FMP – Nick Keller

Nick Keller currently works as a senior concept artist at Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand. Since 2006, He has worked on a number of film projects including ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, ‘Under the Mountain’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Indiana Jones 4’, and most recently ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy. He spends his days at Weta working digitally in Photoshop and in his spare time enjoys painting with traditional media, creating fantastical and surreal imagery, mainly in oils. Such projects include collaborations with a variety of bands illustrating album artwork. Nick has contributed to Volumes I and II of ‘White Cloud Worlds’, a collection of science fiction and fantasy artwork from New Zealand. His recent film work can also be seen in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Chronicles: Art and Design’ and ‘Chronicles: Creatures & Characters.’

I didn’t know who Nick Keller was until I did some research on concept art for my dissertation and ever since then, I am glad I came across this guy’s artwork. I have always loved ‘The Lord of the rings’ trilogy as well as ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy and seeing that he did some very impressive concept art for The Hobbit, he has now become one of my favourite artists.

Here is some of his work:

Although he mainly did character concept art for The Hobbit movies, he still gives me some sort of inspiration for this project I am doing. I like that his concept art designs are not picture perfect and I know this because, in most of his art, you see that he doesn’t mind the slight colour of the clothes overlapping the background so you can see that it was created by brush strokes. This gives the artwork a traditional painting look but it doesn’t really matter for Nick Keller because he is an artist who very much likes to go back to the traditional ways of doing art by using paintbrushes and oils.

Looking at his other work is just as good as his character concept art for The Hobbit. His album art is just brilliant.

This is the type of stuff that I will hopefully go towards for my concept art designs for an undiscovered planet’s landscape and the reason for this is because of the scale of the unknown and the perfect composition of how to portray how big something is and to plant different feelings and emotions within the design. From looking at these selected few album art, i am getting a frighening and scary vibe from them. I also like how Nick never uses the same colour scheme for each of the designs, they are all different and unique to one and another while carrying the same concept idea along with them all which is for them to be dark and mysterious.


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