Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It came from 4chan: Interview with The God-Emperor of Mankind!

Welcome to yet another glorious edition of It Came From 4chan! This time we are going to talk about art and painting. And nope, I'm not talking about slapping paint on primed miniatures, but about an aspect of our hobby that we really don't get to see that often outside of the new pretty army books and codices. Yes, I am talking about Warhammer 40,000-inspired fan art and more importantly the drawings of everyone's favorite Primarchs, done by the one and only God-Emperor of Mankind (deviantART Gallery)
The elusive self-taught artist volunteered to share some trade secrets with us, the mere mortals, so if you like awesome pictures and cherish your life you will read this interview!

Q: Thank you for joining us today, O God Emperor of Mankind. Of course I have to ask you what feats of strength lead to such a mighty title..
A: Absolutely my pleasure! Ah the name, well its been lost since 2006 when I first started browsing /tg/ in search for 40k stuff. But the name got cemented once I started , I guess you could call them role-play threads where everyone picked a name from a different faction and/or special characters like Doomrider or Tzeentchnette. But mostly because I painted a Portrait of the God-Emperor of Mankind.
On a 50cm Height 40Cm length canvas using oil based paints.

Q: That is quite fascinating! The Emperor looks so stoic and serious and you can definitely see the weight of many worlds in his eyes. What inspired you to draw him?

A: You mean besides the tons of amazing lore 40k has to offer? To be honest, I had  an art school assignment to portray a person that inspires you the most. Along with an essay. Everyone was doing diffrent artists, musicians and bland personas, I guess I thought I'd do something special.
Q: How did the rest of your class react to the image and the person, nay.. God, you chose?
A: Well at first they laughed a bit, because they thought I was doing a very wierd version of Gaius Julius Caesar. But when I read the short essay in front of the class with a summary of what is 40k and who is The God-Emperor of Mankind, I guess you could say I've found a few members for Dark Heresy campaigns ever since.
The Goddess-Empress of Womankind?
Q: It's nice to know that some people managed to appreciate the greatness of the Emperor! Was that in art school? Why don't you tell you something about yourself?
A: I am a 19 year old girl that hails from the land of vampires and ghouls, othewise known as Transylvania. I know , I know, There are no girls on the internet. Well surprise.Theres not much else I can say to be honest. Its your typical artist in training since the age of 8 type of story that doesn't involve all that much drama.

Q: THRONE! Wait.. uh.. The God-Emperor of Mankind is a girl? What.. wait.. what. I know that being dead for like 10,000 years can play a trick on your testosterone levels, but... Okay in all seriousness. It's not the No Girls on the Internet part that is unusual, it's the fact that you are a girl that likes Warhammer 40,000 that is fascinating. How did you stumble upon this hobby?`
A: Not much of a stumble to be fair. More of a gift or rather divine coincidence! Relatives of mine love to bring me books to read, and little did I know one of them was from the Gaunt's Ghosts series by Dan Abnett, First and Only if I recall correctly. I loved the prospect of war , and the strife it contained, compared to the usual novellas I read at the time as a school requirement, ya know..
The romantic drama, the popular folklore...They did not compare to this type of literature, and so began my journey into the world of 40k I guess.

Q: I agree. A lot of the books that I had to read could go DIAF. So are we to assume that it was the grim darkness of the far future that was the inspiration for the portrait of the Emperor? Are there perhaps other characters in the 40k universe that you would like to portray?
A: Well, when I started researching what is Warhammer 40k I was purely blasted away by the sheer depth of the universe. I really cannot express into words how much this universe has managed to captivate me. This chatbox literally cannot contain them, so we'll just leave it at that. And of course there are other characters in the 40k universe that I would like to portray, but sadly not all of them are going to recieve the same canvas treatment as I am pretty sure it would take TOO much time. The Emperor painting took around 2 months because of the slow drying oil paints. Having said that, I resorted to Digital art. I began my journey with small paper sketches and slowly progressed up to full scale digital paintings.
Alpharius and Omegon, the twin Primarch /b/ros.
Q: You are known for other pieces of art as well - especially for your Primarchs. Is there a certain reason for the order in which you are painting them? What sort of references do you use while painting such iconic figures, especially when you know that so many neckbeards are going to pay attention to every little detail, every chink in the armor and then criticize you for it.
Perturabo, /tg/'s favorite!
A: Well at first I tried to gander at what /tg/ prefers , they voted on some of them, and now I guess I just do them by my personal prefrence. I love the primarchs, all of them, there isn't one I don't like and/or one I hold above all else. When it comes to refrences I usually gander at oficial GW stuff and of course other artists interpretations. But at the end of the day everyone envisions them differently. What I like to do is just research as much as possible into one and them construct a basic sketch on paper. From there the building process starts.

