Concept Art: The Siren

For my part 3 I have chosen to do concept art. My idea started out as a forest with different creatures ranging from fireflies to weird rabbits. I started of by researching into artists such as Alan Lee, Brian Froud, Chris Rynaik and Disney’s concept art for Maleficent. For my initial idea I was going to work towards a main forest piece which had a lot of detail in regards to the characters and setting. (Which I still might visit in my spare time) but as I was researching I was watching The Vampire Diaries which had a Siren creature in this season. This made me think, and really interested me. So I started to into Siren research!

Disney Maleficent Concept Art
Alan Lee

“In Greek mythology the Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.”


For me I always imagine sirens as hypnotising creatures with white eyes, but some how beautiful. This Is something I wanted to create.
My first approach to this was to get her face the way I wanted, I didn’t want her to look to fishy. As sometimes you can see this in other Siren art. I also wanted to focus more on her in land than her in water as you constantly see siren art in water. Off course there will be some water art in there. I also want to have her body perfect not fake looking. In my sketch book I worked on the body shape and the face. Most peoples faces aren’t symmetrical. I wanted hers to be perfect!

After I worked on her body and face I decided to think of a story line and how to incorporate the concepts I have already done. Sirens are known to be dangerous right? but why does this one have to be? What if the man she lures she actually loves? Or maybe its all lies? These are all questions I have asked myself when working on her.

I then decided to leave the story for a moment and work on a male figure. At first I was going to show him but I thought it would be more interesting and add mystery if he was just a shadow for the time being. I decided to go for the obvious hunky sailor guy.

I then took into account a story line, which would go something like this;

  • Mysterious shadow follows siren into cave
  • Siren hides behind wall of cave
  • Heads back into water
  • Peeps head up
  • Hand reaches in to pull siren out
  • She then emerges from the water
  • Shadow disappears
  • Siren wonders into forest
  • Do they meet again?

One of my character designs was that of a fireflie bug, I decided to incorporate this still into my work as I think it would add nice lighting and a romantic feel to the forest, however to not exactly show the bug as of yet.

I want to develop these bullet points as much as I can over the next few weeks which either means working on past the deadline. As I think it would be nice to have some of these in my portfolio.

FireFly Concept

This is one of my favourite concepts of that I done. I don’t know whether its the darkness of it and the mood but something moves me and for that I think its good. In this concept I worked initially on sketchbook pro then transferred it into photoshop where I played about with grass and leaves brushes. I used layers to create depth in my work and also tried to create the effect of shadows in the grass. I then took the drawing back into sketchbook pro which had a glow brush which I could make the firefly effect. For this I drew inspiration from Guardians of The Galaxy where Groot creates fireflies from his body to light the way. I like the way that they were just golden glows and not detailed bugs but still added the same effect and it made you feel in awe. From here I reimported the drawing back into photoshop and played about with colour, saturation, hue and contrast until I fond one that I thought suited best. I had a tough time choosing between a brownish finish to my drawing or more blue tones.


Water Concept

For the water concepts I struggled a little to create the water look. For me again was about getting depth in the water and creating the feel of water. For me I particularly like the one when she is in the water and you can only see half her head. But again looks very flat. The one she is behind the cave wall  I struggled with as I didn’t want to make it to dark. In this one I think the ground works well as you can see the stones and slight bit of water giving an inkling that she is in a cave near water.

Land Concepts

One of my land concepts actually came from a first hand photo. I decided to take this photograph when I was stuck in my house due to the fog. My drawing does not do the photo justice as I could not replicate that eerie feeling that the photo has. After I showed the landscape drawing to Micheal he pointed out that there was nothing to show the depth of the field. I decided to add the Siren in. Which sort of worked but still looks pretty flat.

This is a forest concept I done, I then imported it to sketchbook motion where I was able to do a simple animation of leaves falling. The next step for this one is to add in the shadow maybe? But I really like it as it is. Especially the cooler toned one, which I just played about in the settings in photoshop until I got it.

Sketchbook (Characters/body types)

My forest characters, which I started out working on where highly influenced by Alan Lee and Chris Rynaik as I started of wanting to work on that kind of mythological forest idea. Even though I have swayed slightly from it. I would Like maybe one day to digitally draw up my we creatures to see how they would fit in the environment. I would also like to draw a finalised concept of the shadow and maybe both of them together.

Body Types:
These references helped me a great deal when it comes to the body type and positioning of my characters.


What I Would Like To Do Better

Overall, I would like to add more practice into my perspective drawing as Micheal made me aware that its not great! I also need to work on adding depth into my digital drawings as sometimes if I am doing a traditional painting for me its easier to create that depth of field. I also wish I had of took progressive shots of my drawing instead of just the finishing project as I would have liked to have more of  these as it would show not only me but you as well the progress and techniques. I know this is one of my downfalls. Digital drawing is not one of my strongest strengths even though I have improved from first year. Thats why I chose this assignment as I could focus more on digital art. I also wish I spent a lot more time on this instead of getting wrapped up in the other projects as I really love to draw.

Artist Inspiration

Below is some of my favourite concept pieces which inspired me.


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