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Black Library: Armageddon by ukitakumuki Black Library: Armageddon by ukitakumuki
Hi all! Just got cleared by the wonderful Karen Miksza of the Black Library to post a piece of cover art I did for them at the start of this year. I cannot wait to get my hands on the actual book just from reading the artwork brief alone. :)

This is my rendition of Grimaldus of the Black Templars alongside a Celestial Lion champion, locked in a desparate last stand against waves of orcs, literally down to the last bolter round. I wanted to explore that idea of 'battle brothers' by making them look like they are fighting for each other, reacting to each others actions and truly fighting as one; the Lion unsheathing his knife mid-tactical reload, as an Ork lunges from behind some rubble at Grimaldus, who is in his zone, keeping the waves at bay. I also thought it was more intimate to position the camera as though we were one of the orks so we might also feel that maybe that uphill charge wasn't the best idea of the day.

For me, the single most terrifying thing about working for a property like 40K is trying to not piss off the hardcore fans at the very least :p. And because I keep receiving art briefs that involve multiple, often colourful chapters that I clearly don't know enough about, as an illustrator its often hard to balance the research/lore, storytelling and the idealised 'poster pic impact' that a cover artwork often represents. Long story short, this one was waaaay out of my comfort zone, yet somehow I was inspired to just push even farther out of my comfort zone (since I was in the deep end anyway) and paint a non-grimdark 40k piece. Broad daylight, gold, bright paint and fabrics, dark metal, ork skin, blood and sand, gore on the lens, bittersweet heroic atmosphere, focusing on balancing the sea of colours and story. It turned out to be one of my favourite images that I've done, forcing me to be more mindful of the many fundamental aspects of rendering that I take for granted and getting me to evolve my painting process along the way. For that I'm thankful :D And I sincerely hope the 40K fans amongst you enjoy it as much as I did making it.

Other bucketlist items I had to do for my inner 40K fan:
-Give the Lion's modified Stalker pattern bolter a forward grip. Also give it plausible techno gothic rail system. The fact no one said anything makes me giddy with happiness.
-As a tribute to Kevin Chin , former IFS colleague and now badass artist at Games Workshop itself, I styled Grimaldus' filter to a more boxy variety, the way he seems to like to when he draws most of his marines. I remember vaguely heated debates on whether triangle or boxy looked better back in the day... [link]

Check out the book here! : [link]
Illustration Games Workshop / Black Library
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aleksandra10101 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016
Ekene Dubaku has got to be one of my favorite Chapter Masters
nonimportante Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016
TheDarkHeretic Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015
Thats actually really good, nice work of armageddon ^^!
GingerWarBear Featured By Owner Edited Jul 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am afraid i have to start off with a criticism (which i hate doing, but i am currently serving soldier in the British Army, things like this niggle at me). You are apparantly an army reservist and yet you have mistaken a combat/speed reload with a tactical reload in your description which are two different things. A combat/speed reload is a reload that you must do, immediately, to get a fresh source of ammunition in to the weapon because you are dry (as seen in your art work). A tactical reload is done when a lull or opportune moment arrives to reload your weapon if you have fired a few rounds from the magazine and need to top off before moving on, without immidate danger to your person (which surrounded by Orks, rushing at you, is not a tactical reload). :)

Moan out of the way, i am staggered at the quality of your work, i mean utterly, i have seen your work on book covers (most notably A-D-B) and am pleased to have found you on this site and have been gawking like mad man at the quality, keep up the amazing work!!! :D
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hey there!! Thanks very much for the insight, it makes so much more sense now! In training, that term was thrown around carelessly and I obviously lapped it up putting it off to semantics and foolishly didn't think twice, but I thank you for clarifying it for me!! Cheers man, all the best with your service! (Also, thanks for the kind words re: my artwork!)
SoveriegnofTruth Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015
Who would win?
haldir999 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
This is one of the best pieces of W40K-art I've ever seen. You say it's a "non-grimdark" piece, but I disagree. For me, this image really represents 40K (from the Imperium's perspective, at least): a desperate last stand in the rubble of a once-great civilization, foes all around, desperately outnumbered but swinging 'til the end.

