Welcome to the “epic vistas” themed issue of your free Digital Art Live magazine.
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Welcome to the new “Epic Vistas, Vast Structures” issue of your free Digital Art Live magazine. It’s a big 120-pages!
As the British genius Alfred North Whitehead observed back in 1953: “the future is big”… and it just keeps on getting bigger. Like some sort of ‘human big-bang’, our civilisation just keeps on rippling outward in both achievement and reach. At the grandest scale, in 1980 we could send probes on voyages to Saturn. Now in 2020 we’re in the early years of preparing to send a Starshot probe on a 20-year voyage to the star Alpha Centuri — and the first successful test of the Starshot ‘Beam Rider’ craft was reported in a scientific journal just last month.
At the smallest scale, in 1980 it was unthinkable that a month’s wages would buy a hobbyist a 64-CPU workstation PC. Yet AMD’s new 64-core consumer CPUs are available to buy this month. That’s the equivalent of four private render-farms, all working in unison. This Threadripper miracle seems likely to be in $5k pre-built PCs before another 18 months has passed. The new real-time ray-tracing should also be a maturing market at about the same point in time.
In this way, and in many other ways, the possibilities for our creative future are also expanding fast: bigger, longer screen series on bigger better screens; more and cheaper VFX; an ever-wider range of quality videogames; increasingly polished free software; new automation and A.I. assistants. The list goes on.
ADRIAN MARK GILLESPIE (PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS)
Adrian Mark Gillespie, aka ‘TK769’, applies traditional methods to making digital art in Photoshop — with outstanding results!
“‘The Wanderer’ took me no more than three hours and it depicts a figure walking in a vast deserted landscape and above looms a huge Jovian gas giant. Within an hour of publishing it on DeviantArt I had an email from a client who wanted it for their music album cover!”
Gary had a decades-long career in videogames. He now lives in Canada where he works for clients and on his epic personal art.
“I feel it is important that inspirational art strikes step with the world around us — that it is relevant and believable. So my use of real-world features in my art helps contextualise my pieces. Big concepts are more aspirational for us when they also feel reachable.”
GARY HAIMENG CAO
We interview a Dune (2020) concept artist about his architectural inspirations, and how he blends concepts and art.
3DS MAX | PHOTOSHOP
“Making ‘interesting observations’ [via real-world hand-sketching] is a great help to artists who want to create attractive environments. I also love to research the different ‘age of machines’ and related architecture, which stimulates me to do warm-up drawings.”
- OUR LIVE WEBINARS!
- INDEX OF BACK ISSUES
- EVOLO WINNERS
- ANAOR KARIM
- 12-PAGE COMIC
Excerpt from our interview with Adrian Mark Gillespie
See the full interview in issue 46
DAL: Mark, welcome to the Digital Art Live in-depth interview. What better artist to have here than ‘TK769’ — Adrian Mark Gillespie — who has produced so many epic space vistas over the past few years.
AMG: Thank you very much…
DAL: To begin, how did you first get into digital art? By traditional painting, or did you dive straight into Photoshop or Painter or suchlike?
AMG: It all started when I was at Art College, in the mid 1990s. There we had a few digital cameras and computers with Photoshop on them, to play with. I was enamoured by what you could do, even back then. I started experimenting with Photoshop, had tips from tutors and student friends and then basically taught myself the rest. To this day I have no formal training in digital art, just a lot of experimenting and finding what works for me.
DAL: It sounds like took to digital straight away, but there must also have been challenges to overcome?
AMG: Oh… I had a huge challenge on my hand. I knew what I wanted to achieve in my own mind, and let’s face it our brains can conjure up amazing images straight away. But the challenge was being able to transfer my ideas from mind to my hand. I could never get the artwork the way I envisioned it, and that was frustrating — but also addictive. I knew if I persevered and continued to ‘just experiment more’ with digital media, then I would eventually find a way.
DAL: And what draws you to make epic vistas and “Giant” structures of the kind seen in your art? Were you especially influenced by a particular artist in your youth, or perhaps it arose from living in a particular place with wide views and skies?
AMG: It was a combination of both. I was living in the northern port city of Liverpool with my parents back in the late 1970s and early 80’s. It felt like the golden age for science fiction in film, comics, and even the then-emerging graphic novel. The likes of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Bladerunner.
DAL: Yes, the weekly 2000 A.D. comic, too.
AMG: So there was a definite ‘buzz in the air’ around that time, and I was fully immersed in it. Also my father was an avid fan of the writer Isaac Asimov and he had a great collection of science-fiction books and still does to this day. I was mesmerized by the book jacket covers, which I didn’t know until later turned out to be works of Chris Foss. Just seeing these wonderful exotic far-off places ‘somewhere in the universe’ captivated me.
I also regularly spent holidays seeing my grandparents, who lived on a large island off the coast, called the Isle Of Man. There were lots of opportunities to walk along sea cliffs, climb up hills and valleys, and witness fantastic vistas.
During my teenage years I moved with my mum to Cornwall…
DAL: Super. Remote and wild… big skies…
AMG: Yes, and again there were wonderful cliffs to climb huge stretches of sea and sand to explore and the wonderful big skies to take in. I just soaked it all up in my mind, like a sponge. I guess these are just a few things that influence my subject of work and style today.
DAL: Great, sounds like a very good start. Was it difficult getting hold of copies of the art on the covers? Were there handy Paper Tiger compilation books to hand, or did you have to hunt for it in sci-fi magazines and on paperback covers?
AMG: Again harking back to living in Liverpool, I also had a good friend who was a huge science-fiction fan and managed to get his hands on The Art Of Star Wars and other fantasy art books. I would hang out with him a lot, pouring over the amazing artwork of Ralph McQuarrie. It’s funny you should mention Paper Tiger, as I eventually owned a few titles by this publisher and also the similar Dragon’s Dream. I owned a copy of a Dan Dare story The Man From Nowhere, as this was a reprinted facsimile. I vaguely remember owning an art book that had artists in it like Roger Dean, Patrick Woodroffe, Chris Foss and Peter Elson. Incidentally some of Peter Elson’s work ended up on Asimov book covers as well. All of these artists and many more became my personal heroes, and set me off on my own interest in science fiction art.