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EYE ON TALENT LXX: OLIVER RYAN

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 24, 2017, 9:02 AM


:iconoliverryanart:

Professional Digital Artist
Location: UK
Community member: 7 years
oliverryanart.blogspot.co.uk/



Cabin by oliverryanart
Lily Ruins by oliverryanart
Environment illustration by oliverryanart
old kings by oliverryanart
derelict by oliverryanart
Archipelago by oliverryanart
rocks again by oliverryanart



If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features



Skin by SimplySilent

THE NEXT BIG THING #87

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 8:53 AM


The Next Big Thing seeks to highlight and bring recognition to the outstanding talent on DA who are poised to become the next community luminaries.





vurdeM

Portrait of Astrid Berges Frisbey /D.dream by vurdeM
Study by vurdeM
Marks by vurdeM





Gabriel-BS

Living Streets by Gabriel-BS
Exploration of an Old World by Gabriel-BS
Remainder of the Forgotten by Gabriel-BS





Ysvyri

Pathfinder by Ysvyri
Nokken by Ysvyri
Hidden Things by Ysvyri





JakeKalbhenn

Warp Digivolve by JakeKalbhenn
Bee and PuppyCats Cosmic Tendrils by JakeKalbhenn
Disco Prince by JakeKalbhenn



Help support the featured artists by taking the time to :+fav: this journal and keep :+devwatch: on their portfolios!



*PREVIOUS VOLUMES*

*THE NEXT BIG INTERVIEWS*




Decoding Daily Deviations: Dracit

Wed Apr 19, 2017, 10:53 AM









Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"




FEATURED ART: Dracit by TyphonArt
DD DATE: 2016-11-21


Dracit by TyphonArt



Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  


Actually, yes. The idea is not fully mine -- the whole character is based on a really short and simplified description given by Sławomir Mietła, who is creating a new paper rpg system called Amfisbena RPG. The description basically said Dracits are supposed to be old, red-skinned men with some green feathers, and a lot of jewelery. And with the ability to morph into a giant red parrot or a bonfire. But still, a description is only a description, it could have been done in thousands of different ways. Personally I thought the feathers were not really needed (they just did not fit to the illustration). So there were some frames of how the design might look, but it was open enough to experiment with it. Working with Sławek is really pleasant, since he is really open-minded for ideas and different solutions. Very often the description might seem cool, but illustrated it just looks dumb."


“Dracit” features an exceptionally creepy character. Please, outline your painting process and how you achieved this memorable character design. 


PROCESS GIF




It all started with some rough sketches. Before jumping into actually sketching the whole character, I began with doing research and gathering references. It mainly contained some red parrots, old, skinny Asian farmers (mainly because of lean, but strong muscle structure), and some oriental jewellery.


Then I sketched some thumbnails, just to establish overall composition, but unfortunately I don't have a file with these sketches.  After doing lineart, I tend to block the main shapes first, and then render all of it bit by bit. I prefer working with black & white values first, then adding colour, while working on a piece from imagination. Basically every element here is on different layer, to keep the edges sharp and to not confuse myself while working on it.


Usually making black and white blockout with some basic rendering for me is the "hardest" part of painting. I believe strong, and readable values are one of the more important parts of an illustration. As you can see, I worked on jewellery in B&W too, because I had no idea how to paint gold and what shade of gold I wanted to achieve to make it look good. Jewellery was on different layer, so I had no problem with colouring it. The description also mentioned about Dracit having some pyramidal horns. And, I forgot to mention, Dracits are created by the power of ancient artifacts, which I took as the main theme for the storytelling. I had in mind that I want him to hold his artifact in hand (the golden, spinning pyramids), and to make it be something like a phylactery is for liches. Artifact destroyed means Dracit is 100% dead.





And quite before painting the whole jewellery stuff and detailing the B&W painting, I tried doing some quick color/light compositions, to know more or less what I'm aiming for. The result was mixing a bit the second with the third one. Also here you can see the remnants of the green feathers he was supposed to have. I just really did not feel like adding green to a mostly red/blue toned painting, so I decided to remove them.






