Available for varied styles of character and environment concept art, as well as 3D blockmeshing, high-level Art Direction and help in defining the visual style of your project! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and rates.
An image from early in production where the focus was on getting the feeling of “beautiful decay.” We didn’t want the game to be all dark just because it had monsterous infected. We tried to include many areas of pleasant light to give the player a break from the darkness of some of the areas AND CHARACTERS… If you haven’t beat this game yet make sure you do! Joel gets REAL towards the end:) A How-To on this image coming soon.
After several spirited photo shoots in my room and 2 ruined pants I had a set of pictures (will be posted soon!) that show some of the early iterations of the “infected” This image was done mostly with photos. Joel is from an in game model and the background is a photo with fungus added on top.
A shot from the critically acclaimed hit Ps3 game, The Last of Us. Early on we knew the game was going to have horrible horribleness going on. Bruce Straley the Game Director and Neil Druckmann the Creative Director, were keen on making sure the tender relationship between Ellie and Joel was contrast with unspeakable violence and as we all learned from “The Road”, eating people is when you know you’ve hit rock bottom. Breakdown of the process of this image coming soon!
An early painting done for one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time “The Last of Us!” This illustration was from early in the game development showing a story moment where Ellie and Joel are held up in a barn for the night hoping they will wake… un-fungi’d
Working back and forth with Ken Levine, the creator and Lead Designer of Bioshock infinite, we attempted to get a finessed image of Mrs. Comstock that had the feel of an old painting while exaggerating the proportions slightly to keep in line with the Bioshock aesthetic.
Had the pleasure of working with Nate Wells and Ken Levine on this image. Spent about 4-5 days total adding more and more signage trying to push for a feeling of life and energy they were going for in Columbia.
ASUS Piece of Shit N53S Series / Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet / Photoshop CS6
My amazing hosts took me to cozy glass walled house in the Columbian countryside. It was raining hard when we started but it let up towards the end of the day and a bit of sun was able to start lighting the clouds and ground. With digital it’s relatively easy to change the lighting and color on a moments notice assuming your layers are well organized. 3 hours in the field and another 2 at home adding subtle gradients and making subtle color tweaks using the curves tool. I feel like in general, shapes can be stylized a lot but color often has to stay VERY accurate to feel real.
Photoshop CS6 trying my darndest to copy Jaime Jones. Some of his most recent images from “Destiny” the new Bungie game caused me to cry myself to sleep… For Tyrion, I painted the hair over twice, it got too fussy the first time. Started with a quick line sketch, something I rarely do but should more often, and then did everything on almost one layer except the eyes and pupils which which were a separate layer and clipping mask. The shape of those where my anchor for the image. I blended their edges later and overall started with a vivid red orange underpainting. Towards the last %20 I started making tweaks ALL on separate layers as a lot of it was experimenting with stuff I wanted the option to change.
Last outdoor Landscape painting class of the year! We head out to Malibu on a chilly afternoon. 3 hours in the field, no at home touch ups. I think it looks a bit clumsy and unrefined but I’m just personally aroused by the rock details that I would never have time to include in that time frame. Started with black and white silhouettes with Daniels as always. Put down vivid versions of the shadow colors in each layers, bright magentas and purples, and then painted the true color on a clipping mask on each layer allowing the vivid underpainting layers show through.
Some people have asked how I decide what colors to use for the underpainting. I pick most vivid version of the color I “sense” in the shadows of a given layer. Notice how the colors are super saturated but they still get cooler as the layers go back, the reason being because the vivid version of the shadow colors also got cooler as it went back. It’s not an exact science but something to think about:) Brushes found at the brushes tab above!
This week we take Jacobs painting and do a paint-over in new series we will call REEM ROOM! If you would like a private video paint-over contact me for schedule and rates:) But in the meantime learn from others! For basic setup, watch Video-000 archived in the Art Blog above. Brushes as always can be found here.
