After our detour into something more recent earlier in the week lets head back in time a bit and finally talk about the Hellsing mat.
As mentioned previously this was the project on which I figured out how to get black to actually look black. Which was handy since the anime and manga’a style relies quite heavily on the use of it and it could have looked quite odd with blacks tat looked grey.
This is also one of those images that have been stuck in my head for quite some time just waiting to get out, I’m not sure where the pose came from exactly having watched so many programs over the years, though it may even have been one of the two Hellsing series themselves.
After completing the initial sketch there was something not quite right, something I knew was wrong instinctively but couldn’t put my finger on I put the image aside for some time to work on other projects then when I came back to it the problem hit me immediately, the hands were on the wrong way round, even someone as flexible as Alucard would have found it quite painful. A quick flip during transfer to the mat and things were more anatomically correct.
In direct contact with the hands were the guns, like the Walking Dead mat I spent some time researching weaponry trying to get them to look right. The most interesting thing I discovered during the research lead to the reason that you can see both ejection ports in this image which is because the guns were designed to be held so that the casings flew off away from the user when both are used at the same time (If you were to use two of the same normal handgun for example one of them is going to eject casings across your body). The fact that while the guns have set amounts of ammo they will go infinite from time to time if the animators can’t be bothered to animate a reload was also quite amusing.
Ever since my first mat text has been a major element of my mat designs and this mat required quite a lot at quite a small size, the white text on the black gun proved especially tricky. In the end both guns text were added freehand, the entire time hoping not to make a mistake. the text on the sigil on the glove is even smaller which was also somewhat precarious if anything went wrong especially on a white background. As for the logos I quite like both the one for the original series and the ultimate version so they both got added.
Having coloured pretty much everything else I was left with trying to figure out what colour to do the background, that was until I started colouring it yellow without really realising it, apparently my subconscious had been looking at the colour of the glasses (having been one of the first details I coloured) the entire time and figured that they would be reflecting the environment around them. When my conscious brain final caught up it felt kinda silly for a moment then agreed flames were indeed cool and that way the way it should go.
Definitely one of my favourite mats from the use of colour to the overall design as well as the techniques I picked up in the process, the only slight problem being that now I have used this design I will have to come up with something different for the next Hellsing mat, I have a few ideas already but nothing as solid in my mind as this one was, its not often an idea makes it all the way through production this intact.