TUTORIAL - Figurative Concept Pieces - by Gangus


Heres another pencil- you can check out the larger version in the blueline that it was drawn in at my cgportfolio.

Please stop by the 2D finished section if you want to see it painted- should hopefully be up by Saturday.

Hope you like,




Thanks so much for the in depth reply - that is incredibly insightful, and I think rings true for many people wanting to create realistic work in a university system devoted mostly to ‘fine art’. It’s great to see this level of traditional work with an explanation of your background as I think it’s an encouraging benchmark and example of what is possible with pencil, paper, and practice (the 3 P’s) - very much looking forward to your Workshop in April. :slight_smile:

One more question, if you get the chance - are there any specific anatomy books that you might recommend to others? And are there more influential artists whom you might name?

Cheers :slight_smile:


Hey Gangus. My girlfriend just baught a new X-BOX game (Marvel Ultimate Alliance) you made the artwork for it right? Cool stuff man.


michael-olszak: Yeah I had a big part in it, but there were a ton of other great artists involved on staff as well. Awesome game though eh? It gets to be a real blast when you start kick’n up the serious powers, team combo and special fighting moves. My favourite is summonning a whirlwind with Thor and then calling down lightening with his hammmer while they are helpless in the air. I never grow tired of it :slight_smile:

Thanks for the questions.
If I could submit a list of musty have anatomy books they would be:

Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet ISBN 0-7894-8045-X
George B. Bridgman Contructive Anatomy ISBN 0-486-211-4
George B. Bridgman Complete Guide to Drawing From Life ISBN 0-8069-3015-2
Oddly enough I still find that old “How to draw the Marvel Way” excellent for
those still struggling making their anatomy dramatic (sorry I don’t have the ISBN)

and then I would basically suggest studying from your peers as well.

A list of some of my other favourite inspirational artists where figure creation is concerned

I’m a huge fan of the pure figurative and natural expression of pose from the God of Illustration - Frank Frazetta.

I love the flair of Simon Bisley

In terms of meeting a perfect median of looseness to tight rendering a good friend of mine from accross the drink a guy called Greg Staples often inspires me (even though we don’t keep in touch as much as we used to) check him out at http://www.gregstaples.co.uk/
tell 'm Glen Angus gives his highest regards.

For the zainyness factor I love drawing inspiriation from:
Glenn Barr
Joe Chiodo
and Joe Sorren

If I could have a drawing conscience/guru (kind of like that guy “Icepick” that Magnum
P. I. -sorry showing my age- would always go to when he is in a real fix it would be:
Brandon Kitkouski at http://www.bkstudio.com/

Hope this gives you guys a good frame of reference for where I am mentally when looking for specific inspiration


Can’t wait to get further in the game to see all of this. Unfortunately i’m not really a gamer. i usually start a game, play it for like an hour and then get back to the computer to check CGtalk or play with photoshop :slight_smile: never to touch the game again.

I love Simon Bisley’s art as well man. the way he draws the muscalature is just amazing man. Frank rocks at it as well of course!!

so when you were learning to draw did you like, copy some of their work or just kept it aside you to refer to their rendering techniques?

what i usually do is download some pictures of models from the internet and draw them. what do you think of that approach. any tips??

I recently bought an anatomy book and draw the bones and muscles from it. is that better.

sorry for al the questions :slight_smile:


Appreciations for the material you’ve put out already, and and especially the depth of your response on your history of with drawing.

I really like the piece Hel in your gallery. I have not seen many pieces visualizing her and you’ve done an amazing job. I didn’t expect a brown palette to work so well for her… any scraps of visuals I had were definitely in blues :). Victory Gal- Angel of death is also engaging, especially with the context of your similar pieces WWII plane pieces.

Look forward to the workshop :slight_smile:


Hiyas, Gangus! I originally posted this message in another part of this forum but was encouraged (By Becca :smiley: ) to post it in this thread instead, I guess it’s because the style I am aiming for is a mix between the one you got and some other pencil artists out there.

So here goes;

I started pencil drawing rather recently and I’ve been doing a lot of studies lately. However, when drawing without a reference I struggle with creating clean lines. I always got a pretty clear idea of what I’m aiming at with the picture but when I try to draw it I do these small sketchy lines all the time and it bugs the hell out of me. They completely ruin the picture and after a few erases the paper I’m working on is pretty much wasted as well. My current pencil goal is a sort of exaggerated anatomy. I also got a problem of implementing the anatomy knowledge I’m supposed to get from the studies I do. Without references I constantly get it all wrong even if the mental image is correct. My characters also end up unnaturally stiff and in poses that suggest they are dolls or suffer from rigor mortis :confused:

Can you perhaps give me some pointers on how to start drawing without references as you do, how to develop my pencil confidence and get cleaner lines? I don’t expect an answer that will magically turn me into a fully developed artist (we never do develop fully either for that matter), but perhaps something along the way of what I should study and more importantely HOW I should implement this knowledge.

I got a picture as well to show an artist who got a really crisp style and obviously knowledge of anatomy. It might be inked but I’d like to believe that this picture didn’t originally start as a nest of lines as my pictures tend to. I’m speaking of the picture now, not the model. :stuck_out_tongue:


I hope this doesn’t isn’t a too time consuming question.

Cheers Gangus, I hope I can attend to your workshop in April. :slight_smile:


Hi Wasker,

Be sure to thank Rebecca for sending you to me- I always apreciate helpinh other artists if I can. Let me do my best to address your problems.

