Eon (Illustration) Entry: Jeff Zugale


Hey Jeff,

This is looking really great! I like the lighting that’s coming from beneath the characters, it gives them that beautiful outline!

Actually, when I mentioned Patricia’s body proportions, I meant the descriptions of her from the book:
“…she was small and pretty in a fragile way. Round face, silky dark brown hair, thin wrists, narrow legs, broad hips for her size: an altogether unpractical-looking women…” (page 33)
I thought she had those qualities, honestly, I didn’t realise that she was out of scale with Garry! Now I can see she was. I am glad that I could help you, even by accident :).

You are not going to make any traction lines, that they are holding to? I am just curious, because the ship itself for me is a big problem - I can’t find ways to show it!



Hi Sasha, yes I’ll be putting in the traction lines and fields but I’ll probably do that last or at least much later on in the process. If you look at the character below and to the right of Patricia, you can see the hand in a sort of grasping pose. That line will probably extend up to Olmy, who is the person at top right (he’s sitting in lotus position, I’m not sure which way I’m going to rotate him. Also, there will be a line going thru Lanier’s left hand which is partly hidden behind him. I’ll likely have the Frant at top left holding the same line, as well as the person directly above Lanier.

Re Patricia, thanks again! I have read the entire book and took a lot of notes so I am trying to be faithful to the descriptions of everything. One thing I’m totally ignoring for this image though - note that the sunlight is coming from the right side of the image, like a low sun nearing sunset. Of course, this is impossible inside the Way, as the plasma tube light is always up top!!

However, from this angle that would make the lighting kind of boring and remove an effective way of showing details on the landscape - for instance, looking at the moon thru a telescope during a full moon is boring compared to looking at a 3/4 moon or half moon, where the shadows show all the mountains and craters very clearly! So, I’m cheating. I guess we can imagine that the disc ships have flown down thru a local cloudy overcast, and the “sunlight” is coming in from the right after reflecting off the inner surface of the Way over there… :wink: Plus I’m keeping the contrast generally lower for the distant ground so as to bring out the foreground, and to try keep your eye bouncing back and forth from the characters to the pyramid.

I have pretty much this whole weekend to myself for a change, so I’m determined to make massive progress on this by end of Sunday. There should be lots of updates!!


whatsup jeff, i think you still need to turn that guy in the upper right so that his long appendage points towards the focal point. And maybe bring im to the front because it seems everything is very middleground/background right now, nothing strongly leading viewer in. Thats a minor personal thing though.

Are you going to adding a secondary back lit lightsource? I think may give it an extra kick. Like maybe an artifical light since you’ve got the natural lighting already.

keep it goin, bring it home!


Well, my weekend turned out to be more full of non-painting stuff than I had planned. Ain’t that always the way? Sigh.

Well, I did get a lot done on the rest of the characters. Kev, I agreed with you about Olmy, so I rotated him and scaled him down just a bit; I think he looks a lot better now.

I’m thinking that for the characters at top and bottom, including Olmy, should have shadow thrown across them by the ship structure that’s visible at right. I’ll have to try that out and see.

I think next I’ll concentrate on the disc ships for a while. Maybe I’ll come back to the characters, but this may be as far as I go on them. Depends on how much paint time I get from here on out!


hey Jeff this is looking great, and I can imagine it is a difficult angle to try to illustrate. No crits , just compliments and cheering you on :slight_smile:


man! i agree with Linda! even after reading ur entire description … i myself wudnt’ve been able to illustrate it properly :eek:

this in a way is one huge challenge for u! :eek: my respects and cheer that u trying real hard for this! :love: :applause::buttrock:

hoping for the best for u dude! god bless ya!


I’m pretty happy with the characters at the moment, so I’ve hidden them; on to the disc ships. I didn’t have much time to work tonight but I did some setup and cleanup - made some guides in Illustrator again, and evened out the gaps in the ship hull.

I’m going to use Painter’s “Papers” to create some kind of interesting texture for the ship bodies. I don’t really want to do the usual “spaceship greeble” type stuff, so I’m going to play around a bit.

Thanks Ivy, Nev! I’m having fun with this even tho it’s keeping me up late nights, heh. Just lots of detailing to do from here on out, really, so plenty of mindless tedium to keep me entertained… :wink:


So, I tried the Papers thing, but didn’t like any of the results, so I went to Illustrator and laid out the random curved lines, then imported them into Painter using the “File>Acquire…” command.

Then I used something that I learned from Dan Milligan’s Gnomon Live presentation to paint the lines. When using Painter’s Brush tools, you can have them “lock to shapes” by clicking a little button in the control bar at top, so if you have a vector shape, like the Rectangle and Oval tools in the toolbox, you can make the brush trace along the path. It’s kinda like using the old plastic templates or sweeps, really awesome.

So with the imported Illustrator paths, I just ran one of my fine brushes along those paths and voila, nice clean lines.

