Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Art of Yours Truly

Alright, so, I've been posting concept art, off and on, from--mostly--artists in the Tyranid community. Like I've said before, I love concept art and find it wonderfully inspiring. When I posted up my last ARTicle (see what I did there?), someone commented that, though I post sketches from all these other artists, I never post any of my own.

I tried to explain it away, saying that I wasn't much of an artist when it came to drawing, and that I got my ideas firmed up best in real models.

I later discovered that the Anonymous poster was, in fact, my own brother, which caused me to discount his comment entirely until he explained his reasoning. He said that he'd seen the kinds of random doodles I do to get ideas about how to lay out models/to preserve the images that flash through my brain. While he agreed that they weren't "Art," he thought that there may be people out there who were daunted by the idea of sketching something and who don't dare draw because they feel their drawings are terrible. He's a very different kind of artist than me, and I think that in this difference he has more patience with all kinds of art, while I tend to discount anything I do that isn't perfect.

All philosophical art posturing aside, he told me that I should whip up a post about the random sketches I do to show that cool models can come from random sketches. I think that maybe he's right, and in the vein of the How To Sculpt series, I hope that this post shows people that sometimes just doing something is enough: that you don't have to be amazing to at least be good.

If not, it should at least be good for some LOL'z.

When it comes to sketching, my sketches really are at their sketchiest: broken lines forming the rough idea of what I intend:
When it comes time to create blades or shapes out of plasticard, I can often clean things up fairly nicely:
(that last was a concept for a fleshborer hive)

However, for the most part, the stuff I draw is neither in scale nor pretty. I try to use it to capture key ideas, even if all the parts aren't figure out or lined up. As most of what I've posted in my concept series has been Nid-related, here are some of my 'Nid sketches:

Like I said, not much to look at. However, one of the things that has come out my mind/pencil that I was most happy with were my mycetic spore concepts:
That would be a photograph of the original notebook page I doodled out way back when.

I've also been kind of obsessed with coming up with some more believable Tyrant Guard and some more menacing Boneswords:

On the heels of thinking about Tyrant Guard, I wanted to come up with a better Impaler Canon design for the Hive Guard:
Whilst working on my massive-and-now-stalled Tyrannofex project, I wanted to come up with an intimidating way to represent Stinger Salvo with some suitably wicked-looking bone spears:

I did a goodly amount of sketching to save my ideas for the Coven project. Here are some ideas that have been realized...

...and here are some ideas that have yet to be born into models:

And then there are some of the more random things I've sketched. A number of these were from when I was trying to come up with original ideas for aliens for a collaborative project:

...and then sometimes there are points when you wake in the night, with something so clear in your mind that you have to scratch out anything that could help you reconstruct it later, when you are conscious and sane and all of the wonderous architecture of dream has fled from your head. You scribble it out in the dark, and when you come back to it in your sober, lighted, waking hours, you can no longer make heads or tails of it:
In the end, I think that the picture I'm trying to paint with these rough doodles is that concept sketches are kind of like sculpting: the first step in being able to do them is the trying. It doesn't matter if they turn out as presentable works of art so long as they're good enough to capture the idea that you want to preserve and to guide you in the creation of it.

So get out there and get sketching!


  1. Glad I am not the only one who doodlefarts ideas out. Making them look neat and tidy just wastes time when it's the "brainfart to paper" stage.

    Man that chip out of the shoulder golem with the control alien sitting in there is a rather cool and freaky concept too. Had to stare at it for a bit, its so abstract and outlandish.

  2. Lo! Verily, it hath been three moons since the last post to yon blog. Wherefore does the master not post any more posts? Whither has the syntheisisms gone?

    It hath been an age, verily, and though the repugnant titan that passes by the name of Real Life had pinned me beneath its poxy boot, I STILL FUNCTION, and I may yet have some time to shake some things down out of my billowing sleeves and onto this digital page.