Saturday, October 29, 2011

TESV:Skyrim - Concept Art pre-release

Hi everyone,

First of all, I want to thank everyone who follows my meager little blog for sticking with me and being patient. I've been extremely busy over here hence the lack of posts. As a matter of fact, I should probably be playing with my older son instead of letting him watch TV as I write this but never the less I rarely find the time to do this so strike when the iron is hot as they say. I plan on updating more often with art related materials that are either mine or things that I find interesting. If you have any ideas or things you'd like to know about I'd love to hear from you.

So that said Bethsoft has released some more of the work I've done for Skyrim over the last 3 years and I wanted to share some of that with you. As the weeks and months continue I'll likely be trickling more out there so if you're interested stay tuned and check in every once and a while. Also check Adam Adamowicz's blog in the coming weeks as I have a sneaking suspicion he'll be posting his stuff too. If he doesn't I'll pester the hell out of him until he does:)

Speaking of which if you have a few minutes also head over to the Bethblog for a link to our recent interview about the concept art process on Skyrim in the Skyrim Team Diarys.

As always I love hearing from you and welcome any comments and suggestions. Without further ado here's some of the most recent release of paintings I did for Skyrim. Thank you and I hope you enjoy.



Charles Adams said...

Absolutely amazing! The direction you guys have come up with is truly unbelievable. Skyrim has the best art direction I have ever seen in a game. Of everything released, I like your stuff the best Ray. The Elder Scrolls community is lucky to have you. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Rayford said...

Thank you Charles:) that really means a lot. I want to do the series justice. More importantly I'm having a blast working here. I want to stick around to work on another ES if the opportunity arrises. There is so much material there yet unexplored! I'm still wrapping my head around all of the lore!

Anonymous said...

Excellent artwork the daedric shrines & Armor are sweet. your
illustartion of the room with a light shining thru the ceiling opening reminds me of the first goblin encounter in lotr. can't wait to see the room firsthand, looks awesome, the artistic direction was excellent you can see the influences of conan,lotr & original tes lore. again, thank you for your contibutions.

James said...

Hi Ray. Nice to see an update! I'd imagine you and all of the others at BethSoft have been immensely busy.

Really glad to see some of the concept art up here as I was most unfortunate to miss out on getting my hands on a copy of the CE art-book bundle.

I had a listen to the podcast by the concept art team, I must say, it sounds like an absolutely amazing job you have there!

Rayford said...

Thank you Anon. The daedric shrines were interesting for me to develop as a part of the landscape. Thinking about how to incorporate them into the culture or hint at previous cultural remnants was part of the challenge. Thanks to you to James. Sorry you could'nt get the CE but I'll post some stuff that didn't even make it in to the CE soon...:)

askipper said...

Hi Ray, I just wanted to say thank you! My 11 year old daughter, while not old enough to play the game, is so excited about the artwork you and your team have produced. She has now spent all her savings on a selection of books seen on your bookshelf in one of your interviews to help her learn more about fantasy illustration and art.

She has done some wonderful sketch work, watercolour and acrylic work recently but most of it is fully grounded in reality! She was avidly watched all the Skyrim trailers I will allow her to (once vetted for suitability for a mature 11 year old girl) purely so she can marvel at the artwork.

However, her real passion to start developing her fantasy art skills have come about due to your concept art.

On a different note - will you, or Bethesda, ever release prints of some of the concept art for sale - I know she would love a couple for her bedroom and he birthday is in April!!

Kind regards, Andrew

Rayford said...

Hi Andrew, Wow! Thank you so much! What a great gift and honor to know that something I did really touched someone else and sparked their imagination. Tell her thank you and I can't wait to see what she creates.

If she gets a chance there's some great books that she may not have seen on my shelf that she may want to investigate. A recent reprint of 'Figure Drawing For All It's Worth' by Andrew Loomis is highly recommended as well as George Bridgemans 'Drawing From Life'. For getting more into fantasy art I'd suggest the essential 'Imaginative Realism' by James Gurney. He's a great traditional realist oil painter who is also one of the most inventive illustrators of our time. He's the one responsible for creating the Dinotopia books. He also has a blog that he updates daily with fascinating tidbits about art, science, architecture, history, his own work practices and methods, and anything interesting he discovers or stumbles upon in his daily life and studies.

As for prints I have no idea what they'll do. I'm still hoping they do a retail version of the Art of Skyrim book so that those who missed out on the Collectors Edition can still pick up a copy. I'll bug Todd about it:)

askipper said...

Thanks for that Ray - much appreciated. Funnily enough I have purchased a couple more books for her for Christmas and one of those was the Imaginative Realism one as it had such good reviews on Amazon.

