I've been a bit lax with my blog, of late, but here's one of the many reasons... I've been trying to build up my digital art portfolio, with a view to perhaps one day getting a job in concept art, or at the very least the potential for more freelance art projects.
Anyway, I'm a regular subscriber to the 'Imagine FX' magazine, which is based around the new market for digital artwork. Every month they set a topic for their forum painting competition, the winner of which is often printed in the magazine. Long story short, I thought it was time I finally entered.
The topic for March was 'Chilling'. People created paintings ranging from creepy snow scenes, to scary creatures, to characters relaxing on a warm summer's day. Having recently read a book about UFOs and alien abductions, and re-watching one of my favourite TV series, Dark Skies (based around how history may have been influenced, given the premise that aliens are real), I was inspired to create something around an alien abduction, as I can imagine few things more 'Chilling'.
First of all, I wanted to design my initial composition. Below, you can see how it progressed through a series of small (very) rough ideas, to a marginally more refined sketch with which I could begin work.
Next, I wanted to design the alien creature, and the archetypal 'examination table' and 'probe'. For the alien design, I wanted to create something that tapped into existing imagery, but also try and make something a little different within that. I eventually went for the second design (top right in the image below)
Once those were completed, I started on the painting itself. Because I wanted striking contrasts and subdued colours in this image, I chose to create it in black and white, with the intention of adding colour when it was nearly complete. Below are three images showing the gradual progression.
Finally, I added a few miscellaneous details to imply a dry dusty atmosphere to this alien spacecraft. Along with the carelessly strewn items that are clearly from a variety of abductees, I wanted to imply that these creatures have been taking people for a very long time, almost like programmed machines following a repetitive purpose without knowledge or care for their goal. To complete the painting I added some muted colour, with the most vibrant kept to the victim, to make them the centre of attention and the only item with any 'warmth' in the composition.
I didn't win, but that wasn't really the goal. I've decided to enter these monthly competitions, with the goal of building up my portfolio. So look out for more digital paintings to come!
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