Thursday, 29 November 2012

Watercolour Painting With Adrian Smith

I would recommend a look at Adrians Smiths Facebook page if you like watching artistic process. He has a watercolour of a warrior character shown in various stages of progress with some explanation of whats going on. Also worth reading the comments to find out more.

Stage 1 - Pencil -- Facebook Link

Stage 2 - Underpainting -- Facebook Link

Stage 3 - Build Up -- Facebook Link

Stage 4 - More Build Up -- Facebook Link

Stage 5 - Finished Piece -- Facebook Link

I cant recommend this Facebook Page enough, new drawings from a great artist everyday!! Get on.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pothead Sketch

Check out the Sketchbook section, just updated it with my pencil drawing of a goblin character head, named him Pothead.

Having lots of fun with pencils, just love them best of all.I hope to get a bit more drawing done over the coming weeks. We'll see. Kind of got Halo 4 and Christmas rearing its ugly head. Have moved my art stuff inside so I dont get put off by working in the cold of the garage anymore.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cool Mini

Today I perused the pages of the Cool Mini Or Not website, on the top twenty for the week section and I came across a mini I was actually looking at in one of Rackham books I have. I thought the art was great and the guy who painted this miniature done an amazing job, it looks really good. So I recommend you take a look here.....

Throw the guy a vote or post a comment if you a registered user of the site!

I have been doing a few things this week. Completed a sketch of my goblin character "Pothead" which will be up in the Sketchbook section shortly. I am also working on a Quasimodo bust, just touching up the face before I bake the head and continue with the body. Painting wise, I am just finishing off the base for my Hive Tyrant. Normally I do the base last, but in this case I thought it would be a nice and easy way to start this painting project. Haven't done much on my Nurgle guy unfortunately, but I will get back to him soon enough.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Adrian Smith - Illuminations Interview

First off some apologies, laptop failure prevented this article from being posted up last week. I now have a shiny new one, although not as fancy, it does the job!


Artist Adrian Smith has just released his new art book, entitled "Illuminations" and I recently received my copy in the post. I am not ashamed to say that I ripped it open like an excited schoolboy at Christmas either! The book is a softcover publication, only available to order through Adrian's Facebook page (more details later) and is chock full of fantastic pictures - fantasy, science fiction, swords and guns galore. Something for everyone here. I was certainly was not disappointed as my main interest lie in the fantasy art which is in greater abundance in this book. The work presented is in a variety of mediums, sketches, watercolours, digitals, colour, black and white. Really a whole spectrum of work which is laid out fantastically well. Some of the first artbooks I bought were one piece of art per page and very straightforward in terms of layout design. This book is far more interesting to look at with full page pieces, sketches next to finished versions, double page pieces etc. A lot of thought has gone into the layout and it most certainly is well presented. I don't need to say that the artwork is brilliant, because you already know that! Anyway I am well happy with this purchase which was funded by the sale of my Golden Demon finalist model. Thanks Ebay, a worthy trade indeed....

Here are a couple of pictures I took of the book to wet your appetites!

The book and the pre-order signed art print!



Hope you liked those sneek peeks. And now for some more eye candy, Adrians work is abound the internet so I have just selected a few favourites to include with this article. Of course these images are copyright Adrian Smith and respective owners, used without permission. If you want to see more, as ever Google is your friend!



Adrian Smith Interview

Adrian, firstly - a big thank you for taking the time to answer some questions, it's very much appreciated! I am a big fan of fantasy art as are so many people nowadays, so it is very interesting to talk a little as well as drool over the actual pictures! I know you are busy with your new book, which we will get to, so onwards...

Fairytales and the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy Game books are what created my interest in fantasy gaming and art. Could you tell us what it was that sparked your own interest in art and gaming and what kind of age were you?

Reading the Hobbit when I was about 13 was the thing that got me into the worlds of fantasy. Rainy day on holiday, noticed a book on the shelf, picked it up and couldn't put the book down for two days, fantastic stuff. Still one of my faves.

Could you tell us about your early artistic endeavours, how you began to develop your skills and what artists inspired you in those early days to pick up brushes and pencils?

The first fantasy artbooks I actually saved up my money for were books by Rodney Matthews. Also the 'Tolkien Bestiary' artbook was a big influence.

What was the first illustration you did professionally and who was it for?

The first comission I had was for Games Workshop. Freelance work for the 'Lost and the Damned' book.

How did you come to work for Games Workshop? 

When I was freelancing for Games Workshop  my dad took it upon himself to ask the GW studio if there was any in-house work available. An interview was arranged and I got the job. Cheers dad!
Some people have expressed an interest in the whole creative process of the birth of a piece of art. Could you explain the process for say a full colour, major important piece of cover art would go through from start to finish at the Games Workshop studio? I'd also be very interested to know how disappointed do the artists get when something they would love to work on gets given to someone else to do?

You start with a brief usually. A bit of background story sometimes. do a few sketches, discuss these with the art director. The chosen sketch is then worked up into the full sized drawing. Underpainting followed by the painting proper. This is pretty much the proceedure for any of the mediums I might use for a painting, be it oils or digital. 
Sure theres always a bit of disappointment if you dont get the image you wanted to work on but its not that bad. Artists like a challenge and they usually do their best to make the most of any uninspiring project or brief.

