Concept Art

Helmet 1

This project is largely going to be in black and white with respect to my love of Manga. With everything being some shade of gray, I’m looking for the right tones and textures. In these concepts I’m playing around with forms and looking for a helmet design that might work for my lead, Allie. I like the split visor look on the lower helmets but it’s not working for this project. It is something I haven’t really seen before. Might revisit this idea on a later project. I like the last design on the bottom right and feel like I’m on the right track. There’s also a small preliminary design for Gauge in the top right!

Helmet 2

Feeling out a few more ideas for Allie’s helmet design but feel really happy with the bottom designs. My only problem is finding a simplified version of this I’ll be able to draw regularly from any number of angles. She won’t be wearing it all of the time so that will be nice!

Allie 1

I needed to come up with some visual language for the rest of Allie. Not using a specific road map, I let different designs just come out as the concept took several turns along the way. I liked the idea of a slick, metal body but considering how Allie becomes the main character of the story, that really wasn’t a possibility. That said, the sleek metal leg into a high heel boot was out. I did consider how the jets would work underfoot but that is really not relevant now.

The concept then turned to one of heavy plating. Inspiration came from the massive pads hockey goalies use, hence the goalie inspired legs. Really liked the idea but it still doesn’t quite hit the mark. Massive hands for the use of the Heavy Armor attack was in mind but again was not quite right. Still playing with shapes, there is a front and back torso along with another hockey goalie inspired limb, this time with the blocker arm.

Allie 2

Getting closer. The idea that Allie needs a new form immediately brings to mind something hastily assembled, something raw and unfinished. A more skeletal approach feels right. The body on the right has incomplete body or limb plates and high shoulder armor. Cables and more plating helped this design but I felt the skeletal approach winning out. I even considered using a shield for protection against the explosives. Neither worked for me. Plus, the idea that there is body plating seems like the aesthetic was being considered when really, there is no time. This was a hasty construction or modification of something already there.

Allie 3

I started playing with different hair designs for Allie. Something shoulder length will work. She will be light haired and likely light skinned. I love the look on some manga characters with light hair and skin tone with strong black shadows giving a sort of strength, innocence, and purity. Allie is two of those things and becomes all three. As the story progresses her hair becomes more disheveled as does she but her character never waivers.

Allie 4

The new body she is forced to take on unceremoniously is that of a service droid. This droid is used for simple assistance so she will not be doing flips or crazy action scenes on her own. Lifting and carrying things, holding things, fetching things make up the general assignments of the service droid. It was there and she needed it. I started thinking about just how grungy and thrown together I wanted it. One arm will be a form of monkey wrench and the other a three fingered hand with rubber grips. I was even thinking of two car batteries powering the droid. Talk about thrown together! I also considered having it move around on large wheels. This almost happened. I loved the idea.

The only thing that stopped me from pursuing this design was the Heavy Arms. She needs to pilot it and there really was not a way to have the body with wheels fit into the pilot seat in a hurry. Also, for the tasks assigned to the droid, wheels did not make a lot of sense.

Allie 5

I then went all in on a sort of Terminator exoskeleton with modules and components all over. Hydraulic parts and the occasional limb coverings contributed to this design but it feels too powerful and almost menacing. The service droid is not meant to be special, just a thing that serves a basic purpose. I had to scale it back and minimize the threat level to help emphasize Allie and how out of control her situation really is but her strength of character helps her wrestle with her fate and ultimately take control of it. This also would have been way too hard to draw over and over and over…


I needed to come up with a look and feel for the military forces the rebels have to go up against. These designs needed to be more realistic and somewhat familiar and not too out there so the threat is a little more tangible. Helmet design ultimately will be more current. There will be subtle variations for each soldier but this will be a good template to work from but this is what those in the field will generally look like.


These are fast, nimble ATVs with 50 cal. Weapons used by the military. Not sure these would work in real life but will work great in my book! These will zip around the warzone and allow for quick strikes and to quickly take over strategic positioning on the field. The 50 cal. comes down in an arc with the arm coming over the left shoulder of the driver. The arm itself conceals the rounds that are fed from an ammo crate at the back of the Guillotine.

