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Changing jobs and switching fields never let Zigor Samaniego’s love for art die. It instead inspired him and gave him the strength to follow his passion and go ahead with what he really wanted to pursue in his life.

Just be Inspired to Work and Happy at Heart

Being successful and achieving what he has today has not been an easy ride for Zigor Samaniego. Experienced much, from having tasted editing of videos in a post-production company and working in the stream of info architecture to designing websites and being employed by a video game company, Zigor was neither inspired to work nor was happy at heart.

Just be Inspired to Work and Happy at Heart

He then took to freelancing as an artist and an illustrator which got him illustrating for some of the highly reputed brands like American Express, Nestle, Wired and their likes.

Though some of these opportunities gave him the chance to explore the world of 3D design and drawing, he still wanted his artistic freedom to let his creative mind and thoughts pour out of his imaginative brain in the way he wanted them to.

Inspired

Transforming Imagination to Impressions!

Zigor has always had multiple crazy ideas occupying his mind and conveying the same to his viewers’ works as his biggest motivation and inspiration. For this, he found 3D as the best possible way to express his thoughts and to give life to his imagination.

Though he plots the drawing from his mind, his artwork, from scratch to finish, is entirely digital inspired. Gone are those days when he would use the traditional tools of pen, paper and ink to unleash his creativity.

Inspired

Follow Your Own Style!

Comfortable and confident about his own style of working, he accepts requests and designs characters only which have the possibility to be designed in his way. It is a moment of pride for him when clients, amazed by his portfolio, call to hire him for their work to be delivered in his style. His style is defined by the cute appearance of his characters, merged with a slight amount of humour and fun, aimed at bringing a smile to the viewer’s face. Sometimes not knowing what to draw works best for him as the ideas develop alongside his doodling.

Nature, a Trigger For Art!

He credits his inspiration, innovativeness and ingenuity partly to nature and partly to his crazy thoughts. A nature-lover and enthusiastic about outdoor activities, he is influenced by the things he sees around him and sometimes draws inspirations for his characters and art work while trekking up a mountain.

Tips From the Master!

Enlightening the young ones with certain tips and tricks, he emphasises on the fact that having ones’ own style is a very important thing. In addition to this, the quality of the portfolio plays a very crucial and significant role in a creative’s life.

It is essential that the artist should remain faithful to his tastes and be very careful with the toxic customers wanting to change their style.

Inspired

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment.
This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Consistency is imperative while creating a series. This can be achieved through the use of line style, tone, colour palette, a specific art form, etc. Here is an illustrations series created for The Lily News by Ana Duje, an Argentinean graphic designer and illustrator who currently works between Hong Kong and Barcelona. What makes this unique is the minimalistic art style, the starkness of the white lines and bright pop of colours against the pitch black background.

 

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Before you even think of the character, you need to grasp what is going on in the game, says illustrator Shyam Deshpande. The story gives way to an ecosystem that automatically translates into details for your character. He shares few of his guiding principles.

Character
Hot Date
Character
Moon

Interrogation Before Imagination.

Even before conceiving a character, think why you even need to paint it. There are few questions one needs to answer to get the character right. Like, what are you trying to portray? What is the reason for his/her existence in the game? What is the story he/she dwells in. These form the base of the artwork. Take time to answer these questions. And rest assured, you are going to get a fitting character.



Character
Gaddafe

The Story is The Key.

The first job is to think about the plot of the game. Say, if it’s located on some alien planet, you need to think how the character will exist. Is it a safe happy place or full of unknown creatures? One needs to think about the persona of the character and accessories basis that. For instance, should he/she carry some essential weapons if it’s a scary place? Moreover, how these weapons should complement the character.

 

Like, a cave man shouldn’t be using a gun so you need to give him something which is primitive. Even the costume will have hints of a similar, natural material which is easily available on that planet. In other words, if you have a grab on the story, it will help your imagination to come up with the details.

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Lord Vishnu

“Artists always try to find familiar shapes in everyday things like clouds or other elements of nature. The same happens when they try to conceive a character”

In Character, Abstraction And Realism Merge.