Then I slowly started building up the colours on top of the B&W painting. Usually I use overlay/soft light/hardlight/colour layer blending modes. I like how building up colours really allows me to decide where I want different hues and saturations. It also kind of adds an element of randomness -- many times a colorful stroke with color dynamics, set to a certain blending mode, create an effect I believe I wouldn't be able to paint by hand in a reasonable amount of time. It also allows me to create a texture on a character, like all these spots and stains on the face.


I also tried making him blue, just to see how it would work, but I rejected it since it was not really fitting into the idea of morphing into a red parrot and bonfire.


From then on, it was just chilling and rendering. The hardest part was already done now and all I had to do was to force my brain into generating colours, textures and everything. I think I like this part most, it's just really pleasant to paint and see it coming together. Here you can see I decided to make his horns gold on top. I had already figured out I need to somehow connect him to his artifact -- just some negative shapes. I felt it was a nice idea to make the Dracit complete with these pyramids. I kept the jewellery turned off on different layers to not confuse myself while rendering the main volumes. I tend to work from the general to the specific.






At this point I believe I was kind of out of power for rendering. I felt like I needed a day off with it, to restart my brain and refresh eyes, to notice some mistakes and stupid errors. Also I sent it to some of my friends to ask them about their opinions and posted it on the Level Up! group, just to know what people thought about it. I got a lot of likes but nothing really helpful, as it happens. But a friend of mine, Jakub Fajtanowski, suggested some nice things and pointed some minor mistakes.


At this stage I also had some doubts about the overall color scheme, so I tried doing it once again. The first version won the competition. After a day off, I had fresh power to keep rendering, so it went pretty quickly from then on. After about two hours I got to this stage, signed it, and wanted to post it everywhere, but then I remembered the part about turning into the bonfire was not really visible.






So I was like 'woho fire burn it'. And I painted fire, and used photoshop magic to make it more realistic, since I prefer more real-based rendered paintings. Design-wise, I forgot to mention I decided to go with glowing eyes that are burning because it looked cool, and old long hairs because it looks creepy (I think there was something in description about hairs). The background was supposed to be a little bit mysterious, yet dangerous. So spooky trees and some sort of a mysterious architecture in a background, just to force the viewer to imagine a story for the environment."


Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could? 


Yeah, a lot. I just really like to solve problems while painting, so I treat it like a fun challenge. If I succeed, good, if I don't, I try once again. Like the popular videos said, which I greatly recommend:





:D 
I tend to have a really high morale while painting and designing, and when I feel morale is getting low and I start being angry or I don't feel the joy while painting, I just go out with friends to reset my mind and attitude.

And now I would not remove the feathers. I kind of feel like I skipped the challenging part with feathers and searched for an excuse to not paint them."


What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future? 


If something does not look good for you, it won't look good for others. So try reworking it to the point when you think it looks OK, but just can't make it better at the moment. It fits to this "Finished not perfect" idea. Or just stop bitching, work on your skills and enjoy it; you are in a field where you paint monsters and other cool stuff for a living; there is no place to be sad with this scenario :P"


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next? 


It was a nice feeling. It somehow gave me hope and boosted my attitude. It's good to know people really like the stuff I'm making and that I'm able to make something that's worth DD!"


Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA?


From :iconziques: : 'Sits next to random bonfire in hopes to save my progress*
Loses all progress*'"



Special thanks to TyphonArt for kindly consenting to the interview!

Visit his gallery for more awesome paintings: 

Earth Elemental by TyphonArt Death Covenant Guardians by TyphonArt




Previous Decoding DDs:

Dead End
Wizard and a Goose
Twilight Enchantment
Bewitched and Betrayed
Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!


















Beauties 8

Sun Apr 16, 2017, 8:36 AM


I'm doing things a little differently this time and showcasing the work of just one artist  -- Vetyr -- whose gallery is filled with lovely , stylistic portraits. Enjoy, and go support the artist here and on Tumblr!





