How can I make my fan­tasy art stand out?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation - Noah Tekkon, Ja­pan

An­swer

Me­lanie replies

Cre­at­ing a unique fan­tasy de­sign can be a tough task, but there are some ba­sic guide­lines that you can fol­low. The most im­por­tant is not to come up with a generic ver­sion of a de­sign that people have seen hun­dreds of times be­fore. A good ap­proach is to base your de­sign on an ex­ist­ing his­toric cul­ture and then add myth­i­cal and fan­tas­tic el­e­ments. Don’t be shy to ex­ag­ger­ate some body fea­tures to en­hance the over­all ex­pres­sion of the char­ac­ter. Give them su­per­hu­man strength, draw them as a sexy fig­ure or make them as creepy look­ing as your worst nightmare.

I de­cide to paint a fu­sion of an Assyr­ian priest and the com­mon fan­tasy theme of a beast-war­rior, to show the im­por­tant role of cows and bulls in their mythol­ogy.

To make the de­sign work I ap­ply an­other com­mon rule: recurring pat­terns, shapes and ma­te­ri­als. I use Assyr­ian cir­cu­lar pat­terns for the priest’s cloth­ing and jew­ellery. I also make sure to stick to a sin­gle metal­lic ma­te­rial (in this case gold) in­stead of mix­ing metals, such as iron, sil­ver, bronze and cop­per. I give the Assyr­ian priest bull­horns and ears to en­hance the fan­tasy feel and bulk up his body shape.

To build up the val­ues I first paint the char­ac­ter in greyscale. Care­fully plan­ning the light­ing scheme helps me to bring out three-di­men­sional forms. As soon as I’m sat­is­fied with the val­ues, I go for­ward to the colour stage.

Adding bovine el­e­ments to the hu­man priest gives the char­ac­ter a strong fan­tasy feel. A well-de­fined greyscale sketch gives me enough value in­for­ma­tion to take the im­age into colour.

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