An Amazing Gift From Alvaro Bravo

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Alvaro Stuardo Bravo has been impressing us for almost two years with his amazing sculptures. Since those first sculptures, his talent has continued to grow and he is quickly becoming a world class artist. Alvaro recently surprised us with a beautiful sculpture based on the Gears of War: Judgment Reaper. I carried it around the studio and people were so amazed at the detail. It will soon find it’s home hanging on the Epic walls.

Epic Gamer and artist Tim Fangon chats with Alvaro about sculpting and other mediums he enjoys.

966372_331802133613500_473553535_oTim F: How did you get started sculpting?

Alvaro B: I started sculpting 2 years ago with a lot of questions about materials and techniques, learning from YouTube and after all the research now I feel more confident about my sculptures.

I started after I saw “Inside the Wicked Workshop” on YouTube from Chris Perna, to me was very inspiring.

TF: Who is your favorite Gears of War Character to sculpt?

AB: Definitely Marcus Fenix, I believe Marcus is the most awesome Character in the game. 

TF: Could you describe the process for the sculpture?999059_10151843181449230_2052617188_n

AB: I start with an armature made of metal, then I cover the armature with aluminum foil. Then I start modeling the clay over the aluminum foil with rough shapes until I feel comfortable with the results. I bake the clay and the statue is ready for the paint job!

TF: What kind of clay do you use?

AB: I use Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm which is a type of polymer clay that can be molded and put into a conventional oven to harden.

TF: How did you make it look like bronze?

AB: That was the paint job made it by my Girlfriend Carla, she painted several layers of different colors to get that finish and then she added some clear coats to bring some shine. 

964503_342751579185222_34180249_oTF: Did you know the sculpture will be on display at Epic Headquarters?

AB: That’s gonna be Fantastic! And makes me feel very happy because you guys likes what I do, to me is an honor.

TF: When did you start sketching?

AB: I been sketching all my life, I love to make drawings and When I saw Gears of War I knew that I wanted to keep improving my sketches. I loved to make drawings using just a regular ball pen and maybe some polychromes!

TF: How long have you been drawing?

AB: All my life! Since I was 4 years old.

TF: Do you create any art on PC?

AB: Yes. I make drawings using Photoshop and recently I started using Z-Brush which is pretty awesome. 

TF: Which do you like to do more, sketch or sculpt?

AB: I don’t know which is better but I try to do both things because one helps to improve the other and because both makes me happy.

Alvaro on deviantART
Epic Gamers on deviantART

Printable Valentine’s Day Cards from Tim Fangon!

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Epic Games Valentine 2013Epic Gamer Tim Fangon is at it again. Even though he’s very busy with school, Tim has taken the time to create a new Valentine’s day image for you to print out for your favorite Valentine.  Last year, Tim created a whole set of Valentine’s Day cards to print. Here is a repost:

Show your love how much you care with a custom Valentine’s Day card designed by Epic Gamer Arukun14! The cards are suitable for printing and will be cherished by any Gears of War fan.

Pick your favorite card from the gallery below and print it for your Valentine. If you want to see more amazing art inspired by our games, head over to the EpicGamers deviantART group. We’d love for you to join and post your work too!

 

 

Savage Grenadier Elite 1:2 Scale Statue WIP

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Infinitydesigns from the Statue Forum is creating an amazing Savage Grenadier Elite Statue for a friend, based on the fan art of Epic Gamer, Tim Fangon. The statue stands over four feet tall and so far, over 100 kgs of clay has been used on it!

You can see more work from Infinity Designs on their Facebook page. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the work on the Savage Grenadier Elite progresses!

Epic Gamer of the Month: Mallock1327

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Epic Gamer and Forum Member mallock1327 aka Mike Staples has been sharing his amazing artwork with us for over a year. We first featured him on the Epic Games Community Site back in February, in THIS interview with Tim Fangon from Team Epic Gamers.

