Concept artist and illustrator Sarayu Ruangvesh breaks down his sketching style and offers some tips on finding inspiration...
For me, sketching is the best way to quickly capture an idea, save time and just let my imagination flow onto paper. It's very fun to explore; I'll slowly begin to open up more and more to an idea. It also forces me to stop worrying about the final image, and let the idea to evolve naturally.
When I'm struggling with art block, I'll just start sketching on blank white paper. I'll draw anything from my imagination to inspire me, and take some time to consider my project or work by asking myself "Are we heading in the right direction?”
Early grayscale sketches for key visual designs in a game project. All these sketches were inspired by films I'd watched recently
A few sketches drawn in my spare time and characters from my imagination
I tend to start my images with a digital sketch as it it gives me an easy starting point. I love to sketch digitally with grayscale to explore, establish values, and work out the overall design. It also gives me a chance to test my brushes and see how they affect my sketches. Sketching gives me space to make mistakes and refine the work so I can research new custom brushes.
Sketching is often very fast, rough and dirty, but it can also be beautiful and fun!
This is my take on the concept "Hell nightclub” - one of the challenges in one of my sketch groups
Inspiration & ideas
Most of my inspiration comes from video games, books and movies. I've always enjoyed nerdy films since childhood. I particularly like finding inspiration from movies; every film can spark inspiration and ideas for me. Every aspect of a film can be a source of inspiration or education; things such as lighting, composition, camera angle, facial expression, art direction etc. It's also a great source of relaxation for me at the same time.
A handful of portrait practice sketches done in my free time
I try to practice being observant every day. Being observant in daily life builds my visual library; so I take time to look at my surroundings. Things such as my environment, the people I meet, games I'm playing, movies I'm watching, or anything else in my life, help me build a huge library of images I can draw upon. I think it's the best source to start a drawing and when creating something new.
I don't really use any special materials, I like drawing on Photoshop
with my brush presets and occasionally I draw on my iPad Pro, or, if I'm doing a traditional sketch on paper, Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Pencils are my favorite.
I drew this sketch to test some software
When you sit down to sketch it's essential to be relaxed, you can't be tense or try to force it. Often, the first thing I do is draw simple abstract brushstrokes; this gives me strong structures for the image. I try not to put too much pressure on the pencil until I'm ready to commit to brushstroke. I also avoid foreshortening which will distort the image. Finally, I try to add to my sketches gradually; if you are patient it will add more dynamism over time. Don't rush the details!
Earliest sketch for a challenge with one of my studio groups
Check out more art from Sarayu Ruangvesh
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