• Per Ove Sleen

  • STUDIO45

    Studio45 is a one man outfit supplying art illustrations and design on a high and professional level. Besides publishing all sorts of art and graphics (print & web), I also write, perform and publish music. Studio45 Produces and publishes graphic novels and subsequent video productions of the same novels for web and the commercial print market. Podcast and vidcast are in the workings.
  • STUDIO45 on Flickr

Graphic Novel one step closer

I did my first page sketch yesterday, to see if I can come up with a look and a voice for my new idea.
First I did a whole lot of preliminary sketches to figure out how I wanted the side to look.
This here is a quick look in to my sketch process. I do not usualy do as many sketches pr page as this, but at this stage I am still searching.
Now here’s the sketches. They’re done on some real bad paper I got the other day, so bear with me.

The script page, and the first layout

The script page, and the first layout

 

First layout of the splash picture or overview picture.

First layout of the splash picture or overview picture.

 

Another pencil layout sketch of the page.

Another pencil layout sketch of the page.

First marker inked attempt at a composition.

First marker inked attempt at a composition.

Final page sketches, with a few  perspective changes

Final page sketches, with a few perspective changes

And here comes the result of my hard work.
The final page sketch was still just done in A4 format (I usually work on A3 format for a whole page), and it is not Bristolboard, but something I can work with on a sketch and design level.
The page was inked with a 0.2 mm ink pen and brush & ink.
 

The final layout sketch, done on an A4 paper of better quality.

The final layout sketch, done on an A4 paper of better quality.

Right! now I will keep on drawing, so please check me out now and then. See you all, and thanks for looking in on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime, Ink & Watercolours

So here we are, I’ve been at it again. I am still working the character design for my last tale.
And I feel I am getting somewhere.
The drawing gets easier and I am getting closer to what I am looking for.
I have one problem though, and that is I haven’t decided if I wanna us colours or go full tilt B&W.
It’s of course tempting to use colours, since the story takes place in a colourful place as La Palma with its stunning south sea sunsets and its breathtaking environment.
But the thing is, this is a tool for storytelling and not so much a question of nice or not. And this IS a crime noire story, AND a dystopian futuristic tale as well.
As such it lends itself towards a very limited palette, or even full on B&W.

But enough about that, I’ll do some tests on this, cos I realize as I am writing, that this is a very important question I have not addressed sincere enough. I’LL be back at you.

Here is some of my last doodles….

Bad guy with shades

Bad guy with shades

The main crook

The main crook

And a watercolour painting I did yesterday. I keep on honing my painting skills….I will get there eventually.

Viking-attack

Viking-attack

Now that was it for this time, take care ya’ll, and stay online….
 

Bad guys in production

So I am still working towards creating a science fiction story taking place here on La Palma, Canary islands in a not too distant future.
A future with more or less an anarchistic world, where everyone has to look out for himself.
In this future there is of course crime and then also bad guys. Crime noir really calls for a darker sort of bad guys.
This is my first attempts at getting an impression of the main bad guys of the tale. Here we go.

First the sketches…

Bad-guys-first-sketches

Bad-guys-first-sketches

 

Then here is the main crook…

Bad-guys-first-sketches

Pedro the main crook

 

And an attempt at a nice group picture of Pedro and his crew..

Bad-guys group photo

Bad-guys group photo

 

I’ve also started working on the script, and for now I think the story is nicely taking shape.
Now that’s it folks, wish you all a nice weekend and stay tuned….

Sexy swords woman and progression

Once again we’ll have a quick look at what I’m doing, and how my progress in mastering watercolours are developing.
As you can see at my desk below, I keep busy and are hard at practising.

My little workspace well littered with work and practice projects

On the computer, you can see a nearly finished poster job I do for a local band (below) called “HardAnger”.

On the smaller pad, you can see yet another study of the girl I call “the Baader twin”, whom will be featuring in my ongoing series The St. Pauli Blues next episode (there is already two finished albums in the series, I am trying to get published these days).

Another study of the Baader twin. Assassin, all over good looking and a psychopath of dimensions....

The big pad is a watercolour project I’ve been contemplating for some time, and witch I seam to go rather slowly about. Beneath you can see the first pencil draft, penned in with a 0.2 UNI P/N fine line, and I have started brushing in some colour.

Watercolour project long contemplated, slowly materializing....

