Friday, October 30, 2015

so fricking cool waaaahhhaa


If you're here now on my pretty stale blog, I guess you've been linked here because of the Dark North kickstarter. This summer I was approached by a friend and former coworker, Robert Henrysson, who asked if I was interested in taking part in their art book project. Usually I turn down most side-projects straight away, in favor of my own projects. But Robert is the kind of guy who gets stuff done, and it's not his first rodeo. The more we talked, the better it got.

 I've been spending nights and weekends since then working on art for the book. Today we're set to launch the kickstarter. I really hope it gets funded. I think the book will be awesome. I've seen very little of the art from the other artists, and I'm very curious to see what they're up to. If they've had similar exchanges with the writer, Martin Larsson, as I have, it's gonna be some freakish reading in it.

Although I've had minor appearances in other books, this is the first time I'll be featured with my art and my idea. I've worked for others for so long, it was a new-ish experience for me to be my own creative director. It comes with a lot of pressure and doubt. When you're doing work for hire, you can redirect most of the feedback, but this will surely be a lot more personal.

Anyways, I've had a blast working on it. I still have six-seven pieces to finish. I'm gonna put it in high gear for real now. If this book is realized, it'll be sort of a milestone in my career. I've always been a games developer who does art, but this is all about being an artist, doing art for art's sake. I don't really know if my pics have what it takes, but I'm gonna give it my best either way.

It'd mean a lot for me if you back the project. Also, get off this old blog! Hit me up on twitter instead.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

project philosophy

In creative endeavors, like game developing, or painting, you can push further indefinitely in all areas of your design.

So how do you define being done? You have to choose to be done. There is no point in being done at a point where all areas are sub-par. If you feel that anything other than perfect is not good enough, you'll never be done. Perfect is an illusion, like the end of infinity.

Being outstanding, however, is very important. Outstanding means being noticeably interesting in relation to other endeavors. Being outstanding in all areas is ridiculously costly.

You can probably only afford to be outstanding in one, maybe two areas. Therefore, by reducing the total number of areas to a minimum, you gain the benefit of increasing the percentage of outstanding areas. You might even save enough effort to be even more outstanding in your key area.

So, decide on your key area, and polish its outstandingness from the start.

Now, it's time to start practicing what I've preached.

Friday, October 4, 2013

warning - blurry, cartoony nudity

Frazetta detail study, Photoshop.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

dung beetle

Photostudy, photoshop.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Lately I've tried to figure out how I feel about sexism and misogyny in games and other entertainment. While I've liked and enjoyed "boys entertainment" since childhood, the #1reasonWhy tweets and the much debated kickstarter to research the subject showed me stuff I did not at all recognize, and definitely didn't want to be a part of.

While misogyny is loathsome, I can't deny always having enjoyed pinups and girl art. Since I know I'm not a hater, the girl art can't be all sexist, right? Well, I struggled with the definitions for a while. Now I've settled with that there is a difference between sexy and sexism. Unfortunately, like with most things in life, there's probably a gradient between the extremes. So, where we step over the line will be different for everyone. Ergo; problem not solvable.

I'm gonna keep drawing girls occasionally. I'm gonna do it on my side of the line. I'm OK with (fictional) people of all genders being objectified from time to time. The sad part is that in games (and pretty much Hollywood) almost all women are objectified. So, I've taken it upon myself to try to better the situation while I'm working, and make an effort to draw also the women as if they're 'real' people, with roles and motivations, rather than the old focus on bodily form. We'll see how that goes. Can't claim to understand female motivations.

BUT, on my spare time, I can draw (even more) for my own enjoyment. There'll be forms without justification! I was gonna paint with oils but got lazy, so I did this:

Long ago I had long gone plans to make an art book depicting an all female pantheon. Purely as a fun theme for pinups. Still seems like a fun idea, but I don't think it'll happen for a long time.

Well, this would be some mad goddess of war...

Monday, May 27, 2013

monster hunter

Wanted to try something lighthearted and different. This girl is still going strong, looking as hot as when I was a kid and fell in love with her the first time. Took some inspiration from Serge Birault. Spending a lot less time of course. Want to know how to draw fast? Hide hands and feet.

I know what you're thinking, old guy drawing bikini girl. You're thinking; "Damn, he's good!" ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

my dirty little secret

For close to 2 years now, me and my friend Jonas Jepson have been 'working' on a series of panels. The series is called 'Bitter'. It's a side project that we most definitely don't have time for, between work and family. Because of this we've redefined success to mean "doing OK in relation to effort spent." It's been a raging success! Currently running in several local newspapers and a few appearances in one of the largest magazines for funnies in Sweden. Oh and we won an award! The Pondus prize, ah the awkwardness of accepting awards on stage. That won't become a habit, I promise.

We don't really believe in the digital format for funnies, so I have barely mentioned them online. Apparently we were interviewed in a local local (as in published in and around a part of Stockholm called Bromma) paper here in Stockholm today. I haven't read it, but I hear some parts of the article is correct. Anyhoo I thought I could show a few. Unfortunately they're originally in Swedish, so I chose four where we managed a reasonable translation without professional help.

