How to develop strong lighting
Rudy Siswanto creates a compelling cover.
Baby Bestiary was a commission I had a lot of fun doing, especially because animals and creatures are my favourite subjects to paint. The client, Metal Wave Games, approached me with a simple brief: to create a mirror composition. I found it a challenge because I needed to make a simple composition look interesting.
I usually begin a painting by adopting a workflow that’s used by many artists. I start by producing thumbnails to help me decide on the overall composition, then proceed to put together a basic colour rough, before eventually finalising the colours by rendering the scene. This approach enables me to focus on the composition and the lighting, rather than focusing on developing my brush strokes on the canvas and steadily rendering the painting.
Because of the simplicity of the composition, I needed to put a lot of expression into my characters. In particular, the focal point was my opportunity to ramp up the visual interest in the composition. I already had something in mind about the flow of the image. I wanted the audience to follow the beasts’ journey through life, starting from their infancy and all the way through their adulthood. This means I needed to treat the lighting in this painting in a very specific way, in order to tell the story behind the image.