Working, studying and getting ready for an epic last third of the year
As usual, here I am posting a long update on how things are going.
I’d like to start this post mentioning early in June I went to b’Ars, an international VFX fair aimed for both professionals and students, with special focus on the artistic side of the film-making process and cloud VFX production. An event full of master classes, conferences, job-fair, etc. located in a beautiful Area of Barcelona. It’s funny how I always keep an eye on international events overseas and if it wasn’t because a friend of mine from Germany told me about this I would have probably never known about it. The list of guests was great and the conferences very interesting. Nikolai Lockertsen painting an environment piece on his iPad, Jonathan Opgenhaffen showing his Matte painting process at Double negative, Marco di Lucca and his self portrait, Nico Scapel from Framestore showing making of Gravity, Virginie Bourdin talking about successful creative decisions and many others. But there was one artist invited who I could easily say was the main reason I attended the event, and that was Ryan Church who came to first talk about design to previs with Daniel Gregoire and the next day about film design. He has been a big inspiration for me on environment design since first I saw his concepts for the Star Wars movies and then watched his GNOMON videos, it was very nice talking to him.
Since last update I’ve been busy with some freelance stuff, illustrations for card games and environment designs for a theme park, which was a very interesting experience giving for the first time a different use to my concept art. Unfortunately I can’t show any of that.
Another thing that kept me busy was a little personal project for N0DEWORLD, I started it as part of a challenge a friend of mine was running on concept art.org where you had to work on a personal project for 100 days posting every single day an update and with the goal of having 10 finished pieces at the end, but tight deadlines made me drop after a month there. I still want to continue working on this but might get a little bit more delayed.
Another challenge I have going on with some friends is, I think I already mentioned it before, to draw 100 line drawings. I’ve done 85 so far, very close to the goal, and while we try to keep it private for now because we might give them a very special use here are a few I already put in public for some reason.
Another habit I keep is the spit paints, it’s been over a year since I joined this group and I have over 260 done already, it’s a good daily reminder of things to improve or a challenge to paint thing otherwise I would never do.
LAst year on one of my blog updates I mentioned the project substrata, a dark fantasy art book including artworks from over 80 professional artists. The book has finally been released and I just got my copy a few days ago, I’m very happy to be included in such book with so many great artists, some of them friends.
Last thing but not less important, studies, some done for personal/professional pieces and some others done for this Facebook group called virtual plain air where you paint a study using google maps. It was really fun and learned a lot.
And not virtual but real plain air studies
And speaking of studies, in all this time I could only go to one more life drawing session with model, I miss it when I can’t go, but anyway here are the drawings.
To close this post, I have to mention once again the upcoming workshops in London and Troia, it’s less than a month left before I fly, it’s going to be very inspiring and fun. Between the workshops I’m going to Romania and after them I’m moving to Japan for 3 months to look for a job there.
Next blog update will probably be after the workshops, with lots of pictures as usually, until then, keep it up! Thanks for reading
Blog update Spring edition
here’s another massive update showing what I’ve been working on since last update.
First of all a couple of environments with Japan as the main theme though not connected because the first one is in the feudal time and the second one some sort of post apocalyptic scenario in a very near future inspired by, The last of us and the backgrounds you see in some anime movies. I painted the second one after the studies I posted in the last update and that allowed me to learn a lot.
In the previous update I mentioned I was working on something for my friend Jonathan’s IP ‘RAIJIN’. For several reasons I had to put eat over and over again on stand by but I was able to finally finish and I can’t be happier with the result. Remember to check his stuff on his page.
These are the thumbnails I painted to establish the shot.
And another personal piece for the portfolio, painting a spaceship for a spitpaint I realized it’s a subject I didn’t cover in a long time so I decided to take some time to paint one properly.
This is some freelance work I’ve done for IHMAN 3D School, a couple of set of designs for their courses. They are a spanish online school and I might be teaching there in the future, which is quite exciting, but right now I have other priorities since I’d like to get more concept art freelance work or even moving for another in-house position. Wouldn’t mind going back to the UK for the summer.
I promised my friend Emerson a few months back I would be drawing more mechs “soon” but for some reason or another it took me quite longer. Inspired by his drawings, or all the ones I see in the many japanese books I have I started drawing some and adding this quick shading first thinking because it was cool and made them easy to read but I was actually hiding some weak points.
I then drew a few more and even not just mechs and I started what I’m happy now to say it’s a habit of drawing one line sketch everyday. Here are some I already showed, but there are many more, thought you will have to be patient because I’m thinking of something special for them.
