One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.
Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.
The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D).
How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.
To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.
In this final episode of the Concept Art tutorial series we add the finishing touches to our creature concept. We will paint the last bit of polish and detail and also create a simple background and make our concept presentable. We take the concept to the final stage so it can be handed off to production or as a marketing illustration. Narrated by the artist.
In part 5 of the Concept Art Tutorial series, we add texture. Using a combination of photographs, photo manipulation, and Photoshop blending modes we seamlessly add texture to our creature design. This technique will quickly add a nice layer of texture, detail and color variation. Narrated by the artist.
In part 4 of the Concept Art Tutorial series we add glazes of color to our tonal underpainting. We’ll use the color theory and strategies from the last video to create depth, model form and bring our creature design to life. This video demonstrates how to use blending modes and layers to add a transparent wash, or glaze, of color while preserving the tones and values established in the previous tutorial videos. Narrated by the artist.
This is the 3rd part of the Concept Art Tutorial series. The topic is Color. How it works, and an introduction to Color Theory. We’ll also discuss some strategies we can use with color to model form, add interest and life to our concept art and digital paintings. Narrated by the artist.
A detailed, step by step tutorial demonstration of my process in the making of a creature illustration.
As a side note, this assignment was a Concept Art test that landed me my current job at Cryptic Studios.
Step 0: Comps / Thumbnails
The first step in creating any image is the ideation process. This is the part I really have fun with.
Since the assignment was a creature illustration I created a set of creature thumbnails. Sketching small and staying loose allows the ideas and shapes to flow. I sketched about 20 mini thumbnails in this process.