Digital Work Rust Practice 1

Leaving behind the technical drawings and hand drawn images focusing towards ‘Project Sloth’ I have started exploring digital work the two programs used within this have been Photoshop Cs5 and Photoshop CC2015 alongside this two tablets have been used due to working on multiple locations. One being a ‘Wacom intuos pen and touch’ the other ‘Ugee2100.’ I found the transition from an on screen display tablet to a standard graphics tablet to be fairly difficult, this also goes for the programs as the quality and finishing on individual concept pieces are different.

For starting off this project I wanted to get more familiar with the textures i would be rendering and drawing throughout the environment starting with rust. This is because of its primary focus within the final idea. Drawing out circle I started drawing from a reference picture attempting the mimic the texture given.

rust This was the texture I was attempting to mimic however, now looking at my finished piece the outcome was not as I would have hoped. I feel that the hue of the image is too strong and that it is not saturated enough. Alongside this the rustic elements which are a key factor where not captured as I would have liked them to be. In order to achieve a more worn look the lighter area could have a higher variation of tonal values also a few more ‘grains’ could be included giving a more 3 dimensional appearance.

Rust Attempt 1:


Architectural Studies


Due to the theme of the project steampunk I thought it would be coherent to look into Victorian architecture starting with a simple technical study of a band stand. Wanting to achieve correct proportions within the piece I used a ruler to line up with the reference image and drawing. However, even within doing this I found the end result to have been too elongated when in comparison to the original.  The proportions of the band stand is an aspect I would like to work on within developing my drawing skills.


The above image was intended to be a quick study without paying too much attention to the proportions and scale I attempted to capture the shape of the building. For an illustrative affect I started going over where I believed the strongest features of the building to be I used a Pentel sign pen for this however, once completed I felt the image was too plain and needed a base colour to this would also be useful when transferring digitally. I wanted to create a soft warm feeling as though within a desert and without being too vibrant within the base tone therefore used the light pink. As the image stands I find that it would be suited to fill in a skyline or cliff side, this is something I will be exploring when creating thumbnails and finalised concept sketches.


Following on again with the illustrative style I started exploring local architecture that felt suited to the time period. First studying the town hall in a loose manner I briefly sketched out the image not taking much care when working on the proportions.  Once again this is something I would like to expand on. I used the Pentel sign pen within a few of these pieces not only because of the bold end result but also due to the scanner picking up the lines with a higher resolution making the images easily transferable when converting to digital drawings.


The next building I looked at within local architecture was the glass house. Throughout this drawing I wanted to show the rendering of glass therefore included the reflection and light through a series of thin weighted lines.  When showing the structure and frame of the building I used a heavier line weight more so around the edge which I feel brought together the finalised drawing more so than if I was to leave the line weight the same as the internal structure.

img015img014The two images on the left here are once again of local architecture, now with the top half of the building being unused plants have began growing from the top. The reference image I have gone off for this however was of an older date therefore did not capture the abandoned feeling from the building. Starting with the coloured piece in which I used watercolours on, for this I wanted to go for a semi realistic look however still aiming for the illustrative style. Very little detail is added within this piece which is something I would possibly like to focus on more within the digital part of the project the reason I never added much detail within the hand drawn part was to prevent it being too difficult to find the defined lines when repeating in a technical drawing.  I still feel as though it was somewhat difficult  to find the correct lines because of the colour. Because of this I believe it is evident that some aspects of the building are missing or not the correct scale when compared to other parts.  This can easily be fixed within Photoshop therefore I will be taking this method when drawing out the architectural elements of the piece.


The final technical drawing from the local architecture I believe is the most successful, taking in aspects that could have been improved on in past pieces. Although the proportion could still do with some work I find it still molds in nicely with other elements across the building. For the background I used a cool grey 4 ProMarker this was applied after the initial sketch because I didn’t want to bleed the inks from the Pentel sign pen.  The scale of this piece is A5 and because of this I found it increasingly difficult to achieve the details I would have liked, to compensate for this next time a thinner pen could be used.  Wanting to achieve the correct perspective I used a ruler and marker out the guidelines within a white gel pen, sticking to a one point perspective across the piece.

Rock Observations and Ideas

Within the past series of weeks I have been working in a group project on my Game Art Animation course at SAE Institute. The theme for our project was a steampunk, dystopian society in which I was placed as the environmental artist. Before working digitally to create the conceptual pieces I produced a series of hand drawn illustrations and observations. I felt that rocks where a good starting point for the concept pieces as we had already decided the main environment shown would be a desert scene composed of a Victorian era city, blimps and an open desert.


My first idea was to experiment with this idea of crystals within the scenery but realizing this would be too out of place I came to the decision not to go forward with this plan. For the drawing element on a lot of these I have used Faber-Castell Pitt Pens and a Pentel Sign Pen, this is so they where easier to identify while scanning in as well as making them a lot more defined. This will be an advantage during the digital stages of the project because i will already have the base idea and line shape of the items I want to place throughout the world. This will also help me if I was to rearrange the composition before adding colour and details.