And we say goodbye to this painting with a bevy of subtle tricks and screen effects stolen from Maciej Kuciara that he had in turn stole from a boar on a turnip hunt. Just because this painting is over doesn’t mean the vids are! Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter for updates @shaddysafadi …Brushes HERE:
After 7 detailed videos on every aspect of the process of doing a digital painting from life, (or photo) we can put this bad boy to rest. Stay thirsty my friends. Remember brushes are found at the top of the page under the yellow “Brushes” tab. Always feel free to email me or comment on things you would like to see covered next! email@example.com
TUTORIAL TUESDAY! In the weeds hacking away at this painting, REMEMBER! you are not painting what is there, you are painting the ESSENCE of what is there… daniel son:) For my brushes and keys to setting up your tablet correctly (read: My Way) go here:
I don’t think there are plans for a Sequel, but after walking out of that movie I felt the strong desire for a continuation of the story in the form of a superhero movie where that kid takes over the world! Below I’ve also included some photos that show the unbelievable amount of cheating that goes on in creating an image like this and a very embarrassing photo bash that shows my bad but very informative block in of the initial idea. Not a lot of people know that often realistic concepts are not drawn, but collaged from what is available, and then finessed into a readable image.
TUTORIAL TUESDAY- err Wednesday! Obama was unable to bring hope to You Tube functionality;) This episode we paint the sky, back rock and start the water, If you’re following along download and use these brushes and set up your tablet as described.
TUTORIAL TUESDAY! Every Tuesday at noon for the next several weeks I will post a new video in the process of digital painting. This is a 20 minute demo that focuses on applying color and taking one area to finish by using some unorthodox painting techniques. If you’re following along download and use these brushes and set up your tablet as described.
A 30 minute demo that focuses on DESIGNING SHAPES and SEXY MARKMAKING, two of the most important and often overlooked steps in creating an image. A lot of it is intuition but intuition can be learned by shamelessly stealing from others!:)
If you’re following along it is CRITICAL that you download and use these brushes as well as set up your tablet as described on the same page.
The first of 3 images done for the Official Prototyope 2 film “The Power of Revenge” Watch the completed video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmMidL8KUOE It’s interesting to notice the things that stayed the same and the things that changed in the final but this was the first of a series of image we did to establish the tone of the short.
This second image is a collection of comps done to find our shot. All except the upper right were started with screen grabs from google earth. BELIEVE IT! Google earth has full 3-D models of many major cities around the world. Client wants a shot that looks like the lower west side? FLY THERE! I included the raw Google Earth snap on the bottom right.
A landscape painting at Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes CA that came home and became a concept. I will let yaul figure out which part is made up;) 2 hours in the field, 10 hours at home. It seems that the most important element to get in the field is the color because it’s the thing that the camera has the hardest time replicating. Our eye is a thousand time more sensitive than a camera and sometimes we can feel the faintest whif of a color and decide to exaggerate it. If you compare that to the photo of this exact same spot, that subtle color that begged for exaggeration is nowhere to be found. A breakdown of this process is coming soon!
“The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) are pleased to announce the 16 winning pieces of the esteemed 2012 Into the Pixel (ITP) collection. Now in its ninth year, ITP is a juried art exhibition that brings together experts from the traditional fine art world and the interactive entertainment industry to display and discuss the art of the video game. The 2012 Into the Pixel art collection will be unveiled and presented at the annual E3 in the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 5-7, 2012 at the Concourse Foyer.”
A retinue of rag tag barbarians try to get to their secret island hideout during a storm! Trying to push a more cartoony style with the characters while keeping the environment somewhat realistically textured and colored.
One of those mindnumbingly pleasant locations that you only see in movies and retrospect didn’t really sink in at the time. Tried to focus on not adding too much detail but at the same time indicating all the Ivy. Noticed from looking at Richard Schmidt paintings that he makes each window a visually different shape and size to break them up, tried to copy that. Also removed some boats in the foreground to simplify on Eytan’s recommendation:) 2 hours in the field
From the snow bank on one walkway looking onto the real badasess who traverse these mountains for fun. I think I would need a new set of knees for these kinds of shenanigans! This was painted with the usual process, black and erased white block in with some juicy brushes applied to locked layers and then a little edge blending and overpainting at the end with the mixer brush tool in CS5. 2 hours in the field.
Also as I side note I have to give it up to my Dell Inspirion 1525. Bought 6 years ago brand new for $500 intended for checking email only, it’s turned out to be fast and reliable enough to withstand any outdoor condition, temperature and constant battering and 3k files with ease. I could do every professional and personal project on this, what would be considered “junker” laptop, and it’s still ticking … Well done DELL and Windows 7!
