Learning is a Constant Process in Concept Art

Amol Hirawadekar, a Mumbai-based concept artist, shares all about the world of concept from his own experiences, personal and professional journey through the field.
Learning is a Constant Process in Concept Art

Amol recognised his love for art early on, growing up wanting to be nothing but an artist. Going on to be a concept artist who graduated from Sir. J. J. School of Art, to working on Brahmastra, he bares it all in this interview.

DJINN
DJINN

The Early Days

Amol Hirawadekar had been fond of drawing and painting since childhood. So much so that, back in his school days, his teacher asked him to draw something on the blackboard everyday. That is how he has been illustrating since those days, winning many awards.

He sincerely feels that to draw and create something new everyday is a fun thing to do; something that not everyone gets a chance to do and even make a part of their everyday lives, counting himself in as among those lucky few. This shows from the fact that he always wanted to be an artist. “My parents, teachers and the people around me always supported and encouraged me with my decision,” he says. Sargent, Boris and Jim Lee are his inspirations, meanwhile, as he feels they have their unique styles.

Today, Amol has a wide range of various work experiences related to films and games, considering his special or personal interest in those genres apart from his dedicated approach to his art Additionally, he says, “I have worked on all levels before working as a concept artist and those experiences help me while creating concept art. So every experience counts. Lots of architecture, too has inspired me while travelling. Working on sets was a whole new experience, as well, and old paintings of masters have inspired me alike.”

Parshurama
Parshurama
Tribal King
Tribal King

The Journey In His Own Words

Staying in Byculla in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and my dad use to take me to Vijay Khatu’s Ganpati statue-making workshop. There I got so obsessed with the process of making idols, I used to stand outside and watch the artist working on those idols, whether it was painting or sculpting, I used to buy lots of comic books, as well, and these things inspired me a lot to grow as an artist

Ram
Ram

Choosing Concept

Amol has always been into concept art since the very beginning. He had been working as Art Director and Assistant Production Designer before turning into a concept artist. This experience and exposure gave him a lot of insight. It channelised his skills and strengths to work for the better, broadening his artistic vision and outlook in the process. In his own words, “I choose concept art because it gives a wide range to create fantasy aspects. I’m very fond of Indian mythology, where it’s written about our gods and try to depict as it’s mentioned. I try a different approach to justify what’s written in the scene and paint accordingly.

Achieving Strong Personalities

On how does Amol achieves such strong personalities and characters through expressions and physical traits, he says, “While studying in Sir. J. J. School of Art, my subject was portraiture. That time I enjoyed studying facial expressions and anatomy. I did so many nude models apart from my college’s live model sessions.” All these additional efforts that Amol took out of his own initiative since the early days really paid off with the kind of projects he started to attract in the course of time.

Badnny
Badnny
Hanuman
Hanuman

Getting the Style and Techniques Right

Amol has his own style and techniques to apply colour schemes and lighting effectively, so as to portray the character in its full element. “While working on the character, I will do some Alia Prima techniques while also thinking about the characteristics that I want to give the character. The same goes for the colour of its environment and the surrounding elements.”

Approaching a Project

Amol has worked on some key projects in the recent times. Expounding on those project experiences and his approach to every new piece of work he takes up, he narrates, “After taking a brief, the first thing I do is to make as many sketches as I can and, then after locking the sketch, I move on to values and add color scheme accordingly. Further, I will go on to add some details before reaching the final phase to finish it. As I’m a fine art student, I try to keep a traditional touch to it. I have made a time lapse video of my process. You can check it out on my Instagram.

Kaiju
Kaiju

The Key to Concept

Talking specifically about his work in the field of concept and design, Amol says, “While working on Brahmastra, I did a lot of multiple things such as concept art, key concepts, weapon designs and set design under the Production Designer Amrita Mahal. I have been working with them for the past 5-6 years. While doing that, I did some concepts for “Kalank and Bhoot: The Haunted Ship” on the side. For a while, I worked on “The Immortal Ashwatthama,” doing visual development and concept art. Recently I had worked on a game named as Guru Dharma by Equinox Virtual, for which I made some posters”

Reinventing Oneself

In terms of wanting to renew or re-innovate one’s work and skill-set further, Amol feels, “as an artist, it’s a constant learning process. I like to experiment now and then, learning new things on the side to help me grow as an artist.”

Mad King
Mad King
War Giant
War Giant

Traditional vs Digital

Speaking about how he experiences painting differently from digital painting, Amol says, “I feel traditional and digital painting are two different expressive mediums. Both are very powerful tools. While painting the canvas was a great experience of understanding colours and learning process, gathering those experiences and working on digital medium is another experience. I see oil canvas, paper pencil and digital medium as just mediums. Each one has it’s own advantages but I prefer traditional mediums as they are great for learning.”

Amol’s Advice

Ask him what’s his advice to someone who wants to take a similar path as himself, he says, “Keep working on and stay focused on the fundamentals of art alongside the aesthetics. While learning, you should try to focus on these things and avoid the shortcuts. Strong basic fundamentals will help in your creative process”.

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