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Have you ever started doodling with nothing really on your mind? Just aimless strokes intersecting and your thoughts preoccupied elsewhere. Sometimes our best work comes from these mindless scribbles and we don’t even
realize it.

 

Victor Rigo, an illustrator based in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, created this lovely illustration series simply by using hard stones and putting pencil to paper and letting his mind wander. The result is this minimal illustration style, yet well-developed characters with expressive emotions and gestures.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 44

 




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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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How do we involve a viewer into our art illustrations?

 

Ishan Trivedi, through his illustrative story of 3 live puppets, uses a surreal tone to captivate his viewers. The vibrant colours help make the characters and the environment pop. The soft textures and the blurred edges make it all seem so dreamy. The detail in the character emotions and layers too cannot be missed.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 44

 




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Finding out what you are ‘born to do’, does not come easily for everyone. Archan Nair shares his story of finding his love for visual arts and how he established himself in this market.

Archan
Dream in the Light

Only after a few years of starting his career in the fashion industry by joining his family’s apparel manufacturing company, Archan realised that he was not too fond of it. He then began experimenting with visual arts and in it he found a way to express himself, an escape to travel into a reality which was his own.

Archan
Crossing Beyond

The beauty of art and creating something out of nothing took him by surprise, which got him exploring the subject deeper, leading him to the realisation that this is what he wanted to do all the time!

 

Archan quit his day job to start his journey as an independent artist and he definitely played his cards right! The decision of switching fields was worth the challenges that came in the way.

Archan
Silent Letters

Analog to Digital

Growing up from times when cable TV just started to dial up Internet and the magical effect that the technology exhibited upon the use of tools on it, Archan was mesmerized to the extent that he drew inspiration for creativity using technology from his childhood seeings.

 

In Archan’s opinion, digital tools offer many more opportunities for creativity compared to traditional tools and uses a mix of 2D and 3D art to design the kind of artwork he is fond of. He feels that just the way how general art has diversified itself into the forms of traditional art, sculptures, installations, digital-art and mixed media, digital art will also expand much beyond its existing parameters.

Archan
Taqueria

Taking on Challenges

Engaging with clients is challenging as it brings one out of their comfort zone, gets you digging deeper in to subject in order to align your work with the client’s demand and communicate in the best way possible. Dealing with clients, in other words, is a blessing in disguise.

 

According to Archan, obstacles are important and necessary, not just in the process but in day to day life, as they help in establishing relationships with ones’ work and aligning it to the energy outside.

Archan
Tokara

Obstacles are an integral part of any professional’s life, the most common being finding consistent flow of projects. Also, these obstacles refine a person and take him into a deeper space, helping him explore his own best.

Archan
Settle

Love What You Do

The intention of creating illustrations was only a medium to express his inner journey and showcase his love for creation. It was nowhere close to getting himself famous or enjoying a popularity among global folks.

 

There aren’t any hard and fast rules laid down for marketing art and an artist. The process of creating an audience varies from person to person. All Archan believes is in that focus on creating and share what you create, the work will speak for itself and the rest will be taken care of.

Archan
Spun

Neither having the time or energy nor the strategy to brand himself, he follows his heart and does what he is best at, creating and is lucky enough to have everything fall in place for him. For Archan, this isn’t a race, it, in fact, is an open platform for people to bring out their expressions in their own unique style and serve as inspirations for others.

Archan
Way In

Craft-Focus

Advising the young and emerging artists, he suggests sticking to the basic things like creating, practicing, working hard, and not focusing on creating a brand. If that needs to happen it will happen on its own.

Archan
Scopic
Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

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. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. 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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They easily make us laugh, but caricature design is a tough form to master. Here, one has to feel the expression and manifest it through the use of colours and exaggerations. Keya Mahata dwells on these to bring characters to life. Below, she takes us through a demonstration for caricature design of Steven Tyler.

Caricature

Step 1 

At first, various high resolution reference images of the subject are selected which are then arranged on a layer in Photoshop. A jpeg file of the reference is created as well.

Caricature

Step 2 

This is followed by using a white page Photoshop as a canvas. Then, using a 19 pt brush, started drawing. While drawing a caricature, it’s important to retain the basic form and character of the Steven Tyler and simultaneously exaggerating what is necessary.

Caricature

Step 3 

This way, full drawing of the subject is completed. While doing so, focus on the expression and never deviate from it.

Caricature

Step 4 

The layer is then copied and coloured in. A de-saturated colour is used to make it soft.

Caricature

Step 5 

Once coloured in, the opacity of the brush is reduced and the colours are merged. The teeth are made yellow with some bits of grayish colour to resemble the real person.

Caricature

Step 6 

Once the facial colours are set, detailing of the face is carried out. This includes wrinkles of the eye to making his singing posture. One thing to take note of is the filling in of a darker shade in one side of the character’s face in order to give it 3D feel.

Caricature

Step 7 

In this step, some off white colour on nose, tongue and check is also used to give a highlight.

Caricature

Step 8 

Once, the colouring in of the face is completed, the body is started off with.

