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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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Tom J Manning

Originally trained as a product designer, Tom J Manning later turned to graphic design. Having done a course in sequential illustration at Oxford Brookes University, UK, he took up freelancing as his chosen way to work.


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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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Milton Das

Just a year and a half old in the professional world, Milton is still looking for his professional directions. He loves to sketch.


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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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Critics, admirers and friends have in unison called his work controlled explosion of energy and movement. Tom J Manning believes this is true as it is his conscious effort to evoke positive and creative energy through his works. He presents an account of his design beliefs, thoughts and practices.

Evoking Positive and Creative Energy
Nike Wild
Personal Project
Mind Over Matter

Moving Images Are More Alive Than Static

I am fascinated by the flow of time, particularly the moments that may never be repeated. I also realise that nothing is ever truly still. With these themes in mind I make very quick strokes using special custom brushes. Smudging and fast scratchy pencil lines add to this effect. The theme of movement relates to the energy in my work. I always add simple lines to the outside of an image to make it ‘move’ even if it is portrayed as a static object.

Vinyl Cover
Evoking Positive and Creative Energy
Vinyl Cover
Repair Album

Contrast Adds Depth

I like to keep my images bright. That’s why I use vibrant colours, mainly orange. I find that I can isolate the brightness of the colours by using grayscale, which makes them stand out almost like highlights. I tend to work in darker colours first before layering brighter colours on top. I feel that this helps to create a more indepth kind of image.

Personal Project
INTERNAL CONFUSION.
Personal Project
Love and Pride
MUSE BOOK COVER.

Connect Comes From Positive Emotions

Most of my work is open to interpretation, especially the abstract work. When I do portraits I want the audience to understand who the person is and what they do and perhaps a glimpse into their personality. I also try to invoke happiness, content, hope, sadness and change within my images. My style always attempts to make good out of the bad, light out of the dark. Quick and vibrant strokes of colour represent that creative and positive energy.

Alberto De Tenis Illustrations
Alberto De Tenis Illustrations

Free To Pick, Think And Draw

In nature you can see so many things moving, so many colours and varieties. I pick them up in abundance and use them in my work. Like, the quick strokes in my paintings are inspired from Leafy Sea Dragons. Or, the orange comes from the colour of the Malay Lacewing Butterfly. More importantly, I find mixed media to be free and expressionistic which is perfect for my style and the themes I wish to communicate. It also allows me to keep my work traditional and raw. Often a single image could contain as many as 15 different media all mixed together with a digital finish.

Linkin Park, Musical Illustrations
Linkin Park, Musical Illustrations
Linkin Park, Musical Illustrations
Linkin Park, Musical Illustrations
Linkin Park, Musical Illustrations

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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We are amidst the times of discussion and debate about art, craft and design. In spite of that, the fact remains that a piece of creation should ultimately let the audience experience a sense of joy and a desire to touch or possess the work, believes designer Pallavi Sen. She reflects how, at the core, the job of a visual is to create an aesthetic tool to create happiness and joy.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pomfret
Pallavi Sen - Joy
Rooster

Patterns create a visual experience.

Despite all the opinions and arguments about the trend in the art world, pure aesthetics should still be the top priority objective for a visual. To achieve this, patterns play an important role as a tool. It captures the viewer’s attention, providing a space to just gaze and wonder, rather than look for a more complex explanation for why that piece of work exists. When you repeat motifs, you create something beautiful, abstract and unrelated to our everyday life. For instance, a mango stops being what it is when you repeat it a dozen times.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Raja Rani
Pallavi Sen - Joy

Placement defines the effect.

Things of obvious beauty, when placed against something unusual, take the viewing experience to a different level altogether. The traditional Rangoli at every Indian home is a beautiful work of art in itself. But when placed against an ordinary door, like a grey floor or a dusty sidewalk, the effect is heightened. Or say, an Ikkat piece draped over a record player. If you want to add to the visual effect of the piece, combine repeating motifs and an unusual placement.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pallavi Sen - Joy
Circus Circus

Colours help focus on the subject.

Colours act as a tool in any artwork. It becomes a character of the story and stays the same, no matter where it is placed. Some colours have a strong effect on the viewer. They take over what you make and you become an instrument. This happens a lot with high pigment colours. They are so dazzling that any mark looks wonderful. Keeping it all in one bold colour like red helps unify all the different lines and shapes into one image, against a stark background. At its best, a work should be a declaration that the beautiful object is still most important and make you feel the joy when you look at something.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Madhuri

At times, the material decides the design.

