Wednesday, June 9, 2010

IMC 2010: The Beginnings

It's that time of year again! This Friday I'll be heading off to Amherst, MA for the annual Illustration Master Class at Amherst college. It is a week-long intensive class filled with painting, critiques, painting demos, lectures, no sleep, waay too much college cafeteria food,....aaand did I mention no sleep? yep it's drawing and painting from 9am-2am everyday. Followed by some good ol' dorm-style hangouts into the wee hours of the morning. And not to mention with some of the absolute best of the best illustrators in the world teaching. I can't wait!

You may remember my posts last year about my IMC painting of the Berserker Lord. This year I want to tackle one of the Magic card descriptions given for the assignment. The description goes like this: 

War Priest of Thune (Magic Card)      
Color: White creature
Location: Battlefield
Action: This is a cleric who isn't content to sit back and heal the wounded — he/she wades into combat, using his/her own protective magic to make him/her a more powerful sacred warrior. Show a male or female, olive-skinned human cleric in full battle armor. Maybe the armor is plate with leather covering strapped over it. We want a glamor shot of him/her, confronting the camera, heavy mace in hand, as a smog rolls away from him/her unnaturally, as if receding from his/her presence.
Focus: The battle cleric
Mood: A holy badass
Notes: No real-world symbols, please.

So here's a bit of my process so far: 
First a bunch of scaled thumbnails. These are printed onto a sheet and are the same exact size the card art would be printed. I tend to be pretty loose with these. More thinking about composition than character design or details.

Next, after some good feedback from all around, I took my top three thumbnails into photoshop and did some little color/composition studies. they look like this:
I decided that I liked the bottom two color roughs because of their movement. But, after some further feedback I decided that my color rough of #1 was a bit different from it's thumbnail and actually looked quite different from what I was going for. Also the two bottom roughs are getting to be a bit too exaggerated and stylized for a Magic style cleric. Too World of Warcraft, and too action oriented for a character that should be a little bit more reserved. So back to the drawing board I went, and decided to work up a better version of my #1 rough. This is more of the feeling and look i was intending in my thumbnail stage. 
6.25"x8" Charcoal
I am also working up a charcoal version of my second color rough because I still really like the movement in it (i'll just tone down the WoW). We'll see what the instructors say on Saturday about them! 

Check back for more updates through the week!


  1. Good start. I like the power in his pose. I do really like the movement in your thumbs and studies, though. Look forward to seeing your second version. Best of luck with it, I'm sure you'll kick ass.

  2. Thanks Steve! yea, i go back and forth between them trying to decide. I'll finish up my second version tonight and put it up later.

  3. Hey Scott. Has it really been a year since the last IMC??? Wow. Good luck with that. To be honest, I really liked your third compositional study, but that's just me. He's a cleric, not a knight after all.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!