Bongo Bongo, the oddly yet aptly named boss of the Shadow Temple.
A dark spirit depicted with severed hands and a single glowing eye for a head. The battle takes place in the depths of the temple on top of a giant bongo drum. Being a spirit, Bongo Bongo is invisible and Link needs to use the Lens of Truth to see it.
The Shadow Temple and its boss are some of the creepiest parts of the game. Dark dungeons lined with torture weapons and traps, I wanted to reflect this nightmarish tone in the painting.
I started this piece by sketching the composition. I wanted to emphasize the hand and just how big and horrifying it would be to be in the battle.
Next I added a black background and started adding the highlights.
I continued to flesh out (heh heh) the details of the body and the stumps of his wrists.
I smoothed out the colours a bit and added the ground. Our hero enters the picture!
The texturing of the hands was really important to me. The game doesn’t show it very well but the original artwork showed that Bongo Bongo has a corpse-like appearance. I wanted to reflect that as best I could.
More texturing. I used a finer brush to add the sharper edges. I also added a little green underglow to reflect the eerie light in the arena.
Speaking of which, the battle in the game has the bongo surrounded by a green mist or flame. I blotted in some green blobs and used a motion blur to streak them upward.
Link comes to life! I added the Lens of Truth to his belt to show how he fights the battle. I added to the background some smokey, ghostly faces to illustrate the deathly nature of the scene.
Lastly, I brightened it up with a Brightness/Contrast filter. I also used a Liquify filter to distort the top of his body into smoke as it seems in the game that he just fades into darkness.
And that’s it! I will be posting the other boss battles soon. Stay tuned!
Great time yesterday at ConBravo!.
If you haven’t heard of Doctor Holocaust, Toronto’s neighbourhood super villain yet, you can check him out here.
Got the privilege to meet James Portnow of Extra Credits. Fantastic gentleman with lots of great insight into the future of gaming.
They’re finally finished!
I got the idea for this series a while ago and was fortunately able to get them finished in time for Toronto ComiCon last week.
I’ve mentioned before some of the background to the Legend of Zelda lore and the mythos of the Triforce. It this series I wanted to draw the parallels between the characters and the themes they represent, in figure and expression.
It’s been a while since I posted anything but I have a few pieces in the works.
I did feel I needed to get something out to celebrate Christmas though. I thought about the traditional Christmas scenes and stories and it seemed that one character has taken the back seat in recent years, that of Saint Joseph.
He’s really a fascinating character in that he is brought is as the foster father of Jesus and the wife of Mary but disappears by the time Jesus starts His ministry. Tradition holds that he died, relatively young by some accounts, and didn’t get to see Jesus as the man He would grow to be.
Yet he takes this responsibility with gladness. He is the guardian, the custodian, the protector, the defender of the Holy Family.
I know this piece looks a little somber but I had in mind the times where Joseph had to take on the role of protector. Their life was not an easy one and they were chased to Egypt out of fear for their lives while innocent children were slaughtered for their sake. This must have been a traumatic time for them. I can only imagine how hard that news would have come.
But all through, even though led by dreams and angles, Joseph led his family faithfully before God, trusting joyfully in His salvation.
For that, he is an inspiration to all believers for all time.
Up until a few years ago, the lettering trade was a necessity. It employed those with the ability to scribe perfect typefaces and scripts with little more than a good set of brushes and some paint. As far back as ancient Egypt, there was always that skilled professional employed by kings and emperors to paint the words that would be seen by millions over the course of thousands of years.
The hand letterer is more than an artist, he is a scribe. We in the digital age can easily forget how thing were written before computers. Even the printing press could not put a name on glass or letter a sign. This is a trade that is practiced and trained to write in any size, in dozens of type styles. A craft that was passed on from one generation to the next.
Sadly though, as technology advances, we find ourselves filling that vital gap that for millennia, has been filled by these men and women.
We are right on the edge of this advancement. Those who are in the industry started just as computers entered the graphics market. Within a few decades, they have watched their trade, for which they have rigorously trained, all but disappear.
And yet, they will live on. For, while not as common as they once were, there will always be someone who needs something that a computer cannot do. They will turn to the letterer who will ply their trade once more.
They do not get noticed. They are unassuming. They work when no one is around.
And yet, if you are lucky enough to see them at work, it is fascinating to behold. They move with a deftness almost uncanny, their hands rolling the brush in a dance long rehearsed, leaving in their wake a stream of perfect letters and images.
When they leave, a small masterpiece is left behind. A thing of beauty, artistry and craftsmanship.
Dedicated to Martin, Judy and Colleen.
A tribute piece to Samus Aran, one of the great heroines of video gaming.
Samus first appeared in Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986.
One of the things that made Samus a stand-out character was that it was not immediately conveyed whether she was male ore female. The player picked up a game with a character masked in generic space armour and most players simply assumed Samus was a man.
It wasn’t until the end of the game when Samus takes off her helmet to reveal her true identity.
Samus is one of the few video game heroines who seem capable of handling themselves in an outfit other that straps of leather or chain-mail bikinis.
This one is for Samus.