Sketchbook: James McDonald video game art sketchbook
 
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  1. #1
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    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    Suup! I had a sketchbook awhile ago, but decided to start a new one since I haven't touched that one in forever lol. I'd like to get better and explore and all that stuff, so please feel free to leave comments and crits!

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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    Last edited by Jamesy; April 15th, 2013 at 03:42 PM. Reason: a catchier title??
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  3. #2
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    I started a livestream about a week and a half ago. It's every weekday morning at 8am Pacific time, and I'm just doin' the fundamental stuff for around an hour or so. This week's theme was female figures!

    http://www.livestream.com/jamesmcdonald

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  4. #3
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    Some studies over the past couple weeks

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  6. #5
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    These were done for a friend who's doing modeling some stuff for the Dota 2 Workshop. . . . I might have to revise them again at some point lol

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  7. #6
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    Here's a couple images for my side project, Robot Quest. Also, a Battle Nations sketch from a thread on their forums about wanting a cyborg trooper lol. . .I think I might show more Battle Nations stuff in the nea

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  8. #7
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    Awesome stuff you got man, really like your style

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    Inspiring stuff! Love the robot quest mech especially Definitely subbing.

    For lack of a better signature...

    -Sketchbewk
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  10. #9
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    I like your style everything is very lively and animated, even your houses have alot of character.

    Awesome stuff, your gonna go far =P

    Available for freelance work Email Me | Sketchbook | Blog
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  11. #10
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    Your stuff is too cool. I love the volume and feeling that it occupies a space. Really awesome ideas too. Super appealing. I want mooore!

    sketchbook
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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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  12. #11
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    Really solid stuff man, look forward to more.

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    Really like your art man, would love to see more of it.

    Check out my Sketchbook

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=135928

    I love feedback and tips
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  14. #13
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    M.Gamez, slothstuff-44,Domd, the muddy, SgtBubbles, Mrs.Smithe - Thanks guys! Hopefully I'll keep get to post art more often!

    Here's another thing for Robot Quest. . .a Robot should come pretty shortly for it lol. Also added some bad attempt at a cross section for a Battle Nations Mega Tank, and a couple illustrations for weekend promos. Oh! Some NPCs from that game too. . .I need to do more of these for

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  15. #14
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    I finally finished up this dude. The line work was a lot more of a pain this time around and I don't think I really had the design nailed down in the sketch, so I was making all sorts of weird decisions during the rendering process. Learned a bunch though! I'm gonna try to bang one more out after this.

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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    I love it. Love everything about it~ Would you mind sharing your process with us for a robot like that? I have the worst time even wrapping my head around that... if you don't feel like it, all's well, no worries xD Just wondering~
    (love the value one of the saber guy too)

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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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  17. #16
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    Thanks the-muddy! I'm not too good at explaining things, but here goes anyway lol. I'm by no means any kind of authority figure in the art-world, this is just my own process of creating designs start to finish.

    1. Rough sketches - I start out by doodling something in my sketchbook. It's literally the most disgusting looking scribbles ever, but I'm not too worried about it looking pretty at this point. My main focus is just putting the idea down on paper. I'll probably post some of these sketchbook drawings whenever I get around to scanning them. There's a big azz scanner right next to me in the office, but I'm generally too lazy most of the time to do such a thing.

    2. Gather references - Now that I have my fugly lookin' sketches down on paper, I start looking for images similar to what I had in mind and other helpful references that might help me with the smaller details. These references vary from photographs, diagrams, and mostly just other people's art lol. (Side Note: For Robot Quest, I look at a lot of Otomo stuff and old school video games. There's a bit of a Pokemon simplicity mind-set in there too)

    3. Rough Sketches. . .again - At this point I redraw my rough sketches on the computer and usually do a few different iterations (I like the 3-5 range personally). These are usually messy and I try to put down base colors at the same time. I also explore shapes, values, minor details that convey a deeper story, and other stuff.

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    4. Rendering - After narrowing down my choices to something I like. . .or kinda like the most anyway. . .then begins the rendering process. For the last particular piece, that means tedious line work over the rough sketch I just laid down. I clean up the base colors too and throw down some really gimmicky Photoshop tricks to make an attempt at looking cool. Then BANG, it's done. Well, almost. . .

    5. Post effects/Finishing - I suppose this is where all the gimmicky Photoshop tricks come in lol. Like sharpen 5x and noise and blur filters around the edges. Paint Daubs are the shit too. This is where I also have to figure out the final composition as I want it to have some form of good presentation. I really suck at this part

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    That's basically my process. This is probably really crude, but I hope it helps someone out there. If anyone has any specific questions about lame PS tricks, or anything else for that matter, I'll try to answer to the best of my knowlegde.