Of course, abstraction and realism are two different things. But at times, especially in cases of character design, the thin line between the two dissolve. Artists always try to find familiar shapes in everyday things like clouds or other elements of nature. The same happens when they try to conceive a character. While painting one, they define the silhouette based on a relatable figure. Depending on the demand of the concept, the look of the character tilts towards abstraction or realism. But ultimately, there is a hint of both in every character.

Mastercopy: After Repin


Character Concept

Exaggeration is a Choice.

There are lots of factors in a figure that makes it appealing for the eye and interesting for the mind. Artists generally look for volume, rhythm, body language, expression and interaction between the forms in characters. While creating for a game, one needs to decide which forms or elements one needs to emphasise on.

 

Directed by the concept, it can be either one of the aspects of the character or one of the supporting elements. Then comes the expression and the physical stance. Say, a character supposed to be king exudes lack of confidence in his body language. This can be totally confusing for the artwork. At the end of the day, you need to choose the elements to exaggerate and give the character a completion.

Character Concept
Hyena

Published in Issue 15

Gaming Art Special! 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 like Vinay Vikram Singh, Sandeep Menon and Neeraj Menon along with International renowned Russian studio, ‘Grafit Studio‘ and many more talented creatives.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

For an artwork to be complete in an emotional and outstanding manner, characters and stories contribute as inevitable components. Danny Jose is a staunch follower of this theory, clearly evident in all his works.

Daaham, Malayali’s life
Naadodi, Malayali’s life

An engineer by profession but an artist and designer at heart, Danny has sketched for his entire life! The Internet and the online community of artists worked as a medium for him to polish his skills and gain confidence to step into the real world.

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Monkey Business

His journey began by illustrating medical procedures and scientific drawings for a journal. Alongside, he developed a taste for fine cinema only to realise that his illustrations had a major missing factor, stories. Once he incorporated these stories in his work, then came in his big break of being hired as a story-board artist.

Illustration for Dunzo.in
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Monkey Business

Constructing scenes and shots like in cinema and incorporating stories in them, Danny prefers to have characters in all his illustrations as they bring forth the emotional aspect of the scenario.

Illustrations for Sasken Technologies for their annual report

His personal projects serve as a platform for him to express his own design-style and storytelling. He very gracefully, transformed his explorations of shapes and poses into monkeys from different walks of life, defining his genre of art and style.

Illustration for Sasken Technologies for their annual report
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Monkey Business

With his clients reaching out to him for his way of art and story-telling, he uses this strength to his advantage to move forward. Believing in the core principles of mutual understanding, trust and respect in collaborative work, Danny is still on the hunt for his ‘A’ team to expand his work profile.

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Monkey Business
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Monkey Business
Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Who doesn’t want to become famous, when everyone knows your name and especially for us designer, it is the basic dream every design student or young artist dream. But behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must-read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Mistakes are not really as evil as it sounds, on the contrary in most cases it helps you to evolve as a better person. We can learn a lot from our own mistakes. Also, for any artist, it can be a great exercise to revisit the old artwork just to see how much you have improved. To do the same, concept artist Shyam Deshpande re-illustrate his old illustration with new learnings. Here, he shares his process and all the learnings from his mistakes.

Mistakes
Mistakes

Step 1.

This is one of old work painted back in 2013 and I was pretty happy about it then, but after some time, it doesn’t look as great as I thought it initially. Actually, I feel the same for most of my artworks which I believe is a good thing in a way as it portrays your continuous evolvement as an artist.

Mistakes

Step 2.

Since I wasn’t too happy with this 3 years old artwork, I started working on it again. The basic idea was to show a fearless lady who’s a Mercenary goes with a ‘cute’ but fearless pet. So, in this revisiting exercise, I decided to design a tribal character, inspired from the Nigerian tribes reference which I found while looking for references for Hyena. I used few different elements from references with incorporate some of my own ideas.

Mistakes

Step 3.

After finalising on the characters and design elements I tried to work on the final lines. I believe, it’s good to fix most of the issues in the drawing stage.

Mistakes

Step 4.

Even if you add lots of details in the drawing and great rendering with a nice colour scheme in the first silhouette, it will still be a waste of time. As there will be no attitude in it, it will be boring and stiff. But on the other hand the second silhouette, clearly shows a particular attitude, the confidence in the stance comes due to the distance between the legs, the dynamic line of action which adds to the drama. So it’s always good to check the silhouette and correct it before going for the detailing.

