Posts tagged digital art
Jesselee Lang is a superb 3D fantasy-based artist that tells astounding stories through digital art. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where he provides design, artwork and graphics to the web, print, and video game industries. He offers free images for download at his website, and you can also find his art spray-painted on the sides of train cars.
Jesselee enjoys crafting powerful stories, projecting them into a single work of art for others to appreciate. His works put you in the middle of the action.
I’ve always thought of my images as mere snap shots of a greater story, a glimpse into a world of fantasy I constantly build upon in my mind.
Jesselee started doodling and sketching in elementary school. By the time he was in his late teens, he’d graduated from sketch pads to abandoned buildings and railway cars.
The underground graffiti art scene can be a harsh environment. The works are up for public ridicule, especially from peers and mentors. It’s a sink or swim world that cultivates only dedicated artists.
Perhaps my choice of canvas was questionable but it was the beginning and birth of a passion that drives my goals to this date.
Jesselee prevailed and continued to hone his craft by developing skills in photography. Photography is an important medium for many fine artists because it requires the operator to capture a living scene as a single, still image. Thus, it teaches the foundations of composition and lighting. Jesselee continued to learn as he worked for professional photographers, using computer software for touch ups and photo manipulation. This was his gateway into the digital medium that would later become his mainstay.
Its been a journey that’s for sure. Out of high school, I worked a lot of different labor work. I ran a fork lift for a while, did a lot of manual labor, worked in confined spaces, going down sewers. I worked in security and even trained as a private investigator, from there I decided to follow my passion for art one way or another and that lead me to photography.
Jesselee attended Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to become a Photoshop expert. He continued from there, teaching himself 3D software such as DAZ Studio, Bryce, Carrara, Poser and Hexagon. With his experience and skilled hands, in 2003, he began to fully realize his abilities.
I remember completing my first digital render and that is when I knew I found the way, and it was exciting.
Jesselee shows passion and creativity in the quality and depth of his portfolio. He says that he is inspired by film, music, anime, and video games.
That’s right I said it. “Video Games.” LOL
However, Jesselee’s biggest inspiration is from anime, a modern, stylish form of animation that originated in Japan. Inspirations include: Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Dragon Ball Z, and Claymore.
I have also gained a tremendous amount of inspiration from the Wizards of the Coast, the Forgotten Realms, and the many stories they have shared over the years.
Wizards of the Coast is the intellectual owner of the world famous hobby game Dungeons & Dragons. Their world of knights, elves, goblins, dragons, and magic, partly inspired by Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy, continues to be the source of a multi-generational treasure trove of game materials, fictional books, video games, and films.
Jesselee continues to be inspired, mentored, and pushed by fellow artists in the same realm.
If I was to drop a name … it would have to be Michael Oswald, a phenomenal digital artist, I cant imagine his work failing to inspire anyone.
Graffiti artists are pushed to develop a signature, or unique style. It’s the same way in the traditional and fine art world. Jesselee Lang’s signature is apparent if you compare the lighting, color palette, composition, and use of textures in his works. Jesselee’s biggest strengths are in lighting and composition, which give him fine control over the moods in his work.
Many of Jesselee’s works have a heavy feeling. The imagery in “Goblin Mystics” hangs on my mind and heart and makes me feel like a scared child hiding in the woods as the events unfold. In contrast, “Alien” has a similar composition, but the lighting is altered, and instead of cowering in fear, I have a sense of awe and curiosity.
In “Centurion War” and “Drow Man Eater”, the characters feel multidimensional. They seem battle weary, yet strong. You want to know what amazing things have happened, and what’s going to happen next.
Due to their mastery in composition, story telling, and similar use of lighting, I think that Jesselee can most easily be compared to popular fantasy artist Luis Royo, especially the work depicted in Royo’s hard cover book Malefic. Jesselee’s work is also similar to the work of popular book cover illustrator Stephan Martiniere. My favorite works by Jesselee are “Centurion War”, pictured above, and “Ranger”, pictured below.
Jesselee admits that his most prized accomplishment is launching his own website and company in May, 2010. Dark Geometry provides professional, awe-inspiring, 3D fantasy-based art and graphics for various projects. Having one of Jesselee’s images as cover art on a fantasy novel or video game would catapult it off the store rack.
On average, Jesselee says he spends about four hours designing a scene in 3D, followed by approximately ten hours of rendering, and two hours in Photoshop. Of course, it varies, depending on the complexity of the image. It took Jesselee fifteen hours to complete “Centurion Wars”, and another twenty hours to render the image.
