Over the years, many artists have created impressive artwork inspired by the Blizzard universes. During March and April of last year, hundreds of these talented artists also submitted entries for the Diablo III Portrait of a Champion art contest, and a select few were chosen as winners. We wanted to catch-up with one of the contest winners, whose Blizzard fan art has continued to thrill and astound on a regular basis.
"Auriel, Archangel of Hope"
Dmitriy "Tamplier" Prozorov’s body of work includes portraits of characters from the early era of Warcraft's history through to pieces depicting heroes and villians from the worlds of both Starcraft and Diablo. He's produced nearly fourty pieces of Blizzard fan art over the years, and we caught up with him to find out more about he and his art.
Q. How long have you been making art?
Back in the kindergarten I found that drawing is very interesting for me, and later in school, I started to distinguish myself from other pupils in the arts. Most recently in 2010, I felt that I had mastered my digital art skills. My first artwork began to appear at the same time. It all started with copies [of other art]. I could only look at the masterpieces previously and wonder how it was possible to create such pieces. So I had to train a lot before I could start to draw my own art. After that I started to put my artwork on the Internet.
Q. You've created some extremely impressive Blizzard fan art over the years! Which pieces have been the most challenging for you?
I suppose it was my artwork called “Opposition”. I specialize in the portrait drawing in general, but one of my goals here was to come up not only with a character but with the whole scene. I wanted to show the atmosphere and dynamics of this artwork. I also used to work with dark paints, but here I decided to step away of standards and tried to create a bright piece. It took me a lot of effort to achieve the result I wanted to see in the end.
"Opposition" - Check out the Making-of Video on YouTube
Q. Which is your favorite piece?
It’s very hard to say. When I finish the piece, it becomes my favourite one almost every time. (And of course there are some rare exceptions). So that’s how it is right now. The piece that I value the most at the moment is my recent drawing “Maiev Shadowsong”. I consistently improve my skills with each and every single art work I do, so I’m pretty sure that as soon as I finish another drawing, it will become my next favorite.
Q. You were also one of the winners of our Diablo III Portrait of a Champion art contest. What inspired you to create your Barbarian piece and how long did it take you?
Yes… I have a special memories related to this piece. I suppose I’ve never spend so much efforts to create a piece as I did with “Victorious”. I had to start working on that art about a month before the deadline when contestants’ could submit their works. I remember I even had to ask my clients to wait with the completion of their requests. I explained that I’m entering a very important contest and all of them were cheering for me, saying that this kind of things is very important and wishing me good luck.
I couldn’t find the idea of the art for a long time. I’ve tried a lot different ideas and in the end I decided that it would be a barbarian. It took me around two weeks to finish that contest piece, but when I saw other contestants’ drawings and realized how many other great artists have participated in that contest, I had to polish my artwork even more.
Q. How long does it generally take for you to create your art from start to finish?
It depends. Sometimes it could be one hour and sometimes it could be a month! But in general I usually finish the art within a week.
It also depends on how much I love what I want to draw and on my workload. If I remember correctly, the fastest piece was made within 2 hours and the longest one took me around 2 months. The pieces are getting harder each time and consuming more and more time.
Q. What programs do you use to create your art?
From the beginning I always used Adobe Photoshop CS3; I think it’s optimal for me. I also tried some other graphical editors but I didn’t like them. However, some of my pieces were made in SAI – it has its own advantages.
Q. What is your artistic process for a piece?
I have to come up with the idea on what I want to draw first. If that didn’t happen there is an 80% chance that the whole work will fail. Many times I had to forcibly push myself to draw something and nothing good happened in the end. Previously I also had to come up with a concept of the piece by drawing some sketches on the paper before I could start the process.
But now it’s different. I do everything in the program from the beginning and change the idea on-the-go if I don’t like something. Initially I almost never have the final idea in my head and I personally don’t know what result will be there in the end.
But that’s completely another story if I want to make a Making-of Video. Here I need to plan everything ahead, because all the viewers will see each step of the process, they will also try to learn something for themselves. So there shouldn’t be any failures.
Q. We know that a lot of time and love goes into creating epic fan art, so what’s your favorite detail of one of your pieces?
Yeeeees! I really love working closely on small details and reflections! I love to draw metal; it gives me some special pleasure. But working closely on small details is also very time-consuming. I like to play with light and shadows. It’s awesome to see how the whole piece changing, becomes alive and look more 3D after you add some light effects to it.
"Lyndon's Happy Day"
Q. What other artists inspire you?
I was always impressed by Wei Wang! He was and still is one of the most influential artists for me. When I first started to learn the ropes of the graphical art I found his works very inspirational. I also respect the works of Andree Wallin, Daarken, David Rapoza and Cryptcrawler and consistently follow their art. I hope to try to achieve what they have in time, and maybe even become better than they are.
Q. Do you have any other Diablo-themed pieces in the works?
I currently don’t have any. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t start in near future! The inspiration comes unexpected: today I don’t plan anything and tomorrow I can start and finish a piece.
I have plenty of ideas and I certainly will continue to draw more Diablo-themed and other Blizzard related pieces.
Q. What tips and advice do you have for aspiring artists out there, particularly those that are just getting started?
There is a lot of information on the Internet nowadays and using it you could significantly improve your skills. Remember one important thing – it’s your skill that matters. People often ask me “which pen tablet is the best?” or “which Photoshop version is handier and what brushes should I use?”
On the early stages start with simple things and do not try to race for the technologies and fancy things. And when you start to improve your skill you will see for yourself what's better for you.
Believe in yourself and your strength! If you have any friends that are professional designers or artists, try to listen to their advice. Practice, improve your skills and do not pay attention to those who don’t like your pieces.
"Kel'Thuzad" - Check out the Making-of Video on YouTube
You can see more of Tamplier's impressive body of work on his DeviantART gallery. Which are your favorite pieces that he's created? What other Blizzard characters would you love to see him illustrate? Let us know in the comments below!
Are you working on on any Blizzard fan art? We'd love to see it over in our Community Creations forum!