Image via CrunchBase
Hey there everyone! I’m back again with a new video. This time on Concept art, but more specifically character concept art. So first, please view the video, I will add annotations to the video later when youtube lets me so be sure to watch again, then after you watch please read on. Also if you would like to subscribe or add me as a friend on youtube you can find my profile by clicking the page link labeled Youtube or CLICK HERE.
One more thing to keep in mind, this is just my opinion on how I do things etc and please forgive my gramma mistakes.
So the first thing I do is check my settings on my wacom bamboo tablet. The reason being is because sometimes when I update the tablet driver either my settings are reset or there are some bugs with the driver I installed. I set it to almost 100% firm giving me personally the best pen pressure range. It is very close to my intuos settings but not quite as good, though good enough to do the job. For those of you who don’t know, I use to own and Intuos3 but sadly it died, not the manufacturing, it would have lasted years had someone not knocked their drink on my tablet sitting below the table… ahem lets move on.
Once I have my settings at my desired pressure I go straight into painting. In the video you can see that I opened up a sketch that I’ve already drawn. I had planned for the young man’s jewellery to be white but with the pale hair I decided that it would be to hard to see. With the skin, I just started with something soft because I want the character to have a soft look about him, even feminine to a certain extent. As far as the shading goes, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. This is the beauty of concept art. Initially I wanted to do dark and brooding shadow on one side and make him seem like he had two sides to him but as I worked the shadows I realised that it simply didn’t match his personality the more I coloured. This then changed his previous design which landed me at his final look. Just from this colouring alone I was able to finish writing about the characters bio and background storyline.
Next part I want to talk about is the characters eyes. The old version of this character had pale blue eyes but after my many years of figure study and drawing realism and semi-realism I learned that often the best eye colour is one that matches the hair and makes it look more natural or even gentle. I originally had this character with stereotypical ice villain eyes but in the end the more I wrote about the character the more I wanted to steer away from stereotypes and stereotypical designs. This particular character of mine has the longest and most changes that I have ever done to any character that I have ever created to this date! I’ve redesigned him so many times already but now I am genuinely happy with how he looks and that’s something that a lot of people don’t understand about character concept art. It’s all about trial and error and sometimes you have to draw them in the scenes in several designs before you finally come to a character design that you actually like.
Next part I want to share is the black cloak. I made it look wavy like that with the blend or finger tip tool. This particular character is one that dabbles in shadow magic and has a dark aura around him a lot in my story and until now I had not found a particular way that represented that in a style that I liked. Ok so misty can look mysterious but it would block away that pretty face so that’s one reason I ditched that look, the second was most people use that and I want to separate myself a bit from the crowd. The biggest reason was if I were to do it traditionally, it would be a huge mess and once it’s done, it’s done, there’s no turning back. Just another reason why I favour doing my comic’s digitally. Through out all the concept stages of this character this is the first time that the smudge tool has works so successfully on his cloak, but it was through trial and error on previous designs that I was able to get to this final stage and that is something that is really important. A lot of people don’t realise how much work really goes into concept art and how many times you have to draw the same thing over and over before you finally get there so please keep that in mind. I know my video shows it happening instantly but I can garuntee you that this character has been under-construction for a few years now. The main reason a few years was because I kept completing the design instead of sketching or testing out the character by colouring my sketches because I didn’t know how to make concept art properly before. I didn’t know of the trials and errors but I was also
1) Very young
2) I’m a self taught artist
Next part of the video I want to talk about is the headdress or jewellery. I mainly want to talk about colouring it properly and not half-assing it like I did. When I had certain beads shaded and lit with dodge and burn tool, I knew from there alone that I loved how the beads would look if I spend the time necessary on them to make them sparkle. It wouldn’t have taken long to do, because all there is to it is, shade in a crescent moon shape on one side only, then a light dab of light in the unshaded area up top like in the video shown. If you can colour properly quickly, then spend that time on the concept art colouring it right, it makes a world of difference to your decision making as well as making the right decision. After all concept art is basically sketching out your idea and building up that idea till you can find a practical use for it.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Most people know what they want straight away, do up the line art and colour it in and that’s the end of that but for other artist like me with endless stories or epic plots you just have to slow it down and put a lot of work into something so seemingly simple as clothing, hair colour or eye colour. Often I might draw one eye and colour it in 19 different ways until I find the right one but some may see that as pointless work where as I see it as an opportunity to use it later on other designs. Never throw away you concept art or sketches because every little bit can be used again later or for another project! I do it all the time. I often find myself recycling old designs and turning them into bigger and better ones later on in life so try your best to keep that in mind, no matter how ugly it might look to you now I can garuntee, you will find a purpose for it later.
My last bit of advice which is in the video, concept art is an excellent way to practise colouring and maintaining that skill as well as a useful boredom killer!