But not only sketched drawing, some painting too, inspired by the very painterly approach of Jong won park.
Another collection of spitpaints and failures, they are still fun, because it’s a constant reminder of several points I want to improve in my work.
And all the drawings done in the life drawing sessions with model since last update. Still having lots of fun with them, unfortunately they have been cancelled this month for not enough attendants, guess people prefer the outside in Spring.
Some drawings from cafe sketch meetings.
April 23rd, Sant Jordi, is one of the most important days of the year in Catalonia, but I almost forgot. Fortunately as soon as I heard of it I decided to go for a walk around the center of the Barcelona city. Roses for women and books for men, the place was overflown by people, weather was good but still wanted to go the same cafe I always go to draw though alone this time. For my surprise, I found this old library open to the public due to the special day, and I felt I had to draw there, just some sort of study yeah, but motivating to do it in such beautiful place. It wasn’t easy with people taking pictures of me (they might have thought I was part of the visit), children breathing on my ears and other people telling me “good job, you’re so talented!” and getting angry whenever I said “you know, it’s just practice” It was a nice day anyway!
Finally, if in the previous update I was announcing I would be attending The Trojan Horse was a Unicorn workshop in Portugal, now I’m very happy to announce I will be in London too by the end of August for the Industry Workshops.
Battery full, please unplug procastination to work hard again.
it’s been exactly two months since last update and many might be wondering what I’ve been up to. Unfortunately this is not all the exciting post I’d like to be writing, but a good one to write in my humble opinion for keeping moving forward after bad times.
First of all I’d like to mention something I forgot in my last update, as you know I left Rare in December and got back to Barcelona to get better and chase other opportunities probably giving freelance a try. In order to kinda clean and start over I also left the project I was working on with some buddies, ‘Isis’, but I’d like to show the last few pieces of work I was producing thought they are not finished, and will probably never be.
The last couple of years since the Massive Black workshop in 2011 have been pretty intense with a lot of things going on and a lot of hard work, so after the last workshop in LA I thought I was ready to keep pushing, improve get new jobs and all that but in reality it’s been 2 months mostly charging batteries. I guess I burned up myself, I even made a pretty hardcore schedule called “10 daily goals” but didn’t help.
First thing to care about was health because I started feeling quite weak. I started working out every second day and it’s been 6 weeks already. I also put down the amount of caffeine (last year had too many energy drinks and that’s not good at all) and sweets. I feel much better now but just yesterday coincidence or not was my most productive day in a while having 3 coffees and a good amount of chocolate. I guess the perfect balance of health and extreme productivity is a utopia for me.
In all this time another thing I’ve been skipping was watching movies so early this year I ordered quite a few to catch up, after all, it’s another part of the industry I’d like to work at. It’s been good to feed myself with more stories, inspiration, visuals and others. I also finally watched game of thrones! I was happy waiting till that day in the future when the whole series were over but with the new season coming out soon and my fear for spoilers I got the 3 seasons pack and Oh Lord such a good show. All of this have been motivating me to ellaborate a bit more the story for my IP ‘Space Lotus’, can’t wait to start defining more the characters and their connections and all the locations.
It’s been very interesting to watch different genres to open my mind a bit more, but also got to check again some japanese animation and get a little bit of nostalgia because it’s the stuff I grew up with. After watching movies like ‘A letter to Momo’ or ‘Summer wars’, bringing me memories from my trips to Japan years ago I painted these studies and soon should be able to finish a similar painting I started after them to apply the studies.
Nostalgia is a powerful but dangerous feeling. I’ve been trying to remove the dust on my japanese because I might apply to some japanese companies in the future.
Speaking of missing things, probably the thing I missed the most in the UK was my library, I’ve been adding a few more books and organizing it, its very likely that, unless I find a good studio offer I’ll be freelancing for a while, and my library is an important part of my workflow for inspiration and references.
Blocks are never good, and I know some artists who never suffered one, which is great, but I wanted to write this here for those who might be going through one, it’s alright, you will get out of it with the right attitude and not giving up, might take longer or shorter but just find the right motivation, inspiration or rest required to put your batteries to the max again and recover the eye of the tiger (yeah the whole Rocky collection pumped me up quite a bit too :D).
