I’ve been playing a bit with mood and energy with this batch. As always, the concept art is helping me define the world of the story.





I’ve been delving into a new run of concept art for the script, experimenting with new illustration techniques and whatnot. The first of the new batch is this:

ATLANTIC - Concept Art - Island Approaching Puerto Rico


In just about any medium where some product or project needs promoting, the poster is one of the prime ways of doing it. Movie posters range from the “floating heads” Photoshop Frankensteins to (the sadly retired) Drew Struzan’s classic artwork. It was quite a challenge for me to design these posters for “Atlantic”. There are a lot of different aspects of the story to choose from… how to best encapsulate the story, to entice people to want to check it out, without giving it all away?

There were some choices to make. One reason movies do the “floating heads” is because they’re trading on the knowledge an audience already has of either the characters in the story or the appeal of the actors playing them. With “Atlantic” being an unknown quantity, I had to get across information on the characters through body language, pose, expression and props, like Fish’s speargun, Willy’s wrench and Cassandra’s pistols. Alternately, the environmental poster had to hint at the story visually, through locations and mood, rather than action.

Plus there’s the added challenge of designing each one so that they stand alone, but also complement each other as a larger set.

NOTE: Looks like I’m indulging in the “Teal and Orange colour scheme” that’s plaguing Hollywood right now. This isn’t actually any sort of trend-following on my part. The teal emerged in the concept art and posters as I was looking for that right feel of “cold water”, and the orange… well, there are lots of explosions in the story.


In a motion picture, when they do concept art, it’s for the design and approval of sets, characters, action scenes and all other elements of the story. The art department will be given the script, or vague/precise descriptions of the scenes in general and they come back to the director with the concept art.

In this case, since I’m the only one putting this together, it’s less about presenting it to me for approval and just for the sake of ironing out the visuals of the story before I go ahead and illustrate the whole thing.

All these shots will be coming from a 120 page script already written, for a graphic novel that will likely come in at considerably longer.

They’re also presented reverse-chronologically, so by the time you reach the shot of “Fish and the Lilypad”, you’ve seen not only the first work I ever did on my new Wacom tablet, you’ve also seen the first piece of concept art done for the project. Were I to redo those early pieces, they’d certainly indulge in the “teal and orange” colour scheme that I had not yet discovered.

There are no mermaids in Atlantic, but there is a mermaid calendar, a gag gift from Willy to Fish. I wanted to try something a little different, so… mermaid. It also proved to be skin-tone practice for another project, to be displayed in the future.
When I first wrote the script, “The Temple”, or the doors at the top of the hill’s stairs, had a pair of knockers, with male and female heads behind them that resembled Zeus and Hera, but weren’t. I abandoned the heads in later drafts, but when I added the Zeus-type head to the third poster, mostly just for visual effect, it sparked some ideas…
Once I added the deity carving to the doors, Admiral Ramirez blasting his way in felt far more ominous than when it was just a pair of blank surfaces. It felt more intrusive, bordering on sacrilegious. So I titled the sequence “Tempting the Wrath of Dead Gods”, and I realized that would make a great addition to Ramirez’ actual dialogue in that scene. More arrogant, full of hubris… and it begs the question, if his goons were blown off the stairs, why wasn’t he? Maybe those “dead gods” want him inside…
Under the Lilypad at the work site. I love underwater mood shots, and this one fit that vision perfectly. It’s also sparked new ideas for the script itself, which is what concept art is often supposed to do.


I put some of my real-life branding experience to work in creating the fictional company for which the main characters work.