Yu Cheng Hong is a very talented artist from Taiwan. Yu Cheng is a well known skilled digital artist, creating beautiful characters and illustrations. His first job was in a cartoon animation studio in New Zealand and has since grown to one of the best illustrator and creative out there. We sit down and pick this artists brain and share creative strategy, art, and more. Read below for the full interview…
Could you take us through the design process of creating a new character from the early concepts, to the development stage and final execution?
YCH: The early concept of the character often coming from the game design. like what is his/her personality, what is his background…and when I get the concept story, I start draw the sketches for this character for the client. Once there is no problem in the sketch, then I start painting in PhotoShop. Here it’s more technical. First, I paint Black and White values in Photoshop, and then start to add color using layer modes (overlay, hardlight, softlight, color, etc. ) and also used some adjustments like color balance to get the color I want. Once satisfied with the color, then I start painting the detail and bring it to the final stage (here are some working in process I wrote on my website to demonstrate how I achieve) for a painting most important stage is in the beginning stage (black and white value sketch) it will determine the painting is either good or bad without put into detail.
When you first begin creating the character digitally,how do you go about choosing what you want the character of the painting to be, what type of lighting and where the light source is from?
YCH: First, I will collect lots of references, like pose reference, cloth references, armor references, and the color palette that I want. I always used 45 degree angle light direction, and the main light source is warm sunlight. and shadow area is from the blue skylight. I used this kind of lighting strategy in 2012, and I still try learning other light strategy for future paintings.
How is one so talented in so many areas? Was it hard to become a multi-disciplined creative?
YCH: I think this is due to my education background, I studied graphic design and media animation in University. In our school, our term assignment is always one student needed to finish an animation film by himself (include storyboard, concept art, 3D model, texture, rigging, animation, VFX effect, and finally you need build up a website to present your portfoilo online) during these years I actually learned a lot of skill in animation. But when I graduated from school, my first career was a 3D modeler in the game industry. But my passion is to be an illustrator and concept artist and for a long time didn’t touch any 3D and animation (about 10 years). Currently I just focus on 2D painting and learning from tradional and hope I can get better.
How hard was it to nail down anatomy? Did you struggle with character drawing as a young artist?
YCH: Yes! it is very hard for me. I really spend lots of time to memorize the muscle shape and how it works in different movements. Now, I still practice everyday on my sketch book, and try not to forgot these. There is no escape without 10,000 hours parctice, if you want to become a professional.
You also feature tutorials on your site. Do you also find meaning through teaching? Perhaps being an instructor someday?
YCH: Currently I still need to learn a lot of knowledge of art, but maybe one day when I have more experience in the industry, I can be a teacher to share the experience for the young students.
Lastly any advice to any creative out there, who might be struggling?
YCH: Keep passion, practice, and make it perfect!
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