Struggling with Concept Ideas

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So I had my Interim review yesterday, and Phil wants to see something 'striking' and 'impressonistic', but at the moment, I'm struggling to come up with ideas based around the text. The three excerpts, leave me with a bit of a boundary in-terms of what to create. The way I want to portray the book is with a stark contrast of light and dark; the pitch-black inside of the tunnels, with the bright daylight outside, but I really want to re-invision the text, which to me seems almost impossible. I need to stick to the enviroment, but I can change the era or story, but that still leaves with me a volcano, and everything that goes with it.

The only idea I have which I think will give me 'bold' result, is to switch the cold volcano into a huge desert mountain, perhaps surrounded by ruins, but then again, no excerpt is set outside of the volcano, so I won't be sticking to the text if I do a painting of the outside enviroment.

I'm going to create more sketches today (As many ideas as I possibly can) to try and find a way to spice up the boring tunnel and crater enviroments. I'm hoping that I will find some inspiration, as I'm willing to put in as much time as possible to get some good looking paintings.

4 Responses to 'Struggling with Concept Ideas'

  1. Ruben Alexandre said...'> 11 November 2009 at 13:30

    Hi Sam, I dont know if my advice will be pointless, as i dont know the excerpts you depicting.

    But my advice is stick with the text, but play with perspective, camera angles which creates a lot of depth. I know inside a cave isn t the most amusing places to depict, but give your own twist to it, play with light, glows (depth again)... also consider scale, if is a volcano like you said it has to be big inside, find clues in the excerpt which gives you a comparison with human scale.
    Research materials inside the cave for instance Lava has a peculiar glow maybe you would like to play with it, volcanic stone is different in texture and darker..

    I know said is easier than done but if need any help, ask ;)


  2. Sam Hayes said...'> 11 November 2009 at 15:15

    Hi Ruben,
    I really appreciate the advice. I think your right that I need to find some good angles in the cave, I think perhaps including a lot of hot glowing lava will give a good glow and will show the difference in lighting, I'm going to re-read the excerpts for some more inspiration.

    I'm really liking the look of your sketches and work so far, the 'Hall of the dead' stuff is looking fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing it digitalised


  3.'> 11 November 2009 at 16:49

    Hi Sam,

    I think part of what you may be sufferring from is white paper syndrome... ie. the reluctance to make a mark in case you balls it up. There are plenty of visual reference to inspire you from the manmade(cathedrals, museums, tunnels etc) to the natural (caves, chasms, rock formations etc.) in your case I think researching these things could really pay off, maybe even use an image as a mark on the canvas to build up from, set it up as a layer lower the opacity and let it inspire you.


  4. tutorphil said...'> 11 November 2009 at 22:50

    maybe I'm being a bit thick, but I'm pretty sure the excerpts you've got contain a forest of giant mushrooms, giant tree ferns etc., a lake with strange electrical effects, a cavern of ossified dinosaur bones... and yet, you're stuck with a drab volcano... Why don't you just ditch the volcano and go for something with more cinematic potential? Also, the description of the chimney is distinguished by a paragraph about all the different layers of rock - lots of potential here for chiaroscuro lighting effects and some vertiginous points-of-view...? You need to think more theatrically, Sam - this is a 'dream-factory' project - artistic license is encouraged - and Ruben is absolutely right - it's all about the visual staging too - you need to get in touch with your inner Ridley Scott...


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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