Mistakes

Step 5.

Before adding colours, worked in grayscale as it’s very important to get the values and tones right. Skipping this may confuse you in hue & saturation and you may also miss the correct values. Also, it’s easier to paint once you have the values place in advance. You just need to add one more layer on top of the grayscale in colour blending mode and start painting.

Mistakes

Step 6.

The final Image after all the colours with raw brush feel as I wanted to highlight her raw nature & the aggressive attitude.

Published in Issue 35

The season of the festival has started and everyone is preparing to have a unique one this time with less cash and more fun. We interview many creatives who creates promotional or calendar design each year. As most of the thing around us had shifted to digital, even calendar design and the promotion has shifted. But Yorick Pintos, a strategic consultant at studio Kohl suggests that best option would be to a mix of both, the traditional and digital media. Digital Illustrator Nithin Rao Kumblekar also shared his love for the printed calendars and emphasis on the effectiveness of it. If you are interested in print design & want to understand the future of the same. So, go ahead and order your latest issue copy!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The realisation of your idea doesn’t have to be technically correct, but it has to look authentic and believable. That’s how your stories find their way to the heart and mind of the audience. Gaming Studio Grafit Studio shares tricks that make learning this art easier.

Fantasy Stories
Warrior
Fantasy Stories
Official
Fantasy Stories
End of the Story
Fantasy Stories
Dancer
Fantasy Stories
Barrel Through

Almost all stories are alike.

That’s the hard truth, however creative you think you might be. Therefore, the challenge is to present them differently, make them special in some new way. One needs to strive to make made-up stories come to life, to make a beholder believe in whatever is happening on the screen. This trick is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s worth learning. As soon as you have an idea of how the details work, it becomes easier to ride the whirlwind. Understanding the very core of the subject gives an ability to create believable lighting, surfaces, materials, etc.

Fantasy Stories
Snake Girl
Fantasy Stories
Field Marshall Duda Agitator
Fantasy Stories
Pathfinder
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Asian Varior
Fantasy Stories

The plot comes first.

No matter how great your character is, with the poor idea, it is a lost cause. Even super-tough attitude and superhero outfit won’t conceal the weakness of a raw plot and poorly written dialogues. A good plot’s purpose is to reveal something about the characters, confront them with thought-provoking choices, throw them in a situation where their personality gets exposed. The appearance, costume and other details follow this core theme established by the overall plot.

Fantasy Stories
Fantasy Stories
Satyr
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Sirens
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Lamia

Good work is all about skill and sense.

With tools evolving, it’s becoming easier and faster to create art. But the availability of improving tools doesn’t cancel the importance of knowing what you’re doing. Without skill and sense, it’s impossible to create good, an eye-catching image with its depth and atmosphere, regardless of what tools you are using. The core idea always comes from inside. No matter which medium you are using, the basic sense of colour, anatomy, perspective and other skills are must-haves. It’s important to be mindful of technology and style while you create. Sometimes you can give your idea a boost with a proper combination of tools and skills, resulting in a better outcome.

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Golem
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Champion of Impulse
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Gladiator

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 like Vinay Vikram Singh, Sandeep Menon and Neeraj Menon along with Internationally renowned Russian studio, ‘Grafit Studio‘ and many more talented creatives. So, go ahead

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Characters – you’ll find them in comics, storybooks and fairytales as manifestations of imagination. Beyond that, elements like anatomy, expressions and plot are key in making a character appear realistic and relatable, believes character designer Aditya Chari. He explains the realistic principles one must incorporate while creating a character.

Kali. Illustration for a gaming concept. Depicts a negative character.
Tamohara. Displays how the character can narrate the story when placed in the right setting.

The Story Catalyses a Character

It’s important to know the story before giving shape to a character. After all, the purpose of every character is to tell a story. The story is built around their strengths and limitations. The props help them overcome their limitation and move the story forward. Next, figure out the role of the character in the story and layer your vision on top of it.

 

When you get content describing a character, you actually narrow down the choices and attain a more focused approach. This makes it easier to plan your character. However, when you work on your own conceptual art, there is no fixed direction. And you have to take the idea in your mind and put it down as a building block for the design. After that, let your intuition take over.

