Custom Playmat Retrospective Part 2 Mats 18 to 34

If you haven’t had a chance to red part one heres the link
Where was I? Right we had just got to the Vader mat and while I have been numbering them for easy list making they most likely didn’t occur in that order. Still arbitrary or not you get the general idea, and probably a sense that it might be best to keep some form of record.
By about mat 12 I had lost track of what the next number should be and it didn’t help that digital mats were part of the order it became quite apparent that I was increasingly going to end up miss-numbering mats, it is for example entirely possible there are two 7’s. With this in mind today we start by looking at the Missing Numbers Series mats. While I had been hiding them before now mats would only get a signature and it was more likely to be relatively obvious I will therefore be basing this list on the image date created time stamp.

Missing Number Series

Mat 18: Goodwin Lava Golem LINK

This is still the only mat where I have moved straight from a basic small scale sketch into starting on the material directly. Partly because my mats have gotten increasingly complex and partly because drawing all over a blank mat in pencil is not the best idea especially if your colours are quite translucent.

Mat 19: Boba Fet LINK

I wouldn’t be surprised if having ran all my mats though some sort of colour checker you told me the most prominent colour had been orange, Blue and purple wouldnt be too far behind either. A large amount this is because these colours last longer and have more pigment than the pale colours but more importunely its probably because I like orange.

Mat 20: All Hail Starscream! LINK

Poor Starsceam, things never quite go his way, its mostly his own fault to be fair but one cant help thinking that not long after this image Galvatron turns up and blasts him into dust. As for the blog post well if your looking for info on the first few stages of my production process this is the first time I switch from just talking about the mat to discussing art tutorials in general.

Mat 21: Tytannial LINK

Letting a mat sit for a while placed in just such a way as you cant possibly ignore it can lead to some interesting decisions. Primarily it lets your brain work on the problem subconsciously while you do other things so when you do come back to it you can get straight on with improving it. In this post I also go over how it can be helpful to check your designs flipped over so you can pick up on any problem areas.

Mat 22: Kung Fu Pander Vs Snowman Eater LINK

A jade sky makes a nice change from the typical orange and this is another one of those images that I would have never have though of myself, my imagination is good but not this random. User Interface design is very important, even if it is a made up one on a static image,  if your users cant use the program then you have wasted rather a lot of time and money. Its also best to assume people with no computer experience will be using it, this is why Nintendo have susch a good track record with the non core audience.

Mats 23: Zoroark LINK

I made a video! Well ok more of a time-lapse still it was more time consuming than I would have liked which is why you haven’t seen many others, maybe if I had a tripod and video camera I would them more often. My obsession with orange sky’s also reaches a peek here so unless someone wants a Sky’s of Arcadia mat or something I cant see it being beaten…hmmm.

Mat 24: Dark World LINK

Ohh card zones that doesn’t happen very often, well ok twice. Already an anamoly this mat takes things one stage further and sticks to using mainly blues and purples also skulls lots of em its almost like its 40K or something. A quite useful project in the long run since it gave me some experience drawing the dragon that I would need later on.

Mat 25: Walking Dead LINK

Between this and the previous mat I have once again run out of black, It turns out to be a recurring issue and the best way to alleviate it isn’t exactly cheap. Working on this mat was interesting because this style wasn’t really my thing but then you have to leave your comfort zone if you want to improve. You do have to be carful with the black though, its quite difficult to fix errors.

Mat 26: Gravekeepers LINK

Its not quite as big an orange sky as the Zoroark mat but close. Posing characters can be complicated, its one of the reasons I spent some much time watching Reborn since I wanted to know the personalities and postures, in this instance I had the opportunity to make up the personalities myself. When you have to get across information with a constrained amount of data its no wonder TV shows tend towards archetypes.

Mat 27: Hellsing LINK

Sometimes things just come together, In this instance I had the pose in my head for a very long time and this was really the first chance to use it. Its also one of those mats where I have to pose myself to help get it right, even if I did somehow manage to get the hands the wrong way round initially. Having seen the mat around the white areas could do with a refresh as they have picked up a pink tint from somewhere, it could be because of the high red concentration I guess, but that would require a substantial amount of rubbing.

Mat 28: FMA Homunculi LINK

Or the seven and a half deadly sins. Ok so sight mistake on the research front but to be fair the female Sloth character model is in brotherhood, just not as Sloth, Wiki is not always your friend. On the other hand the image would have been a tad female light without her and its not like she’s taking up anyone else’s space so I see no reason not to include her. Especially as several of the other homunculi from the original series are hidden in the background.

Mat 29  Moon Princess LINK

My first vanguard mat, well finished one anyway and by this point my mats are also starting to use a second brand of colours, it has a tendency to flow more but thats does mean you ca cover a greater area and should mean I can do water colour effects although I havent tried that yet. I have also started putting my signature on the back of mats by this point, the earlier ones written in gold while these later models use white.

Mat 30: Persona 3 Nyx LINK

This is another one of my all time favourites and also another one on which I spent quite a bit of time on research. Luckily I was over half way though the game when I got asked to do this mat but the extra hours put into the optional dungeon without knowing I needed new game plus first were a bit of a waste. Its also the first one that uses the second set of colours extensively, they tend to be brighter than the other set which explains the neon orange.

Mat 31: Star Wars Good Vs Evil LINK

After doing the characters on the Nyx mat the scale must have stuck with me since I kept the scale for the majority of the people on this mat as well. Only this time I have to actually draw faces since they are facing forwards and as you may have notices most of the time my characters are about twice the size of theses. Lightsaber glow effects stars that appear and disappear as you move past the mat and a somewhat worried looking 3PO are all features of this mat.

Mat 32: Bayonetta LINK

I did go a tad overboard on the line work on this mat, it had been a while since i had done the lines first and with a new liner I may have done to much detail. Conversely the colours are a little weak and nowadays the mat would probably be a lot darker. This mat is also designed to work either way up, mainly since I figured Bayonetta would prefer it that way.

Mat 34: Goku Vs kazuma Scryed Vs DragonBall LINK

Lets finish for today with something completely the opposite to the Bayonetta mat where in this instance its totally about the shapes and colours doing all the work rather than the lines. Also a good place to end since its more like the 2013 mats than those from 2012 what with being the test mat for the first extra layer of protection. Who would win? I think thats one of those questions that may never get answered satisfactory. 

Thats the main 35 pre 2013 mats covered next time I will look at the South West Yugioh Champion Mats and the EX Series.


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