This is a breakdown of my process on this painting so far.
First I start with a sketch. I wanted to create a tall, inline composition for this one. Something that looked powerful and imposing, but with bright, rich colors.
I didn't really like the feature characters head position so I adjusted it from a downward stare, to a more imperious looking chin lift. I also made the foreground figure larger with a more reclined or off balance pose.
The basic composition was working for me, but the perspective of the feature character was sort of all over the place. I searched around for some better reference but didn't find anything that suited my needs. Remembering that I am a 3D artist, I posed a simple 3D character and set up a low angle camera. That image, along with the figure reference that I gathered (I literally just googled stuff like 'wrestler low angle' and 'athlete leaning')
Then it's on to colors. I picked a palette that I thought might be directly counter to the image. If the characters are about being powerful and imposing, the colors are the opposite of that. Pink and blue that strays into the pastel and neon.
And now it's time to refine the features, sculpt the characters with highlights and shadows and just generally start finishing the damn thing.
When I have it all wrapped up I'll post the final image. bit more to go.
You have to start somewhere.
For a while I have been doing concept paintings based on the game I am making. This is the sort of thing that might typically be done before any game assets get made or early in development. Since I am the one doing all the work on this game at the moment I’ll do it in whatever order I damn well please. In this case that means I have set up a sort of feedback loop. The stuff I do in the game informs the paintings and vice versa. It’s a nonlinear workflow.
One thing that is absolutely linear for me though, I can’t paint without first doing a sketch. Usually many sketches. So here is a set of sketches that I will be turning into a painting. Next week I will have more of a breakdown and I will walk through some of the process of making a painting.
I’m just going to write this one as an aside.
A little something that isn’t what I am really writing. What I am really writing is another short story, but I have recently found out that if you actually want to get short stories published in places where people might read them you can’t post them on your own personal blog. Now I understand the initial reasoning behind that. A publisher doesn’t want to pay money for a story that can be found for free on the internet. I also think that sort of thinking ignores the realities of the internet. Almost anything can be had for free if you are willing to look around for it. Text is especially susceptible to being copied and redistributed. The other reality is that people are pretty lazy. The types of magazines and web sites that might publish one of my stories are probably safe. People aren’t hunting around for pirated sci-fi stories. They are going to the outlets that they know. The places that curate stories. They are either listening to the ad sponsored podcast versions of stories, or paying a small amount for the digital subscription, or reading off the ad sponsored web page. That a story exists on my blog, a blog that very few people read, it won’t really factor into their bottom line. Even if it were the blog of a very popular writer, there would likely be very little impact to a publisher.
Still, they have their rules and that means that as long as I am trying to sell any stories I will have to either pull early drafts from here or just never post them to begin with. It’s a bummer, but that’s how it goes.
I suppose if anyone reading this wants an early version of anything I am writing you could just contact me and I will hook you up.
And now back to writing what I was writing before this aside. It involves aliens. And mixed martial arts. Should be fun.