Leman Russ, Primarch of the best Legion ever! xD

Q: Talk to us about your favorite Primarch drawing so far!
A: I don't really have a prefrence like I said before. What I can say is that Sanguinius was my biggest challenge so far. Portraying someone thats regarded as perfect beyond standards , like the Emperor himself is not something that you can take lightly!
Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels
 Q: His face looks so.. real. It was the first thing that got to me when I gazed upon him. Is there perhaps a.. real-life equivalent? A source for your inspiration?

A: I feel that when doing portraits of certain characters you might want to start from 0 if the character is yours, but if its a character that has been already tributed so many times, you could use refrences to help yourself. I admit , I used Alexander Skarsgard for Sanguinius. I just couldn't help myself.

Q: Ah, Skarsgard, huh? I can see it. He does play a sexy vampire in True Blood. But he's also a viking, so he totally should have been the inspiration for Leman Russ. ;P Does the God-Emperor of Mankind play the tabletop game? 
A: Leman Russ is more of a grizzled , rough persona, unlike the angelic Sanguinius. Sadly , there is no FLGS around here. I wish I could. If I could collect miniatures I'd be very indecisive. It would probably have something to do with Nurgle or Pre Heresy loyalists like Luna Wolves or Imperial fists.
Q: Yet another enthusiast who can't really enjoy the awesomeness of the tabletop strategy. It makes me sad. I'm sure that one day you'll get to do it and it will be an awesome experience. What are you currently working on?
A: I was really glad I could finish Ferrus Manus in time for this interview! At the moment I am currently working on Konrad Curze. More commonly known as Night Haunter! Primarch of the Night Lords legion.
Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands
 Q: Ooooh! Shiny. Was painting him any different than the other Primarchs? I'm asking, since he is one of the lesser-known Primarchs, which unfortunately stay true for his Legion as well.
A: Well as you can probably tell by now, most if not all of my primarchs are being done in a pre heresy fashion. I wouldn't go as far as placing the Iron Hands primarch in the Obscure but indeed there are not many fans out there compared to the others. I always liked the story behind his metal arms.
Q: Was there an inspiration for his looks?
A: Not as much , to be honest they are brothers in essence, so they all resemble each other , even if slightly. The thing I liked about Ferrus most , besides his metal arms was his relationship to his brother Fulgrim. That brotherly bond shared through their unusual love for blacksmithing. They both gifted eachother masterly crafted weapons.
Q: Yes, I remember their brotherly love. It was a nice change of scenery for a while, wasn't it? Any juicy tidbits to share about your Nigh Haunter picture? An exlusive sketch for the fans of Wolves for the Wolf God, perhaps?
A: Well certainly I can show a very small preview , exclusively for you guys!
Sketch of Night Haunter

 Q: And of course I can't help but ask - Why Primarchs? Is there a reason why you decided to paint them instead of other things, like Imperial Guardsmen, Orkz or just your run-of-the-mill Spesh Muhreenz?
A: Well, I started with The God-Emperor, naturally his Sons should be next in line. They play a major part in the 40k universe and sadly they do not have much artwork honoring them compared to various space marines and such.
Q: I think it's because they don't have actual models and the Horus Heresy books are still a very recent thing. And one last question for you today - When are we getting a picture of Leman Russ punching the Lion in the face? Because I WILL buy a print of that bad boy and will definitely turn it into this blog's banner!
A: Haha! I'll think about it. Scenery is something Id also like to work on , and scenery involving certain events revolving around primarchs sounds like a great plan, but first I have to properly portray them out , since we can't have a scene where two primarchs duke it out, without them having their designs properly placed and set.
Q: Yeah, yeah, less talking, more painting The Wolf punching little Simba, hahaha. It will be glorious! Is there anything that you would like to say before my visit to the Golden Throne is over and you have your dinner the souls of a 1000 psykers?  
A: Nothing that I can think of at the moment. Other than my thanks for taking your time to interview me. 
Q: Well, I think I have to thank you for your time and you beautiful renditions of the Primarch we all love and/or hate so much! I'm sure that from now on you'll get some more fans of your artwork and I'd love to showcase your future drawings!
A: It would be my pleasure to share my artwork with your readers, after all, they are for the 40k community and fans, Which primarch would they like to see next after Curze?


  1. Very cool stuff. Thanks for showcasing this.

  2. Thanks! Vote in the poll. Top right on the website! :)

  3. Awesome artwork! I want to thank you and The God Emperor of Mankind for putting together this interview and sharing so much great inspiration. Wow, thanks!

  4. Hey there, Papa JJ! I'm sure the artist appreciates your compliments as much as I do!

  5. I love this post hahahaha.
    And nice pics and fanarts!
    See you!


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