Before I do something as detailed and elaborate as this, I will mostly do a few thumbnails and ink sketches.
This to see what I want to do, and how to get there. Beneath you can see the once I did for this Indian in his canoe. These led to the big one in work.

Thumbnails and ink sketches done as pre studies for the watercolour piece I'm working on at the moment.

The last shot (I have no scanner available to me at the moment, ending up having to shoot these pictures with my HTC smartphone) below, is the WC (watercolour) picture with some more ink. I will proceed with more black to the straws in the foreground. Down on the left side, then let it fade in to negative space as we move in to the light source coming in from the right above.

The watercolour picture with some weight in form of shadows added by my ink brush.

I will try to keep you posted on this one as I move along. I am aiming for something along the lines of early Jean Girard/Moeibus. Like the work he and his staff did in the Blueberry series….Gonna have to slave hard for that one I guess.
That’s it folks, stay tuned I’ll be back…..hopefully  :)

Ink and watercolours

Here is a few sketches of various characters from various projects I am working on or contemplating.
As you can see I am once again trying to get in to water colours. I don’t have access to my drawing/painting gear at the time being. This makes things a little problematic. But I make use of what I can find or scrounge, and have bought a few cheap additions.

The paper is real crap, and of lowest price/quality. Same goes for the brushes. I have one acceptable one, but I use that for inking.
Pens for the line work is also a constant problem. I usually have three real good once I’ve bought over the years, and I keep refilling them (for this I need ink of high quality, real black and with as tiny pigments as possible in order to pass through the pens feeding system).

Still Alive and Well

Once again I have managed to ignore my blog for a long time, due to circumstances and work.

I’m in the middle of figuring out how I can get the first two albums of my graphic novel (The St. Pauli Blues) published, and at the same time record a CD and plot a tour for the band.

But still though, I am drawing a lot these days as well. Mainly to hone my growing skill set.

Being in between flats, I am also at the time sharing a very small flat with my friend and guitar player in the band Roger (band being The Plague)….
This here is our work area for both musical and graphic escapades. Shot with my HTC Smart phone and stitched in Photoshop (panorama stitching of six shots).

But that’s no obstacle. I just try to put all my spare time in to it. And here is a few samples to feast your eyes upon…..nothing serious in the term of being aimed at any special project or anything. Just doodling and trying stuff out. Testing ideas and such….

And that’s what I had laying about beside my desk today, I am of course sorry you’ve missed out on month of my work, but I might scan some of it at a later point…..If I can get it all in one place…..we’ll see.

Take care ya’ll, and thanks for popping in

 

Watercolor practice

 

 

So now there!
I’ve been at it again.
Watercolor is something I have decided I wanna integrate in my comic art, thus I need to practice in order to bring my skills to a marketable level.

 

Space ships, Female naked killer, sketching and character design….FUN!

Hie! everybody, here’s a little to inspire and enjoy….

Due to sickness in my family and travelling, my access to internet has been sporadic, and I’d had no scanner in this time. But I’ve been sketching, drawing and going on as usual.

 

Now I have lots of stuff I can tempt you with over the next days, and I will start of with some neat space ships I tried to do for a series I am about to put together at some time in not too distant future.

 

It’s very early in the idea stage and I am just playing around a little to get some ideas and inspiration….

 

…..all these drawings was done with a black marker, Black ballpoint pen and a few colored markers
 

 

 

Now here you can have a peak in to what will be one of the key figures in the last part of “The St. Pauli Blues”, and whom we will also meet in the third part (witch just happen to be one of the two things I am drawing at the moment…are seven pages in to it already).

 

She is a murderer for hire, and she come from the most infamous of stocks….. OK that’s as much as you get …ALRIGHT THEN!!!   her real family(if one can call it that)name…. is Meinhoff Baader….. OK THAT’S IT!!!!

 

Here are some of the many sketches I’ve made to try to visualize this character …..all these drawings was done with a black marker, Black ballpoint pen, few brushes, ink and watercolor …..enjoy

 

 

Tough bitch eh? …. See y’all around

“The St.Pauli Blues” finally online

I have finally gotten myself around to do a online version of my graphic novel. You can read it here:  http://thestpauliblues.smackjeeves.com/comics/1296301/cover/

And another one

 

And as I said yet another one. This time it’s that old American GI General G.A. Custer

 

 

 

 

Second Studio45 Gallery on Behance

This is the second gallery we open in just as many days on Behance .

