Environment & Landscapes PT1 with Marc Simonetti

IT’S ART presents all the members and fans a series of video lectures about Fantasy Art during the whole year of 2013!

IT’S ART FANTASY WORKSHOP will cover from characters and landscapes to ornaments, costumes, props and weapons. Besides the main themes in the Fantasy Realm, there will be also discussed trends and the evolution of what we know as the art of the fantastic!

The videos will be full of tips, tricks, tutorials, special interviews and the art of amazing guest artists from IT’S ART CG GALLERY!

Watch our first video bellow, where Marc Simonetti shows the time-lapse Making of Seeds of Betrayal:

IT’S ART Tutorial Members can download the HD version of the tutorial here : [download#179#size]

Marc Simonetti shares with IT’S ART members the process he took to enter the Game Industry and more about his techniques on painting Fantasy Landscapes:

Marc, please share with us how you started in digital arts and if you have a background as traditional artist.

Well, my own path has been quite chaotic. I’ve studied arts at the Beaux arts of Annecy along with my scholarship, for something like 7 years.

I was graduated and worked for two years as a R&D engineer before getting back to my passion. I’ve attended 3D school for one year then, and became a 3D background artist in the video game industry. This allowed me to practice 2D a lot, until I got my first gig as a freelance 2D artist…

Once you started in digital art, how long did it take you to be hired by famous companies in the industry? Tell us about the process and how difficult or easy it was.

It took me about 3 years… But it’s not a definitive state, I always have to get better and see how to evolve to keep a positive dynamic to keep my clients and get new interesting ones.

I started by submitting adequate works to the companies I wanted to work for. When I couldn’t work directly for some big companies (for example to do concept arts for EA or Activision) , I did some freelancing for visual development studio like Volta. That way, I could work on big projects, from home, and start developing a good portfolio.

There are two bases for our work: Doing beautiful/interesting/attractive pictures and concepts AND being a professional which means being fast/effective/reliable. You get the clients with the pictures and you keep them with both points.

Looking at your portfolio, we can see you are a pretty dynamic professional. You do well characters, impressive beasts and machines, but when it comes to landscapes and environments, you excel.  How do you reach the special atmosphere in these works?

An amazing artist, Mathieu Lauffray, once said “You can only deal with what you are.”

I would love to do better characters, better beasts and machines, but my own tastes and way of thinking drive me so much easily on backgrounds and on moody scenes.

A good environment needs a good composition, depth and rhythm. Its mood relies almost entirely on the lighting and on the colors choices. All these elements combined together are a universal language.


How do you do to keep track and make sure all details are in the right angle and perspective? Do you have help from software?

I use custom brushes at the very beginning at my illustration to settle a perspective grid. Once it’s done I only use that… Sometimes I can also work a 3D base ( often to make concept arts on an already established 3D base, or to make a matte painting), but even if I make some imperfection, that’s part of the picture. If it helps and looks better, I’m ok with making some little imperfections…

Do you make use of references and do many studies in order to create a new work?

I do use a lot of references for my works. I don’t copy them, but I often need to know the shapes, colors and visual references that focus on the wanted themes, especially when it comes to a special era that I don’t know very well.

I don’t have one way of working as I’m trying to change my methods from one work to another to keep moving on, but generally I don’t do many studies before working. I love the primal impulsion on the very first rough sketch which can make a whole process very fast.

In the other sense, when I don’t have what I want on a picture, when it’s getting worse and worse, I prefer getting back to thumbnails and remake it from scratch.

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