Be open to your approach of materials while creating something. The recommended way is to keep adding materials to your work as you find them and then decide if it fits or not. Sometimes, however, you can work the other way round. Make a colour palette, draw the design out and then go shopping for fabrics. But even when it is so planned, you may find something that feels great to the eye, like a fabric that is golden or has wonderful movement. Whenever you see something lovely or interesting, try and incorporate it. You’ll be surprised to know how, at times, the material decides the design.

Pallavi Sen - Joy
Pattern Pot

Stay true to yourself.

Everything you see, hear, feel, experience are sources of inspiration. Look at books on design, a new design in homes, innovative products, designers showcased at fashion weeks and even architecture from the past. Take a stroll in a museum and watch the many different styles and trends across the world and hundreds of years back in time. Keeping your eyes open to all of these keeps you in touch with what is visually attractive. All this while, stay very true to yourself and your idea of beauty & joy and always encourage and allow yourself to change.

Pallavi Sen - Joy

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.

 

Order Your Copy!

Pallavi Sen

Pallavi Sen is an artist of Indian origin, currently staying at Brooklyn. She works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ratti Textile Center, which stores a majority of the museum’s textiles.


Featured In


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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Fantasy and realism are conflicting thoughts. Yet, for fantasy characters to be believable, it is important to bring in a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ while still keeping them anatomically and functionally viable, professes concept artist Shreya Shetty. She lays down few very important tenets to create fantasy-realism, as she likes to call it.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Aghori
Characters Shreya Shetty
Mr. Nibbles

Origin decides the destination.

The characters are shaped by the environment he/she resides in. For example, if you were drawing a character from a tribe that lived in the desert, you wouldn’t cover him/her in heavy fur – it just wouldn’t be practical. Or, if you had to design a character that lived up in the Arctic, you wouldn’t design elements that echoed tropical climates like palm trees and such. It is very important to design the characters in relation to the environment it lives in to maintain believability. Try not to have too many elements in the background or keep it super detailed because then, the character would be difficult to read. Keeping the background simple helps in reducing clutter in the image and maintains the focus on the character.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Broken
Characters Shreya Shetty
Vendor

All the characters are born out of a real instance.

Usually, the overall design and silhouette of the creature will first catch your eye. Take inspiration from associated elements, for example, surface qualities like colouring, pattern and texture details, physiological traits, mechanics and behavioural traits to come up with your imagination. With humans, faces with nonconventional features make for more interesting characters. Replicating, in terms of fan art or redesigning, involves a bit constraint. But you can always add your own unique perspective, while maintaining the original identity of the character. On the other hand, original artwork gives you free reign to design as you wish.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Gar
Characters Shreya Shetty
Merman Sketches

Exaggeration makes the character memorable.

If you exaggerate just the right amount, it could be the difference between a dull, forgettable character and one that stands out and grabs the viewer’s attention. You can play with physical proportions and expressions to add a theatrical flair to your design. Props and costume add to the storytelling and history of the character. Look through resource materials for costumes and hairdos and find inspirations that are more suited for your character. It’s important for the added elements to match the universe of your character to bring in that sense of authenticity.

Characters Shreya Shetty
7 of Pentacles
Characters Shreya Shetty
Merman

Expression defines the persona.

Expression and posture are all parts of the visual storytelling process and act as cues. They tell us more about the character if he/she is aggressive or submissive, intelligent or dumb and so on. In respect to the overall plot, expressions define the role played by the character in it. The right expression and poise can create a memorable moment that will stick with the audience even when the story gets over.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Kinara
Characters Shreya Shetty
Helith
Characters Shreya Shetty
Flower Fairy

Practice, patience and perseverance.

Many people have this notion that few artists are naturally gifted with the ability to draw and paint while others are not. That’s not true. With hard work and persistence anyone can be a good artist. The important thing is to just practice, practice and practice more. Look at the artists you admire, see what attracts you to their work. Do master-copies, observational sketches and supplement your studies with working from imagination. Finally, give yourself time to grow and develop to be the one you always want to be.

Characters Shreya Shetty
Enoi Queen
Characters Shreya Shetty
Barnabus
Characters Shreya Shetty
Alice and the Caterpillar

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.

 

Order Your Copy!

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