Sketching with LunPlus: Concept Art Workflow

Here is something slightly off the beaten track today. Technology is one of the key drivers of change today, in particular, it changes the way we live and work. Designers, being mostly early adopters of technology, are always very quick to jump into the next big thing. When the iPad was launched every fan boy designer, rightly or wrongly, saw that product as the digital sketchbook of their dreams. Autodesk Sketchbook Pro cleverly read the market trend and cornered the tablet sketching market by quickly making their iPhone Sketchbook Pro app, iPad usable.
In the coming weeks, (probably weekly?) we will be running a new series of articles here at Design Sojourn, called Sketching with LunPlus. LunPlus (aka Lun Cheak) is a full time Industrial Designer and part-time illustrator. Being a hands on sketching kind of guy, he will share with you tips and techniques in getting the best design workflows from the latest technology available to designers, such as designing on your iPad. This way we can judge on our own if the technology is right for us or not.
By the way, you might already be familiar with Lun Cheak’s work. He created that very cool sketch illustration that really emphasized how far our Expandable Sketchbook could expand!
So anyways for this week we will start with something basic to get you all in the mood. No actual designing, but just a straight out concept art workflow that is very similar to the process that entertainment designers use. So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy: The Puppet Story Booth concept art workflow. All images and text below are by Lun Cheak.

1/5: Sketch

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It always starts with an idea in the head, before I start doodling on my iPad, using Sketchbook pro and my trusted Griffen stylus pen. I keep the sketch really loose, focusing on the composition and getting the idea across on a page. I like the edginess and unfinished look of it. I think that’s where my personality as the artist is best captured. I know if I proceed to tweak it further at this level, I tend to lose the original intent of the idea and the fun, free-spirited energy in the drawing.

2/5: Background

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Once I’m relatively happy with the sketch, I’ll move on by choosing a texture and color I would under-lay the line drawing. Depending on my mood and how I’d like the drawing to turn out, the background sets the overall tone for the rest of the colors that’s going to be laid onto it.
At this point, I opted for a dark grey stone marble texture I found on the Internet. I wanted the outcome to be somewhat dark. I like how the texture gives the drawing an edgy, weathered and worn-out look. This artwork was inspired by the story of the Little Riding Hood, so the dark weathered look works.

3/5: Base colors

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Other than the line sketch, I think this is the second most important part of the drawing process. Getting the colors and tone right makes the difference between a successful drawing and a bad one. I don’t get it right all the time. It really depends on how are feel and the coffee I’m drinking! 😉
Starting with the colors that I’m familiar with, I work fast and go with my gut. For example applying Red on the hood. After that, everything else becomes my interpretation of what works with red vs. the background color.

4/5: Light + Shadow = Depth

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Once the base colors are applied, the drawing is 80% complete. The rest of the work is all about popping things to the foreground and pushing objects into the background. I do this by applying highlights and shadows.
I opted for a white outline around the main characters to give them more focus.
At this stage I’ve also included additional texture details to give more depth to the overall drawing.

5/5: Finishing touches – Focus

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I always think that when we first encounter an image of a humanize form or an animal, it’s instinctive that we our attention is drawn to their eyes. The eyes are where the soul is. Therefore, I’ve decided for the Wolf to carry the soul of the drawing. Though this addition is just a small highlight, it gives life to the character and the drawing on the whole.
I’ve also included other details like blood and text to spice up the overall concept/ drawing, but making sure it doesn’t take attention away from the subject.


Tool: iPad2 + Griffen Stylus Pen
Software/App: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
I hope you enjoyed this little workflow tutorial, and now it is time to have your say. If you have any thoughts, questions of comments about this article or for Lun Cheak, please leave them in the comments section below. For more artwork by Lun Cheak, check out his LunPlus Facebook Page.

  • Mo Brackett

    December 6, 2016 at 8:23 am Reply

    I have to say not impressed. The picture could be drawn out by hand and have a better feel. Some designs and art look good on the computer but, then leaves little for the imagination.

  • Mischa

    September 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm Reply

    @chae May
    a dog committed suicide on top of a HDB block after WP won in Aljunied in Singapore General Election 2011

  • Chae May

    September 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm Reply

    What does the sketching means?
    Is the sketching done in Microsoft Paint?
    Did you use a mouse or a wacom pen?
    Seriously, i think u need to enrol in FZD

  • Stefan R.

    August 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm Reply

    Thank you Brian and LinUs for starting this series.
    As an industrial designer I am a big fan of both sketching medium – paper and digital. Maybe I tend to sketch more on paper than digital, because of the traditional look and feel. To be honest I am not (yet) an IPad owner, but an Android smart phone user. This device is almost always in my pocket and has of course the Sketchbook Express app installed. It has proven itself as very handy when it comes to visualize my ideas on a project, while I am on the go, in the public transport, on the beach or elsewhere, as the the creative ideas may arise in every daily situation. I think this series is useful & inspiring to bring this “alterative” sketching possibility to the deigner. Best regards.

  • Lun Cheak

    August 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm Reply

    Hi Twister and Thai Woon,
    Your perspective of things fascinates me.
    @ Twister. Thanks for sharing your view of things. I’m glad Autodesk don’t share the same view as you do. My work has been curated and is currently featured at their booth, at the Siggraph convention, Vancouver. You can check it out at the following link…
    check out the artwork by other artist too. Hope it helps widens your perspective
    @Thai Woon. I’m intrigue to hear more about your view and definition on ‘concept art’ and how you would draw your boundaries.
    Btw, is this your real name? I’ve got a close designer friend by the name of Tai Woon. Are u guys related?;)

  • Thai Woon

    August 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Wow! This is concept art?
    I not sure what your friends are telling you but
    Maybe you should enrol in Feng Zhu Design
    Your digital sketch can be improve and you will have more understanding of concept art.

  • Brian Twister

    August 11, 2011 at 11:16 am Reply

    i have to say the artist is giving a bad representation of what the software(sketchbook pro) can do.
    It look kinda unprofessional and injustice to Autodesk.
    Autodesk spent millions of dollars on research and development.
    I think its best that the artist explore the software capabilities and develop the sketching technique before “advising” on how to draw in Sketchbook Pro.

    • Brian

      August 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm Reply

      @Brian Twister: Thanks for leaving your comment. The artist is explaining a work flow, and not the software’s capability or function. This work flow can work just as well on Photoshop and the host of other tablet sketching tools out there. He just happens to use Sketchbook Pro on an iPad. We don’t review software capabilities, but focus on designing and creating on this website.
      @Thai Woon: Perhaps you might have misunderstood. What Feng does is Entertainment Design there is an objective to the landscape/robots etc he creates. The artist here is illustrating a piece of Art that is an expression of self and nothing more. Thanks for taking the time to share the link.

  • Martin Dirker

    August 11, 2011 at 2:55 am Reply

    You attribute Sketchbook Pro to Adobe in your intro.

    • Brian

      August 11, 2011 at 10:04 am Reply

      @Martin: Thanks for pointing this out! My mistake.

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