Portfolio (May 2007)
Issue: Volume: 30 Issue: 5 (May 2007)

Portfolio (May 2007)

  Afternoon Light One of the artist’s favorites in his series “Fantastic Landscapes,”
  the piece applies many of the classmatte-painting techniques used by film artists
   today The image was created using Maya, Photoshop, and Corel Painter.
 Faceplates The image has been included in various art publications and recently
 was purchased by Electronic Arts for its permanent corporate collection.
 The work was crafted in oil, acrylic, graphite, and Photoshop. Monolith This painting,
 created for an upcoming book project and a class the artist teaches, was crafted with Corel Painter and Photoshop.

A professional digital artist for more than a decade, Phil Straub received his early training as a traditional oil and acrylic painter, also working in pastels, watercolors, and graphite, before turning to computer software. “My first job was working for the well-known children’s book author Mercer Mayer. At the time I joined the studio, he was producing his books using Photoshop and Illustrator from scanned-in line work,” he recalls. “I slowly began incorporating [those methods] into my own work, trying different techniques and applications. Now I work almost exclusively digitally—there’s so much freedom.”

Today, Straub is a concept art director at Electronic Arts, overseeing concept development across the studio. And, the flexibility the digital tools offer is ideal for illustration, concept art, and production art. In his spare time, Straub creates a wide range of art, which crosses genres—from merchandising, to wall murals, to clothing designs—yet his true love is working in the realm of fantasy and science fiction. To create his works, Straub primarily uses Corel’s Painter, Adobe’s Photoshop, and Autodesk’s Maya.

“The most challenging aspect of creating digital art is the unlimited possibilities the software allows an artist. This can be a blessing and a curse; it’s impossible to know when an image is truly done, since you can continue to revise it to no end,” the artist says. Occasionally, though, Straub returns to traditional media, but not as often as he would like. “I do miss the smell of my oil paints,” he adds. In addition to digital illustration, Straub also produces art for games, wall murals, scrapbooks, stationery, and textiles. His work will be appearing at the upcoming Surtex show at New York City ’s Jacob Javitz center in late May. For more information about Straub and his work, visit his Web site at http://www.philipstraub.com//Concepts.htm.   —Karen Moltenbrey

 Reckoning Day Straub created this painting for a digital art magazine using a mix of 2D software,  including
Corel Painter, and 3D software. Where Fears Roam Another favorite of collectors of the artist’s work,
“Where Fears Roam” illustrates a location depicting another human emotion—fear.
“The juried shows have been good to me with this one, appearing in Expose’ 3 and Spectrum 12,
and winning the Silver award in the 44th Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles annual illustration
competition,” notes Straub. He used Maya, Corel Painter, and Photoshop for the piece’s creation.