Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration

Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration: July 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Oatley Academy UK Meetup #3

Just a quick little update from the weekend - I met up with some of my awesome coursemates at the Oatley Academy for a day of galleries and general London based shenanigans! We of course had to head to the Tate Britain for the Sergeants, Waterhouses, Martins and Turners. Great fun was had all round!

L to R: Dan Edwards, Lauren Morse, Sean Azzopardi, Me, Lauren Scott

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Lunchtime Study July 25th

Here's the a colour study from yesterday lunchtime. Getting back into the swing of these, I'm finding I particularly have to watch saturation when referencing from photos. The shadows, if referenced directly tend to appear washed out, but by boosting the saturation and adding a bit more hue variation (blues, pinks etc of subsurface skin tones) it adds a bit more life back into the painting. Interpretation, rather than direct reference is the key, and the skill that I'm aiming to build with these.

Incidentally, I tend to reference Suicide Girl images when painting these, as I find women a lot harder to paint/draw than men, and I really like painting colourful hair!

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Drink & Draw 2

I just want to take a moment to say a massive 'HI!' to new followers to the blog, and another THANKS to Chris for sharing my tutorial on Twitter. That was awesome. Anyhow, welcome guys!

So the second Drink and Draw night in Bournemouth went off with a bang last night, as we pretty much double our numbers; artists from across a wide spectrum of disciplines came together to chat, jam and, of course, drink beer. It was great fun -- I think we're all eagerly anticipating the next one in 2 weeks time.
The Drink & Draw Crew hard at work!

 In other news, I'm plowing through the last few weeks of lessons in Painting Drama 1, before getting ready to head back through the earlier weeks and really see if I can cement some of this amazing knowledge. Homework assignments are going well, and I'm back onto lunchtime studies (which took a hiatus through June and the first half of the month!), which I'll be sharing as I finish them. I may even get back on the LiveStream and start broadcasting again as well. For now though, here's a pretty quick value study from yesterday, done on toned paper:

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Monday, 22 July 2013

Mecha: Painting Process

The lineart originally started as a marker pen silhouette exploration on a post-it note, that I sadly can't seem to find - it would have been nice to do a side by side! From the thumbnail, I blew the drawing up and printed it at about 10% opacity in blueline onto an 11x17" bristol board, and then set about filling out the various volumes and checking my perspective to create nice tight line art. I worked lightly in 4H, building volumes simply, before adding bevels and curvatures to surfaces to get that pumped up anime look to the mech. When drawing mecha and other mechanical objects, the more technical drawing instruments are your friend, specifically the french curves! Once completed, the artboard was scanned at 400dpi and cleaned up in Photoshop.

The lineart layer was then placed at the top of the stack and set to multiply, and the greyscale under painting was started above a mid grey background layer to flesh out the overall value, structure and lighting of the piece. At this point, the main lighting source was fixed, and cast shadows, form shadows and bounce light were all taken into consideration when describing the volumes. Although a bit long winded, this methodical approach allowed me the chance to explore options and any potential problems that might occur, before I moved on to colour.

Completed value underpainting

After trying a couple of different colour schemes quickly in a separate, low res file (clipping masks and colour layers were particularly useful here!), the palette was picked and flat colours were painted in over the greyscale work using colour and multiply layers.

Colour studies/explorations
Once that was done, the lineart, colour layer and greyscale under painting were merged together, and  the tighter rendering and detailing stage began. Throughout the process, I was flipping my canvas and correcting drafting errors as I found them - a great tip I picked up from class was not to be afraid to change the drawing! If it's not working, it's not working; so just paint it out. With this in mind, I also made a couple of decisions to change the design (particularly the rocket pod, that was bugging me all the way through). During this tightening stage, attention was paid to material properties - particularly to specular highlights and the sorts of metals that were being used. I didn't want to go overly glossy, but wanted to make sure that the metal paneling definitely read as metal. Bounce light was also considered when rendering these, as well as bounced local colour in relections where two panels met.

