Annotated Artwork for “Engines of Liberty: SUICIDE RUN.”

This is part two of a series. The rundown of the REBEL HEART illustrations can be found here. Should help you get an idea of how much I improved between books 1 and 2.



This is when I started inking (I did it to the RH artwork long after the fact.) It helped everything stand out in a starker contrast, which was good, but the weakspots were still obvious. Kalfu’s dreadlocks, for example. I don’t think outlining each one was the right move. The lighting on the folds of his cloak wasn’t perfect, and neither were his boots (a weakness of mine.)


Another piece where I didn’t immediately grasp the right use of the ink, namely with the smoke and dust surrounding Kalfu. Godfrey’s robes are too straight and lack detail as well.



Boots, mostly. Also I focused too much on the individual folds and wrinkles in Calvin’s coat, instead of shading it on a large scale.


Perspective was tricky here. There eyes aren’t all aimed right. I still think I made the right call with the folks in the background, though. I didn’t want their details to overwhelm the foreground.


Pretty pleased with this one, just shading and stuff.


Changing the reference model for Amelia made drawing her a lot easier. Still, I should have shaded the front of her shirt a little more, but I was still using graphite to shade this stuff.


I think the shape of the boots could have better complimented her legs from the knees down. Skirt shading was relegated to the edges, instead of working into the folds.


I picked the right places to shade on the gryphon mimic, but not the right range of value. The wings are too dark and the neck and landing gear are too light. They would all be the same color, for camo. Also, graphite was less effective for rendering the complexions of the black characters, in this picture, Adam and Hank. (I switched to charcoal for book 3.)


Could have taken more time on the shading and the folds of their coats. With the shading I didn’t focus enough on the angle of the light.


Too dark in the back and bright up front. I might have re-done this one, too.


Boot laces are my only complaint.


Shading, light angles, the usual.


Shading on his robes, especially near the hem.


I re-did this one, the original version was really, really terrible. I’m immensely pleased with this.


Light angle, shading, and I would detail the rocks and ground more, instead of using broad strokes to fill them in. Not enough going on in the sky, either.


Body proportions are off. Upper chest too broad, arms too small.


Shading for the base of the chair, and Hamilton’s clothes. I would probably detail Hamilton’s face better, too.


I wouldn’t render all of the text digitally, just some of it. It was important that a lot of it look handwritten, but some of it could have been done in a program.


Shading on the boots, put a shadow under him. And I would re do his face. It doesn’t look like Hank.


Shading on their coveralls.


Shading, and the angle of Avery’s face (right.)


Shading, boots too big, and Lyla’s poise seems awkward next to Edsel’s.


Face too dark, among other usual stuff.


This was when I started to realize I needed models for poses.


I would crisp up the details on the tail feathers.


Detail the trees better in the background, they detract from the details I like in the foreground.


The shading is way off, the position of his legs is super weird, and he doesn’t look like J. Scott Savage, as he should.


Again, posing, this time for the arms. I needed a model. Also his mouth is weird.


Pretty pleased with Edith.


Right hand position, too much face shade.


I wouldn’t have used the ink for the tattoos, it makes them too stark, they should blend better with the color of Thierry’s flesh.


Sufficient for the purpose it served.


Yeah, I would re-do this entirely.




Not enough detail on the ground, and I shaded the three recruiters as if they were closer to the screen, i.e., I should have used broader strokes to give the “suggestion” that they were there.


Leg armor, robes from the waist down, and the scales on the reptiles. All need improvement.


Same as before with Kalfu: gotta figure out how to detail smoke and dust better.


I would have changed the angle of Yahola’s prosthetic.


Blah. Godfrey looks like a bad Super Mario cartoon. I could have done a much better pose with a model (which I now have, forgot to mention that.)


Hard to draw this in the dark. Too much to list, but it mostly boils down to light values, textures, and angles.


Proud of this one.


The post of her boots coupled with the messiness of her hair makes her look a little too “come hither” and that’s not in keeping with her character. So I’d change that, mostly.


Not how this one looked in my head, but I wasn’t drawing it big enough. I would re-do it now.


Calvin’s face looks weird but he did just get in a huge fight. I’d focus more on correcting his arm angle.


Mostly Godfrey’s face, and the map behind him. I’d probably put more debris on the floor and so forth.


So that’s it. I got better at some things but was still weak in others. Next week I’ll post the PATRIOT’S GAME art and you’ll see a lot of things that got better once I changed materials.

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