Chip, Chip, Chip…

Been trying to make time to fiddle with some studies. Doing portraits from photos at the moment. Trying to improve my painting…

Little over two hours in atm. The hair really lacks volume atm and its killing me. I just need to flatten the few layers I’ve got going and lasso it around.

Laura WIP Portrait


Too Much Fun…

I got some good feedback on my first pack of noseless skins for Minecraft. I did a second similar set for those who are either; tyrannical overlords wanting to rule their subjects with an iron fist; or righteous lone warriors purging Mincraftia of its evil nations. This skin pack would look great against a dark texture pack.

Minecraft NPC Villager Skins - Dark Fantasy


I’d like to do a third set in a brighter palette with a King and his court for honorable knights to protect and serve…

Seriously though I can imagine different sets reflecting different nationalities (Egyptian set would be cool for desert biomes) and they only take about an hour to paint and an hour to put the zip and blog stuff together.


Stop! Hobbytime!

Well Minecraft is all ablaze with some new update lovin’. And I gotta say its got its hooks right back in me mostly thanks to the radical new NPC villagers. I have made it my personal quest in this brave new world to protect them in my current build.

The internet, being the internet, is rife with angst over the original look of these guys though. And I gotta agree the art leaves me a tad wanting. So, here’s a skin pack of noseless (if you’ve seen the originals you know what I mean) villagers for you all to enjoy!

Minecraft NPC Villager Skins



Tons of value…


WHOA! I am so pumped about these Destroyer characters! Doodled them up over a couple days at the office and am lucky enough to get to show them off almost immediately.

I won’t bother reposting the official description of the gametype here, its on the SMASHMUCK CHAMPIONS - COLOSSUS BREAKDOWN

To start I just sketch out the character as quickly as possible. I work light and then increase the pressure I apply to the pen as I tighten everything up. You can also see I lightly shaded in some darks to clarify the forms and round the figure. This is also the stage I’ll lasso off different segments of the character and play with the proportions. Originally the head was about twice the size it is here and the arms were very stubby. You can imagine what a difference that would make…

Some artists would go for a super super clean mechanical pen kind of finish at this stage before proceeding to flats (just flat color basecoat). I’m way too messy for that, I’ve never enjoyed that process. The mechanical illustration step is very time consuming and doesn’t really give anyone any information they didn’t already have… at least in my opinion .

Next I lay in a quick hard edge base basecoat at 100% opacity. Sometimes I’ll grab this and make it a mask for the next layer(s). The stone color is very warm here, but I know the character will be in a warm environment (ergo the brown background as well). Never ever concept on a white background if you’re going to do colors. The whole piece will end up washed out and considerably less valuable to the texture artists down the pipe who would just as soon color pick from it.

After that I have a layer or two set to Overlay mode that block in my colors. Often I just do this on the same layer as the rest of the basecoat at 100% opacity. But I was feeling super picky about the blues so I wanted to be able to easily tweak the temperature on these elements.

Last basecoat layer here, where I just sketch in some basic highlights on the stone.

Finally I fire up the “Over Paint” layer which is almost always the top layer in a painting unless there is some glow. Here I just paint over EVERYTHING else I’ve done up to this point cleaning up with the paintbrush instead of the eraser. This is a huge time saver. I never flip the tablet pen, it takes too long. Its much faster to eyerop the background and just paint along the edge to remove stray pencil lines.

If there is any glow like in the pic with both characters I’ll add another layer set to Color Dodge mode. Pick a big soft brush (with some texture to taste) and throw the opacity way down to like 15% and just dust it in.

The end!

For simple concepts I usually only have about 3 layers. Sketch, UP (under paint), and OP (overpaint). If I need multiples in any place it’ll look something like: Sketch, Sketch2, UP1, UP2, OP1, OP2, OP3, OPglow. That kind of thing. I find it much easier to navigate, I don’t waste time trying to be super organized because the layer count is so low.

Feel free to ask questions if you have em, I’d be happy to answer!


No lockouts here…

Get pumped.  The zaniest sports game you’ve ever played is on the horizon.

Hands down this is the wackiest, extremist, brawliest, funziest project we’ve ever concocted in our sinister laboratories!

Check it out:


If you can get behind wacky gladiatorial combat in a fast paced, free to play competitive environment, this game is for you!  That’s right, FREE TO PLAY.  You get all this madness for free.  You can just roll in it!  For free!  What, you ask, do you get?







