Today we were lucky enough to have yet another guest speaker, this time we were graced with the presence of Darren Fereday, a freelance artist based in the UK, specializing in concept design and visual development. Intriguingly for us guys on the Comp Anim course though, he also has skills in 3D softwares such as ZBrush and used this alongside Photoshop to create several character designs in the presentation.
One of the main things I took away from Darren was that traditional skills are vital when it comes to digital painting; "you can't draw a building if you can't draw a box" was a phrase he used to describe the importance of a basic skill such as perspective, and Photoshop is merely another medium in which to use these basic skills for creative purposes, the software will not achieve the outcomes for you. Other tips I picked up were things such as not using an erasor or undo tool whilst painting because it wastes time and the marks you end up covering up add to the texture of the final piece, this also builds confidence with mark making. Flipping the canvas frequently allows for a more interesting piece because we tend to lean one way whilst we draw, this also allows for any suddent shot flips that senior staff might make during planning.
During the presentation, Darren drew several different grey scale thumbnails in Adobe Photoshop using a variety of different brushes that he had collected from other artists or created himself, all taking roughly about ten minutes each. His advice was that after a few minutes, if a thumbnail isn't going in any specific direction, it discard it or reuse it in a completely different way.
Darren's work can be found online at: http://www.darrenfereday.com/