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october update

Too much art to post. i don't know where to begin. i'll just choose a few pieces. for your info, i have now two tumblr accounts if you want more art. Design cuts is all about my sketches. and of course my regular Sparth tumblr is dedicated to concept art as well as photo works. I will of course still update Sparth Construct right here too. First piece is a personal work based on my template techniques, using snippets and extracts out of previous personal artworks. loads of fun. i've also added two weapons from IDsoftware's Rage, released last year. enjoy.

New Year Update

I haven't updated the Construct for ages, so time to give a bit of an update to start the new year. The most important part of my update is dedicated to Structura 2, my second book will hit the shelves at the end of January of this new year. i have been putting a lot of dedication and time to this second opus during 2011, and we finally managed to get it done. a huge thank you for Scott Robertson, Tinti Dey, Jenny Sue, and DesignStudioPress for their dedication and patience. big Thanks to all who have participated to the project, with awesome words from my friends David Levy, Kenneth Scott and Stephan Martiniere. releasing a book is always an adventure. when the road is smooth, and bumps minimal, it's always a plus. Structura2 will soon be available via DesignStudioPress or Amazon.

I was going through io9 the other day, and stumbled on an article about a book cover that was released with a piece of art i did. the cover looks great. here's a link to the article: Book cover art that'll make you wish you lived on a space station. The book is a selection of short stories compiled by Jonathan Strahan.

On a side note, i am now on Tumblr, and you can follow me here:
and for the photography side, i also finally joined 500px with a selection of my best shots from these last two years.
IDsoftware's Rage was released back in october last year, and we have seen some pieces of concept art pop from from the game. On my side, i still have dozens of pieces i haven't showed yet. i will probably post some more on my Tumblr account, but do know that there are already a few pieces published on my CGhub gallery.

Greg Bear's Primordium is finally out. i was honored to do the cover for the series. Primordium is the second book, after Cryptum last year. That's about it for now. i will have truckloads of things to actually post, and i guess they'll resurface in my mind pretty soon. will have more updates then. Happy new year to all!

Pas de tir

more productions from this year. "Pas de tir" is a fast iteration based on an existing photo that i deconstructed to the point of no return. The first cover was used for the "best science fiction and fantasy of the year volume 5, a compilation done by Jonathan Strahan.

medieval interlude sketch

First of all, Halo4 has been announced by Microsoft and 343Industries.
i'm proud being part of the adventure.

on a side note, I have been experimenting with so many techniques during these last months... it's sometimes healthy and fun going back to plain brushes and concentrate on shape balance and visual flow. here's a doodle done this way.


Using reference is for me a bit problematic. if i decide to go with a strong ref, i end up not being able to extract what my brain wants. i get glued to the reference, unable to express myself fully. and vice versa, no ref at all means i end up with a strict product of my imagination. it also means my image will be lacking in realism, or rather, this dear "believability factor" that we all strive to obtain, especially in Scifi pieces.
i didn't use any ref for this one. the only thing i was having was this photo of a piece of glass i had found online, probably coming from an industrial constructor showing a sample of their glass stuff for marketing reasons. i found the tones fascinating and got inspired. i guess the whole thing made sense at a particular moment. :)
on the technical side, i have been painting a lot with the smudge tool lately, thanks to mister Thom Scholes himself. The smudge tool can allow a great control of your shapes via displacement of entire pannels and areas of your canvas. it's fascinating.

more art from these last weeks

i'm always thinking i have a lot to say, until i decide to update my blog and then nothing comes up. so here's the art. enjoy.

Images for Japan (des images pour le Japon)

My friends from the french art site have started a project in order to help Japan and the dramatic situation going on right now in the North East. the project can be found here: Tsunami - Des Images pour le Japon it's all in french, but the images don't need words do they?
Here is my modest contribution for their fantastic and courageous initiative.

Images - First selection for 2011

I should probably not even wish a happy new year to all since we're in february, but anyway. here's a (late) first post for this new year. I've been preparing and gathering quite a lot of new images for a second book that will happen sometimes this year. there's still a lot to do but it's already coming along fine. I will probably have a section dedicated to specific methods i have been using these last years and i hope it'll be a nice helper for some, or at least a visual stimulation that will give more food to any creative process. More soon.
On the custom shapes front, i have been experimenting here and there. The medieval interlude posted above, as i call them, has been done using this technique a lot. it totally gives a fast and effective result. Very exciting. However, the images done this way need to be counter balanced with smoother brush work and visual junctions in order to cut some of the obligatory harsh edges given by custom shapes. One way to do this is to use the smudge tool in order to erases some of these edges. the blue space piece was done the same way, but i skipped the last smoothing steps a bit, and it shows. The more textured piece is just a basic sketch that transformed itself into a more achieved image. More weirdness soon.

The custom shapes tool

It's been a month since i started experimenting with a new technique based on custom shapes. i had given it a try last year but i just couldn't figure out how it was going to be THAT useful to a work process already based on custom brushes. it turns out that custom shapes are, in a way, far more versatile than brushes when it comes to organizing your canvas. the "abstract" factor is partly taken out of the workflow. not entirely though, as you can still mess around with insane shapes. but the way you apply shapes is just more connected to the environment you're creating, allowing super fast compositions in no time at all. i'll continue pushing this technique as it is, for now, extremely promising.
here's an environment extract i'm working on, done mainly with custom shapes. also, go visit kekai's blog for his latest, it's based on custom shapes and it's one thousand times worth it.

Hunchback Racer

a personal image done in a few hours.

halo cryptum

343Industries and Microsoft have announced the first volume of the Forerunner trilogy written my Greg Bear. here is the cover for the novel.

i also have been continuing my ipad explorations and will post another batch of concepts very soon. The Artstudio app has been updated not long ago, and i got to admit it is becoming my favorite of the bunch now. line tool is awesome, and they finally implemented a clone stamp tool which is easily configurable and a pleasure to use. Now i hope they will add a selection tool soon, as it's the only feature i wish to see on the ipad one day.

more soon!

Give me a clone stamp tool on the ipad!

After two weeks of doodling around on the ipad, i got to admit it's an awesome digital tool, and this despite the lack of pen pressure which is dramatically missing from what could have been the perfect digital sketchbook.
Now it's not all marvelous though, and this for one reason: you have 5 main drawing apps on the ipad, and each one of them is having features that the other don't have.
finger tool? ARTSTUDIO, and LAYERS.
clone stamp tool? only in PHOTOFORGE.
add an overlay layer? BRUSHES.
save your custom brushes and parameters? ARTSTUDIO.
"multiply" blending mode? SKETCHBOOK PRO, BRUSHES.
anyway you see the point. it's pretty infuriating!
i have high hopes that there will be additional features soon that will allow us to chose an app for good instead of permanently sending sketches to the photo album in order to switch from one app to the next. just in case it may happen one day, there's one feature i would LOVE to see implemented, in a better way, and whatever the app: Only PHOTOFORGE is having it for now, and in a very basic way: the CLONE STAMP TOOL. seriously, maybe it's probably only considered as a photo thing by many, useless for anything related to conceptart. well you're dead wrong! Clone stamping is vital to my own workflow as it allows me to reproduce entire areas, and it totally belongs to a concept art process.
we're at the very beginning of the Ipad, and i'm already excited about what's on there. can't wait to see more !

here's three sketches done in ... multiple apps!

Naval myth

Another fast sketch leading to weirdness. thanks for your attention and comments!

Inner bridge

personal work


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