These are just a few of the pile of exciting characters you’ll be able to recruit to your own SMASHMUCK team!  I’ll be posting some of the new arenas you’ll be fighting over in the near future.  In the meantime head over to and Like what you see to stay up to date on the news and new concept and screenshot postings.  There are pics there you can’t get anywhere else!

Also, there will be beta keys there soon.  Shhhhhhhh, secret.  Tell only the people you really care about.




Tickles my Nostalgia…

Super Hero Squad Online:

Check it out!  Neat Unity3d in browser MMO.  I do love me some X-Men, its like all of my childhood in one honeyed internet extravaganza.  Kid/Family friendly too, so it is extra-relevant to my interests.

Anyway, they just added a CCG in game.  This is the feedback I sent them:

The new card game system adds an interesting new dimension to SHS.  However, random damage and ‘lucky blocks’ really sap all the strategy out of the game and seemingly reduce it to dice the player cannot influence. 
It is not fun. 
I understand the intent is likely to reduce the disparity inherit in a strategy game based on player skill and the depth of each player’s card pool.  You are potentially dealing with a wide age range and that does require consideration.  There are already several cards in the game that boost damage based on other cards in the players deck, hand, or result of coin flips.  These cards add entropy to the game in way where the player can weigh the risk/reward of playing such a card.  They add a nice degree of tension, as opposed to wondering if you’ll simply get screwed everytime you lay a card down.
It is extremely frustrating to whittle down Dr. Octopus after a long game, deplete his hand and then throw the killing blow against a defenseless opponent only to have him ‘lucky block.’  Despite all my efforts as a player to win against a stacked opponent (greater deck size, starting ‘keepers’) my victory is snatched from me by sinister machinations I can’t see or impact. 
The ‘lucky block’ system really seems to overlook the fact that the game is already random based on the pre-game deck shuffle.  I certainly feel like I have lost games because I just couldn’t catch the cards I needed but that is to be expected in a CCG, and it is not something you expect to happen often so you are never too dissappointed.
I can imagine some game wide mutators could be added to keep changing the game if a high degree of entropy is really a design goal.  Mutators could alter power levels, change suits (blues count as purples), all Fantastic Four cards get a buff, etc.  There are a lot of options here.  If both players contribute a certain number of mutator cards to a neutral deck you’d still have a little control over your destiny but remain at the mercy of an additional neutral shuffle. 
This adds a whole layer of education and management the player has to wrangle but its not much denser than say bakugan and that’s right in this demo’s wheelhouse.  Alternatively they could just be location/arena/opponent based (or always the same for simplicity) and change anytime two tails appear in subsequent start-of-turn coin flips, something that keys off existing events.
I appreciate the time and wish you all continued success with the project.  Thanks.


The long dark journey into unpost…

I got married. 

It took a while.

I didn’t post.

I was busy.

I have horded art for a gargantuan post-a-thon though.

On the honeymoon I had a little time to flesh out the IP for a game I’ve been kicking around in my brain for a while.  For now I’m calling it ‘Hard Hats’ because the player is a construction worker of sorts.

Hard Hats Character #2 allen white

Hard Hats Character #2


He’s a vast improvement over the first efforts which were a lot more naturalistic…

Hard Hats Character #1 allen white

Hard Hats Character #1


I’ll model this guy today.  Or at least start, probably won’t get done as I’m not particularly fast. 

Also chipping away at this guy when I can:

allen white concept art

This is 50% res.  The painting is huge, I expect to spend a long long time working on it, but its totally worth it.  Really I have nothing in my folio that took longer than 24 man hours (I think the Witch is right around that).  Typically I’m too impatient to spend more time on something so we’ll see how this goes.

More as it develops…

New Year, New Signature…

I always put the abbreviated year under the cross stroke (not sure what else to call it) in my signature.

So, I’m always struggling to date my doodles right around this time (had the same problem in school too).

The mole Hero is coming together.

allen white mole hero color strip

Here are a handful of color explorations.  Please comment the number you prefer.  If enough of you band together you might sway me. 

I’ve gone back and forth on the helmet/mask idea in my brain.  It offers the hero a little anonymity which lets the player project themselves more easily.  Conversely it makes an already clearly anthropomorphised rodent even more alien. 

He shares the same round sihlouette as the other moles and his complete lack of ears should keep him from blending in with the rats too much.  I’ll be trying other costumes without the full helm soon.

