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Glasgow, United Kingdom
An illustrator and games artist living and working in Scotland. I have various hobbies: coding, travel, art and games; and I enjoy writing about them.

30 November 2012

Thursday again

I don't really have time for  along post, so here's a quick one for you. A painting deconstructed and analyzed.

Firstly here is the painting:



And now let's go and break it down into steps.

1. Getting the assignment.

Even though this is only a university project I still work closely with my producer to create the feel and the look of the game. We needed a giant man made structure floating in the sky. The only man made thing in the whole world. Time to do some sketching!

2. Thumbnails and sketches

There are more in my sketchbook, but you gotta trust me on this one. I'll show the ones I showed to the producer.


 After some thinking we chose the last one. However the composition was all wrong and the enormous black shape that is the ground unbalanced the piece. Time for the final value sketch. The tilted (or Dutch) horizon is a conscious decision and is supposed to create a feeling of uneaze, and almost vertigo. Funny thing, I did get a millisecond flash of vertigo when I accidently flipped the image upside down later on.

2. Value Sketch


After some cropping and moving things around it was almost ready. In aesthetic terms, the lines are sharp to reflect solid, rocky structures, the aireal perspective is introduced to simulate the vast distances. Some of the tower is alsot obscured by cloud, which also adds to the sense of scale. The texture is smooth yet sharp - due to time constraints I made the concious choice to leave everything as is. The idea is the contrast between the small man and the huge structure. What is it? What awaits him when he gets there? Creating mystery in games is one of the more common player motivation techniques.

3. Colour

I'm starting to like working in black and white and then moving onto colour. There is something very easy about this. The idea that you don't need to worry about colours when creating the value sketch. That allows me to concentrate on other important aesthetic elements. So here I make another layer in Photoshop, set it to Overlay and start painting. The final result is very warm. I added two small details: the green lights and lines on the structure and the slightly blurred rock in the foreground. One helps to create mood and one further depth.