This is part of my ideation process, I'll take a sketch and redraw over and over again. I do it to begin with and then I'll do it over an established sketch. Formstorming is tiring but absolutely vital - wether it's a graphic design project or a digital painting project. Small variations like these can change the basic image substantially. Doing as many as I can is key - 50 to 100.
I think I have an obsession with the roofs of Paris (and yes it is written roofs not rooves for all of you frantically searching an online dictionary cause it just doesn't look right). I bought a book about Paris as a teenager and some of my favourite photos in it were cityscapes (of Paris) filled with lead roofs stretching endlessly into the horizon line. Light reflects strangely off of their light grey surfaces. Are they lead roofs? I have always found them intriguing. The lines and forms in these pictures were geometric but also haphazard at the same time. I don't know if anyone has noticed but another thing I fancy are giant robots- I fancy retro looking ones, they tend to look like tin buckets. Remember Robbie? This picture started to form, of a giant robot lumbering through the streets of Paris. Towering above even the highest occupants on that muted level above the sea of roofs. Just imagine leaning out your window and suddenly its there, disturbing your peaceful view of the countless roofs. Imagine your relief as it strides by. Just imagine all those hundreds of inhabitants who didn't see it go past. ;)
Below you'll find a rough sketch, blocking out basic tones, an animated gif of the process :)
Here's a character illustration from way back. I did this back in 2010, found it searching through the archives during a 'spring clean'. The character was sketched and painted with only 1 or 2 brushes. I added some grungy textures to the wall to break up the flat space. Lucille the vampire.
I've always enjoyed working across different styles. From photo-realistic work to very stylised work. There are so many levels of stylisation you can break things down into, here I've worked on character designs done in varying degrees of stylisation creating different illustrative styles.
These sketches were done in Photoshop- depending on their end purpose I'll either take the sketches into Illustrator and work on them there in a kind of 'flat' character design or I'll reiterate them in Photoshop until I'm happy with the results.
This post is mostly about how the creative process works. I was going to write about linear perspective too- perhaps another post. I think its true that most people misunderstand how creatives work, hopefully this post helps demystify the magic of creating something out of nothing. If I'm honest, this is the way I've always worked- it's always been this way, intuitive I guess. I've also seen this process and principle taught at tertiary level. I'm not sure if it's said implicitly or implied but iteration is always the key to conceptual development or any other illustration, design or art. Conceptual illustration tends to use iteration at a faster pace, trying not to linger on the details early on. This is the process I live by, whether I'm working on a design, illustration or concept art. My early sketches can't be interpreted by anyone but me so people don't often see them- they're thinking images in which I'm ironing out angles, shapes - compositional stuff. It's fast paced and many times ugly. The more I need to figure out- the 'uglier' the early sketches are. At times I have a clearer beginning idea for whatever reason so the thumbs will look nicer earlier on, because some basics are already sorted I can then I give more to artistic expression and other skill sets. I'm constantly trying to make this gap smaller, I want to get to the point where I have a clear composition or some solid elements to work with so I try produce as many thumbs as possible to iron out issues. Bottom right you'll see these rough sketches, almost doodles in nature. They're for me only, I'll never show these to clients.
Stage two is the point where clients begin seeing my work. They're still rough compositional thumbs but they have enough information to help me decide whether I want to take the image further or not. I choose from the first stage rough thumbs and begin expanding, I'm no longer working from nothing now- I have created my own reference points. The two images at the bottom on the right are expanded thumbs. Thumbs at this stage don't have to be as detailed as these two are but they can be. Out of dozens of 'first pass' rough thumbs I choose only a few which best fit my needs and expand them- meaning I redraw them as fast as I can with as much extra detail as I can on each iteration. Layer upon layer upon layer until I'm happy that I have enough information to use the sketch as reference for the final illustration or perhaps all the client wants are looser conceptual designs then I might not redraw and polish the image but rather take it to the point where the piece communicates enough information to be used as a concept asset. Usually there is a line, or point where the 'sketch' is abandoned and you switch into rendering. It's important to understand that 'sketch' and 'rendering' differ and the difference is in your approach- the difference between using predominately line or shape, tone and colour.
For those of us who create for a living hopefully this will help grow your own process or in the very least ring true. We're all refining and learning even after years of working professionally- so if you feel you have something to add to this topic please feel free to comment and add your viewpoint.
Hi welcome to my next post, if it's your first time here please read through my other posts.
This time around I'm posting some recent concept artwork. Most of my work nowadays is digital, but sometimes - for various reasons - I work in traditional media and bring my work into a digital workflow later down the line.
Dwarves are a fun brief to work on, what is it about these squat, mythological earthy guys that make them such an interesting subject?
I guess our modern idea of what dwarves are supposed to be is heavily influenced by J.R.R.Tolkien. In German mythology they were thought to be nature spirits in the form of small human beings who lived in mountains or under the earth. I like the Norse interpretation - they were the product of the primordial blood and bones of Ymir. The Prose Edda describes dwarfs as beings similar to maggots that festered in the flesh of Ymir before being gifted with reason by the gods.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. I'm always open for more freelance work. So, if you're here looking for concept work, illustration or graphic design then drop me a line. Comments and interaction always welcome.