Back from the UK my friend Jaume organized a sketch meeting and it was so good to be able to draw again while hanging out in a cafe or the street with other people
He me if I’d like to join again the life drawing sessions with model I used to go a year ago and didn’t need more than a second to say yes. I was missing it, more than because I learn or practice I just have fun drawing the human body from life, it’s so relaxing. Here’s the result of the 5 session’s done so far. We draw poses in 5 or 10 minutes after a few one minute gestures.
Another habit I somehow managed to keep going is the daily spitpaints. Though I’m not very proud of them, here’s a compilation of all done since last compilation.
Remember to check the tumblr page for the work we do in the group
As concept artist I like working on different subject matter but it’s hard to find time to paint a bit of everything. Creatures/characters is one of the subjects I didn’t work on much recently so here are a few of them.
My friend Jonathan’s been working on his own personal IP ‘Raijin’ and I asked him if I could design an environment for it. I started it and here are some early sketches in perspective but had to put it in stand by for a bit, going to get back to it soon tho.
I had a conversation with him about mechs and how important the joints are. Inspired by an exercise recommended by John Park on his workshop at Concept Design Academy I grabbed a bunch of friends and we’ve been doing a weekly session of joint designs. These are mostly from imagination and a few studies, need to study more to make more interesting and functional designs but the practice’s been fun and useful so far.
And here are a couple more perspective drawings tho not related to that. The ‘How to draw’ book by Scott Robertson made me want to get back to this sort of drawings.
The scorpion was a study for another design I have work in progress but hopefully will continue at some point.
In September last year I designed a big dark fantasy statue for a book project called Substrata. The book’s been finally announced and will be published later this year, it’s very exciting because the book contains a lot of great artworks. I already pre-ordered my copy of such an inspiring book, take a look
I’d like to mention is in September I’m going to the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn workshop in Portugal. I’m really excited about it from my experience at the workshops, because the one last year seemed to be awesome and because the list of people going keep growing and sounds great so far.
Trojan horse was a unicorn Official site
Trojan horse was a unicorn facebook page
Can’t wait to get inspired by the instructors, see some friends and any of you there, it’s going to be a lot of fun!
I think that’s all for now, this update is very important because puts end to two months I’d probably like to forget, but since I can’t I’ll just take the very few good things they had and will keep moving forward. I’m going to be more active again online, and will check what everyone’s been up to too, been a bit disconnected.
The place I keep updated the most is my facebook page and then this blog, but I’ll keep updating the other places as well as much as possible, stay tuned, hope I can keep feeding you with more and more artworks from now 🙂 Oh and by the way, many people keep asking why I don’t stream anymore, well my computer is very limited and when I stream it uses the max of the specs so I’m trying to take care of this laptop to not have to update the machine for now.
Thanks for reading and let’s keep rocking! :
Megapost from the UK 3
It’s been more than 3 months since last update, sorry but I’ve been pretty busy with the job at Rare and all the stuff I’ve been doing at home and I’m going to show here. I know it’s not excuse because inside me I was telling constantly “I should update I should update” but I was always waiting for something else to add.
Anyway, first of all right after the last update I went to London in August to attend a Schoolism workshop about creature design with Terryl Witlatch. She’s been one of my favorite creature designers for quite a while and learning from her was very inspiring. I told my self I would take that inspiration to work more on creatures but in fact I haven’t done any proper design since then because I’ve been focusing on other stuff. I also managed to get a drawing by Bobby Chiu on my sketchbook.
That same week I did a few more sketches from life.
Speaking of workshops, after missing so many cool ones included the one just finished in Bali, when I saw Massive Black announced their 2013 edition in September I couldn’t resist anymore and sorted everything quickly to be able to go there, see some friends I made 2 years ago in San Francisco, others I’ve made in the last 2 years online, and learn and get inspired by everyone included in the mind blowing instructors list.
If you didn’t notice, I love mechs,a ll kinds of and whenever I feel stressed or down this is probably the thing that most relaxes and motivates me. Here are a couple of new designs I’ve done, and I will try to find time to do these more often reason why I decided to include a new tab on my site focused on mechs/vehicles.
I took last week of August off to go back home and spend it in Barcelona with family and friends, but what was going to be my holiday ended up being another week of intense work. I saw Marta Nael organized a contest to include some artworks inspired by her creations on her new book (already out) and I couldn’t stay away from it considering how supportive Marta was with me when they included my work on that book compiling spanish artists. I decided to take as inspiration his cyborg elves because I love mixing sci-fi and Fantasy and thought was an interesting concept. This is the result which was finally included in the book.
