Fan Art Spotlight: Raphael Massarani


“I like to create fan art because it’s always fun to draw characters from franchises you like! It also helps to understand the design solutions that were taken into consideration while making the character. And I believe part of being an artist is to see how things can be approached in different ways.

My favorite medium is digital. It’s a lot more flexible and forgiving than other mediums. You shouldn’t completely ignore them though – there are many invaluable things you can learn from working traditionally.

I’m still experimenting with my process, but right now, I like to brainstorm some ideas on paper first (even if it’s only written) followed by some reference research. Then I move on to the thumbnails and sketches. Once I feel confident with the direction I’m taking, I do a somewhat comprehensive line sketch, block in some base colors underneath that and get ready for painting over and adding details. Of course, it’s not always like that, but that’s the way I like to work.

If I get a creative block, I cry. Seriously though, I think everyone goes through some crazy art blocks from time to time. Go work on something else! If you feel you are stuck on a piece, go study some anatomy, perspective or whatever. Do some warm ups or simply walk away for a little while so you can come back with a fresh pair of eyes. Also, have fun with what you’re doing – don’t stress over it.

The time it takes to create each piece depends on how complex it is. I believe my Masterchef Braum fan art was the one that took me the longest. About four weeks if I’m not mistaken. On average, I’d say I spend about two weeks for each one. It really depends though.

Hmm, my favorite video game art fan pieces…tough one. I love Skyzocat’s entry for Riot Games Art Contest 2014. It was a wonderfully painted fan art of Annie, from League of Legends. Jaina Schirmer did some insane Overwatch fan arts. James Zapata’s Sci-Fi Zelda fanarts are really inspiring and I also adore James Ghio’s rendition of Samus.

I like to cover a lot of stuff! I’ve grown up playing Nintendo games like Pokémon, Smash Bros and Metroid, so that will always have a place in my heart. I’m a big Metal Gear Solid fan as well and I just can’t wait to play Metal Gear Online anymore! Lately, I’ve been mostly playing League of Legends, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Oh, and I loooove Bastion and Transistor, especially because the art by Jen Zee and the music by Darren Korb is a perfect match.

I have to say that I started painting digitally thanks to Matt Kohr’s website, Ctrl Paint. I really admire this guy – the amount of content and valuable lessons he puts out there is impressive. I got the chance to study for a year at CCA and that definitely changed my live. I took classes from people like McLean Kendree, Adam McCauley and Owen Freeman. They’re all amazing! It’s a long list, but some digital artists I look up to are Jen Zee, Karla Ortiz, Clint Cearley, Kienan Lafferty, Alexandre Zedig Diboine, James Zapata, Even Mehl Amundsen, Konstantin Maystrenko, Marco Bucci and Marc Simonetti, to name a few.

If I have to provide any tips, I would say to work from big to small, study fundamentals and have fun! I don’t believe there’s such thing as talent – as long as you’re willing to practice, you will get good. At least I hope so, since I still have a looooooong way to go.

If there is one thing I can’t live without…wait, only one thing? Jeez…white chocolate?

You can check out my work on DeviantArt!”

Raphael Massarani

Thank you again for your time, Raphael and thanks for stopping by! If you want to stay updated on more Gamer Compatible reviews, you can follow us on Twitter: @gamercompatible or on Facebook: @gamercompatible.

Game on! And signing out.

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