This exhibition is a peek in to our new graphic novel “The St. Pauli Blues”

Studio45 opens its first Behance Network Exebition

Today I opened up my new account on Behance Networks,
and to celebrate I put up an exhibition of pictures from over
the last 5 years of learning to draw

Coming at'ya

General Armstrong Custer

Played around with ink and brush today. Just for fun, no job. I was listening to a podcast about General Custer and Little Big Horn, thus got inspired to do my interpretation of the American war hero and slaughterer of native Americans….
Basically I was looking for a motive that aloud me to get some practice on rendering cloth, and I am satisfied to an extend, since I am still rather novice with the brush. I have strictly inked with pens and markers earlier, but this is a lot better. Both in terms of the lively quality of the shadows one draws, and the fact that it is a lot cheaper.

Out of here

You fill your flat up with stiffs……, it’s then rather obvious that slipping out the back door is one of the better choices.
A briefcase containing a gun, cash in appropriate amounts, a few selected identities in the form of passports and more money in plastic, would of course be another must have for this sort of undertaking.
Or in other words, this panel is in itself a short little tale of “slip out the back Jack”.

OK enough with the bull.
Here is my Panel Nr. 55 for “The St. Pauli Blues”, enjoy it my friends….

Brown Paper Samurai

Here is a quick ink sketch I did on Brown paper today. I bought a big roll of the stuff ( brown paper that is) and I plan to do some big pictures on it. I love that rough texture it produce. It goes very well with a loose ink brush stroke…
The bright parts was added in Photoshop. But I plan to try another picture where I use  acrylic for the white but ink for the black. There is no other white I have found that is opaque enough.

The St. Pauli Blues panels

Back again at last. I need to commit a little more to this blog if it is to have any function at all.
I have finally managed to knuckle down and draw the rest of my graphic novel. There is only a few pages left to do.
So here you are my friends, this is the last panels I have done.

Training my inking and drawing skils

Howdy folks (Been listening to western novels audiobooks lately), It`s been a while since I last put out something here on My studios blog, but hey! what can I say….I`ve been busy in the real world (you know that tiresome rainy reality outside your door :).
For the last couple of weeks I have been exclusively practicing my inking skills. I do drawings of anything that comes to mind, only to ink them for practice sake.
Now  here are some of the best ones scanned out of my sketch pads ore bits of paper scraps where they started their life. They`re all done on cheap paper of all sorts (what ever was at hand at the given moment), and that has had quite an impact on the end result (bleeding lines and such).
They were all done in more or less the same fashion. First roughly sketched with pencil. Then I take an eraser and halfway erases the drawing `til I can just about see it. Then I outline it with an 0,1 ink pen before I go ahead with ink and brush to bring in dynamics and weight. Afterwards I go over it with the 0,1 again for a little hatching here and there to underline stuff.
Before I start a drawing (even these sketches) I nearly ALWAYS do a few thumbnails and a couple of studies to establish eventual composition and placement together with the play of light and shade. Also to get to grips with shapes and lines I haven`t done previously or have little practice with, just to get it in to my hands and eyes before I go ahead…..

I have done a little cleaning up of the scans in Photoshop, and then added some colored overlay and grading, but that`s it. Every sketch appear as it was drawn by hand on paper.

I realized during this session that inking with a big fat brush, really adds weight and dynamics to the mix. And it does so in a lot better way than any other medium or technique I have ever encountered or tried.
The big brush delivers little “accidents” on a regular basis that really adds huge amounts of nonchalant randomness to make the drawing alive and believable.  That huge sable brush is a regular drama hose. It really changes the whole impact and feel of the work.

The conclusions I draw from these sessions, are that I still have a long way to go before I have established a steady and easily recognizable drawing style. I also need to work more on my hatching in order to get it a little slicker and also need to experiment a little more on where to use hatching and not.

I realize that there is a lot of influence from people like Frank Miller, Will Eisener, Quesada, Mignola and such in the stuff I draw, but I also can see that as I keep drawing and rehearsing my skill set, the style slowly becomes my own unique one…..

Excited about too many things at the same time

One thing keeps me grounded and grinding these days, and that`s my graphic novel “The St Pauli Blues”.
I am like a horse pulling a wagon. Bent neck, and focused mind, no stop until I am there.

