Tree of life
Coro is a digital art legend, but his oil skills are aweinspiring. Traditional art’s where it’s at, people!
While I’m an illustrator and fine artist by trade, based outside of Seattle, I’ve been working primarily as a concept artist for the past 16 years. I own and help run Massive Black, a studio specialising in concept art and illustration primarily for games and film. We’ve worked on all kinds of stuff that you might have heard of, and some that you probably haven’t, too.
I paint digitally for most my commercial endeavours. However, I fell in love with oil painting back when I was a student in art school, and I’ve since continued to pursue it between jobs. I dig the tactile nature and versatility of oils – I don’t think there’s a medium that I enjoy working in more.
About a year and a half ago, we moved our family out to rural Washington state, and I began painting the scenery out here. I’ve been focused ever since on how to approach such complex subject matter without idealising it or getting too “techniquey” in my approach.
And that’s what we’re going to be covering in this workshop. I’ve chosen one of my favourite trees to paint: a large maple tree that takes up almost the entire clearing in our back yard. My goal isn’t so much to reproduce exactly what I see, but rather to interpret it using a variety of brushwork, marks and scratches. I want to make it appear fairly realistic from a distance, and also interesting to look at when viewed up close.
Justin is a US West Coast-based illustrator and concept artist. He’s one of the founders and owner of Massive Black, an artists’ collective serving the entertainment industry since 2004. You can see more of his personal art at www.coro36ink.com.