There is limited movement of the gun as the driver needs to be able to handle the expected recoil if they are in motion. If the gun is facing a different direction than the Guillotine while in motion, the results could be disasterous. It will generally face forward with limited range of movement. Guillotines will also vary slightly but follow this general design.


These are preliminary designs for Gauge. The suit he occupies is essentially a living mini gun. The arms have designs to work as shotguns on one side and a hand that flips over up to the elbow to activate the mini gun complete with stand! The suit is light armored for mobility. There are jets on the backs of the calves to dart quickly in different directions. Camouflage with grays for city stealth covers the suit. Some workable ideas here but changes were definitely made.

Gauge will also use a breathing apparatus and may or may not use a helmet himself. Would make great sense but given the state of him when the suit goes online, helmet shmelmet.

Guillotine SRO

The Guillotine S.R.O. (Standing Room Only) is another nimble vehicle used by the military. This is essentially Gator-like but with the 50 cal. in a short bed at the back of the vehicle. A third passenger would be the gunner standing in the back and secured.

Heavy Arms 1

Will likely rename this but for now, it is the Heavy Arms. This design is fully inspired by mechs and fully impossible for this resistance group to have. So, had to scrap this design but was important to get this one out of my system. There are different aspects worthy of note. The arms have two halves of a shield that come together to ultimately protect against the blasts from the mech’s attacks. However, unintentionally, the shape of the shield looks like a heart when combined and therefore had to go. It actually did not make sense with how the shield would work in practical terms with how the explosive components will be used. While powerful, this is not a quick piece of machinery because of its size and heavy plating. It would be as effective as blocking after getting hit in the face. There are some grenade launchers for smoke or tear gas around the shoulder areas that come down the front. These are keepers as I love the design.

Because of the limited resources for the band of resistance fighters, it did not make sense to have something so refined and "machined" so I let this one go.

Heavy Arms 2

It made more sense for the Heavy Arms to come from a downed Badger 9 tank or two. This accounts for the plating, firepower, grenade launchers, and a few other things I’ll make excuses for. Modified explosive rounds will essentially be the fingers on each hand and will trigger the explosion when striking an object with force. This will then be five detonations per strike (no time for putting together a heart shield). The stubby fingers then eject like smoking shells from a shotgun and are replaced, fed through the heavily plated arms.

I also considered how the mech would move around. It is large, heavy, and needs to exude power. I looked to the animal kingdom and decided the best posture would be that of a gorilla. Strong shoulders, long heavily plated forearms, and a big barrel chest where the pilot sits help define the silhouette. Already dangerous, the Heavy Arms will walk on its feet and its fists enhancing the danger of even using it. Tank treads on the front and backs of the legs serve as layered plating and also will allow the mech to transform somewhat and drive around quicker than walking around on arms and legs when there are more open paths to take.

Heavy Arms 4

A few more designs for the Heavy Arms as I try to work out how the treads will look and work. Still working out some kinks in that one. Also took a bit of a study of the torso and the piloting seat. A thorough design will be forthcoming from inside the cockpit. Footholds to one side of the cockpit and a ladder on the other allow for the pilot to get up and down. The ladder is actually retractable like an extension ladder. The shoulder armor might open up to reveal housed missiles but I might not use that because that might just be overkill.

Under Development

These are designs and sketches for upcoming projects.

Right now the focus is on Detonator, an upcoming comic project I'm excited to bring to life.

This is my favorite stage. Creation is bound by nothing but intention and purpose.

While much of my work is completed in digital, nearly all of my initial designs start off on traditional paper. I love sketching and the feel of each line come to life. I never know how many renditions will be needed to reach the final design.

In many cases, this is throwing as many designs down on paper that come to mind. Sometimes I start with the most obvious or expected design just to get it out of the way so it does not contaminate ideas for later designs. Finding new ways to interpret or discover new things is the goal. Creating without restrictions or influence can lead to unexpected and exciting possibilities.

Some elements can also be combined to create the final result. Discarded designs are initially welcome as these lead to the inevitable final design.