I asked Jesselee if he had any advice for aspiring artists wishing to create similar art.
First and foremost, enjoy the time you put into your art. I believe it is important to let your creativity come through effortlessly in passion and not to force results. Stay excited and inspired. Expose yourself to as much of the things that inspire you as often as you can. Ideas will flow.
He also says that investing in quality hardware pays off.
A good piece of hardware (PC or Mac) goes a long way in 3d artwork and rendering, and believe me, is worth the investment.
Jesselee Lang’s artwork can be found at his Web site Dark Geometry, where you can commission him for new and original pieces. You can purchase many of his ready-made works directly from his gallery at Shutterstock. He also maintains galleries at deviantART and Flickr.
Surprisingly, a number of his pieces are free to the public for non-commercial purposes, through a Creative Commons share-alike license. Also, he provides many of his pieces for free download, in HD quality, for use as your computer, PS3, or XBox 360 background. Actually, now that I think about it, this might not be so surprising for a guy that leaves his work on the side of a rail car.
If you like what you see here, go check out the rest of Jesselee Lang’s art, and let me know which piece is your favorite. If you like his artwork or would like to see more similar stories, don’t forget to click the “I heart this” button at the end of the article. Also, if you happen to catch Jesselee’s signature work on the side of a building or train car, be sure to send me a photo.
Now go put your signature on something that you’re passionate about.
Kevin B. McBriarty is a hard working Chicago artist and illustrator that has established a small but high quality portfolio of fantasy art. A lifelong artist, McBriarty had been fighting a recent bout of unemployment.
McBriarty has been doodling and drawing for as long as he can remember. While in his third year of primary school, McBriarty was fortunate when his parents decided to enroll him in private art lessons on the weekends. While all of the other neighborhood kids were outside playing or watching cartoons, young McBriarty was peddling his bicycle across town to attend art lessons.
At the time, I was torn because I hated having to get up early and bike for miles, but when I got there it was a different story.
McBriarty’s lessons were held at the home of the local high school art instructor, where he says that he learned more than he could have ever imagined. He did everything from watercolors to color pencil drawings and weaving on a loom that he had made. While in high school, McBriarty enrolled in every art course that he could, including attending classes that his private art instructor was teaching. In order to keep his education moving forward, McBriarty was given special projects that allowed him to utilize the additional training that he had gained over the rest of the high school class.
Acrylics were always the medium I liked the most because of their flexibility and the range of mediums they can be mixed with.
McBriarty was awarded an art scholarship to a local community college where he attended his first college level graphic arts course, which unfortunately didn’t keep him challenged. His art fell by the wayside, and although he kept his art supplies at the ready, he didn’t use them with any regularity. He began working at an arts and crafts store as a picture framer and moved up to become a store manager.
During the 90′s the art supply store industry in the Chicago land area was in flux while companies were consolidating, and McBriarty was in the middle of it all. Every couple of years he was working for a different company.
I gained a ton of material knowledge and was lucky enough to be able to use new products and had an endless supply of materials, when I did any art at all.
Later, McBriarty transitioned to being an operations manager at a picture framing company right around the time he got married. Eventually the online framing company was sold and closed, but he landed on his feet as a warehouse manager and director of fulfillment at a local start-up. While all these changes were happening, he got the itch to create art again, but this time he needed some inspiration.
He looked through his collection of magazine reference pictures and struggled to find the inspiration he needed. When he looked online for human figure reference material, he discovered the software product called Poser.
Initially I found Poser with a simple representation of a Wooden Mannequin, then the further I looked I found I could create complete pieces with various different software. At first it was very intimidating and a little confusing, but after some time and patience I found I really enjoyed what I could create using my PC. After a year or so I ended up selling most of my traditional art supplies and am really concentrating on learning as much as I have time to about using these new tools.
McBriarty still enjoys sketching out his ideas in the traditional way and then creating the final digital art piece with his computer. By switching to digital art, McBriarty has been able to recover the hours of setup time involved in traditional mediums and he doesn’t have to store tons of art supplies like brushes, easels, canvases, paints, and cleaners, which he says was becoming overwhelming.
