Monday, 30 November 2009

My last Gormenghast image...

After discovering somewhat of a mind opener in my own Artwork recently, I started dreaming up images that I couldn't see before. I have somehow gained back the power to see beyond my own envisionments and understand them more from their "world". I havent thought along these lines for years, so its a good sign as I know it means my confidence and creativity is coming back full swing.

I took the image of Gormenghast that I digitally painted for my finals in our last project and imagined myself climbing up the cliff, and peering over the top. What would I see? Before me was the image of the City blossoming infront of me in all its dark eerie glory.

I have noticed my work has a very Tim Burton feel to it, theres something never quite right about it but it works... it has some kind of elegance in its scratchy, trippy existance.

Enjoy folks


Space studies! - and no I dont mean it in an astronomical sense!

Lets talk about space... enviroments... what makes an area fill with atmosphere?

I beleive the space in which assets are to be depicted within is just as essential to describe an image as the assets themselfs. Overall, lighting, colours, textures and volume of space merge together to create an aura of presence; without these elements mixed correctly an image becomes surreal or without purpose.

There are some Artists who focus on space itself specifically, we was informed on some stand out examples this morning in our lecture.

Here are a few of them:

  • Edward Hopper

In these images you can see different uses to describe space.

In the first image you can see how elements within the space are spread out to aim the viewers focus, whether purposefully or not is not known. The image appears to show a man, working at his desk trying to stay focused, I get the feel that is has been a long day at the office and he's tired. I get the feeling that the woman in the image has been trying to seduce him for a long period of time, using different techniques to try and lure her way in. This picture captures her in the moment of addressing her body language towards him, curving herself, making herself a focal point for the overal image. There is a small peice of paper layed out on the floor, which in the lecture Phil so elegantly put across that it appears purposefully placed for her to bend down and pick up infront of the man at the desk.

In the second image you can clearly see a blank room, a space which isnt being used, which may have been used or is waiting to be used. It is its own neutral presence, emmiting stillness and silence and in turn, quite calming to view. The colour schemes reflect the lighting, the yellows merge together to apply different shading efficiently yet somewhat blandly. This blandness also contrasts how the space is untouched and in a state of wildness. There is no obvious signs of human presence, the only visual living thing in the image is the plant life outside, further adding to its own solitude.

Take care folks!


Invasion of the body snatchers

Wey hey! Well here we are once again, new project, new films, new everything! Apart from me, im getin old... 21 in a weeks time exactly! Good lord... Anyhoo!

The film "Invasion of the body snatchers" is a great example of the classic movie which spawns roots for many other aspiring film makers to come.

The plot of the film is basicaly about the invasion of plant like Aliens taking over a small town, where "seeds" grow into the form of the townsfolk. When the townsfolk fall to sleep their minds are drained and transfered over to their Alien clones, who feel nothing and have no concept for individualism.

This film, as corny as it is due to its age, really works well and only lacks a feel of originality because of the amount of films I have seen in recent years which are based on its concept. All the invasion style films play on the concept of this movie - including zombie movies and bears even resemblance to films such as The Matrix.

I bid ye farewell

Inspiration for Gormenghast Castle

When we were studying concept art I had to find physical visuals which helped give me a basis for creating a fictional enviroment. I didn't have to look far for inspiration whch helped me to visualise the image of Gormenghast Castle.

Near the University of the Creative Arts there is a Castle in the City of Rochester, ironically named "Rochester Castle". It is here the crumbling soul of a former elegant glory towers above the landscape of the City, it is here where I managed to capture a feel for such power. The structure of the Caslte is beautiful, rolling down into the depths of the Earth, set in a calm, still, peacefull enviroment unsettled by time.

I didn't copy the image of the Castle at all, yet I took these characteristics and poured them into my own imager, the Castle gave me a good idea for physical structure as well as allowing me to imagine it within a different enviroment more suited to the project I was immersed in.