Caricature

Step 9 

For the body, once again a desaturated colour tone is used. It’s important to maintain wrinkles to maintain his aged body.

Caricature

Step 10 

Once the body is finished, the focus is on the hair. Gentle brushes are used to soften this area. Various shades of browns and blondes are used to define volume and depth.

Caricature

Step 11

Dark brown and shade of gray is used for the dark part of the hair.

Caricature

Step 12

This particular shade makes the hair appear soft and effortless.

Caricature

Step 13

After careful finish of the hair, additional detailing is carried out using a brush on shape dynamic mode. A brush on colour dodge mode is also used to add highlight.

Caricature

Step 14

Once hair is completed, a little bit of highlight is added on the whole figure.

Caricature

Step 15

After fully finishing hair and body, the background is coloured in with semi-violet. Some yellow is also added to establish lighting, giving the overall design a bright look. A large brush is used for this step.

Caricature

Step 16 

The lemon yellow colour is softened and then blended with the violet background.

Caricature

Step 17

A spotlight is then created using off white colour and a round brush.

Caricature

Step 18

Once the whole body, hair and background is finished, selected areas are infused with shadows using brushes on multiply mode.

Caricature

Step 19 

Finally, the caricature design is finished with the addition of slight brushing and leveling.

Product and Automobile Design

Published in Issue 27

This issue explores one of the widely discussed product design and automobile #design which is very close to our heart. We spoke to few leading names to find out the future of product design and understand the Indian designer sensibilities and practices. Everyone believe that it’s not just functionality but also the visual appeal of the product which plays a crucial in the success of a product. This issue is a bundle of inspirations and insights from the well know product and automobile designers. A must read which you will enjoy for sure.

 

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High thought about the future is inseparable from the mind of a man. It’s the dreams that define his character. And hence, holds an important place in shaping up his expectations. Rupinder Singh attempts to interpret this relationship between a man and his expectations in a surrealist manner through his poster, Live your Dream.

Step 1

Started sketching in Illustrator. It’s best for drawing geometric shapes. Took reference from a few crystal images to understand basic shape, texture and angles of a crystal.

Step 2

Created random collage of cloud images in Photoshop. Imported the Illustrator file (crystal outline file) into this Photoshop document. Cut a cloud image into fragments with a layer mask and the Magic Wand tool (W). Used the line work/outline layer to make the selection and hide the part of the image that needs to go.

Step 3

Repeated the previous steps to get an overall image similar to this. After all the areas were filled, merged all those layers to lower the file size. Left it for a while and created a new file in Photoshop for background design.

Step 4

Created the background using few high-resolution stock images such as, green field, an old man and few clouds that gave a dramatic look to the sky.

Step 5

Arranged all those stock images in different layers and made them black and white. Deleted the extra sky on the field image using a very soft brush and replaced it with the more dramatic and textured sky.

Step 6

Imported that giant crystal and adjusted its highlights and shadows using Image>Adjustments>Curves. The design was almost done. Added some details like lights, shadows and textures.

Step 7

Made two copies of the crystal and placed them on two different sides. Added some Gaussian blur to make them look out of focus. This would create depth in the design. Also created shadows wherever required.

Step 8

Added reflection and shine using white coloured normal round brush with 0% hardness and 100% opacity.

Step 9

Created light strokes of around 50% opacity and placed them wherever required. This added details and depth to the design.

Step 10

Created one curves adjustment layer and adjusted highlights and shadows.

Step 11

Created a new layer just below the light and shine layers and added the above texture to it. Scaled it to fit the canvas and changed its layer property to ‘Soft Light’. Got that vibrant coloured texture.

Step 12

Created a new layer and filled it with blue colour. Changed its layer property to ‘Exclusion’. This gave a cold temperature to the image.

Step 13

Added text on the top. Final image

Published in Issue 09

This issue focuses on strengths and weakness of Indian creative business with cover from Archan Nair. Also, include some of the fearless creatives who had made their mark in the industry without compromising on the quality of the output and many more interesting reads.

 

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Every one of us responds to emotions in our own personal ways. But for all of us, it is an explosion. Sometimes it is expressed through an outburst, at other times, it just submerges within. Every time we explode, we lose a little bit of us. Digital Artist Fahd Hussein captures a moment in that explosion to create his piece, ‘Extraho’.

Step 1

Found a collection of stock textures on the net that would be the building blocks for the image. Found a wall texture and smoke/ ink in water shot.

Step 2

Dug out stock images of a broken egg shell and a jelly fish. These would be part of the visual elements to be used.

Step 3

Picked out an expressive face from T-gar’s stock collection on deviantart.com to create the ‘protagonist’ of the piece. Arranged the model’s face on top of the texture and erased out enough to force a seamless blend. Colour-toning the image helped in setting the mood. The green was chosen to give it a little ‘creep’ factor.

Step 4

Time to explode the face. Chopped off the eggshell and placed it to fit the contours of the face.

Step 5

Added some shading and colour to get the depth. Air-brushing helped to get the desired effect.

