Planning and Concepting

This next discussion about planning and concepting which is particularly relevant to me because I have just finished reading the art planning and process essay by “Seargent Merkaat” I have been really reflecting on my own work method after reading the essay.  Every point made in this rant like dialogue is very true to how I feel and how I know I should take more time to improve my work. A lot of what he talks about at the start of his essay is the attitude I and many others like me come out of college/school, with bad habits and the wrong idea about what is good artwork. To be honest what seems to be the worst influence on us as game art students are internet communities such as I have to say If I visit the site I find myself attracted to many of the shiny digital paints, but then this is the problem, because as the Sargent says , it has no substance. By substance he/we mean, no thought or suitable relevant reference building the image. It is simply technical skill producing a dramatic eye catching image.

I am making effort to kick my habits and not cut corners. Laziness I feel is what it all boils down too. By saving time getting straight into the painting, without any thought about what I want to paint other than “something awesome” will only bite me later on. I’m hoping that if I take more time doing a painting the right way, my skills will improve faster than taking the time to churn out image after image which has previously been my method of practice.
The term concepting in our industry is used all the time, and too many of us who know little about the industry the term “concept art” is used very vaguely to describe almost any artwork. The actual definition is a general notion or idea; conception an idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars. It seems a bit complex, but simply the idea is visually combining characteristics of what you want the image to portray. So as was stressed earlier, there needs to be some thought behind your artwork, planning before concepting. A lot of my work recently has been trying to quickly map out the idea of what the environment looks like. More in feeling, than anything else. For example the first project this year I mapped out some quick grey scale paintings of Leicester’s Abbey Park. I used big quick brush strokes over most of the foliage in the painting to give the sense of movement (was a very windy day). I found this hard work and tried my best, but the important issue is that even though this was a quick thirty minuet painting I set out my intentions before I started of what I wanted the image to portray and had some drawings first hand and reference photographs at the scene to work from.