Cre­ate a fan­tasy en­vi­ron­ment

See how Tyler Edlin paints an enig­matic scene that evokes a sense of won­der and adventure

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Issue 122 June 2015 -

Tyler Edlin il­lus­trates an enig­matic adventure scene.

This is the type of im­age that I en­joy paint­ing the most. It was a pri­vate com­mis­sion and I had 99 per cent con­trol over it. The client sim­ply re­quested a vil­lage in a for­est.

That left with me with a lot of op­tions, so I wanted to go with some­thing that felt an­cient, mys­te­ri­ous and grand. I usu­ally start with this three-word premise. It serves many pur­poses, in­clud­ing help­ing to clar­ify my vi­sion, pro­vid­ing an ob­jec­tive and bound­aries, and sim­pli­fy­ing my fo­cus in the early stages. Try­ing to come up with en­vi­ron­ments that feel both oth­er­worldly and yet still com­pre­hen­si­ble to the av­er­age viewer is def­i­nitely a fun chal­lenge. I find that al­ter­ing the scale, shape and con­text of nor­mal things (such as trees, wa­ter­falls, even a town per­haps) is an easy and ef­fec­tive way to ap­proach this.

So re­ally all I did for this scene was en­large a tree to an enor­mous scale. I changed the shape of it to a mossy dome with branches, and I ad­justed the con­text of the scene by putting in a nat­u­ral­look­ing cave with an or­ganic-look­ing town. If all th­ese make up for 90 per cent of the scene set-up, all that re­mains is a char­ac­ter for scale and some mi­nor de­tails, such as the fungi that ties to­gether the de­sign lan­guage through­out the scene.

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