Monday, 27 April 2015


Time to continue the last post . We will take a deeper insight into constructing the line drawing of "Fantasy Castle". Below you can see (and download) an exercise in a super-fun subject: 3-point perspective + a slant horizon. Naturally we could ask a question: 

"Why bother about a perspective with 3 vanishing points if there's quite a lot of work with 2-point perspective?"

Well, it emphasizes an impression of the size of an object. In this case it will highlight that the castle was build on a rock protruding from the deep abyss.

Furthermore diagonal lines are more dynamic than  vertical, parallel ones and they give an impression of a speed (with which we could fall down into the lava for example...).

Hopefully this is useful somehow! The same tutorial (along with several other tutorials) is on the subpage "TUTORIALS" .

Thursday, 23 April 2015

"Fantasy Castle"

“I know only one thing. When I sleep, I know no fear, no  trouble, no bliss. Blessing on him who invented sleep."

Stanisław Lem, "Solaris"

This is a  kind of prelude to the tutorial about 3-point perspective. I'll present here how the drawing was created step by step. Whereas principles of perspective will be explained in the next few days in a downloadable tutorial somewhere here (At least that's the plan)

1. Setting a composition. Guiding lines were made with a pencil:

2. Aha! experience - it will be a castle. At this stage there are lots of constructional lines and I'm still not sure what shape the castle should eventually have. Using a pencil rather than a pen is much more safe right now:

3. When all what's desired is fixed with a waterproof pen (Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen is my personal favorite), we can get rid of additional interrupting lines. Well, it doesn't look excessively awesome, so...

4. Let's make some additions: windows, ornaments, dragons. It's immediately more cheerful, isn't it?

5. Time for watercolors. It's better to start with the environment before we'll go to the main subject. Apparently it's not necessary to choose warm colors for the foreground and the colder ones for the background. In some circumstances an exactly opposite approach can also work out well. Let's try it!

That's how the background looked like before it dried up. Grains of salt bravely absorb water and leave a fancy pattern:

6. These additions mentioned in the step 4...ekhmm, they're easier to draw with a pen than to paint with watercolors. I should have thought about that earlier...

7. Now it's time for textures made with a thin brush and dense paint. What's even more important I had to work further on overall color settings and  unify the whole painting. It required using a broad brush and diluted paint (yellow, purple and opaque gold):

8. Working on details with a pen once more. The whole drawing looks more "sharp" that way:

Friday, 10 April 2015

Good books about drawing/painting/illustrating?

When I'm trying to define what had the greatest influence on my decision to become an illustrator I think back to my childhood. From an early age I was literally surrounded by books about art. My father was (and actually still is) buying tones of such albums (even if some of them are written in languages he doesn't understand). 

Personally I prefer books focused on strictly defined topics. This unfortunately means that what is "incredibly valuable" for me, can be "not-oh-so-useful" for others.

Hopefully I haven't discourage you from further reading... Some books greatly influenced my approach to illustration and helped in developing my skills. Here they are:

"Fantasy Art Workshop" brilliantly written by John Howe. The author have not only presented stages of development of his illustrations along with a whole bunch of tips, but he also described his professional path and gave valuable information about freelancing.

 "Drawing & Painting Fantasy Landscapes & Cityscapes" by Rob Alexander and Martin McKenna. The subject couldn't  fit me better! It's an  inspiring set of works created by Rob Alexander and other fantasy artists, enriched with presentation of creating process . Moreover it contains tips on basics in art (composition, color theory, capturing the right mood etc.) and description of elements of landscape and various types of fantasy places (naturally with examples). 

"Painting Spectacular Light Effects in Watercolor" by Paul Jackson. This book proves that watercolor works don't have to be delicate, blurry and bright. Quite the contrary, they can be very dark, extremely detailed and hyperrealistic. It changed my attitude to watercolors a lot! The process of creating masterpieces (yes, MASTERPIECES) were presented very clearly, step by step.

"Drawing and Painting the UNDEAD" by Keith Thompson. I bought this book a few years ago as a Christmas gift for my younger sister. I haven't expected then, that it can be so valuable also for me (even though I've never drawn the Undead). What captivated me most was a very well described concept process based on strong logical thinking. The way the author analyzed all the factors combined with his artistic skills contributed to very interesting and inspiring results.

"Naturlära" by Lars Lerin. I suppose that so far the book was published only in Swedish. Anyway hundreds of watercolor works done from nature are just breathtaking. You can find there all aspects of nature: from Swedish winter landscapes to... dead fish.

"Anatomy for the Artist" by Jenő Bartsay - an absolute classic released first in 1953.  It contains over 140 pages filled with very accurate and aesthetic sketches of bones, muscles and other parts of a human body. I haven't done all the exercises yet, frankly speaking I'm not even close to the end, but I'm not going to give up!

And most of all I'd like to recommend countless albums about:
-renaissance artists (and their technical approach to artworks),  
-baroque artists (and their extraordinary focus on chiaroscuro),
-landscape paintings form 19th century (and their amazing atmosphere).

As you can see, there is none strictly about perspective among them. If any of you encountered such a book, let me know! Or maybe you know other good books about art?