Mike sent us some of the sketches you see in the story and they have since been framed and are hanging on the wall in one of our offices, as you can see in the photo below. He has started a new Facebook page to showcase his work, be sure to give it a like! Recently, he tried his hand at wall sculptures made from Styrofoam and the results are amazing. You can read about these incredible pieces of art HERE and HERE.

Mike is a huge Gears of War fan and picked up the first game a few months after release and he says that he fell in love with the dark and gritty atmosphere. He and his girlfriend love to play Horde together, “It’s been nice to see the game progress through the series from the dark gritty streets of the first game to the towering columns and palm trees of Azura in the third.”

Mike is 38 years old and lives in Canada with his girlfriend. He moved there four years ago and he is from Boston, MA. He started drawing in grade school and continued to take art classes until attending the Art Institute and the School for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

As a thank you to Mike for his amazing contributions to the Gears of War Universe, we will be sending him an Epic Gamer t-shirt, a Gears of War 3 Epic Edition and a copy of “The Art of Gears of War 3” signed by Chris Perna.

If you would like to see your content posted on our community site, Facebook page and twitter, check out the Epic Gamers forum. Who knows, you could be our next Epic Gamer of the month! There you can post your tutorial videos, cosplays, fan art and fiction, anything you would like to share with the community. For more information, check out this welcome post. To see more artwork from Epic Gamers, be sure to catch the EpicGamers group on deviantART.

Epic Gamer Fan Art: Gears of War Wall Sculpture #2

 on | featured gears of war inside epic

We here at Epic Games are big fans of Epic Gamer Mallock1327. We have framed images of his work hanging in the Epic Games Studio and we have featured him in an Epic Gamer Artist Interview with Arukun14. He recently made an amazing Gears of War wall sculpture and has just completed a new sculpture with the Crimson Omen.

The skull is sculpted in Styrofoam and Aves Epoxy. Mallock added another piece of Styrofoam for the backing, beveled the edges of the COG and added some weathering effects to the foam.

He then added some ‘machinery’ and LED lights and starting the painting process, which Mallock would try to make look like old rusted metal. A black base coat was added, the the weathering effects were started.

The finished piece is fantastic! We’re always eager to see what our Epic Gamers are going to create next.

If you would like to see your content posted on our community site, Facebook page and twitter, check out the Epic Gamers forum. Who knows, you could be our next Epic Gamer of the month!

There you can post your tutorial videos, cosplays, fan art and fiction, anything you would like to share with the community. For more information, check out this welcome post.

Epic Gamer Artist: Oliver Brig

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We return to a new issue of “Epic Gamer Artists!” Tim here, sitting down with sculptor, Oliver. His main focus is on weapons and mechanical design. He’s also sculpted quite a bit for NECA! So if your Gears of War figure is sporting a Boomshot, Hammerburst, Torque Bow, or a Lancer, best chances that Oliver has done work on it.

So, let’s say hello to Oliver!

Tim: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Oliver: I originally went to school with the intention of getting into special effects for films. That never really worked out but I did learn some modeling building techniques and I thought it would be good to know in case I couldn’t find enough make up work.

 T: Looking at your gallery, you have quite the eye for detail and accuracy. How long have you been sculpting?

O: My first model building job was for an architectural model company, I learned how to work very clean and to be accurate. I kind of fell into toys by accident, but almost fifteen years later I guess you could say it worked out OK.

 T: Would you like to tell us a little bit about your process in sculpting these weapons?

O: A lot of my gallery is mechanical-looking: guns, machines or vehicles. One thing I have always tried to do is machine something in miniature that would have been machined in real life. That means I do a lot of work on my lathe or mill, I cut or sand or file plastic or modeling board to get the shape I need.

It’s one shape at a time, you look at an overall image of a gun or whatever you are making and figure out the individual parts. So if you start with the handle you are working on just that little component of the whole model then move to the next part.

