For this first Art Inspiration article, we take a deep look at the art of Filipino illustrator Reynan Sanchez
Even after all these years, I still feel a sense of inadequacy whenever I look at the works of Reynan Sanchez. A freelance illustrator based in Manila, Sanchez was the first digital artist that I drew art inspiration from. I came across his works back in 2014 when he was featured by Kotaku in one of their Fine Arts article. At that time, his works blew me away with their color, composition, and impeccable brush work. They also exuded this raw energy that made it hard for me to look away from. Another reason why his work drew me was his ethnicity. Growing up, it was hard to come across Filipino artists whose works appealed to me. Seeing those works featured in a platform with an international reach made me just feel proud.
I already had plans of pursuing art as a hobby and reading that article just cemented my convictions. In fact, you could say that coming across his works was a turning point. No, it’s even more than just a turning point. Without that article, I would’ve never pursued art as enthusiastically as I’ve had. Sure, it took me a while to be proficient with the basics. There were a also lot of times that I just felt discouraged. In instances like these, I always looked back at Reynan Sanchez’s works to remind myself of my goals.
Great Use of Contrast
So what are the techniques that turned Reynan Sanchez’s works into my art inspiration? The first and possibly most prominent is the artist’s use of contrast. To illustrate my point, let’s look at one of his earlier works.
You can make the subject of an illustration stand out in a number of ways. Contrast is one of these. Basically, you’ll want your As far as I know though, art teachers will discourage you from placing the subject in front of a white background. In the image above, Sanchez does the opposite yet still comes up with a great looking illustration. Why does it work? Thanks to the white background, the heavily rendered Wolverine and Deadpool end up getting highlighted. You should also note that the rendering on both images feature areas of high saturation. These, combined with clean linework, make for an image that manages to hold the viewer in awe.
On Point Rendering
Something that I notice with a lot of digital artists these days is their rendering. A lot of the time, their digital illustrations tend to look muddy and unappealing to look at. This isn’t the case with Reynan Sanchez though. Another hallmark of his works is their rendering. Despite working digitally, he’s able to render his works in a painterly way. In the image below, he uses hard edges to contrast light and shadow areas on the lady’s shoulder and back. This then allows the viewer to perceive the lady as the main subject/focus of the illustration.
For the monster in the background, he opted to have its value be less saturated. Additionally, the lines on the monster isn’t as defined. Of course, this is a conscious design decision on the artist’s part. By doing this, it again reinforces the lady as the main subject of the illustration. The rendering is actually so good that you tend to forget the anatomy on the feet and butt area isn’t quite right.
Perhaps the most identifying aspect of Reynan Sanchez’s work is his composition. To put it bluntly, it’s just crazy. I mean just look at the images in this article. There’s just so much going on each of the illustrations. Despite the chaos though, the image still reads well. In fact, I think this sense of chaos adds a lot of depth to the images. Just look at the image earlier as an example. You probably noticed the lady and the monster but what about the two dudes on the back of the monster? It’s stuff like this that makes his viewing of his art such an experience in and of itself.
If you want to see more of Reynan Sanchez’ work then make sure to visit his Artstation and CGSociety pages. Take note though that he hasn’t posted on these pages for quite some time now. Hopefully he puts up new content soon.
Get in Touch
What do you think about Reynan Sanchez’s art? Do you have your own art inspiration/inspirations? Comment down below to let us know.
Also check out my review of the XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro if you haven’t yet.