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With the vast cultural diversities existing in India, it is quite a challenge to represent the same on canvas. Prashant A Sable has overcome this in his own unique style of art.

Yet waiting for the right opportunity to come his way to enter into the professional world of art and design in an impactful manner, leaving audiences awestruck, Prashant does not leave any minute unutilised. He illustrates all that comes to his mind in different styles using latest trends and technology to grow the spectrum of his work styles.

 

Fond of Indian culture, Prashant has read ardently about it and also observed the different types of cultures, sculptures and life styles that exist in a harmony in our country. Beautifully painted on the canvas in bright colours, Indian culture stands apart boldly from the rest of the world.

 

Inspired by this, he chose to depict an illustrative series on the Indian Culture, Dance and Music, merged together. He started out with the very first thought that came to his mind about this series, which was making it colourful, attractive &simple, yet keeping it traditional.

 

The use of geometric shapes, patterns and textures add to the charm and grace of the cultural richness. Using the various social media platforms available, Prashant remains updated with the latest and also showcases his illustrative work to his audience.

 

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Freelance designer and minimalist illustrator Prathamesh Shedge talks about his urge to explore and how circumstance dictate his style.

Prathamesh has always been driven by the urge to explore. Discovering new methods and concepts, has always fascinated him. Thus, in this art series, he has experimented with a minimalist vector style, in contrast to the usual forced and enhanced detailing that is expected with the sports genre. He decided to approach the simplicity and flow of the sport, as opposed to its intensity.

 

With minimalist design, still flatness is the norm. Prathamesh however went for a route that is an amalgamation of multiple design styles, with a tin-tone colour palette. He also chose to not give the characters a specific skin tone, instead manipulating the colour palette to enhance and highlight the expressions.

 

In his design process, Prathamesh lets the circumstance dictate his style. He works in both traditional and digital mediums. But he prefers the traditional medium, simply because of how organic the process can be. Prathamesh first lays down his designs in sketch, before proceeding to convert them to digital to further enhance, a simple yet effective process.

 

One approach that Prathamesh sticks to, is not using the eraser too much, instead simply adapting and designing with the mistakes. He believes a mistake is merely a design anomaly that can become design idea

 

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Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!


Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!


Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!
Minimalist Illustrator Captures the Flow of Sport!

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Character designer, illustrator and storyboard artist, Ritaban Das, takes s through his own style of telling stories through illustrations in a single frame style of designing. He introduces his perspective that guides his ideas and also shares his process.

Single Frame
Mummy ka Scratcher
Single Frame
Team Dank. Personal work depicting a rather artistic team spirit.
Single Frame
Sketching with friends. Personal work showing aliens as company while sketching.
Single Frame
Kung Fu Singh
Single Frame
Together. Just a piece of commissioned work for my friend, depicting the funny side of companionship.

CG. What are the particular advantages and challenges of telling stories in a single frame?

Ritaban. Illustration or design is a visual communication medium. It is important to challenge yourself with a different perspective, scale and how your subjects interact with one another. When sketching, I produce numerous roughs or loose drawings which later make into more developed sketches. I then decide on a final composition. The most critical element is really an activity of the subject. The figure is usually doing something and caught before it happens or just after. The other elements are supporting artefacts. Whatever I draw, I think of it as a clue or a breadcrumb that helps understand the complete story and message. It’s up to the reader to put it all together and solve the riddle

Single Frame
Indian Warrior. For a monthly Facebook character design challenge. The topic was "Warrior".
Soccer Dad

Single Frame
Clown. Personal work, inspired by Eli Roth's film of same name.
Single Frame
Two Detectives cover artwork. For the unfinished graphic novel I was working upon with my brother.

CG. What are the essential designing tools and software you use for such an approach and how do you decide on what kind of a role they play in your work?

Ritaban. I usually make the design part in Photoshop, from scratch to end, and I work in Storyboard pro for storyboard. Tools can make your work easy or even open the avenues to do it faster, but it’s based on how good your design sense, storytelling abilities and drawings are. These are the most basic fundamentals to create anything.

