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ndrew Jones was deep within his creative space while in production for the d’artiste: Concept Art book. The Massive Black luminary discusses his history, ideas and plans for the future. His is an exciting journey, a road less travelled, but one well worth the trip.

d'artiste: Concept Art presents the techniques of leading concept artists Viktor Antonov, George Hull, Andrew Jones and Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier. In this masterclass tutorial book, these four authors bring readers through concept art techniques used to create environments, characters and machinery for film, television and video games.


Lesser Evil 
My parents were painters and while in preschool, I painted a picture of a caterpillar which the teacher thought was something really special. So she encouraged my parents to get me into private lessons and that started my life as an artist. I’ve been painting ever since. I’ve done a lot of life drawings, and this is something I feel I was influenced heavily by. There was a lot of time to do life drawing because I lived out on a farm, and I drew stuff for entertainment. I really had a lot of time on my hands.
I went to a school called Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida where I gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Computer Animation. At Ringling, I was learning computer animation and Maya, skills that I used to translate into being a more efficient concept artist. At the Boulder Academy of Fine Arts, I received classical academic artistic training from master Elvie Davis, which included cast and figure drawing, life painting, sight-sizing, lots of color and shadow theory. I took a semester off and went to medical school to dissect cadavers. I used that time to really get in close to these cadavers and learn anatomy. You don’t really forget it once you cut open somebody’s back. It’s a great way of burning images into your mind.

Die SF 

Self-portrait #938 
I was exposed to the digital side of the arts pretty early. I remember fooling around with Painter 1.0 when it was sold in something like a paint can. I was playing with it before Wacom came along so I was only using a mouse. I remember experimenting with it, but it wasn’t as satisfying as the ‘traditional way’. At the time, I was really into markers, and pencils, so it was hard for the original programs to  compete with that. I remember when the first Wacom tablet came out, I was experimenting with that towards the end of 1998. At that point, I really got stuck into Painter with the Wacom. I never really looked back, because I was sold on the digital medium from then on.
  During my schooling, I took a job with one of my art school peers, Jason Wen. I was working on a personal project of his called ‘F8’. He saw some of my concept work and wanted me to collaborate. This was my first job, working as a Concept Artist, working solo on the digital direction of a film. Doing the sceneries, characters, vehicles and guns—practically the whole universe of elements. ‘F8’ has become a cult classic, initially shown at SIGGRAPH when it came out. That was really a great experience because it was the first time that I was able to see my concepts actually in 3D, after seeing the updates and the models in LightWave. I remember getting really excited about the potential of drawing something and having someone else modeling it and taking it to the next level.

Painter seems to have a certain spirit to it. It’s definitely the most intuitive of programs. There is an element of chaos and unpredictability to Painter. I’m just that much more comfortable using Painter than any other program.

In fact, I use both Painter and Photoshop in conjunction for the majority of my time but when I’m painting and drawing, I always have Painter there with me.
Edge on entropy 


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