Creating Stylised Planets in ZBrush Part 1

And so it is time for me to start planning a new painting.

The blank page is staring me in the face and goading me. Laughing at me.

I want to paint something about the effect that leaving teaching had on my mental health. I didn't realise at the time how much teaching was hurting me. It was only when I left that a huge weight was lifted. The children I taught were all fantastic. It was a pleasure teaching them. The problem was the endless amount of work that had to be done that was only tenuously connected to the children. But I won't go off on a rant.

I went through my usual free association phase - see video below - and the two main things that came up were "time" and "peace". These words cropped up in numerous lists. I tried to think something to link these two words. For me, time is related to movement. Everything is moving all of the time even if it is only on a quantum level. And peace is related to stillness. So what is still and yet still moves.

That's when I came up with the idea of planets. I had created another image in my last year of teaching based on planets, (see the image below) so I thought that would an apt basis for the composition. I have gone for stylised planets because all of the paintings in this series have a feeling of childhood, a return to simpler, happier times. So I wanted to evoke the thrill experienced when a new video game was loaded up and how much fun it was to have the freedom to visit and explore new worlds.

I am using ZBrush to plan the painting first and then eventually after I have rendered the image in Keyshot, I will paint the final image using this as my reference.

The main technique I used to create the planets was to mask off areas of a sphere and then either raise or lower these areas using the move tool. To see how I started to sculpt these planets watch the video below. I will continue to add details and colour next week!

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