is the Renderosity members choice for the April, 2017, Artist of the Month.
SeanE has been a member of Renderosity since 2000. As a colourist for digital comics, SeanE has posted well over 500 images to Renderosity galleries. His work is striking and bold. He is primarily a self-taught colorist with a demanding work ethic and a passion for detail. A glance at his wonderful gallery will show you what I mean.
SeanE was kind enough to take time out of his schedule and talk to Renderosity about his background, working methods and ideas about creating digital art. Be sure to visit SeanE's gallery at Renderosity and see more of his excellent work. The video (see below) features 12 images that were hand-picked by SeanE especially for this article.
Interview with Artist of the Month - SeanE
Renderosity: Your work is absolutely spectacular! I notice that you create/color comic art in your spare time; how did you train for this type of work? Are you self-taught?
SeanE: First off, I’m the colourist for these pictures which means I haven’t drawn the original lineart itself. I just put the final touches on the B&W’s as drawn/inked by someone else.
Apart from an abortive partial year in a Bachelor of Crafts (Jewellery) course at University, I’m entirely self-taught when it comes to colouring comic art. This has an advantage when I do something ‘that shouldn’t really be done that way’ because I don’t know that you shouldn’t, but also a disadvantage in that I can see it limits me on how I use colour combinations, environmental contrasts and secondary lighting to some extent. How did I train for all of this? Constant practising almost every day and posting a completed picture on average every 2 weeks for the past 16 years.
Renderosity: Tell us a little about yourself; I know you live in Australia, but what about the rest of your life?
SeanE: I’m born and raised in Perth Australia and haven’t lived anywhere else. I backpacked through Europe for a year in my twenties as people are want to do, and have travelled here and there in Australia for holidays, but that’s about it.
Renderosity: You mentioned in your bio that you occasionally get commissioned work; who have you worked for and what has the experience been like?
SeanE: I mostly do people’s one off cover work, pinups or poster art for comic conventions but have worked for Marvel on their “Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe” reference books as an art refurbisher. (so – fixer-upper-guy) which wasn’t exactly anything huge, but does allow me to put “Marvel” on the resume!
For the past 4 years I have been doing regular monthly cover work for Zenescope Entertainment. So far the experience there has been pretty good! (…please keep employing me…) I’ve also recently contributed a tutorial to a book on comic art called ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Comic Art – Characters’ which is available through 3dTotal.com Publishing. My coloured picture made the cover!! – You can see that one here in my sample picture video. It’s the woman with the guns standing in front of a chain link fence and flames.
Renderosity: I'm a crazy Dr. Strange fan and just love the work you've done on this character. Can you tell me about the creative process on this Dr. Strange image?
SeanE: That Dr Strange picture was actually pretty easy to do. First off it’s based on the movie of course so I had that to use as reference and secondly the pencil work had a lot of shading and tonal values in it so my colours just had to follow and highlight those. The hardest bit was to find some decent ‘mystic symbol’ brushes for Photoshop on Deviantart.com to use for the magic effects but once I had those it was easy.
What kind of software do you use to create your images? Can you share a little bit about your workflow?
I use Photoshop CS6 (IMO Photoshop CC is simply a rort for more money from Adobe) to colour stuff.
First off you have to level and balance the black and white lines then convert to a channel and copy into a new layer so that they are lines of a transparent layer. Next you do the flat block colour areas underneath on a new layer to make it easier to select things later. Then I usually do the background to get a feel for the environment of the characters and finally work my way through the various characters themselves until it’s all done!
I have a (fairly old but book published) step by step tutorial on my website at http://www.seanellery.com that should give you the basic idea.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced you and why?
SeanE: Artists that have influenced me include Steve Firchow especially who in my early days was a great mentor and supporter, providing me with many of my early high resolution scans of professional lineart to use. Otherwise it’s pretty much anyone that colours something that looks really good. Anything from DC, Marvel, Topcow then, but I’m open to anything that looks good and gives me an idea for my own colour work.
How has renderosity made a difference in your work as an artist?
SeanE: Renderosity.com is one of the first places I found to post my art online. If you go back to the very early days of my gallery here you’ll see what I was doing in 2001 when I first joined (October 31st 2001!)… Actually don’t. It’s really crap now… but, it’s still all there. Renderosity really shows the best progression I have anywhere of how I have developed as a colour artist. It’s been a steady repository and safe haven for my artwork over almost two decades now.
Be sure to visit SeanE's gallery at Renderosity.com and his personal website for full resume and more
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