Saturday, April 3, 2010

Into the Heart of the Machine

Here is the second piece for the contest going on over at Palladium, a role-playing-game publisher.

With this piece I decided to try out a lighting trick I had seen many times before and read about recently. The idea is to use a series of different colored lighting, creating zones of color, to enhance the sense of distance in the painting.

For this image, I wanted to generate a feeling of caution and unease. I tried to do that with color, composition, and narrative. I tried to choose colors that clash a bit, and as you get deeper into the city, where the characters are, the color and angle of the light becomes more and more artificial. I tilted the composition to give the viewer a sense of disorientation, a trick I stole from film noir cinematography. I tried to design the structures in the background so that their function isn't completely clear, making them more alien, then added the human element of graffiti on the foreground wall. The back two characters are stooped over and aware, but the foremost one is calm. My hope is that these disorienting contradictions establish a mood of simultaneous fear and exhilaration, anxiety and curiosity, that comes with embarking on an epic adventure, because the adventure is what RPGs are all about.

1 comment:

J. A. W. Cooper said...

Beautiful colors! I love how subtle and atmospheric the background is, it really makes the characters POP!