PURE ARTISTRY Concept art legend Sparth invites you into his world to talk composition, simplicity and the rewards of image-making
We check out Sparth’s environment video.
There are many roads that you must travel down to become an artist, and many different types of teacher to help you get there. While some training videos focus largely on the process and tools of digital art – use this brush, apply that blending mode – Sparth comes at the subject from a multitude of angles in this two-hour video.
Composition – “the foundation of an image” as Sparth calls it – is one example. While he touches briefly on some technical aspects, he’s more interested in exploring the purpose of composition. His musings get to the heart of why it matters: how careful arrangement of a picture’s elements make it possible for the viewer to explore the world you’re creating.
Simplicity is another cornerstone of the Sparth approach. There’s a challenge being laid down here, ever so gently: what would happen if you didn’t rely on every utensil in the Photoshop toolbox? How few brushes do you really need to craft your image, and what effect does a minimal toolset have on the painting?
Underpinning the various talking points in this video is an exploration of what it means to be an artist – why we do what we do, as well as suggestions for how to do it. For Sparth, there’s a degree of compulsion to the process, a need to capture ideas.
Sparth’s narration style is so relaxed that it’s easy to let the two hours slip by, simply enjoying the stories and perspectives this concept art lynchpin shares. But if you take the time to repeat the video and fully absorb his lessons and experiences, then you’ll discover some new paths to explore, and perhaps connect anew with the simple pleasure of making art. Not bad for six pounds.
Sparth creates a futuristic cityscape using a minimal toolset and his command of composition and detail. Sparth intentionally limits the number of brushes he uses, choosing a set that works together to unify the image. The foreground doesn’t have to be the focal point or crammed with detail: here it’s a framing device.