Merry Christmas. Old commissioned work created during the Christmas season.
Two Detectives. A promotional poster for the unfinished graphic novel I was creating with my brother.

Komorebi Poster
Single Frame
YUWA. For Art Exhibition last year, collaborating with the NGO Yuwa that empowers young girls,.

CG. What aspects do you particularly give attention to in your work to ensure effective communication through your illustrations?

Ritaban. I start by trying to understand the character, his/her background, history as well as his/her place in the story. Research helps at this stage since it’s so important to understand the world you’re creating before jumping into it Next, I’ll do a series of drawings where I figure out the characters shapes and attitude; I try to just draw the first thing that comes to mind, knowing that I’ll be changing it later. All the while, I’m searching for a new or interesting take on the character. After I’ve done a few rough thumbnails, I decide on the one that has the most appealing silhouette, shape proportions and that best describes the character. I then start to flesh out the character and begin to add details, keeping in mind any specific traits described in the script or story.

Single Frame
A promotional fan poster for the most anticipated boxing match in the history between McGregor and Mayweather.
Heavy Dudes

Single Frame
Odd Socialites # 1. The first installment of a small comic strip project with my writer friend.
Single Frame
Red Necks. Personal work showing the not so friendly folk in town.

CG. How do you describe your process and goal of designing?

Ritaban. Being a Character Designer and Illustrator, most of my work is very much character driven, blended with humour and very graphical too. I always try to convey some sort of stories through each and every character or Illustration I make I like to play with various shapes and silhouettes and usually keep things simple. The character design process is, in a way, a combination of different things. I ask myself ‘Who am I drawing?’ What is his/her personality?’ I look at the work of influential artist sometimes to get some ideas or even start from a drawing I like and translate it into my style. Then, trying to forget those influences, I often start from scratch with a basic shape such as the face as it determines the rest of the character for me, then the body (this can be a circle, oval or even a pear shape – it all depends on the personality of the character I want to draw)

Single Frame
Battle of the Beasts. UFC 223 fan poster for the main fight between Ferguson and Khabib.
Single Frame
Inked! Personal work depicting a tattoo artist working his craft on the devil.
The Anarchist
Scary guy with skill
Issue-42-Cover

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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The human brain is a fantastic library of images. The more you watch the world around you, the more it gets enriched. All one needs to do is to observe every detail around very closely, suggests animation filmmaker-illustrator Vajra Pancharia. He discusses pointers that help him create engaging visuals.

Visuals
Cave birdy
Visuals
Dojo Training Centre
Visuals
Concept illustration for a game
Visuals
28 days later after infection

How you see is what you draw.

You derive your mood and emotions from your surroundings. That’s how each element works for you. For instance, nature, for almost all of us is always beautiful and serene. So while painting landscapes and environments you tend to bring out spatial and ethereal feel in them. Of course, the concept plays a great part in determining the details. Similarly, many a times, the surroundings push your emotions to an extreme. That’s when your characters become dark and edgy.

Tomcruise
Visuals
Environment

The story decides the character.

The heart of the story should be the soul of the character. While the story acts like a container, the character is the content. They both work hand in hand to drive the narrative. Above all, aesthetics and clarity matters a lot. They complement each other if you feel the core of the story and bring the small nuances from it visually to the characters. A small gesture, which is appealing, can tell the entire story effectively.

Interior Sketch
MONSTREOPUS
Wolverine

Perspective is your camera on paper.

The world around us is in a 3D space. But we tell our stories through a 2D medium, like paper. That’s why one needs to use few tools to aid the narrative. The most important of them is perspective. It makes viewers’ attention focus towards a certain area in an artwork. Visually, perspective can be used to enhance storytelling, adding more dynamism to some parts. It can also mellow down certain areas to give importance to others. If used wisely, perspective can surely do a good job of conveying an idea.

