Welcome! What are some of the challenges you have with environment


hi my name is fernando mora, i’m from Venezuela, and i’m an student of graphic design and visual arts, already im in a search of learning how to do well the digital art, and especially the environments and that kinda type of stuffs, i want to learn how to properly do that 3D things and use it in the way i like, that is the time, robots, steampunk, space ships, medieval age and mid west. there’s the basically first try of a digital llustration and i really hope to progress a lot with you, thanks!!


My biggest challenge is how to design the connection part to make all the elements fit together and to create harmony rather than a “collage”


Hi. I have dificulties in composition and final art. As Yimos said above “…to create harmony rather than a collage”. I know a little bit of digital painting but It would be great to improve my colouring process and learn more about color harmony and feelings inside an environment.

Below are two of my studies. Both of them made for a course here in Brazil. The render is very blurred and there´s a lot to improve ( in environment and anatomy). They look very amateur and I want to reach a more professional visual.

Some of my references are Feng Zhu (already mentioned) and Noah Bradley (images below).


I feel like I really am challenged a lot by environment in general, especially when it comes to painted pieces. It always feels like an after thought, and I think I need to stop doing that and take everything into account!

I feel like I’m starting to understand color and color theory, but it’s a beast on its own :thinking: For example, I threw this quick thing (below) for a friend doing backgrounds for her own film a while back to help her with choosing between colors.


Hey guys, amazing stories all around.

My name is Robespierre, Robes is ok. I am an concept artist and illustrator I am mainly focused on characters but I desperately need to improve my environment design, wanna bring it to a level where they tell stories on their own, It would be amazing to see David’s approach. This is an amazing opportunity! Cheers!


Hi I feel like everything is a challenge for me at the moment. I love drawing and I feel I am not bad with grey scale values, but I struggle with colour. I also believe I used to be a lot more creative before years of working in a bank. My left brain took over from my right brain. :frowning: I really want my creativity back.
Here is my portfolio

I have just finished studying animation and visual effects at AIE. I have learned a bit of everything but now its time to really perfect one area and specialise. I was a traditional painter before I learned digital and I am ready to take it to the next level. Here is some concept art by Bastien Grivet that I absolutely love and I aspire to be able to create similar work.

I also love Brett Northcutt, senior concept artist for ILM.

I am really looking forward learning and creating!


I am just beginning enviromental painting /drawing. I feel my biggest issues is coming up with ideas and getting started. Once I get an idea I have a hard time getting it to look they way I want it to in color.


Hello! Environment design is difficult for me in general. I have a hard time painting in Photoshop so I normally go for a cartoon background. Color and lighting are a few of my bigger problems but I feel I understand the concept more in greyscale.

I can’t wait to learn new tricks to help me improve :slight_smile:


@alexanderkampe none the less that looks great! :slight_smile:


Hello, everyone :slight_smile:
My biggest struggles within environment are how to compose-have a balanced and interesting composition and use of perspective. Color, lighting, rendering, texturing, etc falls easily to me.

It was quite interesting to see the answers and all the different things you guys struggle with…

Thanks Travis, CGS and David Harrington, Painter, and all that are making these workshops possible!!!


Feng Zhu and his website are such killer works, its great stuff


Hello! I am a Game Art student and my primary strength is 3D modeling. I’m trying to develop my 2D skills to match my 3D proficiency. I love backgrounds and scenes as they create the worlds that stories are told in. I feel I have a pretty good hold inorganic objects and on planning out scenes. I struggle when it comes to how much detail to add to scenes. I tend to add too much detail to the further reaches of a piece, there by messing up my sense of depth and perspective. I also struggle with adding enough value to my projects. I tend to work with a lot of negative space instead of pushing the value to create the neccessary depth of shadow.
I think I’m most inspired by the enviromental art of James Paick and Feng Zhu. There are so many great artist, but Zhu’s use of color really stands out to me and the atmospheres that Paick creates really stand out in my mind.


You have a great eye for composition and value


@ Dvici: thanks, actually I´m playing with different camera angles right now, also trying to use a real foreground.


Since I’ve always focused on 3D, I mainly left 2D on the wayside or attempted to do as little as possible, leading to my main problem:

All the work on this topic is exactly the kind of thing that I would also like to do. But whenever I attempt it, it looks childish and completely lacks the interesting factors that these other examples do.


Hey Jennifer! I am in a similar situation. I currently work at a bank. I had no idea the actual impact on your creativity that kind of job would have. I hope you can bring back that creative spark and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!


Dude, you’re embarrassing us! Stop!

Ha, ha, ha…

Seriously, I have bought a couple of Artifex Mundi games at Steam. Currently, “Time Mysteries” is on sale, I intent to buy it. Congrats on your work, is amazing, what titles have you worked on?


Thanks Arya, I look forward to seeing your work as well!


Hello, I’m Yev, and I’m a self-taught illustrator. I’m not working full time in a traditional meaning (my only income is Patreon and commissions) and most of my time I spend on art and worldbuilding, as well as gaming.

I’ve worked with my own fantasy universe for over 11 years and it has great deal of characters, places and details, mechanics etc - although very little of it actually portrayed. I’ve been taking art seriously as a career for about four years now, and a big part of this time I’ve been struggling with getting over medical issues which was slowing me down quite a lot.

I’m good at semi-realistic portraits, at drawing nsfw works, and using textures and other tools in my works. I have no issues with most programs - I’m a quick learner when I’m determined. I also do a lot of other creative work - coding visual novel, cartography, writing.

Two years ago I’ve dipped my toes in matte painting*, and despite lacking the full understanding of a medium, I started trying to portray places from Varyel. I was not satisfied with the effects, and since then I’ve been practicing quite a bit, though only recently I started adding more detailed backgrounds to my art.

My style consists mostly of three separate stylizations:

  • full semi-realistic paintings;
  • semi-detailed soft shading drawings;
  • miniatures, chibis, with great exaggeration.

My matte painting failed me due to issues with perspective and architecture. Also the grasp of idea of how detailed the works should be escapes me. I hope this course will get this a bit clearer for me, if only for watching others do the right thing.

Examples of my works:

I learned many things studying other artists though - I overused “fancy brush packs”, I tried to portray everything equally sized and never had a clean focus. I’ve had ideas, but no execution.

Almost giving up, I went back to the basics, such as understanding small things - contrast, color, shape. Effects started getting more pleasing, but I’m still far from where I want to be.

(Note the background: Colors referenced from a watermelon, texture idea from other vegetables.)

It’s getting better, I guess.
I think that with the help of this course I may hop over that obstacle holding me and my comic, and my visual novel back.

If you got that far, thanks for reading! It’s my first time during any course or conversation with other artists (I am not a social person and I ramble a lot, I’m sorry!), so I’m pretty confused with what is what around here.


Hah! Thanks man :wink:

Time Mysteries Is kinda old. I suggest to get “My brother rabbit” instead :D. Anyway I worked on Grim Legends 3: Dark City, and couple other games, but that’s long time ago :smiley: