Leading up to the release of The Last Guardian on 9th December, we’ve been moved by some of the beautiful art fans have created to honour Team Ico and Japan Studio’s story of adventure and companionship. We’ve collected a few of our favourite pieces here with the permission of their artists, and asked them to share some insight about their craft.
Artist: Daniel Conway (Arcipello)
I’ve always loved Team Ico’s games, they have a surreal atmosphere that appeals to me and my artistic style. Shadow of the Colossus was an amazing game when it was released for the PS2 and made such an impression on me that I created some art inspired by its world and characters. I felt I had to create some artwork for The Last Guardian because, just like the rest of the world, I’ve been waiting for this game for a very long time and I’m so glad that wait is almost over!
The artwork is a digital painting created in Photoshop with my trusty Wacom Cintiq. The image starts out as a sketch. Once I’m happy with the composition, I’ll lay down some colour and work out the lighting and atmosphere for the image. After that, it’s just a lot of digital painting for many hours until I feel it’s complete.
It’s great that games like The Last Guardian have the emotional reach to inspire people to create artwork. I’m really looking forward to finally being able to play the game this December, and being inspired once again.
I started drawing this piece immediately after watching the 2015 E3 trailer. I’ve never played any of Team Ico’s games, but one of my close friends in high school loved them obsessively. She told me all about scaling the colossi or holding Yorda’s hand and we were both so excited when the first trailer for The Last Guardian was released. I was in grade 10 at the time… I guess you could say that The Last Guardian embodies a lot of my teenage nostalgia.
I started this piece in black and white, avoiding drawing any line-art and just painting in large shapes, similar to painting traditionally. I later used overlay layers on top and gradient maps to glaze some colour on, then hand painted the rest of the colours. There are some subtle (or not-so-subtle) colour shifts going on, most noticeably on Trico’s ear, which I picked up from looking at other artists’ work. I’m not sure why, but those shifts give life to the piece.
I don’t normally paint like this, especially not animals, but I really wanted to capture the magical Trico I saw in the trailer.
Artist: Nicole Berry (Tatchit)
Seeing the teasers for The Last Guardian, I was immediately brought back to numerous Shadow of the Colossus playthroughs on PS2 when I was younger. Since that time I have been heavily inspired by the game’s high contrast, low saturation, vast expanse and emotional turmoil.
A familiar atmosphere can be seen in The Last Guardian. I find Trico particularly to have a wonderful design… it has believable qualities and subtle yet sensible details such as feather movement, whiskers, plausible anatomy and body language that we will have to interpret and work with.
For this painting I primarily used Photoshop. I tend to use minimal layers, treating it like a traditional painting as much as I can. Custom-made brushes that have tooth and texture are great for painting and I often used them for sketches and finishing details.
The first time around I simply coloured a traditional sketch and put a texture on top, and set this layer to ‘Overlay.’ In the paintover I focused much more on the characters and environment by adding detail, correcting mistakes that stood out, and moving the boy off Trico and instead stand next to him.
For a bit of homage to my original sketch, I used a very subtle texture overlay, turning the opacity down as to not cause too much distress to the details.
I enjoy getting lost in music and art and have been for as long as I can remember. My goal is to continuously improve and expand my personal artistic boundaries.
Artist: Felix Tindall (Shrimpy)
This is my take on the moment the boy discoverers Trico. I’m really interested in the game’s environments, which are beautiful and distinctive. I was also inspired by the story of a boy and his companion forming a relationship during their journey. The game has been in the conversation for many years and with its release so close, it was hard for me not to do something in tribute!
When taking on a new piece of artwork, I like to envision the composition and where I want to place elements. I typically like to create a scene inspired by a moment in the game or film. Whether it’s a favourite moment or a scene from the trailer, I’m always influenced by a powerful shot that gives me the feel of the atmosphere and setting.
I have a lot of self-made textures and various brush types under my belt that help me create a distinctive look. I am in love with minimalism in the form of monochromatic colour schemes and effective silhouettes, which is where I like to focus my style. Films and video games are a passion of mine, so creating posters is my way of contributing to the awesome gaming community and is a tribute to the creators in the industry!