sparth construct (Nicolas Bouvier)

Nicolas Bouvier, known as Sparth, is a concept designer for high-end games, and also illustrates book covers. Born in France and now residing in Texas, Sparth has done concept art for games like Cold Fear and Prince of Persia – Warrior Within and illustrated book covers for authors like Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert and Neil Gaiman. His concept art has been featured in collections like Concept Design 2 and Exposé 3.

His site’s Gallery pages include extensive sections of Illustration and Concept Art. There is also a large section of “Archived Materials” which actually contains more images than the other galleries. The images are reproduced nice and large so you can really get a good look at them.

SparthHis concept art style is loose and painterly, with a great economy of strokes, suggesting rather than trying to capture every detail. His use of color and atmosphere is also very effective.

The “Artistic Process” section contains several extended tutorials, including a 19 page tutorial for the image shown above. The “Press” section contains links to illustrated interviews on Making of, CG Talk and CG Channel that discuss his work and techniques in some depth.

Although he works primarily digitally, the “Traditional” gallery contains sketches in pencil, watercolor and gouache.

If you guessed that the image at left is from the “Traditional” gallery, you guessed wrong. It’s actually from a fascinating section called “live digital pictures“, meaning digital sketches done from life with a laptop and Wacom tablet. (This is something I enjoy doing myself. It’s like having a huge paintbox with no mess. It lets you paint in places where you ordinarily couldn’t bring paints and allows you to paint at night.)

In addition to his web site called sparth construct, Sparth has a terrific blog, also called sparth construct, which features lots of art with comments. (Link via Designers who blog.)


4 Replies to “sparth construct (Nicolas Bouvier)”

  1. I enjoyed a lot the concept illustrations from Sparth website, it reminded me of Syd Mead style. I presently teach design in a community college and I have a student truly admire the work of Sparth and we are discussing how relevant the traditional training of drawing and painting to the digital work of art. I would like have any comments from all the digital artist in relevancy of traditional art training.

  2. Thanks, David.

    I’ll put my two cents in and, as a digital artist myself (see my online comic), I’ve always been glad of my traditional academic art training (I went to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts).

    For the benefit of other readers, here is my post on Syd Mead.

  3. Thank you for answering. I checked your Sketchbook at the Personal Site and enjoyed a lot. It reminded me how important is sketching and drawing. Presently beside design I teach at my college some computer graphic programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign and I am for a foundation training such as basic drawing and painting, Art history, typography and others. Without these foundations even with expertise in the digital technology one cannot be fully developed to a complete Artist and Designer.

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