Quickly create an environment
Philipp Scherer invites you to examine his workflow and thought process for creating a bustling environment on an overcast day
Philipp Scherer combines 2D and 3D art approaches.
Before I start working on a personal image I usually start thinking about what I want to see in the finished work. In most cases I’m interested in creating a certain effect, such as painting fire or illustrating a portrait under unusual lighting conditions.
When I read something about composition or a colour scheme, or an interesting thought comes to my mind, I make a note of it. Sometimes it’s also about a specific painting technique, but almost never about a subject. I keep my ideas in a text file: it’s simple to maintain, and has grown in size over the years.
So here are my thoughts for this workshop. I want the setting to be an overcast day, with no cast shadows. This is partly because I can’t remember ever painting a picture like that before. I usually like to use some strong lights or cast shadows to add visual interest and guide the viewer’s eye through the painting, so I’ll have to come up with alternative ways to do that. Of course, there’ll still be shadows, they just won’t be as obvious. I’m also keen to paint a crowded locale with interesting-looking groups of people, or micro-compositions.
I know that the painting will appear in a print magazine, and will have to be a specific size to make the most of the page. Furthermore, I need to take into account the middle of the magazine – known in publishing circles as the gutter – and make sure that no important composition elements are lost in it. Because I want to create an environment that will feature a lot of visual elements, I decide to paint a widescreen image so I can show off more objects and characters.