Archive for category: Art
My word, these Star Wars concept pieces by Ralph McQuarrie are just so utterly fantastic.
Reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing, what I’m sacrificing so much for. I just love these fantasy worlds so much, I couldn’t be satisfied with anything other than spending my life creating them. It is at the very heart of me.
A lovely article here on one of the freelance artists who worked on System Crash, the brilliant Ian Llanas. Many of those images are actually from System Crash! The headline piece is one of my favourites, in fact.
If you ever need work done, I highly recommend Ian. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, and incredibly talented. System Crash wouldn’t be the game it was without his contribution.
2 hour piece from last night. I’m a bit rusty, been weeks since I drew anything and it’s like missing gym for a few weeks, you feel the lack when you come back. But I think it came out ok.
I don’t think I ever posted these on this blog. So let me rectify that. Here’s some of the latest art I did for System Crash.
I actually would have preferred to pay a professional artist to do them, as it actually isn’t cost effective for me to do so. I’m not as skilled and I take longer (2 days apiece). Which, if you translate that into hours spent, means it costs me more to make an inferior product. My internal business manager grimaces at this.
But what can you do? I ran out of money. There is at least some consolation in having enough skill to “fill in” for an artist in situations like that. Wearing multiple hats is actually fairly tiring, but the alternative, needing some asset and not being able to afford to pay for it, sucks more.
Just a study. Click for the large version, as usual. Process underneath.
Definitely feel like I’m developing a concrete “process” here. I “thrash” less, which is what I call laying down brushstrokes and hoping that it will look right, then trying to fix it when it doesn’t, or worse yet, knowing that it’s all gone wrong but not being able to see why.
Feels more like I’m purposefully building it up according to a blueprint instead of kinda chucking down strokes and praying.
Also, I’m using fewer, simpler brushstrokes/lines than I used to. Forms are simpler, but more readable. So that’s cool.
Been working on this illustration over the last week.
Started off with just the idea of a lady android mid-construction, but in the end it occurred to me that the pose looks like the ones hookers in Amsterdam pull, standing in their windows, to attract customers. I liked the idea, that this piece depicts a futuristic bordello where they build you an ideal lover for the night, from your specifications.
So I ran with that theme, adding the neon red border to push the bordello window look.
Click for larger versions.
And here is the process.
1) Started with a line study of a model from stock photo reference, after finding one in the pose I wanted (the T pose).
2) Added in miscellaneous robot parts.
3) Move on to a quick layer of colour. Some artists like to get the shading perfect before moving onto colour, I’ve tried that but I find it problematic. My colours always end up looking different to how I want them to, if I try to blend them over a polished layer of shading, and I end up repainting the colour anyway. I find it easier to add shading to colour, than colour to shading, if that makes sense? Note that every artist’s process is different, find the process that works for you! Hell, my process has changed as I’ve learned, perhaps in the future I’ll feel differently and will polish the shading before moving onto colouring, who knows!
4) Final stages are just polishing and grunt work. Cleaning up the shading, making sure that edges read well, that the focal points are hightlighted (not sure I succeeded there, honestly). This stage is fairly tedious, you just have to put in the hours. And it is hours of effort. Lots of people look at the work of master artists and feel their own skills to be totally inferior, without realizing that those pieces might have taken a skilled professional a full 40 hour week to complete. Certainly, they have amazing skills and years of experience, but don’t underestimate how much difference putting in the time makes. The first time I did an 8 hour piece, I was surprised at how much further I could push the piece than I ever had before!
Overall, this was an interesting learning process! I’m horrible at colour, but I’m working on improving. This guide from Valve on their guidlines for 3D model painting is surprisingly useful for painting, for learning colour theory. I tried to follow its guidlines, choosing complementary colours, and have started examining paintings by other artists through the filter of that knowledge, looking at what colour schemes they picked. Fairly universally-applicable, these techniques.
…is all sorts of Awesome, and worth a read whether you’re a character artist (2D or 3D), concept artist, or just an artist in general. Hell, if you have any interest in the craft of game design, it’s always fascinating to get this kind of insight into the thoughts and processes of the masters of their craft.
Check it out here.