The St Pauli Blues_2010

The St Pauli Blues_2010


I am not just a little bit proud. First I spent a year and a few month doing a graphic novel about Europe under Napoleon, then I scratched it (will pick it up again at a later stage) due to low quality art and script.
But one learn as one goes along (hopefully), so then I did a spell of 10 month where I only drew.
I went on for at least 12 hours each day.
Doodles and sketches I did during the training and experiment period

Doodles and sketches I did during the training and experiment period


For this period I played around with techniques, materials and tools.
I did just abut anything I could come up with in order to achieve the look and feel I was aiming for.
In the first 9 month I worked strictly with paper, pencils, ink pens, ink and brushes on everything from the finest drawing paper to scraps and bits I`ve found all over the place. I must have gone through every ink pen brand ever imported to Norway. I ended up a little different though. Because I couldn`t figure out how to get it scanned in to Photoshop without a loss of ink line quality.
So after scratching my head for a while, I went back to trying a tiny wacom tablet (A6) with only pressure sensitivity and nothing else. I am positive this tool was mostly meant for retouching photos, and not for drawing and painting

Wacom Graphire4 A6

Wacom Graphire4 A6

But as you can see, It has actually served me well so fare, but I am getting trouble with my arm and elbow.
So I am bound for a new and bigger one…

One of the first pictures I redrew, before I went ahead and inked everything over again for the 4th or 5th time. But it payed off, Now I am finally getting somewhere

One of the first pictures I redrew, before I went ahead and inked everything over again for the 4th or 5th time. But it payed off, Now I am finally getting somewhere

One very cool thing is that now I paint whole panels in one go, as opposed to before where I did single pictures (pencil first and then inked over on a new better paper with help of a light table…home made one) and composited them in Adobe InDesign. I save a lot of time like this.
I still do the sketches and pencils on paper one by one, then I stick together a muckup of all the ones on one panel and this becomes the sketch layer that I ink over in Photoshop.
Here is an example, It`s actually the first one I did as one whole page/panel.
It is without text and speech bubbles yet

Panel 27

Panel 27

These days it is rather hot, and I have slowed down a lot. But I also think this is due to the fact that I keep going back and improving stuff all the time, and it is only getting more stuff to improve on all the time.
Also my son And I are doing some travelling these days. Just scooting around in the car to get some change of environment. Staying in little hotels and such.
Last weekend we went to Oslo and saw my old busking friends and that bunch, it was a gas.

Ivan-&-Lawrence

An old friend and busker Lawrence Glaister & My son Ivan to the right

The photo above was shot during last weekend in Oslo.
Same goes for the six pictures I used to stick together the Photoshop manipulation beneath.
I turned them in to a Oslo post card.

Oslo-S

A Photoshop picture made out of six single shots

Now that was it for today, but I promise not to update as seldom as I have lately.
I am contemplating getting myself some server space and a real web name for my little outfit, so keep your eyes peeled and come along as I move, don`t miss out on all the fun here in Studio45.

Per Ove Sleen

Sketching, doodeling and having a great old time

For as long as I can remember I have been doodling.
Since I was a little baby I have been fascinated with the concept “pencil & paper”, and thus always had drawing tools handy.

One of the doodle collections.
Go see the 5 others here on my picture blog

But I was never serious about it. I never tried to make it in to something that could earn me money.
Main reason I think was that from an early stage in life I was able to make money playing rock music.
But one day I grew tired of touring, hotel rooms and never being able to settle down and take it easy. There was always something cooking, and I’ve had enough of it.
I was also aware of something new and exciting happening on the art front, and I was determined to try….the bait was Photoshop and computer graphics.
The blend of tech and art turned out to be irresistible.
This was in 1997, and the rest is history in the making.
But despite all the wonderful stuff that came with computers and graphics software, I am still sporting a fair attraction towards pencil and paper and drawing the old way.
Matter of fact, I start just about all my work on paper (except for written work).
So I keep paper and pencils handy and avilable all over the house, and I always carry a little sketch pad and pencil everywhere I go. I even have a set in my toilette.
Every day I make an endless row of doodles and sketches, and they are floating all over the place.
For the last 6 month I have been working exclusively on a graphic novel about Napoleon Bonaparte, but still I keep doodling all kind of stuff…just about anything going through my head.
So yesterday I scanned all the doodles I have been doing for the last two weeks (well almost all of them).
You can see them here on my picture blog….have fun

POS

Reference is the mantra

Norway16 03 2008

Whenever you want to draw something you haven’t drawn before ore not for a long time, you like to have reference at hand in one form ore another.

