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About Digital Art / Professional Senior Member Kai Lim29/Male/Singapore Groups :iconimaginaryfs: imaginaryfs
Imaginary Friends Studios
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Now teaching @ Diploma in Digital Design & Illustration

For those of you who are interested in improving your skills in digital illustration and concept design, IFS has a 12 months OFFLINE diploma programme designed and delivered by ukitakumukikunkkaArtgerm in collaboration with 3dsense Media School Singapore. It is open for international applicants as well! Please visit… to learn more!


Black Library: Dark Hunters Umbra Sumus by ukitakumuki
Black Library: Dark Hunters Umbra Sumus
Check out the book by Paul Kearney here!:…
Illustration © Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Karen Miksza


Umbra Sumus, or "We Are Shadow", motto of the Shadow Hunters.

This chapter are shadowy blue armour wearing descendants of the White Scars, and they are embroiled in fierce urban combat with their nemesis, the Punishers traitor legion.

The brief was conveniently open: to illustrate a fight between a Dark Hunters squad led by a captain against a Punishers detachment. Also, there was to be a Eldar Farseer fighting alongside the Dark Hunters. This gave me all the inspiration/excuse to set up a narrative of an ambush gone awry, playing off the title of course.

This title-play was a cheeky idea that I'm glad Karen went through with; it involves a kind of linear narrative from left to right, or "back cover to front cover". The idea was to portray this detachment of Punishers as having taken a position in the city and successfully springing an ambush, only to be countered by a shock and awe move by the Dark Hunters, thereby bringing light... to the darkness... both literally and metaph... I know... I know... I'm sorry.

So this initial ambush goes off pretty well (as evident from the torn up bridge and ongoing bolter battle and pink-misted Dark Hunter) and having the main "turning point" in the story being a Punisher blind-firing as he takes cover against a pillar- the very spine of the book itself. (In the end, the team decided that marines do not fight with that kind of tactical-cowardice (hoho) and fight with more tactical-glory and so I got him an excuse to be in a reload position while dodging flying debris... legit enough!)

This then made me consider making use of the demonic teeth more and the idea to have him do a Rambo safety pin bite-pull on his grenade was born. I pushed the Punisher warpaint and gave them cheek paint with the impression of more teeth, never quite saw it in any ref and thought it a decent addition to extend the skeletal appearance.

His traitor battle brother handing him a fresh magazine of frangible tipped bolter ammo (nice for urban confines I suppose where you don't want to destroy potential cover with the typical HE the guy with the heavy bolter is doing...) with under-maintained armour, coolant leaking from his thruster pack.

Then we have the captain himself, with battle axe and bolt pistol as his brief-determined loadout (which inspired the counter-ambush idea in the first place) bursting through the wall Jin Roh style. Since I know physically there isn't a really good excuse to create in a two-across-marine-sized breach in a wall with a single axe swing I thought suggesting the Farseer maybe helping out psychically would be half-decent reason to suspend disbelief, along with the fact it was an already low-integrity swiss-cheesed wall to begin with. Lastly, since I'm doing quite a number of firsts for myself, I've never drawn a combi-bolter going off at the same time. Final excuse to introduce more light and colour!

As of this piece I feel like I'm now technically at the point of diminishing return on that scale where "how clear is the vision" vs. "how much content is on display" is concerned, and am constantly trying to rethink my approach and strategy towards mark-making and design in general that still honours the client brief. Illustration and design is so cyclic its not even funny.. anyways, that's all from me folks, hope you enjoy it!

Black Library: Blood And Fire by ukitakumuki
Black Library: Blood And Fire
Check out the book by Aaron Dembski-Bowden here!:…
Illustration © Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Karen Miksza


It certainly felt like forever since I last illustrated Grimaldus and the mysterious Celestial Lion fighting back to back. Imagine my surprise, when I was asked to revisit that same battlefield a year later..! As of writing this, it has been almost two years since I first painted darkened steel and gold against an afternoon sun.

The brief was seemingly straightforward- to show the same duo, in that same battle, but from a different angle. I supposed it went without saying that it needed enough references or semblance of consistency to the original Armageddon cover. My first idea was to 'homage' the title literally, with lots more gore and ballistic carnage and that's when I recalled that while doing the first Armageddon cover, I had wanted to make it even warmer in palette but chose otherwise at the end in order to let the colours stand by themselves in a more white-light environment and not end up in a cloudy orange-y atmospheric soup; not to mention them looking more colour-balanced against the iconic fade-to-white Space Marines Battles template. So this time, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to revisit that warm palette to not only give a nod to the title, add even more gore and flame, but to the notion of a setting sun that is that amazingly super duper clever metaphor I thought would be neat to have to show just how long they've been at their ordeal and that their time's almost up...

Oh yes, some throwback details like a familiar Ork axe blade finally being broken by Grimaldus who is, of course still showing off his blind-firing skill. Almost looks like he's about to pay big time for being too showy with his plasma pistol.

Now that I've received my complementary copy in the mail, along with my long-awaited Armageddon book... its time to finally put a name to that Celestial Lion. ;)

That's all from me for now! Hope I won't have to wait too long for future releases :) And as always, I hope you enjoy it!
Black Library: Sons Of Wrath by ukitakumuki
Black Library: Sons Of Wrath
Check out the book by Andy Smillie here!:…
Illustration © Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Stephanie Toro
Special thanks: Rob Ashley White (the lovely trailer!)

