So, you’ve written a book or short story and you’d like commission an artist to illustrate your character, (or characters). Great! Now what?
This is the third article in a short series on finding and working with an artist to bring your vision to life. In Part I, I covered Commercial vs. Non-commercial use and Copyright considerations. Part II discussed Vision and References.
In Part III I’ll talk a little about art styles.
First, let me just say that I am by no means an expert on art styles and the knowledge that I have is gleaned from my time on Deviant Art.
That said, there are a multitude of styles and rendering techniques available in the art world, and I strongly suggest browsing Deviant Art to get an idea of what is available. Artists tend to work in a one or a few (at most) styles rather than all of them.
Note that I am using the term “style” somewhat loosely. I and not referring to styles such as “impressionism”, “cubism”, “pop art” or other terms that come up in formal art courses. I use the word “style” to encompass how the artist creates the image (e.g. painting or drawing).
I categorize art as either 2D or 3D. Within those two categories there are a number of styles.
If you have ever looked at comics or comic books, you’ve seen 2D art. This category comprises two main styles:
- · Sketches and drawings (coloured or uncoloured – sometimes called ‘line work’)
- · Manga/Anime
- · Paintings (such as oils or watercolour)
The artist may work with one or more software packages to create the art (e.g. Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop) or they may work in traditional media (real paper or canvass) and then digitize their work. Here are some examples drawn from my Lady Merreth art contests. Click the image for a full size rendering on the artist’s Deviant Art Page.
Line Work, Inked
Drawing, refined, then coloured (cell shaded)
Manga/Anime (also cell shaded)
“Cartoon” style (suitable for flash animation)
Three-D art is exclusively computer-based. It involves the use of special software programs (for example, Smithmicro’s Poser). The artist works with digital models (or creates their own) and employs extensive editing to work the depiction into the desired image. Once finished, additional editing other programs (e.g. Photoshop) make take place. The result is an image truly distinct from 2D art.
As you can tell, there is a wide variety of talent available. You can find artists that are considerably more able than those whose art I am grateful to have, as well those who are considerably less able.
I have not covered all of the possible styles, just the ones employed to depict Lady Merreth. Hopefully they will give you some ideas and direction should you want to have your characters depicted.