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Concept Art, Illustrations & Matte Paintings

Concept Art, Illustrations & Matte Paintings

Seow Yong Khin
by yongkhin on 29 Mar 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

These are mostly my assignments I did when I was in college. It consists of different styles from realistic to stylized.

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A group project me and my teammates did in college. Our group name was (fabulous art). This project is a fantasy movie in medieval timeline. it's about Vulcan who goes through obstacles and risk everything to get an antidote save his son who was cursed by an evil creature, Antheia.

Character design


Vulcan is the protagonist and has the chosen birthmark a powerful Angeliter (a person who is gifted with powers from the Angelite, the goddess of peace, to flee power of Xamethyst, the god of chaos, from possessed people or animals). However, after the tragedy for his wife’s death, he blamed Angelite, gave up his role of helping people, retired as a farmer and lives near a cornfield with his son Luther. When his son got cursed by Antheia, the antagonist, Vulcan have no choice but to go back to his roots going back to being an Angeliter to go through obstacles to save his son's life. Underneath is his farmer attire and he geared up with his old shoulder blade and other armor parts, weapons and equipment.

Early exploration sketches

Character design


Antheia was from the Eora tribe who lives in the Bloodstone Forest. She was good until she mistaken that Vulcan, the protagonist, and his friend killed her father on purpose. She is filled with hatred towards humans and was consumed by the power of Xamethyst, the god of choas. She turned evil and gain dark powers which allows her to possess or curse people through her finger. The whole forest was effected by dark powers and she planed to kill Vulcan's family for revenge.

After she turned evil, her skin turned from brown to monotone and has the red, glowing cursed X symbol of Xamethyst on her forehead along with glowing eyes from the evil power within. Everything about her now looks dry and dead.

Early exploration sketches

Creature design


Asudria is a legendary demon in the realm of Xamethyst, the god of chaos. In the final battle, Antheia (Antagonist) transforms into an Asudria to kill Vulcan (Protagonist). This fire breathing beast is covered with volcanic rocks with flames underneath.

Weapon design


A powerful weapon that belongs to Angelite, the goddess of peace that protects the world of Doflomia. Its a crystal ball on the inside of the weapon and it can unleash beams through the golden rings which can rotate so it can shoot at any direction. She use it to attack Xamethyst, the god of chaos, who manage to damage the weapon leaving a crack on it..

Early exploration sketch

Environment design


A giant tree called Clen located in the Bloodstone Forest and it’s 400 feet tall. It’s an entrance that leads to the Eora tribe’s underground home. After Anthiea , the antagonist, turns evil, her dark energy spreads all over the forest leaving the trees dead and the forest a barren wasteland. ⠀⠀⠀

Matte painting


I start by coming up with composition thumbnails of Clen.

I chose the 2nd one, changed the mood, and proceed to final.


Key art
Deadly Swamp Of Bloodstone Forest

This is a scene when Vulcan was on the journey to find the antidote to save his son’s life but in the Bloodstone Forest, he was attacked by evil trees and being dragged by vines into the swamp thus suffocating him. He needs to find a way to break free. ⠀

I start by writing down what's happening in the scene and highlight some key words. Later, I search for reference and sketched out some composition thumbnails.

After choosing and developing a composition that I like, I do some color thumnails. Here are some notes by my lecturer.

Process view

Key art 2
The Fall Of Antheia

A scene where Antheia (antagonist) transformed into an Asudria, a legendary beast. Vulcan (protagonist), who was too weak to defeat her, uses a broken piece of Orrium that he found and threw it into the beast's mouth. The power of Angelite (goddess of peace) in the crystal destroyed the dark power of Xamethyst (god of chaos) that were consuming Antheia.

I start by writing down what's happening in the scene and highlight some key words. Later, I search for reference and sketched out some composition thumbnails.⠀

As you can see, the beast was a dragon. But we change the dragon into a giant hyena looking beast in the middle of the project because it suits the story a lot better and not too generic. Without any wings, the composition that I developed earlier will be too empty. So I decided to develop just one new composition sketch due to deadline.