This project also helped to open my minds eye a bit more too, to build my confidence in my own artwork. I can close my eyes and see colours merging together again, metamorphisising into shapes and becoming a guide to my paintbrush. As a result I have one more peice of concept art based on Gormenghast to create, I envisioned climbing up the cliffs in my image and peering over the top to reveal a vast landscape of buildings underneath the groaning breadth of the Castle. So keep an eye out for a new picture!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Concept art finals

Here we have my room of roots image. As this room was in my imagination was set within a tower, that had been crumbling away due to damage from the ingrowing tree roots, I set it without a roof.

This is my image of the Castle in the story of Titus Groan. This is my favourite final image, as it has my overal artistic style and feel, with improved skills using a graphics tablet.

This image is of the burning of carvings, in which I have tried to use a different drawing style all together. It appears more childish, however I feel it gives the audience more to play with.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Concept Art using photoshop

This is a simple idea for the loft, with the character menacingly sitting there awaiting his visitor.

This image shows an onlooker looking up at the mighty Castle towering above.

This image is a rough image of the loft, with the character becoming less important than the space, which was the intention.

Here we have the image of the Castle City in Titus Groan, an early developmental image into my style and idea of the structure.

This image is where I was practising the image of fire, for use in other aspects of the Titus Groan extracts.
This image started off well, however when given advice to make the closer objects sharper, I feel the risk of ruining the image came to life.

This image strongly relates to the film Metropolis that we watched earlier in the project.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Concept Art - Titus Groan

Heres some of the random sketches I produced when first coming up with ideas to take to photoshop.


We recently watched the film “Alien”, a film which came out in 1979 and was directed by Ridley Scott. The story itself was written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Together they teamed up to create one of the most iconic Science fiction movies of all time, gracefully presenting doom and destruction through some of the most thrilling, recognisable visuals to date.

The depiction of the planets, the spaceships, the clothes, and the very atmosphere the characters walk upon and of course, the Aliens, is all down to a highly skilled group of concept artists. These artists consist of Ron Cobb, Chris Foss, and Jean Giraud. Also on the team was the Swiss surrealist HR Giger, who created most of the designs for the actual Aliens themselves. Giger was eventually put in charge for the creation of the Alien suit, which we see in the movie. Ron Cobb originally had a different vision for the Aliens appearance, however Ridley Scott agreed that Giger’s Alien captured more of the dark soul that was to be fed into the heart of the film.

The Alien’s home is full of dark, bionic, slithery, tentacle like environments, which help to give off a feel of entrapment and fear. The dripping, living darkness that Giger created engulfs the viewing audience into a totally believable atmosphere that could be real. I noticed that the Alien ship was somewhat damaged, more than likely unable to escape the wrath of the planet it was trapped upon. The distress signal, or warning, that the crew gets in the movie is more than likely there to keep people away from the planet, as we see later in the film they uncover corpses of giant Alien beings which do not look similar to that of the famous Alien design. My presumption then is that these were another Alien race, which have crashed on this planet and wiped out by the dark Aliens we all know and love. It is interesting however how Giger has managed to merge these characters into the ship itself, as if the ship is over growing, mutilating and decaying into a dark grave.

I particularly find Giger’s images to be interesting because he has so much realism and detail in his work, yet the images he produces are so surreal. This contradiction of two different worlds creates a powerful basis for believable subjects which are of fictional depiction.
The images Giger produces for the Alien films are all very dark and lighting plays a vital part of the detail to the images. This helps with the flow of the film, as Ridley Scott and Giger had both agreed that the Alien was never to be fully seen, he was to be hidden away in the shadows to help build tension within the film.

Overall I really like the conceptual art that influenced the visual aspect of the film Alien and im sure it will continue to feel inspirational and contemporary for many years to come.

Edward Scissorhands

Ive not been touched by a film for a long time, but this one really struck a heart string good and proper. The spaced out characters used within this film really help to portray a world of vibrant mockery to the American people, yet used in a way to help portray the “good innocent” image of the public towards the darker, more sinister appearance of Edward himself.

The film blossoms a romance between Edward and Kim, which develops slowly but so obvious before the viewers eyes. Throughout the history of humanity the wisdow of generations was conveyed through fairytales. This tale is no exception, for it is told in magical simplicity, yet has some deep philosophical meanings behind its concept. While Mercilessly debunking the true nature of human beings, this tragic story really tears your heart, and yet it fills it with hope.

