Quickly cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment

Philipp Scherer invites you to ex­am­ine his work­flow and thought process for cre­at­ing a bustling en­vi­ron­ment on an over­cast day

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Issue 137 August 2016 -

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.

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