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About Digital Art / Professional Member Steve Hamilton25/Male/United States Groups :iconrelicnews: Relicnews
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Steve Hamilton
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
Available for contract work upon request. Currently open for new clients.

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Been in Mexico volunteering full-time since November, and still loving it.  So happy to be here, even if it means less time for painting.  I get two days a week to focus on art, and evenings when necessary.  Pretty much all that time goes towards client work, which would be the reason why there have been so few updates here.

But next summer, I am planning to finally hit Gencon and scout out the big-name art directors.  Their marketing manager was my mentor back in Seattle, and while I'm sure he will be very busy during the convention I hope that he might be able to help me with some introductions to art directors he knows personally.  Of course, if my portfolio isn't up to snuff it won't make much difference, but that will be the aim of the eleven months of preparation that lie ahead.  I am hoping within the next couple months to transition out of client work for a while to focus exclusively on putting together everything I've learned the past year and making a killer portfolio.  It's been a dream of mine to land a MTG contract with Wizards, and I'm starting to feel that I'm ready for that.

Of course, what I really want to do is just spend a year studying all the landscapes around the town I'm in and figure out how to capture them decently.  This town is in an amazingly beautiful part of the Baja--right now in the summer heat, huge thunderheads grow over the sea of Cortez and cover the eastern horizon with a massive wall of billowing clouds.  I want so badly to just take a day to go paint those, but time doesn't seem like it will permit this month.  Sad that landscapes aren't in as high demand as character pieces, but maybe I'm just missing the right clients. 

All the same, I am just so immensely thankful to God to be here, working with the kids and families I love and still being able to paint and do contract work.  My spanish is getting better, but I'm still missing a lot of slang and some important vocabulary.  Still learning what it means to be a servant, and still struggling at times to quit myself of some of the garbage of my old life.   Still fearful as an artist, but hopefully I can get rid of that with time.  Fear of failure slows me down so much of the time, makes me miss painting when there was less at stake.  But I'm getting better, and getting a clearer idea of what I want to make in the future.

I know that this blog post is in the same vein as much of what I've said before, but it still feels good to get it out there.  Once I get a new kindle and have all my art notes back, I will try to address something different for a change.

Hope all is going well with everyone reading this, and thank you for your attention. :)  This time next year I'll be at Gencon, if anyone has any plans to hit that let me know. 

"Be a warhorse for work, and enjoy even the struggle against defeat."  -Robert Henri
  • Mood: Thanks
  • Reading: Apologetics, the Art Spirit
  • Playing: If I touch Kerbal before v1.0 someone kill me
  • Eating: Tamales and burritos all the time

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Clari3 Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you have one hell of an amazing gallery Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1]  +watched! 
Balance-Sheet Apr 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Gracias! :)
Nele-Diel Apr 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
wow I love your work!
It is so pure. And I love this unfinished style!
Balance-Sheet Apr 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!  I thought they were finished though, hehe
Nele-Diel Apr 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
haha :D
they are. but they do not have much detail as illustrations for example. but do not get me wrong, they are great that way!!
SovaSia Feb 14, 2014  Student
Did you make tutorials? You have amazing works! Especially, I like looking at one of your work and thinking how it was make. If you have tutorials may I see it? Please :)
Balance-Sheet Feb 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I don't have any tuts up yet, but if you have a specific piece in mind I could try to explain how it was done.   :)  I will try to get real tuts up in the future when things are less crazy, if things ever stop being crazy. 
SovaSia Feb 15, 2014  Student
For examle,…
I see you used the Lasso Tool (or not? mb it's just brush without smooth) but it doesn't look like gradient inside. Just brush?
And do you make a scetch before coloring? And do you work with layers or it's just one?
How do you know where use lasso and where use brush? Just feeling, of course?
Oh, I really love your style! Sorry for my curiosity :)
Balance-Sheet Feb 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Just about everything in the foreground is done with lasso tool selections, except for some of the plants and some ground textures that were done with a custom shape.  I never use the gradient tool, it's just been easier and more versatile to use the soft brush within selections.
I don't usually make sketches unless I need something very specific, this piece was a speedpaint so I didn't have time to outline anything out.  I usually start out with color, though it depends from piece to piece.  landscapes or environments I almost always start in color.
I work with lots of layers usually, some of my bigger client pieces run up to 200 layers or so.   But a smaller, quick piece like this is was probably just 10-20 layers, with some levels/color balance layers in there as well.
If I need anything with a hard edge, anything I want to visibly stand out, or if I'm pressed for time and need to make a shape quickly, I use the lasso tool.  I can be overdependent on it though, which makes some of my pieces overly flat since it can be difficult to add convincing volume to a flat selection quickly.
No worries on the questions, I like being able to talk about my process.  :)  Though I'm guessing a video would be a little more useful. 
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