Monday, November 14, 2011

More 3 hour painting

I love reddit. I have to be careful about going there, because it's a ridiculous black hole for productivity, but it can also be a great resource. There are subreddits for all kinds of interesting photos such as interiors, abandoned buildings, nature scenes and a lot of other incredible things.

I recently was rooting around in there when I found this national geographic cover:

I was really inspired, so I decided to do a painting of it:

It took two and a half hours. I'm pretty pleased with the end result. It's not exactly the same, but for the time spent I think it came out all right. I might revisit it later on and do some more with it.

The Warden Commander

I did a drawing recently of my grey warden from Dragon Age Origins. I don't do a lot of fan art, because I don't think it serves well for portfolio pieces, but I've always loved the scene where the human noble origin catches up with the man who murdered his/her family. It's a very cool story filled with high emotions, so I thought it was be a good scene to try illustrating.

I'm really working on perspective, so I started with the main characters:
Just flat coloring to start, trying to get a sense of what colors I think would look good. I used a variety of references, as well as making up the things I thought would look cool. One of the things I love about concept art and illustration is being able to work with pre-existing concepts and pushing them to be as exciting or inspiring as possible. I'm glad I live alone, posing in front of a mirror with my swiffer to try and get the pose of whipping in a circle would have been pretty ridiculous with an audience.

I just added this to show how it took me a while to figure out what sort of background was right. I initially intended to do the scene in a dungeon, because that is where it is set in the game. However, I ended up deciding to go with a different location that I thought would be more interesting.

I set it in a chantry. It was fun making a variety of details and playing with light. I chose a chantry a) because it seemed like a cool place for a fight, but b) there is a lot of architecture to make my life miserable with perspective. Since I'm trying to push myself to sort things out, this was a good opportunity. The shadows here are wildly inaccurate.

Continuing to futz around. I made the table into a pew and that seems more natural for the setting. Messing with the shadows, but they still don't feel right. Other issues are that even though Howe is flying through the air, he still feels very close to the Warden. Since she's not traveling backwards, that just doesn't work. Also the windows behind her are behaving like they are on a flat wall, not on an elipse.

You're never really finished with something, you just have to decide when to throw in the towel. I adjusted Howe to make it look like he's really moving toward the viewer. I mapped the shadows from the light source and found that the reason they looked so wrong is from this angle you can't actually SEE his shadow at all. It looked a little odd, but I can't argue with math. I also fixed the windows, which is a relief to my eyes.

Overall I like it. I want to push harder to use less line in my work though, so I am disappointed in myself for falling into old habits. Must keep trying!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recent Work

I've been so busy with class and side projects lately that updating the blog hasn't been an enormous priority. But I thought I'd check in with a sampling of what I've been up to. If you check my Flickr page there won't be anything new, but here's some of what I've been doing:

I'm starting up the three hour drawings again. I'm working from photos, but then trying to tweak and adapt them. This isn't something that comes to me naturally, so I've been making a concentrated effort to get past my fears and do my best, even if I'm not happy with the outcome.

The Tattooed Man
Forest Scene
I'm struggling with overworking and I want to make fewer more decisive brush strokes. Here's a process piece from the scene above that shows how I used the photo and expanded on it:
I wish I'd tweaked the composition more in the finished piece.
3 hours isn't a lot of time, so I need to work on cutting out my nitpicking and really focusing on what matters to get the most out of my time. Which is really part of the goal with a restricted time limit in the first place.

I've been working on practicing some different styles. I looked at some of the neat work from ArenaNet and I was inspired to do some trees on rocks. Certainly not the same as ArenaNet's, but it was something different.

I think that to make them better I should use less sweeping curves in the future, it makes them feel cartoonish.

Here are some pieces that I've been working on for my perspective practice:

I need to work on more realism in the faces.
Cafe/ Secret Technological Base for my thesis proposal
Nar Shaddaa - I'm excited for the Old Republic.

And then here's an hour drawing I did from a live model in chalk. Chalk isn't my favorite, but I'm trying to improve. Faces are one of my current focuses, since I've drawn cartoony for too long and I'm trying to get away from that.

That's all for now.