Work In Progress: Ancient Empire

Today’s work in progress comes from our in-house artist Alex Pawlicki. If you like his awesome Cthulu/Rage Against the Machine mashup design, you can snag one for yourself on our website! Below, you can take a closer look at how it all came to be. Enjoy!

Phase 1

This is my initial concept sketch that I pitched to the RIPT Creative Team. I’m a big fan of Cthulhu and people who are familiar with my work know I love drawing Cthulhu. I’m also a big Rage fan. My initial concept used the same title as the album “Evil Empire” as the term “Evil” is what inspired me. I thought to myself about what true evil is and looks like and naturally went with our dark Lord Cthulhu. As you can see from the image, I work fast and loose when I’m sketching. It’s important to me to plan what the final image will look like, colors etc. without getting too bogged down by details.



Phase 2

The first step in creating the final piece is creating detailed pencils. You’ll notice that I pay more attention to detail in some areas than others. I don’t work my pencils as tight as some people as I like to figure out some things in my inks. I also planned shadow areas and loosely added them there. I like to mark large fill areas with “x’s” as you’ll see on the “C” on his chest.


Phase 3

Inks are my favorite phase of most pieces. It’s the moment a piece comes alive to me. From the start of these inks, I knew I wanted to go heavier with my line weights on the outlines and thinner on the inside of the piece. I also wanted a gritty texture to Cthulhu’s skin which i worked in with thin little line details. I have a tendency to over-do it with my inks sometimes and have to remind myself to hold back a bit. I think I did a good job of holding back on this one and not getting carried away.


Final Phase

Colors are the final step of the process. I start by doing flat colors on the whole piece, kind of like one would do with a coloring book. After I’ve laid out my flats I start with my transparent colors. In this piece I worked in the yellow shirt color as hi lights on Cthulhu’s skin as well as the black line color for shadows. This helps me keep the color count lower. I used a series of different brushes to achieve the painterly style I was going for. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in getting the right colors and textures.


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