This class was very interesting. I don't usually draw environments and such, so this was a great opportunity for me to try something a bit different.
So please keep in mind that this is one of my first environment that's this complex, thanks!
For the setting, I knew immediately what I wanted it to be. For a while, I've had the idea of designing a world inspired by both japanese and steampunk imagery. This was the perfect opportunity for me to put this to the test.
I decided to illustrate a city as I envisionned it, and I also wanted an illustration with depth and interesting perspective.
As I was looking for references, I remembered this really cool place we have here in France called Rocamadour. It's a beautiful medieval city built on top of a mountain, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Then, I found this one picture of it, and I loved the perspective and point of view, so I decided to use this as my base:
After laying down the basic shapes, I went over my sketch, tweaking it in order to get the buildings shapes the way I wanted it to look, and this is how it turned out:
Once I was happy with this, I moved on to the linework. this was probably the longest and most tedious part of the process. Linework and perspective are clearly not my strongest points, so it ended up looking a bit funky, but it was still a great way for me to practice.
I also knew that even if it didn't look that great, I might be able to make it a little better with colors and atmosphere.
Plus, I remembered an illustration teacher I had, who told me that he liked the fact that my illustrations looked handmade and had character to them, when most of my classmates often turned in flat vector illustrations. So, I decided to trust him with this one and keep it imperfect.
As I started adding values to it, I started to actually like the look of it, and I began to envision the atmosphere and colors that might look cool. I knew I wanted it to be a night or sunset ambiance.
So finally onto my favorite part, the colors.
I really liked the sunset vibe, because I could use warm highlights to make the shapes of the buildings clearer, and make a few elements pop out, like the smoking train in the distance.
I also tried to experiment with two light sources, adding a blue light coming from the back, as if it were light coming from the city beyond the frame, suggesting the presence of life.
The more I worked on it, the more I felt like the ship in the sky looked out of place and was too distracting, so I decided to completely cut it away, and it looked a lot better in my opinion.
I much prefered keeping the subtle hint of a steam train in the distance, and the ship only distracted the eye from it without any real value.
And thus, this concludes my first actual experience with concept art. Although parts of it were quite a struggle for me, it was really fun and rewarding overall, and I still like the result given that I don't draw a lot of environments.
So I'm really glad I took this class, I wouldn't have acheived this otherwise, and it actually made me want to try working on more concept art for this world I've had in mind for a long time, hopefully one day I'll be able to make it come to life :)