On my previous post I showed an environment concept art I did for substrata. I wasn’t happy with the result so I wanted to take the opportunity of the deadline extension to rework the concept from scratch, but at then end I only had time to design what was going to be the main element of my environment, this big badass statue as tribute to all those statues we find in this genre. They’r looking for a publisher at the moment, can’t wait to have this book in my hands with all the amazing works from so many artists.
Another thing I mentioned in the previous post was the daily spitpaintings. We made a facebook group considering the amount of requests we were getting to join the group so we would post the topics every day and people could pick one (or more or even mixing them) and paint their spitpaintings. With a humble success in the beginning a few weeks ago the group exploded and now it has over 15000 members. It’s incredible and enormously inspiring to see lots of professionals joining and painting stunning pieces in just 30 minutes but also beginners who enjoy the exercise. I still have a lot to improve and I’m not happy with most of them but here’s the collections of all I’ve done since then.
A few months ago Alejandro Mirabal invited me and a few more guys such as Long Pham and Jonathan Gonzalez to join a group to develop our own personal project, after weeks of exploration brainstorming ISIS came out. I felt bad for not being able to produce as much work as the other guys were but working on it has been very motivating and allowed me to work on some challenging designs for me. Some of the concepts here won’t make it into the game or are still WIP but hope you like them and make sure you check the work from the other members in the group.
Working on Isis made me thought how much I missed working on my own IP, Space Lotus, left in stand by after moving to the UK. And also since I attended the first class of environment design with James Paick early last year I’ve been waiting for the right moment to join the second class. So I registered for the class, started last month and I managed to, not without some adjustments, bring back Space Lotus and work on the environments for the IP in the course. I´m enjoying it a lot, but when I attended the first class I had all the time possible because I didn’t have a job, but now working full time every day makes things pretty intense (not to mention the week I was sick), thats why I want to refine all the pieces after the course because now they look loose lacking the time to push them.
The first week of the course was kind of a warm up so we could paint anything we wanted. I still wanted to finish that environment concept I had in mind for substrata, so now not attached to the brief of dark fantasy as a genre I had a little bit more freedom and went for more asian-fantasy-colorful theme.
This is an Art test I did for a company in the UK. First I did some quick sketches/studies and then the final shot. Was challenging a lot of fun looking for more realism than the usual in my works. I don’t know if I´ll get the job but I’m pretty excited about it.
Just to finish this long post, finally LMS Killbook of a bounty hunter, is out! I just received my copy yesterday and the book is massive! I heard from a lot of people it was big but never imagined like this. The layout of the book is very unique and full of details, deep in story and high quality artworks. It’s definitely a must have in my opinion and recommended to everyone. Dan‘s work has been very inspiring for the community and how you can make a successful thing of a personal project, and proof of that inspiration was the massive response of people painting LMS artworks with many of them included in the last pages of the book. It’s a honor for me to have a piece in there and I’m very grateful for that. It’s also a good coincidence and makes me very happy to share page with Sickbrush.
I hope it wasn’t too boring, and again, if you’re going to the workshop next month and you see me around and want to hang out for a bit don’t hesitate, it’s going to be a lot of fun 🙂
Been a while, but still alive in England
It’s been a while since the last post. After that one I painted a few more things that some of you probably saw on facebook, but had a few weeks lacking motivation at home for some reasons.
But motivation is back! And the last few weeks I’ve been painting, sketching, studying, networking and so as much as I could in my free time (still working full time).
I started doing 30 minutes speed paints at work with my workmates and also joined a group with a few friends to do more speed paintings every day and also studies from life.
You can check the work of the other people here
I knew about substrata a bit too late and only had 2 days to work on my entry, fortunately they extended the deadline and now I will have time to rework on this or do something else
Studies and a livestream speedy.
Painted in 1h in PS CS3 while watching Awesome Horse Studios livestream demo.
Study of piccadilly circus painted on my livestream
And the speedy painted on the livestream too.
Deathline 2.0 and other stuff
It’s been 3 months since I started my deathline and almost 4 months since I joined Crimson Daggers. I’d need a whole new post to explain how happy I am being part of this group, and how much it helped me and hopefully I could help others. But I’m going to talk about the detahline this time because after 3 months a few things changed. For those who didn’t see it, here is my original deathline.
I’m glad to say I’ve been following the point 3 as planned and trust me, my body missed a lot doing some exercise, I feel much better now and I’ll keep doing.