Character Design

It’s All in The Face

Facial expressions are most important when it comes to character designing. The eyes best convey the expressions, especially when in a close-up. The hands and the spine dictate the posture of the body, magnifying the emotion you try to convey through the facial expression. The expression is a window into the character’s mindset. Therefore, if you want people to relate and accept your characters, you need to design them to be expressive.

Character Design
Devi. The soft curves, posture and the facial expression keeps the feminine essence intact.
Character Design
Zoravar. The massive overgrown character has exaggeration that in no way disrupts the rules of anatomy.

Exaggerate What Anatomy Allows

When you are trying to draw from life or memory, your knowledge of anatomy is your main tool. You learn to look out for the landmarks on the body which help you put down your figure faster. Moreover, it helps you foreshorten the figure and also dress it up where the underlying body is not visible. Anatomy helps you understand mobility and the function of muscles. Muscles look different when they are relaxed and when they are contracted.

 

Exaggeration is just an adaptation of muscle and bone structure to the characteristics of the concept you wish to develop. This depends on what you expect the character to do when playing its role in the story. Characters like Popeye with huge forearms, Hulk with massive overgrown muscles or disfigured creatures from visual effects films, all fit into the same skeletal and musculature structure.

Character Design
Devi Comic. A very determined facial expression lends it the power that muscle lends to man.

Know the Difference Between Muscle and Mental Strength

While working with characters that are either male or female, it’s important to be aware of the differences between the two. Apart from the obvious physical differences, you need to bring forth the emotional difference too. Imagine combining the physical frailty of a woman with a very determined look when facing a larger than life scenario.

 

You have to make her look strong but at the same time maintain her feminine side. It’s about her mental strength. On the contrary, a male character would be more about robust physical posing and an exaggerated angry expression with throbbing veins and a muscular built. Even the design of clothing has a different approach for each type just as in real life.

Sea Creature. Irregular and bizarre. Follows the anatomy of sea life like the fins, the flippers and the claws.
Gorg. Complex, surreal and mechanical creature. Manages to get living feel because of its fierce facial expression.
Snake Woman. Body postures and facial expressions bring out the character’s personality.
Character Design
Character Sketch. Reveals many characters need props to help them overcome their limitation.

Published in Issue 14

We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Aditya Chari, Archan Nair Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Ever thought of your imagination coming to life, just the way you pictured it? Pankaj Gole, a concept artist and a character designer show how this is possible.

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The Creature
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The Creature Scary sound
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The Creature
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The Creature

With the belief that artists are free-spirited souls and the urge of always growing and improving, Pankaj took up everything as a challenge that came his way and started freelancing for wall paintings, tattoos, caricatures, portraits and storyboard developments.

Characters
Moon Light Hut, Morning Meditation
Characters
Monster Home

Pankaj feels that art without thought is just a decoration. The possibility of giving life to ones’ thoughts and imagination through visual design, empowered Pankaj to become a concept artist and master the art of character design. Pankaj has had a chance of designing characters and mascots for branding, advertisement, board games, 2D animations, video games and books and is currently designing for kids’ games.

Characters
Everyday work sometimes irritates people, makes them look nervous or tense. Its like something is missing.
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First Kiss

Let’s create a character!

Merging the clients’ brief and his own imagination of the brief, Pankaj starts by visualizing the character in terms of its form, costumes, emotions, personality, attitude, gestures, age, expressions and background. This is followed by rough sketching and modifying it by varying the design styles. He gives importance to proportions as they help in creating visual interest among these imaginary beings. Target audience surely plays a significant role in character designing.

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Smelly Cat
Characters
Smelly Cat Cuteness

Pankaj explains this process with an example of a character called ‘Creature’. Considering the target audience as kids and young people, he began personifying the character.

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What if Obama could be this?
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The Gladiator

The Creature is an active and healthy female living in a jungle. She is cute, innocent, emotional and scary looking with cute and expressive rounded blue eyes. The idea was to fuse all the forest elements together and so creature has the body like a turtle, face like a horse & horns resembling tree branches. It was a challenge to make creatures’ character look scary, cute, emotional and innocent all at the same time.

