Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Collaboration of a Special Kind

DeviantArt are currently holding a competition for a Colossus for the game RIFT (last day for entries today). My son and I decided to take part and to collaborate on a (hopefully winning) design. We spent hours discussing the initial concept, idea and name - you can see the rules for the entry here. Then we spent more hours sketching our ideas and agreeing on what the final colossus should look like. Much of everything changed during the process and the actual drawing of the design. Altogether we spent about a week and a half on it.

Ben did the intial concept, name and art direction, whereas I spent hours on the computer trying to put them together, LOL. It was fun (mostly). ;-)

Here you can see the process:
Ben did the original sketches for the weapon and face of the death colossus and came up with the name Blind Watcher. In the end we decided on a sickle shaped staff rather than a sword and the mask (although we kept the original idea of a plague doctor mask and no eyes) changed considerably.

Here is my colour sketch (first time I ever actually tried to draw something in Photoshop rather than Painter) of the mask/face:

Next, was the background. This was created completely from my own photographs - mostly taken at Holme Beach, Leiston Abbey, Audley End and sky pictures from all over the place. We wanted a dramatic backdrop for the colossus.
MCN :: CJ3EH-EBDT2-28U46

I then spent days (literally) drawing the colossus in Corel Painter, ready to put it into the background. Here's the final:
MCN :: CMTXA-8EAT9-5S784
The hour glass and rib cage were part of the original concept, the rest - the watch, the playing card and the halberd at his back evolved during the drawing process. The mask and eyes changed considerably too. The tattered cloak was part of the original design.

The whole process was totally out of my comfort zone. For one, I am not used having someome else telling me what to draw, LOL. However, it was great fun and I think this picture is much better than anything I could have produced on my own, although it was hard trying to combine the ideas Ben had with my own style and some parts of the image were incredibly hard to draw, e.g. the rib cage and a convincing hour glass. I spent ages giving all the tatters of the cloak a different texture and then, in the final stage, blending everything together.

To finish off, here are a couple of Ben's sketches. He's so good (I think) and I am so proud of him. The sketches were drawn using a book called Drawing & Painting Fantasy Figures as a reference.


Wish us luck! :-)


  1. That's a terrific final result - good luck with the contest!

  2. The colossus is brilliant - great teamwork =]

    bens drawings are excellent too '-i particularly like the face of death mask


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