May Sketch a Day!

So I keep seeing #SketchadayMay or somesuch on various social medias and as i'm already trying to maintain daily sketches and learning, I figure I'll partake!  I've been focusing on value as well as Virtual Plein Air studies and I'm pretty happy with the process there. I'm looking to continue to draw many more thumbs in the coming days - I'd really like to take something to completion soon and I've realized that as long as I keep doing sketches I'm eventually going to want to come back and work one up!

In preparation for that I've begun to do Virtual Plein Air / contrived sketches utilizing what I've learned in the value studies, process-wise (which has been a lot, honestly!) only with the added dimension of color.

I'll start with a successful color study based off of a Mapcrunch view, from Croatia:

I'm immensely happy with this, mostly because it feels solid and cohesive, and not disjointed like my previous digital plein air work:

In the 2nd one, I tried to focus on building the painting from front to back, and really focused on layer management. While it looks good I think the composition is super lacking and the colors seem to be all over the place. It feels stiff to me somehow, and the various planes seem disjointed somehow. I'm wondering if this is an issue of contrast, color, or detail...  The first one above though has the colors feeling NICE, and I think part of that is because I also sought to control the value balances in the image as well as the chroma balance while working.  I'm starting to realize that multiple things need to be considered all at once while I'm working; Composition, Tone, Color, Layer separation, and Depth. I'm probably going to realize there's a lot more beyond.

So from there for my 3rd sketch in may we have this:

This one was more contrived, and was meant to be a union of the previous value study sketching with color/virtual plein air techniques of before. Some aspects of it I'm thrilled with. Others just don't feel right ... I'm still experimenting with ground plane textures and depths.  I consider this one a 'pretty failure.'  However, I'm excited by it because  if this is a failure ... well, future work is going to look even better!!

Finally, I figure I better post these older value studies up. I was looking to better control my use of black, and introduce some more composition elements into the work.

I'm finding that I can do virtual plein air work pretty easily, and the task now is to utilize what is learned for contrived work. Still learning! 





Bryce Homick is a freelance concept artist with over 10 years of experience in the videogame industry. For business inquiries please click here.