Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Speedpainting - Rocker Frank

This is Rocker Frank. The Badassery Studios mascot. For the new year we decided to move out studio in a different direction so along with that we had a full website makeover including a new mascot. Check out Were gonna be doing some awesome stuff. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Comic - White Smoke

I've been wanting to share some pages of a comic I worked on for a while, but haven't been able to til now. I do want to talk a little bit about this comic because it's unique and very cool.

Did you ever play that game where someone starts a story, and you go around the room and people add their own part to the story creating a big, fun spontaneous story? Imagine doing that with a comic. That's what Simon Lindenthaler decided to start with his comic White Smoke. He started a story and a few other artists have chimed in over time, including myself.

I first heard about White Smoke from my fellow artist friend, and member of my studio, Robert Barnett. He had done pages 7-10. Soon after, another member of my studio, Anthony Salinas, jumped on and did pages 11-15. And I followed their example doing pages 16-19. My art has improved a lot since I actually did these pages, but they were still a lot of fun to do :).

Simon Lindenthaler's brain is a factory of creativity and I think White Smoke is a brilliant idea. I was glad to participate and hope many others do as well. Check out the rest of his work as well at

Click the White Smoke logo below to read the comic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fanart - Hero of Time

I'm hosting a challenge over on my DeviantART. Redesign a Nintendo character so that his design would work in an M Rated PS3 game, while still keeping the character recognizable to fans. I always thought the Nintendo designs were a little too kid friendly. I grew up with Nintendo and I loved the games, but a part of me wishes Nintendo grew up with me. Games got more realistic as far as story and art goes. But Nintendo kept the same games, the graphics never improved and the gameplay was essentially the same. Which is great, don't get me wrong. Fans don't like change. This is why I did this challenge though. I wanted to see what Nintendo characters would look like if they evolved with the times the way Metal Gear Solid did.

I chose Link from The Legend of Zelda because while he is a cool character, he's too fairy-like. I wanted to put him in more of a Skyrim type of world so I based his design around that. A little more practical and real, while still leaving a few elements so you know it's Link. The gameplay and story would be essentially the same, but the look and graphics would be amped up if this were to actually happen. I actually did a lot of research into The Legend of Zelda so I could keep this true to his character and keep the fans happy while still changing his design and taking away his hat.

I'll admit though, in real life you could never change Link's design. Or any other popular character for that matter. This was just for fun. And I did have a lot of fun with it.

Here's an animated step by step process of my Hero of Time painting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pinup - Hell Paso

For those who have been following me for about 2 years now know I worked on a comic series called Hell Paso with Ricky Martinez, Arturo Delgado, Dany Morales, and Jaime Portillo. I honestly can't believe that was almost 2 years ago that I started that book.

Anyways, Hell Paso is the reason Badassery Studios was started. So Ricky and I are paying tribute to Hell Paso with some cool art. Here's mine. Ricky's is sick. About 15 hours of work. Ton of details.

"The Story Of Dallas Stoudenmire"
El Paso 1881. Corruption runs rampant, crime and violence is high, and El Pasoans are scared. Who can turn this city around? There is only one man who can, and his name is Dallas Stoudenmire. "Hell Paso" will be tamed!

You've heard of famous Western lawmen such as Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, and Wild Bill Hickok. Now discover the El Paso marshal named Dallas Stoudenmire, the one man who had the courage to tame the most violent city in the Wild West. Read the greatest western time has forgotten, and learn why the city earned its nickname: Hell Paso. Hell Paso: The Story of Dallas Stoudenmire is a six issue limited series based on actual events from El Paso's Wild West history. *Recipient of a prestigious grant from the Wild West History Association (HTTP://WILDWESTHISTORY.ORG).

TM and ©  Jaime Portillo. All Rights Reserved.. All rights reserved.

Check out the Hell Paso series here

Stuff from 2010 (excuse the suckiness)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Portrait - Granddad

I've been messing around with finding a new painting process lately. Something that's more composition, color, and lighting focused rather than just straight up drawing/painting something. I believe that especially as an illustrator I like to convey a mood and a feeling in a piece. So I've been experimenting with that.

I wanted to test this process today on something pretty quick and I saw a photo of my Granddad posted online and knew I wanted to paint it. Him and his twin sister turned 89 recently. He's fallen off the roof before, and does situps every morning at 6am without fail. And he still likes to play pranks and joke around. Inspiration. I like doing portraits, I didn't have to take time figuring out composition or designing anything from my head. So it was definitely good practice. You can see the original photo below. This was good practice for me because I could change the lighting and mess with with the focus and use light and dark as a compositional tool. I'll probably be testing this painting process and "style" on future illustrations and portraits as well.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Video - Digital Painting Process - Haunt

A lot of times I like to screen record my digital painting process so that way I can look back at it myself and also share my process with others in hopes that it'll help. I usually only record speedpaintings because that's only an hour or 2 of video, but sometimes I'll record full illustrations.

This piece is of the character Haunt, created by Todd McFarlane. He was holding a contest for Haunt and the winner would get published in an issue of the comic. I was lucky enough to make the top 15 semi finalists along with my friend Danny Morales, but we were both unable to make finals and get published. Either way I had a lot of fun doing this piece.

The reason I recorded this was because I wanted to show how I can paint something semi-realistic, without a "real" reference of this character. There's no Haunt movie or any realistic depictions of Haunt online so I had to improvise.

First of all, realism in art is ALWAYS based on the way light effects something. The better you can understand light, the more real you can make anything look. For example, look at any Pixar movie. They take cartoony designs and bring them into a 3D world with advanced lighting that makes the characters real and believable.

Secondly, different textures are effected differently by lighting. This is a common mistake I see all the time. People will light metal the same way they light cloth, the same way they light leather. For this piece, before I even started I had to think about what this character is made of. I came to the conclusion that all the white parts of his costume were made of rubbery, slimy, bone matter. I came up with "liquid bone" as a way to describe it. I wanted it to look like it's strong enough to protect him, but fluid enough to morph and change and wrap around him organically. To make this texture believable, I couldn't paint it the same as I painted his skin. Because his skin is not slimy or gross. If I painted his whole body like his skin, he'd look like a dull 3D model with simple lighting and no rendering or textures. So I studied slimy, shiny gross objects. You've got to do paint studies of textures you're going to use, because this way you can get an understanding of how it works with light before you go into your painting.

So really, realism "from your head" is as simple as understanding light, and how surfaces are lit. To get better at this just takes painting different textures/lighting scenarios from life. Trying to get the colors right and light the different textured surfaces right.

I hope that helps! Keep drawing! Here's the video