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

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

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.

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