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  18. #17
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    Brilliant work! Your robot designs are inventive and I love the design choices you go with. I'm off to check out your dA page

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  19. #18
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    ah man really nice stuff love your style and character designs alot!

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  20. #19
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    Hehe yeah I love paint daubs and sharpening and colour stuff. I used to abuse layer modes and such but I try to not depend on it anymore xDD
    Thanks so much for taking the time to explain that, I really really appreciate it and think you are awesome for doing that!! Very nice to read~

    sketchbook
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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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  21. #20
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    Hey great work! Thanks for sharing your design process, it always helps a lot to learn from others. So are you currently working as a video game artist? How often do you paint and draw? What is your practice schedule like??? Sorry for all the questions... but they will definitely help. Thanks!

    Check out my blog! - www.kevynhale.blogspot.com - come and follow the.... prodigy (at least the future prodigy)
    And don't forget the sketchbook! http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=270992

    Give me your best critique!!
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  22. #21
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    I love each steps you depict here, it's great you keep the first idea you've got and continue it without changing anything.
    Your colors are nice, I do love soft color like you just used. You've got a very nice world, where do you find that inspiration ?
    And about your robots studys I'm impressed, don't know if I could create something like yours.
    But I think you should try to put more details on your last step, to make it come true ( visually ) I can't wait to see more from you.

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  23. #22
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    aburnier, rumpenstilzkin, muddy - Thanks for the comments
    kevynah -
    So are you currently working as a video game artist?
    Yes! I've been working at a mobile games studio called Z2 since I graduated, which has been about 2 and a half years now. I primarily work on Battle Nations as a 2d artist. It's a pretty awesome gig!
    How often do you paint and draw? What is your practice schedule like???
    I usually wake up around 730 so I can work on personal stuff for an hour or so before heading into work. All I do at work is draw and paint stuff(and look at YouTube, Facebook, read forums, troll, etc.), so that's another 8 hours I guess lol. In the evenings I'll spend another 1-2 hours attempting to be productive at the personal work again. So pretty much every day, all day in some sense. As for practice, it really depends. I tend to do more applied studies when I feel like I need them. For example, if I was concepting some Reptile Overlord Boss, then I'd grab reptile images to reference while making the image. A few years back I did more traditional studies all the time, which helped my foundations immensely. I should probably get back into those at some point lol

    Laurelineparis- You've got a very nice world, where do you find that inspiration?

    I grew up (art wise) on this website stalking people like Robogabo and Prometheus ANJ. I've also always been into Legos, miniatures, robots, video games, toys, etc. There's too many to name actually lol. All these interests are in some way or form reflected in the stuff I like to draw. And you can draw robots too! It just takes some time. . .I still don't really know how to draw robots other than BSing a few shapes and colors together XD

    Here's some more Robot Quest stuff. There's lots of issues like usual, but overall I think it turned out a'ight

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    This is supposed to be my girlfriend riding a chocobo. She REALLY likes the Final Fantasy games lol
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    Recent-ish Battle Nations Promo
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    A year later after I made the concept, I finally got a buddy of mine to model a gear set for Furion in Dota 2. This is just a quick sketch from the backside as he needed a little more visual info. Here's the original concept LINK
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

    Last edited by Jamesy; September 27th, 2013 at 02:34 AM.
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  24. #23
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    Nice sketchbook, man. I like your clean rendering.

    Check your favourite Imaginary Friend's Sketchbook here (oh and don't forget to say hi)!
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  25. #24
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    Thanks Imaginary Friend!

    Made some pixel art of that previous chocobo image. I'm starting to dabble a little bit with pixel art, so hopefully more of this kinda thing in the future!

    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  26. #25
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    ahh, I don't know why I find your stuffs to cute! but they're so cool at the same time!! I really love your designs!! your pixel art looks nice as well! never really understand how people can pull off pixel art o__o, but dude! loving your stuffs!!

    SKETCHBOOK
    critiques + feedbacks
    please?
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  27. #26
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    Hey man, loving the designs. Super clean and minimal, but they speak loudly. Keep it up!

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  28. #27
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    These are great James!

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  29. #28
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    PoringMaster, Jai, Tien - Thanks for the comments!

    Here's some more pixel art from tonight
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  30. #29
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    Here's some more attempts at pixel art stuff. I'd like to slowly build up my animation skills this year too. . .sorry to all the animators out who know these are terrible XD
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook
    James McDonald video game art sketchbook

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  31. #30
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    very nice sketchbook!

    it's great to see so much variety, and some studies as well

    keep it up!

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