Here's the whole process for the Snakeoil Potionmaster, which I made for the spring 2018 Artstation Preproduction Prop Challenge! You can see the final images here and the challenge thread here. All future process posts will be available exclusively to $1+ Patrons, so pledge at any reward level for future access!!
I always start with research, no matter what I'm drawing. I had a pretty good idea in my mind of what I wanted this to be early on so I quickly jumped into sketching. I really liked the idea of a witchy x wild west crossover and found a lot of similar motifs between the two.
This is what my sketch pages *actually* look like! I really like to start loose when I'm spitballing. If I get caught up in making pretty, perfect sketches, I tend to lose flow within the drawings.
The 3D base and some visual problem solving. I make sure as much of the design is complete as possible before even starting to paint.
I like to use 3D block-ins for more complicated prop pieces so that I can make sure everything fits together logically and fill in any spacial gaps. This also sets up perspective and provides a block out that could potentially be handed to a modeler. By working off of a spacially finished base, the orthographics on the model sheet will be very accurate. It's a big time saver as long as you already have a strong grasp on drawing in perspective.
The finished lineart! This is after a lot of tinkering and visual problem solving. At this point, all of the designs are done and I can start painting.
I do flat color first to make sure that values and shapes read clearly. I originally was thinking about making the metal trims a gold or bronze, but ended up switching it to a darker shade because it felt more appropriate for the tone I wanted to set thematically.
The final prop sheets! I was a bit rushed through them because I was really hitting the deadline, but considering the amount of time I had at the end, I was pretty satisfied with how they turned out.
The purpose of sheets like this in a development pipeline is to clarify any sorts of unknowns that the modeler has to interpret. The less questions the 3D artist has, the more successful the sheets are. Clarity of form and material is essential in either these sheets or the composed final presentation.
The final image! I was pretty happy with how it turned out. The majority of it reads pretty clearly, and I was able to render the majority of the material information that I wanted to. All projects could use a little more time, but at the end of the day, I was satisfied enough with the result to call it complete!
Thanks for reading :D