know how well it worked really or how I'd do it differently. It is what it is I suppose. I actually really like it. Might try and do one of Smirking like this some day.

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Staying with WazzBad for the moment and its the scene of his triumph over GorGoff (spoiler alert). GorGoff is doing his thing while a fella with a traktor kannon is trying to drop a tank on his head. WazzBad commandeers said tank and has a face off with the Goff warboss resulting in GorGoff's head exploding.



Pretty heavy on the post-production enhancements here. I wanted the waaagh powered hovering Russ to really glow but I think I darkened down the rest a bit too much. Still happy enough with it.

Bit of a time consuming job though drawing all the wee figures and vehicles, then again if I wasn't working on probably 5 other sketches at the same time it might have gotten done quicker.

   
Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

I'm sure it was a lot of work, but i like that there's still a lot of character in all of the little orks and grots around the tank.

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland


Glad you dig it AT. There are some funny little dudes in there. I should've drawn one in the stripey hat and glasses.

I was pretty happy with my WazzBad close up so I thought I'd give SnazzGutz the Painboy the same treatment, though not quite so scribbley.



I might have darkened the background down a bit but it didn't cross my mind till it was already in the can, so to speak. The big yellow glow is supposed to be a light on the doc's head (likely bolted on) shining in your eyes. Not sure if its a bit much but I'm really quite happy with how the whole thing turned out in the end.
I enjoy the psychotic gleam in his eyes. The doctor will see you now.

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Back with the Grots of "Smirking: A grots life" and its chapter 3 "Da Heist" where Smirking and a few of his pals steal some weapons from a Mekboy's workshop.



Trouble is they're broken ones and the Mek's helper grot is busy fixing them.

Really enjoyed this little scene. A good snapshot moment to draw with a lot of comedy characters to play with.
My main issue here was the black background. I'm not a fan of trying to black out large areas. It's a pain to get it smooth (a serious amount of photoshoping helped this) but more than that it's a real skill to select areas for shade and not overdo it and kill the detail or ruin the whole thing. New found respect for comic book artists who draw a lot of black in the frame. It's not a skill I'm likely to enjoy working on in the future though I may try.

   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Just thought I'd use this opportunity to make a note on my post production editing. I'll scan the finished sketch and run it through Adobe Lightroom. Sometimes it's just touchups, a bit of a contrast boost and some smoothing off but sometimes the original and the finished picture are really very different.

Here's the original sketch without any fixing up. Smirking in Chapter 8 of A Grot's life, finds a plasma gun on the battlefield.



It's supposed to be night time. So either I draw the whole thing darker and fill in all the background sky (an unpleasantly time consuming job that ends up looking messy.) or I just give it a hint of colour and make it look like night time on the computer.



The final result fixes the look and also hides a lot of the mess in the foreground. I the angle of the wall was way off but it isn't nearly so noticeable in the dark. Cheating my way to improvement. Maybe I overdid it a bit. Think I just wanted the moon and the plasma gun to glow.

   
Made in gb
Boosting Ultramarine Biker






Cardiff,Wales.

Yet more awesome Artwork.
I like the Night & Day themes,I kinda think the backround with the city ruins looks good though,reckon to many ruins would look weird,and the tanks are well drawn too,nice crazy glow on the floating russ very comic strip looking that one.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/09/23 13:38:02


   
Made in gb
Stealthy Grot Snipa






Northern Ireland

Thanks, I'm glad you're not getting bored of this yet. There's more still to share and I just keep on drawing more.


Back with the erstwhile unprinted story of Smirking Da Chosen One. I really should just start posting it soon but I don't want to foul up the whole fiction forum with anothet Grot fiction thread. Its not finished and still very much in flux so... Some time.

Anyway, I'd skipped a chapter in my SdCO illustrations so here it is.



Not a super dramatic moment but here it is. Pretty happy with my Skirking this time. He's not darker, just a bit hashed up, and looking kinda smug actually. Not sure how I'd draw him close up. A challenge for another day maybe.

   
Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

Your work continues to make me happy. The moment in the mek shop really is a wonderful scene, i like the one reaching sneakily for the gun

realism is a lie
 
   
 
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