T: I’ve noticed you have quite a number of shots of “Gears of War” weapons. You mentioned that you used to work for NECA; how was that like? What were you in charge of doing?

O: When I worked for NECA, I was the only full time model maker there. I was mostly in charge of building almost all the weapons and bases. I also did the mundane stuff, like order materials and tools. The nice thing was that at the time I was working mostly from home. I have a studio next to the house and I would get the reference emailed to me and I could just ship out the prototype to the main office when it was done.

T: Are you a gamer at all? Have you played Gears of War?

O: Sorry to say, no I haven’t played video games since the Atari 2600. But some of the best designs I have ever had the pleasure of building were from games. There are a lot of very talented designers and modelers in the gaming industry.

T: Do you have an artist that you look up to?

O: As for artists that I look up to, if you’re talking about the same type of work I do, I’d say CornBoy at the FourHorsmen. He’s a great model builder. The guy can do stuff with just an X-acto knife that will blow your mind.

T: Anything to say to the aspiring Epic Gamers Community?

O: To all the Gears fans all I can say is, I hope I got it right. I loved working on those lines some of the best designs I’ve worked on and I hope I did them justice.

Thanks for the time, Oliver! I certainly enjoyed taking time to really look at the details you put into your work. Looking forward to seeing what you’re bringing in the future!

If you want to see more Epic fan art, or if you have your own to show us, be sure to show us at the Official Epic Gamers group on deviantART.

 

 

Epic Gamer Fan Art: Gears of War Wall Sculpture

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Epic Gamer Mallock1327 has been creating Gears of War Fan Art for quite a while now. We have framed images of his work hanging in the Epic Games Studio and we have featured him in an Epic Gamer Artist Interview with Arukun14. He has been trying different mediums and decided to carve a Gears of War wall sculpture. The finished piece is fantastic!

He purchased a 2″ piece of Styrofoam insulation board, mapped out the carving and dug in. He then painted the finished sculpture to look like rock. It’s gorgeous! Mallock said he plans on creating another styled after the Crimson Omen.

If you would like to see his progress through the project, view the gallery below.

For more awesome artwork from the community, be sure to catch the EpicGamers group on deviantART.

Epic Gamer Artist: Liam Sharp

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Epic Gamers, welcome to the 20th entry in the “Epic Gamer Artists” series where we sit down with artists and showcase their incredible work. Tim from the Team Epic Gamers here to bring you yet another great feature. This week, we have a special guest on board, and many of you may know him. He’s a veteran in the comic book industry, working on many different projects like The Hulk, Spiderman, X-Men, and of course, Gears of War! His favorite Gears character is Michael Barrick, and his favorite Locust is the Ticker.

I’d like to introduce to you, Liam Sharp.

Tim: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Liam Sharp: Well, I’m a big, bald and goateed 44 year old Brit. I’m married with three kids. I’ve got some very personal tattoos that chart my family heritage in a Maori-Viking fusion.

I don’t believe in the perpetuated notion that games and comics are for geeks. Music has its geeks. Fine art has its geeks. Book genres have their geek followings. The mistake people make – and the media – is in thinking comics and games are ‘genres’. They’re not. They’re mediums. And every medium has it’s works of genius, its good stuff and its bad.

I’ve never been a comic obsessive. I like great comics the same as I like great novels, great music or great films. Comics are words and pictures and should be more than the sum of it’s parts, not less! The popular concept of geeks is, in my opinion, reductive – even though we have managed to claim the title for ourselves!

Aside from that, I’ve sang in a few rock bands and I love making music. I’ve written a couple of novels, and I write and draw comics.

I’m currently the CCO and founder of Madefire – which is creating a new storytelling medium for the iPad – along with Ben Wolstenholme (CEO of Moving Brands) and Eugene Walden, our CTO. Very exciting times!

TF: I am certain that you’ve worked professionally in the field for years; from publishing, to inking, to drawing. Tell us a little bit about your journey in your career. It must have been exciting!

