AC/DC Hells Bells T-Shirt designs

The festive season is over but this bell will ring forever in the hearts of all AC/DC fans. It is an honour, a privilege and my pleasure to work for the one and only original rock band again. Do not wait for thunder to roll or rain to pour to buy these shirts. They might be sold out faster than a lightning flashes across the sky. Click on the images.

Get your bell. Gonna take you to hell.

And rest in peace, Malcolm.

Blind Guardian Metal Dragon Designs

This is the new Blind Guardian Metal Dragon Emblem that I have created a few weeks ago.  It is now available on a t-shirt at the EMP Online Store. All pictures are linked to the shop.

In  the last few years I have listened to the call of the female fans for a Blind Guardian design for girls. At the time I painted the emblem above inspiration hit me and I created a flock of metal dragons that emerges from the emblem. I hope you enjoy the artwork.



New Blind Guardian Valhalla Design available

Listening to Valhalla inspired me to create this new t-shirt design for Blind Guardian:

These are some snapshots from the painting process:

I started out by tracing my initial sketch to bristol paper. This paper allows me to draw and paint with different media without warping when it gets wet. It is also bright white which is ideal for scanning.

Then I reduce the pencil lines with my kneaded eraser. Next step is a tighter drawing with my Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle. My favourite is the 6B pencil from this set. Here and there I make a wash with the Pentel Water Brush M.  In addition to that I work with Black or Paynes Gray Watercolor and a brush.

This is the final rendering on paper. After scanning the drawing with my Canon Lide 220 Scanner the digital painting begins.

This is the final digital painting. There are layers upon layers of digital painting and handpainted watercolor effects. The text is handlettered and custom made for this t-shirt.

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse inside the production of Blind Guardian’s merchandise. You can order the shirt via the links below:

EMP Online Shop or Amazon

For my digital paintings I use a Wacom Intuos L.

Skull Drawing – Realtime Video

This is a realtime video of my daily warm-up routine. It is my drawing exercise before I start to paint more detailed designs like the ones below the video.

Banner Skull Design for the Rock Rebel Brand by EMP:

And even these daily warm-up drawings inspire me to create patterns like the following from time to time:

These are the tools that I have used for the warm-up drawing:

The digital painting was finished on my favourite hardware, the Wacom Cintiq Companion with the Wacom Classic Pen equipped with Felt Pen Nibs. Another useful piece of equipment is my Smudgeguard Glove

Blind Guardian Live album: Making-of

As promised in my first post about the Blind Guardian – Live Beyond The Spheres album I will now share some of the making-of-progress.

It all starts with thumbnails and scribbles in my Moleskine Sketchbook. I usually carry two sketchbooks with me. A large and a small one. Whenever inspiration hits me I scribble on everything that I have at hand if those books are not around. I just need a pen and something to draw on to capture an idea.

As a fan of Blind Guardian’s music I am inspired by their songs and stories. When I create the album artwork I translate my inspiration from their music into my painting. Whether I work on a T-Shirt design or a cover: it is me as a fan who creates something for the fans of this music. Hidden in my artworks you can always find lots of hints that refer to the Blind Guardian universe.

One of the things I have to take into consideration when I draw is anatomy, the size relations between characters, objects and perspective. My oldschool approach to these things is to draw the object from different angles to experience any problems that occur first hand. I stick to a quote from my mentor Glenn Vilppu: “You do not see it until you draw it.”

Using a 3D model might be an easier option but it doesn’t give you the mileage and experience of drawing it for yourself. To get better and better at drawing you should practice a lot.

Some of my favourite tools are Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils, Pentel Waterbrushes and Moleskine Sketchbooks

Below is a photo from the sketchbook that I used during the development of the album cover. The dragon changed quite a lot during the development and we decided to use a dragon without extra front legs (which I prefer).

I intend to post more about the creation of the cover over the next few weeks.

Blind Guardian – Live album: Merchandise

The merchandise that goes with the Blind Guardian – Live Beyond the Spheres album is now available from EMP.

The artwork on the shirts and sweaters might look identical to the album cover but I made a few changes:

  • I moved the dragon further towards the front so that it pops out of the attire a bit more.
  • Also I decided to build upon the theme of chaos, renewal and decay by changing the edge of the image so that it breaks away into the void (hah!) of the cloth.
  • Last but not least I enhanced the color scheme so that it works better in textile print.
  • For the back/pocket print I expanded some of the imagery from inside of the digipack.

So: What you get is not just a cover artwork slapped on a shirt – but a custom-tailored image adapted to the textile, the beloved bandshirt.

I am looking forward to wearing these to the next Blind Guardian shows myself. And I am really glad that we got to make a girlie-top.

All images below are linked directly to the store.

Blind Guardian – Live Beyond The Spheres Cover Artwork

Today I am proud to announce my work on the new Blind Guardian live album Live Beyond the Spheres. It was exciting to create the artwork for the 3-CD-Digipack and 4-LP Vinyl Box Set and I am looking forward to holding the physical copy in my hands.

Check out the full announcement on the Blind Guardian website:

This is the first glimpse of the album art that I can share :

Blind Guardian Live Beyond the Spheres original cover artwork by Andrea Christen

An update with more details about the creation of the album artwork will follow as soon as Live Beyond the Spheres is released. I am looking forward to showing you more in July!


Blind Guardian: Demons & Dragons

A while ago I started this artwork by playing around with ink. It is fun for me to experiment from time to time. In this case I started by randomly applying ink on my bristol paper. Then I chose the ink splodges that looked most intriguing to me and scanned them.

The next stage was digital painting. In this artwork I enjoyed playing around with forms and textures. With an artwork like this things evolve while I am painting.

This is the final result. Demons and Dragons – my favourite subjects. The t-shirt is available at the EMP online store. Just click on the shirt images below. They are linked to the shop.

In Flames “Battles” special EMP edition

Recently I was comissioned to create an artwork for an EMP exclusive special edition box for the release of the brandnew In Flames album: Battles.

I started with this simple thumbnail and we decided to go with this one.

Next step was a rough mockup in Photoshop to represent the main elements:

The basis for this artwork is a traditional drawing and an acrylic underpainting:

First acrylic color layer:

Second color layer:

I scanned the traditional image and finished the artwork digitally:

In Flames Battles cover artwork

That was my finished result.

For the final box cover art the art direction department edited it and turned it into this:

You can order this special edition box at the EMP Merchandise Online Store: