Posted at 12AM on Dec 23, 2014 by Benjamin Paulus

A horror on ice | HPC Winterfest 2015 | Part 3

Winter is coming.

Sorry, no Game of thrones stuff around here! I just thought it might get me some more hits on google.

After lying dormant for a year, the Snow Master returns! Like a rolling ball of snow, it grows bigger with every inch it moves forward. It has now reached high above the tree tops and spawned slaves of ice and snow to spread his horrors across the land.

How do you make a snowman frightening or threatening and not like Olaf from Disneys Frozen? After a few hours of research and sketching I still hadn’t found what I was looking for, so I went with my own personal motto:

When in doubt, go with weird

I tried to add some organic features to it Like skulls and a moustache. I made it more pointy and mountain like to eliminate the cute puffiness of the snow. I didn’t want to use blood and core to make it frightening, but skulls did the trick.

(Click to enlarge)


Early development sketches. Trying to eliminate the obvious and Cuteness


Now that I have a general idea of what the horror in the snow looks like, I can start putting everything together and start painting. I made another super tiny thumbnail that I will keep next to me at all times to keep me focused on the story and atmosphere. This also gave me the idea of making the snow around the WinterVictim melt so that he is walking in a puddle of water and I can add some vapor effects as well making the whole thing more interesting. I prefer doing these thumbs by pen and they take me less than a minute to draw. Yet, they save me hours of time.

I’m planning a blogpost on thumbnails in the near future if you want to know more about the power that they possess.

It is now time to start painting! But before we can get into that, there is one other thing that I have to do first. The client also asked for a Facebook header. To get into that ‘Flow’ I decided to leap forward and work on that first. This image would not show the main monster, but will set the stage for the other horrors in the snow. The illustration show you how the snow slaves, or snow minions…  snowmen are awakened from there yearlong sleep. The butterflies and the warm light are a little teaser of what is to come, for spring is coming!


HPC Winterfest 2015 | FB header | license: cc-by-nc-nd

On the left, half buried in icy cold snow, a lost small drum can be seen. For the past years, I have made multiple illustrations and designs for this client. To keep it all together, I like to add recurring objects in my paintings.
(Just as you can almost always find a dinosaur in my painings, hint hint)


Returning objects! 1. HPCWF 2015 2. HPW2014 3. (cancelled) HPS Campaign


Snow studies.


Right! Back to the painting! I love painting snow. Because it’s so light, yet dense and, almost exactly like sand, it can get everywhere. It falls off branches, it takes shapes and, thanks to its lack of color, the light that it catches bounces all around the place.

While painting, you can use snow like clay and create anything you like! And you can make it yellow! To make the painting more lively and moving, 
I made the wind a little on the extreme so the snow is blowing all about the place making shapes in the wind. 


Now, everything has come together smoothly and perfectly and the painting is done! Ready to add all the information that the client wants on the poster! I can’t show you the result yet but keep following this project on and on my own FB page to catch a glimpse on the full painting soon


HPCWF2015_Final Poster Illustration Close Up | license: cc-by-nc-nd

The painting will also be added to my portfolio in the near future and if you happen to find yourself in the city of The Hague, you’ll probably run into a snow monster or two! So be careful and wear a warm coat!
If I leave you wondering or if you have any questions, please tell me about it in the comments!




Leave a reply

Don't be modest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>