Thursday, May 24, 2012


Formal introductions are in order

800x1200 pixels.  Medium: Digital
Greetings and welcome to the Altar of the Visual Narrative.  This blog is run by Val Commons for the purpose of showcasing my own artwork, discussing what works and what doesn't for visual storytelling, developing concepts, and to teach and inspire my fellow artist in general.

Who is this Val Commons?  Well besides being someone who is fun to hang out with, I hold a degree in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  I've done storyboards, comics, concept art, and illustrations.  I also do quirky side activities like archery, SCA fighting, and frequent attempts of world domination.

In the beginning...

Lets get some things established about this blog; Find out where we are and what to expect on the small scale with existing art.  For example, am I going to be dealing with a younger audience?  Hobby Artist?  Or will this be geared entirely towards professionals?  While this blog is brought into existence partially to showcase my own art, I want a significant part of this blog to be about methodologies, tutorials, what works to tell clear and captivating stories - and why it does work.

1110x600 pixels each.  Digital.  Greyscale Environmental thumbnails

 What to Expect....

Here's what I'm thinking with the above.  I'm going to add a monthly post, even under busy schedules.  Either an art tutorial of some kind or explaining a way to tell a story or observations about storytelling.  And we'll cover storytelling through various mediums, namely comics, graphic novels, tv/film, and games here.  Every now and then (read: every 30 - 60 days) you'll see a portfolio "Art Dump" post with my latest work not under an NDA in addition.  I would love to do something more regular, like something every week, but lets wait for the post-graduation chaos to settle down and see what's doable.

1410x600 pixels each.  Digital.  Colored tight roughs.

What's the first step?

Panic.  It is always to panic.  Why?  Because Art Directors and Editors can be scary, but in a good way......most of the time (God help those poor souls who have missed deadlines and rejoice that I'm not among them).
2220x1200 pixels (7.4x4in @ 300 DPI). All Digital.  SWTOR Fan Art - "The Siege of Ryloth"

 Ok, now that you're panicking over deadlines, wondering how you're going to pull off correct perspective, anatomy, dynamic lighting, if you're getting paid enough, and wishing you could ignore the array of legal aspects in that scary looking's time to talk about.....well, where does one begin?  These are vast topics....

2220x1200 pixels (7.4x4in @ 300 DPI). All Digital. SWTOR Fan Art - "Ambush among the Ruins"
But we'll start with step one.  Work our way through some concept art and character designs for a short story while touching one quick reads, silhouettes, and reducing our designs down to primitive forms for consistency.
2220x1200 (7.4x4in @ 300 DPI). All Digital. SWTOR Fan Art - "Knight Fall"
So tune in click back here next week!