The old compositions where horizontal to show its giant wings and make Vulcan feel surrounded. But the new composition became vertical because I want to show the new beast jumping high towards Vulcan, ready to kill him. It has some negative space for me to show its silhouette and the focus point was clear.

For the color thumbnails, I went with 1 as the dangerous mood is stronger.


Poster design

Vulcan is an Angeliter who risked his life to save his son who was cursed by the evil Antheia. Using his powers, Vulcan must go through dangerous obstacles to get the antidote. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

As usual, I start by writing down what's happening in the scene and highlight some key words. Later, I search for reference and sketched out some composition thumbnails.⠀

For the chosen design, it shows that Antheia, the background silhouette, was consumed by the power of Xamethyst, the god of chaos, and became evil. Vulcan is seen enchanting his blade of glory with his powers trying to defend himself in the Bloodstone Forest.

After choosing and developing a composition that I like, I do some color thumnails.



A story about a girl Ayiana who wants to prove that girls should be allowed to hunt which is known as a job for boys only.

Character design


Ayiana is the youngest of her siblings who wants to prove her worth. Some sketches looked to much like models than fighters. I went with the last design.

Early exploration sketches

Final outcome

Weapon design

Ayiana's bow

This is a bow that Ayiana made and uses it secretly because she weren't allow to. She wishes to use it freely one day. For the sketches, some looked to simple. So I add more layers and different materials to make it look more cool and believable. It has some accessories that shows Ayiana's personality.

Early exploration sketches

Final outcome

Architecture design

Aiyana's hut

Aiyana lives with her sister in a hut and they were in charge of cooking, making baskets and making clothes from animal skin.

Early exploration sketches

Final outcome

Grey Riding Hood

A remake of red riding hood. Winona (main character) and her rare fennec fox companion Koda was visiting her grandmother and have to fight against the Gevaudan, a legendary beast. 

I started with some sketches with different shape language. Square, triangle and circle.

Early exploration sketches 




I rendered greyscale for my designs. The goal is to make it as 3D looking as possible. Once I have my grey scale rendering, I try some color combinations using overlay mode on a new layer on top of the grey scale layer.

For Winona, she was supposed to have red coat since she's red riding hood. But Grey would fit the design more so I decided to change the title from Red Riding Hood to Grey Riding Hood.

After I chose the color combinations that I like, I proceed to render it to final. 

Color combination exploration

Final outcome

Key art

This is a key art where Winona and Koda we’re trapped and was trying to escape from Gevaudan, a legendary beast, on their way to visit her grandmother.

Process view

Final outcome

Another Walking Dead

'A group of survivals has to fight against the dictator in a zombie wasteland.'

In the year of 2099, a virus outbreak had spread around the world, transforming the infected human host into a cannibalistic monster which eventually wide out most of the population of human race. The survivals can only live in a quarantine fortress. Years passed. The survivals had built up the largest, safest quarantine fortress in the country, know as Olympus. Refugees would travel across the zombie wasteland to enter the sanctuary, only realize it is a place ruled by a cruel dictator.

Character and zombie design

It was my first time drawing apocalypse theme and I enjoyed it. It's all about thinking outside the box and uses broken old objects as multi purpose to survive. 

Zombie turnaround

The challenging thing that I spent most time working on it was the position of the weapons on him and his torn cloth in different angles.

Key moment thumbnails 

I sketched some thumbnails of the humans either hiding, defending themselves or escaping from the zombies attack in different locations.

I went with warehouse because it's the most interesting one to think of fun ways for the characters to defend themselves and escape using the equipment in the warehouse. In the shot, Eric's driving a forklift to escape and crash zombies at the same time while Helena's using her weapon to get zombie off the vehicle.

