Sunday, April 30, 2006

Angelina and Alfred

Here's my MAD Tomb Raider cover from a few years ago, using the same painting method from my tutorial. I've also included the pencils and some detail shots.

Since completing this piece I've refined my methods slightly. The main difference is I now lighten my dark pencil edges when they occur near strong highlights (see detail of Lara and you'll notice the linework on the edge of her face is quite dark). In Photoshop, I use the brush on 'Lighten' mode to achieve the lighter lines. I'll eventually revisit this piece and just fix up those little indiscrepancies.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Daredevil motorcycle jump

This was done as a promotional piece for an advertising company. The brief was for a 1970's Evil Knievel-comicbook style. I faded and altered the colours slightly and also overlayed and painted texture, stains and tears to achieve the aged look. You can see the full illustration, but I've also split it in two so you can see more of the detail.

Friday, April 28, 2006


A colour sketch of actress Famke Janssen, who played the superhero Phoenix in the Xmen movies. This started off as a pencil sketch which was scanned into Photoshop, the linework was colourised and some spot shading in Photoshop was applied.

Blog bits and bobs

For those of you who view my blog entries individually, through syndication or you just have a browser which doesn't support the Blogger layout properly- you're probably missing out on all the cool sidebar stuff I have going on. So here's some brief explanations and links about the sidebar content...

GALLERY WahltoWahlart- Once a blog entry disappears from the main page, the artwork gets added to my Gallery. Basically it works just like a normal website gallery, so if you want to check out art from past posts, that's the place to go.

SHOP ChrisWahlartstore- This is my CafePress shopfront, where you'll find all sorts of nifty little bits of merchandise. Everything from Tshirts to Wallclocks. Check it out.

WALLPAPER Wahlpaperart- Here I'll have my favourite pieces made into desktop wallpaper. There's a variety of sizes and formats. Thanks to Maggie McFee for giving me the idea for this section.

TUTORIALS- Any blog entries that include tutorials will be linked to this section, so you can access them without having to wade through all my blog entries.

If anyone has any requests regarding Shop items, Wallpaper screen resolutions, Tutorial ideas, or any suggestions about new sections you'd like me include on this blog, please leave me a comment.

...and now back to the artwork.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


A pinup and some character sketches of Darren Close's badass Aussie marsupial, Killeroo.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hey, Zitface!

Speaking of jobs that fell through (like the fairy job last post), this was a job for Toshiba from a few years back that never quite got off the ground. They were going to be made into stickers that came with the Toshiba laptops. I'd gotten to the pencil stage and coloured one pic before it was canned. So here they are, nothing special but the pimple kid turned out alright. He has a bit of a MAD vibe about him, which is always fun to draw.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fairies, Gnomes and Unicorns

The fairies were part of an abandoned campaign for Target, which in this case was of Australian fashion designers Sass & Bide. The gnome fisherman was one of my first completed pieces in Zbrush, and the unicorn was a present to my cousin.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Liu's view askew

Here's a recent caricature of Hollywood actress, Lucy Liu from a Drawing Jam over at the Drawing Board. Sure she has nice lips and cute freckles, but that cross-eyed stare of her's is so distracting. Pesky fly...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

MAD about X-men

Here's my latest MAD cover parodying the X-men 3 movie, with Alfred as Wolverine giving a quick haircut to Beast, Professor X, Storm and Cyclops in the foreground. All the characters were digitally painted separately using the 'paperboy' method I explained a few blog entries ago (see Tutorials), then compiled in Photoshop for the final art. Also I've included a closeup of the Beast, who I think turned out the best of the lot.

EDIT: Upon the MAD art director's request, I've changed the background colour from green to blue. I think this works better.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Robot

For Illustration Friday's weekly topic. This week is Robots.
Here are some robots I created for a couple of billboard campaigns over in New Zealand to promote 4WD's. They were integrated into photographic backgrounds- the spider walking out of the ocean and the building robot climbing over a mountain. Both were created in Photoshop with the 3D elements created and rendered in Cinema4D.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tattooed Toons

Recently I posted up some of my female cheesecake toon characters, which were taken from a Cartoon Cheesecake and Beefcake challenge over at Pulp Faction. Needless to say, the results weighed heavily in favour of the female characters but a few male characters got a look in. Here are a couple I contributed- Scooby Doo's Shaggy and Popeye the Sailor man.

