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Monte Cook Games: Sculpting Light

This is my first commission for roleplaying game company 'Monte Cook Games'. I've loved the work of 'Numenera' since I first saw it almost two years ago, the colours are amazing, the world seems fantastic, and a few months ago when I was contacted by them to produce some work for their 'Numenera' and 'The Strange' I jumped at the chance! This is my first piece of work produced for them, and I'll post up a few WIP shots so you can understand how I arrived at my final piece. The brief was as follows: This image is of a male human wearing a science-fiction (with a little superhero) inspired body suit. The figure is outlined in a nimbus of glowing orange light. He’s projecting a stronger pulse of this same light from his hands, which “Green Lantern-style” has formed into a protective shield between him and the attacks of an advancing troop of 3-4 venom troopers. I was provided with the following image for reference when dealing with the Venom Troopers:
I began by sketching very rough ideas in my sketchbook for test when it came to composition. I'll admit, I had a very solid idea before I even started this project. But by going through this process I was able to find better variations. Once I had a solid idea down I began shooting myself as reference. I found a pose I felt was both defensive and interesting and began working that into the composition.
Soon I found myself feeling restricted by it, the silhouette wasn't particularly interesting and I decided to try giving the character a more powerful pose.
Now I had the roughs of the characters fleshed out and some of the values down. It was time to start adding colours and work towards getting a variation ready to send to the art director.
I was happy enough with the image at this point, but some things still bothered me.
The perspective, the camera, the values, anatomy and colours all needed work. The art director was pleased with what I had so far but requested the character have more of a sci-fi motif in their design too and so I made then wear a more metallic body suit with lights in the crevaces. Now I no longer needed to worry about having to start from scratch and could focus on rendering the image.
One more message from the Art Director as he requested more cool tones to contrast the warm orange light. I agreed, but tried to downplay the blue so that it didn't draw focus away from the central point of the image, the focus of light. And now we have a finished piece:
This was great work for me, I was extremely nervous when I received this commission. It being my first from a large company, and with all my final year project work going on also, but I managed to fit the time in to complete it and I feel like I learnt a lot doing it too. I hope to share more work like this soon!


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