What’s that thing doing here?

Here’s my version of Benjamin J. Grimm (of The Fantastic Four Fame). He’s my favorite, cuz he’s done made with rocks. I like rocks.  Keep scrolling, cuz I gots me sum step by steppage comin’ right after!


Okay. So, as usual, I started with some sketches. I was doing Mr. Grimm here so I started sketching away with abandon!

Too much abandon apparently. What the hell is going on with that guy? Yikes, okay, let’s dial back on whatever it was I was doing there.


Okaaaay. That’s a little better. I’m still not sure what he’s doing there tho….


Now that’s working better. A nice simple portrait. This goes better with the techniques I want to use to render him. So I think we’re off!  Wheeeeeeeee!


I decided I wanted to make him out of real rock textures. So, we drove to a beach that has really way cool rocks bordering on rad, and I snagged a bunch with help from my daughter, and then we scanned them all in on my scanner. At 2400 dpi! Whaaaaaa? Are you nuts?  Yep.


Next I started building it in photoshop. I layered a couple of the rock textures together to create a lovely background. Soooo pretty. What does it mean?


Then I started cutting out pieces of the rock textures that I liked. I also erased out the edges with a rough brush to give them a little more character. Works on dogs and cats too.


Piece by freakin’ piece I added in all the rocky bits. Each of a completely different rock texture. Now they’re all there. But I need to start shading and coloring them so they start making more sense. Right now it looks like someone barfed at a scrapbooking party.


So I started adjusting groups of the rocks, making some more orange, some a little darker, etc. to start to get some separation in the face. Normally that’s very painful, but I think Mr. Grimm can handle it.


I applied a drop shadow layer effect to each individual piece. This gave them a little bit of a cast shadow. Then this next step was very important. In the previous steps I’d purposefully made sure the shapes all over lapped in kind of a haphazardish manner. So now, with the pieces all properly in their place and ordered, I changed their layer styles from “normal” to “soft light”.  This allowed the overlapped edge parts to have that funky cool homemade paper border. Nifty huh?  Here’s a close up of it so you can see that and the slight shadows.


Just like my personality, the shadows needed to be more distinct.  So I merged all the main parts of his face, the brows, nose, eyes, lips, etc. and then hand painted shadows underneath all of them. You can see it makes a pretty big, but subtle difference (like mayonaise over miracle whip)


And here’s the final image again. Awwwww, it’d’nt he cute?

Blog Comments

Haha! Fantastically original. Very cool idea.

Wow! It’s like watching a mad scientist work in his lab!
Bryan, I had no idea you got your own rocks dude.
AWESOME! And yes, I love this piece.


You always push the Wow Factor every time you do something for Drawegeeks!! Awesome!!

Chris: Hey Thanks, it’s fun to try different things. 🙂

Jeremy: Yep, Merrill helped me find them and scan them all in! Thanks dude.

Mike P: Hey, I appreciate it. I love to experiment with these things. No pressure if turns out badly!

This is such a cool take on Ben Grimm! That’s some crazy scanning of rocks 🙂

Ha! Thanks Sarah.

love it. love it love it. You consistantly take the traditional and while still paying homage, crank it towards a completly different vision. Kudos.

dude, that was so frickin’ cool.

thanks Doug and Mike. Coming from you guys, that means a lot.

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