Concept Art Study - Hunting Yoda

Subscribe to receive my Newsletter

I started this one not knowing what I was going to do.
I mixed some light colours and wetted the back the canvas with it and slowly added my blues, greens and some red into the white wet canvas doing single vertical lines, grouping some of them in compact bundles  I quickly started to look like I was making a dense forest scene.

I kept this process until I blocked some areas with well defined trees that resembled a mix of mangrove/sequoia tree forest . I mixed my blue green and red into a really dark value to block the bottom and sides. Then with the color mix I used for the trees, I added a yellow hue to lighten it in order to establish a glowing bottom. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but the more I looked at it, the more it started to look like the StarWars planet Dagobah.

So I went with that idea further and refined the trees,adding vines falling, roots and linking the bottom of the trees to the ground.
I felt, the scene needed a figure, I was tempted to make it Yoda, however, while I wanted a static figure, I thought Yoda would restrict the story too much to a static shot of yet another lonely day in yoda's life. Instead I opted with a tall hooded figure with a red lightsaber, a Dark Jedi, or Sith, or possibly Darth Vader himself.
As viewers, since we know yoda lives there on his own, we start wondering straight away who that figure could be and why is he there; was he there before, is he looking for yoda, is he another apprentice of the Emperor or Darth Vader... ?

I wasn't sure still if I wanted solid ground or that glowing marsh feel from the movie.
At this stage I needed to block the movement into one direction. From the picture bellow there are two gaps in the trees, this not only creates too much light and openness into what should be a closed a dark foreboding environment, it also distracts the eye as the viewer doesn't really know where to focus, going back and forth between the two gaps.

I decided to close the gap on the right side of the composition, creating a clear entry point into the background, and only one point for the eyes to focus on.
I added some glow into the light saber and yet more vines falling from the trees.
I decided to add some yellowish fog and a few highlights on the ground instead of deciding whether it should be solid or water. The fog extend into the roots of the trees and seems to create it's own light.
The viewer then doesn't really know what lies under, nothing is clearly defined here, the importance is on the rough shapes as opposed to the detains and the unease comes from the dark areas as well as from the brighter ones.

Thanks for reading this and if you liked these tutorials, don't forget to check out my Patreon page too:

Concept art study - "I'm not alone"

Subscribe to receive my Newsletter

Today here's a slightly different bit of work than usual...

 This started as a simple exercise in abstraction: build up a textured background from various diluted out colors and fill up the whole canvas. The idea is that i'm hoping the different tones and brushstroke shapes will suggest a few ideas...

I keep building up the canvas but I have, at this point, no idea of what am going to paint. Once I was happy with the background I decided to build up shapes in the background. I used darker colors and just started applying them without much purpose. I did the shapes bellow and let the painting sit like this for a few hours, not looking at it...

Once I returned to the painting, I saw that he shape suggested a tree branch, so I dediced to go with the idea of a backlit dark forest scene. 
I, removed the branch and lightened the whole centre of the painting with paint, adding quick brush strokes from the top right to bottom left. This will suggest some light breaking through the highest branches in the background of the painting.

I then started the process of building the scene from the background to the foreground. As with previous paintings, I use darker and darker values using my background color as a basis. This is the part I enjoy most as it sets up a scene for the final piece.
I added a big blocking element on the right, sweeping from the top. The trees going into the background follow the same slope but they're getting more vertical as they fade in the back. This helps create a focus point right a the root of the tree in the foreground. This will most likely suggest a focal element in the painting later on.
I also added a large blocking tree on the right for another element of focus in the painting. This will help me as it gives me a choice of using the right or left for my focus point (or both!)

Again, I let the piece sit for an hour, not looking at it (this is VERY important) and came back to it.
Looking back at the piece there's a clear movement suggested: from the top left to the tree on the right. It looks like the tree on the right will be the location for the main point of focus of the scene and the tree on the right will be recipient/source... 
Since the scene had a gloomy feel, reminiscent of the Walking Dead series, I decided to add zombie-like figures. This creates a tension in the scene already, as you cannot see the figures properly but can clearly identify as threatening. I use small light dots to suggest their eyes. It creates a feel of unease, eyes aren't supposed to glow, and helps suggest where they're looking. How the scene plays out now depends on what is going on, on the right hand side of the picture: another zombie, someone running away, resting or just stumbling on the zombies by accident

After thinking about it, I thought the scene would be even stronger if the zombies where instead 'the victims' in the scene ; so I used the character of Michonne in the Walking Dead. Anyone who's seen the show knows she's not one to run from them and will possibly hunt them if she needs to.  This create a really strong scene now as we have a pretty clear idea of what is going to happen next.

Finally I added some details to close in the scene. Notice I didn't add a lot highlights though, just a few to suggest the twisting shapes of trees and rocks. However I didn't detail the edges or bottom of the picture ; the action happens in the center of the picture so that's where the details should be.
That's about it. Thanks for reading this and if you liked these tutorials, don't forget to check out my Patreon page too:


Off the Beaten track

As we drove around hills, we spotted a little track down to the sea. We followed it and there it was: pristine, empty and perfect. There was no car park facilities, no showers, no shops or vendors ... Just one gently tapered wave peeling off into the distance.
The undiscovered gem.
"Off the beaten track"

Acrylics on ply
approx 23x17 inches (58x 43cm) 
€430 (approx $588)

Shipping: €20

Click the Buy Now button to buy this painting
Alternatively, I now offer the option to purchase each paintings in 12 smaller monthly instalments of €44.67 (approx $61.12), -shipping included . Click the subscribe button to set up the instalments


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...