EYE ON TALENT LXIX: Aleksander Karcz

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 10, 2017, 6:08 AM


:iconaleksanderkarcz:

Varied Artist
Location: Poland
Community member: 4 years
www.artstation.com/artist/alek…


Halfling Bounder by AleksanderKarcz
Husarz by AleksanderKarcz
Hajducy by AleksanderKarcz
Tycho Nestoris by AleksanderKarcz
Naomi Watt by AleksanderKarcz
Hugh Jackal by AleksanderKarcz
Thirsty by AleksanderKarcz



If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features



Skin by SimplySilent

Decoding Daily Deviations: Dead End

Fri Apr 7, 2017, 8:15 AM









Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"





FEATURED ART: Dead End by Najeeb-Alnajjar
DD DATE: 2017-01-10
TIME SPENT: Over a month divided into separate hours
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Sketchup, Vray and Photoshop


Dead End by Najeeb-Alnajjar



Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  


I was always a fan of dark pieces that come with slight lights, car reflections, a little bit of fog accompanied with rainy weather, captured in a small and narrow alley. I've always wanted to try it and see if I can manage to do it well. At the time I was inspired by a lot of pieces that I cannot recall now."


Dead End showcases realistic surroundings with a palpable mood of suspense and tension. Please, discuss your creative process and the techniques involved with incorporating so many details.


The process was a bit gradual: I started with rough boxes inside the "Sketchup" software, setting up my camera angle and the overall scene. I didn't spend much time modeling everything because all I wanted were some guidelines so I could underlay my painting with. I did use the "Vray" render engine so I could see where my lights cast and adjust everything accordingly."



PROCESS

 
 
 


Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could? 


As a matter of fact, I did, I really struggled a lot with this particular image. Due to the war that was waged upon our country, there was no electricity or internet, and I had to recharge my laptop in a store and go back to work with it. So it took me time and effort to come up with the way it looks now. I'm still in love with this piece; it taught me patience and determination. It also imprinted some special moods I used to be in, but I guess that's what makes it the way it looks. I spent over a month, two hours a day, tweaking and doing heavy painting as fast as I could before my laptop battery died. Also, I had to be careful where I should add more light or dim some. I've come to believe that what takes time in any artwork is trying to figure out what to add or what to take from a piece rather than just working on it."


Whats one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future? 


Practice is the key factor, lots of work and many attempts even if you fail with any piece. Also, don't force yourself or feel obliged to finish up an artwork when your mood is running out of energy that may affect the quality of your work. It's also good to keep any piece of work down for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh eye so you can spot what's wrong, if anything."


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next? 


I loved it, seriously. It feels amazing to have another DD in 3 years, almost. I felt energetic again to keep doing some crazy stuff no matter what it takes. I always believed that good work has its own shine and positive interaction. Quality matters!"
 


Thanks to Najeeb-Alnajjar for kindly consenting to the interview!

Make sure to visit his gallery for more great pieces: 

Bar by Najeeb-Alnajjar Drought by Najeeb-Alnajjar










THE NEXT BIG THING #86

Thu Apr 6, 2017, 8:01 AM


The Next Big Thing seeks to highlight and bring recognition to the outstanding talent on DA who are poised to become the next community luminaries.





 
ThirdheiR

Cravings by ThirdheiR
yoru part ee by ThirdheiR
I Know Someday My Coat Will Turn Grey by ThirdheiR





Warmics

Elven Prayer by Warmics
Bloodthorn Fairy by Warmics
Fairy Creek by Warmics





Kimonas

Death and Life by Kimonas
Twilight Enchantment by Kimonas
Symbiosis by Kimonas





PavelElagin

Castle Tower by PavelElagin
Forest Wall by PavelElagin
Foxes in the Ruins by PavelElagin





Help support the featured artists by taking the time to :+fav: this journal and keep :+devwatch: on their portfolios!



