Build A World

Tonal Studies

After our group learned the story for the new concept by one of the previous original members, our task was to draw how we visualised the world through simple grayscale tonal studies. In order to do this first of all we refined the character design’s just to familiarise ourselves with the concept as well as discussed how their personalities would be reflected through certain scenarios, e.g how the Big’s would work down in the mines.

Erin’s Character Refinement



Bradley’s Character Refinement


One artist that I felt inspired by was the work of concept artist Michael Bills who can clearly depict tonal work with few values whilst still managing to make his pieces look atmospheric. During the tonal study phase I had learned from looking at Michael’s work that it was better to work with a smaller amount of values in my thumbnails rather than over complicating the different shades of gray.


Michael Bills –

In the beginning stages of concept art it is more important to understand composition and how the scene should be formed more so than just fine details that could be added in later. During the process I also felt like I needed to revise some of my thumbnails in order to make it more visually exciting with more use of contrast and atmosphere rather than blending too much and to improve on the original composition.

Example of Revised Work and Tonal Studieswater.pngPLEASE SAVE.pngPLEASE SAVE2.pngmidi.pngsmalls

During the presentation stage I learned that contrast is essential in tonal work, rather than work with lighter shades of gray next time I will use darker tones to help me decipher what should be more dominant within the picture. For example giving the situation with the rock monster in the cave, his environment should have been much darker to help the main character stand out more visually.

To improve on my earlier works, I once again attempted different methods of using tonal, keeping in mind the importance of contrast in creating visual impact. After this experimentation I feel some improvement in my understanding of tonal, especially concerning the mistakes I had made previously.

Personal Work



Group Blogs





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