General / 16 March 2018

2003 - Present: Narrative Concept Art with Jama on L2: Idea Creation & Modern Day Masters


I have been taking some time to just get into the groove of drawing, and not trying to make things pretty. I feel like I have a lot of ideas that I need to express, and just get out. I like Jama Jurabev's approach to creating really interesting ideas.

It's really interesting because the approaches he identifies in this video https://www.learnsquared.com/courses/narrative-concept/1 help one understand the importance of abstract idea generation; which for me, with someone who deals with serious mental illness and autism is pretty profound because my life has lots of abstraction, so I resonated with Jama's advice.

He talks about putting the fundamentals and learning tools on pause and forgetting about them for the moment (however long that moment is, I guess is defined by the individual) and get into what I like to call a "testing phase." I feel like sometimes we get into this idea that everything has to look like a certain thing if you are a concept artist; which I agree with only partly. I will explain why.

I agree that there are specifics that companies are looking for such as spoken from this website http://onepixelbrush.com/hiring/ on what do's and don'ts should and shouldn't be, which I agree with if you want to work for those companies. Do companies hire those individuals because their stuff looks exactly like what they want their stuff to look like, or do they hire the individual based on their style?

I disagree because I feel like everyone is copying everyone else, a "me too, me too" mentality. There is no self-expression, or creating one's style if something has to look like something else, or someone else's stuff we see all the time on Gumroad videos. I got a comment from an individual from an online community in Discord after I showed him some of my work, and he said your shapes don't look like, (the example he gave was Eytan Zana https://www.artstation.com/eytan) because my shapes were not defined specifically.

I guess I don't understand why specifically defined shapes are important. From Jama's approach in the first link, he talks about how when he was learning, he didn't have people around to help him learn or give him pointers or tips like he is giving us now in the Learn Squared video lessons based on Narrative Concept Art. I haven't taken the whole class, as I only saw the Idea Generation in the Abstraction section for this course. I am in his 3D Concept Art course and Learn Squared has this new feature that allows anyone with an account to get a trial with free unlocked videos per section in the course.

I was the same like Jama, I didn't have people to teach me, only the Universe was teaching me, which didn't give me restrictions on why I should use a brush, or a shape the way I did. All I had was some of the early video DVD's from David Levy (Vyle) https://www.artstation.com/vyle, From Speedpainting to Concept Art who taught me about creating one's own brushes like an eagle or tree, or a brush he called the rooter of which I saw him draw the brush, so that was actually the first brush I created in Photoshop back in 2003, (because of David Levy), so I wanted to draw a similiar brush like his, so I drew my own, (seen below with examples of artwork I used the brush in):

Because this was the first brush I ever made, I used it a lot in the examples below: 

David Levy also talked about the eagle, so I created my own brush for the eagle by making two of them, then using Photoshop brushes to randomize the brush.
This was my first digital painting printed on canvas. I have the eagles in the background and had this painting in the Utah Valley Artists Guild in the Health and Justice building in their art show in Provo back in 2012. I felt this was a huge step forward for me because I was doing what I enjoyed, but it was really expensive to be able to print a digital painting and have it framed.

I learned from Ryan Church https://www.artstation.com/ryanchurch in Intro to Corel Painter Gnomon DVD, taught me about the chalk brush, using a 1000 px to 2000 px ratio for canvas sizes in both Corel and I applied that to Photoshop also. Here are some examples below combine with the 1 to 2 ratio as can be seen above and below:

and others like Christian Lorenz Scheurer https://www.artstation.com/christianlorenz, Advanced Digital Painting in Photoshop; Raphael Lacoste https://www.artstation.com/raphael-lacoste in Digital Environment Painting Gnomon DVD, and he taught me about adding 3D modeling to digital painting as seen below:

I learned from Dylan Cole http://www.dylancolestudio.com/ in The Techniques of Dylan Cole Introduction to Landscape Matte Painting and Intro to Cityscapes and Matte Painting Gnomon DVD, of which I haven't even finished yet along with Derek Thompson in Conceptual Storyboarding Storytelling and Struggle https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/tutorials/conceptual-storyboarding-storytelling-and-struggle

and Jared Simeth https://www.artstation.com/jsimeth in Matte Painting for Production Gnomon Workshop DVD, taught me about using photos and photobashing within Matte Painting. I didn't like the idea of going online and just dragging anyone's photos from online so I took my own and added them into my paintings with my Canon Digital Rebel XTi DSLR I acquired from loan reimbursement money while attending the Art Institute of Seattle in Media Arts and Animation and the Game Art and Design programs. So I have been trying to combine all these things together to make these different kinds of paintings.

This is a photo I took during a sunset from Springville, Utah and applied it to the drawing above and the painting below.

This is a photo my sister took up in the mountains on a mobile phone, and I enlarged it in ArtRage.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Morrill

Photo I took off my back deck and applied it to the concept artwork below to make a new matte painting.

"You are never alone."
But I guess if you were like Jama and didn't have all of the tips and tricks and DVD's to watch, then it would be really challenging to get ideas unless the Universe, God, Source etc, which to me represent Cold White Fire would have to teach the individual trying to progress and learn the best they were able.

I feel really grateful to have a been able to follow and learn from many modern masters including the above on this post, Jama Jurabev, Anthony Jones, and many others.

I have been trying to follow Jama's advice about using abstraction with the rule of thirds; big, medium, small, and using zigzag. https://www.learnsquared.com/courses/narrative-concept/2 Design Principles: Composition within the following below:

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. This is work that I have been doing over a period of 2003 to present.
Sincerely,

Christopher Stapleton directed by Cold White Fire.
Peace!