Archive for category: Art
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.
So I tried to do a fairy illustration, but that came out crap. Last year I mostly focused on anatomy, my colour/environment/composition skills are not up to snuff and the picture just fell apart once I got past the initial line drawing. So I’ve decided to start focusing on colour and environment studies for a bit. I post the fairy pic here only so that in a year’s time we can all look back and laugh at it together. 😉
Click for bigness, as usual. Note, these are studies, they’re not really intended to look ‘finished’.
Aaannnndd…we’re back. Happy New Year everyone!
I’m gonna kick off the year with a little personal celebration. One year ago, I made the decision to stop daydreaming about being a better artist and actually work at it. To motivate me, I joined the ImagineFX forums 365 day challenge, where the goal was to paint or sketch something everyday for a year.
Well, a few days ago I hit #365.
I can’t describe the feeling. Or wait, no, I can. It feels like taking control of your own life, like creating your own destiny. It feels empowering. It feels like everything and anything is possible. In a word, it feels great. 🙂
And my art has grown by leaps and bounds. I estimate that, prior to this year, I doubt I’d drawn even 1 hour every 2 weeks. So 25 hours a year, tops.
This last year, I’ve put in at least 400 hours of work. So this last year was worth 16 years at the previous pace. Somehow, around working a day job, hobby game development and various girlfriends, I managed to find 10 forty hour weeks. Or 2.5 extra months at the day job.
Let’s just say, I’ve missed a lot of sleep 😉
(If it sounds impossible, consider that most US families watch 10 hours of tv a week, or 520 hours a year. Is there something in your life you’d like to do more than watch TV? Turn it off. 😉 )
Anyway, here’s a collage of the year’s art.
And, for fun, here’s a comparison of my best art from 2008-2009 vs last year.
Funny thing, after running that marathon and reaching my goal I decided to take a break, seemed only natural. But after a few days of not drawing, I started to feel uneasy, like I was not doing something I should be doing.
Well, that’s easily fixed. 🙂
So, here’s the first sketch of 2012. I’m not doing the IFX challenge anymore but I’m going to try to follow the philosophy of the Greek painter, Apelles :
Nulla dies sine linea – Not a day without a line drawn.
It’s gonna be a great year, in so many ways. 🙂