Background Painting and illustration


Ethan’s Blog

Red in the morning - Evangelion Fan Art

It's September 10th! That means you've got two days left to see Agent Bird if you haven't already! If you don't see it now you'll have to wait till like next fall to see it again! Click this link to go see it---> 

This week I'm sharing a new illustration I've made for Toy Con and my online shops.

I'm not too big into anime, but Evangelion hits a lot of good spots for me. Paisley first showed it to me in college and it's stuck with me ever since. Surprisingly, I've never really done much in the way of fan art of it? I'm not sure if it was because I've not done much fan art since school or if It was too complicated for me to tackle at the time, but I've sat down these past few weeks and made something I'm pretty happy with. 

The process for this print started back in July. I had been tinkering with my kitbash supplies and got to wanting to make my own schematics book. As practice, I used my Evangelion reference to rough up some layouts. Here's a few pictures of what that looked like. 


  This process was a lot of fun as I was drafting these by hand, not using any rulers or 3d models. It required a lot of focus and patience to get this far. I'd like to return and finish it at some point. After putting the time into this sketch, I had an EVA itch that needed scratched. I wanted to keep the ball rolling and find a way to use these sketches for something new. I pieced together the head pieces and took it into a new file for clean up. 

Using the pencil tool for clean lines, I inked over this sketch for a clean drawing of Unit 01s head, later tinkering with the skeleton underneath the armor to make a pair of designs I'll be turning into stickers for Toy Con. 

Eva_01Head_01_WM (Medium).jpg


 By now you're thinking, okay Ethan, we get it, you like Evangelion, can you draw something else? Not yet! After finishing these, Paisley and I went to Gen Con where I saw some incredible art in artist alley. It was one of those trips where you feel super intimidated but also super inspired to make some new stuff. These feelings combined with my now only partially scratched Evangelion itch to fuel a major work binge when we got home. 

I've been having trouble starting digitally and scanning a paper drawing has helped a lot lately so that's where I'm starting. When doing this, I make a lot of roughly 4:5 boxes to approximate the print sizes and then fill em all with rough compositions.  

Because these boxes are so small, I don't have any room for detail, I'm mainly looking for a good balance of black and white here, basic shapes, no fluff. 

Happy with this sketch, I begin a rough pass in photoshop and start building. This piece is real dependent on perspective, so I wanted to get it just right. 


These initial sketches captured the idea of what I wanted, but it wasn't right. People always say, "Reference, reference, reference", so I bust out my handy Eva Model gifted to me by the lovely Paisley to take some pictures with my initial sketches as a basis for the composition. 

Using this model like I would a human model in life drawing, I rework the drawing and come up with this- 

So much better, reference is so good

And then I move onto some fun painting, laying in the sky and foreground first before diving in to the detail of the mech. All of this sky work is done with one of my favorite brushes, Kyle Webster's Round Oil brush. The live mixing is a great asset to painting skies, but it doesn't paint soft clouds well, so looking close you might see brushstrokes where some might like to see soft flowing clouds. 

Onto clean lines on the eva here- 

And color flats just before I start working the mech into the environment. 


This was my initial completion pass.

Eva_Field_Delv_02 (Large).jpg

 I like to "finish" something and then sleep on it, waiting to get feedback from friends on discord before stopping. Thanks to the wonderful feedback from Ottlermac and  Mleth, I added some strong shadows, this is the final piece. 


I'm very pleased with the feedback I received on this, it really stepped up the contrast and made it a better painting. 

I've got this painting up on my website now, and we'll be taking it to our tables this fall at some conventions and art shows. I hope the public enjoys it as much as I do. It was a fun piece to push myself and make something fun again.

Thanks for reading, see you next week