Decoding Daily Deviations: Crow Temple

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Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"

FEATURED ART: Crow Temple by Vykoukal
DD DATE: 2016-03-27

Crow Temple by Vykoukal

Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?

From the beginning I had the idea about a mysterious crow-head shaped temple somewhere deep in the swamps. I also had a rough idea about composition and knew I wanted to capture it during night-time to emphasize all that bioluminescence and little lights. Then I got more into developing composition, camera angle, and started sketching it just in rough lines to see what works best for me. This part is something I’m still experimenting with a lot. Sometimes (and nowadays more and more), I’m doing this idea and composition exploration in value sketching -- blocking in main shapes and materials. It’s much easier to see the whole image and atmosphere like this compared to just a line sketch. :) Anyway, after that comes in play a coloring time, which means for me to set the basic color scheme to emphasize atmosphere and storytelling, and also to set a nice background for further rendering. And finally, rendering and adding details over and over again until I’m happy with that."  :)

“Crow Temple” is quite the atmospheric achievement. Can you reveal the steps in your creative process as it pertains to organising the composition and other details to execute the scene?

Shot 1 - Sketching: At this point, I already have pretty clear idea about composition, so I'm able to draw some basic lines and catch those first ideas. I don't care much about details yet, just putting in main objects and see how they look together.

Crow Teple Sketch by lovelessdevotions

Shot 2 - Values: Then I set a basic value scheme just to see lighting and depth clearly. This really helps me to gain an overall view about it in very early stage, so I can fix whatever I need.

Crow Teple2 by lovelessdevotions

Shot 3 - First Colors: When I'm happy with the values, I move on to color settings. So basically I'm just putting in flat colors with some rough light sources which I defined in the values painting.

Crow Teple3 by lovelessdevotions

Shot 4 - 7 - Details: In this stage, when I'm happy with the first color scheme, I start adding details, more lights, coming up with some new ideas to emphasize overall feeling and rendering and rendering. :) It depends how detailed I want it to be since you can render it forever...."

 Crow Teple5 by lovelessdevotions  Crow Teple7 by lovelessdevotions
Crow Teple8 by lovelessdevotions Crow Teple10 by lovelessdevotions

Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?

Sure, many of them, like in almost every piece I worked on. :) But to point out some major ones - -definitely very challenging was capturing all those color tones in a night- time setting, and to set the lighting somehow to be bright enough and to still have that "nighty" look. But honestly I like those challenges; I mean sometimes I’m struggling with them way too long making myself desperate and angry, but when you finally solve them and learn from them, it’s priceless for me."

What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?

Passion. In my opinion, something like talent is much a overrated word these days. Of course, you need some, but more than a talent for painting you need a talent and passion for learning things. We are living in a time where you can learn almost everything through the internet, tutorials, online courses. The only thing you need is to put your time in and have enough passion and will to keep practicing. So be thankful to all the industry professionals for sharing their knowledge, workflows, advice and let’s learn from each other as much as we can."  :)

What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?

It’s my first DD since I started with digital painting 3 years ago, and it’s really motivating to actually see that people might like my work and I’m able to bring them some emotion through my art. And my watchers can hopefully look forward to seeing a bigger set of illustrations based on a story I’m currently developing. And, of course, more crows."  :)

Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA?

From grahamskrtic : "This looks really cool! I don't know if you've gotten this yet, but this makes me think of Yoda's hut on Dagobah from the Star Wars series, especially with the surrounding moat. I love this. A well-deserved daily deviation."

I actually don’t know much of Star Wars in detail, so I needed to google it, and he (or she) is kinda right -- nice imagination!  :)

Thanks to Vykoukal for kindly consenting to this interview!

Art Feature

Navy by PuppeteerLee

 sketch by Grosnez

Waterfalls + Process video by JeremyPaillotin

Previous Decoding DDs:

Dragon's Breath

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Andorada's avatar
Wonderful series! :clap: