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An Amazing Gift From Alvaro Bravo

Alvaro Stuardo Bravo has been impressing us for almost two years with his amazing sculptures. Since those first sculptures, his talent has continued to grow and he is quickly becoming a world class artist. Alvaro recently surprised us with a beautiful sculpture based on the Gears of War: Judgment Reaper. I carried it around the studio and people were so amazed at the detail. It will soon find it’s home hanging on the Epic walls.

Epic Gamer and artist Tim Fangon chats with Alvaro about sculpting and other mediums he enjoys.

966372_331802133613500_473553535_oTim F: How did you get started sculpting?

Alvaro B: I started sculpting 2 years ago with a lot of questions about materials and techniques, learning from YouTube and after all the research now I feel more confident about my sculptures.

I started after I saw “Inside the Wicked Workshop” on YouTube from Chris Perna, to me was very inspiring.

TF: Who is your favorite Gears of War Character to sculpt?

AB: Definitely Marcus Fenix, I believe Marcus is the most awesome Character in the game. :)

TF: Could you describe the process for the sculpture?999059_10151843181449230_2052617188_n

AB: I start with an armature made of metal, then I cover the armature with aluminum foil. Then I start modeling the clay over the aluminum foil with rough shapes until I feel comfortable with the results. I bake the clay and the statue is ready for the paint job!

TF: What kind of clay do you use?

AB: I use Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm which is a type of polymer clay that can be molded and put into a conventional oven to harden.

TF: How did you make it look like bronze?

AB: That was the paint job made it by my Girlfriend Carla, she painted several layers of different colors to get that finish and then she added some clear coats to bring some shine :)

964503_342751579185222_34180249_oTF: Did you know the sculpture will be on display at Epic Headquarters?

AB: That’s gonna be Fantastic! And makes me feel very happy because you guys likes what I do, to me is an honor.

TF: When did you start sketching?

AB: I been sketching all my life, I love to make drawings and When I saw Gears of War I knew that I wanted to keep improving my sketches. I loved to make drawings using just a regular ball pen and maybe some polychromes!

TF: How long have you been drawing?

AB: All my life! Since I was 4 years old.

TF: Do you create any art on PC?

AB: Yes. I make drawings using Photoshop and recently I started using Z-Brush which is pretty awesome. :)

TF: Which do you like to do more, sketch or sculpt?

AB: I don’t know which is better but I try to do both things because one helps to improve the other and because both makes me happy.

Alvaro on deviantART
Epic Gamers on deviantART

Printable Valentine’s Day Cards from Tim Fangon!

Epic Games Valentine 2013Epic Gamer Tim Fangon is at it again. Even though he’s very busy with school, Tim has taken the time to create a new Valentine’s day image for you to print out for your favorite Valentine.  Last year, Tim created a whole set of Valentine’s Day cards to print. Here is a repost:

Show your love how much you care with a custom Valentine’s Day card designed by Epic Gamer Arukun14! The cards are suitable for printing and will be cherished by any Gears of War fan.

Pick your favorite card from the gallery below and print it for your Valentine. If you want to see more amazing art inspired by our games, head over to the EpicGamers deviantART group. We’d love for you to join and post your work too!

 

 

Interview: PCF Senior Concept Artist Maciej Wojtala

While browsing through some of the entries in the Epic Gamers Group at deviantArt, I stumbled over a thumbnail of concept art and the design looked very familiar. As soon as I clicked on the image, I saw that it was from an artist from our Poland studio, People Can Fly. The image was beautifully illustrated by PCF Senior Concept Artist, Maciej Wojtala and depicts a courthouse location for Gears of War: Judgment. The image was also published in Game Informer in July of last year.

courthouse_by_m_wojtala-d5nqq9r

I just had to see more of Maciej’s work, and browsed through his deviantART gallery. From the dark and foreboding “Evil Fortress” to the beautiful and bright “Modern Villa,” Maciej’s work is stunning. I reached out to him for an interview and he humbly accepted. Of course, I reached out to him a week or so before Gears of War: Judgment went gold, so I had to wait awhile for the interview. It was worth the wait, and it is a must-read for artists looking to get into a career in concept art.

Flak: Where do you find inspiration?

Maciej WojtalaMaciej Wojtala: I feel there are a few ways to get inspired. One is purely visual, seeing something beautiful. Discovering new places, art, photography or maybe watching a good movie will help a lot! There are so many crazy and wonderful things in the world, you just have to find them and let them inspire you.

Strong inspiration can also come from a good story that needs visuals. Then you just have to gather visual reference and work with that. The story should guide you and keep you inspired through the process. On the other hand sometimes simply taking a break and looking at work of classical painters or online CG galleries and forums can give a great boost too.