Base colours added
A stage that's not featured but was pretty important was the reference that I gathered as I went along - I found examples of other mechanical objects, vehicles and paintings that I particularly liked, and then used parts of them as material reference for the different surfaces. I toyed for quite a while with the idea of placing a back graphical outline around the finished mech (as I quite like that comic book style look), but found after a while that it wasn't working and so removed it. Always be free to experiment! That's the beauty of a digital workflow after all!

 Decals designed separately in Illustrator
Towards the end of the painting, I decided some decals and warning stickers would really help sell the design (and also give an indication of scale), so I created an Illustrator file and created a couple of generic warning labels, inspired by jet fighters and heavy machinery. These were then copied across into the PSD and manipulated in place using the warp tool, before being distressed and blended with the overall design so as not to stand out too much.

Finished painting
After that, I pulled the whole thing together with a final detail/tweaks pass, followed by a couple of adjustment layers and a lightly textured background to make the mech pop. A grain layer was also added over the top to add a little more noise and texture, which also acted to unify the image as well.

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Finished Mecha Painting

It's finally finished! I had SOOO much fun painting this, even if I did have to keep reigning myself back in on adding too much detail. I learned an awful lot as ever about materials and reflected local colour which I can't wait to implement in my next painting. I'll be posting a process explanation post shortly, but in the meantime, here's the finished mech!

Click for the hi-res verison

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Sneaky Peek

I've tried to stay away from posting WIP images of paintings, as I've found I tend to change a lot around towards the end of them (all part of the process and all that!) - but this one I can't help myself with. I finished painting the head on this mecha the other night, and have been itching to post it! I've been working on painting/render style and selective incorporation of lineart, as well as trying to apply some of the lighting and colour theory lessons I've learned so far. Charlene's off to Tanzania for the next couple of weeks doing some majorly cool archaeological work, so I'm going to crack on and get this finished in the next couple of days before jumping back into lessons, homework and more painting!

Incidentally, the lineart for this was done probably 18 months or so ago; I didn't really know what to do with it/how to paint it back then, so it's been really quite rewarding to be able to go back to an older piece and think 'Yeah! I can tackle this now!'

Oh, and on a completely UNRELATED note, I saw Pacific Rim last week and it was AAAAMAZING! 

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

1st Bournemouth Drink and Draw Session

The first Bournemouth Drink and Draw session was a ROARING success last night - Artist and designers from all different disciplines and backgrounds came together to network, jam and generally have a bit of a giggle. Absolutely can't wait for the next one! I snapped a couple of pics below, along with a few sketches.

The Bournemouth Drink and Draw crew hard at work!
Jill and Ruby working on a Samurinho!
Ed and Darren jamming

If in doubt: Draw Prime.

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Mecha Sketch

A quick mecha sketch I did on the train to Dungeons and Dragons on Monday, that I cleaned up a bit yesterday. Getting pretty excited for the first Bournemouth Drink & Draw session tonight, will hopefully share some photos and sketches tomorrow.

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Update and Drink & Draw

So... the stomach bug I had around my birthday ended up being food poisoning, that knocked me flat on my @$$ for the best part of 10 days, right in the middle of one of my busiest client work months! So, suffice to say, I'm now rejigging things and am making space to get back on with my studies. More to follow soon.

In the meantime, here are two GREAT artbooks that are now sat lovingly in my collection (the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron book was given to me by my brother for my birthday - LEGEND!); I'm desperately trying to resist reading the Pacific Rim artbook until I've seen the movie!

Pacific Rim & Tranformers: Fall Of Cybertron Art Books
In other news, I'm now armed with a Canon 600D digital SLR, which I've been using on a couple of video shoots for clients to great effect. I've taken to heart what Phil Holland had to say in his talk about improving art by exploring composition in photography. While I have little intention of exploring professional photography, I think I'm going to enjoy having a play over the coming months.

Last and not least - I've set up a Drink & Draw group in Bournemouth! We're set to have our first meeting this Wednesday night, and all the details can be found here.

Right, I'm gonna go grab a coffee! :-)

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