Naseerudin Shah
Happy holi
Visuals
Hangout

Colours make your stories move.

Colours are the most dynamic part of an artwork. In the real world, they change so quickly that capturing the mood becomes quite challenging for an artist. One needs to learn colour behaviour and understand how it affects the viewer. The best way to go about understanding it is to paint from real life with traditional mediums. This increases your visual sense and helps you choose the right colours which can be later applied on the digital medium.

Relate to exaggerate.

You get best ideas for your character from the surroundings. First identify who, your neighbour, maid, postman, bus conductor, or people in a mall, resembles your character best. Then spot the characteristics, both in behaviour and appearance, which make them what they are. These are the qualities that can bring out the emotions. A good way to understand these features is to enact them out in front of the mirror. That way, you are able to absorb these qualities and translate them into your designs.

Visual development for a game level
Visuals
Environment Concept
Visuals
Creature Design

Be open and observant.

There is a storehouse of positive energy that surrounds us. It manifests itself through characters, images, stories and every element of nature. You need to keep your eyes and mind open to grab all of it. Ideas, imagination, aesthetics, colours, forms and everything else that make your visuals are born out of this energy. It is the key factor that gets translated into your visuals. Everything else is incidental.

Visual development for a game level
Visuals
Crow
Visuals
Forest Design

Published in Issue 15

In this issue, we invited leading Gaming professionals to share their inspirations along with their suggestions to improve the Gaming Art in India. Featuring some of the big names of Gaming Art likeVinay Vikram Singh, Sandeep Menon and Neeraj Menon along with International renowned Russian studio, ‘Grafit Studio‘ and many more talented creatives.

 

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Vajra Pancharia
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After doing his Bachelors in Communication Design from Symbiosis institute of Design at Pune, Vajra Pancharia pursued Masters in Animation Film Design from IDC, IIT Bombay. Currently, he works as a freelance artist.


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In this issue, we invited leading Gaming professionals to share their inspirations along with their suggestions to improve the Gaming Art in India. Featuring some of the big names of Gaming Art likeVinay Vikram Singh, Sandeep Menon and Neeraj Menon along with International renowned Russian studio, ‘Grafit Studio‘ and many more talented creatives.

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Chaaya Prabhat highlighting some of the challenges and advantages she feel are there for an independent illustrator working with Indian clients.

There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of working independently as an illustrator in the creative field in India.

The advantages are plenty – In India, the need for illustration work has increased over the years so there’s definitely a lot of scope and demand for the work, and when you work independently you can work on multiple projects with various companies simultaneously, so it’s always creatively challenging.

illustrator

You also have a lot of the advantages that come with freelancing – flexible schedule, not being tied down to a 9-5 schedule, being your own boss etc. What I like about working independently as opposed to working in-house or as a part of a company is that I can be very hands-on with the work that I do, and be very involved from the start of the project to the end – whereas in a studio setting the work is usually split between multiple people or compartmentalised.

However the same independence can also work as a disadvantage – you often have to take care of everything on your own and wear multiple hats, which can be quite taxing. In addition to all the creative work that has to be carried out, you also have to have at least a basic knowledge of contract writing and reading, invoicing, accounting, etc.

In India, especially, companies and clients that hire illustrators are just starting to understand the amount of work that goes into illustration and the value that it adds to projects.

Published in Issue 48

A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.

 

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Gone are the days of drawing a portrait using pencils and brushes. Digital is the new canvas and Photoshop is the new tool. Digital Illustrator, Vivek Nag is fascinated by ‘Sadhus’ and here he takes us through the making of a portrait using Photoshop.

Portrait

Step 01

The first step is to make a rough patchy sketch of the character. It’s best to do this using a chalk brush or special Photoshop brushes which are meant to replicate a traditional look on the digital canvas. The lines mostly trace the shadows and/or contours of the face as seen in the image.

