Thursday, November 10, 2011
This is a shot of my illustration in progress. it is sans stickers at the moment and is also missing details in the background (to better imply space) and some shiny effects to the metal details. anywho, it's rough but i hope it's enjoyable. ;P
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
As the president, Kamitani is responsible for much of the artistic design and direction of the games. He helps design the characters, produces official illustrations of them, and also helps animate them. His style and character designs, though they range slightly depending on the current game, tend to be very cartoony, having elements of both eastern and western cartoons. The proportions on the characters vary wildly. Physically stronger characters and giant monsters tend towards giant, hulking brutes with the classic exaggerated huge upper bodies and muscles combined with much smaller lower bodies, whereas more magical based characters or less physically powerful characters tend to have smaller, thin bodies with bigger heads. Most of the protagonists are in the second camp. Older characters such as adults will usually have more standard human proportions, though still with some exaggerated characteristics.
His works are very detailed, with tons of small and large touches that make the character designs very visually interesting. Armored characters tend to have elaborate armor, with lots of interlocking pieces and designs on the armor itself. Their clothes also have lots of bright colors and interesting designs, and many characters have costumes with other colorful details to really help them pop out. Despite the detail of the designs and images, however, they never became too chaotic and distracting. I think this is largely due to the color choices, with the vivid colors separating different parts of the costumes and characters. This is also apparent in the games themselves, where the character sprites and the backgrounds are all very detailed, but all stand out due to the different colors used for each, with the backgrounds having more subdued tones and the characters being brighter and more colorful, but not so bright as to clash.
Another thing I love about Kamitani's art is the way he paints and colors. He is very adept at blending different tones and colors together, such as skin with touches of reds, pinks, blues, and yellows. Such subtle shifts in temperature make for some really visually interesting coloring, and add good contrast to the overall image. His treatment of the image is nice as well, with a good mix of both lots of blending in places such as skin and stronger blocks of contrasting color in places such as clothing and armor. All in all, his cartoony style that plays with proportions to suit the character combined with very nice use of color and very detailed designs overall make his work and Vanillaware's games be unique and very visually interesting and engaging, and is the main reason why I am interested in their art and games.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Peter de Seve is a world-renowned illustrator. Even if you’ve never heard of him, I can guarantee you’ve seen his work. He is unique in the fact that a good amount of his drawings are converted into animations for films, television and advertising. He’s done the character designs for numerous blockbuster hits, such as Finding Nemo, Mulan, A Bug’s Life, Tarzan, and Ice Age. He’s done numerous covers for the New Yorker and has also worked on a variety of children’s books.
One of the things I love about de Seve’s work is his ability to maintain a level of accurate realism while still generating characters that have their own unique persona.
Just looking at his work, especially with his animal illustrations, you can see how purposeful he is with certain details, like the spikes on a puffer fish. It’s obvious that he studies from life. However, while his illustrations are instantly recognizable, he still manages to transform the subjects from simple renderings to actual characters, full of life, emotion, and personality. Most of his illustrations also have a certain comical flair or humor to them. What I like about this though, is that he does it subtlety, he’s not overly obvious about it. He’s able to create a picture that’s funny without hitting the audience over the head with it.
There’s a certain calm relaxed element in his work that makes each piece seem so natural. There’s good flow to all his drawings and even the simplest sketches show his thoughtfulness and unique perspective. I love the way he thinks and the idea’s he comes up with. I believe that’s one of the reasons he’s so popular, his ability to create visual art that is stimulating and entertaining for audiences of all kinds.
Aleksi Briclot began his career as a concept artist in the video game industry and has since been the art director and lead artist for several major titles. He's also worked in print; in novels, comics, and graphic novels. In addition to the more traditional print media, he's illustrated for table top and trading card games, most notably, Magic: The Gathering. His work often deals with fantasy/sci-fi subject matter and he works mainly in the style of digital painting. What fascinates me most about his work is his ability to create captivating and visually striking images within the extremely close confines of a card's particular prompt. These card descriptions often specify every element required in the desired illustration down to minute detail. Yet even within these confines, Briclot is able to bring a great deal of creativity and artistic vision to each piece. Among the multitude of commissioned artists, his work stands out because of his intense visual style and technical skill.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I was introduced to the art of Ashley Wood about 5 years ago, and have been following him ever since. Originally famous for his comic book art, Wood has explored other areas of art, including video game concept art, and 3D collectible "toy" design. Since my discovery of his work, I have purchased three of his books: "Popbot 8", "The Journal of Ashley Wood", and "Zombies vs. Robots".
The first time I saw his work (in a comic book), I fell in love with his texture and limited color palette. There is just something about his mark making that makes me want to pick up a brush and try it out myself. Wood works in mixed media, integrating oil painting with digital manipulation. His images are dark, moody, and contain an apocalyptic feel. I enjoy how Wood integrates "hard" and "soft" subjects into his paintings, (ie. women [usually nude, and very explicit... I chose PG images for the blog] and robots). His play on soft and beautiful against cold and hard is intriguing to me.
Another thing about Wood's art that really speaks to me is his ability to stay so loose. In my own artwork, I have a natural tendency to make things as perfect as possible. I admire anyone who can open up, and allow the illustration to be more abstract. Wood does this amazingly well, and somehow achieves an incredible amount of detail while maintaining large and expressive brush strokes.
Wood's sense of proportion can, at times, be off (as seen in the second image above). However, I am not bothered by this at all, and actually enjoy the fact that Wood is "brave" enough to challenge our view of the world. I think that abstraction such as this, when done deliberately and with intention, can be a very powerful focal point to a piece.
Needless to say, I will continue to follow the works of Ashley Wood. I really enjoy his work, and always come away from them feeling inspired and wanting to work.
Marco Wagner is a German Illustrator, who also works as a fine artist. He has exhibited in oth Germany and the USA. He has done work for companies and magazines such as Slanted Magazine, Murphy Design, Nintendo, Senses Magazine, Tush Magazine, The New York Times and, Playboy Germany. He is a mixed media illustrator using collage, paint, markers and photoshop. His color pallet is pretty muted and greyed. His compositions are usually pretty centered and in a majority of his stuff, things appear to be flat. For the most part I don't think those things are hurting him. I think he is an interesting illustrator, he is doing something some what different. Everyones shit looks the same right now.