Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration

Tom Parrish Concept Art and Illustration: October 2013

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Female Figure Study

Just enough time before October's up to squeeze in another post - this time a value study, done from photo reference. I set myself the challenge of painting one my weakest areas (the female figure) from a tough angle, whilst trying to maintain the mood of the pose. I've been really inspired by the Gil Elvgren book that I've been reading, so I've decided to tackle this weakness head on... so more studies & master studies to follow!

Reference taken from

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

We're back!

Getting back up and running today after an awesome week off in Rhodes, soaking up sun, sketching and of course drinking plenty of lovely Mythos beer! I spent a good amount of time plotting and scheming both for my project and for portfolio pieces over the next couple of months, which was really great - I have, in the wonderful words of the immortal Baldrick, a cunning plan. More to follow! In the meantime, here's a mech sketch I did by the pool on grey pastel paper with watercolour pencils. I really enjoyed experimenting with this setup, I definitely think I'll be doing more soon.

Mecha watercolour pencil sketch
Lovely, lovely, frosty Mythos!

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Monday, 14 October 2013

Megatron Process

Before I started, I had a pretty strong idea of what I wanted to do with the pose and colour in this painting. The first step as ever was to put together a small thumbnail sketch, that I then worked back and forth between hand drawn revisions and photoshop tweaks. This is where having a scanner/printer setup comes in handy, as I could print out light perspective grid lines along with a sketch rough, before tightening up a pencil sketch. I also did a couple of form studies of both Megatron and Lazerbeak, to make sure I understood how they would work together.

After the prelims, I actually went back in and cut up the drawing in Photoshop, before recomposing and printing out again as a light rough, as I wasn't happy with the gesture and weight in the pose.

From here, I scanned the finished lineart in at 400dpi, and saved a copy. Then, I dropped the res right down to 1000x1500px, and set the lineart to multiply and began work on a colour comp. Already having a good idea of what I wanted to achieve, I found I only needed to do the one, before I moved on to the final painting. At this point, I blew the image back up to 4000x6000px and started to paint (I wasn't worried about artefacting or lost res really, as I was painting over it all anyway!). I can't emphasize enough how useful the comp stage was, as it allowed me to get all of the 'working out' of the lighting and colour placement done early on, so there were fewer surprises and challenges in the later stages. From there, I set to painting the finished piece the same way I always do - 2-3 layers at most, painting with a chalk tipped brush.

Finished Painting

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Sunday, 13 October 2013


Here's the finished Megatron and Lazerbeak painting that I've been working on for the past week. I've felt more confident with using colour and light with each painting, and I really enjoyed working on this one. I had a very strong idea of what I wanted to do lighting wise with this, so I only ended up doing one colour comp to really explore the atmospheric lighting, before diving into the main painting. The great thing about the comp process was, as ever, that all the 'questions' were answered before the main painting started, so the rendering process was a much quicker/more peaceful affair than it usually is.

I've got some WIP bits to post from this that I'll put up this week. In other news, Wacom have FINALLY dispatched my replacement Cintiq, which should be here tomorrow. Oh, and in official countdown mode to my first holiday in 3-4 years -- Off to Rhodes on Wednesday! Woohoo!

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Megatron Lineart

Here's the finished lineart for the megatron painting I'm currently gearing up for. I've also posted below the original thumbnail and the half size rough that I worked on, before blowing up the artwork to 11x17 and lightboxing it onto bristol board. More to follow!

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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cintiq Down and more Art Books!

It's been a little bit of a rollercoaster week here in the studio, as my Wacom Cintiq 24HD decided to die in the midst of a large amount of design work that arrived at short notice. Needless to say, it's under warranty and the guys at Wacom Support have been really helpful so far, but I'm going to have to ship it back to Germany and wait for a replacement. Apparently they've identified the issue as a 'blacklight fault' which seems to be one of the more common occurrences with the 24HDs. Sad times! The worst part is of course that I'm itching to paint and am struggling to adapt to painting on a tablet again. Oh well!

In the meantime, a couple of books arrived this morning, most notably Alla Prima - THE definitive book on painting. It's finally been reprinted, and I cannot wait to devour this. I also picked up a Gil Elvgren pin up artbook, which is chock full of some absolutely gorgeous paintings.


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