Term 10, Brainstorm School Spring ’23, Week 9

Week of March 13, 2023

3 min readMar 20


For full context, see the description of my Art Home School Curriculum.


All my instructors will be at GDC next week, which means I have 2 weeks to finish my final projects for classes.



ENT 1 — Entertainment Design

I’m still trying to get this castle better integrated into the trees. I feel like it’s much better now that the structures sit on top of tree branches and I have some foliage.

For these two I just added some simple callouts for how some of the mechanics work. I think details like this really make a piece stand out. I would love to have a whole page of drawings detailing how this equipment works.

WB: SDVGD — Story Driven Visual Game Design

This is a Buddhist temple with a huge Buddha statue. I wanted dramatic lighting (right) but it makes everything so hard to see, so I’ll probably tone it back. The left one is rendered without any atmosphere. The instructor liked the composition, camera angle, and lighting. Now I just have to add a ton of props.

WB 2 — World Building 2

Color thumbnails.

These were really frustrating to work on. They took a really long time (running over my time for other homework) and came out really bad. One problem was that I tried a new technique. I followed the process demonstrated by Feng Zhu in his environmental thumbnails tutorial where you make a huge, random photo collage and then pick shapes out like looking at clouds. I think I lost sight of the fundamentals during that process. I knew I only had about an hour per thumbnail so rather than taking my time and applying everything I know about composition, shape, and value, I just tried to cover the canvas quickly and hoped things would work out. Next week we’re supposed to refine three (one wide, one medium, and one close up), but none of my thumbnails are usable so I have to start from scratch. This made me realize how bad my quick sketching ability is, and that I need to work on that during the break between semesters. I spend all my free time on homework, so I never have any time for studies. Another problem is that my subject matter is difficult: mountainside structures with a bustling market.