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