LS: Freelance work is tough whatever your chosen field. I’ve said many times – it’s feast and famine, and it requires you to go places you might never expect, and do work you didn’t ever anticipate.

As a comic strip artist you have to be able to draw literally ANYTHING. And very quickly. In the gaming industry it might take months for a single vehicle to be designed. In a comic you’ll get the script and it may require you to design one on the spot and have the rest of the page done that day… it’s insane, intense work!

I’ve been very lucky to have had a very varied and eclectic run – from Judge Dredd, to Death’s Head II, to The X-Men, Spiderman, The Hulk, through Manthing, Frazetta’s the Death Dealer, Red Sonja, Testament for Vertigo, The Possessed and Gears of War for Wildstorm – I’ve pretty much covered all the genres, and met almost all my artistic heroes on that journey…

So yes, exciting is a good way to put it – even if the reality of day to day life is generally just being tied to the drawing board…

TF: You must have a favorite medium of choice. Do you usually work digitally, or traditionally? Or both?

LS: I really don’t have a favourite medium! I love writing as much as drawing. I like pencil drawing, inking, painting in oils, acrylic, Gouache or watercolour. I like using an airbrush. I love getting stuck in in Photoshop… life’s too short to pin yourself down in one area – at least that’s my view. I like richness in my life, as much of everything as time will permit! There’s too much fun to be had, and with every new skill you learn you grow a little, and that gives you a fresh perspective. I never cast myself in stone in anything I do.

TF: At a certain point, you were involved with art in the Gears of War comics. What was that like? Did you have any favorite moments?

LS: Gears of War is probably the strongest single traditional run of any comic I’ve ever done, in terms of the consistency of that work. I felt really connected to the characters, and it was great having the chance to design these guys that later ended up in the game – Barrick and Jace in particular. We had no idea they would become so popular!

Gears of War was also the biggest selling comic of any title in 2009, outselling Batman, Superman, the X-Men… incredible. I’m extremely proud of that.

The first story arc is my favourite – ending with Jace trapped with a Berserker, and Barrick tearing into the Locusts in an apparent act of self-sacrifice… Great stuff to draw!

 

TF: Who’s your favorite COG soldier? Who’s your favorite Locust?

LS: It’s got to be Barrick! And I like the Boomers and Berserkers, and all the crazy, twisted creatures the Locusts ride… And Tickers! That’s just messed up!

TF: Aside from drawing Locust monsters and chainsaws, did you play Gears at some point?

LS: I’ve had to, to get a good feel of the world. It truly is amazing, what the guys at Epic created. Incredible. And I have two boys that love it. Lorcan, my eldest, is WAY better than me though… I’m a bit useless to be honest. Must be getting old!

TF: Do you have a favorite artist that you look up and aspire to?

LS: I have many – Bill Sienkiewicz, Don Lawrence, Bolland, Moebius, Frazetta, Richard Corben, Clemente Coll, Michelangelo… the list goes on and on. I’m always finding new inspiration too. And with writers it’s China Miéville, Garbriel Garcia Marquez, Jeff Noon, M. John Harrison… amazing, literate and visionary scribes all. I always find ‘favourite’ as a notion somewhat inflexible! I like different things at different times and depending on the mood I’m in! Right now I’m looking at some Travis Charest and Sorayama…

TF: Before we close this, Liam, do you have any words that you would like to tell the community?

LS: Yes! Please go and check out the Madefire app at the app store. It’s free, it has AMAZING art and stories from people like Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin), Brian Bolland (Killing Joke), Mike Carey (Lucifer), Gary Gianni (Prince Valiant), Dougie Braithwaite (Justice), and loads more… It’s not comics, it’s a whole new medium. And you control the pace you read at. We’re the only 5 star app in the top hundred free apps, and have been featured by Apple every week since launch. It’s INCREDIBLY exciting, and waaaay bigger than I could ever have hoped or imagined.