Step 6

Blended in some cracked earth/ peeling paint textures for stress marks where the face exploded.

Step 7

Took the smoke/ ink pic and masked it out to get the ‘hot smoke’ feel. Blended it in Screen mode to get the desired effect.

Step 8

Took a couple of the jellyfish pics, inverted, huerotated and curve-adjusted the jelly out of them till they looked adequately ominous.

Step 9

Took another one of T-Gar’s lovely face shots and placed them in line with the flow of the jellyfish body.

Step 10

Masked out the extra bits and did the usual blend-mode/ colour correction routine till it started looking natural.

Step 11

Did this for multiple jellyfish till a swarm was created.

Step 12

Placed it all together. The finished piece started taking shape a little.

Step 13

Added appropriate shading to get depth. Some ink-splats and similar textures were added to enhance the ‘creep’ factor. A liquid spurt on the head, some spot colour and final colour-toning signed it off.

Step 14

Got the final image.

Published in Issue 11

This issue also explored the Jewellery Design & Wedding Photography with some cool techniques to learn from experts in Gyaan section.

 

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It’s a digital age, one doesn’t need a subject to pose before them for hours, simply a photograph is enough. Graphic design student, Sri Harsha Andukuri takes us through a step by step guide on making a digital portrait of any famous celebrity, in this case, Hollywood’s own Scarlett Johansson.

Step 1

Fixing the Canvas and Preparing the Outline

The process of portrait begins by fixing of the canvas. This is achieved through Photoshop, where a new file is opened with an A3 size. This is followed by creating an outline of the image using a red colour, on a new layer. The colour red is selected because it highlights profiles and edges in the middle of the painting. Then, marking of highlights and shadows in a new layer using red colour and a textured brush with opacity 7% and 14%.

Step 2 

Filling Base Colour for Skin

Once the above step is completed to satisfaction, a colour palette of shades, tints and neutrals are made for the skin. A new layer is then added and a neutral colour with full opacity is used as the base colour for the body. At this point, any colour exceeding outlines is erased.

Digital Portrait of Scarlett Johansson

Step 3 

Detailing the Face

This is then followed by creating a new layer yet again, where the base colour of the eyes is filled using a brush with full opacity. Here, colours exceeding any outline are erased. Subsequently, a new layer is created for highlights, shadows and details for the eyes. The next step requires painting in highlights and shadows of the nose and other facial areas using a colour palette with a textured brush bearing 7%, 14% and 21% opacities.

Step 4 

Detailing the Lips

Following the fixed colour palette, a base colour is filled with 100% opacity first for the lips. Highlights and shadows of the lips are drawn in a new layer with a small size textured brush with 7% opacity. Using a small brush at this point enhances precision and detail.

Step 5 

Painting Rest of the Skin 

Going further down, shadows and highlights of the neck area, collarbone and chest are painted using the colour palette for the skin.  Used a textured brush of opacity 7% and 14% in a new layer.

Step 6 

Painting the Dress 

In a similar way, the base colour, shadows and highlights of the dress and its drapes are painted. Here too, a separate colour palette is fixed for this.

Step 7 

Painting the Hands 

Keeping shadows and highlights in mind, the arms are also painted in a similar way as in step 5.

Step 8 

Detailing the Hair 

The most challenging part of the portrait is a painting of the hair. The most time-consuming step; a new layer is filled with the solid base colour of hair, taken from a selected colour palette. Carefully then, hair is divided and marked into different parts according to its flow. This is followed by the creation of another new layer in which a number of strokes are drawn along the flow of hair in each and every part which is marked. A new layer over this one is then added which is used to blend all these parts using a brush with less opacity, in order to link the hair flow.

Step 9 

Fixing the Background

Finally, a new layer is added below all of these layers and filled with a solid colour. A shade of the base colour is selected, as in the palette, and is painted in a new layer to create a vignette feeling to the background. Another layer is subsequently added in which a 30% opacity gradient of black colour in multiple modes is employed. Upon completion, save the file as a jpeg and open in Adobe Lightroom where the portrait can be post edited for the desired outcome.

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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Why do we love illustrations so much? Is it because it gives us a different perspective? Or is it the yearning for something spectacular? Maybe it’s simply to make one stop and think. These 3D installations by Peter Tarka, is all this and more. Each installation in the series takes different principles of design and explores the possibilities. The tension between the various objects in each installation creates something wonderful.

 

Peter Tarka is an art director and illustrator based in London who has worked with several renowned agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, and for eminent clients like Apple, Honda, etc.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 44

 




Carlos Cadenas is a Venezuelan art director and graphic designer, who is passionate about type and poster design. He has received several prestigious awards for this experimental typography series.

 

Here Carlos explores typography for the ’36 Days of Type’ Challenge. The result of his work brings colours, textures and 3D form so perfectly together that it almost looks too easy! Carlos decided to play with 3D and went all out with his explorations. The abstract concepts depicted for each letter is a very interesting and giving way to see a story inside a story. Through this series, one can see a myriad of ideas, colours, perspectives and so much more.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 44

 




36 Days of Type

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