Brown says a defining moment for her was going to Dragon Con for the first time and seeing all the characters presented were white. “This is fantasy and you can’t even fantasize that there could be a person of color in your space?” she says.
Fascinating to hear these guys talk about their earliest influences fueling their passion for sci-fi and fantasy, and in particular the diversity Wilkerson found in Star Trek, and his “positive view of the future.” Araujo mentions the Eurocentric fantasy characters of her childhood, but it’s interesting to think of Star Trek as a positive melting pot ahead of its time.
The panel begins to talk about how their personal lives and experiences influence their work. Interesting to hear that Mia Araujo’s family is from Argentina where your blogger writes from. I think many artists will agree with her observation that an identity that doesn’t “fit into a pigeonhole” can inspire a search for different points of view as an artist.
We’ve had the pleasure of hearing from Lauren Brown on Creative Bloq before in an article she did about her work and the importance of diversity in fantasy, so we’ve been looking forward to hearing from her in this special edition of Painted in color . Last year she won a Black In Gaming – Excellence in Artistry award, and she kicked off 2022 with a move from Zynga to take on the role of art director at Wildseed Games.
Wilkerson mentions that he was afraid to risk developing his calling card of “painting black kids having sci-fi adventures” but that it was worth it. Take a look at his art in his online profile and it becomes very clear. He also has a great time lapse of his oil painting process there.
And we’re back! This is Joseph Foley in Argentina, now joining the Painted in Color team for an enlightening discussion on diversity in fantasy art. Host and art director Lauren Brown begins by inviting the stellar panel to introduce herself. We have fantasy and sci-fi illustrator Eric Wilkerson, fantasy illustrator and writer Mia Araujo, and dev and concept artist Esther Wu.
We look forward to hearing this amazing foursome talk about diversity and lack of in the fantasy art industry, and what they’re doing to change things. Here we go; you can follow the conversation below and here as part of Vertex Week 2022.
Good quest Eric.
Don’t forget that Erik’s tutorial and talk on digital illustration in Photoshop can be viewed anytime on the site.
You can also read his 16 point digital sketching tips on the site, it’s well worth a read.
Check back soon as we join the Painted in Color team for a talk on diversity in fantasy art.
Leave the best for last?
Fascinating to hear Erik talk through his thought process.
What you think are squiggles and scribbles are neatly planned ideas. Contrast, focus, where the detail goes and how – it’s all there.
I want to see Erik draw Batman.
Some wise words here from Erik. Great art and a healthy approach to illustration.
Those twists come alive with a little color, value control and a lot of imagination.
Tough skull flowers there Erik!
Now greasing the background.
Erik’s view on color versus detail is interesting. Illustration has to be picked up and intensive use of color is often the way to go.
If you want to grab people’s attention online, you really need to hit them with that color.
This looks cool now.
If you want to try digital art and sketching like Erik, check out our guide to the best drawing tablets.
100K to follow! That is a lot. The art is amazing, and as Erik says, he found a style that he never knew he would need or have.
What is your style?
Like Erik, you might not have to work to find a style, but just to what you love and eventually your style will come through.
kekai! We also love Kekai.
We’re taking notes, Erik.
Ideas can come at any time. Keep that notebook handy.
Erik does a great job here, seeing him languish at his sketch makes us want to crack open a sketchbook.
We’re just looking, but we like the idea of setting an end goal.
… ah! You almost had us Erik!
Should be more…
Can you guess what it is? We’re going for tiger-dragon.
Love those swirls. There is something very meditative about watching those lines evolve into something amazing.
Have you tried just scribbling until it makes sense?
Erik’s style is great. How does he turn all those twists into elegant and vibrant art?
Beautiful colors, the yellow and cyan really stand out. And he’s done. A quick one, but we think you’ll hit that replay button.
Remember, there are more videos on the site today and new ones added throughout the week.
We love Ekundayo’s makeshift easel, he just clamped his canvas to the tree and he’s off…I think it saves dragging an easel around. Maybe James Gurney should give it a try?
If you need one, we’ve got a great guide to the best easels for painting.
He paints with such freedom, if we try this it becomes an absolute mess. How easy is it to remove paint from a jungle?
Yes, he is in the jungle. We are so jealous, imagine if we could spend time in Hawaii and paint too? Great life.
Be sure to take a look What is it‘s work on his site, it is inspiring.
And with that, we say goodbye to Spiridon. His video is free to watch on the site, so check back at your leisure, because there’s some excellent advice here.
Today we’re going to live blogging as Ekundayo ventures into the jungles of Hawaii to paint a graffiti portrait — yes, really.
No risks of self-publishing, that seems like good advice to me.
Time is money in publishing… we’ve worked in publishing, and believe us, this is a big one.
Know what you’re getting into when you take full control, good advice.
Who doesn’t love a huge, luxurious coffee table book from Taschen?
We’ve picked our best art books of 2022, take a look.
We’re big fans of Iris Compiet, artist and author of Faeries of the Faultlines, she offers great advice on how social media can work for you in our position.
Get involved! It’s your art book, so make sure you’re in the choices. Good advice.
Go big or go home! Everyone loves a great art book, something to sink your teeth into – think about the kind of book you would like to read and create it.
Also be creative, love the idea that art goes together with presentation and the book itself.
Oh yeah, not all artists like to read, so don’t force yourself – let the art speak.
We dwell on Spiridon’s words: You have to love your job, so keep this in mind before you even embark on a book project. Is this something you want to stick to?
Good advice here from Spiridon – crowdfunding campaigns are more work than you might think. Know what you’re doing before making promises to donors that you can keep!
We like a reality check – having a Spiridon in your life to set you straight can really help you focus and improve.
We are jealous of books here, look at the great Spiridon collection! And his models too, we need that Ecto-1.
Need to know how much art to make before you start – good point, and finish it all. Make the publisher’s life easy!
Spiridon has so much experience, we prick up our ears and listen. I can’t wait to see what he has to say.
Ah! ears. These can be so hard and it’s easy to resort to random squiggles. Cynthia makes it look so easy.
And there we are! You can find more of this type of content every month in ImagineFX stores.
I’m merging those shadows now, looks good.
To start with defining the eyes, this is a tricky bit for us amateurs – not Cynthia!
Get started in digital painting with one of the best drawing tabletsselected by us.
The eyeshadows are tricky, we always do this wrong and go in too heavy.
We have 70 Photoshop Tutorials here on the site, try one of these if you have time.
Adding a background wash like this instantly defines the face, love this part. It’s great to play with the background shadows and lighting to create those edges around the face.
LOVE looking at those big brushstrokes and shapes that map out the face.
If you want to try this, take a Free Photoshop and start painting.
Here we go, Cynthia is amazing. Check out her portfolio for more of her art and insights.
Cute dog, do we paint the dog?
Ah, painting strong shadows. An important part of all portrait painting, and Cynthia will show us her process – I can’t wait.
Lighting tips here, good advice.
Art school ball! These are great bulbs from Cynthia.