Characters
The Warrior
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Concept Art

To create the storyline, he does about 6-8 rough sketches per frame to get an idea about the desired environment, composed of characters in different angles and actions and also other supporting elements. He then settles for one sketch, deciding upon the colour scheme, colouring style and lighting source which helps him render the three-dimensional character, keeping in mind the feel of the story.

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Merry Christmas
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Digital Portrait

Style develops knowledge and knowledge creates a style!

The challenge of coming up with different styles can be overcome by always being on the lookout for new things, ideas and concepts and being curious and experimental to achieve something different and unique. Designing the basic shape keeping in mind the characters proportion, structure, body shape gestures and simplicity makes all the difference. Being true to himself and his profession, Pankaj always creates new characters and never reuses the old ones.

Characters
Rat
Characters
Rhino

To create his style, Pankaj starts out with the traditional method of pencil sketching as it gives him the freedom of playing with lines, rhythms and basic shapes and then modifies it with the digital mediums as it gives the freedom and possibility to create unbelievable art!

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Childhood Dreams
Characters
Caricature of Baba Ramdev

Keep pushing forward, the time and efforts put in will lead to success!

Pankaj encourages young enthusiasts to believe in the beauty that lies within and not to compare oneself with others as every artists’ style is unique and different! Being passionate definitely opens up doors and luck syncs’ in automatically.

Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Making Process
Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Table Service
Issue 42

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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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

A character is incomplete without its costumes, props and environment. Especially if it belongs to the world of fantasy. Therefore, to render a character in totality, one should be very clear of its complete image right from the beginning. Concept artist Milton Das explains creating an artwork of a warrior, complete with its accessories. Here is the step by step process.

Warrior

Step 1

Started with an empty canvas. As a practice, avoided using white. So filled it with dark blue green. This would be the base colour.

Warrior

Step 2

Added some rough ground colours. Also, darkened the edges of the frame so that the eye didn’t wander off. Since the composition would have most of its highlight at the centre, didn’t put any other element towards the edge. Blocked in the rough mass of the character.

Warrior

Step 3

Added a bit of details and a secondary light source below the legs.

Warrior

Step 4

After a satisfactory pose was struck, started to fill in areas. But avoided rendering every place of the image. One should place points of interest at even places. So that despite the eyes moving off, they would find something interesting to look at and eventually come back to the main focal area.

Warrior

Step 5

Fixed the overall composition. Also, made the edges of the twin blades pointing backwards which further reduced the chance of the eyes moving elsewhere. Did some colour corrections and added a stronger light coming from below.

Warrior

Step 6

Added some more elements in the background. Fleshed out the dead monster a bit and added some inscriptions on the sword. Time to render the details.

Warrior

Step 7

Started with the sword first. It is human nature to look at things the main character is looking at. So added two faces in the lower left corner to balance the large hydra (the 3-headed snake) from taking away viewer’s attention. Noticed that the left hand side of the image felt a bit heavy.

Warrior

Step 8

Balanced the composition by adding 3 heads on the right. Rendered the lower blade with flames. Also, worked a bit on the armour. Lastly, added a bit of yellow on the parts that got light from the weapon. Made a point to not use burn and dodge tools while drawing the flames lest they went out of control. Used a soft brush to define the glow then did the details with a hard round brush.

Warrior

Step 9

Rendered the armour and added smaller details. Changed the hair because it was looking a bit too stiff. One would require a lot of patience while detailing this part.

Warrior

Step 10

Finally, did some colour corrections. Copied the whole image and pasted it in a new layer to apply the effects. One could also use a masked layer to do this. Arrived at the final image.

Published in Issue 16

We always wish we had someone to show us the right way of doing things when we were starting our professional journey. And that’s why we have based this issue on graduates. The cover feature is an ensemble of advice from top names of the industry. We have also showcased few talented fresh graduates from across the country, keeping with the theme. You’ll find Tom J Manning and Pallavi Sen share their international exposure as well as insights behind their unique approach. Also featuring Shreya Shetty, a prominent concept artist, who shares the secret behind the believable characters she creates. She believes, with practice and patience, anyone can be a good artist.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Danny Jose, compiled some of his character illustrations to create a display of his work. The illustrations are amusing; with care taken to give each character its own idiosyncratic personality. The colour palette is wonderful and the noise added to the texture adds appeal to the overall look.

 

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Having Fun with Character Design