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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.

23 November 2013

A new chapter in life

Ever since my honours year finished I sort of forgot about this blog. I quit my student job and moved back to Glasgow in search of actual real employment. So far it's been going slow, but I've also been getting a steady stream of commissions. In any case, I thought that it'd be a good idea to continue blogging about my artistic journey, but never got the time to do anything about it. I've been drawing like mad at every spare moment I get. As a result, I've been featured on some groups on DeviantArt and been contacted about commissions. Things are looking up, even though I'm still trying to get a job in the games industry.

My plan for the future is to continue looking for jobs and get my art skills up to standard. Hence, I will keep blogging.

So back to business. Here is a step by step process of creating an illustration for commission.

Step 1: Thumbnails and Idea Development

Read the brief. Try to find out what the client wants. Don't be afraid to keep drilling them with questions. The more you know about what the client wants, the easier it will be in the future. Also you'll avoid situations like, "Oh, actually, can you go back and change this bit for the millionth time?". Once you think you know what you're doing start doodling. Just relax and draw the first thing that comes into your mind. Either thumbnails or general sketches are fine as long as you're getting these ideas down on paper. After the first few sketches you'll surprise yourself with the kinda cool stuff you'll come up. I went with chaotic doodles rather than thumbnails.



Step 2: Final Sketch

Once the client is happy with a certain idea develop it further into the final sketch. That should be reasonably tight and polished. Make sure the client is 100% okay with the design however, as it will be a bit of a pain to go back and re-do it. I usually spend between an 1 and 3 hours on the final sketch.


Step 3: Introducing Colour
This is a time for a rough painting. Get the fundamental elements right and worry about details later. Make sure the light and the colour are appealing and make sense visually. Get basic perspective in and think about the environment. For my guy, I decided against a complex environment to save the focus for the character. It's also a good idea to stick a friendly reminder that this is a work in progress.


Step 4: Rendering the final image
This is the longest and the least fun step. When everyone is happy with everything you can sit down and get the image finished. I usually zoom and out constantly to check if the shading works and values read correctly. Get right in on the face, because that is always your focal point. People automatically look at faces because we are programmed to recognise them. So try hard to make it right. Everything else is secondary, because most people will only glance over these details.

So here's the final painting. Including all stages, it took around 10-11 hours to complete.