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Submitted on
June 18, 2012
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Baby's got an Imperial Mech! by Rob-Cavanna Baby's got an Imperial Mech! by Rob-Cavanna
Original line art is by :icons2ka: I have been a fan of his work since my early days on DA! So cool do a commission w/ him. :D

Check out the initial B&W work here: [link]

paper and wood grain texture from
Mitsubishi G4M silhouette reference: [link]

A departure from my usual coloring style; Somehow, didn't feel like an overwrought attempt at realism, with metal texture and detailed weathering would jive w/ the fast and fun manga-ish style of the line art. Opted for (mostly) flat colors with no blending or blurred edges.

From there it seemed an obvious step to go for a minimalist approach in the vein of ukiyo-e. Can't beat traditional Japanese woodblock prints for graphic representationalism. Always been fascinated by the connection between modern manga and ukiyo-e. IMO, they represent a continuous graphic tradition in Japanese pop culture.

Anyway... does anyone remember a late-90s electronica artist called FLUKE? The title is an ode to the track ATOM BOMB which had a brilliant video that used to get played on MTVs AMP. Ahhh... 90s electronica! [link]

Hope you folks diggit.
It was great fun working with :icons2ka:!
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Xperimental00 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That background is a really nice touch. Slap in some patriotic statement and this piece will be great propaganda. :D
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
HAH, it looks awesome! For some reason it never occurred to me to wonder what Japan was doing in the OpDS timeline...If anything I guess I figured they were getting secondhand German mecha, vis a vis Me 163. (I even saw a Triebflugel mocked up in Japanese colors once...Hey, here you go! [link])

Love the scowling samurai mask and the subtle nod to stockings 'n sandals in the footpads. Your background choices and color palette here are sheer genius, perfectly capturing the feel of Japanese WWII propaganda posters. The bold female character and the oversized ceremonial sword just pushes the whole thing right over the top...You know, I almost want to see a pistol in the chick's hand, just for that sort of jarring contrast of the machine holding a sword while the human has a gun!

Very successful collab, you must be delighted with this one...Take pride in your half! XD
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
Hey thanks for the cool Japanese Triebflugel link! Yeah, in terms of the (game) story arc I'm conceiving, the Pacific theatre is not really in the picture at all. Much more focused on the ETO. Already an indulgent amount of globe-trotting for my protagonist's squad, ala James Bond or Indiana Jones. Mixing up set pieces, color palette, and tactical scenarios. Not attempting to depict the whole war -just snippets of key scenes and battles seen through the eyes of unlikely Allied mech aces.

Yeah, any Axis powers besides Germany would do well to nab whatever technology of theirs that they can. When I googled Japanese bomber I did get a few Heinkels wearing Japanese colors. I requested that Leo do a Japanese mech ace because 1) That's just so his manga-friendly style 2) I didn't have to be anal about whatever he came up with, since it's non-essential to the main OPDS storyline. His commission rate is so reasonable, I couldn't justify hounding him over making the design being canon, so to speak. (canon as in OPDS aesthetic doctrine, not pew pew cannon).

You know... I almost posted this on DA w/ nothing in the sky except a smooth color gradient, but it seemed kinda barren, so I added the clouds... then I looked at some simple birds in my Hiroshige reference and thought, hmm... those could be planes... then the Imperial sunburst seemed obvious. Suddenly morphed into something propaganda-esque, but still light and fun.

The pistol idea is brilliant! Wish I had shown you the line art sooner! I might just have to go back and tweak it some more... Holding a side arm is much more interesting than 2 basically idle hands. Only makes her more badass, and dare I say... would sexualize her by a fair degree. Being over the top is as much a tradition of ukiyo-e as it is Manga.

Very glad you dig it, Tom! Solid input as usual. Wish I could be as insightful w/ your anatomical creations, but often feel out of my depth. Your posts are usually a learning experience for me.
s2ka Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
Now this my friend it BRILLIANT!:wow:
Love the line weights and grains.
You've nailed the graphic minimalist look! Everything works so well!
I was aiming to make the sketch to look as authentic as possible and here you made the whole thing legit!
Job well done!:thumbsup:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
I'm psyched you dig it so much! Was a fun image to work with. You absolutely delivered what I was hoping for, w/ minimal prompting/directing on my part. And getting a kick ass mech as bonus for a simple "character" commission was beyond the call of duty. Very much appreciated!

It was a cool moment when the idea of woodblock prints came up. (I was an Asian Studies major, and used to work in the Japanese art dept. of a big auction company in NYC... ukiyo-e and old Japanese art was something of an obsession for me). Felt good to merge my past and present interests.

Sort of a quickie solution, but it seemed the right design choice, both for the subject and your kickass line art. :D
s2ka Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
I call it stroke of genius!
You should do more in this bold graphic style. You certainly have the eye and the feel for such.
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012
Too kind, sir! :thanks:
dukeleto Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Atom Bomb - -amazing track, what a great video, I love WipeOut [link]
was also (briefly) featured in X-Men when Logan steals Cyclops' bike!
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
:laughing: Yeah I love wipeout too: [link]
went nuts when I saw that vid the first time. Oh... how I'd love a new video based on this concept!

Atom Bomb is a track that pops up a lot all over the place. Like The Saint soundtrack, and probably heard it on Top Gear at some point, etc...
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