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Tim Warnock

Name: Tim Warnock
Occupation/Profession: Illustrator/designer
Employer: Freelance illustrator www.thenextside.com, designer for Riordon Design www.riordondesign.com
Location: Oakville, ON
Hobbies: Playing guitar and watching movies

How long have you been in this profession?
I have been working in illustration and graphic design in different capacities for about 10 years.

Why did you choose this profession?
Originally, I just liked to draw but didn't really know how that would become a career. I didn't have much guidance but had an uncle that worked as a graphic designer for many years. He was my only real influence, so I followed in his footsteps. I discovered my illustration talent during my second year at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall. There were a couple of guys there from Montreal that taught an illustration class once every two weeks, Carmelo Blandino and Francesco Santalucia. I have them to thank for turning me around and putting the basic tools in my hands. I was really rusty then. I was never one of those kids who drew a lot . When I saw what these guys did, it was like a light went on. Carmelo encouraged me to move to Montreal and enrol in the illustration program at Dawson College.

How did you get started?
I feel like I'm still getting started. I can't say that I have really accomplished what I set out to do yet. I have spent too many years in jobs that didn't challenge me as an illustrator. Crafting imagery has always been a part of what I do but it has only been in the last three years that my original passion for illustration has been rekindled. I owe a world of thanks to my good friend and work mate at Riordon Design, Dan Wheaton, for introducing me to digital painting and the heroes of the craft, like Craig Mullins and Ryan Church.

What are your most important accomplishments?
I feel I have come a long way with digital painting in a short period of time. I have always been a fast learner when it comes to visual arts. I get really excited when I see my own work go to the next level. I don't really regard any of the jobs I've worked on as great accomplishments—probably because I'm always discontented with where I'm at. This might not be a positive way to think, but it is what drives me. I look at guys like Craig Mullins and Yanick Dussault and say, "That's where I want to be." Some days I feel like I may die trying, but if my attitude isn't "I want to be as good as they are," then I never will be.

Describe a special moment in your career.
I recently attended a workshop in Texas where I had the chance to talk with some amazing artists. One of them was George Hull. It was probably inconsequential to him, but I was beaming afterwards. Talking with him confirmed for me that I wanted to pursue a career as a matte painter. It's been something I've toyed with in my mind for a while but didn't know much about. He was very helpful. On another occasion, I had the chance to chat with Yanick Dussault. His work just blows me away. He was also very helpful and very gracious. It's guys like that who just hand to you in a few minutes what you have been struggling to find out for months. Beyond that, Gnomon has a series of training DVDs that feature artists like Ryan Church, Feng Zhu and Scott Robertson that have changed my life. I learned more on one DVD than I did in a year of college.

History with Painter
How long have you used Painter?
One year

Why did you choose Painter?
I saw what Ryan Church was doing and had to have it.

Do you have any interesting/funny/noteworthy stories?
Not really.

What are your top five favorite Painter features?
The ability to rotate the canvas.
The keyboard shortcut for sizing your brush.
The color pallet is nice.
Glow Brush.
New Artists' Oils (beautiful).

What are the Painter features that allow you to distinguish your art?
I wouldn't say there is anything that distinguishes my art. When I use Painter you can usually tell just because of the buttery look of the image. My Painter work tends to be very luminescent (glow brush).

Is it possible to get the same results with other digital painting software?
Not exactly, but you can come close. It really depends on what you are trying to do. The painter tools have a great deal of life and character to the strokes. That is unique to Painter.

How do you feel about Painter?
Painter is a beautiful tool.

The following is a description of how I approach a loose concept painting. Something like this can be worked into a much higher level of detail, but for this demo I've kept things simple.

Step 1:
I begin by randomly playing with shape. I use a broad brush. In this case, it is Artists' Oils - Clumpy Brush. At this point, I'm just playing around, trying to find interesting shapes and texture.

Step 2:
Then I begin overlaying colour in layers, looking for a layer attribute that I like. Again, there is no rule here. For this example, I used Overlay, but it could just as well be any layer attribute. I will play with lights and darks on the overlay to give the image a feeling of depth and texture. At this point, I have a rough idea of where I am headed but haven't made any major decisions as to what all the shapes are going to be.

Step 3:
I then begin to define shapes with a semi-transparent brush. In this case, it is Artists' Oils - Dry Brush, but again you can use whatever you like. It is in this stage where I am thinking more about form and light source. At this point, I am rarely going to my color palette. Instead, I sample my colors quickly from points in the painting by holding down Option on the Mac® and Alt on PC.

Step 4:
Here, I increase contrast and define shapes further. The general shape is pretty much there. I use the Glow Brush to achieve that luminescent look.

Step 5:
The final step is simply adding details to help describe the shape. Devices like panel lines and rivets help sell that this is some kind of mechanical object. I have added light strokes over areas where I used the glow brush to avoid an overly airbrushed look. This is just a fun, quick little sketch that took under an hour to do. Things like this are great for generating ideas or just loosening up. Painter is the ideal tool for that!

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