Excellent work!
Blackartist2003 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
Amazing work. I love the feel of this chaotic battle scene. The fight is brutal and beautiful at the same time as the Light warmly shines on warriors in the scene. Awesome Contrast. 
Tyrannus13 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014
This is one of my favorite pieces from any and all BL covers and it goes to one of my favorite BL releases. I love you for being the person who drew this.
jackiekhoo57 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
I think you should create a Dawn of War visual novel, that'll be awesome!!
SlamDunkin Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I adore the Celestial Lion in this picture. This is how I imagine Astartes to fight, literally non-stop; if out of ammo, draw the knife to buy time to reload. If no knife, improvise and hand to hand. Brutal, effective, majestic. Just like your art. Love it.
whoopadedoo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
To think I found the legend who made this stunning art on the book I enjoy reading. Many thanks for sharing your work and I hope you keep on soldering on in your work!
Unforgiven-Rage Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nothing more badass than a Chaplain in mid-badassery. 
victortky Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
I have got my copy! XD So awesome!
TheAsorlinsStrike Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This picture actually caused me to read up on who the the Celestial Lions were.
LaCabezaDelCastor Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Epic work! Major cheers!
sofus111 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013
Reading this book atm, its ossum :) also sweet art ^^
Soul-Daemon Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
looks like it could be art for a sequel to the Space-marine game. absolutely cool cover art
KoppKnakka Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013
Redeemed-Assassin Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013
You won't ever have to worry about pissing off Warhammer fans! Your art is, to me, the absolute perfect rendition of WH40K. I've been playing / collecting / reading Warhammer for over 15 years, and your artwork is far and away my favorite. You capture the motion and fury and insanity of the battles, and you often work in the epic scope of a galaxy at war. Keep it up, your stuff is amazing!
Sebbythefreak Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I love the lions and templars most of every chapters, but I was wondering... aren't chaplains (like Grimaldus) supposed to have those funky-lookin' skull helmets?
DezMarth Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oddly enough, you are correct good sir. In Helsreach it even mentions Grimaldus wearing the traditional skull helmet, yet for an odd reason, the model itself has him wearing a standard space marine helm. Games Workshop does some rather wonky things. Still, badasses are badasses.
Fella22 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the Black Templars were always my favorite character and he's twice as cool in this orcpocalypse
rajasegar Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Astounding piece of work!
Thanks for sharing...
Featured in Daily Inspirations at
Mister-Lamont Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Fwoah. I have no knowledge whatsoever of 40K Lore, but it always amazes me when I see artworks like this ow much there really is behind it all. A brilliant depiction of a really vibrant universe. Well Done!!!!
Firestorm-Delta Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I had a well thought out and structured comment, but I keep forgetting it each time I look at the artwork. It is awesome in my mind, (and I am a huge fan of BT and Grimaldus) and let me leave it at that.
SPARTN072 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
F'ing amazing
Maestitia-Relictus Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
You're my hero *o*
andylc Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
>>-As a tribute to Kevin Chin , former IFS colleague and now badass artist at Games Workshop itself, I styled Grimaldus' filter to a more boxy variety, the way he seems to like to when he draws most of his marines. I remember vaguely heated debates on whether triangle or boxy looked better back in the day...[link] 

Triangles feel more Chaos to me. Like a World Eater Berserker would definitely have an angry triangle filter, it matches their distorted, more angular backpacks. 
thealdor64 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
I love orky boys, they're so crazy
jannadann Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Everyone should be in awe!
been a fan for a while, and I'm thrilled you've had an opportunity to work with one of my favorite publishing houses :) grats
TheAsorlinsStrike Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
All kinds of kick assery going on here.
hidro240 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
i love this !
ExESGO Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
I wish we could see some more Guardsmen.
CrayonMechanic Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You rock, man!
CaylexTimewise Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love the Celestial Lions, and this is a fantastic picture... it's a shame Games Workshop wrote them as being extinct...
Mautty Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
This is my new desktop background... Black Templar and Ultramarine(?) back to back against Orcs. Oh the greatness in this art knows no limit.
Mautty Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
AH, I will correct myself. A Black Templar back to back with a Celestial Lion, I didn't notice that the armor was full gold before. Still, that just makes it even better.
Deviantbandito Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
Remind me again why does a simple choppa do damage against a Space Marine armor?
TK3997 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
It really doesn't, there is as a reason orks have to bury marines under a mountain of bodies and die by the thousands to take them down. In theory there are a handful of areas it might damage optics, bashing the joints enough might lock them up, etc but frankly Boyz don't take down marines the army of (admittedly badly aimed) heavy weapons, vehicles, and the ork leaders with power weapons backing them up do.  This does admittedly ruin the scene a bit as going by the fluff even dozens of boys with just Choppa's are pretty much nothing but a light morning work out for a pair of armored marines even if all they had were knives.
Klerych Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Because they believe it does.

Orks bend reality with their blissful stupidity and imagination. Ork planes can fly as long as they believe they have fuel, ork guns shoot as long as they believe they have bullets, crude cleavers can chop into ceramite armour as long as they really, really want it to.

The weird magic of their WAAAGH!
getd Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The forward grip and techno gothic rail system is just BADASS...
Quesocito Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
super awesome man!!
Evohunter7 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Pure, unadulterated, awesome... I will now go and buy said book, just because of your artwork and your inner-fan-boy giddiness.
digitalchet Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
Kiss those diets good bye. Lose weight quick the easy way. Watch video!
GeorgesConcepts Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
LASAHIDO Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
lyciphur Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist
great piece of art.
I really like the background part - that amazing building in there looks just awesome :)
main characters are also full of life <3
thanks for sharing :)
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Submitted on
June 29, 2013
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