This is my second finished concept. The first I did not finish because it did not look right, and as I was using skills picked up from a tutorial, I had a somewhat realistic idea of where it should be even at that stage. I realised my mistake was using the soft round brush; all shapes seemed murky and vague. I used the hard brush for the second try (the desert scene below) and used the same tips and advice to push forward for this piece. Next on the practice list is more architecture, possibly a castle or ruins.
Here are my reference images, used for textures etc, and in the case of the bridge, basic shapes. I do not have many environment arts yet, so there is no folder in my portfolio … yet. But I am working on that!
Here is my first environment concept art for games -- well, finished anyway! The very first I abandoned because it was not coming together. I went back to the tutorial so I could understand where I had gone wrong (and I did find out) and took the tips and skills to a new concept, which is what you see here. While I do like this, I don't think it is quite good enough for my portfolio. I have been working on others since and will soon add an 'environment' section to my concept art portfolio here!
My new tablet arrived in the mail today. It is much larger than the one I have been using for the past five years, so I immediately tested it out with some more environment concept thumbnails! These are a lot blockier than my first round and I don't think I really warmed up until the third, the ruins on the coast, but that is what ideations are for.
My older computer has lost about a fifth of its screen so I worked zoomed in. I did not zoom in for these, and I think that explains the lack of detail (in comparison to round 1, below). My newer computer will be able to handle the layers needed to create more detailed work, and I am looking forward to bringing one of these thumbnails to completion.
I have been using tutorials (tutsplus.com) to help sharpen some of my skills, expand on them, and even learn some valuable support skills (website building). I decided to expand my concept art by adding environment to the mix. I enjoy being in nature, and have for years wished I was even remotely good at drawing what was in my head. I began trying to use resources and references, but even in the past few years I made little progress and honestly didn't spend much time on it as I wasn't using it much in my comic.
I tend to pick up pieces of information along the way and something will snap them all together. Sometimes, someone presents something in a way that just makes so much sense….
This tutorial on environment concept art for games put all the puzzle pieces together! I was so giddy, sitting there at my computer, making these thumbnails. It's exciting when things just click! I will need to have a lot more practice with it, since digital painting in this way is still not my strongest skill. But that's what the digital paint tutorials are for!
I will be adding an environment art category into my concept art folder, but for now, here are some of my early thumbnails.
The novel I wrote something like 10 years ago has been pulled out of the dust once again. It is going through its final, nit-picky edit by the first person to have read it in full and provided feedback. I think that's kind of nice to have brought it back full-circle! In any case, it will be released on kindle in march. I am aiming for March 10, though due to word issues and formatting it could be later on in the month.
Here is a cover concept I am working on. It will be in both colour and grayscale as there is the likelihood I will prepare for a short print-run and sell them locally.
I am posting something a little bit different than usual. I have been on a committee for planning this year's student/alumni show at my alma mater. Our show date is about two months away, and I have had very little drive to do my own garments and I recently realised why.
I hadn't sewn in three years (while in Japan). I hadn't designed with the intent to make said garment in three years. And most notably, my personal style has changed vastly from four years ago to now -- what I want to wear and design is much different than what I wore and designed while in my early 20s. Part of me thinks the audience will want to see the garments and costumes they have come to expect of me, while the other half is just confused and uninterested in designing in that way. Artists have a style, but they should not be expected to never change -- so I am making some compromises.
The vest below is something I began designing immediately upon returning to the states, but had not touched in months. I use a 3D patterning method called draping, where the lines are tacked onto the body double and pattern pieces are made by placing materials against the mannequin. This 3D thought helps for my comic costume designs as well.
Working on the vest below put me in a fashion mood. I flipped through some magazines and old sketches; watched music videos; and checked out my material stockpile. I sketched down elements of clothes I like (tall collars, asymmetry, etc) in preparation for designing.
Design and sew enough garments for 2-5 models in 2 months
Combine previous style elements into current aesthetics
Use materials already owned or repurpose
I am still in preliminary designs. I will share the sketches of those later, but probably not any more garment images. As for illustration, I am restructuring the update schedule of my comic since its home host shut down (inkblazers.com) and it has moved to tapastic.com (which has a very different layout).
PS -- the fantasy armours I posted about earlier are in the gallery now!
Color test for the armors. I am drawn to the more muted ones. Since the point of this was to experiment with shapes, using muted colours or a monochromatic scheme would make it more about the shape and silhouette. A final version will appear in my gallery, so this will be the last post on this particular piece.
I decided to design fantasy armours on basic shapes. Given that my comic is mainly populated by men (I realised I was operating on the default character = male rule about a year into scripting), I wanted to design female characters.
Not only did I want their silhouettes to be vastly different, but I wanted their body shapes, no matter how obscured by armour, to vary.
I am working on a couple of game projects with friends and I need to stretch my fantasy designs. More on those projects later! For the visual novel project we are still hammering out the story. I may be posting some concepts later, depending on how much we want to keep under wraps until release!