This week we talk with the talented Digital Artist Toby Fox! He is a third year Illustration student from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB)!

His main passion so far has been focused on fantasy characters which he developed as a child, in particularly drawing fairies after watching Disney Sword in the Stone film as a child!

Watch the full interview video below to understand more on Digital Art and what inspired him to draw fairies, werewolves and dragons! or read on for an overview of his creative process! 

The Process - Elven Market 

In Digital Painting it is fundamental to be able to tell a visual story, each painting should have a relevant character, have a narrative and most importantly create a mood for the viewers!

For his Digital Paintings, Toby always write downs his ideas for his drawing on paper, once an idea is written down then he moves onto the sketching process!

Line Drawing of the Elven Market

Toby's workflow for this project initially started out as a line drawing, it is a complex drawing which took approximately 40-50 hours to complete over the course of 1 year!

The Elven Market painting includes drawing in a 3D space, using perspectives, buildings and developing over 18 characters! 

For his Character drawings he has found life drawing classes to be extremely helpful when it comes to drawing figures and anatomy!  he also sources references from Pinterest or uses a photo of himself posing to draw realistic anatomy!

Once the line drawing is refined, he moves on to creating grayscale value thumbnails which is usefull to figure out the light, shadows and most importantly help to distinguish the focal point of the painting!

Greyscale Value thumbnails, No: 3 was chosen for the final painting

And then finally comes the best and the most time consuming bit, adding all the detail from colour, highlight, shadow and textures! See the final Digital Painting below!

Less is More - Werewolves

We also take a look at another Painting called 'werewolves' this drawing is less complex than his previous project! For this piece, Toby directly worked in Photoshop and only used 2 layers, the first layer being a rough sketch and the 2nd layer involved refining the details! 

Watch the full video above to understand more on this workflow and to see his layered file!

We wish Toby all the best in his Digital Painting career! To find out more on Toby check out his website, and Instagram!


If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to listen to our Podcast with Toby as we chat about University learning Vs Online Learning!

If you have enjoyed reading this post  then you may enjoy reading this post on 10 Principles of Character Illustration


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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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