Progress Painting

Every now and then I will deviate from photography and show some other medium. I reckon it’ll give a bit of insight into why I’m into photography in the first place. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a kid and I try to maintain some sort of output even when I’m preoccupied by other things. I might take pictures for other people but I only paint for myself. Bit of therapy and a break from everything else. I also dont intentionally try to learn anything. I know the basic principles of traditional painting and colour control, shadows and highlights so it’s applied the same way here.

If I’m being honest I’d give anything to be trained in concept artistry and computer game storyboard design and such. I’d love to be in the early stage development of movies and TV. Providing developers with the framework for their designs and running themes. But for now I don’t have the time or the patience to do much but knock out a few paintings for myself and my portfolio.

Since I picked up a camera I’ve felt very much in touch with the natural composition of an image. And this in no small way is directly related to compositional studies I’ve done in painting and drawing over the years. I took a lengthy break of some 6 years but recently(in the last 12 months or so) started cranking them out again.

Here’s a progress picture of a Metal Gear Ray painting I completed. I started out wanting to do a true to form MGR but after I had the initial frame work down I discarded the screen shot I was painting from and just painted what I wanted and used my own lighting point for the full image. The red banner was inspired by the cover of MGS2:SOL, and the opaque grid is there because it was and still is a bit of a prevalent icon of the MGS series and something Hideo Kojima sneaks into many images.

I wish I had more progress points on this as it’s important to see how the build works. But this might give some sort of idea for how it works. Every day I finished this I was convinced it was nearly done but then everytime I sat down to it I’d do a little more. This method is fine as you never feel like your too far away from completion. In fact I could have kept going with this and added far more leg details and a real tail etc. I made up a lot of what you see and if you saw the real metal gear ray you’d recognize that as fact!

The beauty of concept art is that you can finish whenever you want. If the concept has been established. Once the mood, era and direction of the work is clear then the details are really not that important and can wait until the final drafts. The boundaries are arbitrary and the limits are your own to set but don’t be afraid to leave something open ended and move on. This is the main problem with traditional art for me. Often because the canvas is filled and cost money, and the paint has been used and some tubes have bricked(dried out) you feel like you have to justify it by submitting the work or whatever. The beauty of digital is the freedom to scrap the work and know that all you lost was time.


About Paul Wilson Photography

I am a mid-week factory worker and a passionate weekend photographer. I also enjoy digital and traditional art, staying fit and online gaming!

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