F: How did you feel about having your art featured in Game Informer?

MW: It was awesome, it is such a terrific magazine! It surely feels great to be part of the the team developing the Gears of War universe. Ability to have input on that world is amazing. We often try different approaches, iterate. Seeing this process can be intriguing for anyone who wants to have better insight into the game. I am really glad some of the concepts were shown.

evil_fortress_by_m_wojtala-d5quro5

F:  How long have you been illustrating?

MW: It is hard to answer this one. I had been drawing a lot since I was a kid. I also had always been drawn to visual arts, tried different hobbies that were actually close to illustration. Eventually I had discovered demoscene, which lead me to digital art and it seemed a lot of fun. More or less 10 years ago I realized it can be a full time job. I trained and freelanced for a few years but eventually joined the People Can Fly team in 2005 and became a full time concept artist.

F: What made you decide to start creating concept art for video games?

speed_paintings_by_m_wojtala-d5q0yesMW: I have always loved games! For a few years I was a gamer and proud of it. Concept art seemed to be a great job, combining the world of video games, art and design. Seemed demanding but rewarding. I was amazed when I started and I still am.

F: Who are some of your favorite artists?

MW: I really love the classical painters – Hudson River School, the Impressionists, Romantic Era Art painters and many more. However my love with art started with digital artists and their work – Craig Mullins, Ryan Church, Nicolas Bouvier, Feng Zhu, Massive Black crew!  Thanks !

F: What are the biggest challenges you face as a Concept Artist?

MW: Deadlines can be crazy sometimes. Nailing the visuals fast is the ultimate challenge. It can be tough, but it is an interesting part of the job too.

Thank you Maciej! Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

Epic Gamer of the Month: Mallock1327

Epic Gamer and Forum Member mallock1327 aka Mike Staples has been sharing his amazing artwork with us for over a year. We first featured him on the Epic Games Community Site back in February, in THIS interview with Tim Fangon from Team Epic Gamers.

Mike sent us some of the sketches you see in the story and they have since been framed and are hanging on the wall in one of our offices, as you can see in the photo below. He has started a new Facebook page to showcase his work, be sure to give it a like! Recently, he tried his hand at wall sculptures made from Styrofoam and the results are amazing. You can read about these incredible pieces of art HERE and HERE.

Mike is a huge Gears of War fan and picked up the first game a few months after release and he says that he fell in love with the dark and gritty atmosphere. He and his girlfriend love to play Horde together, “It’s been nice to see the game progress through the series from the dark gritty streets of the first game to the towering columns and palm trees of Azura in the third.”

Mike is 38 years old and lives in Canada with his girlfriend. He moved there four years ago and he is from Boston, MA. He started drawing in grade school and continued to take art classes until attending the Art Institute and the School for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

As a thank you to Mike for his amazing contributions to the Gears of War Universe, we will be sending him an Epic Gamer t-shirt, a Gears of War 3 Epic Edition and a copy of “The Art of Gears of War 3” signed by Chris Perna.

If you would like to see your content posted on our community site, Facebook page and twitter, check out the Epic Gamers forum. Who knows, you could be our next Epic Gamer of the month! There you can post your tutorial videos, cosplays, fan art and fiction, anything you would like to share with the community. For more information, check out this welcome post. To see more artwork from Epic Gamers, be sure to catch the EpicGamers group on deviantART.

Gears of War: Judgment Statue by Alvaro Stuardo

Some of the developers and artists behind Gears of War Judgment were treated to a first-hand look of the Baird statue sculpted by Chilean artist, Alvaro Stuardo. Alvaro sent us the statue a few weeks ago, and it arrived in a handmade Gears of War-themed box. We were stunned when we saw the statue in person.

As I carried the statue through the halls here at Epic headquarters, everyone stopped me to take a look. As talented as the artists are here at Epic, they were still blown away by Alvaro’s attention to detail. “Wow, he even textured the shoulder armor, this is amazing!” said Senior Environment Artist Bill Green.

Seeing their work come to life really put a smile on a lot of faces around here. We want to thank Alvaro for sharing his work with us. After everyone gets to take a look, the Baird statue will be put in a display case so people can enjoy it for years to come.

In addition to sculpting, Alvaro is also a very talented sketch artist and guitar player. “In matters of art, I’ve been drawing for a while; I love creating different characters with regular pen (not ink), and I also do airbrushing (I’m still learning). And I play electric guitar very often, for more than ten years now.”

Head on over to Alvaro’s deviantART page or the Epic Gamers forum to see more of his work. And remember, if you have awesome work to share, tell us! Head on over to the Epic Gamers forum, or let us know at the Epic Gamers group on deviantART.

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