My Portfolio

Sunday, January 27, 2008


One thing I've learned about myself from doing Sketchblog is that I actually don't like to just sketch. When I see things in my head they're colorful and very detailed, so sketching them - quickly, without color or detail - just doesn't feel right. When I did this sketch a few months ago, it didn't satisfy me because it was so quick and dirty, while the image in my head was much more elaborate. So, I decided to revisit it, and bring it up to its full creepiness potential:

(click to enlarge)

Here's the process for those interested:

Step 1 (sketch)
Step 2 (base color)
Step 3 (skin texture and lighting)
Step 4 (details)
Step 5 (final)

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Blogger Arjan said...


January 27, 2008 2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW that is just AMAZING!
I love it!

January 27, 2008 7:30 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I mean this as a compliment but you know this fish-lady's head, especially the empty socket from the missing egg, turned my stomach. Very cool painting. About how long does it take you to complete one of these digital paintings?

January 27, 2008 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy hell that's awesome

January 27, 2008 9:46 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

they just keep on getting better.

is the pen helping?

January 27, 2008 11:46 AM  
Anonymous lovin said...

The hole in the head is the creepiest yet coolest thing I've seen in any of your sketches.

January 27, 2008 4:47 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

RE: Completion time - this took a couple of days, I'm not sure exactly how many hours. It actually didn't take as long as Leaving Town - even though this one is way more realistic, Leaving Town was larger and had so many tiny little shapes that I made very carefully. You can get a little bit looser with the painterly style of Miscarriage, and it works. The longest I've spent on any of the images so far was definitely the Christmas card. All the little details and rendering everything out so cleanly and carefully at such a large size was a tremendous pain. Thankfully I had a lot of spare time over Christmas.

RE: The hole in her head - it reminds me of the holes in the liquid metal when the T-1000 would get shot in Terminator 2. I keep expecting it to seal up.

January 27, 2008 5:10 PM  
OpenID aurevoirkatie said...

i like that she isn't completely hair-pullingly teeth-gnashingly anguished. She just seems to think 'ah well. it's a shame.'

January 27, 2008 5:17 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Thank you for leaving you "stages" on here too! =D
That is really cool to see how that all comes together.

That is really gross too. Very awesome.

January 27, 2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger Selestrielle said...

Waouw amazing drawing! I really like how you brought to life your initial sketch. It's incredibly realistic.!... Waouw! :)

January 27, 2008 6:02 PM  
Anonymous flo said...

thanks for the steps that's really interesting!
there's something about that draw that reminds me junji ito's works
really interesting one!

January 29, 2008 12:31 AM  
Anonymous PillarofSalt said...

I'd recommend making it a little brighter. Even with my lights off I feel a lot of the detail is lost.

January 29, 2008 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice done! not help my dinner digestion thought.
what made you drop the big ear ring from the sketch?

Jie Chen

January 29, 2008 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd skull-fuck her.

January 29, 2008 3:26 PM  
OpenID mrkaizer666 said...

The Sketchblog is a great site, not just for getting inspiration in creative work, but as a place of entertainment as well. It is great to sift through RobĀ“s extremely varied images and paintings when one has some idle time on your hands.

January 29, 2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous K Owusu said...

I stumble upon your site. You have great stuff here. Great Stuff.

January 29, 2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous lovin said...

The T2 analogy is spot on.
Skull fucking her though...that's a bit much considering it's a FUCKING SKETCH!!!


January 30, 2008 5:23 AM  
Blogger Tone, source202 said...

you make amateur practitioners of art feel extremely inadequate! I hope you're pleased with yourself, you're too talented. not fair.
like k owusu, I only by chance found this site but what a find! Get that pal of yours to promote it on his - this needs to be seen by more. In fact, might just post a link on his blog right now. Plenty of talented people on there who would appreciate this. Thanks, Rob!

alvsirmm - sorry, this is a thing - word verification. I will leave you to make of that what you will, sir. just make that marilyn monroe, and not manson.

January 30, 2008 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Audrey Nein said...

I get an overall...awkward feeling from this, I'm not sure that's entirely bad though. Or maybe, not at all. I think it's the use of colors that's the reason behind it, gee I seem to repeat that a lot, colors colors...
I like how the highlights accenture the dark, murky colors. And, as much as I don't really think I'm qualified to say this, but somehow this one doesn't really seem finished, and some of the facial features are unproportional. That's just me though. On another note, I love the overall message built into it, however creeped out I may get.