On the other hand, the hard work related to the next other 2 points, made me have 3 times a couple of days sick in the last 5 weeks. The lack of sleep and an irregular diet made me feel very weak from time to time. And I totally hate being on bed because I want to keep being productive. I’m also going to have less coffee, it wasn’t working on me recently and I was feeling even more tired after having it.
About the 1st point, I had no idea what I was talking about with studies, so I was doing meaningless studies for two months, without applying them, so at the end, they didn’t help me to improve and I only got a nice gallery of well painted copies. In the last month there were days I didn’t do any study if not required, but all the studies I did (or most of them) were applied on speedies, illustrations, etc making me feel I improved more in this month than the previous two.
There’s another thing, at the beginning I related streaming to doing studies but not anymore. At some point someone suggested me to show also personal stuff, would make the channel more interesting and that’s what I’ve been doing. And I’ve been waiting every week till Sunday to compile all the studies in a “studies of the week” sheet, but from now I will post them as soon as I can.
About the livestream, I have to say I’m impressed how I’ve been able to stream every single day for several hours and how much I enjoyed it and helped me to keep working.
I’m going to slightly change the first point as:
1. Do studies every week, apply them and post them.
The second point is more complex, it’s about building the portfolio and getting a job and it will take time. It’s true though, so many people asked me if I work now. I’ve been for a year without a job, since I decided to take digital painting as a serious professional option. I didn’t even try to get one since I’m trying to get better and better because I compare my work to other professionals and it’s not good enough.
But there’s already a date when I will start looking for a job no matter my level: August. In one month I’m going to Singapore to study at FZD school for 6 weeks (Actually I was going to go on April, and I planned it on January, but a few issues made me re-schedule that journey) and after that all my savings will be gone, so money needed, job needed. Till then, keep working hard and try to get better, if something taught me the Crimson Daggers is you can do this by yourself if you work really hard.
In this 3 months I replaced 7 pieces in my portfolio with better works. By August and specially after been to FZD school my portfolio shouldn’t have any work from last year.
I’ll write another post like this in 3 months, still not sure how my trip to Singapore will affect the livestreams or blog updates (I want to keep doing them) but the hard work won’t change at all.
And after all this long text (sorry if it was boring) some studies I painted on my livestream and designs.
This last one requires an explanation. I was painting the study on my livestream when another Dagger (Chilingo) jumped in my channel and told me “I like it, but can you make it yours?” So I added a big pink monster.
Character speedies and studies
Another two character speedies, one painted in my livestream and the other one quite unfinished (I maybe work more in the future in it) and the studies from last week.
Notice that I changed a bit the way I do the studies one. At the beginning and as described in the deathline I was going to do a study painting everyday in my livestream, but after almost 2 months I noticed I was not applying those random studies so they were a bit meaningless and people asked me to stream other things to make my streams more interesting. That’s why now I keep studying everyday but somethings are comp studies that I don’t include in the compilations of “studies of the week”, or like the master studies week, and now I also stream different things like these character speedies. The deathline’s not broken, just changed it a bit :p
Bloodsports #9 and Livestream character speedies
Bloodsports #9 is over and I learned a lot but again at the end I wasn’t able to finish the illustration, but I’ll continue working on it in the future.
And a couple of character sketches from last night and this morning’s livestreams
Studies week 10 + Royal Fellas
Last week was Master Studies Week so I spent my daily study time in these two master studies (I finished the Bouguereau study this morning though). Different kind of studies but still learning new things 🙂
Photoshop CS3 : 10 hours
Photoshop CS3: 15-16 hours
Last Saturday we had another session of The Royal Fellas with the special guest Trevor Claxton, and later Kekai Kotaki and Daniel Warren jumped into the conversation too. The topic was a dragon child……but I designed a dragon warrior XD
2 speedies + studies week 9
I painted this speedy yesterday because I was still tired from the bloodsports to start working on the new one or continue/start with another complex painting so I thought it’d be good to paint from imagination, just for fun. To make it more challenging I tried to just paint, no line drawing (I feel more comfortable with lines).
I painted it in 2.5h in Photoshop CS3
Studies Week #7 + Royal Fellas
Here are the studies of this week. I’m not very happy with the result of the latest ones, not sure if it was for the time spent, the pain in my hand or I was just tired. I’ll try to get better results next week. At least, 7 days = 7 studies 🙂
And here are the speedies from the last 2 Royal Fellas Challenges. Both painted in 2h30min.
Day 24th, topic: Sci-Fi Priest. Not bad at all