Among these works, I enjoyed the key moment the most. It's an epic shot with movements and you can see that each characters' action and reaction. I liked that it guilds people's eyes slowly to see what's going on this shot.

Final outcome

Legend Of The Nightmare Beast

This is for children storybook and the story is about the Nightmare Beast who escaped and found its way to children's dreams. The dream pixies are creatures in the dream realm that makes children happy when they visit. There are pixies of land, plants, underwater and more and they now have to keep a child Theo Lewis away from the beast.

All these illustrations are painted in watercolor, scanned and adjusted digitally in terms of contrast level.

I started by making mind map. My original idea was to do a horror story with super creepy or disturbing creatures and props and it was suppose to be rendered digitally. Its was about two kids from the orphanage home and the people in there wants to get rid of these kids so they throw them into different realm for the creatures of darkness to do whatever they want with him and these two kids will be running and trying to find a way out of this place.

But later I wanted add cute elements to it and I love children's illustrations. So I changed the story. Its like I change it from a movie like Coraline (a dark fantasy horror) to Rise Of The Guardians (fantasy) but still keeping some horror elements.

Character design
Theo Lewis

Theo is a happy kid and he is the Nightmare Beast target. He's an animal lover, creative and active kid which is shown in his clothes and his pencil shaped skateboard.

Early exploration sketches

I explored different cartoon styles

Process view

Creature designs

I sketched some creature designs with some nature elements to it like plants or corals. They belong to certain places in the dream realm. For example, a flower pixies will live in a place full of plants and will play with kids when they reach them. I chose some of the good designs and rendered it to final.


Twinkie is Theo's best friend and he is a land pixie similar to land animals who lives in trees like squirrels or monkey.


Arideer is a plant pixie and she controls nature and keep plants healthy. She can grow plants, make flowers dance and creates music by controlling the wind.


Watercolus is a pixie from underwater. He controls water, creates bubble on kids' head as a diving helmet and bring them to see the underwater world.

Nightmare Beast and its minions

I want the beast to be scary with interesting form. I tried to make it a human ghost but it wasn't interesting enough. Later I had an idea of a giant spider who swallows kids and trap them in its see through body. I find this idea interesting so I chose it.

I like my drawing of creepy and weird eyes with webs or sticky black liquid (bottom right). It was inspired by Venom and I remembered that wanted to draw eyes without thinking of what the subject is. I just draw what I feel like drawing. I liked the feeling of the sketch and I added this elements into my beast designs. The beast has a little minion that has eyes all around like the beast.


One of many minions of the Nightmare Beast. They help the beast to surround the kids to capture them. They are also silly and clumsy.

Nightmare Beast

The Nightmare Beast is greedy and it spreads fear in the realm slowly. It was created by fear and it turns a dream into a nightmare. It grows stronger every time when a kid feels scared.

Broken Machine

A steampunk illustration of a light bulb machine that exploded.

I started by sketching out the composition in my sketchbook and then plan the lighting digitally. Then I process to rendering.

Candy Blast

A parody matte painting of Candy Crush inspired by Sugar Rush from the movie 'Wreck-It Ralph'. I decided to try something fun and surreal. Candy, lollipop, chocolate, ice cream and other sweet treats attracts people with sweet tooth and using creative ways to design a world using these food is super fun especially when you imagine yourself in it.

I want to make it a puzzle game to make it more interesting like Candy Crush. Because of copyright reason, I changed the game name into Candy Blast. So now its like a parody.

I start by doing some compositions sketches.

After choosing the composition that I like most, which is the 1st one, I develop it to final rendering. The whole painting process is not hard so I guess the challenging part is to resist eating while looking at many delicious references. 

The Lost Globe

A matte painting of the lost mysterious globe hidden in a destroyed and abandoned ancient library. It was inspired my the art book of The Last Of Us. I planed the lighting to shine on the globe to make it the focus point.

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