Howdy all, I hope this week has been good to you :)

My day job has kept me extremely busy (I'm a photographer & running my own business), it's currently summer here in Australia and looking to be one our hottest ones yet!
I was bitten by a dog today which was only a very small laceration however I did have to receive a Tetanus needle just to be safe....my arms feeling pretty sore :(

 Anyways enough about me and onto the Millennium Exile stuff:

 

Working on a project such as this, I am given the awesome chance to work with some amazingly talented artists from around the world, many of whom I befriend on a personal level.
One artist in particular has been working with me on MillEx for a number of years, I will not go into specifics but I loved his art style and he was not only an artist to me but also a dear friend. Unfortunately a few issues arose for this artist on a personal level that eventually began to affect his performances professionally. 
After almost 2 years however, these issues could not be mitigated and after lengthy consideration, the decision was made to cease any and all collaboration with him....it's a sad day indeed. 
This has been the main reason that Hary has had to pick up some of the slack and start drawing for the demo reel which in turn, takes him away from the awesome character artwork I used to release so often. 

Again though - the amazing Hary has decided to step up and continue working where the other artist left off. This will still mean that character artwork will be on hold, however I am currently re-planning the demo reel's final stage to make up for having one less artist. 
I am also reaching out to a few other talents around the world in search of someone who may be able to fill in and get Hary back to the character art ASAP.

All in all it's been a fairly hectic and turbulent time :(

 

 

 

Hary completed another piece for the demo reel so this week, I thought I would show the the steps that go into the commission process to show you how a piece evolves along the way :)

The brief should be an explanation of what it is exactly that you would like from the artist. It can be as detailed or simplistic as you want however it will be your responsibility to ensure that you have communicated properly with the artist. 
Also, it's sometimes a good idea to allow the artist to flex their creativity...this can often lead to some amazing results!

For this image in particular I did not see it necessary to provide any initial designs for the characters as their specific appearance was somewhat irrelevant. Usually for a character, I would provide a concept design along with the descriptive brief however in this instance, the brief was as follows:

"For this image I would like 8 mages, all dressed in identical (or very similarly styled) robes.
Their faces can be covered as their identities are not overly relevant and should add to the mystery of the piece."
"I would also like them to be casting magic please."

At this point, you should also be requesting a rough draft (or several) in order to ascertain the artists direction before putting in all the hard work.
This helps to shape your expectations as well as improving upon your communication with the artist. 
This stage can  also prevent him/her from spending enormous amounts of time to possibly produce the wrong results.

 Draft 1:

Draft 1:

 Draft 2: The one I ended up picking.

Draft 2: The one I ended up picking.

Depending on the artist, or if you have specifically requested it, the artist should now be providing you with an idea of the color palette they are using. 
This step helps to give both yourself and the artist an idea of the feeling and the vibe this piece will likely give off.
You can always provide this information in the initial brief also however a final approval is usually best.

Don't forget that between these steps that there is always a waiting period. If you know the artist well then you may not feel the need however negotiating a deadline can often be beneficial.  
At the end of it all though, you should be presented with an amazing piece of artwork :)

Now you 'may' want to take this up with your artist however I personally enjoy tweaking, editing and putting the final touches on a pieces should I have decided on a creative change.
In this situation I decided to highlight each of the mages a different color to emphasize the different class they each were responsible for making. 
I also made lighting& shadow changes and added some extra effects!

Well, that's it from me this week. 
I hope you all stay safe and have some amazing fortune ahead of you :) 
Until next time Space Cowboys!