Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration

Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration: June 2013

Saturday, 15 June 2013

29 Today!

There's a reason getting older is slightly awesome: receiving books as gifts for your birthday goes from super dull (as a child) to awesome. Thanks to the wonderful Charlene (my P.I.C) and to my folks for these gems! It should also be noted that a little help in the form of an Amazon Wishlist is not a bad thing either ;-) I can't wait to devour these, particularly the books on Rockwell and Leyendecker; I feel like I'm so late to the classical art and illustration party, there's just so much amazing work and fantastic artists to catch up on! (...and Rockwell and Leyendecker are, unsurprisingly, two favourites). Right, onwards to cake and general merriment... well, provided this stomach bug I've had for the past couple of days will play ball.

The Best of Norman Rockwell & J.C Leyendecker
Loomis and 3D Total's Digital Techniques vol 3. Great combo!

Gah, cannot wait to read these two!

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Self Portrait

Post Workshop and getting back into the swing of studies, sketches and learning, I thought I'd push myself before my 29th birthday this Saturday to do something that I've never done before. In the entire time that I have been pursuing art, I have never drawn or painted a self portrait. Partially for the challenge and partially for posterity, I thought I'd have a crack at painting one. My buddy Graham had taken a couple of interesting photos last time we were sat over the Pac-Man table at the pub that I used as reference. It was a strange experience, trying to critically look at an analyze my own face, but I suppose that that is the intended challenge of it! The lighting was a lot of fun to play with, and was interesting to study with latest round of colour theory learning sinking in.

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

First ZBrush Sketch

Inspired by so many amazing demos over the weekend, I thought I'd start looking into ZBrush last night, and here's the result of my first ever doodle (done in a half hour or so). The Pixelogic ZBrush site has so many great resources and tutorials on it, though I think it's going to take a fair bit to get my head around working in 3D!

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Wednesday, 5 June 2013 London Workshop

It's taken a couple of days, but I think I've finally caught up on sleep enough to organize my thoughts on the CA London Workshop from this weekend. First off, I think overall it was a success and that there was a lot to be gained from attending, but that it wasn't without its faults.

First off, some of the highlights. Kekai Kotaki gave a pretty cool painting demo on day one, followed by a very interesting examination of his professional career and advice on breaking in from Jason Felix. There was a launch party session at the Coronet that night, but I skipped it due to being pretty drained from a long week getting ready to head to London. Day two saw a couple more demos, including a session on matte painting by Levi Peteffry and an AMAZING overview of Z-brush (and again a discussion of his career) but the phenomenal Brett Briley. Day two also saw the first life drawing session which was great as Mark 'Taro' Holmes was wandering the crowd giving tips and feedback on life study techniques. Day three then saw the first of the two fundamentals sessions hosted by Jason Manley on colour theory and the elements of design. These were really quite interesting, although it was apparent just how much was trying to be jammed into these sessions. Day three also saw Virgine Bourdin from MPC give a talk about the visual FX process for film which was amazing, as well as further advice on portfolio preparation and submission. Day four saw more art fundamentals with Jason, followed by a brilliant seminar on the legal side of the creative industry led by Jeff Rose. This in itself was worth the price of admission, and led to some interesting insights on IP protection and development (as well as quite a few industry horror stories from Jason!).

Perhaps the stand out sessions from the whole weekend were the inspiring talks from Phil Holland. These ranged from discussion of his career path, through to colour theory in film, cinematography and other core fundamental topics. I came away with pages and pages of notes from his sessions!

However, as I suggested at the start... the event was not without it's faults. Primarily, the event suffered from a somewhat amazing lack of organisation. There was little semblance of a schedule or indication of even who was demonstrating on the various screens broadcast on stage at any one time. Demonstrators cancelled at the last minute (not that this was a major catastrophe, but still a little annoying) and others filled in with seemingly little idea at times of what they were actually planning to do. The venue as well was less than accommodating, keeping us stranded outside for 3hrs on the first day whilst an admin error was rectified. They also stiffed attendees over the bar, and searched our bags for bottles of water (which we had to replace for £2 from the bar!), which was a bit shrewd to say the least.

I'd say the overriding piece of advice that came from all of the discussions and lectures was the importance of flexibility. Approach every opportunity with an open mind and do not be afraid to switch up; to add some 3D alongside your illustration skillset or vice versa. It's amazing how the various specialties overlap and often lead to doors opening further down the line. The second major theme that came out of the weekend was the importance of personal projects... although to the OA crew this will not come as a shocking revelation ;-)

I think one of the things that has left me feeling a little underwhelmed was probably more down to my current position. I hadn't prepared a portfolio, and wasn't really looking for critique or review, as a) I'm in the process of building one and b) have an amazing circle of trust at Oatley Academy. Also, I'm still massively uncertain of what it is I actually want to do in the industry (!). So the emphasis on networking with pros and seeking reviews and critiques was a little bit wasted on me at this time. If this had maybe been a year or two down the line, I'm sure it would have been invaluable!

So all in all a good weekend that wasn't without it's problems, but well worth the trip. I'm now looking forward to keeping in touch with some of the new friends I made whilst there, and more importantly to getting back to painting and drawing :-)

Phil Holland's Colour Theory Lecture

Jeff Rose discussing legal protection of IP

Raphael LaCoste dropping on Skype to discuss Assassin's Creed


Saturday, 1 June 2013 London Workshop: Day One

Well, after a somewhat bumpy start (...standing outside the venue for close to 3hrs), we finally got underway yesterday morning at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle for the 2013 London Workshop. Jason Manley kicked things off with an interesting keynote speech concerning the importance of personal projects, before Kekai Kotaki took to the stage for a 2hr demo. He talked us through his process and answered questions from the floor, after which we took a quick lunch break. From there, Jason Felix gave a great presentation about the artistic journey and flexibility in the entertainment industry, followed by Phil Holland surmising his incredibly impressive career and offering observations from his path through Hollywood. With the delayed start, that pretty much took us up to end of the day, before the party kicked off around 9 (which I bailed on, as I was pretty ruined from a long week and very little sleep!).

Sooo... 3 more days to go, a bunch more demonstrators to talk to and a lot of artists to mingle with... game face on for day 2!
Jason Manley delivering his keynote address

 Introducing the demonstrators

 The art crowd in full mingle mode!

 Kekai Kotaki gearing up to demonstrate on stage

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