Environment Design at Schoolism with Nathan Fowkes

I recently enrolled in Schoolism for Nathan Fowkes Environment Design course, and just completed the first assignment, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants": 10 hour long studies! I found an original painting that I love, and then attempted to get it's values, color, focus and composition in about an hour. My study is on the left or on top, and the original os on the right or on bottom. 

I learned a ton and struggled a lot, in a good way. I was working that uncomfortable edge. So far, the class is fantastic. Nathan Fowkes give concise feedback that is different for each sample student, which makes even the subscription feel like a very real class. I'm treating it as such, and am watching the class on Wednesdays, and "turning in the assignment" the next Wednesday. So, will be posting my work for that class here every Wednesday. 

Mathieu Lauffray Tunnels of light! Just the right amount of detail, light, and structure to get started.

Mathieu Lauffray
Tunnels of light! Just the right amount of detail, light, and structure to get started.

Gerard Mozsi Found a new artist to love! I’m trying to do a different artist for each of my studies, but I’ll probably do two from this guy. Went from 0-60 in the detail department from the first one I did. This was a struggle, and it was tricky to even know where to start. When I look at a little thumbnail, I’m surprised how close it looks, because there were a few times where I almost gave up.

Gerard Mozsi
Found a new artist to love! I’m trying to do a different artist for each of my studies, but I’ll probably do two from this guy. Went from 0-60 in the detail department from the first one I did. This was a struggle, and it was tricky to even know where to start. When I look at a little thumbnail, I’m surprised how close it looks, because there were a few times where I almost gave up.

Armand Serrano Love this guy! I thought this was going to be way easier than it turned out to be. The composition really makes this. While doing the study, I noticed an almost exact golden spiral in the composition, and it’s funny that the tiny little leaf cluster at the top left is a part of it. I also had to take a lot of goes figuring out the colors, even though they are very dark, there’s actually not a lot of black. Dark greens and blues make kind of a super moon magical reflected space. So much good stuff here, that I found after staring at it for an hour.

Armand Serrano
Love this guy! I thought this was going to be way easier than it turned out to be. The composition really makes this. While doing the study, I noticed an almost exact golden spiral in the composition, and it’s funny that the tiny little leaf cluster at the top left is a part of it. I also had to take a lot of goes figuring out the colors, even though they are very dark, there’s actually not a lot of black. Dark greens and blues make kind of a super moon magical reflected space. So much good stuff here, that I found after staring at it for an hour.

Frederic Edwin Church - Cotopaxi Proper painting master. I don’t know what I was thinking. My color knowledge is nowhere near good enough to fully grok how this painting was made. I went for it anyways, because even though I knew it would be challenging, I wanted to try. It’s really a breathtaking painting, and even though I struggled through it (and almost gave up), I learned a lot about light, and that sometimes a color is really two colors no matter what. Some colors you just can’t mix, the only reason they are as magical as they are, is because they are next to each other (sunrise rim light+warm green and red shadows, for example.)

Frederic Edwin Church - Cotopaxi
Proper painting master. I don’t know what I was thinking. My color knowledge is nowhere near good enough to fully grok how this painting was made. I went for it anyways, because even though I knew it would be challenging, I wanted to try. It’s really a breathtaking painting, and even though I struggled through it (and almost gave up), I learned a lot about light, and that sometimes a color is really two colors no matter what. Some colors you just can’t mix, the only reason they are as magical as they are, is because they are next to each other (sunrise rim light+warm green and red shadows, for example.)

Jennifer Ely -Forest Spirit I want to play this game, or watch this movie. I’ve adored this image ever since I saw it, and it was a good lesson in creating composition from a mostly single one color pallette. So, this really became about values, and layering them, creating a darker base to lay on medium and light leaves. She also has a stylistic approach between soft and textured edges that was tricky to try to reproduce.

Jennifer Ely -Forest Spirit
I want to play this game, or watch this movie. I’ve adored this image ever since I saw it, and it was a good lesson in creating composition from a mostly single one color pallette. So, this really became about values, and layering them, creating a darker base to lay on medium and light leaves. She also has a stylistic approach between soft and textured edges that was tricky to try to reproduce.

Philippe Gaulier -Wrath of Titans Oh, that’s what they mean by atmosphere! Now, if I could only figure out how to reproduce it. So, I don’t feel like I really figured out this painting. Not to say I “figured out” the ones I’ve done so far, but even if I couldn’t re-create them, I learned more about the process for creating it, and if I were to try to do a lengthier study, I could probably re-create it. This one has contrast, color, and mark making in a way that is pretty foreign to me.

Philippe Gaulier -Wrath of Titans
Oh, that’s what they mean by atmosphere! Now, if I could only figure out how to reproduce it. So, I don’t feel like I really figured out this painting. Not to say I “figured out” the ones I’ve done so far, but even if I couldn’t re-create them, I learned more about the process for creating it, and if I were to try to do a lengthier study, I could probably re-create it. This one has contrast, color, and mark making in a way that is pretty foreign to me.

Cyril Tahmassebi -Game of Thrones I thought this one would be easy. It wasn’t. Either that, or My eye is getting more critical. I’m starting to get a different sense for what people mean when they talk about atmosphere in paintings, and how it is natural to create too much contrast, so of course that sense of atmosphere seems to magically happen in the areas where there is less contrast. That area is the support for the main event.

Cyril Tahmassebi -Game of Thrones
I thought this one would be easy. It wasn’t. Either that, or My eye is getting more critical. I’m starting to get a different sense for what people mean when they talk about atmosphere in paintings, and how it is natural to create too much contrast, so of course that sense of atmosphere seems to magically happen in the areas where there is less contrast. That area is the support for the main event.

Armand Serrano I love these pink colors, this story, the mix of fantasy with almost a scifi feel. What a lovely composition and mastery of color. The only way I managed this was to reduce the detail in the original, so I could really block it down into simple values and shapes, and then walk away at the hour mark.

Armand Serrano
I love these pink colors, this story, the mix of fantasy with almost a scifi feel. What a lovely composition and mastery of color. The only way I managed this was to reduce the detail in the original, so I could really block it down into simple values and shapes, and then walk away at the hour mark.

Zootopia I finally got a chance to watch Zootopia, and when I got to this moment, I immediately had to pause and take a screenshot. What an ominous building and setting. It was great too to have the reference of story, especially with all thta I am learning from the class about intention, and creating a painting with contrast and detail in the area that is important. One of my favorite things I've heard on one of the feedback videos was, "people will hate you if you lead their eye to nowhere." No problems here, we know exactly where we are headed.

Zootopia
I finally got a chance to watch Zootopia, and when I got to this moment, I immediately had to pause and take a screenshot. What an ominous building and setting. It was great too to have the reference of story, especially with all thta I am learning from the class about intention, and creating a painting with contrast and detail in the area that is important. One of my favorite things I've heard on one of the feedback videos was, "people will hate you if you lead their eye to nowhere." No problems here, we know exactly where we are headed.

Zudarts I think I chose this one because I just wanted to try something with all the colors. If I could get to a place where I could choose these colors and make them work on my own, that will be a very happy day indeed.

Zudarts
I think I chose this one because I just wanted to try something with all the colors. If I could get to a place where I could choose these colors and make them work on my own, that will be a very happy day indeed.