Welcome to Issue 27!
Welcome to this ‘Giant Monsters’ issue! Giant monsters have been around for a long time, even if you don’t count the dinosaurs. The most ancient epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest known work of literature, has the hero fight a giant spirit-boar in the cedar forests of Lebanon. But that’s just an appetiser, as later in the story Gilgamesh tackles the very Bull of Heaven — a city-sized fiery bull who is usually the night-sky constellation of the Bull, but who comes to earth to rampage across the world’s first cities. Later epics from Greek and Egyptian culture abound with giant water-dragons, fearsome underworld snakes, one-eyed cyclops, and many more. Even today we all know famous names such as the Minotaur of the Cretan maze, or Cerberus the giant guard-dog of the door to the Underworld. The Ancients thrilled to their giant monsters just as we do today, and they may well have pointed to dinosaur bones as proof that such things had been real!
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We talk with Sans, from Kerala in India, about the importance of tapping into childhood nightmares when making monsters!
PHOTOSHOP | PAINTER
“I remember that when I was young, I dreamed about creatures, monsters and UFO-like objects descending from sky toward me. My paintings of giant creatures are reflections of these dreams.”
John has been working in 3D since digital artists used MS-DOS! Today his passion is for combining Zbrush and painterly art.
ZBRUSH | 3DS MAX | PS
“If you’re doing a dragon, where’s your [real-life] reference? You have to know how the skull works, how the bones work, how the muscles attach to those bones … Knowing that will free you to be able to create.”
Simon is a leading Poser artist, creating beautifully lit compositions featuring the monstrous and the macabre!
POSER PRO | PHOTOSHOP
“Sometimes I ‘just try stuff’ and do not have a particular picture envisioned in my mind, and I find this can be a real pain. With a clear vision, though, I need two to seven hours for a picture.”
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Part Interview text with SANSKARANS
DAL: Sans, welcome to Digital Art Live. When we saw your series of amazing ‘giant creatures’ pictures, we knew you’d be a fine choice of artist for this themed issue of the magazine. Firstly could you explain a little about the method by which you make your pictures, please?
SK: You are very welcome. Thank you very much for the invitation It is quite a honour to be part of Digital Art Live magazine.
The way I work is that, instead of working over line-art, l usually start my paintings directly with the choice of essential colours needed for the painting. For the picture I use a large canvas on Photoshop, set to 300 dpi in case I want to get a print. Photoshop has a huge advantage over other software, in terms of being able to work with a large canvas, while still using less machine power and memory usage.
DAL: Yes, that’s one of the problems with software like ArtRage. Which is very nice software, and highly polished in version 5, but large canvases and big brushes are still not handled as well as with Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro. It’s a key factor to consider when starting out, when choosing the software to learn.
SK: Yes. As a first step in a painting I use single layer to work with. Using basic Photoshop brushes, I ‘block in’ shapes and areas of colour while also considering the light source. Here I will work on mood, the focal point, etc, etc… and then I refine it until I start to become satisfied. Once I find ‘the composition’, I work on details. Here I use custom brushes. Like lot of digital artist out there, I believe that creating one’s own set of custom brushes is the pinnacle step in digital painting. I use these custom brushes to add the texture to the painting. Then I finalize the work integrating with other software. Such as Corel Painter, to add that traditional touch to the painting.
DAL: Are there other software packages might you like to explore in the future? 3D software, such as Vue, perhaps?
SK: I certainly like to use multiple software for finalizing my works. But for now I’m happy to use Painter to help me attain a solid ‘classic traditional’ feel. I often work with both Photoshop and Painter, in most of my works. I don’t use 3D software , but I tried 3D Studio Max , Maya and Zbrush once, for my 3D projects. So I know that I would like to explore more of Zbrush in future. Zbrush obviously has a lot to offer. I have seen some stunning images done with this wonderful software. I will surely like to try it someday. I haven’t tried Vue, as I have hardware limitations. And some of that sort of software is currently beyond of my reach.
SK: My inspiration to become an artist arose in my childhood. As with every artist, I started drawing at a very early age. I always had a keen interest in paintings, animation, comics, story writing and watching movies /documentaries. Especially horror, science fiction and creature stuff! I guess this has influenced me a lot for developing my creativity. I was an extremely introvert kind of person who stayed away from social functions, and I spent most of the spare time watching TV shows, VHS video cassettes. Imagining things that don’t exist. I lived in the world of fantasies and fiction. I believe my inspiration to create these pieces, today, arise mainly through these memories of watching movies, other media of entertainment and also some crazy dreams / nightmares that I had when I was young.
DAL: When did you make the move to digital?
SK: My first step in to the world of digital art was on early 2002. This was the time I bought my first computer. It started with the humble MS Paint, actually! Then 3ds Max, and of course Photoshop… the list goes on and on, until I arrive at what I am doing now.