Monday, September 10, 2012

Building a Cosmos...

Some months ago Revista Göoo Magazine sent out an open call for their 12th issue, and this time the participating artists were asked to serve a new image under the theme 'COSMOS'. Now, seriously, how could I resist? After some deliberation Göoo selected a hundred (out of 805 candidates) artists for the publication and I was excited to hear my contribution made it as well!

The #12 issue will be launched at the TMDG Event in Buenos Aires in Mid-October, so I can't show you the final piece just yet. But I do have a bunch of sketches that I thought would be nice to share. Drawings and ramblings after the jump!

After dabbling with Greek cosmology and its deities (and listening to a very interesting Radiolab podcast on how fetal cells remain inside the mother's bloodstream) I decided to have a go with an old unfinished render from my imaginary astronaut game. The big creature you see sitting here was actually based on a little statue that was briefly shown on some TV-show on ancient astronauts (we all know how earth was visited in the past by powerful beings in flying saucers and how these god-like creatures guided the evolution of man-kind, right?). Throw in some H. R. Giger Alien design, Flight of the Navigator and weird forcefield pyramid ships like the ones from The Tripods and you end up with the above sketch.
Maybe the final image could be a poster for a rather dark sci-fi childrens' story? A sort of Doctor Who meets Prometheus? The kid would be the main character, tagging along with this ancient eternal statue-shaped god during its trip through the multiverse.

But every main character needs a side-kick! I don't know at what point I decided there should also be a canine fellow traveler, but the idea for an evolved humanoid horseshoe crab came after I read an article on horseshoe crab blood harvesting. These ancient looking creatures seemed like a perfect companion for such a bizarre trip; their earliest fossils have been dated at about 450 million years and their blue blood is often used in the pharmacy industry to detect impurities in the medicines.

The different universes were initially to be carried in large globes, carried on the backs and bellies (like egg yolks on newborn critters) by all kinds of creatures, like tortoises, elephants and humanoids, as if the characters were flying through ancient cosmology legends. But as I started building that in low-poly, I just couldn't get the feel right. It felt like the picture was getting too crowded and I couldn't get the image clear enough to show what each universe looked like. So, in the end I decided to have the universes simply represented by large spheres containing stars.

Here's two work-in-progress renders of the ancient alien pilot statue and the canine side-kick in his spacesuit. Playing with the phong tag to smooth certain surfaces allows for a nice distinction between organic and non-organic surfaces. Little lights that only use their specular channel were used to highlight the eyes, just for that little extra liveliness.

A little preview of the basic setup, which closely matches the original sketch. The spherical universes didn't really hold the picture together that well, so they were also changed to something a bit more interesting. More on that when the new Revista Göoo comes out.

To be continued!


Angie La said...

I think you have an amazing ability to interpret information and express it into your own style. Do you have any tips for aspiring artists? I have a great passion in these cosmic theories and adore your work!

Gibson Goff said...

When the world is running at you, and you collapse into your covers, you need an artistic statement to breath life into your bones. To awaken your artistic spirit. And to again, soar.

Erwin takes a picture of reality, creates a clean, vibrant interpretation, and presents it as a playful fantasy. That his mind, and yours, understand. And then you feel the joy, your eyes understand, and your heart again soars.

Thank you, Erwin.

Post a Comment