Monday, 19 November 2012

Some Independent Work

Lately I have been doing quiet a bit of experimenting in Photoshop in order to develop in my chosen area of study. Firstly, as my band are set to record a four track EP very soon, I thought I would design a sleeve to accompany the CD. As the genre is classic rock/blues, I thought I would go for a traditional airbrush look. I wanted to produce something very loud and flamboyant, so I went for a colossal storm towering over a country landscape. This fits with the band name 'Supercell' which is the title given to a very large and dangerous storm. I was inspired by the classic rock album cover 'Rainbow Rising':

As you can see the design is very epic in scope, which is what I aimed to achieve with my sleeve artwork. To produce the Supercell in the distance, I experimenting with creating my own custom brush. I used various reference images found on the web to get an accurate feel for how the storm would look and be lit. I experimented a lot with the bottom of the image. At first the ground took up two much space so I lowered it to better consider the rule of thirds. This also emphasised the scale and dominance of the storm. I also tweaked the colours from green to a more brownish tint, achieving a more rustic look better fitting with the sky. I also transformed the perspective to create the illusion of a lower shot looking across the road and fields, making the storm feel even more towering. I added the old wind turbine in later to complete the composition. It just felt a bit bare, and the image needed some other subject to tie everything together. I also added a glare creeping through the gaps in the foreground to give the sense that an intense backlight is leaking through the image. Again, composition wise this helps unite the foreground with the backdrop without loosing too much contrast. I also added type at the top of the sleeve using the simple and crisp 'myriad pro' typeface and added a film grain using the noise and gaussian blur filters:

When I look at this image I think of the phrase 'calm before the storm'. The foreground is very tranquil and static, with the soft sunlight making it seem almost peaceful, yet there is this impending giant dominating the backdrop. I feel it creates a nice juxtapose.

I have dubbed this second character concept piece 'Prime':

As I had been playing the new 'Halo 4' game, I was inspired to create a very robust 'Master Chief' style soldier. I began blocking out the anatomy and shapes within the armour very quickly and loosely to get the creative ball rolling. Next I defined the armour with strong line art. I also wanted to add textures to the armour. For this I created repeating patterns and applied them on separate layers over the original colour layer. I then created quick layer masks around the shape of the Prime. I then broke the connection between the pattern layers and mask layers, and warped the patterns to fit the shape of the Prime's body. Overall the process was fairly quick. This is rewarding as one of my main aims is to build up an efficient workflow to produce satisfactory art in shorter spaces of time.

In conclusion, with the EP cover art it was nice to break away from my often Sci-fi fuelled game-art style and try and produce something more traditional looking. I feel the image offered good practice with colour selection and value control. I will probable produce a back and inside to the sleeve in the very near future. The 'Prime' concept works as a very clear character design. Perhaps in the future I could go back and add more shading and highlights to give the image more depth, however, I am very happy with the human anatomy and the speed at which the digital art was created. With both paintings, I am beginning to develop smoother and more efficient methods, meaning that my workflow is gradually speeding up. I hope to be spending more time on detailing with custom brushes as my work progresses.

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