Another fast second painting of the day, this time from the warmth of the cafe rather than the -3 celcius outside. The challenge I’m trying tackle with this kind of montain vista is how to indicate the scale of the little snow bits without having it look noisy (like it does in real life) and keep the painterly style. 1 hour in the field
Sat down for second painting after the first was a epic fail. A lot of looky-loos on this this one. Makes me think we should start putting out a hat and make some cash-money in the process:) 2 hours in the field.
Day 1 of our Italy Painting trip, trying to figure out an expressive way to paint architeture… Still a bit stiff but going to pick a simpler more organic composition tomorrow. 3 hours in the field, 2 hours at home.
First plein air I’ve done from a plane window:) On our 9 hour flight from LA to Milan. Clouds were passed way to fast to paint but I tried to half make up something using the same colors. 2 hours in the sky:)
Had about a 7 minute window when the sun was like this and I happened to be at the point in the painting where I could get it in real quick. There were about 5 other sun situations that were equally epic in a 60 minute span, damn you crappy iphone camera. 3 hrs in the field.
A couple spent 2 hours fighting and sobbing outside this house when we were there… but it was too late to move:) Tried a more clean graphic technique for this image. When there is a architecture like this I feel like it lends itself to the line tool, but then you lose painterlyness. Then again I don’t mind leveraging photoshop to do what photoshop does best… lines:) – 3hrs in the field.
An easy 30 minute hike to the falls. Got the colors blocked in on location and did most of the painting love at home. Trying to channel a new artist I found named Dorje Bellbrook who has some amazing digital landscapes deep in his blog. 3 hours in the field, 3 hours at home.
2 hours and 3 dollars of donations to homeless people… we didn’t dare venture far past the entrance of Famina. Working on simplifying shapes and going for a feeling of the place rather than an accurate depiction.
Mandeville Canyon in Santa Monica, 3 hours in the field and 2 hours in the Studio. Made the mistake of painting the shapes how I wanted them to be lit instead of finding something with the lighting I wanted… so I had to fudge the colors quite a bit to make the initial b/w comp work.
Participated in a TED talk on Saturday done by my friend and colleague Nick Pugh. He did an amazing lecture on digital life painting and the future of plein air painting. And a bunch of us did live paintings for the show. 45 minutes in the field.
On our way to a long abandoned WWII era Nazi Commune off the Rustic Canyon Trail in Santa Monica, we came across this old barn and stopped in for a paint. A truly spectacular place of ruin. Once again starting with a blockish black brush and looking at what’s there but taking some liberty with the light shapes to make them fit pleasingly on the page with JUST black and JUST white, no greys. Then doing the painting based almost exactly on this initial composition. 2hrs. in the field.
Up Cheney Trail Road in Pasadena, we stopped for this city vista. The clouds were moving quite a bit casting great pools of light over the landscape but my main goal was to try to capture the feeling of distance without getting too fiddly with the details. 2hrs in the field
Starting with just black and white is really helping to decide what is important and what is superfluous in the initial sketch. The critical thing for me has been using a solid blockish brush and painting in and erasing out until the light shapes are fresh looking and nicely arranged. The balance of the composition is much easier to assess right at the beginning when working this way. 2.5 hours in the field, 1 hour at home adding details and color correcting.
2 hrs in the field focusing on keeping the shapes loose as long as possible. Started with a black and white block in to figure out the main light shapes. Used custom shapes from a different file for about 70%, overpainted the last 30%
Going back to some old techniques. Started of by blocking it out in black and white (no greys) which really helped establish the composition. Painted the water in 3-4 layers making sure to keep the reflection shapes separate from the underlying water color and spending a long time stylizing the reflection shapes. Used the line and lasso tool for most of the dock and building. 2hrs in the field and 4 hours at home working on the building details.
A 5 day painting trip along the Pacific Coast Highway that started in Los Angeles and ended in San Jose. Each day Eytan (http://ezdraws.blogspot.com/) and I stayed in a different city, enjoyed a gentleman’s breakfast, and head out to find a place of immeasurable beauty. We painted each day on location for about 3 hours, often in wind rain and cold, but never all three. Each night we found a restaurant that would humor our 8 plug digital campsite, where we would finish, touch up, critique and color correct the paintings done that day.
