Conan the Conquered Part 1
BY CROM! Fantasy artist Patrick J Jones kicks off a massive training series with insights into getting ready to paint a masterpiece
Brace yourself for the beginning of an epic. The latest in Patrick J Jones’ regular video workshops comes in 11 instalments, each on sale separately and each lasting at least an hour. It’ll take you all day to watch the set. The topic is up to the scale of the project: a monumental oil painting of one of fantasy’s most iconic heroes as he’s captured by an Amazon-like tribe.
This first chapter is split into two, covering the preparation Patrick undertakes before painting, then watching him in the studio as he lays down his first brush strokes. From the off, it’s clear that Patrick subscribes to time-honoured artistic principles, with meticulous research designed to make the eventual painting as strong as it can be. He reveals a selection of thumbnails and sketches, explaining the process that led him to the final design.
A photo shoot session with models is full of insight. Patrick discusses the foreshortening effect of camera lenses at short or medium focal lengths, and shows how he works with the digital images, cutting out and moving limbs to correct the perspective.
A full photo-composite with all the figures arranged sets the stage for the video’s second half, in which Patrick gets painting. You’ll see him mix his colour palette; the limits that this process imposes will set a challenge to any digital painter who freely uses all the colours at their disposal.
After laying down the underpainting, Patrick gets to work on the rocky backdrop to his tense scene. What’s fascinating even at this early point is how Patrick works to create contrast at every opportunity: soft against hard, light against dark, smooth against textured. The obvious expertise he’s developed and his willingness to share it bodes well for the remaining 10 chapters. This is a brilliant start to an ambitious and important training series.
In part one of this ambitious training series, you’ll see how Patrick J Jones prepares to make large-scale artwork. The finished painting will take Patrick 11 chapters of video to demonstrate. Photographing models for reference is a crucial
part of Patrick’s creative process.