The biggest advantage for me is the lack of clean up I have to do after working on a piece. No brushes to clean, no pallets to wipe down, and let’s face it finding good art supply stores these days is getting harder and harder. The nearest “good” artist supply store is over 40 miles from my home, but CG supply “stores” are a few clicks away. On top of all, CG art gives me far more flexibility and creativity. Say I am working on an idea but the point of view isn’t right, all I do is change the camera angle and re-render. With traditional mediums I would have to scrape it away, erase it, or start over.
Kevin B. McBriarty would be best described as an artistic illustrator of fantasy art. His powerful works are exercised with excellent technique but focus more on the composition and story than the medium or expression of style. As a digital illustrator with an advanced background in traditional art and picture framing, McBriarty has an excellent eye for exactly the right “camera angle” as he calls it. In his work titled, “Fallen”, I can imagine an entire story there reminds me of times of sorrow in my life.
McBriarty’s fantasy illustrations are influenced by the work of well known American science fiction and fantasy illustrator Michael Whelan and the famous international fantasy illustration duo Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. MacBriarty says that his inspiration comes from life, family, and even commercials, as well as other artists in the CG community like Stefan Morrell and “too many others to mention”.
When I create a piece I strive to do more than just paint a pretty picture or render a beautiful maiden or warrior. I like for my art to evoke a story, one that the viewer creates in their mind. I have an idea of what I want to portray but it is up to the viewer to create the “story” leading up to the image I create.
McBriarty is reaching that goal quite exceptionally. His fine illustrations inspire and tell epic stories that any viewer can identify with as they encounter dramatic and amazing times in their own lives. His artistic talent shows off in his brilliant use of light, shadow, texture, his moody color pallet and his intriguing perspectives.
Although he’s recently had a long period of unemployment, we’re glad to hear that McBriarty is back to work. We hope that more hard working Americans can find the same success. You can find more of McBriarty’s art on his Artzone gallery, or at Renderosity. You can also find him on Facebook.
MWP would like to thank Kevin for contributing his story and artwork and allowing us to interview him, and we wish him all the best in his new job.
Please let me know which of Kevin’s pieces is your favorite, and be sure to click on the “I heart this” button to show your love!
Burleigh has been passionate about art and has been drawing since the age of seven. He says that he received his artistic gene from his mother, who was a great artist. Burleigh’s interests led him to sign up for art classes in high school and he later had the opportunity to study art in college as well.
More recently, Burleigh has successfully transferred his traditional art skills into another realm by becoming a self taught digital artist using his favorite software tool, Bryce. He is also learning how to incorporate other software such as Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Illustrator, and Carrara into his work flow.
Five years ago, my son got me started with digital art. The medium I enjoy the most for now is digital, although it can be frustrating to learn at times.
When an artist says that they have all but switched to digital, it makes me curious to see their other drawings. I hope that Michael will send a couple to share.
Burleigh’s abstract style is largely inspired by his favorite artist, Salvador Dali, but also by his eye for architecture and automotive design.
I would describe Michael Burleigh as a surrealist artist leaning toward the futurism style of abstract art, and his more abstract work largely reminds me of famous Italian painter, Giacomo Balla, although Burleigh’s color palette is something completely his own. Burleigh’s surrealist art and subjects are clearly influenced by his favorite surrealist painter.
Of his work so far, Burleigh is the most proud of his surrealistic piece titled “Chess dreams”.
“Chess dreams” has a lot of artistic merit, especially in the wonderful way that he breaks up the horizon. Burleigh should feel very accomplished with this piece in his goal of being a great surrealist.
Besides some great surreal art, Burleigh has such a large number of amazing abstract pieces in his gallery that I had a hard time limiting myself to showing just a few.
MWP asked Burleigh about his abstract work, because we knew it had to be about more than just the extraordinary aesthetic balance of form and color.
My motivation in my artwork is a reflection of my emotions. I have a saying about my art, “curves of happiness and points of anger”.
With his astute focus on form, it’s no surprise that Burleigh says that he’s interested in starting to create sculpture, which he sees as the ultimate form of art.
I love the fact that [sculpture] is an art form you can not only see but you can feel and study all sides of such an art piece. It is an art form even the blind can appreciate. Unfortunately it is probably also one of the most expensive forms of art to do.
MWP would like to thank Michael for contributing his story and artwork and allowing us to interview him. We hope that our recognition will help inspire him to create more art even though we robbed him of some of his valuable time to do so.
Please let me know which of Michael’s pieces is your favorite, and I’m sure that Michael would appreciate it if you would click on the “I heart this” button to show your love.