Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration

Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration

Friday, 20 June 2014

Big Mick

I managed to restrain myself as I got into colouring this piece and avoid disappearing down the detail rabbit hole that I invariably get drawn towards once I get into a painting. I saved some WIPs and tried a couple of different techniques here to blend comic colouring and painting workflows that I'd be happy to share if anyone's interested in a lil tutorial write up. Needless to say, a character for a project I'm working on...more to follow!

Have a great weekend guys :-)

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sneaky DMJ Mech WIP

Two blog posts in one day?? The madness!

Here's a little WIP pic of a mech I sketched last night for a project I'm working on. I'm experimenting with style here - So far I've just prepped the lines, created the shadow and added a bit of a grad map and bloom, but it's creating some interesting results. Will post more as I colour!

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Birthday Thank You

I celebrated my 30th birthday this passing weekend and had a truly wonderful time. My friends and family all made me feel tremendously loved and I wanted to just share a thank you card I posted up on Facebook to them all yesterday!

I was really lucky as well to receive a couple of amazing new art books to devour, and am going to now be attending the Pixar Masterclass in London at The Natural History Museum in London. 3 days of training and seminars... I can't wait!

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Friday, 13 June 2014

AJ Kitbash Tutorial Review

Boy, it's been pretty quiet around these parts for the last month! I'm still working hard on a lot of work I can't share, but I'm finally starting to claw back a bit of time to start working on personal development stuff again, as well as focus on goal setting for the next 6-12 months.

I recently purchased (at the recommendation of the wonderful Sam Hogg) several of Anthony Jones' video tutorials on concept art workflow. This is very different to the sort of training covered at The Oatley Academy, which is predominantly focused on building strong fundamentals and visual storytelling. Generally speaking, I've shied away from studying speed techniques, as I concentrated on building my understanding of form, lighting, composition and colour. That said, having spent the past several months in fundamental mode it felt pretty good to switch it up and build upon that knowledge with some more technique focused tutorials.

The first video up was Kitbashing Your Own Paintings - a process that I'd only ever heard talked about before, but had not really seen in action. Provided as a 55 minute demo, along with all of the source files and brushes, the tutorial covers the entire process of producing a rapid concept to quickly and concisely articulate an idea to an art director.

Itching to put this newly learned knowledge into action, I jumped straight in. Here's a WIP of a robot sketch I did using Anthony's kitbashing techniques, totaling about 60 mins work so far.

As well as a real time video demonstration and source files, Anthony guides you through the thought process behind the decisions he makes, along with sharing useful shortcuts, tips and tricks on how to save time on repetitive tasks. I thought I was pretty hot on using Photoshop, but even I picked up some valuable new ideas!

It's been a really interesting exercise, and well worth the watch - I can't wait to buy the next videos as they're released, as for a $5 a pop they are an absolute STEAL. Head over here to check out the rest of Anthony's great videos.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Wacom Hacks: Intuos Pen Wide Grip

I've always really wanted to use the wide bodied grip that is supplied as an accessory with the Intuos 4 grip pen. The problem I've had with it though is the lack of pen buttons. The absence of them has meant that every time I tried the wide grip, I'd invariably revert to the standard grip because I rely upon them so much.

However, after a bit of plotting and scheming it turns out there's a relatively easy hack to fix this.

Using a sharp scalpel/xacto knife blade, cut the shape of the button from the rubber grip. With a little tweaking and trimming (a gentle sawing motion works best as it's a springy material), the button will fit back inside the grip and still move freely (make sure to test this before you move on to the next step).

1. Cut a hole for the button with a sharp knife.

2. Trim to allow for the button to sit within and click freely.

3. Check the button fits!
There are now two options: 1. Glue the removed piece of grip back over the button to make it sit proud of the pen, or... Use Sugru! I've been waiting for months to find an excuse to use some Sugru for a project, and this seemed like a perfect fit. Simply sculpt an extension to the button with a salpel blade (taking care to make sure it doesn't stick to the rest of the grip) and set it to cure overnight.

Option 1 - glue trimmed grip back on.

With a little luck, it should look something like this:

You've now got the combined functionality of the standard setup, with the comfort of the chunkier grip. Stay tuned for more Wacom Hacks and ideas on to how improve your digital art workflow!

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wacom Hacks: Audio Patch Lead

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks working on not one, but two super secret projects. I have, however, been keeping up with my studies and am closing in on finishing my final PD2 painting which I'm looking forward to sharing soon.

What I am going to do in the absence of painting WIPs for the moment though, is kick off a mini series of workspace tips, tricks and hacks. I’m always really interested in how the digital workflow can be optimised and streamlined to remove as much of the obstacle that the computer can present. So with that in mind, here’s the first Wacom Hack:

Audio Patch Lead on the Wacom Cintiq 24HD

I always listen to music when I’m working on a painting. More often than not, I have my machine moved up above the Cintiq, which will mean I’m having to tuck the headphone lead either under or around it.

This drives me CRAZY!

Using a couple of velcro tie wraps that I picked up from Maplin, along with the existing cable conduit that I use to tidy the leads of the Cintiq, I’ve added a 3m 3.5mm audio lead extension to my Cintiq. This runs alongside the USB lead all the way into the back of the iMac neatly, and means that no matter what position I have the Cintiq in, my headphones are easy to plug in/unplug, and don’t get tangled. Simple, but very effective!

Even in the up position, it doesn't interfere with the movement of the Cintiq
A great way to ensure nothing gets caught up or unplugged when switching modes.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Painting Drama 2

 "I am no longer scared of colour"

Well the dust is finally settling after 3 epic months of Painting Drama 2. It has been an amazing period of growth, filled with the necessary combination of frustration and elation.

Over the course of 12 weeks, we explored the theoretical aspects of colour, light and atmosphere, as well as diving into their implications and uses in constructing immersive dramatic images. From there, we spent several weeks discussing and experimenting with different types of palettes before focusing in on more personal struggles on an individual level.


Although it was a considerable amount of hard work (15hrs+ assignments a week), I feel I can now confidently say that I am no longer scared of using colour. In fact, I now feel equipped to answer the questions that working with colour in a composition throws up. Before I started on PD2, I would tiptoe around the concept of colour, and would try to fudge my way through a painting, figuring it out as I went. I would look at other artist's uses of colour in paintings and marvel at how they had such control...and would wonder endlessly (or perhaps more 'aimlessly') as to how they did it. Post PD2 though, I can now visualise and construct palettes with greater confidence, knowing what tools to use to manage the hues within the composition to achieve the desired effects, in a controlled manner. The paint is still drying, mentally (if you'll pardon the expression), but it definitely feels like there has been another noticeable mental shift, much in the same way as there was in the wake of Painting Drama 1.

 I'm still working on my final assignment for the class, which I'll post here (along with the WIPs) as soon as it's finished. I'll also be heading back to a couple of the assignments we completed to rework pieces that I felt were successful. For now, it's a case of getting some mileage under the belt and really grooving a lot of the concepts and processes from class, before heading onwards and upwards to CTNX portfolio preparation.

In the meantime though, I've got a couple of NDA projects on the go, a Game Jam at the end of the month to prep for and a whole host of new articles in the pipeline for next few months. So in the words of Samuel L in Jurassic Park: 'hold onto your butts!'