This is also creator-driven content, and we’re deeply passionate about making it the best reading experience we can. You can find out more at www.madefire.com!

TF: Thanks for your time, Liam! We appreciate your time!

LS: Absolutely my pleasure! Thanks for having me!

For more of Liam’s artwork, visit his pages on deviantART. For more fan art and fan works, head on over to the Epic Gamers group on deviantART.

Let us know who is your favorite character from the Gears of War comics for your chance at The Gears of War Graphic Novel, Book Two! We’ll choose one random commenter on Tuesday, September 18!

Update: Congrats to Lee R for winning the Gears of War Graphic Novel, Book Two!

 

Epic Gamer Artist: DroidsBane

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Welcome to a new edition of Epic Gamer Artists, where we showcase artists in the Epic Games Community! Tim from the Team Epic Gamers here, to bring you “DroidsBane” from deviantART, to share a little bit about who he is, and his Gears of War fan art. He’s also showed us a couple of speed videos of his work!

Say hello to Droidsbane!

A: Tell us a little bit about you and what you like to do.

D: Well I am going to university soon to study Art and Design. I like creating art, and I hope to one day work as a concept artist possibly for a game developer. My interests other than art include: making animations, a bit of photography when out for a walk, and reading. I also like watching comedy, sci-fi movies and TV shows.

A: Are you a gamer? From some of the artwork I’ve seen, I assume you are!

D: Yes! I am big into gaming. I’ve played (in order) Gameboy, PS2 and about 4 years ago I moved onto Xbox. I play Xbox mostly as well as a few PC games. I enjoy playing shooters and RPGs with a good story to go with the gameplay. Halo and Elder Scrolls to name a few are some of my other favorite game series outside of Gears of War.

A: So you play Gears of War?

D: Yes, a friend introduced me to series a few years ago, at first I thought it was just an overly violent shooter, but once I played I saw that it was so much more and I’ve played all three since playing Horde, Multiplayer and Campaign with my friends and I’m looking forward to Judgment next year, my favorite characters in multiplayer are Clayton and the Theron.

A: You’ve shared some process videos with us. It looks like you do things in traditional medium. Do you prefer pen and paper? Do you work digitally too?

D: I work mostly in the traditional medium, using a combination of acrylic paints and ink and pencils, I often prefer this medium as in the end I have something that I can hang on my wall, however I mostly work in the digital medium as there is more freedom to experiment without having the fear of starting all over again if I make a mistake.

A: Do you have any favorite artists that you look up to?

D: Well, there’s Syd Mead, a concept artist who worked on designs in some of my favorite films from the 80s such as Blade Runner and Aliens, and H.R, Giger who designed the Xenomorph. And of course, there’s the artists who produce amazing concept art for video games which inspired me to try digital art several months ago.

A: Have anything to say to your fellow artists and Epic Gamers?

Not much, but keep on being Epic.

For more awesome work, visit us at the Official Epic Gamers group on deviantART.

Epic Gamer Artists: Nick Lee

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Hey guys, welcome to a new edition of the Epic Gamer Artists series, where we’ll be showcasing awesome fan artists and their work. Tim from the Epic Gamers here, and I sat down with Nick from Utah. He’ll be talking a little about who he is and a little bit of insight on his “Behind You” Gears illustration. Without further ado, say hello to Nick!

A: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what you do.

Nick Lee Artist - Fog of WarN: My name is Nick Lee and I’m an illustrator and gamer commonly known by the pseudonym Runefaust. Until a couple of weeks ago, I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life. I just recently moved to Utah. As far as what I do, I draw, I game and now I fish! I’ve been drawing and gaming my whole life, but I’m a total newbie at fishing.

A: Do you play Gears of War? Are you a gamer?

N: I’ve been a Gears player since the debut of the first game, which comes as a surprise to most people who know me ’cause I’m not much of an FPS player; one of my younger brothers, Alex Lee of metal band Holy Grail, is the FPS fanatic in the family. Well, technically, Gears isn’t an FPS, it’s OTS but whatev. I am most definitely a gamer! My first console was the Atari 2600.