Sure beats trying to paint them by hand…

It seems like this is going slow to me, but I’m actually doing pretty well considering I’m only working an hour or two every night… heh


Now that I’ve put the detail to the disc ship and added its passengers, things are starting to look a little hectic, huh? The new disc ship covering the pyramid is the one I’m setting up to duplicate a few dozen times to make all the disc ships in the image. It’s going to replace the one to lower left, and then all of its copies will be smaller, further away. I’m going to try to rotate each of them to a different angle so they don’t just look like total clones - that means I’ll have to repaint the lighting on them of course. However I’m going to cheat with the center dome, and just duplicate it and rotate it so the highlight faces rightwards, hehehe.

And of course, in true artist fashion, I was working on the large disc ship details with the character layers turned off… and yes, you guessed it, a bunch of the details I spent an hour on are completely obscured by the characters, meaning I wasted my time working on them. DOHHH!!!

As far as the image getting busy, it’s starting to interfere with the contrast of our main characters and draw the eye away from them. There’s a number of things I can do to compensate, but I think I’ll wait until after I’ve added the purple glow of the traction field lines, which will add a completely different set of lights to the foreground characters. The fields on the other ships will be very faint in the distance so that should make up the difference and bring the characters forward again.

I haven’t reached a point where I hate this image yet - which I think is a good sign, considering I’m about 80% done! Usually I hate my piece from about 33% to about 70%, haha! So I guess I’m doing all right! :slight_smile:


Now it’s really starting to shape up. I’m trying out turning the disc ships to a more bronze color as things were looking kinda monochromatic. This will likely result in me adding quite a bit of saturation to the foreground characters to help the balance.

I’ve added a number of the ships plus I’ve dropped in an aerial photo to simulate some structures around the pyramid. I’ll probably leave most of that as is, with some tweaks, added buildings etc. Also I’ve got an aerial of some forest that I’ll overlay over some parts of it.

Time to go out and party for a while!!


Not bad at all :slight_smile:

But as you point out yourself, the piece really need some saturation in certain areas. Hurry up, time’s running out…


Thanks, Martin! Heh… I’m trying to finish it today!! I’m pretty sure I can… steps left to do are:

  1. Clean up aerial photo a bit - there’s some highways showing on it that I don’t think work with the ones I painted;

  2. Add forest to various places on the ground, especially over to the left side;

  3. Add traffic to all the highways;

  4. Add more disc ships and make sure they’re all bronzed, also not forgetting shadows on the ground;

  5. Saturate foreground characters and clean up any artifacting that might cause;

  6. Add glowing violet traction fields to foreground, and final cleanup.

So, here I go!! :slight_smile:


A good plan indeed. Hope you make this piece a hit :thumbsup:


OK, here are steps 1, 2 and 4 complete. I’ll do step 3 next - yawn, a couple hours of painting little marks on the highways to represent the traffic. Ah, the mindless tedium of the art world…

Perhaps I’ll make myself a drink to help me through. I’ve got some good tunes going so that will help anyway… :slight_smile:


Well, I think I’m done. I think. I’m not sure I’m happy with the traction lines… I’m going to have to think about that some.

Well, at least I got through all the final steps… I’ll come back to it tomorrow if I’m gonna tweak it. I’ll figure out how to upload the big final tomorrow.



Hey Jeff,

I can see what you mean talking about contrast! Here I can really see how it works!
It’s ending up wonderful, I would say! :love: I wander to see high res of it!

I have a little-tiny-bitty thing in my mind… Traction lines… Don’t you think they are destructing a bit? May be get them barely visible on places where nobody holds on them… I don’t know, it may make them even more destructing… Well, it can also be just a matter of taste :slight_smile:

Good luck finishing, Jeff! Only a little push - and it’s done!


Hi Sasha, yeah they’re just too colorful, they are quite distracting. I’m going to re-do them so they’re narrower and fainter and less magenta, more purple. Hopefully that will solve the problem. Without them, I’m very happy with the image!

I want to also add some very faint, fine texture to the pyramid; the book describes it as having some random-lined pattern on the surface, and though that wouldn’t be clearly visible from this altitude there should be some suggestion of it, so I’m giving that some thought.

Oh and I also have to do something with the people riding in the nearest disc ship - some of them got lost when I added the forest to the ground, in the shadow of the pyramid, so I just need to bring them back out slightly with a contrast adjustment and some highlights.

The glow coming from inside the pyramid probably could use some work too.

I only have tonight to do more work on it so it will be finished and final tomorrow, no matter where I’m at with it. :slight_smile:


OK! I’m really finished, and ahead of time too! :slight_smile:

I like the much narrower, fainter traction field lines. I also added some very faint texture to the pyramid.

So, there it is. I hope you like it.


In case anyone is interested, here is a link to the final hi-res image - 1.2MB JPG

Thanks everyone for visiting and your input, and best of luck to everyone! :slight_smile:


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