*PREVIOUS VOLUMES*

*THE NEXT BIG INTERVIEWS*






EYE ON TALENT LXVIII: lhebrardrobin

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 4, 2017, 8:20 AM


:iconlhebrardrobin:

Professional Digital Artist
Location: France
Community member: 1 year
www.artstation.com/artist/lheb…


Captain gull by lhebrardrobin
Ancient civilizations / Up and down connection by lhebrardrobin
The house with no address by lhebrardrobin
New heaven street by lhebrardrobin
lost city by lhebrardrobin
Cold death 2 by lhebrardrobin
Resonant Valley by lhebrardrobin



If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features



Skin by SimplySilent
:iconlovelessdevotions: Features by lovelessdevotions


Orc Realm by AnthonyAvon Stones of binding by Ullbors

Mature Content

Anatomy Class by SamC-Art

Born from Ashes by ShahabAlizadeh
HORROR RULES by Igor-Grechanyi
FACES by Min-Nguen
Ball by Grobelski
Guardians of the Sacred Forest barrier by ElXi-Ameyn
War Song tribute by BenedictWallace The Faceless by JasonEngle Gothic Future by Schur Red Wind by v11
Ethereal Dissension by pindurski
ACVi EV fightclub rich GBeloeil (2) by gillesbeloeil
The Palace Room by nachoyague
bubble by ElenaSai
Purewool Veloce (Advanced) by Yu-Han Golden Flower by vuogle Untitled by yam8417
170217 by exellero
Coronation by wlop
The Last Gathering by tithendar
Sanctuary I by iancjw
Fairy Queen - Cover Art by Skyzocat
Stone Table by VVnan Wolf Kaiju by dinmoney
Deep Magic Clockwork by marcel-mercado
Oasis by SnowSkadi
Landing Scene by Raphael-Lacoste
Great White Bath by Tafkah
Ocean Clouds by Thorsten-Denk



If you haven't already, give these works some extra Love by adding them to your collections and leaving a comment!



THE NEXT BIG THING #85

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 9:59 AM


The Next Big Thing seeks to highlight and bring recognition to the outstanding talent on DA who are poised to become the next community luminaries.





miacat7

League of legend Jinx by miacat7
Campus Park by miacat7
Wind Flower by miacat7





JoFang-Art

Lovesickness by JoFang-Art
2016 - The Beginning of Spring by JoFang-Art
Kitty Delivery by JoFang-Art





Gydw1n

49 by Gydw1n
47 by Gydw1n
46 by Gydw1n





peter83

Zarya-power by peter83
Sombra los muertos. by peter83
Jinx by peter83




Help support the featured artists by taking the time to :+fav: this journal and keep :+devwatch: on their portfolios!



*PREVIOUS VOLUMES*

*THE NEXT BIG INTERVIEWS*








The Collectibles Vol. 34

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 29, 2017, 7:29 AM

Your dose of inspiration from the Digital Art galleries.




Black Widow by MartaNael
Alexstrasza by krysdecker
201605 by FLOWERZZXU
GH2 by letrongdao
Horseman speedpain by Thuberchs
Execution by Orelf
practice 1 by EncounterMy18
Dragon Nuggets by artozi
Sisters by CarolineGariba
Quindi Giorno e La Notte by L-E-N-T-E-S-C-U-R-A
Wanderlust by MattDixon


Past Volumes:


Skin by SimplySilent

EYE ON TALENT LXVII: Nik-Moskvin

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 27, 2017, 11:33 AM


:iconnik-moskvin:

Digital Artist
Location: Russia
Community member: 2 years
www.instagram.com/nikmoskvin/
www.facebook.com/profile.php?i…


Cross by Nik-Moskvin
Ambush by Nik-Moskvin
Dark forces by Nik-Moskvin
Riders of the storm by Nik-Moskvin
Dragon fly by Nik-Moskvin
Spiky by Nik-Moskvin
High Voltage by Nik-Moskvin
Leviathan by Nik-Moskvin



If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features


Skin by SimplySilent









Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"



FEATURED ART: Wizard and a Goose by Gunzfree
DD DATE: 2017-01-14
TIME SPENT: on/off about 3 weeks
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop


Wizard and a goose by Gunzfree


Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  


My friend was doing this Halloween CGCookie art contest and I decided to join it for fun since the subject matter was kind of out of my comfort zone and style.

The objectives were to design a flamboyant evil character who is a magic user with purple hair and has a pet. So the first thing I thought about was drawing this orphaned boy in the besieged city of St. Petersburg during the 2nd WW, naturally. I wanted him to be dark and broody, a person who has seen things that turned him to be an evil wizard.

