The most important thing Iâ€™ve learned with professional work is to search for references when you start a new piece of artwork. So, before I start a new project, I always come up with a general idea of what Iâ€™m going to produce. Then I start to search for as many references as possible to refine the idea.
For this particular project the main references were the film and art book of Monster Inc. I want to say too that there isnâ€™t a magical brush which â€œpaintsâ€ for you, or a secret plugin that makes you paint like Da Vinci. Everything Iâ€™ve learned and applied for this project came from watching Gnomonâ€™s DVDs, talking with other professionals and observing their nature. The important thing is to understand the main concepts and how to apply them.
I quickly established a cartoonish style and created a character with the feeling of a child bully. Then I started to think about how it would be if this guy wasnâ€™t afraid of the things that came out of his closet (Fig.01).
With the general idea set, I started to refine it. I worked a bit more with the design of the characters and the scene itself (Fig.02).
Then I started to think how I would work with the colors and how they would behave in the scene. So I did a preliminary color study, which gave me a clear idea of how I would work to get to the final piece. (Fig.03)
I think this is a great thing to do especially if you are working professionally. During this stage I decided to have my main source of light coming from the window and the back light coming from the door on the opposite side of the scene (Fig.04).
I am used to working with the contours as a guide for the first volumes. After I had most of a piece done, I hid the contour layer and then I started to refine it (Fig.05a â€" 05b). I confess that when I turned off this layer I had a little panic, because the volumes got a bit confused and I asked myself: â€œMy God, now what?â€ So I patiently started to work individually on each element. The more I worked on it, the more the elements started to come out.