I got an Airbrush Pen for my Wacom for Christmas.  It’s not a huge upgrade from the standard, but I do like having them both. 

The airbrush only features one button which you can bind in all the usual ways but also adds a Stylus Wheel.  The Wheel I’ve currently got rigged to flow which allows me even more control over application during the stroke. 

This is rad.

The more control you have the fewer strokes you need to make…

Ergo, you paint faster.

The stem is also bigger (being airbrush shaped), and much more ergonomic as a result.

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Bodypaint r12 will be here soon.

Then its going to get really good.


Actually let me down…

The elipses… never forget them.

So, Tyler and I have been talking about the Mole Game.  You mean the Mouse Game?  You ask.  No, I say, I mean the Mole Game.  Different game? 

Same game. 

New not-name.

Also a new Hero.  With a lot more interest and potential.  I think we’ve struck iron enough things are starting to get hot.

I started digging into what the Hero might look like and sort of let myself down with this:

allen white mole hero

He just wasn’t quite right.  Especially the face.  I’m all over the gear and stuff he’s got going on, but on the whole its just not up to snuff, and certainly not mole enough.

I went back to just a generic mole and took another crack with a fresh set of eyes a few days later:

allen white mole character

That’s pretty much on the money.  From this I can adapt the Hero’s build.

I’m back and forth on the idea of a helmet, but Ben keeps begging me for more RPG content so I’m thinking shops and different sets of gear will come into play somewhere along the line.

The moles really excite me.  Tyler’s kicking around some really rad stuff that has me jazzed to push the look into new territory.

More as it develops!


More of a crucible, really…

Birds.  I’m drawing some.

allen white bird meeting doodles

First up we have what happens when I’m on a long conference call with nothing to say.  Ballpoint, in my moleskin.  I dig the moleskins for their size and paper quality.  I destroy them, I go through 4-5 a year just at the office.

I like the idea of scarification/carving of the beaks in a bird society.  I’d imagine dyes and paints would also be popular, a lot of clothing just wouldn’t make sense if they were still flight focused.

Yes that is a man who’s eyes have exploded out of his head…  I guess you’re not wondering how I felt about the whole affair.

Also… I tried to record a bit of doodling video last night, realized I didn’t have Camtasia installed.  I did pick up the new trial but had this done in the five minutes it took to download, which is pretty much all the line work I’d do and figured the opportunity had passed and I’d have to try again on the next pic.

allen white sparrow

I’m debating how to give them “hands.”  Will probably sketch some studies.

As an artist two things are important to continuing to be an artist. 

1.  Do not stop art-ing.

2.  Art harder.

Harder will mean different things for different art.  For me it usually boils down to “faster.”  Sometimes bigger and faster because that usually lumps into the “Give it more zazz!” mentality.  It is important to be able to self-motivate through gauntlets like these, whether they be of your own creation or just homework.  The sooner you know how to flip your own switch the easier pretty much all of life will be.

Anyway, I volunteered for a small art suicide mission.  There simply isn’t time for this project so of course I made it as elaborate as possible.

For some of you these seem echoes of some distant almost forgotten nightmare:

allen white mystery

As part of this operation I bought a new hot knife… Well, actually I bought two. 

I picked up that piddly wire “Wonder Cutter” doo-hicky from Michaels (everyone’s favorite arts and crafts shop).  I did so hoping it would be cheap and passable enough to get the science done.  Wonder Cutter is a misnomer, it’s pretty much a wonder it will cut anything.  You can pretty much barehand the “hot” wire and only experience discomfort, not regret.



I bought this little rock star:

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The manual says it’ll do 840 degrees F.  Which is pretty much so hot the foam parents tell horror stories to their foam children to keep them in line.  It’s also so rad I want to open everything with it, *eyes sweet-tart wrapper*

Is this dangerous?  Yes.

Is this awesome?  Yes.

Does it demand louder music? Yes.

And it cuts the HELL out of the foam.

To be completely honest a hot knife is not the end-all-be-all of foamy destruction.  A rasp file with a good handle is still my primary carving option.  I only recommend a hot knife for specific applications and an experienced hand.

The speed and quality with which you can art is inversely proportionate to the amount of clothing you are wearing.

If you don’t believe me… try it.

The unfortunate side effect of telling you all this is now when you imagine me all you see is Julianne Moore in the ‘Big Lebowski’.

I have been replaying Bioshock.  I forgot how near perfect it is…  If only the character models didn’t deform so bizarre…


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