I thought the pet goose would be a rather silly contrast to the dark brooding persona of my character. Contrasts are always more interesting. Eventually I realized that I needed to give the character a more flamboyant look due to the nature of the contest, and so I added more colors and patterns to his attire, evolving from the original idea."


“Wizard and a goose” showcases wonderful stylistic flair and impressive technical skills. Can you outline your process in realising the character, background, and other elements? 


Thanks! I started with a clear vision for the illustration in my head. I did a few other sketches but mostly I just jumped into the work immediately after that. When I work this way it's important for me to start simple and work my way up to the little details and high contrasts later so I can move things around easily before I commit to a serious render. The character needed to be a flamboyant stylish wizard so I added saturated gems (almost like candy) and colors to give him a more playful look at the areas of interest. It was important for the saturated details like that to be spread apart to guide the eye and be surrounded by calm muted colors like most of his clothing, so it's not overwhelming. I wanted a cool overcast winter morning/day atmosphere, with warm spots of burning fires around the character and a low angle, which works well with bad guys looking down at you, and a city in the background that is destroyed by his magic that tells a supporting story for the character. I used a lot of references."



PROCESS GIF




REFERENCES




Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could? 


My main challenge was to bring everything I described together and make the piece work as a whole in the end.

I tackled that by breaking everything into small problems and solving them one by one. For example: 'Now I am rendering the coat, where is the light coming from, is it directional/diffused, is it cool/warm, how reflective is the material...and so on.' If I was doing this for a client I would be more careful in the beginning and do a good line art pass instead of jumping straight to painting. The design process would have been faster that way."


What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future? 


Treat pain and frustration as a natural occurrence in your work. Figure out what subjects you like -- usually themes you hold dear to your heart since you were a kid -- and pump out personal work; this should be a constant. Study the things that you fail at when doing personal work."


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next? 


It's the best feeling: spending many hours on a piece and seeing other people enjoy the results of that work is just so rewarding. I am working on my own personal IP, so stay tuned for that! :)"


Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA?


:iconbrackenhawk: said: 'It gave me a real Discworld vibe! Fantastic work - the attention to detail is incredible. How long do you spend on something like this?'

This comment made me finally start reading some Pratchett books! Also would love to give a shout out to my huge art family over at the Level Up hangouts. Love you guys! :)"




Special thanks to Gunzfree for kindly consenting to the interview!

Visit his gallery for more amazing pieces: 


Logan fanart by Gunzfree antharas fight by Gunzfree



Previous Decoding DDs:

Twilight Enchantment
Bewitched and Betrayed
Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!





THE NEXT BIG THING #84

Thu Mar 23, 2017, 7:40 AM


The Next Big Thing seeks to highlight and bring recognition to the outstanding talent on DA who are poised to become the next community luminaries.





AdamaSto

ST by AdamaSto
MB by AdamaSto
Green Gold by AdamaSto






atlas091

Trade Route 3 by atlas091
The Old Grotto by atlas091
Reef by atlas091





JeremyFenske

Link and the Forest Temple by JeremyFenske
Junk Tent by JeremyFenske
Forest Mage by JeremyFenske







katorius

In My Arms Lies Eternity by katorius
Bear the Light to the World Expectant by katorius
Let No Soul Harbor Guilt by katorius





Help support the featured artists by taking the time to :+fav: this journal and keep :+devwatch: on their portfolios!



*PREVIOUS VOLUMES*

*THE NEXT BIG INTERVIEWS*






EYE ON TALENT LXVI: TVVIST

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 20, 2017, 9:30 AM


:icontvvist:

Digital Artist
Location: Ukraine
Community member: 6 years
www.artstation.com/artist/tvis…


Mustard Knight by TVviST
Samurai by TVviST
Swordsman by TVviST
Rifleman by TVviST
Medieval champion by TVviST
Swordsman by TVviST



If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features




Skin by SimplySilent

THE NEXT BIG THING #83

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 9:25 AM


The Next Big Thing seeks to highlight and bring recognition to the outstanding talent on DA who are poised to become the next community luminaries.