First- I do keep material around me for reference. I never really draw from a model or a photo to produce my images (though I am going to try that in the near future for shits and giggles with this professional model in Chicago) But I do keep a ton of reference nearby (I believe only a few replies of mine before this - I give a list of books that are great to have)
It’s nice to have a couple of anatomy books on hand to help you remember how certain joints or muscle groups come together. Don’t feel bad- it’s not cheating. A lot of pros out there will only work from photo reference- some of them will even light board poses down as a base. I tend not to do that myself, because I also enjoy the pushing of the human limits and the development of style in the form. Using a little help to make sure you are getting some fundementals down -I believe- is very acceptable.
Another big part of it is you have to keep drawing. Draw so much that you become perfectly comfortable with understanding not just the proportions and visual info of the figure, but more- how it can hold itself, what types of attitude body language can convey, how everything works together to create that sense of balance and believability. Then think about stylizing. I think you are trying to fly before you can walk.

As for the sketchy lines- It’s all about doing those gesture sketches first on a seperate piece of paper. Do a ton of quick studies until that one that is trapped in your head gets on the page be it by luck, pure perseverance or from a drug induced state (just kidding-kids don’t do drugs-elmers glue works just as good) Once you have that (and believe me you’ll know because it’ll be loose but still convey that attitude.) then lightly transfer that onto some sturdy paper (illustration bristol- it can take more of a beating from earasers)
Which leads me to another reason I use the stanford colout pencils to draw with- pencil in the basic shaps in a lighter blue, and then once you are happy with them - go in and stregthen your line quality with the darker blue. Now your earlier scribbles in the lighter tone- you will see will be the very thing that gives your final piece character. People may apreciate your final piece more if they can see part of the journey that it took to get it there right on the paper.

I hope this helps.

As for the example of the other illustrator- I’m pretty sure he’s from france and does unbelievable work strictly designing figures. If you want to know who depresses me- it’s guys who can draw like that :slight_smile:



Thanks a ton for the answers to both questions, my apologies for being MIA, I did get your pm and I’ve just gotten behind with emails / pms etc., but it’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts and it’s great to hear your responses. :slight_smile:



Beautiful - Just Beautiful!!!



Well I think there’s nothing that I can honestly tell you except that I’m here, drooling in silence.


Here’s an example that shows with enough sketching you can eventually stumble onto something greater. This old sketch is the first brainchild of the Victory Gal series in that it was the first time on paper that I decided to try and merge plane and female together.

It was more a literal approach to the idea, but still the initial thought nonetheless. I have just posted this at a higher res if you want to get a better look at it on my portfolio- but also recently finished the final paint of it (due to it’s historical creative significance) to add to the Victory Gal series- currently awaiting validation to the 2D galllery.


I have trouble finding a concept artist like yourself that can pull off such dramatic poses while displaying fantasy content like vikings, dragons, etc. Most of the time fantasy drawings are stiff and rigid, showing a pose or snapshot where yours are very stylized and suggest movement and animation. Very inspiring work!!!

Working at Raven must be a blast. 15 fellow classmates and I had the privilege to take a sneak peek at the facilities last December and I must say we were all absolutely blown away with the talent and quality! Plus let’s be honest, Marvel Ultimate Alliance is pretty much an amazing game. :slight_smile:

Plus, doing all that while representing the frozen tundra of Wisconsin! A+! :thumbsup:

Keep the tutorials and suggestions coming, I think we all can benefit from an expert such as yourself!


Hey Gangus,
Just found your really wonderful thread. Don’t want to take up too much of your space here, but I have to comment on this great sketchbook.
Most generous in the time you give to explain and show your working process, a valuable insight into an artists thinking. I am always on the prowl to pick up anything I can use here and there from talented artists, like yourself.

I’m currently pouring over concept art books, reading about artists processes, checking out lotsa tutorials and exploring the digital brush in Photoshop and Painter. BTW- Frazetta is what sparked my lifelong pursuit of character design. His work and influence is historic to illustration. So many young artists have been inspired by him without even knowing it.

My goal is to become a proffesional concept character artist, asap. I have much to experience, yet, but I hope to one day have the opportunity to exploit what skills I do have in a proffesional creative capacity. Which, makes this thread invaluable for the information presented.

Thanks for posting those tutorials. Love understanding why certain approaches work. Very helpful and inspiring.
I find all your advice most interesting and true. Indeed, asking alot of questions from more experienced folks has become key in helping expand my skills and knowledge. Thanks also, for turning me onto work from artists I had never known about. Greg Staples and Brandon Kitkouski’s, WOw! Their digital paints are beautifully approached.

You bet, Gangus. I’m going to be looking out for the start of your workshop.

P.S. Regarding Waskers’ question. Perhaps, the model concept designer had scribbles and threw a paper over it to pick out the clean lines of the design. A traditional animation clean-up technique, which is similar to your suggestion, esp. using the Sanford blues, which is also used for animating proir to clean-up.


Hey any news on when the workshop will start??


wow…wow…these pictures all are great…especially those sketches are so wonderful…:thumbsup: :thumbsup: …no words…*****5 stars …:bounce: :bounce:


don’t want to be disrespectful but does anyone know hat the status of this workshop is?
i know glenn’s situation, just wondering what’s going on…



I am very saddened to report that Glen Angus, great artist and mentor, has passed away.


All our best to his family.


Indeed RebeccaK,

he was really great in his artwork and help in the figurative arts , and always helped folk out constantly. He is one of the masters of digital art now.

I hope his wife and kids will be alright


I’m shocked and saddened at his passing.
My best to his family.

Indeed, his thoughts and work will continue to inspire many many artists.