The next trip will be Moab and Utah, so if you are an artist at any level, and interested in joining us for several days of Plein Air Fun feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life painting at the edge of Morrow Bay California, 2 hours in the field, 2 hours at home on a 12ux Cintiq on loan from Wacom. Thanks Guys! The small Cintiq is great for painting trips like these where lugging that giant Cintiq isn’t practical.
Life painting of Downtown LA, on 6th Street overlooking the 110 Freeway. – 2.5 hrs in the field – 2 hours at home touching up. This was an attempt to paint architecture in a painterly way. It seems in such a case, it is the parts of the overpass that are catching light require the most precision, especially the curved bridge which was done using the path tool. The edges were slightly distressed later to prevent the bridge from looking too graphic.
Life Painting at the Turkish Delights III drawing workshop hosted by the Gallery Girls. Trying again to keep the “Jaime Jones Vibe” http://www.artpad.org/ by paying attention to each stroke. They started with a careful drawing followed by an attempt at super economical mark making. The downside, 25 minute poses were rarely enough time to make any traction:)… Substantial level adjustments, color adjustments, overlays and soft gradients were added at home.
Life painting of Santa Monica off of Stunt Rd. – 2.5 hrs in the field – The goal here was again a painterly technique, but also to observe how the onset of sunset effects the colors. In this case low lying clouds were blocking the sun near the horizon producing a more reddish light.
Life painting in Zuma Canyon – 3hrs in the field – Again focusing on keeping a more painterly style by using one carefully crafted custom brush designed for painting. The left painting was done first and as the sun was setting another quick sky layer was added with minor color balance changes to the terrain to help it match the sky.
Life painting at the Sunken City in Long Beach 3hrs.
In 1929 a sizeable section of land in the southern tip of San Pedro began to unexplainably slip into the sea. The 600 block of Paseo Del Mar began moving seaward in 1929 and continued to slip until the mid 1930s. Movement was measured as high as 11 inches a day. Due to quick action, all but two of the houses on the seaward side of the street were moved before toppling into the sea. The eastern section of Point Fermin Park was lost and the entire area is very unstable, yet not moving at the present time. Geologists have termed this phenomenon as a “slump” and this area has been featured in many geological studies and books.
1. The first step was to pick a composition that would show as many varied layers of distance as possible.
2. Next a bright textured red-orange base was put down to compliment all the desaturated blues that would be in the scene. On another layer all the major compositional elements were roughly painted in.
3. On a third layer, after making the second layer semi-transparent, solid flat silhouettes of the forground rocks were painted in. Careful attention was paid to the variety and energy of their shapes as well as their realism.
4. The transparency of the previous layer was preserved and a quick wash with a rock textured brush (see Download for brushes) was placed over the rock shapes previously drawn. Light painting and cracks as well as some attention to the direction of the ambient light started to create their forms.
5. A similar technique was applied to the middle and background layers until completion.
6. Generally the goal is to find custom brushes that naturally express the materials in the scene with out literally looking like them.
1. The horizon line is placed usually on the top or bottom third of the picture.
2. Next a quick mess brush marks to get the general colors of the whole image but making sure to include some odd opposite colors to add variety.
3. Ocean detail was added on a layer using squashed and scattered custom brushes and all the pier parts on another layer drawn carefully in perspective with the polygonal lasso tool and corrected along the way
Attempting to make custom brushes for a very simple palm tree. This image had two, one for the leaves and one for the trunk. The custom brushes did the %80 of the work and then last %20 was adding randomness and details.
AND… After a 7 year hiatus from “figure” painting I attended a figure drawing workshop at Jonathan Bickart’s Sculpture Studio. I was going to bring charcoal and keep it super real and then I decided that if I’m going to use photoshop for a living I should us it for everything.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet
Brushes: See brush swatch above. The tip has an irregular
shape (that I stole from someone) and the other important
element of it is that in the Brush Settings/Other Dynamics/Opacity Jitter that you set the Opactiy Jitter to “Pen Pressure” this give you a nice soft brush you can blend with.