ForrestImel

SMITE - Cernunnos Samhain Skin by ForrestImel
HEX - Lionel the Slashing by ForrestImel
Pathfinder - Heroes of the Highcourt Illustration by ForrestImel





Rumbee


Female Teemo by Rumbee
Katarina Du Couteau by Rumbee
Biker Tilty by Rumbee





Eksafael

Smite Tactics: Wind Demon by Eksafael
Smite Tactics: Deathbringer by Eksafael
Smite Tactics: Touch of Midas by Eksafael





yangzheyy


Battle Sister by yangzheyy
Geralt by yangzheyy
Order of the Bloody Rose by yangzheyy




Help support the featured artists by taking the time to :+fav: this journal and keep :+devwatch: on their portfolios!



*PREVIOUS VOLUMES*

*THE NEXT BIG INTERVIEWS*








The Collectibles Vol. 33

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 15, 2017, 10:24 AM

Your dose of inspiration from the Digital Art galleries




One Eye by GUWEIZ
MtG Lovisa Coldeyes by depingo
The Tenth Line by Domen-Art
The March by MarcoBucci
Wolkenspringer by tithendar
Run by ThreeDeee
Wrecked Ark by MaxBedulenko
Alice Through the Looking Glass - Gruff Minion by michaelkutsche
Magic The Gathering: Kari Zev, Skyship Raider by Cryptcrawler
Naga Queen by LeraStyajkina










Skin by SimplySilent









Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"





FEATURED ART: Twilight Enchantment by Kimonas
DD DATE: 2017-01-11
TIME SPENT: 50 HRS
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop CS6


Twilight Enchantment by Kimonas


Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  


After being inspired by some recent Magic the Gathering work, I became quite fixed on painting an angel. I thought that an angel swinging around a sword would be too cliché, so I came up with the idea of attempting to portray the moment when some sort of battle angel is carefully imbuing her sword with some magic. I usually spend a lot of time envisioning different possible scenes in my head, trying to figure out how to bring dynamism and mood to the idea before doing any drawing."


“Twilight Enchantment” is quite effective in capturing a luminous radiance and tranquil mood. Please, discuss your creative process of working on the painting and achieving its atmospheric quality. 


Once I have a firm idea of what I want to achieve, I sketch out thumbnails. My general approach is to ‘divide and conquer’ the piece. What do I mean by that? My belief is that to be successful at creating something complex, you have to define the different skills you need and practice them individually. You then have to combine them into your workflow to achieve the complex creation. There are probably hundreds of these skills needed. For example: armour design, tonal arrangement, perspective drawing, anatomy, environment design, painting a head, rendering a metal material, etc. Some of the skills required I felt quite confident with, but I really felt that drawing humans and armour from difficult perspectives was a challenge and was something I’d spent time on studying before the painting.

I captured here some stages of the painting to explain my process and how I attempted to achieve a sense of lighting and mood:






Here is a detailed sketch of the project. A sketch is an opportunity to figure out the pose of a subject, the proportion of your subject, linear composition and also the design for clothing or armour.  I find doing these things when painting is so much harder. Some aspects of the painting’s mood was established in this stage, such as trying to find a serene pose and expression for the angel. I used a screenshot from a movie as reference for the face, and human posable figure to try and decide on the pose. As soon as my sketch is complete, I use it to define silhouettes of objects in the sketch and use ‘layer lock’ so I can control the areas I paint on. The sketch is also put at the top of painting layers with the opacity of the layer set to about 30% as a guide to further painting. As areas are gradually painted areas of the sketch are deleted.





I always start with painting the background. Why? Because usually colours in your subject will be directly affected by the colours in your background. This is particularly true for metals. I really wanted to paint a warm sunset for a warm cosy mood. This involved everyone’s favourite tool, google image search! It was also important to realise that photos of sunsets are not accurate in displaying colour relationships in a sunset which are seen with the naked eye so I also googled paintings of sunsets by famous artists too. I spent about an hour analysing colour/tonal and saturation relationships in sunsets with the eyedropper tool in photoshop. The exact colours are not important, it’s the RELATIVE changes in the colour/tone/saturation in the sunset that is important to study. For example, looking at the darker parts of the clouds moving from the bottom left to the clouds near the sun, the base cloud colour gradually changes from a desaturated dark blue, to a saturated lighter reddish colour. Replicating these colour graduations from nature can bring life to your paintings. After the sun light source was established, to make it more convincing, I had to show what effects it would have on the subject. It would catch her wings and her hair and some armour. The light shining through the wings particularly was an effort to give that ‘sunset feeling’.






