Category Archives: concept art

Show Reel August 2016

[Coursework]DJ52026AdvancedProduction(DegreeShow)Posters(A1)01Ragnarök Poster For DJCad Masters Degree Show

[Coursework]DJ52026AdvancedProduction(DegreeShow)Posters(A1)02(DevelopmentProject Development Poster For DJCad Masters Degree Show

I’ve completed my course work and am now on Job Hunt 2016. My feelings are extremely muddled to be honest and I don’t know what to say and how much to say. This is my first show reel and one that I edited for my Msc Animation & VFX degree show. The quality of the work I did in it is not to the standard that I want. That said, I am quite happy with how the demo reel turned out. I have a base format that I can refer to when I polish up on an updated version of my reel. Or reels, because I think I would need more than one to cater to different job positions and applications.

Show Reel August 2016

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Going Live (He-Man On Rollerskates & Guess Who Concept Art)

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He-Man On Roller-Skates (Concept Sketch)

So I completed a concept sketch of He-Man wearing roller-skates. I really had to hold myself back and sketch as true to the toy as possible even when I was sorely tempted to make him go full roller derby girl. I might be rather cruel to the memory of He-Man because every time I draw this character I want to make him exaggerate his masculine body shaper but still give him overly feminine features and gestures similar to how Arnold Schwarzenegger looked in Conan the Barbarian. I think I can take it further with this sketch later as a personal illustration and draw him with stripe knee socks along with elbow, knee and wrist protection pads. At the moment I can’t think of an appropriate derby name that will not offend transvestites or transexual people. Humour and political correctness is getting harder to balance nowadays.

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Guess Who Board Face Concept Art

I also did more design sketches for the faces for the Guess Who Board. This is my first attempt but I stopped midway when I realised that I was going completely off tangent. As fun as it was to paint this, the angled tilt of the head as well as the addition of the neck and the shoulder just doesn’t make it a Guess Who face. So I am setting this aside for now and moving on to another style that would be more suitable.

Going Live: Room Concept Art

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Going Live: Room Concept

The room concept is finally finished after quite a lot of frustration and false starts. I tried with drawing line art and painting over. But the visual direction I wanted to pursue was more in live with the work that Dice Tsutsumi did for Toy Story 3 and Monster’s University. His painting style favours strong lighting direction and realistic colours composition. I just do not have his level of skill and understanding at this time but I am please that I had at least tried. Tutorials, practice and practice. That is the only way to go forward.

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Room Concept (The Do I Continue Or Throw In The Towel Bit)

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Room Concept First Attempt

Oh! The organisers for Parallax Art Fair released a video from the exhibition that I took part in a fortnight ago. It’s quite well made (ok it’s a wee cheesy) I think and I’m so thankful that I was in the ladies room when the videographer came to film my work. It’s a little unreal because everything looks incredible on screen and it doesn’t seem that me and my paintings had really been there.

Parallax Art Fair Promotional Video (February 2016)

Little Guardian (Possible-Pighead-Statue In Z-Brush)

I spent a few hours playing in Z-Brush today. I thought that I could play it loose and create a concept of the statue design for the spirit character in my (tentatively titled) Little Guardian animation. It was fun to spontaneously go back into Z-Brush, I was limited by my computer’s processing speed today for some reason unfortunately. After a few misses (the program kept stalling or crashing) I did manage to complete a concept sculpt of the head of the statue. The statue is meant to represent the spirit’s ‘anchor’ and connection to the physical realm as well as it’s home so I wanted the design  to have more weight (literally). I thought a heavier look for the statue would give a bigger visual contrast when compared to the design of the character’s spirit form. I think I succeeded in sculpting a heavy design but I ended up with something more vague and pig-like than what I was aiming for.

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Spirit Statue Concept Head (Profile)

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Spirit Statue Concept Head (Front)

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Spirit Statue Concept Head (Three Quarter View)

I had the urge today to zone out and sketch something that didn’t require me to think too much about what I am doing or why. So I settled on spending an hour sketching quick life drawing/anatomy poses from artist training videos on Youtube. I enjoy working with a purpose but I think I also need regular sessions where I just draw from observation as well.

