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Artist Breakdown #2. Am I Collective: Verstikland (Source File Available)

A Behind the Scenes Look at the Work Processes of World Renowned Artists

At PSD.FanExtra we believe that the best way to learn is from experts in your field. That’s why we employ some of the best tutorial writers and bring you regular quality content.

Tutorials are great, but I often find myself looking at work from some of the world’s top digital artists and wondering about the thought processes, techniques and workflows used to create such incredible art. I always think ‘if I only I could get my hands on their original Photoshop files I’d be able to break down exactly what makes their work so awesome!’.

Well that’s exactly what we aim to offer you guys, as part of our new series ‘Artist Breakdown’. We’re going to be talking to some of the world’s most respected digital artist’s and offering an insight into how they’ve created some of their most popular works. We’ll also provide a full .psd source file for our FanExtra members to explore. This will allow you to look through every layer, object, blending option and technique used. It’s a true behind the scenes look into some world-class work, and we hope you enjoy it!

Artist Breakdown #2. Am I Collective: Verstikland

Today we’ll be looking at the emotively charged piece ‘Verstikland’ by top design agency Am I Collective. You can check out more of Am I Collective’s work at their website.

You can view Verstikland below:

The Concept Behind Verstikland

The concept behind ‘Verstikland’ is:

‘a visual mishmash of the darker side of South Africa‚Äôs culture’

The piece aims to expose the dark underbelly of the South Africa nation, taking a harsh look at some of the most distressing, disturbing aspects of society and putting them right in front of you.

The composition is a mashup of two self initiated characters ‘Holbrand’ – a troubled vandal of a teenager and Vinger, Holbrand’s delinquent friend and sidekick.

‘Verstikland’ is not an easy artistic effort to look at. It’s deliberately dirty, and graphic. It triggers highly negative emotions in us, as the mutated, evil looking protagonist reaches out his ugly hand.

Whilst much of I Am Collective’s work featured clean, pleasant illustrations, ‘Verstikland’ has a deliberately incomplete feel to it. It lacks the polish of some of the agency’s other works, and quite rightly! The resulting composition is rough, natural-feeling, and hits hard.

You can read more about this art series on I Am Collective’s blog.

The Work Process

Much of the work for ‘Verstikland’ takes place in the sketching process, which can be seen in the first of two readily available .psd source files for our FanExtra members.

The character is planned out in detail, and then contorted and refined to be more grotesque.

After that coloring is laid out.

The sketched, pencil lines are laid over the color blocks, and shading/details are added. After this further lighting and rough marks are added over the canvas, as well as a variety of complex typographic designs.

You can see some of the stages of Verstikland below:

Close Ups:

Here are some close ups of the composition, exposing the attention to detail in the work:

Source File for ‘Verstikland’

FanExtra members are able to access the .psd source file for Verstikland, allowing them to see the specific workflows and techniques being used to construct the piece. (If you’re not already a FanExtra member you can sign up today.)

Existing members can login here to access this source file.

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

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