Photocollage art techniques

Priest Woman

I am pleased to present two new illustrations for a French game published by 7eme Cercle : Kuro Tenseï, the team that published the French version of Trail of Cthulhu entitled simply Cthulhu. Click an image for a higher resolution version.

Kuro Tenseï will be presented at the upcoming event Salon du jeu de société on 25 and 26 april in Paris. I will be there for signing sessions, and will be next to Kenneth Hite for Cthulhu signings. What a great opportunity for French fans !

These works are for a Japanese post-apocalypse background, inspired by Akira or Ghost in the Shell , at least, I was inspired by those two animated films to work on this subject. The funny thing is that now, after doing lot of photomontage for Trail, my drawing method is inspired (and improved, I hope) by the technique of photocollage.

At first I work very fast, directly on my graphic tablet, designing a blurred shape for the character. I try to figure out correct proportions very freely. Then I erase any excess to have a more precise shape, and be prepared to start adding different colors, or greyscale.

Then, I focus on light and shadow. As for a photomontage, I try to create a light source, playing on contrast and specific light angles. I realised how important light was with all the photomontage as when you assemble different pictures, you never have a unique source of light on all the difference pieces. The trick is to create one !

When all this is done, I add the details, working on specific the areas I want the eye to be attracted to. I leave some spaces blurred, or deliberately make areas dark and lacking in detail. As with a photomontage, I cut and paste pieces of the drawing, changing angles, moving the head, adjusting an arm.

Priest Woman

I merge the work in the final phase and the sketch, flattening layers in Photoshop to have a whole image to work on without jumping to one or another layer. This is because I need to play on light, contrast every where on the same time. I can work fast, knowing I have fixed previous states of the drawing. To finish, when all is flattened, I check the details and finish the work. Then, I send to the publisher, some time it’s good, ocassionally you have to make changes. 

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