Portrait

Step 02

Taking the rough sketch as the base, the next step is to start making line art. This is made using the pressure sensitive round hard brush to create thin and to the point lines. Detailing is important in this step. Building upon the rough chalky sketch is beneficial. When satisfied, hide the sketch layer to proceed.

Portrait

Step 03

The next step is to start with the colours. Irrespective of the colours being used in the portrait, it’s best to dim down the background. This offers contrast and a better understanding of how bright the colours that are being used in the painting actually are. The next step is to make a palette of colours using the original image. Depending on the intricacy of colors in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colors. In this case, a palette of six colours was used. It’s best to select colours in such a way that for any other shade or tint you require, one’s ability to create that using a combination of the set colours in the palette. As seen above, start filling the composition with patchwork. Using flats helps launch into the fray of the painting.

Portrait

Step 04

Taking the previous step forward, it’s now all about concentrating on detailing. Smaller brush strokes are employed as well as the colours being used are more varied. Notice how the freedoms of the strokes have become a little more restricted here. The line art acts as guiding points and this is the stage where it is put to most use.

Portrait

Step 05

Minute details start from here. The eyes are the most important part of a portrait. A lot can be conveyed from the eyes. For the most natural look, one needs to make the eyes detailed and relatable. The blending of the strokes also starts from this step. As is evident in the image, a certain level of ‘rawness’ is maintained with every stroke rather than applying a smooth blend. Keeping hints of patches provides a natural feel, especially on the skin. Also, one needs to keep the sheen of the eye in mind that is executed with a simple brush stroke, keeping minimal blending. The more striking the sheen, the better the eye tends to look.

Depending on the intricacy of colours in a photograph, it’s advisable to make a palette of 5 to 8 colours while performing a digital sketch.

Portrait

Step 06

The next step is replicating the previous steps with the lips and beard. Here, treat lips the same way skin near the eyes was treated. The beard however forms a rather tricky part of the portrait. The beard is mainly just brushed strokes with hardly any blending at all. The direction and the thickness of each stroke matters. For example, the brushes below the lip and at the origin of the beard are thick, whereas the strokes in the beard are rather fine.

Portrait

Step 07

The prior two steps are repeated on the remaining parts of face. The sides of the face are left undone because it will add on to the next steps. There are still many strokes on the face which are strongly patchy and look undone. However, this adds to the composition. The parts of any illustration with the most amount of detail and/or contrast attracts attention first; in this case, the eyes.

Portrait

Step 08

Once the face is done, this is where one needs to start working on the background. Against the already set dull gray background, start putting horizontal strokes with fine art brushes. The colours used are part of the portrait itself – reds, yellows and whites. This enables the background to compliment the main subject of the painting and establishes a flow to the composition. But also remember not to steal the focus from the subject by using colors that are too vibrant.

Portrait

Step 09

This step is called ‘The Haze’. This is where the focal points and edges are merged into the background. For example, the yellow ochre on the forehead is transformed into a form of smoke (haze) which drifts away from the head. This is still done using fine art brushes. Along with that, more horizontal strokes have been pulled around the beard and hair. These strokes are pulled in about 30% opacity and serve to blend the edges till the background looks like a part of the subject itself.

Portrait

Step 10

The last and final step is to add a layer mask. This is where curves are applied to the artwork. This is where contrast is also added to the painting. This helps the shades to pop out and there is a lot more depth than there was before.

Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and many more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

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Rohan Dahotre is an illustrator wanting to make a difference. One who feels deeply about nature and draws inspiration from the stunning bounty of life it nourishes, he aims to convey and express the magnificence of the natural world!

Furry Friend
Natural
Frog

Rohan had already made it a ‘habit’ to add detail to his depictions, by the time he’d started drawing out his favourite cartoon characters as a kid. He was always fond of textures and patterns, incorporating them in his artwork, which only grew to contain more design elements.