Again using the same materials on this technical concept piece I started looking into the rock formations within deserts and tried to show the jagged edges of the rocks. Although I was trying to keep my technical drawings relatively simple I still feel that more detail could be added to define the directions and shape of the rock.


Unlike the other rock ideas I used acrylic paints for this observation, studying the tonal values of the rocks in a simplified form again this is going to be a help when composing a digital image.  However in saying this I believe for a wide shot desert scene this tightly packed close image would be too detailed and feel out of place with not only the rest of the composition but also the other elements of the groups project.


Starting the use layout paper more within my drawings I felt that I was able to achieve a cleaner finish to my lines and tonal weight, within the above image I started by exploring the various types of rocks.  When looking at the end result now I find that more details could have been added once again to identify what kind of rocks these where although I have briefly defined where the shapes would be and the angle of light.

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The final three drawings I believe will be the most successful and useful when composing a final concept piece together in some very little detail is shown therefore I would have to add more when working on the pieces digitally, this also applies to the scaling and placement of the rocks. As for the larger composition of rocks in order to be used throughout my work I think this would be better suited as a background or “filler” rock.

Group Project

Starting within a main group project composed of four people including myself we first began brainstorming ideas.  From this our outcome and chosen theme was a ‘dystopian steampunk.’ Within this group we had the base roles for game art; Character Design, Creature Design, Vehicle Design and Environmental Artists. For me my role within the group is the environmental artist, looking and researching scenery such as deserts, abandoned locations and Victorian architecture.

T0 start off my project I began in researching steampunk, already having some knowledge of the sci-fi sub culture however wanting to expand on previous knowledge. When initially thinking of steampunk within games I think of Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim (Dwemer race) and Assassins Creed Syndicate to name a few. Therefore I used these games as a basis to my research and looking at the styles used within the scenery. Once I had a general idea of the style I began looking up documentaries on Youtube. It was from one of these I learnt that steampunk is essentially all inclusive and goes ass far as your own imagination can take you with the base idea of sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction merged within the one.

For visual references I found that studying local museums would be the best advantage for me as well as the surrounding architecture examples of these being MOSI and Liverpool Museum both focusing strongly on the industrial revolution and early 19th century. Although references will be alternating throughout the conceptual stage for whatever is best suited to the story being told.  All upcoming works will be uploaded along with key references to the drawings.


Learning Styles

Learning Styles and Behaviour theories:

Within self reflection I have discovered that I work in a more hands on approach (kinesthetic) as well as a visual too meaning I learn from watching; demonstrations, tutorials and methods. There are four scientifically recorded learning style which can be simplified down into VARK (Visual, Audio, Reading and Writing finally Kinesthetic) with each style of gaining information being different and more suited to each individual person. This can be tricky in working and learning environments due to the range in ways people learn it can be hard to tailor to an entire class or workforce’s needs in order to teach and facilitates key information.

Two main ways of educating known and practiced within history would be Behaviourism and Cognitivism.


Behaviorism is based on the foundation of positive and negative reinforcement and can be shown within Pavlov’s dog experiment. Pavlov’s idea was in studying a dog and noting how it did not need to learn how to drool when seeing and smelling food this was an unconditioned reaction from birth. In 1902 Pavlov made a discovery in which when a dog observed something associated with the food they would start to salivate it was because of this discovery that he started to play with the idea of conditioning the dogs behaviour.

Within his experiment Pavlov was using a bell as a neutral stimuli along with the food the unconditioned stimulus repeating the ringing of the bell with the food and monitoring the production of the salivation.  Eventually the repetition had condition the dog to salivate more through the bell even without food making this a conditioned stimuli.


Cognitivists take on a more accepted modern day method  in believing that learning is an internal, mental process in which we build upon preexisting knowledge. Although not essentially known as a learning method and more so a development of understanding this is the more commonly practiced facilitating method within an educational environment.

This Scaffolding idea or Schema as it is more commonly known is a side branch of congitivism known as constructivism. Taking pre-existing knowledge and experiences and using new information to deter the equilibrium of knowledge in order to accomodate the new knowledge. This can be remembered simply through;


Learning Styles and Motivation:

As previously mentioned about various learning styles and VARK there are also motivational learning style. Extrinsic motivation followed by Intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is where a person is encouraged to engage within an activity for a reward such as going to school and gaining high grades. This is unlike Intrinsic motivation where a person will perform a behaviour or activity for personal gains and rewards.

Kolb had theorised that people learn best from experiences this would be known as experimental learning alongside his theory a cycle was developed;

  • Concrete experience
  • Reflective Observation
  • Abstract Conceptualisation
  • Active Experimentation

Similar to Kolb another theorist Gibbs came up with the reflective cycle Gibbs looked upon reflection from a more humanist perspective considering feelings and how this could affect the outcome. His cycle consisted of five steps;

  • Description
  • Feelings
  • Evaluation
  • Conclusion
  • Action

This is not only a very useful method in considering life decisions and future ways of tackling situations but also for evaluating work and practice.