Jonas writes and I draw them. We started this project at a time when I wasn't all sunshine about my career. That might explain why it's kinda sorta blackish in tone. Funny fact: about half of Swedish daily papers are afraid to be perceived as negative and would prefer something lighter. The irony burnses us.

 We've made some efforts to go international. It hasn't quite happened yet. It probably won't until we get an English-speaking funny guy to take charge of that. I'm talking to you now, Mr Walsh.

If anyone else knows a publisher who's willing to do the work and give us the money (or part of them) please have them contact me. If you're Swede and want them in your local paper, email them and link here. Shameless plug over. Sorry.

About time I got Bitter on this blog! And about time I made a post. Over and out bazingas!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

do artists dream of pigmented sheep?

When I grow up I want to be really good at portraits. Since the last thing to die is hope, here is a few portrait studies from the last few weeks (artrage studio pro):

Friday, September 28, 2012

very big numbers

So a while back I wrote some regarding complexity in the game we're making, Scrolls. Tweeted links to it asking for some reality checks. ( )

In the article I stated that in a card game like Scrolls, one of the factors of it's complexity is the huge number of combinations you can theoretically get when building a deck. I made a very safe assumption that "the number of theoretically possible decks are above 100 000." Boy, was that a cautious number.

A few days later I get an email from a nice guy named Drew. I'm quoting:


I saw your post/tweet concerning the number of possible decks in a game of Scrolls. I am a junior rocket surgeon, so I did the math:

Although I don't have an alpha code *nudge* *nudge* I did come across a forum post claiming that decks consist of 40 cards with no more than 3 of any particular card. Using this information and the assumption that there are 120 unique cards in the game, the answer comes out to 40995107806965869988005360387065928751 (or approximately 40 undecillion) possible decks. So even if only .00000000000000000000001% of all decks are strong enough to used by a reasonable player, there are still over 4 trillion usable decks. [...]"

Attached was the java code he'd written to figure this out. I showed this to Måns and Aron at work. They had a look and said it looked legit.

That is way way way more "theoretically possible combinations" than 100 000! I'm blown away. Not at the numbers per se, but rather by what it implies about the human mind. A fact of the matter is that out of the testers we've invited so far, all of them has decided that there is no point in logging in to play Scrolls at the moment. There are a few simple and known reasons to this, so don't read anything into that statement.

When you start to slice that number down by how many combinations that are useless according to experience, estimation and by the fact that a few cards are powerful enough to be "must-haves", the number get well below 4 trillion. When you sort the decks by pattern, i.e. the number of reasonably viable/recognizable strategies in your deck building, the number drops below a hundred by a fair bit. There are plenty games with less than hundred game pieces that have game play depth and interest proven to be higher than that of Scrolls.

I am currently shaking my head repeatedly, periodically seeing if this new information falls down in a way that can inform me about how to proceed. I'll report progress if that happens.

Friday, August 10, 2012

artist theory - scientifically unproven

My poor old blog. Totally deserted. I guess I'm getting enough drawing time at work these days. So if you crave carnalizer art, get in on, you perv.

Anyhoo, here's some art theory for you. If you're into drawing and painting you must've heard the tired old "It's about learning to see" phrase. What the f does that even mean? The way I see it, one or more of these things are probably true for you:

* Your mind simplifies what you see into symbols. You must look closely at the lines, shapes and their proportions of your motif and, through using devices or your visual measurementaion, so that you can copy what really is there onto the paper.

* With tons of practice, you internalize this process to a degree where the time between measurement and mark-making is short and accurate enough to resemble skill. When you are used to this, you might feel as though your eyes are looking at things differently. 

* The fun one, and the reason I'm writing this post, is one that I can't recall having seen mentioned before. That makes me feel like I've discovered something important. That feeling will go away soon enough, I'm sure. Chances are I won't even be able to explain it. I'll try: My way of drawing has always been about "That doesn't look right, I better change that.." repeated over and over again. I have gotten pretty skilled at seeing flaws. That doesn't mean I always know how to fix them. One idea that works for me when I can remember to use it is this; Reverse Evaluation. Wow cool term. (TM) Henrik!! What you do once you've done enough on a drawing/painting to start to feel you are hopeless, is to look at your drawing with the same measuring eyes, but this time instead of trying to figure out how to translate the real world into lines/shapes, you try to envision what form you've actually drawn. Typically, if you're drawing a head, you'll find that the edge of the forehead makes it look like the person in the picture has a bulging forehead. You can look at your lines, shadows, colors, body proportions and everything separately. Whenever the forms you see in your drawing looks mutated and distorted, you're on your way to finding something you need to fix. 

Maybe this is obvious to everyone. It looks obvious reading it now. Still, when I stumbled upon this particular way of seeing, it was a eureka moment to me.

Oh and if you look at the post before this one, it's about my miniatures game. The rules are available online now, with a forum and botteu's most excellent army builder:

Here's a speedpainting of a greenish chick in a swamp: