In the lead up to his exclusive 3dtotal workshop, we interview the talented Blaz Porenta who specializes in illustration, concept art and graphic design.
Blaz Porenta has a diverse career history, spanning designs created for Aplibot's Legend of the Cryptids
as well as numerous editorial illustrations and tutorials. He is currently a lead concept artist at Outfit7 and has worked on at least 10 game titles over the last few years.
Trained at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljan, Slovenia, Blaz has a fantastic understanding for the fundamentals, and is well-known in the digital art community for his colorful and atmospheric imagery.
We talk to Blaz to find out a little about his background and how he is looking forward to teaching students how to master scale, perspective and colour in Photoshop
in the new 3dtotal workshop.
When was it that you became interested in digital art?
I believe it was soon after finishing high school. It was at this point that I stopped playing video games but became interested in making them.
Before that, I wasn't even considering painting as my career choice, but rather keeping it as a hobby, sticking only to pen and pencils. It was only when I discovered the fantasy and concept art behind movies and video games, and found out that more often than not these were done digitally that I became curious and started surfing the web for tutorials.
Then I attended the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, strengthening my knowledge of art theory, and combined that with experiences in digital media.
What would you consider as your style of work and who/what influences you?
Although I hadn't paid much attention to acrylics and oil paintings before art college, I love the way traditional paintings are built with rough brush strokes and hard color mixing. It's something I like to implement into my digital works as well; no matter what the theme I am portraying, from horror or fantasy paintings to children's illustrations.
"I try to learn color mixing and the textures they achieve in oil paint"
There are many artists who have influenced my work in one way or another. Some traditional, from whom I try to learn color mixing and the textures they achieve in oil paint. I also look to other digital artists and I try to grasp their techniques and shortcuts for better results in my works. To name just a few: Kent Williams, Drew Struzan, Craig Mullins, Phil Hale, Jon Foster.
What was the inspiration behind the new 3dtotal workshop?
When I started exploring the possibilities and advantages of digital media, I also started watching all sorts of video tutorials. And although I've read a ton of books and step-by-step tutorials as well, videos can show you those small steps and tricks that books just can't.
"It is often minor details that seem totally unimportant in the process which actually teach you the most"
Books can give you a strong theoretical knowledge, while videos help you learn the technique to get something done. It is often minor details that seem totally unimportant in the process which actually teach you the most - not only which layer mode and which brush to use, but also how to use them to achieve something.
It would be just great if my experiences - that I've been gathering for more than 10 years now - could help someone else to improve their way of work or make it more efficient.
Workshop Sample Movie
Who will benefit most from this workshop and what can they expect to achieve after completion?
Aspiring artists will be introduced to some basics of art theory and techniques of digital painting to help them find and develop their own ways to build their images, and bring ideas to life. Those who already have some mileage behind them will hopefully find new ways to visually improve their painting technique and their ability to communicate to the viewer using the help of artistic principles and storytelling.
"Digital media is only a tool, and it differs from traditional media only in its technique"
It will be a journey of experimenting with how to build something from scratch with the artist ending up with a strong final piece for their portfolio!
Do you have any advice for artists who are just beginning their journey into the world of digital art?
Digital media is only a tool, and it differs from traditional media only in its technique. Each has its own strengths and its weaknesses, but their fundamentals are the same, and art theory applies equally to both. So study digital and traditional art masters to improve your skills. Don't forget about the basic art principles - they will get you far. The most important thing is to get lots of practice and to have fun with it!
Blaz Porenta website
Blaz Porenta's 3dtotal workshop
To see more by Blaz Porenta, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 7
, Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 4
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection