If you are interested in learning to paint and render digitally, particularly within the area of concept art and fantasy and science fiction art, there are some great sources available. One of them is Ryan Church, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the foremost concept artists working today. As I reported in my previous post about him from last August, Church is a Senior Art Director at ILM and was a Concept Design Supervisor for Star Wars Episode II and III.
Church works digitally in Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop and he talks briefly about his methods in the “how I work” and Q&A sections of his site. In the latter, his lists his choice Painter and Photoshop brushes (which is instructive in itself if you know something about digital painting), and in the former he offers some of his custom Painter brushes for download.
While he was working on SW III, he was teaching “Advanced Entertainment Design” at the Art Center College of Design. He eventually found that too demanding on his schedule to continue, but later got together with the Gnomon Workshop to produce a series of instructional DVDs with specific topics on digital rendering like Rendering Shiny Vehicles and Rendering Hi-Tech Architecture, that are available through his site as well as the Workshop’s site.
Church’s work has also appeared in the EXPOSE 2 collection of digital art from Ballistic Publishing as well as The Art of Star Wars, Episode II – Attack of the Clones (Mark Vaz), The Art of Star Wars, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (Jonathan Rinzler) and The Making of Star Wars, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (Jonathan Rinzler).
One of the great advantages of living in the digital age is not only the availability of digital art tools, but the ability to learn to use them with help from some of the best in the field.