Making Of 'The Beast'
Free Brush Set
During one of those ordinary after work evenings, I was sketching some of the character thumbnails, just one after another.
I like to explore new shapes and forms, and to generate something I've never created before. Speaking in general, I manage to capture interesting ideas when I don't restrict myself to anything specific. So I have no idea what I am going to create at all.
Frankly speaking, the characters were the most difficult part for me to draw in the past.
I feel much more confident in drawing environments, but I knew that if I struggle on with the characters I would develop my concept art skills.
And I hardly ever give up))
So usually, I quickly drop some silhouettes on a blank canvas. (Fig.01) I like to work with the silhouettes, because silhouettes allow me to concentrate more on the design, than on technical issues such as a shadows, highlights, color and etc.
My main production tool is Photoshop, but I would advise Alchemy to those who are interested in concept-art. It is excellent software for producing interesting shapes that could be used in order to create characters, landscapes, vehicles or whatever one needs.
I have my own set of brushes for Photoshop, though I only use few of them during thumbnailing. You can download them by clicking the link towars the top of the page.
Actually there is no best brush for painting it is all up to the artist. In this painting I used only one brush. I would suggest using the brush that suits your style and your needs.
Some people create masterpieces with one pixel round brush, and some spend too much time searching for magical brushes in Photoshop. Don`t waste your time, just draw more and more.
Whilst working in Photoshop I find that the tool preset menu is more useful than the right-click brush menu. (Fig.02) Right-click menu only saves the brushes, but the tool preset menu allows me to save the presets of that specific tool, such as painting mode, opacity and flow. Also tool preset simply saves my time, instead of right-clicking and searching the brushes on the list, I simply select them from the tool preset menu that is constantly open on the right side of screen.
Using a chalky brush I created a dozen of quick thumbnails (Fig.03), the beast with the belly looked interesting to me, so I decided to detail it.
Before detailing the character I wanted to set-up the composition of the whole picture, So using the wide brush stokes I defined the composition and the space around the character. I wanted a simple fogy environment around the character in order to concentrate more on designing the beast itself. (Fig.04)
After setting up the whole scene, I created a layer in an overlay mode and just introduced some of the colors. (Fig. 05)
My personal preference lays in a realistic style of painting. Moreover, I love cinematic scenes. To check if my colors are consistent, I constantly squint my eyes in order to check if color works or not.
After I've finished laying down main colors, I started to detail the character.
I wanted him to look semi-organic. It seems I am still under the influence of my Quake II adventures, so I created some sort of armor around his chest and head. (Fig. 06)
It may sound weird, but I enjoyed working on grass more than detailing the character itself. I also added some particles flying in the air in order to reinforce the atmosphere.
As I stated before, I love photorealistic and cinematic stuff, so I can't help myself but add some cinematic effects after the painting is done.
It is important to understand the main principles of photography. Most of the time one can notice that blurring occurs as you go away from a focal point. So in order to provide that, I use the 1 px radial (zoom) blur.
Another trick is in my use of a chromatic aberration. It looks like a shift of RGB channels and adds a bit more of the realism to my pictures. Chromatic aberration is widely used by 3D artists in order to simulate photorealistic effects. I use the Digital Film Effects plug-in for Photoshop for this. (Fig. 07)
And the last thing I widely use in my art is grain. To fake the photography grain, I created a grey layer, applied noise to it, and then blurred the noise (Gaussian blur - 1px) I then set it up to overlay mode.
And here it goes. (Fig.08)
Being self-taught, it was a very serious challenge for me to grow as an artist.
I live and work in Tajikistan, a country that has no CG art schools, no cinemas and no modern entertainment. But I never gave up. Because what I need for painting is in my head and heart.
I love painting - that is where my heart is. The rest is in my head, so watch movies, play games, read books, travel and enjoy life.
Everything can be inspiration for you drawings.
Let the force be with you.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!
My characters say "thanks" for your attention. (Fig.09)
To see more by Jama Jurabaev, check out
Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight into Creative Drawing
Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop
Digital Art Masters: Volume 7
and Photoshop for 3D Artists