Monday, 12 May 2014

Environments & Ian's Masterclass.

One of the most fascinating things I've experienced to date - Ian's Masterclass - was a great insight into the workflow of a professional concept artist. Sitting watching one of his famous dockyards come to life, I struggle to think of a time when I was as enthused and focused. Futilely, I try to memorise the thinking behind every brush stroke, but that's just not the way it works. What I took away from Ian's class was more of a mindset, and a new range of neat shortcuts and techniques, which have really cut down my production time for environment pieces.

My Own Denki Doodles.

About a month ago I contacted James from Denki, in the hope that he would be willing to chat for a bit about Professional Specialisation, and general art chat. Turns out, he was! Not only that, I requested a brief, which he gave me on the spot, which went on to be featured as an article on Denki Doodles - James' art blog. I've written more about this in my Report, and there's a full write up of James response in the feature, which is here.  However, I thought it would be cool to give a quick synopsis from my end, and touch on my thoughts throughout the brief.

-Father & Daughter Relationship
-2-D Side-Scroller Platformer game mock up screen.
-iPhone 5 dimensions.
-In Denki's style
-7 Days

So I was given seven days to work on the project, and as you can see by the above image, the initial work I started out in didn't exactly scream Denki. To start off with I was eager to not worry about style too much, and let the heart of the brief drive the work. However, towards the end of the brief, I then started to worry about the style, and so that then meant I forced the context into Denki's style, where it didn't belong. And so, I sent the brief over to James for some critique, and it was the usual case - everything he noted, I sort of knew deep down, I just couldn't admit / deal with it until someone mentioned it. Then it full steam ahead. 

By sending James my entire development pool of artwork, he was able to see the trajectory of it all, and noted that he longed for the relationship struck at in the image below, and to try and hold that image close, like a reference bible. 

From that the next stage was developing the daughter and the father together, making sure they not only worked together on a stylistic level, but that their relationship was strong and clear.

After working out this character relationship in my own Denki style, I took influence from something James had mentioned on an earlier Denki Doodles post about creating something mundane from the world, and letting that be visual style guide for the rest of the world. So like James, I messed around with some trees, and I don't blame him, because drawing these vibrant Denki trees is about as fun as it gets. From there I crafter a layered background which harmonised with the trees, but hopefully didn't feel too cluttered.

In the end I was so pleased with the final result, and how well I'd managed to respond to James' remarkable feedback. He sure knows his stuff. The analysis he gave me on the final result is something I'm very happy with, and now I'm glad I stuck at it. If you're interested in doing a Denki brief for James, he's more than happy to help, and would love to hear from you.