Nathan Shively-Sanders

Majula Approach

December 2023

The sun sets over the sea, behind an obilisk on a darkened promontory. A player character in classic Dark Souls stance is on the path above: one foot and hand forward, the other two backward. At the edge of a path is a wonky wooden fence abutted by sparse, tall grasses.

Dark Souls 2 in the exception that proves the rule (as in many other things). The scene is so striking and strange that the incorrect shadows don’t hurt it very much.

Landscapes take me so long that I feel like my style is all over the place by the time they’re done.

Parapsychology

September 2023

A blocky desk with harsh light from straight above. Most of the desk appears made of concrete, but the work surface is wood. A 1990-era computer has a screen filled with foreboding red.

Before I started painting, I thought I was going to paint my favourite video game scenes, but normal game lighting is so bad that I felt like I was teaching myself bad habits. Ray-traced global illumination changes that, and Control is one of the few that I’ve played with that tech. It’s also full of striking scenes, although I had trouble finding one simple enough to paint.

Waachtwoordboek

August 2023

A yellow-brown book with sun falling to the side.

This is a quick study of shadow, perspective and colour. Mostly colour. The logo on the front is pretty half-hearted. I figured if AI can skimp on text accuracy, I can too.

5 Pounds

July 2023

A blue dumbbell on a grey background

This is a quick study of shadow.

MSR

July 2023

A red fuel can sitting on a grey table with smeary green trees in the background and a yellow background under the table.

I had a little time while camping and wanted to practise drawing from life, not from a picture. And I wanted to focus on a single object while still making a decent background. The simple shape of the bottle worked well, but I was no good at choosing colours–and I didn’t use enough layers to easily change the choice afterward.

AI_Models

June 2023

Two models: the left woman is wearing a dress and the right woman is wearing a pantsuit.

I thought it would be funny to use an AI-generated picture of models as a reference to practise drawing faces. Joke’s on me: I think the faces are OK, but the rest of the picture had weird quirks that are probably the AI messing up.

Winchester Peak Hike

May 2023

A hiker heads down a steep path past a stunted evergreen. Clouds are drifting together over summertime peaks still draped with snow.

My first landscape. I bit off more than I could chew and put it down for a while, so it’s pretty inconsistent. But I learned a lot!