Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Digital Painting - "Let this be a dream..."

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!

All work is the © copyright of W.D.Lee and/or the respective companies, individuals or organisations to which the work is related. No infringement is intentional. No reproduction or copying is permitted without express permission.

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