A: I’ve noticed that you have a couple of Gears of War pieces. What motivated you to do these?

N: DeviantART and EPIC hosted a contest to promote Gears of War 3 last year, and that was the inspiration for me to get crackin’. The illustration I did that landed me a finalist spot in the contest was actually rendered almost a week after to the game’s release. I still hadn’t played the game at the time and avoided reviews and anything related to Gears (with the exception of the contest) to avoid spoilers. I was so tempted throughout that week to just go out an’ buy the game but I knew if I did the drawing wouldn’t get finished! Luckily I finished the drawing and it won me a free copy of the game, but the wait for the contest results and for the game to be shipped was brutal, man!

A: Looking at all the Gears pieces you’ve done, “Behind You” seemed like a radical change in subject. What gave you the decision to work on that? I looks like you’ve put quite the amount of attention on that one!

Nick Lee Artist - hollowedN: Like I said, at the time I hadn’t played Gears 3 but I was well aware of the theme, thanks to the trailers, interviews and having played through the previous two games. So I started sketching away with a few things in mind. Firstly, the theme song Heron Blue by Sun Kil Moon. Secondly, like a lot of people I had this gut feeling that a central character was going to be killed off in this game. And thirdly, I wanted to abide by the contest rules as well as I could, which were asking for an image that captured the ‘soul-shattering spirit of Gears of War.’ So with ‘soul-shattering’ in the description I immediately drew comparisons to foreboding, ominous images, the horrors and pains of war and sacrifice. But then again… so did everyone else. And by the time I had finished my second illustration I looked at the rest of the contest entries an’ was like… this sucks. Everyone’s entry is starting to look the same; mug shot with dramatic lighting on the face, eye sockets shrouded in darkness, looking so very defeated, desolent battlefields, etc. Honestly, only a handful of those entries actually struck me as ‘soul-shattering’ and mine didn’t really have that impact.

Then we had these other guys doing art that had absolutely nothing to do with the theme of the contest. People were even depicting comedy which was the complete opposite of what was being asked for but made the cut anyway because the level of artistry was so good. So I figured, what the hell, I want to do an action scene. Something fun! So I picked Anya and a Lambent Drudge to be the centerpieces. Anya because it was such a controversy early on, with Gear’s graphic imagery, that the females were being tossed into the Lancer-wielding fights, and the Drudge because it’s so bad ass looking! I had so much fun painting that creature! Ironically “Behind You” took just a little over half the time the first two took to draw and came out looking much better.

A: What are your tools of the trade? I’ve noticed that you worked with Paint Tool SAI with the Gears pieces. Do you work in any other medium?

Nick Lee Artist - Behind YouN: Paint Tool SAI has been my preferred medium for years now, but when I first went digital I was exclusively a Photoshop user and lately it is the software I use the most. Which program I use really depends on the end result I’m trying to get and the method I need to go through to get that look. If I want to assimilate paint on a canvas I’ll usually go with SAI, but if I decide I want to go grisaille or brunaille and add layer masks for hue adjustment then Photoshop is the way to go. I’ve dabbled with other programs, but SAI and PS, individually and together, are the two that suit me best.

A: Do you have anything to say to your fellow Epic Gamers and aspiring artists?

N: Other than thanks for taking the time to read this… nah, not really. I could tell you guys to keep on gamin’ but you’ll keep on doing that regardless what I have to say. As for aspiring artists, seek out constructive criticism and don’t get bent out of shape about it. Learning’s never done an’ there’s always room for growth and improvement.

Thank you, Nick, for your time, and the awesome piece! Hope to see more from you soon in the future.

If you want to see more work from the Epic Gamers community, head on over to the Epic Gamers group on deviantART, or the Official Epic Gamers Forum.