Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another introduction - Sam Hogg

Hi there, my name is Sam Hogg. I'm currently a professional concept artist, working for Jagex on the Transformers IP, though my first love is fantasy art. I work in pretty much any medium going aside from pastels and markers, and enjoy a healthy balance between traditional and digital. My job means I draw for pretty much at least 8 hours a day during the week, and I'm always looking to do more in my spare time. Having burnt myself out doing 2 high profile concept jobs a couple of years ago though, I also appreciate the time to be able to relax and enjoy things like movies and games.

My main reasons for wanting to improve are the constant pressure I feel being in an industry where the young and talented are always on the rise, and seem to be even more multi-talented than ever. So while I think my technical level is now pretty high, I also want to be sure I'm producing the best work I can, and not just getting lazy with what I'm comfortable with.

So, here's my overview of things I'd like to get better at. Currently I'm not sure exactly how I'll be improving these, so I'll probably go back and amend as I go.

The problem:  The everlasting study. Can never know enough and work currently isn't working that part of my knowledge hard enough.
   · Do more copies from Michael Hampton's brilliant anatomy book. Try to learn the names of key muscles properly so it sticks in my head better

The problem: Default to standing or calm poses. Always from straight on, and never suggest movement.
   · Gestures  -  do a good number of sheets of simple gestures. Work on different types of gesture. Standing, calm, more action based, more with pushed proportions.

The problem: Tendancy to always default to a calm or sad expression.
   · Do sheets of both gesture and more in depth expressions
   · Study muscles of the face and how they affect expression.

The problem: Tendancy to think of everything as a flat 2d surface. Over complicate things. Don't use visual rythym enough.
· Work on simple thumbnail sketches - gestures for composition essentially. DO some with line and some with just flat colours
· Break down my existing artworks into simple shapes and values.Try to figure out what the key things that work and don't work are.
· Simplify -  I'm already aware that I have a tendency to over complicate things thinking more = better.
· Camera angles. Look at films, try things other than head on viewpoints.

The problem: A natural inclination towards over saturated colours and not working with enough hue shifts.
· Figure out colour by doing more photo and life studies. Work out how much light affects colour's saturation, hue and value.
· Work with more desaturated palettes.
· Work with limited palettes. Learn the terms for various colour combos.
· Practice using more subtle turns of hue and saturation
· Study master paintings. Artists like Bougereau, Leyendecker and Sargeant.
· Do some concept art studies - looking at how other artists in my field control their colors and value.

The problem: Not enough knowledge of how more dramatic light works. Defaulting to a more matted light set up with rim lights.
· practice small compositions with more dramatic lighting
· Do photo studies for cast shadows.
· Do a few pages of simple 3d shapes lit in different ways.


  1. Oh, Sam, I am going to enjoy your journey so much! I miss seeing your work!

  2. It's so wonderful to see more and more familiar faces here! You have quite the ambitious list that I'll have to take a thing or two from. It's interesting to see also a variation in our level of industry involvement, in that your journey is somewhat unique from many of the others here. There is a definite threat once you get to a certain level of becoming too complacent and it's always interesting to see how pros handle that challenge and keep up with the stiff competition.

    Thanks for joining! Now we can kick each other in gear even more than we usually do.;)