This one was a killer! Pretty happy with how it turned out though :) My very special thanks to Stepanie Toro for her ideas and guidance on our first time collaboration! (Really happy Zophal has his own page! haha ;))

This one happens to be about the Flesh Tearers, with the first chapter master Amit carving a bloody genocidal swath across a courtyard with the Librarian Nuriel and Chaplain Zophal alongside him, finishing off what he started. The back cover (left half of image) features a falen Eagle Warrior marine, spent bolter casings raining on him and reflections of tracer fire dancing off his well-maintained armour(shame about all that work!). There was one Flesh Tearer in particular that I like, which is the one carving away with an upside down grip. I imagine he somehow catching glimpses of sanity through his blinding rage disorder and while feeling spent mentally, the combat stimulants boiling through his veins amplifies his physical urges as he saws away at already dismembered remains.

I especially enjoyed designing Zophal's armour, taking some cues from Neil Robert's numerous custom pieces from his body of work -namely the exhaust nozzles on the backpack. I thought they looked more ornamental and chalice-like, which I thought quite fitting for the Chaplain and adds some nice material contrast from the gunmetal armour. The helmet, incuding the blood spray pattern
and chest ornamentation, borrows aesthetic sensibility from the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, or at least what I remember of it.

Hope you guys enjoy this one! :D There's quite a backlog of pieces I've done for GW/BL that have yet to be released, so can't wait to share when I can.
Project Boots: PANAM Armour by ukitakumuki
Project Boots: PANAM Armour
A recent commission by the extremely talented writer, John V. Purvis. Project Boots(working title) is speculative 22nd-Century futurewar drama/ hard-SF IP put together and considered with such consistency and tasteful balance of 'Sci' & 'Fi' that my inner nerd agreed to it in a heartbeat. I've been impressed by clients in the past who have displayed an equally tremendous breadth of knowledge and passion on the subject matter but few with as much creative finesse to weave ideas together as this gentleman here. I guess taste-wise we share a very similar palate. Most importantly, was the amount of research, learning and bouncing ideas- that alone definitely made this project the highlight of my past 2 years where concept art and vis-dev is concerned.

This presentation sheet is no doubt a huge excuse just to feature a hangar-and-wares-on-display style shot (;] always wanted to do one) as well as an exercise in information management(should be accessible enough for casual sci-fi fans, but also hint at enough harder sci fi notes), but really is more for John to hopefully just keep as a motivational desktop wallpaper as he toils away on this baby of his. Looking forward to future collaborations :ninja:
Eternal Crusade Concept Art: Melee by ukitakumuki
Eternal Crusade Concept Art: Melee
Guess its been on the site long enough! A smaller scale concept piece which was done around the same time as Eternal Crusade Concept Art: Massive Battle by ukitakumuki.

I had to find an opportunity to feature some clavicle-crushing Death From Above action :p



Illustration © Games Workshop / BHVR
Special thanks to Creative Director David Ghosland, Art Director Ghislain Barbe and Producer Mathieu Fectau for the awesome opportunity!

About time for my annual journal update..! orz

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 14, 2014, 7:54 AM
Hope everyone's been keeping well!

I realise over the years I've gotten increasingly shite at managing my DA 'routine'. Quite frankly I find myself balacing my time with my client work, teaching endeavour(which is turning out to be a really fulfilling new chapter in life) and working on side projects that I actually find it increasingly difficult to sit down and respond to comments here like I used to. Its always been a thing of mine to respond as much as possible and I still aspire to do so when I can, but I guess I'm in a pretty frantic pace of life at the moment. And I hope that my lack of replies do not come off as apathy or worse. I enjoy reading all the comments and critique and am thankful for your time in letting me know how you feel about the work in general. Especially for my work on hardcore IP like 40K... the level of 'fangasm' as I call it never ceases to blow my mind time and again. You guys always light that fire under my ass and I hope in my own way I never let you down.

As such, I hope that its a bit more obvious that when it comes to posting work I've done, I've always put more emphasis into the description section-- elaborating on my thoughts and process to share as much of my personal experience in art as possible for those of you who are more keen to know. To my mind, its the best I can do to make up for not being able to respond personally to your often colourful commentary. :p

I'm very thankful for all the support over the past decade here on DA(wow has it been that long... u_u), so much wouldn't have happened without it, and I can't wait to share the stuff I've been working on the side in greater detail, soon enough. :)

Have a great weekend!

:iconartgerm: :iconkunkka: :iconmarcwashere: :iconwraithdt: :icondcwj: :iconyinyuming: :iconkaiz0: :iconluches: :iconchrisnfy85:
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: 80s anime OSTs
  • Playing: risk of rain
  • Eating: LEGO
  • Drinking: Cortex Command


Kai Lim
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
Current Residence: Singapore
Favourite genre of music: OSTs
Favourite photographer: Natgeo photojournalists
Wallpaper of choice: Black and Clean
Favourite cartoon character: Starscream
Personal Quote: Understand your limits, but never limit your understanding!


Add a Comment:
Blacktemplar777 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014
Where is F.T.?
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hi Sasha! Posting in a few hours :)
KSarty Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
Your work is absolutely stunning.  I can only hope your art will grace the cover of the upcoming Blood Angels codex.
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
hey thanks Kyle! Though I believe that unless its a supplement that job would most likely go to Raymond Swanland!
BlackDonner Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't say it lightly; You're the best!
RaymondGriego Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Love your work!
artcollectorSS Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
nice stuff
Valentijn90 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
Hey there, I really like your 40K stuff. Could itbe possible for you to make a tyranid work? Would be very cool if you did :D
Sohdakin Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Very Very nice!  I know this may be late but Congratz on your artwork being used by GW!!

Now if only there were more awesome Tau art ;)

I will be watching your page for sure! Cant wait to see more of your works!!
alithking Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2014
awesome pictures of the space wolves my friend.

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