Author Archives: Jeff Hebert

Blank Bodies for Hand-Drawn Illustrations

In the process of cleaning up some hard drive space, I came across some body outlines I drew back in 2006. I cleaned them up a bit and provide them here for downloading and printing. These are not part of HeroMachine 3, they’re just for folks who want to hand-draw (or use the computer with something like Paint if you want) outfits but need a body to hang them on.

These are all transparent PNGs so if you do want to use them in a painting application, they’re easy to isolate from the background.

A sewer-dwelling urban wizard/druid half-orc

As motivation to sketch more, I’ve been fulfilling requests from /r/characterdrawing. Here’s the one I did today:


The original description was:

Ozmuk Was a runt of an orc. Picked on by his brothers and sneered at by his elders, he would grow to despise them all. His only refuge was the old man in the Cabin. The Old man taught Ozmuk the art, and the dirty deeds he sought for payment were not too steep a price. Perhaps he even could grow to care for this Old Man. Then the Druid came and changed things forever. The old man burned. In order to survive, the young Ozmuk clung to the only one he knew – the killer. Soon after he was set free to return to his Tribe. They rejected him, of course. His pain grew too strong and he soon killed his brothers and parents. Ozmuk trusts few beings other than his rat, Dido. he spends most his time in the sewers of the cities so he can sneak into libraries to further his arcane knowledge. Recently he has been kidnapped and made a slave on a pirate ship. He is plotting, and he has already murdered 4 of the crew in their sleep.

Villains are fun to draw!

Character Ideas

Sometimes the wellspring of invention runs dry and you need some help coming up with a cool concept for a character to design. If that happens to you, or if you’re just looking for a challenge, experience what it’s like to take someone else’s vision and bring it to life. Head on over to Reddit’s “Character Drawing” subreddit and look for entries marked “[LFA]” (Looking For Art). People give descriptions of their characters and you can reply with your version.

If you do, please tell them you came from HeroMachine and give the link. Also, I’d love to hear about it as well.

Good luck and have fun creating!

Winners for Kaldath’s Caption Contest #20

Kaldath’s had some pressing real-life stuff come up at the last minute and so I’m pinch-hitting for him as a guest judge on his last caption contest. The entries were a real hoot, thanks to everyone who chimed in!

He asked you to come up with the best replacement dialogue for this panel, and to make it even tougher all entries had to be in rhyme (to honor the demon Etrigan, who only speaks thus).


The entries were fantastic, as I said, but my favorite three were:

  • D: Ah. Now we’re alone, in a meadow redolent of heather. I do love it when you use Imperial Leather.
  • DiCicatriz: Only for this Batty man, doth rise the demon Etrigan.
  • Calvary_Red: I must confess, in Hell down under,
    I like to dress as your Boy Wonder.

And from that list, I declare the winner to be … Calvary Red! Congratulations and many thanks to all who entered!

Jackrabbit: Thumbnails

Now that author Ian Thomas Healy and I have agreed on the costume design for the characters to be featured on the cover of his upcoming super-hero novel “Jackrabbit”, the next step is to decide on a general layout/design. To do that, the designer (that’s me!) will rapidly sketch out a number of rough, small drawings to convey the overall concept. These are called thumbnails and the idea is to generate lots of ideas in a hurry. It’s not unusual to do dozens of these, but in the interest of time I’m only posting a few.

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Jackrabbit Cover Design: Costumes

I’ve done a couple of covers for Friend of HeroMachine and author Ian Thomas Healy. The next book up in his “Just Cause” series is a more humorous super-hero story titled “Jackrabbit”. We thought it might be fun to include you all in the cover design process, so over the next couple of weeks I’ll be making posts here about how it’s going.

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Creating a Custom Illustration

I thought you might be interested to see how an illustration goes from concept to final product. The client wishes to remain anonymous so I’ll be leaving out their name and identifying characteristics of the characters.

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Strut Your Stuff!

From time to time I like to make a place for you all to show off your best stuff. So in the comments, paste a link to your favorite HeroMachine drawing, or maybe one that you feel like hasn’t gotten enough attention, or just something you have done that you think is awesome. It doesn’t have to have been for a contest or anything, it can be any HM illustration you’re particularly proud of for any reason.

Then we can all ooh and ahh over each other’s work and feel good about ourselves!

Just one selection per person, please. I look forward to seeing your stuff!


I’ve just added the following two halftone items to Patterns-Standard:


I made it like the other gradients, where color1 and color2 fade into each other. If you don’t want that and instead prefer a solid color background, you can set color2 to 0% alpha (color1 is solid). Or you can make both invisible and be left with just the dot line art.

“I don’t have time for this crap.”

A little image that might fit your mood some day.

From "Deathstroke" number 14.

From “Deathstroke” number 14.