January 30, 2008 6:25 PM  
Anonymous HoneyAmok said...

increadibly beautiful and sad.. The coulors are dark in a romatic sort of way, and you really have succeeded with all the details.
Ecellent.. :)

January 31, 2008 1:31 AM  
Blogger Shanny said...

i have few works i started years ago (some go back 7 years!) and havent finished yet,couse i thought i could change them and now they're just laying somewhere unfinished..
looks like it could be worth while going back and give them some "final touchs" since it worked so good on this one..

February 1, 2008 7:50 AM  
Anonymous bornoriginal said...

It's strange, creepy yet oddly fasinating.
I couldn't stop staring. Very interesting, though it creeps the fuck out of me.
Nice work!

February 2, 2008 1:56 PM  
OpenID _strange_mind_ said...

I can't forget this work..

February 20, 2008 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After becoming a ridcuolously obsessed NIN fan with the past few months (loved them for a long time but I only knew of them through the radio until I got illegally downloaded songs. Heard With Teeth when it came out and that became my favorite record. Then I got back into them after Christmas and now NIN is my favorite band, and I never felt confident enough in music to have one - except the Beatles when I was younger - until now.) FUCK I LOVE NIN!!!!!!!!!! I read the post by you about the Spiral no longer existing in its previous form, and I remembered that you were their artist. So I looked up your website and now I'm addicted to it as well. Your artwork is AMAZING Rob! I am going to school to be an art therapist and perhaps a music therapist as well. I have also considered becoming an illustrator and a musician for a living....but I do those as a side projects for now because I can't guarantee that I will be able to live off those dreams. I love that you post the steps for your artwork. As an artist this is like sweet, sweet candy to me. Learning how others do their work inspires me. I might learn something too. I don't work with the computers much. But I love digital artwork (Dave McKean is one of my favorite artists along with you and others) and I am adapting to it as well. If I have the technology I might as well try it. For now, I usually just use oil paints and acrylics. But your digital work is so beautiful and I didn't know it was digital until I read more. THANK YOU FOR YOU KICK ASS ART AND YOUR WORK WITH NIN ROB!!!!!!! I will continue to be an obsessed fan of you and NIN, while loving every goddamn minute of it!

As for this piece, Miscarriage, it is my favorite one. I like pieces that get a fierce emotional reaction out of me. Every time I look at this it just blows my mind. I really like that the eyes aren't the same either. The one to the right droops down, which shows an exasperated look. Details mean so much. The only thing I might say to change, is that the space between the bottom of the nose and the top of the mouth looks a little too big. But everyone has a different facial structure so it's hard to say. Keep up the good work! I look forward to your new pieces!

Oh and I'm 19 so when I read that you got hired at 20 by NIN..........fuck I was so jealous. I just can't get over that. But you also got your shit together better then I have art-wise so you earned it. Thank you for your work as well as your long blog posts and web site in general! The links kick ass too...and the music player is delicious! I love reading long posts, being the blabbermouth that I am. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!.....okay I'm done.

8:12 p.m.

April 13, 2008 6:12 PM  
Blogger Girlfriend said...

For Reals... you make me so jealous! I too, am amazed by your talent and twisted mind! This is one of the coolest creepiest disturbing things I've ever seen! haha. Seriously... wow. :)

btw... I'm in art school right now which is why I'm so jealous.

June 28, 2008 10:22 AM  
Blogger Chuck and Brenda said...

You have some mad skills dude!!!

June 29, 2008 12:18 PM  
Blogger xXx Ne'er-Do-WellxXx said...

wow, this is some amazing artwork I must say. I'm in awe. I like to paint to, but I'm only at a high school level, nothing near as talented as this. anyways, I'd love for you to check out my blog and tell me what you think!

June 29, 2008 7:37 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

wow!! this art piece is very cool

June 30, 2008 8:47 PM  
Anonymous richjerk said...

Great job on the skin!
The head gives me the creeps.

July 1, 2008 7:01 AM  
Blogger Paul S. Dixon aliasTryadDestiny said...

Very nice both in subject and technique,great i loved it.
I like some comments on my artwork, if you find the time

July 5, 2008 5:38 AM  
Blogger justminick said...

i love that everyone is creeped out... it mean u got ur point accross

July 6, 2008 12:44 AM  
Blogger blinka.Li said...

disgusting!! but that means u r good eh?!

July 7, 2008 2:50 AM  
Blogger Megan Wimberley said...

thanks for the steps with the pictures. I love seeing how a painting progresses

July 9, 2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger simon matthews said...

Wow, great stuff.

July 10, 2008 3:02 AM  
Blogger Wayne Tully said...

Drawing in steps is one of the best ways to show a progression in a drawing and I like your style, digital art is something I have only dabbled in and plus I can't afford some of the software, so at the moment I am more of a traditional 2d artist with pens, pencils and crayons at the best of times.

Keep up the great work and lets see some more work soon!!

July 31, 2008 1:55 PM  

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