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Life Drawing Sketches

Going Live (He-Man Head Turnaround)

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He-Man Head Turnaround

I have been struggling with painting a concept art image for our Going Live project. I know it should not be taking so long and I am trying to get passed the parts I am having difficulty with. Since Aimi needed a head turnaround for our He-Man/Jeremy Kyle character I took a step away from the concept art painting that is infuriating me to do it. Aimi said that it is fine but I’m worried now that its a little too feminine. Like many other people who like to draw I’m fascinated with capturing the female form. I hadn’t really been interested in drawing men although I understand the male figure enough to sculpt my Primordial character. That male figure was slender however and not hyper masculine like He-Man is. I think even with figure drawing practice I will need to come out of my comfort zone. Rather ironically I began this blog post with the intention of also showing the sketches I did last night of figure drawing class I took part in. As evident in the image below, the model was nubile and female. I think I will look online for other figure drawing sources that I can use to practice drawing more muscular male figures.

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More Female Figure Drawing Sketches

Constellation Owl


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Constellation Owl

This week has been very busy as in a few days I will be heading off to London for the Parallax Art Fair (!!). Exciting times and I still have plenty more to do. During the weekend I completed another smoke illustration of Zeus the owl. Zeus is a wee screech owl living at the Wildlife Learning Center in California. They’re not sure how he became blind and theorised that it was through an attack from a larger bird. In any case, a combination of blood clots and cataracts have now made his eyes look as if they are windows into the galactic universe. I can’t remember where it was that I first saw a picture of Zeus, but I was so smitten with his sweet face and incredible eyes that I got to work immediately.

I have to admit I did have another incentive for painting Zeus. Actually two incentives. The first was that I need to complete one more original illustration to feature at Parallax Art Fair London. I was also motivated by my own project Little Guardian which has hit a temporary creative rut. I am still sketching and researching different designs for the spirit character so this illustration is in part also a concept experiment. Since the spirit character is supernatural, it would be interesting to design it with constellation eyes that are similar to Zeus’s.

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Zeus The Owl (Wildlife Learning Center)

I’ve also been running around getting prepared for Parallax Art Fair this weekend as I’ll be leaving Thursday night. Thanks to the guys at DJCad Make I had a vinyl sticker of my name logo made and ready to go in an hour. I think it will give my exhibition space a clean, professional look and I’m pretty chuffed about it!

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Logo Vector Art For The Vinyl

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The Finished Vinyl

I had trouble finding good name card holders in store or online and rather than spend more time searching for one it occurred to me that I had plenty of MDF wood left over from when I made the Chinese Zodiac Lantern Lamp. I used Adobe Illustrator to prepare the name card holder design and the laser cut file was ready in time for my booking hour with the laser cutter machine. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed working with the machines at DJCad make and the guys there are incredibly helpful and accommodating. I couldn’t complete all of my work within the first hour because I ran into other problems with the picture frames that I ordered and I had to improvise a quick solution for them. I do have a time slot with the laser cutter booked tomorrow so I’m confident everything that needs to be cut will be completed by then. The name card holders will need to be glued and painted after wards.

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Lasercut MDF Pieces For My Namecard Holders

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Incomplete Namecard Holder

The frames that I ordered for the large prints had inside mounts that were for the original size of the paper which was 483mm by 329mm. As the paper is imported from Japan their size of A3+ didn’t match UK standards which is 350mm by 320mm (in case you were wondering, yes I am putting the exact measurements on this post as a permanent way to make sure I don’t forget or lose them). So the first attempt the printer made with the original paper this morning ended in a sad crumpled print. He offered to cut the remaining paper to SRA3 size and print again. This time the prints came out perfectly but now I had a gap between the mount and the frame in the print. The best solution I could think of involved buying black mount board and using the laser cutter to cut it to size so it can fill in that gap.

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Printed Qilin Image On Washi Paper (Paper Was Crumpled By The Printer)

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First Dragon Print (Success!)

When I went back to printers at the end of the day to collect the rest of the prints I just had to try out the inner black mount that I had just cut. The part of me that wants perfection is a little bothered that the black edge at the top and bottom is thicker than the sides but I’m happy with how the entire frame looks with everything put together. The difference between the black and cream mount gave the overall look of the frame an interesting presentation so I’m not disappointed. Oh, I have not yet removed the safety cover for the frame yet which is why it is still tinted blue in the image. In summation, I was productive today!

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Framed Qilin Painting

Little Guardian (Concept Illustration)

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Spirit Character Concept Illustration (Qilin Version)

I revisited my personal project this week with two concept illustration of the spirit character. Both concepts are based on Chinese mythological creatures; a Qilin and Long (Chinese dragon). Chinese legendary beasts are described to be chimeric and they take on different physical attributes from different animals such as deer, carp, tiger or fish. Both Dragon and Qilin are symbols of benevolence, prosperity and luck, but they also represent judgement and righteous behaviour. The spirit character in my project is presented by its physical form (it house statue) and it’s immaterial form that better represents its personal character which is innocent and pure. The statue the spirit lives in by contrast should visually represent the spirit’s duty and resembles a fierce protective statue that Oriental cultures used to place in their homes to guard them from harm. I was toying with the idea of making each design a complete opposite in appearance. The gentler, immaterial aspect of the spirit manifests itself as a peaceful looking Qilin while its physical housing is presented as a powerful and strong Dragon. But now that I have completed a concept illustration of each creature…. I don’t think it would work. Back to the drawing board.

