I asked artist Rene Arreola to ‘create a fighter’ – whatever comes to mind, without anything as a guide by imagination and association. The final ‘fighter’ was published on the Gamerati Facebook page, as part of the greater ‘Fighter‘ album. However, Rene was kind enough to send in a progression showing how this particular fighter went from concept to finished work. Enjoy.
01- Here is my initial Fighter concept sketch. Regular graphite on some bristol board.
02- I work traditionally with paints and brushes. So, I use tracing paper to copy my concept sketch onto.
03- After that, I’ll use some transfer paper in between the tracing and the painting surface. In this case, it’s a piece of preprimed canvas.
04- The completed tracing and transfer. I use a red color pencil so I can see what areas I’ve gone over on the tracing.
05- Here is my initial underpainting of the Fighter. Using acrylic paints, I thin out some Burnt Umber and proceed to add depth to the line art. The acrylic is like water color at this stage. Laying in the underpainting is quite fun, since it feels like I’m sketching all over again. This is a good thing because the underpainting is what will ultimately guide me as I continue to work the final piece.
06- My fighter has a sort of regalness to him. I’ve envisioned him to have a cape. I grab some red acrylic paint and go straight to rendering. There is no normal background in this piece (a requirement of the assignment itself.) But I like to start with the objects in the background. In this case, it’s the Fighter’s cape.
07- After the cape, I start blocking in parts of his costume’s torso.
08- I work down into the legs.
09- And continue down to his boots. I also start to work on his axe weapon.
10- The torso and legs are pretty much complete at this stage.
11- I start in on his skin tones now. I start out with two basic values: a shadow and a midtone.
12- Here I start to darken the shadows of this eyes and eyebrows. This will refine and add focus to this face.
13- I block in his gloves, all in shadow. This allows me to go back in and pick out the highlights in the fingers and glove area to give this hands depth.
14- And…the final piece!