Babies only see the world black and white until they’re two months old. Then colours appear gradually.
Once the concept and the 3d sculpture phases were done, we printed Azzar'Hi first actual prototype. Our baby was looking great but she was only gray. It was time to work on the painting, the color scheme and the effects. While I was working on my concept and illustration I’d already started to think about it. So the global colors and tones were already set. We had a path we could follow.
A lot of Tsume statues are dealing with bold colors and tint areas. But I was looking for something different. With more noise, effects and value differences. With wear and tear. Scratches. The main idea was to give to Azzar'Hi a “sense of history”, to anchor her in believable timeline. By adding scratches on her armor, we were able to create the feeling that she has already faced several fights and ordeals. She was not brand new and empty.
It’s also a good way to add more artistic value to the whole statue as a great object. We’ve tried to avoid a synthetic and cold look. The statue isn’t coming from an usual factory process but instead it was made by artists.
The same approach was apply on the base: adding rust and scratches make it look like it was builded decades ago.
Guillaume (the lead painter) began working on the statue, playing with his airbrush (and his magic). His background is more 28mm figurines so he understood what I was looking for. He showed me a first version of the painted prototype. I asked for more scratches and wear.
He came back later with more painting effects. It as not enough, I asked for even more. He explained me that he was a little bit shy because he don’t get any ctrl+Z possibility. As opposed to the digital painting process, he had to clean completely the whole statue if he added too much paint and we wanted to move back. Losing several days of work and begining again from start. But we finally and subtly found the right balance.
I’ve also learned that each small painting effects or handling is counted up as a new operation during the production of the final statues. And then the bill is slightly more expensive.
With Azzar'hi, we’ve broken Tsume’s record for the number of “paint operations”. But it is worth it!!
With pics here :
Designer and art director for video games, Aleksi has among others worked on Egypt 2, ColdFear, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Dungeon Runners, and Haze.
He co-founded the video-game developpment studio DONTNOD Entertainment where he’s acting as associate and art director. The studio developed its first AAA title called Remember Me which was published by Capcom beginning of June 2013.
He has made hundreds covers and interiors for role playing books, books, packagings, games and magazines. He painted covers of the Hellgate : London mini-series comic-books and Conan for Darkhorse, the covers of Annihilation: Conquest, The New Avengers, The Thanos Imperative, War of Kings and some The Incredible Hulk related illustrations for Marvel.
He is one of the main artists for the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering produced by Wizards of the Coast. He has signed the concepts of the Planeswalkers and still for Wizards, he painted the first illustrations of the miniature game : Dreamblade.
Talking about comic-books, his first production was the adaptation of the Alone in the Dark 4 video game, then later the album Spawn : Simony, best-selling hardcover book of the month when it was released in the US, in May 2004. He also contributes to the first two volumes of The Legends of the Round Table and a new graphic novel Spawn: Architects of Fear for ToddMcFarlane Productions which will be released in 2011. He is the co-author of Merlin, an ambitious 120 pages artbook about the legendary wizard and released end of 2010 his own illustration anthology Worlds and Wonders, published by CFSL Ink and compiling his best artworks to date.
Aleksi is also an instructor at international workshops ConceptArt / MassiveBlack / CFSL Ink / Made (Prague, Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Berlin) and his work appeared in numerous magazines and illustrators books and art anthology.
35 years old, he lives and works in Paris.