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Pablo Aguilar: concept artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: https://www.artstation.com/pablodominguez (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 7th February 2018

Spanish concept artist and illustrator Pablo Aguilar has worked on a variety of projects in his short career, including Game of Thrones. Read more...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Pablo Dominguez: My name is Pablo Dominguez. I'm 22 years old, I come from a little village in Spain called San Lorenzo de El Escorial near Madrid which has wonderful mountains, forests, and historic monuments which have inspired me a lot, from childhood to present day. I'm very passionate about films, VFX, videogames, and classic art.

This is a visualization of my hometown's biggest monument in the past when they were building it!

3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
PD: I do not think I have one main style because I always try to keep myself updated by learning new techniques, software, or anything that can improve and make my work better.
The opportunity to learn new techniques enables me to touch a lot of themes and genres in my paintings, from the most unreal and sci-fi planets and cities, to magical forests and fantastic towns. Usually I do more keyframe and environment style of painting, but I also like to practice characters in ZBrush or my sketchbook.

In my professional career I always like to enjoy projects and learn a lot from them, for example I had a really good time when I was working on Game of Thrones, because the amount of knowledge about how a big project works in a post-production VFX Studio. It helped me a lot in my future projects for Marvel Studios, DreamWorksTV and MPC Adv. I'm very pleased with the people from EL RANCHITO VFX for opening the door to me into the film and TV industry.

This one was really funny because the inspiration came from the title of a movie just because I was taking a coffee with a friend. He just said ''Centauros del Desierto'' and I quickly tok my sketchbook and made a rough sketch with a pencil.

3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
PD: When I start a new painting I normally use the same workflow: a rough sketch in Photoshop or my personal sketchbook. Then to be faster and have variations, I start with 3D, and normally I use ZBrush or Modo. If the idea or the client wants something more architectural, I directly use Modo, but if it is something else like ships, characters, nature and environment, I start with ZBrush – even the hard-surface assets. The next step is to choose the camera, set up the lights and render on Octane because it is very fast, and then I finish the pieces in Photoshop.

This one is a Sunday painting at home, just chilling and having fun.

3dt: What inspires you?
PD: My inspiration to become an artist comes from my childhood. I always like to watch the behind-the-scenes from the DVDs of my favorite films, and read the books of how they created films like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and so on. I also find big inspiration to create my pieces walking through the mountains, streets, and museums, but I normally get really inspired reading artbooks, history, and comics from the masters Moebius and A. Jodorowsky.

On this one I tried to create a very angled shot with cool lighting, while having fun painting rooftops

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
PD: The constant effort to learn stuff and have fun with my projects keeps me in a constantly creative wave, which helps keep my portfolio updated, and the free time I have when I end the client or studio work – I always try to use it in my own personal art to show everyone my work. I recommend trying not to get stuck in one style or technique, as when trying new things you always discover new artists and inspiration, who helps a lot to create new awesome pieces for your portfolio!

From a challenge in which I created the kid from the Main Event IFCC

This is part of a challenge from ArtStation called Beyond Human – I finished in the 3rd place!

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
PD: I studied fine arts for 3 years in Spain and discovered the techniques and foundation of my favorite artists, like the magic of Sorolla, how he used the color and the strokes for the light together with the painting of Goya which broke with the canons of his time in the black painting series, which is pure imagination, not only commissioned paintings, how Velazquez can use a lot of elements to create a perfect composition like the poses of the characters with the looks. And I discovered great digital artists who I learned a lot from them like Maciej Kuciara, Eytan Zana, Alex Figgini, Rob Ruppel, they are unique and fantastic with their personal pieces and client jobs.

This one was a full speed-painting video demonstration for the studio of Tyler West who has a guest gallery with art videos inside.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
PD: I hope I can keep creating all type of pieces for sharing. As I wrote before, I will keep learning and also try to work a lot to improve my art to be better for clients or studio jobs and personal pieces. I already have a lot of new Ideas to create crazy pictures and sculpts!

This is one of my favorite shoots from my work with the team on EL RANCHITO VFX, because it reminds me of the happiness I felt when my supervisor, Felix Bergés, said ''Pablo would you like to do the eye DMP of Viserion'' and that's the final shot of this breathtaking episode!

Related links

Head over to Pablo Dominguez Aguilar's website
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Sci-fi & Fantasy


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