Contrast between warm and cool light is always eye catching, and can help bring some solidity to your subject. Again, to make it a convincing light source, its effects on its surrounding have to be illustrated. The armour was a challenge to paint and brought me out of my comfort zone, particularly the engravings. The trick here is to paint the surface of the armour without engravings first. Then once you have a solid shape to add any details. There is a third light source of course which is less dominant – and that is the bounce light from the clouds. All three main light sources which are generally quite pastelly help to generate mood."


Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could? 


There was one problem I didn’t foresee. I was painting a white figure on a background of ‘white’ clouds with the sun in the background too. I realised I had painted myself into a corner, and didn’t have enough tonal depth to have a clear reading silhouette, which tends to be important when painting characters. This was a moment which my monitor was close to striking a destructive trajectory into my back garden. I managed, I think, to salvage things by making parts of the background darker to make the bright angel pop a bit more. Next time, I’ll be sure to do more tonal thumbnails to predict problems like this."


What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future? 


A common answer for this question is ‘practice’. Practice is vital, but this has to also be backed with accumulation of KNOWLEDGE. If you are self-taught like myself, where do you find this knowledge? One great resource is books. I found the Andrew Loomis books invaluable. Armed with knowledge you will have a much better idea of how to fix things when things go south.  Just glue yourself to a seat and study them cover to cover!"


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next? 


The DD feature is a huge honour. It’s been three years since I really started taking painting more seriously, and it’s great to have some validation for one's pursuit of their passion. With regards to what to do next, I’ll submit some work to Wizards of the Coast and see what happens. Maybe there will be some MTG art on my DeviantArt page one day soon. You gotta aim high, right?"



Thanks to Kimonas for kindly consenting to the interview!

Visit his gallery for more stellar works: 

Symbiosis by Kimonas Wrath of a Dwarf by Kimonas




Previous Decoding DDs:

Bewitched and Betrayed
Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!



EYE ON TALENT LXV: MALABRA

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 13, 2017, 7:06 AM


:iconmalabra:

Digital Art Student
Location: Russia
Community member: 3 years
vk.com/daryamalabra


Pixie Hunter by Malabra
The feeling of flight by Malabra
dragon flight by Malabra
Lunch time by MalabraLooking for the prey by Malabra
Dreaming flight by Malabra
Eve by Malabra
The Walk by Malabra
Tsarina of Night by Malabra




If you have enjoyed browsing these artworks, do consider :+fav: the journal, and :+devwatch: the artist to help gain them even more deserved attention! 

Want to suggest a deviant to be featured here? Send a note to lovelessdevotions


Previous Features




Skin by SimplySilent









Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"




FEATURED ART: Bewitched and Betrayed by SlimSpidey
DD DATE: 2017-01-17
TIME SPENT: 40-50 HRS
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Adobe Photoshop


Bewitched and Betrayed by SlimSpidey


Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  


The purpose of this artwork was to learn and improve upon my skill, add to my portfolio, and have fun generally.

I wanted to create an illustration of the quality and design of card art, splash screen, poster art or a combination of all three. Those have always been the illustrations I enjoy the most… creating and feasting my eyes on them. Character design is another discipline that I have a great love for, so I wanted to create an original piece from the ground up."


“Bewitched and Betrayed” is a slick and sensuous high-impact image. Please, take us through your process on the painting and the elements you prioritized to achieve your vision.


I had an idea of the image I wanted to create. But not yet having the skill level to have the art just flow out of me, it was a process of pouring out mud and then slowly distilling water. So lots of references were used to separate the ugly parts from the visually pleasing.  Not just photographs, I especially looked at how other artists tackled rendering, lighting, forms, composition, and color.

