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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Art of Mark Wood

The concept series is my schizophrenic attempt to shine light on the art that inspires me. I always do some of my best work when working from concept sketches. I find the hard lines and white space conducive to creation as they give you just enough definition to get you going, while still leaving space to do your own thing. Here's hoping you find these sketches as helpful and inspiring as I do.

It's been a FREAKING long time since I posted any concept sketches, so I thought I'd return to my "Art of" idea with a Warpshadow artist who I missed in my initial run. This week we'll be looking at the art of Mark Wood.

Mark is a prodigiously productive artist. It often seems that any time someone has a unique idea on the board, Mark, or "Wormwood" as he goes by online, is ready to take a run at drawing it. Thus, thought I've collected only a few of my favourite Wormwood sketches below, you can find far more in Mark's Warpshadow gallery.


One of the things I like most about Mark's style when he's drawing Tyranids is his ability to twist Tyranid biology in new and interesting ways. For example, Hydra was lamenting the fact that it made no sense for a winged Tyranid to be carrying around a ranged weapon in its arms. They should have the weapons built-in and forward facing to make strafing runs of their targets even easier. Mark came up with the following, building something that looks a lot like a spinefist into the creature's mouth:


And, once again, when Hydra was trying to find cool alternatives to having a titan walk around on oversized scything talons, Mark drew the following, which makes it very clear that the limb in question is, in fact, a symbiotic organism that could be used to harvest biomass or expel virulent digestive enzymes:
 Mark even took a run at re-imagining how a Tyrannofex would mount a cannon, long before the actual kit was released:

Here are some more traditional concepts, which are nonetheless inspiring:

FOREARM-MOUNTED BONESWORD 

A NICE LASH WHIP 

SEXY WINGED WARRIOR 

AN UPRIGHT CONCEPT FOR A TYRANNOFEX (I PARTICULARLY LOVE THE FEET)

And then there is the weirder concepts, some of which are my favourite drawings Mark's done:

A DE-SLUGGIFIED MALEFACTOR CONCEPT, BUT COULD ALSO BE A DECENT TERVIGON 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN ARMY OF RIPPERS LOSES ITS SYNAPSE: THE RIPPERLORD! 

RE-IMAGINING OF THE TYRANID NORN QUEEN, BUT COULD ALSO MAKE A GOOD TERVIGON. 
THIS SKETCH IS LIKELY MY FAVOURITE. 

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NORN QUEEN'S PSYCHIC CRADLE, BUT THIS COULD ALSO SERVE AS A ZOANTHROPE.

If you know of any particularly fantastic artists who do a lot of concept sketch work, please drop me a line or leave a comment below so that I can share their work as part of the concept series.

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