Project: The female Centaur.

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by: Sylak.

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Keeping all your ideas and sketches in a file is the most valuable contribution to your art that you can possibly ever make.  Even if you come up with an idea that is totally useless to you because you lack the technical skill or abillity to competently achieve it, do not dispair; you never know what you will be doing in five or ten years time.  Who knows if you will run dry of inspiration in a few months!  You may need some of those spare random bursts of inspiration for another project altogether.  Keep all your worthwhile sketches and ideas.  Paper is flat and you can usually file small folders from projects completely out of sight (Yeah, right... as if!).  Alternatively, why not invest in a scanner and compile all your roughs and scraps into a folder on your computer's hard drive, if it is large enough. (Tip: save drawings as 'Gifs' whenever possible, as they take less room that bulky 'bitmaps', which will soom overwhelm any system's storage.)
Click here. I originally planned to become an illustrator, and specialise in poster work for film; having been greatly inspired by the work of 'Amsel' who created some of the most stunning visuals of the 80's film blockbusters such as 'Raiders of the lost Ark' and 'Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome'. Once I sat my exams, I instantly applied at the local art college, and with the help of my art teacher, was enrolled that summer into a O.N.D. in graphic design at 'West Thames College', which was to be followed up with an Higher National Diploma 2 years later.
<Above> you should see some reference material that I collected for this project. At this time I was living in North London with Nicky.  I collected most of my material from books, magazines, and the public library. Although we had heard of the Internet, the concept of using computers for art purposes was still (to us) a gimmick.   We had practised with some very basic rendering packages on an old Amstrad 1640, but that was about the summit of our comprehension.  Although more powerful applications were out there, this was still a time when owning a powerful-enough home computer to do anything creative meant splashing out big bucks on an 'Apple Mac'tm.  Now, however, you should be able to find all the reference material you need without ever leaving your seat. And, with good quality affordable colour printers and even scanners, it should take you no time at all to get your project off the ground.

Magazines can provide good material for illustrators of fantasy art. Some of the better quality men's magazines such as Mayfair, Penthouse, and Playboy, engage excellent photographers and you can find quality nude/almost nude photographs to suit almost all of your requirements. Once again quality pays, and you will find that the cheaper magazines have poorer photography and lewder poses, which are all but useless to the conservative artist. Other good publications are:

  • Fitness publications - defined muscle tones.

  • Music mags - extreme facial expressions!

  • Martial arts - shows the body in action.

  • Biker magazines - excellent chrome work.

Of course, there are many others, depending on the artist's needs, and there is also a lot of reference on animals.

Tip: try 'fishing magazines' for good reference on scales - useful for dragons and sea serpents etc.

  S y l a k    S p e c i a l   E f f e c t s

Artist/Sculptor: Sylak

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