Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Blogger: ERIC DESCHAMPS


Hello. I am incredibly excited to be here on Muddy Colors and share a little of what I do. As a freelance illustrator and concept artist, I spend most of my time creating game art as well as character concept art for video games.


Since much of this blog is dedicated to traditional painters, I thought I would talk about my process as a digital artist. As I began to look through my artwork trying to find examples that best portray my method, I found myself eliminating a good deal of potential examples. I judged them not good instances of what I felt was indicative of my process. I hadn’t realized how much it varied from painting to painting, especially at the start. That is where most of my experimenting occurs. I approach each problem differently based on the assignment and also by mood.  These are some various approaches I have used in recent projects.
One comfortable starting point for me is using large positive and negative shapes. I use chunky opaque brushes to carve out silhouettes. This works especially well for complex commissions because I concentrate on the overall concept and composition, and avoid getting lost in details. I usually begin with three values: one dark, one light and the mid-toned “canvas." Once I am happy with a thumbnail, I hone in on the details.





Another starting point is the line drawing. Usually it is a simpler composition where I already have a solid idea in mind. After a few loose thumbnails I dive into a tight line drawing (at least tight for me). I paint my basic values underneath the line drawing, flatten it and paint the finish on top. This approach feels most traditional to me.






Recently, I experimented by using a photo of myself in what I thought might be a good pose and then heavily manipulated it and painted over it. Once I found what I was looking for, nothing of the original pose remained. It kind of felt like building with clay. Now that I had a solid direction, I went and took a new photo reference to help inform the new pose and lighting scheme. The end result was quite a bit different from what I imagined when I first got in front of the camera. This process was an instance where I had only a vague vision of want I wanted for the piece at the start and used photo-manipulation as inspiration.



Lastly, another approach was for a series of five ‘Magic: the Gathering’ artificers. I decided to thumbnail, sketch and paint all five on the same page, going back and forth between them tag team style. It was a lot of fun seeing them evolve next to each other. I just don’t think I could have logistically done this had I not been working digitally. I kept it going as long as possible until the file size just got too unruly and I had to separate them out to put the final touches on.



 











Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share with the group.

***A Note From Dan***
Eric has put together a phenomenal video capturing the creation of his 'Vesner' painting. Unfortunately, Blogger resizes large videos, and as a result, you miss all the cool details. So instead, please be sure to click the link below and watch this awesome video in all it's glory.

9 comments:

  1. AWESOME post, Eric! So much variety in a straight forward introduction. Thanks for adding the link, Dan! The video is killer.

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  2. Thanks Eric and its great to see your work up here. Always an inspiration.

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  3. Great post Eric! It's cool to hear how each piece is arrived at from different methods.

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  4. I love looking into other's process, it really helps me build up my own creative process!

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  5. This is just what I needed Eric! I've got a huge job right now and I needed some inspiration to keep me going. This post definitely did the trick. Thanks for sharing. Totally love those last 5 pieces by the way. :-)

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  6. Hey Eric, thanks for guest blogging! I bet working on 5 pieces simultaneously helps make sure that you avoid falling into repitition; you know how one can go to the same pose or pallette subconciously.

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  7. Eric thank you for your awesome work! If I may ask since you work digitally do you first thumbnail your work in pencil or on the computer?

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  8. Thanks everyone! I am glad it was helpful in at least some small way.

    The last poster asked about thumbnails: I do both. Sometimes I'll print out an email with notes about the assignment and do pencil thumbnails in the empty space around the email. Other times I do them right in the computer. Kind of goes in waves.

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