That is the truth, and perhaps the only purpose of Art.
Definantly one of Tim Burtons best pieces to date.
Here is some concepts I done based on the movie.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Titus Groan concept art – understanding the imagery and gaining inspiration

I have been presented with the task of creating concept art for three excerpts from the novel “Titus Groan”. Here I am going to talk about some different parts from the excerpt that I plan to create concept art from, that give me the strongest mental images. I am also going to talk about different sources that give me inspiration to go towards my artwork.

Inspirational sources

I have been on the lookout over the past few weeks for things which spark inspiration from other sources of artwork, be it book covers or scenes in films. Here I will name a few and mention in another blog about why they are so influential.

  • Lord of the Rings - Film and mainly Book cover artwork

  • Merlin - TV series run by the BBC

  • Rochester Castle

  • Tim Burton films, in particular the "Corpse Bride"

Excerpt 1: Hall of the bright carvings.

There are several key pieces of imagery that strongly come to mind from this excerpt. Here are the ones that took my attention most and what I will be using to work upon.
I found the description the power that the Castle has over everything else in the land the story is based in to be a really strong, intimidating presence. When I read a couple of lines based around the Castle, I could feel the sinking of my stomach as the image of a towering beast in front of a blood red sky empowers everything underneath its groaning slumber.

As you can see below, I am constructing my conceptual sketches into digital paintings via photoshop. As I create them I will show the developmental stages to each pictures finished product.

Few hours later... ta da! Hall of Bright Carvings.

(LOTS more to be added to this... bear with me... blogspot has a passionate hate for me)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Film review - 9

Howdy all!

Last night I went to watch a film entitled "9". This film is based around the end of humankind once the world has been demolished by a war between man and machine. This film is definantly aimed towards a younger audience, yet has a dark underlying feel shrouding the atmosphere.

The story is based around the Character "9", who is one of a small legion of creations that a Scientist developed to help maintain the human race on Earth. Each creature, of whom is named by a number, is animated to life by peices of the Scientists soul.

The number 9 awakens, to find himself somewhat lost. On his search he encounters others of his kind, who all follow the rules of the dominating leader "1". The character of "1" actually turns out to become a feeble, weak, shallow soul who probably reflects the Scientists unconfident, self masking nature. Perhaps the Scientist had a need to "hide" himself in some form or another, away from society, yet still beleive he was right with what he beleived in. Perhaps this reflects his experiments with the human soul?

The story begins with 9 awakening to find himself in a wasteland of what was the world we know of after the aforementioned war between humans and machines. On his search of his newfound world, he encounters another of his kind named "2". The two attempt to communicate with each other, however, 9 has no voice. The constructive abilities of 2 help to peice together a voice box for 9 from using scraps of broken toys and radios in the surrounding area. This probably shows how 2 is created from the Scientists Scientific/Constructive mindset. After this presice moment of self realisation, the two new found counterparts are flung into an action packed epic when a "beast" like machine storms into the scene.

The beast takes 2 away, as a result setting up the motive for the next part of the film. 9 awakes to be being treated by others of his kind, who end up on an epic quest to find their freind 2. This further ends up corrupting the path of the storyline, aiming the motive of the story being hero based to then becoming a dark curious quest about the world the creatures live in.

This film is full of dark, emotional yet still heart warming twists. I found that they managed to capture emotion VERY well within the CG characters, the motion of their bodies to the surrounding enviroments and gestures being some of the best ive seen in such a film. The CG work itself at times, especially with the enviroments is very photo realistic. Once again the one set of characters I feel visually ruin the film would be the humans, even though not shown much they feel the most "Cartoony" of all. The small details on the characters, the lighting, the textures - very well depicted by the artists behind the scenes.

Overall, this film, as childish as its undertone is, it is fit for viewing by all. The storyline, could be somewhat stronger, but I mostly enjoyed how the characters and enviroments were portrayed through the stunning work of the CG artists. Some of the enviroments were very good insperation for my conceptual art project based on Titus Groan. If you enjoy good CG work, go see this film!

Take care fellow bloggers.
Concept art coming soon!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009