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Spirit Character Concept Illustration (Dragon Version)

Idea Nuggets: Chicken Lady

One of the ideas that I have for our Idea Nuggets session of the Going Live project is from a video of Michelle Dobyne. As an eyewitness to a building fire she accounts her experience escaping it with her children. Her upbeat and defiant response to a fire breaking out inside her Oklahoma apartment and enthusiastic storytelling filled with African American colloquialisms went viral. When the brief for our Going Live project was given to us I thought that this particular video would be a good candidate to pitch. Not only was Michelle honest and unintentionally hilarious, I also could not stop picturing her as a mother hen. The Creature Comfort series animated by Aardman Studios was given to us as a reference point and I suppose my thoughts were already leaning in that direction. I set about searching for chicken references and illustrations and made some sketches of how I pictured the main interview shot of the animation to look like.

The rest of the team are also considering other ideas including Andrea’s crash test dummies and toys idea and I’m a little hesitant to develop my ideas for this one too much. So we will see at our next meeting which direction Axis and the class can agree to on. It is exciting to see how everyone has progressed and the process of developing ideas as a group has been a lot of fun so far.

Michelle Dobyne Viral Fire Interview

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Chicken Lady Concept Sketches

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Chicken Lady Concept Sketch

I found a sketch from las semester from when one night, on my way to the bathroom I tripped over one of the cats and injured my drawing hand. A quick trip to Ninewells later determined that nothing was broken only sore. I couldn’t draw with that hand so I tried to draw using life drawing videos as reference. I’ve been able to do so before but I am out of practice. Ambidexterity training is said to open new neural pathways between the left hemisphere of the brain and the right. As a child I favoured the use of my left hand more than the right, it was trained out of me by my parents. I am trying to use my left hand more often for everyday tasks. Hopefully it will become more dominant in the future and I will have taught myself to write with both hands.

[Blog]AnatomyStudies02

Non-Dominant Hand Life Drawing

Personal Portrait

Happy New Year! After all the festivities of the holiday season I’m relieved to be back in my natural environment. Which is in front of a computer in a dark room. As Neil Gaiman once commented; “My people, we stay indoors. We have keyboards. We have darkness. It’s quiet.” Since its January in Dundee it has certainly been very dark and miserable. I spent the first day of the New Year finishing up a painting that I had left on hold; a personal portrait. Needless to say, a part of me thought that a chubby yellow cat with red hair holding a cupcake represents me perfectly.

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Personal Portrait

During a group dinner after DJCad’s Degree Show last year, our guests stayed later to watch Disney movies with us. One of the films was the Emperor’s New Groove, an underrated film in my opinion. I don’t know anyone who has not seen the film who is not enamoured or entertained by Yzma’s kitten form. I, myself adore it so much that I proceeded to make three separate pieces of fan artwork of her. At the time I wanted to experiments with a different painting style and to also try to build a painting from line art. Before then I preferred to colour straight onto the canvas and I would shape and define the character as I went along. I had had a lot of flexibility to improvise on the painting’s look that way but I thought it was time that I made a bigger effort to paint outside of my comfort zone.

Emperor’s New Groove: Yzma Becomes A Cat

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Yzma Cat No. 1 (2015)

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Yzma Cat No. 2 “Is that my VOICE???” (2015)

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Yzma Cat No. 3 “Uhoh” (2015)

Environmental Squares

I revisited a project series that I has been on hold for the last year or so. I’ve always been impressed with Instagram images of different places and environments, especially by how despite the limitations of a square image format the beauty and impact of each location is still retained. As a practice and a challenge for myself I tried to paint environmental squares from different locations. To further challenge myself I try to complete each painting to two hours. I only truly achieved this recently with the swamp painting. I find that capturing the colour and details of a landscape is challenging even when there are some places in the painting that I can get away with giving less details than what is in the reference image. I still like the square concept for environmental practice but I think that it’s time to move on to rectangular landscape work and more complex concept art paintings.

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Environmental Painting No.4 Swamp

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(Past Work 2014) Environmental Painting No.1,2 & 3 Indonesia, Ski Alps & Desert