She wanted the CE edition of Skyrim for Xmas just so she could have the art book but at that price I had to put my foot down and say no - I have already pre-ordered the game for myself and while I too would like the art book I am not into plastic dragons to be honest ;-)

I hope you can get Bethesda to release the book in the future - that would be great.

Thanks once again.

Rayford said...

Oh awesome! That book is fantastic. If you haven't already spent enough money be sure to pick up Gurney's other book called ' Color and Light'. He does a fabulous job of distilling centuries of wisdom and science into a practical guide to understanding what to think about and observe in the world of painting. I think it's 16 bucks on Amazon. As for the CE, I wish it wasn't so cost prohibitive either as I probably couldn't afford it were I not working here. Ah well, who knows maybe they'll make the standalone book for sale. I hope so:) even a softcover version would be great. It's just wishful thinking on my part. I have no idea what plans they have in mind. I just draw stuff:)

Frog forethoughts said...

Hi Ray,
I absolutely love the concept art for Skyrim! It's a stretch, but I think I may shell out for the CE just for that art book. I hope Bethesda gets behind a "complete" edition of it - it can't all be held in just 200 pages, can it?
Until then, I'll be satisfied with the CE version. Question - are any or all the pieces you posted here included? Is there a way to order any books that include your art?
Thank you for the beautiful creations!
-Lloyd Woodall

Rayford said...

Hey Lloyd, Thank you so much for the really kind words. They crammed a lot of stuff into the art book but you're right we could probably fill another one with all the sketches and drawings laying around here. As for other books with my stuff in it you'd have to go way back to the ancient olden times of the mid 1990's and track down some Star Wars and BattleTech RPG books:) Quite frankly that old stuff's not so great and I think they're long out of print. I hope to have some more published work soon. I'll likely put together a bound portfolio to hand out at conventions and send to AD's in the print industry. I don't know if I'd legally be able to sell it because most of the work I do is licensed material. I need to do some research. Anyway thanks again!

Virginia said...

Espectacular, la forma en que trabajas las luces y las sombras es increible. Saludos desde España :)

Awesome, the way you work lights and shadows are amazing. Greetings from Spain :)

P.D Skyrim 10/10 ;)

Danec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Rayford,

Amazing stuff! Is it okay if I do a 3D model & texture of the winterhold concept art for my portfolio? I noticed it turned out a bit different in the game, so I was hoping I could use it as a reference and change around some things.

Woops, forgot to add that i'd of course write original concept by you (if I ever finished it :P).

If it's not okay, let me know

Rayford said...

As far as I know you can do whatever you like:) are you making a mod? Winterhold was one I wished I'd had more time to work on. I'd love to see what you do with it. Thanks! -R

Patrick Ståhlberg said...

Really amazing work on TES! I have been following your work, and you are such an inspiration for me, while im striving to get better.

And after getting the collectors edition Art Book my mind just blew up! You sure have a style of your own Ray.

All I can say is, Thank you.
And I wish you the best of luck now in the year 2012.

AlanKlug said...

Hi there! I got the collector's edition of Skyrim, to my girlfriends dismay and I must say the concept work you all did is phenomenal. I'm a sophomore at an art college named Otis in L.A and your work is truly an inspiration.

Rayford said...

Patrick thank you so much for those kind words. I look forward to seeing what you do:)

Rayford said...

Alan thank you so much. Tell her thank you and if it's any consolation you'll probably never spend as much time playing it as we did making it, much to our spouses dismay! Cheers and I hope you're still enjoying the experience while finding balance in your life.

Inacio said...

Holy shit, so you're the guy that made that amazing drawing of Shrine of Azura?
That's my favourite piece of concept art (and place, too, hah) in Skyrim.
Would you be willing to send it to me in a high resolution so I can print it in an A2 and put it on my wall?
Keep this amazing stuff up, dude!

Rayford said...

Hey thanks Ignacio:) I'm particularly fond of that one myself and when I saw it in game for the first time I almost shit the bed. As for super hi res versions the highest resolution version of this image is right here. I'm not at liberty to post anything bigger. Sorry:)

kimbertangleknot said...

Glad I found your blog! I've been trying find out which artist drew which picture in the Skyrim video for concept art, and this post will help me greatly (at least for the concept art). Thank you for your amazing contribution on an amazing game.

Anonymous said...

epic pictures!
Can I use 1 or 2 photos to be included in a mod to skyrim nexus?
of course give credit on the site ..

Anonymous said...

20epic pictures!
Can I use 1 or 2 photos to be included in a mod to skyrim nexus?
of course give credit on the site ..