Eventually I want to make this a series of three, the third to be someone like Samurai Jack.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pinhead revisited

Another Pinhead piece with different lighting from my previous version. Modelled and rendered in Zbrush, postwork in Photoshop.

The last two are photomanipulation pieces from photographs of a Pinhead toy. Just a bit of fun playing around with filters and texture overlays in Photoshop.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pop Art

These are two magazine pieces done in the Lichtenstein Pop art style.

Creating Pop Art-style screen dots is a very simple process in Photoshop. 1. Firstly create a greyscale image. It can be flat grey or a gradient, a shaded picture, photograph, it doesn't matter. 2. Go to Image/Mode and convert to Bitmap/Halftone screen. 3. Set the frequency- the number you put in depends on the image's dimensions, dpi and also what sized dots you want. So just play around with it until you find the desired look. 4. Set the angle to 45 degrees and the shape to round, press OK...and there you have it.

For the pics above, I then coverted the dots to RGB, colourized them, then cut and pasted them into the black line work.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ya crazy old Bat!

A quick little sketch for a thread over at The Drawing Board about retired Super Heroes. It was so much fun, I'm looking forward to doing more in the future.

I can just imagine Bats waving his Batcane in hot pursuit of a decrepid toothless Joker at 5mph on their Geriatric Scooters.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The final frontier...

I've always been fascinated with space, space exploration and science fiction themes. So it's a surprise even to me, to realise that this is the only space themed picture I've ever done that I'm kinda happy with. It's pretty rough, as the picture only started out as a Photoshop experiment to recreate some sort of spectacular looking space nebula. But I ended up adding a ship and some planets from Zbrush, and there you have it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Paperboy Step-by-Step

This is a job I did earlier this year for The Sydney Morning Herald. I'll be taking you through step by step from rough to final, explaining one of my very easy 'painting' methods (and I use that term loosely) along the way.

The brief was to have a classic 50's American style paperboy promoting the paper's subscription offer. I provided this rough sketch indicating the pose and the positioning of the text (which I was also doing) for the layout of the leaflet.

They initially were expecting a more cartoony style as indicated in my rough, but to achieve the 1950's look, I wanted to go for a bit more realism. Using photo reference of paperboys and also myself (don't ask), I created this line drawing.

The next step in my process was to completely shade the drawing in pencil. This is the most important and time-consuming step in my 'painting' process as you'll see later.

I scan this drawing into Photoshop, and with the drawing on a separate layer, I create some flat colours. The grey pencil is also colourised to match the flats.

Next step is to add highlights and a few shadows to the colour layer (most shadows are already indicated with the pencil.)

Once that is done I take the flattened artwork into Painter Classic. Now this is where my painting comes to life. Think of it as using water with Watercolour pencils to create a painting.

Using the 'Just Add Water' tool, I blend the pencil work into the colour work to create a smooth painterly look.

Since all the hues and tones are already worked out, you can work pretty fast, which achieves quite a good spontaneous look. Also the opacity is set fairly low, so a little bit of the pencilwork shows through to retain that organic, hand-drawn feel.

Once that stage is over, it's back into Photoshop, where I add the newspaper titles, do any colour corrections and finally add some noise to the pic to dirty it up and reduce the digital feel.

Finally the background (which was created using a similar method as above), the starburst effect (which involved creating a radial blur mask) and the text (hand-drawn, scanned and coloured in Photoshop) were added for the finished pic!

Hopefully this is a helpful insight into one of the ways I create my work. It's a very simple method, and is good for people lacking in traditional painting me.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


As mentioned a few blog entries ago, here's my contribution to The Drawing Book's 'Kiss' Calendar from a while back. I submitted quite a few roughs of different ideas, and was surprised when they picked the most controversial one. But I guess in hindsight, since it was for the advertising industry, a bit of controversy is always great publicity.

