Soooo... the latest addition to my concept art library is The Art of Uncharted 2. This book has been on my wishlist for a while, and with Uncharted 3 coming out soon I figured it might not stay at 40 bucks for long. While that is more than I tend to spend on "extravagances," this book was definitely worth it. Over 270 pages, it has huge sections on 2D and 3D character development, layout design, gorgeous paintings, props, and even sections on cinematics, color boards and visual effects.
It arrived yesterday, and as I was thumbing through it a few of the digital paintings really stuck out at me as having a cool style. The artist's name is Shaddy Safadi and I really recommend checking his stuff out, he's very talented and funny. My curiosity was rewarded when I found that he posts all his personal brushes for free download. I was eager to try out the new brushes, so I decided to do some painting. It's been a long time since I tried this in earnest, but I'd just gotten some nice tips about brush shapes and Photoshop settings from Michael, so equipped with new knowledge and brushes I grit my teeth, brewed some coffee and pulled up my cintiq in preparation for some SERIOUS PAINT ACTION.
I worked for a total of about 5-6 hours. Given that I'm rusty I suppose that was acceptable, but I think the quality of the finished product should be more reflective of a 3 hour effort. I will keep practicing. I really want to have some digital paintings for my portfolio, so this is a step in the right direction.
I started by going online and looking for some stock images to inspire me. To be clear, none of the stock is in the final piece, it was just reference to help me paint. I got a few images and sort of laid them out in a way that interested me.
|Still life with rusted beater car.|
|I feel like it should look less scratchy at this stage.|
|The texture is helping.|
|The ground and shadows seem more coherant now.|
So just when I was finally starting to get happy with it, another variable got tossed in: color. I set my layers to multiply, but even so I didn't get the color substitution I wanted. Maybe I made a mistake. Anyway, the color made everything schizophrenic and I lost a lot of contrast. I had to go back over the image in a new layer to push my darks back in.
|Finally got the contrast back. Colors are sort of all over the place though.|
|Let there be grass!|
|The end result.|
Maybe once I take a break I will come back to this and do some more fixing.