Welcome to Issue 36!
Welcome to our ‘Megacities’ issue!
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We learn how Lorentz makes his superb pictures, and pick up several really useful tips for working faster in Photoshop!
PHOTOSHOP | BLENDER
“I always like to place characters inside worlds where they become secondary parts of it and bring scenes to life. I also usually never draw a character first and then add a background. … I create a rough setting first before I put in any figures.”
Jon works in a TV news studio, but also finds time for Photoshop and has made spaceships for the TV series Dark Matter.
PHOTOSHOP | SKETCHUP
“I made a few short animations of my picture and cut them into a video. I don’t know why. I questioned why I was doing this more than a few times, as it ate up another week of time. But [it got me into TV series work, and so] paid off for me in a big way!”
We interview James, a British concept artist, about working purely in Photoshop and about creating his new artbook.
PHOTOSHOP | ARTBOOKS
“… there’s a lot more work involved in a book than I thought. To begin with, I thought I could create work more randomly, and then find a way or theme to tie the pictures all together. [Instead] I had to create pages with unified colour palettes and similar themed contents”
Also in Digital Art Live….
- OUR LIVE WEBINARS!
- INDEX OF BACK ISSUES
- REVIEW: BRYCE 7.1
- MY STUDIO
Part of our Interview with LORENZ RUWEE
DAL: Lorenz, welcome to the Digital Art Live in-depth interview. We featured your steampunk “Tesla Teleporting Station” in our Gallery recently, and your “Tethered Worlds” space portal picture was our front cover picture for issue #17. And with the excellence of your city work in your DeviantArt gallery, we thought you’d be a great choice for this “Megacities” themed issue.
LR: Thanks for having me. I’m honoured to have been featured and to be interviewed.
DAL: How did your interest in art begin, and develop, generally, before you encountered digital tools? Or were you perhaps someone who went ‘straight to digital’?
LR: I have been drawing since I was a young kid. Kindergarten, then school and ever since. I very much tried all kinds of traditional tools, except for maybe oils extensively. In my high school years I became highly interested in manga — Japanese comics — and I even thought about becoming a comics artist. I drew with lines mainly, but also used colour inks and gouache to paint later on. As well as some airbrushing.
In 2003 I got a cheap tablet and tried digital painting for the first time. Basically starting with coloring scanned ink drawings on the computer. It was very hard in the beginning to draw directly in Photoshop, especially with lines which was much easier on paper. It’s funny because nowadays it’s the opposite. I have trouble drawing confidently on paper! Digital painting and also sketching with the modern Wacom tablets is so much easier and forgiving.
DAL: Indeed. European comics and manga seem to have been a strong early influence? Tributes to Moebius and Akira, in that style, can be seen in your Gallery for instance. And I saw a page from your manga science-fiction comic at the very start of the Gallery.
LR: To be honest, I never really studied Moebius’s art close up… until recently.
I was mainly influenced by Japanese comic art, yes. Toriyama, then Otomo and also Nihei to name a few. I used to simply emulate their styles in the beginning, so I could draw exactly like them. Because their art carried aesthetics that were pleasing to me. I think every artist has role models and starts by copying, it can be a good starting point to learn.
Over the years, your skills arrive at a level where you can finally express yourself truthfully and style emerges by itself. Everything you have internalized is mixed with your very own essence and flows out naturally. The more you draw from your own personal traits, the more your style can become recognized as something uniquely yours.
As your taste develops and changes over the years, so does your style. Back in the days I didn’t like abstract art at all, but I have come to appreciate it more and more. My art has become simpler now I feel but I still have a long way to go.
DAL: What did those comics teach you for the long-term, in terms of perspective, dynamism, linework and suchlike?
LR: From comics I mostly drew on the design aesthetics and style cues. Also storytelling, obviously. But the art fundamentals I learned quite traditionally from books that dealt with the subject matter. I used to frequently go to public libraries as a kid, to get books on art basics.
DAL: Right. How did you first seriously develop your painting skills? For instance, did you then go on the train at a university or did you take online courses? Or was it just a question of ‘practice every day’?
LR: I am completely self taught. I never thought of going to an art school to be honest, as I felt it wasn’t an option for me and I’d learn a lot and faster on my own.
So I read many art books, studied other artists and watched tutorials. I especially found the Gnomon DVDs of the time were a great source of information on digital art.