JensanesetWhen drawing a person ore many persons I find that I like to have both, many pictures and the real live model accessible at any time.
The same goes for landscapes, interiors and exteriors.
But this is of course the optimal scenario, and it rarely occurs. So one is obliged to make do with what is accessible at any given time.

There are a lot of things that can make life easier for a poor illustrator, and over the years the situation has really improved with the web making it’s entry on to the scene and all.
But despite the web, books will always come in very handy. And I can not stress it enough how valuable they are, those huge cafe table books with real big pictures in them, fashion magazines (I usually ask my dentist and doctor if I can have the old magazines they toss from the waiting room.
It’s all kind of womans magazines, science magazines and some weird stuff. It’s great), old news yearbooks with pix in them, old catalogs, old comics, toy catalogs, tool catalogs and so on in that direction is also fantastic reference tools.

You should collect stuff like this as much as you can store. My feeling on this matter is that you can never get enough.
But don’t burn all your cash on this, I have another great source for you namely videos.

Movies are great sources for reference. You can freeze your picture on anything your heart desires and make a screen grab (if watching on a computer of course).

It is especially great for coming up with cool angles and perspectives.
I struggle with a very difficult matter in a comic at the moment and my video collection is a invaluable help in this case.
So always be on the lookout for cheap videos (even if it is a bummer at the box office and boring as he*&%¤.. the references can still be great).

But the one I use the most these days are the internet.
There seams to be absolutely nothing you can’t find a picture ore a video capture of on the web.

So for you people I will reveal a few of my favorites ones.

LINKS:
At the Courtesy of a good web friend of mine that I met in the artist network redbubble.com Namely thickblackoutline I can present a great site for reference to you.
thickblackoutline
is something of a specialist in everything Japanese art, and here art mirrors that.

One of her favorite places for reference to all that is Japanese art is this site here:Chikanobu and Yoshitoshi Woodblock Prints
The next tip I have for you is from one of the most admirable initiatives on the entire web…..in the entire world come to think of it.
I am of course talking about the Project Guttenberg.
This place is overflowing with great reference material, and it is all for free (you also find a lot of other handy stuff in here, but that is for another post all together).
Here is a couple of the best ones:

The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration.

Architecture.

Children’s Picture Books.

Art.


The list goes on. All you have to do is dig.You will not run in to the picture at once you hit these links, but just dig away and you soon hit gold….I guarantee it.

Architecture is a something most illustrators run in to sooner ore later, most likely sooner.
This next link I have for you is a great reference if you look for city landscapes from the turn of last two centuries (1800 – 1900).
I use this site a lot in a new comic/video production I am involved in at the moment. The story is in big parts taking place in Europe around 1800. The link is:

carfree.com.

Like I said I am working on a project taking place in the early 1800 in France. So I don’t get around Napoleon and his Grand Armè, Thus I have three very good links about thees times.
It is about the army and the weaponry and uniforms…:

Napoleon Online

Die Uniformierung der französischen Armee

Napoleonic Guide images

And for a good round up I have one more really top one, but it is also the most obvious one.
Maybe that is the reason so many don’t think of it when they need reference for a project.

The one I am talking about is of course Flickr.com
There isn’t the thing you can’t find a whole heap of great images of on the flickr, so bookmark that one on top of your list. It is the best one.

OK we are closing in on the end of this post, but before I leave you for now, I have two more links, but these are not so much for reference, but rather as inspiration. The first one is a real strange flower with the name of Luigi Serafini and his book “the CODEX SERAPHINIANUS”
I won’t spoil your experience by yapping about it, you just check it out my friends, and remember to keep an open mind on this one….wide open.


The very last link for this time is is one of my favorite blogs. It is called “Today’s Inspiration” .
I have been following this blog for a year now and I just love it.
The guy running it has a very great nose for finding old classic illustrations from old magazines and analyzing them.
Check him out you won’t regret.

That is my contribution for now, but grab my RSS feed and keep an eye on this blog, cos there will be more…lots of more. until then my friends… POS