Rinse, Re­peat and ren­o­vate

Thomas ex­plains how he ap­plies his open, mod­u­lar ap­proach and mind­set to cre­at­ing an art­work

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Artist Insight | Know Your Tools -

1 Build­ing your set

Let’s com­bine ev­ery­thing we’ve learned and see just how com­plex a scene we can cre­ate with th­ese tools. I’ve com­bined sev­eral paint­ings for the back­ground and am us­ing as­sets from sev­eral oth­ers for en­tire struc­tures. It’s mul­ti­plica­tive rather than ad­di­tive, paint­ings as medium rather than paint­ing. Pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to how much and how many times I’ve used the paint­ing we’ve al­ready dis­cussed.

2 Cast­ing the char­ac­ters that fit

I use a sim­i­lar process for my char­ac­ters and gen­er­ally work on batches of them iso­lated from the back­grounds. I’ll usu­ally wait un­til I have a good un­der­stand­ing of an en­vi­ron­ment be­fore I’ll ‘cast’ the right char­ac­ter, and I’m al­ways look­ing for a nat­u­ral fit. I’m happy to re­work and add el­e­ments and light­ing but I don’t like to force it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try to find a bet­ter fit later on for that char­ac­ter and will see who else could be­long in the paint­ing. It’s been rather en­joy­able to ex­pe­ri­ence the nar­ra­tive of the same char­ac­ter trav­el­ling through dif­fer­ent scenes, and I’ve found that some of the best sto­ries and moods have been cre­ated in this dy­namic way rather than through a process of out­right de­ci­sions.

3 Edit­ing for graphic leg­i­bil­ity

I’ve long thought of my role in the fi­nal stages of an im­age less as an artist or di­rec­tor and more as an ed­i­tor, making sure that what I see and enjoy will be ex­pe­ri­enced by the au­di­ence. I do this by re­mov­ing as many dis­trac­tions and spa­tial er­rors or il­lu­sions as my skills and pa­tience will al­low. This leg­i­bil­ity is, in my mind, as much about real­ism and ren­der­ing as it is ab­strac­tion and graphic de­sign.

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