Bayard Wu is a concept artist and illustrator based in Shenzhen, China. He works in the fantasy genre, creating scenes with dragons, monsters and warriors.
His dragons, in particular, are rendered with nicely tactile textural characteristics, emphasized by dramatic lighting and muted color palettes.
He also places his scenes in atmospheric backgrounds, with suggestions of texture and structural elements that let your own imagination fill in the details.
Note: some of the images in his portfolios should be considered NSFW.
2 Replies to “Bayard Wu”
As usually when I see contemporary ‘concept art’ , I’m struck by the predominance and persistence of gloomy and disquieting subjects.
‘He works in the fantasy genre, creating scenes with dragons, monsters and warriors.’
Why is the fantasy genre saturated with themes of monsters, warriors? I can easily imagine a parallel world where fantasy art is mostly as upbeat as James Gurney’s.
‘His [Bayard Wu’s] dragons, in particular, are rendered with nicely tactile textural characteristics’
Why are dragons rendered with nicely tactile textural characteristics … ugly? Ugly to me, at least. With some exceptions, they’re positively repelling.
I’m somewhat sorry to open these questions bellow an article of a particular artist. I see that Bayard Wu has a lot going for him in terms of diligence and talent.
And, of course, Rembrandt and Goya can be said to be predominantly gloomy, too. A comparison with them could help me refine my initial puzzlement. Goya and Rembrandt have apparently much more to say. They show a much wider variety of themes. Perhaps you can help me with your own knowledge and observations.
Thanks for the comments, Levantine.
Subjects in the concept art field are driven by the economics of the industries the artists serve, primarily gaming and film. If you look at the subjects and themes of the most popular video games, you’ll immediately see where the “predominance and persistence of gloomy and disquieting subjects” you have noticed find their origin. In that context, Wu’s subjects are positively buoyant compared to the deliberately gruesome and disturbing subjects of some.
As you mention, there is also a history of artistic fascination with the gruesome and horrific, and the masters still did it better than any contemporary artist: http://linesandcolors.com/2014/04/19/jan-van-eycks-the-last-judgement/
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