So I started with a rough layout just to define the composition. Generally, just to have the figure in a third of the canvas. Then started on a sketch, working out the pose using reference, and trying to create a focal point on her face. I then proceeded to go too far with details. (I really need to work on that. Sometimes I spend so much time on a design element that I have to go back and remove because it’s just not working.)

Most of the time was spent working in black and white, figuring out the values, lighting and character design, which I tried to let add to the composition and reinforce the focal point. I originally wanted her weapon to have an element of magic so that I could have a source of light to play with.  I do not have a lot of experience with light emitting objects in scenes. I think that they are lots of fun so I really wanted one in there but I found that it competed with the focal point of her face so that design choice was sadly omitted.  (Maybe next time.)

After a few variations of blade design, I settled on a simple design that would have suggested converging perspective lines pointing back to the face, the focal point.

I wanted to fill the space around the character with something more interesting than the background ideas that I was coming up with and so a dragon was born. I tried to find a placement that formed a balanced secondary focal point since it was an after-thought. As the general design built, I’m focused more on the general lighting, getting more into the details and finally getting into the colors.

While I didn’t spend a lot of time in the exploration of colors, I did use a wide variety of techniques. Using different gradient maps, layer modes and a combination of the two.

In the end, I went back in and added a strong light coming in from the right to better separate the background from the foreground, heightened the contrasts to further define the forms and to make the entire piece more graphic."



PROCESS

 
 
 
 
 


Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?


This was a “make it up as I went along” kind of thing, so I guess the challenge was being able to let go of things that didn’t work no matter how much I wanted them in there.  Next time I need to put more time in the planning of the composition and think more about what I want to achieve in the end. I need to be more disciplined."


What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?


I think the best thing that one can realize is that it is possible. It will not happen overnight, so just make a goal of creating measurable progress over a reasonable amount of time. Think progress, not perfection."


What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?


This recognition means so much to me. To be validated by anyone really means a lot since the voices in my head are so harsh with their criticisms. (My only retaliation is to poke them with a Q-tip.) So this makes me feel like that light at the end of the tunnel might not be a train after all. And maybe I can start running towards it. In the future I hope to constantly improve and deliver more eye candy to fatten the eyes of my supporters on Deviant Art."


Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA? 


From :iconelemental-wyvern:: 'This is amazing~ I really like the design, especially the spear with all the little details in designing the blade which I think is a nice touch.'

I like when an artwork is created and you like the whole thing, but you just fall in love with a little detail.

From :iconcastilight:: 'I love this. I feel like she's a video game character and you left an interesting short story in the description. It help make this all the more unique. I do have one critique, however. I know this is more opinionated than anything else but, I'm not a fan of how sexualized she is. I feel like this would have the same dramatic effect if she was in a more modest apparel. I know that's nit-picky but, I'm not trying to be a hater. I just want to help a fellow deviant!'

I really appreciate constructive criticism. The positive comments are a moral booster but constructive criticism is where I find the most benefit. So I really appreciated Castilight’s feedback."



Thanks to SlimSpidey for kindly consenting to the interview!

Check out his gallery for more great pieces: 

January4-sketch2016 by SlimSpidey Lothar - Defender of the Earth by SlimSpidey




Previous Decoding DDs:

Walls
The Cordyceps King
Vicious Cycle
Spoiled Princess
Retired
Incoming
Artificial Guardian

Mountain View
Monster Eating Vampire
Roth
Death Knight
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Dragon Watchers
The journey and the big fish
Forrest Defender
Red Snow
Catching Spirits
The Tomb King
I'm fine
Despoiled
Cat Girl
Forest of Bunnies
The Journey
Boulderback
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
Jet Futura
The Northern Administration
Prisoned Singer
Don Kichote
On The Hunt
The Platform
I know a bank
Love and war
52Hz
Chase, The Dreamer
Mad
Until the End of the World..
Crow Temple
Accolade
Dragon's Breath

Spread some cheer by leaving a comment and/or :+fav: on works that you like!  
Want to suggest a DD? See the link to my guidelines below!