Tribal Queen
Natural
Crow

A keen observer who loves exploring the wilderness, he enjoys illustrating all things wild. For him, nature is full of inspirations, and is the ultimate form of creative expression – be it various life forms; textures in leaves; designs and colours in bugs and insects, or the elegance in tigers and other wild cats. Undoubtedly, it endows him with insight, as studying the intricacies in nature and understanding animal behaviour is what he likes most.

Mister Rhino

Natural

The crux lies in simplifying complex organic forms into simple shapes, even though adding patterns inside them gives them a new identity. Experimenting with animal photos and giving them a new look and feel, he yearns to demonstrate the true beauty within the amazing creatures, so that people may better respect them and their habitat.

Natural

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead!

 

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The everyday living need not necessarily be mundane, tedious or ‘routine’. When one’s very own personal dwelling is beyond the ordinary, life can definitely be more than cyclical and monotonous. Located in Danube, right in the heart of Budapest, Margeza is one such apartment that is full of life and brilliance, built by Belgian couple’s Margeza Design Studio that designs and builds ‘liveable’ spaces as a joyful, creative process.

Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti

Margeza Design Studio’s unique apartment SZABO ILONKA UTCA in Danube, Budapest, has the notorious capacity to pleasingly charm not just those who are living under its roof, but also the viewers admiring it from outside, as it employs the sheer power of its very charismatic nature, vibrancy and flamboyant character.

Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti

The living space is more than just a fitting abode of interiors that is soothing to the eye and the mind, and so also does it serve as a deserving platform to some of the most extraordinary sights in the city—something that it harbours in abundance, amongst the rather vast bounty of treats that it has in store to generously offer its residents. As if that wasn’t enough, one also gets more than just a taste of the icing on the cake — a rather clear view of one of the most beautiful buildings, the architectural spectacle of the Parliament.

Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti

Following a complete and thorough renovation, the place was made to be special with unique furniture and carpets that were designed specifically keeping the apartment in mind. The tiniest of aspects were acknowledged and paid attention to, leaving nothing behind while addressing each and every nook and corner, including the most minute of details. Testimony to this would prove to be the ‘living green wall’, a feature that is symbolic of the apartment’s liveliness and zest.

Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti

Very naturally, the characteristics of Margeza can be found everywhere: joyful, energy-filled colours that provide or create an atmosphere of happiness. On the Budapest-shaped carpet, a small red dot shows the location of the apartment, while the giant window of the living room—like an open cinema—shows the ever-changing face of the city. Likewise, the entire apartment is flooded with light. Featuring a living room; two bedrooms and an additional study, the apartment is 110 sqm (1,184 sq ft) on two levels. Yet, if one yearns for or desires going into unbounded space, one can go on to the terrace and glance away at the boats serenely sailing on the Danube. From the limited to the unlimited, Margeza has it all.

Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
Budapest - Margeza Design Studio
Photo by Áron Erdőháti
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For people, in this case Indians, who spend a considerable part of their lives abroad, what makes for a home? The search for the Identities of the diasporic Indian population prompted Meera Sethi to undertake this series, Foreign Returned.

 

Influenced by her visual backgrounds of medieval India and contemporary contexts, Meera set out to capture mixed identities through time and space, inspired by her own experiences across India, Canada and Australia. Each figure carries objects, images and personal histories of belonging and dislocation. Each figure is searching for something, perhaps it is home, perhaps it is a place to put down the suitcase.

 

Although these are portraits of contemporary wanderers, the clothing is inspired by Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings as this is how the experience of migration from India to the west can be visually depicted. The radical juxtaposition of aspects of one’s self show collapsing of time and space, of identities past and present. By creating a contradiction between what is worn and what is held, the intention is to suggest the ways history interrupts and/or creates our journeys.

 

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Parminder Sandhu (Paul)
Sudha Subramanium (Sue)
Mohammed Abdelrahman (Mo)
Anamika Sengupta (Ann)
K. Swaminathan (Sam)
Mariam Maharaj (Mary)