Funny story. I was showing some of my artwork to an old family friend the other day, and upon seeing this picture he was adamant that he had seen it published somewhere. Since I had never given him the calendar it originally appeared in, I began to wonder what sort of material this guy read to have come across a picture like this. Hmmm...

Friday, April 14, 2006

The rise and fall of Zero Assassin

One of the most popular anti-heroes to come out of Australian comics in the '90s was a character named Zero Assassin. Originally published in a cyberpunk anthology named Issue One, Zero was the lovechild of comic creator Sam Young. Eventually he was published in his own comic series but unfortunately not long after, the business went bust.

During this time, I came on board as editor of a Zero Assassin anthology, which involved 12 artists and writers teaming up to create 3-page stories about Zero Assassin. The comic was aptly titled, 'Zero to the power of twelve'. The creators involved produced some fantastic work for the book but alas it never saw the light of day, as Issue One comics folded soon after.

Which brings me to my 3-page contribution for the comic. I advise before even reading this short story, that you quickly read up on the character, here. Even then, unless you're a fanatical Zero fan, this text heavy piece is gonna be hard to follow. So just enjoy the pretty pictures...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sketchy Celebrities

These are celebrities drawn from various magazines over the years which have accumulated in my sketchbooks.

See if you can guess who's who before reading the names below. Some are Australian celebs, some are from the 80's, some are simply just badly drawn.

PICTURED: (1) Boogie Nights actor, John C. Reilly (2) Late Hollywood actor, Robert Mitchum (3) Famous writer, Arthur Miller (4) Lead singer of Australian band 'Midnight Oil' turned politician, Peter Garrett (5) Lead singer of 80's band 'The Fall', Mark E. Smith (6) Bassist from 'Hole', Melissa Auf der Maur (7) Aussie actor Russell Crowe (8) A young Johnny Cash (9) Tattooed singer Henry Rollins (10) Singer and musician Beck (11) Hollywood actor, Nicholas Cage

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A slice of Cheesecake

I've always been a fan of tasteful good girl art and artists like Petty and Varga, and growing up I was a fan of Hanna Barbera cartoons and the like. So, why not combine the two. Sure, I'lll never look back on childhood cartoons the same way again, but it's a fun premise, and a whole lot of fun to do.

Here's a small selection from a bunch I did recently over at Pulp Faction. So be sure to leave room for more cheesecake...

PICTURED:(left) Penelope Pitstop (right) Smurfette

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

You're so vain...

Drawing your first self portrait is like hearing a recording of your own voice for the first time. That rude shock of realising that you don't sound or look as good as you thought.

But once you get over that, drawing self portraits can be quite fun. For one, there's the freedom of knowing you're not going to offend the subject. And I think at the end of the day you can learn something about yourself, reveal something that was always on the surface and was evident to everyone but yourself...

...ah, who am I kidding, I just like to see how ridiculous I can make myself look. Pen through your nose, anyone?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ghost Rider

Another Marvel portrait done for fun.

The skull and clothing were modelled, textured and rendered in Zbrush. The flame and post editing were done in Photoshop. Recently I did some fixups, added the small wisp of flame on his head and fixed his expression.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Madness within...

Doing interior work for MAD was always very liberating. They had very few restrictions so it was always fun to go to crazy extremes with the subject matter. Good times...

Here are a few examples...

PICTURED: (1) 'Cursing Castle' from 'Theme parks that failed'. Australian MAD#357. (2) 'The Asicks Steroid Evader' from 'Sporting Equipment that never made it off the drawing board'. Australian MAD#363. (3) Chewbacca from 'Where are they now? Star Wars Edition.' Australian MAD#352

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Behind the scenes

Here are some insights into processes and techniques from a few of my works.

Above: A quick step-by-step for the 'Karma Skeltra' piece. Each element (skeletons, clothing and props) were all added separately.

Left: Some alternate lighting test renders for my Pinhead piece.
All artwork © Chris Wahl 2019 unless otherwise stated. All characters are copyright to their respective owners