Friday, February 24, 2017

Zak Smith vs Adrian Smith, Final Round

Alright, third try at doing an homage to this Adrian Smith piece from Realms of Chaos for my book Black Metal Amazons of the Devoured Land.

(You can click all these to enlarge)

So, to review. Here's Adrian's original, pencil on paper:
Here's my first attempt, pen and ink, full color:
Adrian clearly rips my jaw off and feeds it to me

Round two, black ink only:

Nice bits but still a clear victory for the alphabetically hegemonic Smith.

And now the last round, acrylic paint on paper, win or lose I'm not doing it again after this:



  1. Third one is GREAT. You got the force and motion of Adrian's plus went further. Adrian's screams out and yours screams forward, if that makes sense. Great job.

  2. The movement you captured particularly in the last two is great. Dynamic and violent, that mace feels lethal and heavy.

  3. Ireally liked the first one, it fails in showing movemtn, biut aesthetically i really lioked. I won´t say it is a sucess bcaus eit is not what you were going for, but it made me think of a homage to Adrian by way of Mike Mignola.

    Not that it looks that much likr mike´s art, but htere is something in both that I realy like, I liked the colors a lot.

    Sorry can´t be more usefull in the feedback, I am not an art person.

  4. These are all really great. I like the coloration of the first and the dynamic pose of the last. Did you use photo references for these?

  5. I still prefer the second attempt. If only for clarity.

  6. Haha, is it bad if I liked your first try the most?

  7. Is this book going to be a setting book like red & pleasant land? The b/w acrylic stuff is insane

  8. My unsolicited commentary:

    Seeing your third version, which I like better, makes it clear to me why I at least didn't feel as enchanted with with your earlier efforts. There's a lot of very fine pen strokes on the stairs and on the rocks, and somehow that distracts from the figures. By contrast, in Adrian's piece as well as in your third picture, there's only really enough detail in the environment to create a sense that it's there, without overpowering the action of the figures - in Adrian's in blurs as it gets further into the background, in yours it blurs as it gets closer into the foreground, but I think the effect is similar (yours has the added bonus of creating more immediacy to the action as unsettled dust or snow erupts around them). The acrylic gives an absolutely gorgeous sense of texture to everything, even though some of the very fine details of the pen work are lost. The only detraction I can think to make is that I liked the more defined nonchalance of the leaping character's face in your second version than in any of the others.

    I think, overall, your final version is better than his, but I'm a fan of your art in general and I am not as enthralled by the Adrian Smith piece as you are in the first place.

  9. Nothing beats the Mandy Rogue from the first attempt, but the movement of your final attempt is really nice.
    I'd actually go with a cropped version too - it enhances the tension between the two characters rather than the tension between the characters and the landscape. The full image screams "avalanche" at me, the cropped image screams "fighting in a fucking avalanche".

  10. This makes curious, what do you do with the drafts or drawings that you made but hate?