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About Traditional Art / Professional April LeeFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 15 Years
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Statistics 58 Deviations 138 Comments 39,552 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Steam-mech by aprillee Steam-mech :iconaprillee:aprillee 7 6 Ill-Met By Moonlight (33) by aprillee Ill-Met By Moonlight (33) :iconaprillee:aprillee 1 0 Stranger in the Savage Garden-4713sz by aprillee Stranger in the Savage Garden-4713sz :iconaprillee:aprillee 0 0 Stranger in the Savage Garden-4559a by aprillee Stranger in the Savage Garden-4559a :iconaprillee:aprillee 1 0 Stranger in the Savage Garden-4451z by aprillee Stranger in the Savage Garden-4451z :iconaprillee:aprillee 0 2 Stranger in the Savage Garden-4434z by aprillee Stranger in the Savage Garden-4434z :iconaprillee:aprillee 0 0 Stranger in the Savage Garden-4428z by aprillee Stranger in the Savage Garden-4428z :iconaprillee:aprillee 4 4 Araqiel by aprillee Araqiel :iconaprillee:aprillee 8 2 Madame de Pompadour by aprillee Madame de Pompadour :iconaprillee:aprillee 45 5 Victorian Vampire by aprillee Victorian Vampire :iconaprillee:aprillee 26 1 Sokaris by aprillee Sokaris :iconaprillee:aprillee 16 0 AprilLee-arial by aprillee AprilLee-arial :iconaprillee:aprillee 44 3 L5R-- Shiba Tsukimi by aprillee L5R-- Shiba Tsukimi :iconaprillee:aprillee 436 16 L5R-- Datsue-ba by aprillee L5R-- Datsue-ba :iconaprillee:aprillee 151 23 Daigotsu Rekai v.2 by aprillee Daigotsu Rekai v.2 :iconaprillee:aprillee 84 23 Halloween '07 by aprillee Halloween '07 :iconaprillee:aprillee 11 0


Nouveau Labyrinth poster by janey-jane Nouveau Labyrinth poster :iconjaney-jane:janey-jane 8,928 970 Doji Seo by dwinbotp Doji Seo :icondwinbotp:dwinbotp 1,126 148 Foursquare by Hbruton Foursquare :iconhbruton:Hbruton 126 15 Trillium by dhstein Trillium :icondhstein:dhstein 7 5


I took a SmArt School online class with Dan Dos Santos, February-May 2016.  It was fantastic!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Dan's an amazing teacher.

SmArt School Website

The first assignment was a portrait of some kind. 

Sketch of a sort of winter queen elf... (yeah, it needs a lot more thought! like can we have something a bit more detailled?  story and personality -wise?) 

Digital (Photoshop and Wacom Intuos)

Dan suggested maybe more of a headdress...  I couldn't make it work, snow-queen-wise... My wintery designs were crap.  So I went in another direction... Went for a more desert-like style and changed her to an antelope girl, and made her face 3/4 instead of profile...

Worked up digitally.

Put some texture around the doorway around her, cleaned up outfit--

More work tightening things up--jewelry, hair; put in a door so cast shadow falls across it--

Progress so far.  I need to define the arm a bit more...

I'd like to add that I was looking at references (photos) for faces (various... and I had to change the lighting on them), and antelopes (a ton), and Moroccan or N. African architecture throughout this process.  

I was just reading something about how the brain processes things, and apparently it doesn't just take snapshots and store whole images.  So you shouldn't expect to pull things from your memory.  In fact, that will mess you up because you'll remember only the basics, like a kindergarten painting with a yellow sun with rays and puffy green trees with straight brown trunks and green grass.  

Reference is important!!!  Yes, you will be able to recall more and more through experience, but even artists who have been drawing ONE thing for YEARS still use reference... they just might not need it quite as much as they used to.
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: whoppers
  • Drinking: arnold palmers


April Lee
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
Freelance Illustrator (traditional and digital)
Computer Game Artist (3D, 2D, modeling, textures, animation, concept)

Art Center College of Design, BFA in Illustration
Oxford University, BA/MA in History
Mount Holyoke College, BA in English Lit.

Born & raised in S. California.


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Jed-Stuart Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015  Student General Artist
I am doing some research for my college final major project, and I am basing it on the Might & Magic series. I had no idea the inventory sprites were 3D models in Might & Magic VII as a kid. No idea at all until I finally found your page and a forum somewhere that credited you as one of the artists. I love your work!! Its so damn amazing, and thank you for doing that art!
aprillee Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Gah... I'm sorry, I don't check in here very often (to say the least!).  

Thanks for liking M&M!  Everyone at New World Computing had a great time working on those games (HOMM, too).  I think we started building things in 3D for VI when 3D STudio Max made 3D more financially available to companies.

Realtime 3D was still too expensive in processing/memory, so they were sprites.  Memory and processing was always increasing --same as it still does today, but wow, were things limited then!  

Jed-Stuart Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Student General Artist
No worries! I understand, just wanted to leave a message telling you what I thought anyway, and to praise and thank you for your work.

That makes a lot of sense! M&M was a big part of my gaming childhood, and am always surprised when I learn HOW things are made, and things you guys had to do to workaround problems and stuff :)
orzie Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I absolutely love your artwork for Might and Magic and HMM series! Thank you so much for endless hours of enjoying the concepts.

I actually wonder if you know something about this toad - was it in H2 lineup back then?…
aprillee Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Made by placing pixels, definitely not 3D at all.
orzie Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thanks. I already contacted Tracy Iwata and made it known that this asset was once created for HoMM2, but never made it to the release version.

Would you care to elaborate if that kind of HoMM2 assets (townscreens) was created in 3D, with/without the use of landscape generators, and/or pixel painting?…

Thank you very much in advance.
aprillee Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Looks familiar, style-wise.  Not mine, though.  Not sure which version it might have been in... 
orzie Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thank you. To this time I already figured out it was a rejected creature by Tracy Iwata. It might still find new life in fan-based developments though :)
brandimillerart Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Hi April! I met you at Spectrum. It was great talking to you and I love your artwork!
janey-jane Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
*dances for the watch* ♥
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