Devlog #43 - Phoenix's Art Pt. 1 - A Character? Right Away!


This week Pectin is back with a devlog on art again. SPOILER ALERT it's about a piece of asset from //TODO: today that is going to appear in an update in the future!ヾ(*’O’*)イ


What for?

This devlog corresponds to devlog #39 where I wrote about a picture the hero of //TODO: today paints for a competition. The grand prize of the competition is a job position as a Junior Concept Artist at Naughty Cat, a (fictional) games development company. Of course hundreds of others are competing for the position as well...and among them is our hero's colleague, Phoenix!

Just like our hero Teal, Phoenix also submitted an artwork. But up until now it's been a mystery piece that doesn't get much attention. Except from the press surrounding the competition. So what exactly did Phoenix paint? We're getting into the design things now and how I created the piece in the name of Phoenix. (ノ゜▽゜)

Similarly to how I approached Teal's piece I had to think about how the art and artstyle could be representative of the character and the usage of it in the context of the game. The player sees the piece only for a brief moment in the game. It had to stand apart to make its short presentation memorable. (At least that was my hope here =w=)

Phoenix' Artist Mind

Phoenix and Teal are opposites with only a few important similarities. I wanted to show this in their individual artstyles as well. So it turns out that both are character artists but with very different philosophies on how they create art and think about it.

Phoenix is satisfied about how their life is going at the moment. They have high ambitions, are very diligent and meticulous. But they aren't very good in communicating emotions through art although they admire others who can. Instead art is more of a craft to Phoenix.

I started a sketch that focuses on a character. Because Phoenix doesn't play the online game about which the competition is, they don't have an emotional connection to the themes of it like Teal does. So the motif is much simpler: just an original character instead of an entire scene. I tried to minimize the anime influence as much as I could as well. I wouldn't say it worked :-), but the face proportions are different from how //TODO: today characters and also from how Teal paints.

The design isn't very special although you can see that effort has been made to follow some basic rules of character design. Like asymmetry in the outfit. I wanted the character Phoenix portrayed to somehow look like Phoenix as well.

When I paint I start out with a sketch and then fill out the basic shapes with base colours (tones that are neutral = aren't especially cold, warm, light or dark IF the light is neutral that is, everything's colder if the scene is colder, etc.) upon which I paint the shadows, lighter patches and highlights on the most reflective spots on them.

Teal's piece was done on one layer. With Phoenix' piece I had layer groups for every colour block (skin, shirt, leather parts, sword, hair) to reflect a meticulous work flow Phoenix would have.

I personally like to name every layer and group I need to find again but I also assign colours to certain layer types too, which is quicker for me. I got used to having certain colours meaning certain types of layers: like Yellow is for layers that add light and Red is for layers that contain information like brush settings for the piece.

As a result colours don't overlap much and the character looks somewhat unnatural. In this context it wasn't something very bad. When I do concept art I like setting up layer structures so I can easily adjust individual parts after getting feedback. I think this is something Phoenix would consider too.

As a finishing touch I added some nuances with an Overlay layer and added the turquoise circle behind the character. The colour is colour-picked from the eye colour of the character to create a connection to it. And done!

Here's a final comparison of the two competition entries:

Have a nice week! :3

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Deleted 2 years ago

Thank you! >u< So glad these rather subtle messages could be appreciated! I see the benefits of both types of art styles but personally I do prefer vivid styles as well. In the context of getting a design job (which concept art technically is), however Phoenix would definitely be a step ahead of Teal I think haha. 

Wow! Phoenix is great artist. I would definetely vote for her art! (Sorry, Teal. ) 

haha, Phoenix' hard work paid off! :D