As many of you may know, I am a considerable sci-fi nerd. Whether it’s a sci-fi movie, sci-fi theme, or sci-fi book, I love it and I’m into it. I like sci-fi concepts a lot, and in doing that I tend to draw a lot of things that are either fantasy or sci-fi (understanding that there is some overlap). Other than my sci-fi-esque series Worlds last year and my android Pin0cchio I created for the 2015 Artist Series Calendar, I feel like I haven’t done a lot in the way of definitive sci-fi illustrations.
But, seeing as sci-fi seems to be my “thing”, I’m way into conceiving of pieces and series that convey the sci-fi kind of look.
I’ve been working on coming up with a series for this year. I wanted to go into aliens and UFOs. It was very interesting that I conceived of this idea right when the Australian government announced a lot of information about some eerie UFOs that occurred somewhat recently. I’ve also started reading up on some of the more “creepier” UFO sightings, especially when military individuals were involved. I made a piece back at the end of 2016 just to mess around with a couple of ideas, but that isn’t what this blog post is about. I’m hoping to work more on my aliens and UFO series soon… There are a few ideas rattling in my head for illustrations, and they go beyond little green men.
Anyway, there are a slew of new sci-fi themed items that will be released soon that I’m excited about. Detroit: Become Human is a PS4 video game based on the short created in 2012 by Quantic Dream titled “Kara”. It is slated to be released in 2017, though no definitive date has been announced yet. I’m also excited for Cyberpunk 2077, which is an open world cyber-punk sci-fi game being developed by The Witcher developer CD Projekt, with no current release date. Ghost in the Shell will be released later in March of this year, and while I don’t think this Hollywood adaptation of one of my favorite all-time sci-fi Japanese animations looks particularly good, I do enjoy sci-fi visuals, so I may be watching a DVD version for good ol’ RedBox eventually.
Lastly, (and here’s the big one), I am so excited for Blade Runner 2049. I’m excited at the story prospects and the visuals in the trailer and everything about it. Blade Runner 2049 will be released in October, but until then I’m tiding myself over with some sci-fi novels and novella – currently I’m reading 1984, but not too long ago I did read the Blade Runner source material Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick. I’ve been meaning to go back and re-watch Blade Runner again, but I had some ideas for an illustration…
Now I consider myself somewhat of a concept artist, but sometimes I see concept art that is so stunning and textural that I don’t feel I myself can compete. I know a lot of artists feel this way in thinking their art is sub-par compared to others; it’s feelings of inadequacy that often catapult us into striving to be better. In keeping in mind this “loose concept art” feel to this sci-fi Blade Runner inspired drawing I wanted to make, I intended to put lots of tiny details, a very specific sense of lighting, and a very textural aspect to this drawing.
“Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.” – Philip K. Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
Starting out it looks a lot like nothing!
As you know if you’ve looked at any of my other in progress pieces, however, I like to work monochromatically most of the time and then work in the color(s) after. I feel that helps me a lot when it comes to maintaining a value range rather than ending up with a definitive mid-tone ranged piece. You get your high-highs and your low-lows in the forms of whites and blacks, which is important for keeping interest in the eye.
“No one can win against kipple,” he said, “except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I’ve sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I’ll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It’s a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.”
― Philip K. Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
I also used a “cheater” digital art trick where when I started I had a slightly crooked composition in mind (which would kind of funnel the eye towards the center). Rather than just drawing it that way and dealing with crooked lines while trying to make it look convincing as a city, I just created the drawing right-side-up to utilize perfect lines much like holding a ruler on your work in a traditional sense. Then, when I was done, I used the rotate feature and worked out the edges with some darks.
Here’s what I got!