Bart Tiongson's Kraken

This article was taken from issue 55 of ImagineFX magazine. Be the first to read ImagineFX articles in print before they're posted online and get your hands on loads of additional DVD content by subscribing. Visit our shop for more options.


 Bart Tiongson
 Country: Canada
 Bart studied classical animation at
 Ontario’s Sheridan College. He then
 spent ten years in the games
 industry, and is now a concept artist
 at Robot Entertainment, Texas.


Myth busting!

Using Photoshop, I’m going to redesign a beast from ancient Greek mythology. I’ll try to maintain a traditional approach to the composition process and keep any Photoshop trickery to a bare minimum. I’m not out to bamboozle anyone here!

One thing I hope you get out of my workshop is that, of course, in today’s world of digital art it’s absolutely necessary to use the many clever features of a paint program to keep up with current trends. But bear in mind that it’s equally, if not more, important to have an understanding of basic art fundamentals and to not rely too heavily on the program, which is just a tool.

Main character

When I think about the Kraken, there are two things that spring to mind: its mammoth size and its numerous tentacles. The Kraken is the central element of this piece and so it needs to immediately grab the viewer’s attention, yet stand apart from previous interpretations. In addition, with the creature taking up so much space on the canvas, my challenge is to prevent everything around it from becoming superfluous.

Because the piece practically demands lots of action and movement, I also need to keep the focal point exciting while making sure that the rest of the canvas is full of motion. It’s crucial to keep the viewer’s eye constantly moving through the image without having them grind to a halt on any particular section. My rule of thumb is to have fun with the painting and then, with a bit of luck, everything else will fall into place!


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