dusting ff the cobwebs..update 20 Dec 09

EDIT More stuff on 3rd page! EDIT.

Just dusting off the concept skills again… haven’t done any serious 2d in about 6 months…

This is a WIP, but i’m focusing on other things for now(3d)… thought i’d post it “as is” as it’ll be a while 'til I do more…

It’s a crash site with a “facility” built around it to investigate…just for fun.
All painted in gimp, pretty much with a hard round brush at 80% opaque, a small amount of smudge tool … simple!


Nice color use, the warm area really draws the eye. Perhaps add more strategically to lead the eye all over the piece? Maybe not tho, the depth of it adds that motion. Nice job

Beautiful sketch, I love that style for landscape concepts. Could you give me any tips on how you achieve it?

I will tease you... NOT!

But good sketch, I some how recall your style some where, Movie/Game am not sure?..


This is so neat a real feast for the imagination.

Thanks everyone!

Sick, … here’s some tips best I can: (tricky in a mail)

Try blocking in large forms, just use a “round brush” 80% opaque…
Always block in the whole thing at once rather than concentrating in an area

You can add broad areas of light or shadow by adding a layer and pretty much painting black or white over the canvas you don’t need to be precious about it!.. then you can experiment with the different layer blends or the layer transparency to control how intense you want it to be… I usually use “normal” or “multiply” for shadows, be careful with the second though, it can change the contrast too much.

Sometimes I’ll block out in black and white… then tint with either “multiply” or “colour” or “overlay”.
In this case I find that black and white is too harsh, so will usually reduce the contast and brightness of the whole image… I’ll paint the full dynamic range in again later.

Add a radial gradient can help,

sometimes just pasting another random painting over the top can add interest and variation to the colour (low opacity and probably overlay mode)

DO NOT be afraid or timid… If you’re good enough to paint it once you’re good enough to paint it again!
It can be good practice to ignore layers entirely (or to get into the habit of flattening the image often.)

Be very sparing with pure white or pure black paint in the final image, they can kill your dynamic range (ironically)

Be aware that the areas of highest contrast in the image will draw the eye first so be careful!

Last tips, use curves or layers, huesaturation etc to colour balance the image at the end, and “sharpen” can really enhance the brush strokes form the round brush (it acts almost like “edge detect”) and can really toughen up the image and make it punch…


(from another who dealt with that kindof stuff)

Thanks a lot Michael!

I understand the tricky part about explaining how you paint with words, but I guess I’ve got the idea.
That’s some really helpful tips, I’ve already got used to work with one layer, but, on the other hand, never thought about using ‘sharpen’ filter. I’ve already tried it in some old sketches and I’m very glad with the outcome.

I hope I’m not asking too much (and going too much off-topic), but, can you elaborate on the dynamic range thing a bit more?
I’ve read about it lately, specially while reading about tone mapping in indigo; but I feel more lost than before…

Glad you like it Extrudeface!

Sick, when I’m talking about dynamic range, just picture it like this,

if the image had a big spread of tonal values from black to white with lots of stages in between it’s using the full range of the colours or tones available…

an image with less dynamic range might go from a mid grey to light grey tonally… it may look washed out…

filters like “levels” when used in “auto” mode basically take the darkest tonal value in the image and make it black and take the lightest tonal value and make it white, scaling all the “in between values” appropriately.

Depending on the source image this may look better or worse… the idea though is that an image with a nice balance of differing tones will be enhanced by this scaling…

As long as you end up with a pleasing balance of tones that divide the canvas into good shapes and areas then it’s ok…

If you block in large areas of black and leave large areas white you don’t really have anywhere to go though, hence reducing the the range of the image to mid grey to light grey by lowering the brightness and contrast will then allow you to "paint in " more details within the previously black or white areas…

hope that explains it…

If you want to learn about this for rendering though get a photography book and research exposure…

on a sunny day you can take a photo that might capture the sky beautifully, but the landmass is almost black and you can’t see much… you could probably take the same shot capturing the landmass nicely but the sky will be blown out to white… Which is better? depends what you were trying to do…

Signing off, I’m away to ireland for a week, so apologies if I don’t reply if you post again!

wow, beautiful sketch…

I really like the style. I wish I could do that kind of thing.

Wow it looks great, I can’t help but think I’ve seen this style before, but I have no idea where. Great painting.

Really great piece. Thanks for the tips. A lot of those tips I’ve heard before but it is good to re-enforce the concepts.

Yeah, it’s a pretty common style, a hybrid of watercolour/acrylic technique in real life but taking advantage of the computer too…

linuxpimp21 Really great piece. Thanks for the tips. A lot of those tips I’ve heard before but it is good to re-enforce the concepts.
It’s funny,
the more and more i draw and paint the better I get (hope that continues!) but in terms of technique and “tips” I’m not really doing anything I haven’t heard of before or “known” for a long time… I think it’s just that the more you do the “better” you apply those concepts.

I’ve just been checking out some of the work done at “massive black”

Especially a couple near the far right ofthis page
it really makes me want to spend longer on pieces and go “deeper”… All too often I stop painting when large areas should be a bit more resolved!

Here’s another image I did last night… early, as it’s only a couple of hours work, but I’m pleased with the palette so far…

“pencilled” in My paint using the charcoal brush, painted in gimp.


Ohh, I think the dust IS off your concept skills !

I like this one more, maybe do-to other view point of the first you did.

The only thing I feel is missed out is something/person for scale. but you got away with it also with no one there for scale.

Overall this is good.

Rate. (I Did before!)

Thanks Fahassani!

Here’s another with a figure for scale… As the picture developed I’m not sure the camel is appropriate anymore…


I love the new paintings. How long does it take you on average to do one?

Tough to answer!..

I do a lot of sketches to this level: (10-20 minutes of work)


It’s really just “notes to self” stuff.
80-90% of these go no further…

Then I’ll block in and just keep working it… The ones in this thread vary from 2-6 hours in what you see.

A friend of mine pointed out that I’m too happy to leave stuff un-resolved that should be much defined… he said I’m trading too much on how quickly these are knocked out and has challenged me to spend a week or a month on a single piece…

I think I’d really learn something doing that… that seems to be “entry level” amounts of time for my 3d work… I’d like to see what that’d be like on one painting!

now were talking!

this is great, just add more information to it and the Art director will be happy! ( if your in a movie that is)

Cool Mood, come think of it, Go for this one , compete it and shot it! to CG-talk or conceptart.org… your call…

And Dude, Sing it … no really Sing it