Step-by-step: De­velop a group dy­namic

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imaginenation Artist Q&A -

1 I start the de­sign phase of the im­age by draw­ing me­di­ans and di­ag­o­nals, lo­cat­ing the cen­tre of the im­age. In this case I cre­ate a grid, di­vid­ing the width and height in three, but other artists might use the Golden Spi­ral or dif­fer­ent kinds of grids – each so­lu­tion is valid! I sketch the char­ac­ters in a rough way, so I have an idea of the pose and per­spec­tive.

2 Ac­tive char­ac­ters help to en­sure the scene has dy­namism. The sor­cer­ess casts a spell, the raven-woman spreads her wings, the deer­man charges with a spear. Next, I fo­cus on the anatomy, which is es­sen­tial to en­sure cred­i­bil­ity and gives a nat­u­ral­ness to the char­ac­ters’ ges­tures. Only at the end do I add de­tails such as hair, cloth­ing, weapons and ar­mour.

3 At this point in the cre­ative process I in­tro­duce colours. I usu­ally start by paint­ing the back­ground, so I choose the type of light­ing and where to place the light sources. In this case, the en­vi­ron­ment is char­ac­terised by a leaden sky, a prairie and some moun­tains, so I paint a cold, am­bi­ent light. I also use a warmer rim light, which in­tro­duces vis­ual con­trast.

4 Am­bi­ent light doesn’t cast sharp shad­ows, but gives a more de­fined look so I can show off the char­ac­ters and their de­tails. I pick de­sat­u­rated colours to main­tain the dark look of the sky, ex­cept for the mag­i­cal light of the spear and the spell of the sor­cer­ess. I en­sure that my char­ac­ters are af­fected by aerial per­spec­tive, so I de­sat­u­rate colours where nec­es­sary.

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