Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fan Art... Thoughts?

Fan Art: Rey from Star Wars: Force Awakens


Title: Fan Art: Rey from Star Wars: Force Awakens
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Original is 7.5" x 7.5"

Notes: I felt a tad on the obligated side to make a Star Wars fan art piece. I will admit though, that I haven't seen the movie yet, I just enjoy the character design of the new characters in the movie...
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Whew... almost fell behind already.

Alright, so I know that I said that I wanted to make sure that I stick to my goals for the year. I want to also make an addendum onto that by saying that I want to actually blog more again. I used to make sure that I had some sort of text attached every time I would update when I first started... let me go on to say that I will make sure to apply that from here forward as well.

The goals statement being said... I am currently working on about fourish pieces all in tandem at the moment on top of some fan art pieces. Fan art will still always be a big part of work as it helps me to not only practice techniques, but to give my mind freedom to just have fun playing. Most people give fan art a bad name, but I like to look at it as - sometimes an artist just needs to have a way to express themselves without giving themselves a complete headache. Sure it can be considered a bit lazy on our (my) end, but I usually try and change up the piece from the original.



You can always use the design.
A lot of times when I do fan art I will use the basic character elements - such as the hair style, clothing, etc. - but use my own poses or lighting on said characters. A majority of the pieces that I do use this technique.

Gaige from Borderlands

For example, Gaige here... I used a lot of different reference angles of her to really capture as many of the fine details that I could. There is no realistic version that I could find of her, short of directly copying a cosplayer. I used many different references and many different angles. Most people forget that part about art that you need to make it your own, no matter what the subject matter is. In my opinion, unless your in a leadership position, in the entertainment world you will be doing fan art of some sort for a good portion of your day. That's not to say that you can't inject your voice into the piece. Every piece needs to have an equal amount of love in it or it won't be effective.

 
Reference angles for my Borderlands piece, above.



Make sure that you inject your style in every piece that you do, no matter fan art or not.
Even on the fan art piece of Rey that I did, above, on the original, there's a very stylistic choice made on every stroke that I did.

Close-up slice of the Rey fan art piece.

If you look at the entire piece up close, every spot has been informed by all of my skills with painting in gouache, charcoal smudge, and pencil. I try to tell every artist that I come across that asks me about process to follow one simple rule, especially when digital painting: every inch of every painting you do needs to have multiple stroke types or it ends up looking flat, almost plastic. I've seen many, many examples of people that call themselves digital painters forget the painting part. I mean, it all comes with time in my opinion, you need to learn the tools and all that, but most people just use that good 'ole solid round brush and just push that circle around. Don't get me wrong, I have seen it used to great effect, but the difference is all about stroke economy at that point.

I would merely suggest that you play around with some textured brushes, try out some traditional media - even pencil will suffice - and learn how to move that media as well. That way you can implement that type of media in your digital painting as well.

I believe that fan art is art just as much as anything else in the art world, but a lot of artists will give it a bad name. I say challenge those rules, make it your own ultimately.

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Coming soon...

Work in progress of my next original.

Keep on working your ass off, and as always, 
any questions or comments, leave them below or on my facebook page.


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