Can you share your own personal painting process for a typical piece, how long you would spend on concept, design, prepping etc to the actual painting itself?

The process as I've stated above is pretty much the same each time, whatever the medium used or subject matter tackled. Being a freelancer, time is money, so you give yourself a time depending on the budget. The bigger the budget, the more time you can devote to the work.

I read that you enjoy working in many mediums from pencil to digitial, I have been asked if you would share some thoughts and opinions  between the two processes of digital and traditional media....

I think you cant beat paper but I also think digital can be just as rewarding sometimes, even for straight forward sketching or drawing. Sometimes I think digital is better because you dont have the pencil or your hand as a distraction....if you know what I mean..

What software do you use  and what model of graphics tablet do you use for your digital work?I use Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos 5 tablet.

I read that you shared a house with John Blanche, Paul Bonner, Wayne Reynolds and Steven Tappin, what was it like living with all that creative atmosphere around you, did you help push each other, was there friendly rivalry? Tell us a little about that.

I didn't share a house with these chaps. When I first started in-house with Games Workshop I was in the studio with Stephen Tappin, Paul Bonner and Tony Ackland. Friendly rivalry sure, with the odd pea shooter fight.

How does working for Games Workshop compare to working as a freelance artist? Do you spend more time than you'd like getting work and doing admin and all the boring non creative side of being a freelancer? 

I much prefer working freelance. My own boss. Nobody else to annoy or be annoyed by. Admin isn't so bad, just Non Disclosure Agreements to sign and I'm away.

What was the reason for you leaving Games Workshop and what was your first freelance project after that?

I've worked in the Games Workshop studio twice. The first time I left was to explore the freelance world. First job was a few comic covers for a comic called Toxic. Not the most encouraging start as they didn't pay me for any of the covers I did for them. So I moved to scotland to work for Fantasy Forge, a small fantasy tabletop game company. This was a good move, met my partner, worked with great people in a great environment and am still in Scotland today. 
The second time I left was due to my partner becoming pregnant with my son and also because I thought it was time to hit the road again.

Is there any industry you prefer working in over another? Are there any major differences between working in the GW, comics, trading card, book and video game industries?

No, no real difference to any of these when youre freelancing. All jobs are equally important and get the same level of attention from me.

I'd like to talk a bit about some of your work in comics. You have done a collaboration book about eastern and western myth with Hyung Min Woo called Eastania & Westania (it looks fantastic by the way) are we likely to see it released over here in Europe/US/Canada etc? This book is in three parts, will you be working on the other two also? 

Easteran and Westania is a concept/artbook. Min-Woo is a great guy. We got on very well from the start and so the books were a pleasure to work on. I was given pretty much a free reign apart from the fact they did insist on having dragons in the story.....I find dragons rather boring.....I know, weird considering my job. All three books were completed a while ago now. I dont think they will be printed in Europe or the States unfortunately. I think they are happy enough with the Korean and Chinese market. Sorry.

You have been working hard on your new book "Illuminations" being released on November 5th and available on your Facebook page. How tough has it been self publishing this book, could you tell a little about it? 

Yes, a project I've much enjoyed. Alot of the layout was done by me which I found surprisingly enjoyable. Each page spread is a design work in itself. So no page has an illo just plonked on it. It's been hard work though, probably because self publishing is all new to me. But with the help of some good friends and contacts I've managed ok so far. It's selling rather fast too so this has given me confidence in my plans for the future self publishing projects I have planned.

Before I finish though just a few quickfire questions people wanted you to answer....

Favourite brand of brush, paint and surface? 

Monarch oil brushes. Windsor and Newton or Rembrandt oil colours. Windsor and Newton watercolours and brushes are good. Conte Paris graphite pencils are the best. For both oils and watercolour I use HP smooth watercolour paper.

Chaos Dwarfs - what source of imagery would you use as your inspiration for this GW army race? 

erm.....chaos and dwarves;):)

Do you have time to paint miniatures? 

I don't have time but I do have literally hundreds of miniatures painted. Mostly tanks but also quite alot of Games Workshop stuff too.

Adrian Smith - would you prefer to be Illustrator or heavy metal guitarist in a famous band? 

Ha! well i have been asked in the past why I don't paint the covers for my records myself. And plenty of other times when people have been a little confused regarding me an' that; band.

Favourite video game...

I dont play much anymore but my son does and at the mo I am rather taken with 'Borderlands 2' a great looking game, intelligent dialogue and story, fantastic animation, great concepts and a very nice well thought out game with a lot of love in it from its creators. Of course Skyrim looks fantastic!!

Favourite drink....


Favourite band/music.....

Napalm Death have always been in my top ten. most grindcore, Slayer, most things noisey and grungey.
Right, that's it - thanks very much Adrian!! Your work has served to fire the imaginations of many players and readers everywhere, I hope you won't be putting the brush down anytime soon. Thank you.

So do I, thanks mate! And special thanks to the fantasy art fans who have given their support over the years, much appreciated.

You can visit Adrians website HERE.
You can visit Adrians CGHub account HERE.

I can whole heartedly recommend this book, so give this man some love and take a look! Lookout for a feature on some of the other artbooks in my collection sometime next month. This blog is going to be sharing some 2D sweetness as well as the amazing sculpture work on the fantyasy and sci-fi comicbook genre from now on. My own sketchbook section will be recieving some updates to soon. Nothing amazing, but not bad either.