Well, it’s a new year ahead of us, hopefully one that will be better than the last. For my first post of 2015, I thought I would go through the freelance illustration projects I did last year. It might seem like there aren’t that many, but for about 6 months, I was working at 2K Games, so I didn’t do much outside of that. Let’s take a look:
Back to my more technical images. This one started as a 3D model I built in Cinema 4D. I then rendered various passes, brought them into Photoshop for compositing, then painted on them for the final result. For the cutaway areas, I rendered a different version and combined it in Photoshop with a layer mask. Water, debris, and so on was obviously hand painted. It’s not too exciting, but it pays the bills (eventually, anyway).
This one is a bit different from my usual project, something done completely in Illustrator. The majority of the design was from another artist, but it was a bit rough and I was called in to finish it off. Working with vectors is by nature much more precise, so more care needs to be taken to make sure everything comes off as it should.
Now here is an example of what I usually do. I had fun on this one as it had some cool technical parts, complex surfaces, and an outdoor setting. I was able to do my own thing a bit here, so I came up with dramatic lighting and colors. You may recognize the mountains from my winter scene. I did this one much earlier, with the idea of coming back and putting them into my personal project. Here, the mountains are flipped so that their lighting and shadows match up with the foreground images.
I’m not so sure about these, but here they are. I got an unexpected call from an agency in Ohio that wanted me to do a pair of illustrations for an ad campaign. At first, I was planning to paint them, but it soon turned out that they wanted photo-realistic images, so that’s what I had to do. It was their concept and I don’t know how successful it is, but they seemed to like them, so here they are.
Here’s one I posted previously. I had to do a few different versions of it, as the client kept changing their mind or something. I actually like doing product illustrations like this and it was quite enjoyable. A 3D render was provided for me, but I ended up redoing it with my own perspective.
I don’t really claim this one as it’s not my concept or composition. A tight 3D render was provided for me and I just needed to do the textures, painting, and atmospherics to finish it off. It’s not really the approach I would have taken for this project and I did make some suggestions, but it had already been approved by the time it got to me, so there wasn’t much that could be changed. I don’t think it’s an example of my best work and I don’t plan on showing it around, so don’t tell anyone, okay?
Another one I really liked. There was a quick turnaround on this painting, but I had very close source material to work from, so it was pretty easy. I had to do 2 versions: a long horizontal one for a calendar header, and a higher res vertical one for a magazine ad. This is my own personal crop of it, incorporating a bit of both. Muddy reflections were something new to try out and I used Smart Objects to get the effect I needed. If you look closely, you may see a vignette along the edges and some chromatic aberration/light wrap as the crane boom and cables go against the sky. It’s something I have been trying to bring in a bit of photographic quality to my paintings. My daughter thought the background was pretty.
What can I say about this one? I just do what I’m told. My first ugly Christmas sweater, so that’s something. The right image was done by another artist and I had to modify to create a Christmas scene. I guess you see what this client thinks everyone wants as a gift this year.
Another one for the same client. Not much illustration here, but it’s something I suppose. As illustrators, we can’t be proud of everything we get to do. But if it turns out okay and the client likes it, that’s some sort of accomplishment. Plus, it was a chance to try some quick Photoshop tricks for crinkled paper, textures on cylinders, and reflections.
So that’s it. I actually did more than this during the previous year. There were some matte painting projects and some interactive animations, as well as comps I sketched out that were finished by other artists, but these are the images that can easily be shown here. As with any illustrator, there is work here I really like, and work I don’t so much, and stuff that falls somewhere in-between.