Put a fresh spin on an old tale

Rafael Sar­mento turns Arthurian leg­ends sci-fi.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

When I start the il­lus­tra­tion process, it’s rare that I al­ready have a fi­nal im­age in mind. For me, much of the jour­ney in the dig­i­tal realm is about us­ing the pix­els and dig­i­tal can­vas to pur­sue not just an idea, but a sto­ry­telling con­cept, to find the mood that will fit that feel­ing I have in my head.

The orig­i­nal brief for this is about a per­sonal in­ter­pre­ta­tion or de­con­struc­tion of Mer­lin and Mor­gana, from Arthurian leg­end, which I hap­pen to be in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate about. I have a glimpse of an at­mo­spheric scene in mind, which I’m not 100 per cent cer­tain about at first. We’ll find that mood to­gether, here, open­ing doors in your minds to this kind of in­tu­itive ap­proach for im­age-mak­ing. One that the dig­i­tal tools en­able us to do.

I sug­gest you em­brace this in­tu­itive ap­proach. Not set­ting a spe­cific goal makes pos­si­ble ex­plo­rations, dis­cov­er­ies and happy mis­takes (yes, they do hap­pen in dig­i­tal paint­ing all the time), which ul­ti­mately help us to de­fine our vi­sion, to trust our in­stincts, to de­velop our vis­ual and artis­tic sen­si­bil­i­ties, and start find­ing our own voice. Our artis­tic voice is the sum of ev­ery­thing that we ex­pe­ri­ence – and most im­por­tantly, ev­ery­thing we al­low our­selves to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Let your in­tu­ition lead you through your cre­ative process. You may be sur­prised with what you’ll dis­cover. Be free, be chaotic… okay, let’s cre­ate!

1 Sketch­ing the idea

First I lay down chunks of pixel paint, both lines and blobs of dig­i­tal pig­ments, to start fig­ur­ing out what the next steps will be. As you see, the real process is get­ting through all the changes I’ll make, in pur­suit of the at­mos­phere I’m look­ing for in the fi­nal im­age. The sketch­ing and block­ing will be a ma­jor part of the work­shop, be­fore get­ting into the real deal.

2 Defin­ing the di­rec­tion

Here I start to de­fine the shapes and over­all di­rec­tion. I’ll leave all the anatomy stuff and de­tails for later stages, I’m just putting some el­e­ments to­gether right now. I’m not sure how our Mor­gana here will be sit­ting (or even where). So far I only feel that Mer­lin will be trapped some­how – per­haps tied to that tree in the back­ground? I need to start plan­ning this right now!

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