Forest Altar

Hello everybody, I just finished up this painting this week and thought I'd put up some images and talk a little bit about my thought process through some of it. 

Forest Altar - 2014


Ink and Watercolor

So if you've been keeping up with my work for the past few months -thanks if you have, by the way- then you might notice a very striking similarity to the late, great illustrator Jean Giraud aka Moebius. This is not by accident, I mean he's a figurehead in comics and illustration with good reason. It's not only his style though, that I'm attracted to, I love his line making and atmosphere but the narrative he's able to convey. The stories in his works are mystical, detailed worlds that I am always dying to know more about. That's really what I want to strive towards. The idea of 'world-building' has always been extremely appealing to me and has been something I've always done. 


In this image I wanted the sense of discovery to come across, that the traveler- who is at this point anonymous- has come upon massive statue in the middle of what I hoped would be a very dense jungle. This composition is actually very similar to a recent Killian Eng piece, but art being what it is, I took what I liked and added what I wanted to be there. I have an immense respect for his work and what he's doing and he's another that was massively influenced by Moebius, but has put his own spin on that type of work. I'd very much like to do what he's doing right now. 

There are some close ups here so you get get a little better idea of what's going on. I actually scanned it in at 1200dpi on the amazing Epson 10000xl we have in the office which I think offers a really good reproduction on a screen as you're likely to get. I boosted the levels in Photoshop slightly, but really there wasn't any need for post-production on this one. I ended up being really happy with how things came out for the most part. I've been doing a lot of 'campsite' pieces lately, where my explorer is very obviously out in the world, well exploring. I haven't figured out what role the Crystals will play in my little fiction but, their mystery is part of the appeal for me. The idea of this mystical, powerful force existing in a futuristic science fiction world is extremely interesting to me. I'm not sure if that's the case for anyone else, but I feel successful in this one.  

Above are some process shots of the making of this thing. I recently converted my inking/painting surface to a Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor block, which was a real turning point for me. The problems I had with buckling, smearing etc were gone and I could really focus on what I wanted to make instead of working around the technical limitations of the media. The lines are vector-crisp and the paint is brilliant and clear. The only problem I've faced is how quickly it dries for flat washes (you can really see that in the sky) but I'm getting better I think. 

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