A few more early concept sketches for the Grandeur:
A few more early concept sketches for the Grandeur:
I started working on this project way back around 2004, I think. Might have been even earlier than that. I’m sure someone will set me straight if I’m wrong. Point is, it’s been a really long time. It was based on a design by a friend named Darren Sexton for his starship-themed Trek fan club:
I’m preparing to resume work on the Grandeur in the near future and thought I’d start with a series of retrospectives on where it all began and some of the stages it’s gone through along the way. After the jump, I’ll show you a few of the very early concept sketches that were used to coordinate changes to the design.
Another installment in my “W2″ project. This time I’m working on a sailing ship with the ability to fly. This is a preliminary design and will likely go through further revisions, possibly extensive ones. I haven’t really tackled the sails and rigging yet but I’m doing a lot of research to figure out how to go about it plausibly. Much more on this to come.
I’m going to start posting a variety of illustrations for a project I am working on that I shall refer to only as “W2.” All I can tell you is that it’s based on material created by an aspiring author friend of mine, which in turn is based on a role-playing game from over twenty years ago. I don’t yet know how extensive this project will be, but it could eventually include anything and everything you can think of to visually describe an entire fictional world and the beings that inhabit it, starting with this one…
A couple of months ago, I decided to enter the monthly art challenge at ImagineFX.com. The theme for the challenge was a simple two-word phrase, “Sky Harbor,” to be interpreted however the artist chose. I chose to do a retro-futuristic scene of a 1930s New York city where advanced airships ruled the skies.
Unfortunately, ImagineFX.com is based out of the UK and a botched timezone conversion caused me to submit my entry one hour late after working on it for a solid month, so I wound up ineligible for the contest. Nevertheless, I was quite proud of the piece and I think it will make a pretty nice addition to my portfolio, even though it could still use a few more finishing touches.
A few years ago, my father came to me with an idea for a drawing he wanted me to work on, one that would illustrate both the true meaning of Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and the spirit of Christmas in the form of Old Saint Nick. Unlike some who decry the overemphasis on one or the other, he wanted to demonstrate that there is room in the world for both, each in their proper place. He even had a title for the piece he had in mind. He called it, “The Fourth Wise Man.”
As with so many other projects, I added it to my list and promised that I would get around to it “some day.” I made an abortive start on it a few times, never quite hitting on a worthy vision of what my father had described. Every Christmas that came around, the idea would resurface but then quickly recede when inspiration failed to strike, as though its time had simply not yet come. Nine days ago, the idea surfaced again, and this time the inspiration came. I put pen to digital tablet and the simple drawing my father had requested began to take shape in much more elaborate form than even I had ever intended.
A year ago, I could not have painted this image. Not only did I lack the vision, but I would not have had the skills or the knowledge or the perseverance to see it through. In some ways, it almost seemed to paint itself, revealing itself in ways that were as surprising as they were satisfying. I had intended it as a gift for my father, but in the end it seemed to insist on recognizing my mother’s love of angels as well.
To all my family, friends and loved ones, this goes out to you also at this most joyous of Holiday seasons. In these trying times, it is often easy to forget that life is still good and we are all truly blessed in so many ways.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Well, as of yesterday, the winners of the Star Trek Online “Design the Next Enterprise” contest have supposedly been selected. I haven’t heard anything yet so either they haven’t gotten around to notifying everyone or my submission didn’t make the cut. Either way, I’ve had a blast working on this project and I think I’ve really improved my artistic skills in a lot of different areas.
A few days ago, I started working on a more picturesque illustration of my Enterprise-F design using some techniques that I’ve never really tried before. I normally start everything with a line drawing but this time I went straight into laying down brush strokes on a blank “canvas,” just feeling it out as I went. So far, I’ve been both pleased and genuinely surprised by the results.
This is still quite a ways from being finished, with lots of details and windows and such yet to be added, but it’s coming along. I should also point out that a slight change has been made to the ship’s configuration, the “secondary hull” having been pushed back a ways in an attempt to improve the ship’s overall sense of balance. A lot of people suggested the idea and I am forced to admit it was a change for the better.
I’m looking forward to the final announcement of the contest winners some time next week, whoever they may be, and I will continue to update this image as time permits.
I’ve gotten lots of positive comments about my design for the “next Enterprise” both here and on the other art-related sites I frequent, along with the occasional constructive criticism. The one feature of this design that people seemed to like the least was the so-called “guppy mouth,” my rather unique, U-shaped approach to the main deflector dish. I myself was never completely satisfied with the way it blended into the underside of the primary hull and today I finally took the time to do something about it.
The alteration I came up with is pretty subtle, but I think it does just enough to correct the problem without sacrificing its unique character. I leave it for you to judge.
Star Trek Online is an MMORPG set in the Star Trek universe near the dawn of the 25th century. Recently, the game’s developer, Cryptic Studios, announced a contest to design the next incarnation of the starship Enterprise for use in the game, presumably the NCC-1701-F. Even though I don’t play the game, being both a Trek fan and an aspiring digital artist, I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to participate in something like that! I quickly put digital pen to digital tablet and, after zeroing in on a core design concept that I was satisfied with, I spent the next couple of weeks sketching and rendering three different views for submission to the contest Website. I uploaded that submission late yesterday and it can be viewed by clicking here.
Unfortunately, the resolution and compression quality of the images displayed on the contest Website is rather limited, so I’ve decided to post the original full-resolution image here on my own site for those who wish to get a better look at it:
You can click on that image to bring up the full-res 3252 x 1625 version.
There are a lot of really impressive designs to see by browsing through the gallery and I encourage you to check them all out. You have the option of voting for your favorites and assigning them a 1 to 5 star rating. Do me a favor and give me your vote if you like what you see. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges who will be reviewing every entry regardless of how many votes or ratings they receive, but racking up votes and stars can’t hurt! Tell your friends and family while you’re at it!
Before I go, here’s one more image, the original concept sketch with a couple variations that I used as the basis for the final design:
Work continues on the Starship Polaris 3D model.
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