Introduction to Digital Painting and Theory Vol 1
ROCK-SOLID Concept artist Simon Scales explains not just how to paint digitally, but how to create fantasy and sci-fi images that work
Concept artist Simon Scales explains not just how to paint digitally, but how to create fantasy and sci-fi images that work.
simon Scales’s four-hour workshop, edited down from a series of live presentations, starts with the simplest of scribbles before reaching a sumptuous level of detail in the final minutes. Simon starts with the most basic of shapes and shows how even simply overlapping them creates a sense of depth. From here, he successively builds up a set of images from thumbnails and value studies to colour breakdowns and finished concepts.
By taking you through the entire creative process, Simon helps you to understand why even the most polished painting techniques can’t rescue a poorly conceived image. Treating composition as a more intuitive process than simply following the Rule of Thirds, he shows in the first few chapters of his video how shape, scale and perspective interact to create a robust structure for your picture. It’s as good an explanation of the fundamental theories of imagemaking as you’ll find anywhere.
Once you’ve got the basics spot-on, it’s time to work on the detail. Developing a few concepts before choosing one to take to completion, Simon uses the tried-and-trusted concept art approach of photobashing, bringing textures and references into his image through blending and manipulation, then working over them. There are plenty of practical Photoshop tips along the way, such as creating custom brushes, but it’s the manner in which Simon develops his vision for each image that impresses.
It’s a shame that CDW’s video watermark obscures the Navigator in Photoshop, which Simon frequently stresses is a crucial part of his creative process, so we can’t see what he sees. That minor irritation aside, this is a hugely educational video that will help you not just paint well, but create images with rock-solid foundations.
In Digital Painting and Theory, Simon Scales combines essential creative principles with mark-making.
Value studies are where Simon ensures that the basics of the image work.
You’ll see how this piece evolves from thumbnail to concept artwork.