[2019-08-02] Header

Creative Spotlight #5 - keyholestyle

02/08/2019 12:00 PM

The Rainbow Six Community has a lot of outstandingly creative people that continue to amaze us with beautiful, funny and creative contributions. In this series, we want to highlight some of them.

We continue our series with the amazingly talented, keyholestyle

Hello keyholestyle! Thank you for taking the time and answering a few questions for us!

Please introduce yourself and tell us: who are you outside of Rainbow Six Siege?

keyholestyle: My name is Gracjan but people interested in my art may know me as keyholestyle. Some of the folks from Poland may also recognize me by keyholestyle, because for like the past year or two, I have been helping my younger brother with his YouTube channel, JAYSIEBIBI, where I make tutorials that cover many mechanics of Rainbow Six Siege. Outside of Rainbow, my main goal is to get into the game industry as an artist. I love games as they have always inspired me the most. Music is also very important to me. I also really enjoy FORMULA 1 races lately. Started watching them at the start of the 2019 season and I'm having a lot of fun with them. GO RED BULL TEAM!


What drew you to start creating art based around Rainbow Six Siege?

keyholestyle: One day I was sitting in my room on my PC and I was like – huh, I don't have any cool Siege wallpapers and I would like to have one with Castle (because I main him). Therefore, I decided to make one. While making that piece I came up with the idea for a Bandit wallpaper because I also really liked him and so the next day I decided to paint him. Then I began having all kinds of ideas and people on reddit really seemed to enjoy them, which motivated me to do more and more. Eventually, my fanart even began to hit the front page of the Rainbow Six subreddit, and I eventually became so motivated that I was trying to create a new Siege piece every 24 hours or so. With every piece, I always tried implementing and learning different techniques and tools. I taught myself how to have confidence in my paintings and the different techniques I still use today. I love Siege, so every time I don't know what to paint or want to learn something new, I do something from Siege, because it's always fun.

You have some very unique pieces. When you are looking to create a new art piece, what do you normally do to gather ideas?

keyholestyle: I'm usually thinking about an operator that I'm going to paint and try to think about their full background, not just if he/she would wear this and that. My Gridlock piece is a good example as I think about how she’s a mechanic, which gave me the thought to paint her as an oil leak. Then I painted a garage floor with some tools around, and spider webs in the corners for the background of the piece. Of course, I could have just done a normal portrait of her but that’s not as fun or creative to me. Lately, I have really enjoyed painting the operators as random objects on the floor, or as graffiti on the wall. I think the biggest inspirations to me are the effects of special abilities. If the operator’s ability makes sparks, sound waves, glitches on screen, smoke trail, or anything cool like this, then I'm probably going to use it.


Do you have a favorite art piece that sticks out to you?

keyholestyle: That would probably be my Vigil piece. I had to make a special brush to paint him so that it looks like pixels. Most artists use the same sets of brushes, but I wanted to try to make a brush that looked like just one pixel and Paint a portrait of him. However, when I made and used the brush, it looked like a normal low quality black line. To fix this, I actually made and put 4 small square brushes of different grey colors together—two on top and two on bottom—and made the brush like that. By using the four squares in different tones, I was able to create one bigger square that looked like a pixel. I could have just painted him normally using basic round brushes and then add the pixel effect from presets on top, but that just wouldn’t have been as fun to me.

What is the most unique experience you have had while creating art for the Rainbow Six: Siege community?

keyholestyle: My most unique experience was when I created original fan arts of Polish operators long before we even knew that Siege was going to feature Polish ops. The two ops I created were Kafel and Plama. I wanted to test myself to see if I really like creating things like this, and it's also a great way to learn a lot of new and different techniques in a short amount of time. I was also doing icons, logos, skins, various map concepts, and the designs of new operators and their special abilities. I had to use different programs and tools to read up on some history of my country, or at least about the Special Forces in my country. It was a pretty cool experience being able to create and theorize based on the things I was reading and learning. When Polish Ops were revealed to be coming to Siege, it was awesome getting to see some of the ideas I put into my creations, based on the research I had done, make it to the actual game. I also really like those projects because I can see how this game has changed over the years. One of the concept maps I created, for example, had huge windows everywhere. I added them because back then spawn peeking and spawn killing was not that popular yet. I then saw people making YouTube videos about my projects and talking about them for more than 10 minutes—some even thought my projects were real and not fan made, which was a pretty cool feeling because I knew people were enjoying my work!


What is your process when creating fan art from conception to the finished product?

keyholestyle: I usually try to visualize the full image with all its colors and effects in my head before I even begin doing anything so that I know what kind of reference photos I’ll have to find. Sometimes I will make a couple sketches so I can experiment with one idea while hopefully sparking some new ideas. Later, I will pick which idea I like the most so I can start working towards that. To gather references, I take screenshots of the operator’s uniforms, headgears, textures, and weapons. For my Mozzie piece, which was inspired by Akira, I used the files and images prepared for cosplayers, and thanks to those files, I had many high detail references of Mozzie’s uniform and helmet that I ended up using. When I know how the image is going to look in the end, I know which tools I should use. For example, if I need some type of building in my piece, I will create some quick 3D models that will be useful to get a reference of perspective. If I know that I'm going to paint some trees and mountains then I'll use different brush set that will help me paint those things much quicker while still having great detail. I don't have just one way to create something. Usually with every piece, I'm trying to experiment with new and different techniques to discover the best way to do certain things. When I think that my new piece is finished, I give myself a couple hours or a day to come back later so I can look at it with a fresh eyes to see if it needs any fixes or changes. Then I will spend a few extra hours fixing things I originally thought were fine. Finally, I always try to remember one rule that I learned from the great artist, Marek Okon, where he states that the first version of your piece is most likely something you saw somewhere before, so don't stop at your first version because it's probably a copy of something.

Who is your favorite Siege operator, and who is your favorite operator to draw? (If separate)

keyholestyle: My favorite operator is definitely Thermite! I have been playing Siege since the closed beta. Back then, I was playing ranked a lot, and once I reached the Platinum rank, I realized games were becoming difficult. I then realized I was losing a lot of attacking rounds due to a lack of hard breachers. I decided it would be a good idea to start playing Thermite since he also has claymores. Since then, he has my highest K/D of any attacker and I have a pretty high win ratio with him. I also have made Platinum every season since Grim Sky since I started making him one of my mains. Thermite is also one of the only operators I can play with a silencer on his primary and still win many gun battles. Thermite is just really close to my heart and I would recommend using him to every player that solo queues. It feels really good to be able to help yourself, but also help your team push and win rounds. Thermite is also the operator that I have the most ideas of how to paint him in different scenarios.


Who are your artistic role models/inspirations?

keyholestyle: I wouldn't have started digital painting without Patrick Brown! He inspires me every day and was my role model for a couple years. Thanks to him, I fell in love with drawing and digital painting and I owe him a lot. Later I discovered Dan Luvisi and Dave Rapoza. Danny was a huge inspiration and role model to me for another couple of years. In that time, I changed my whole style from cartoonish to a more realistic style. Whereas before, I thought it wouldn’t be possible to entirely change my artistic style like this. Recently, I have discovered Dennis Chan, and thanks to him, I learned that I really enjoy doing concept arts of interiors where earlier I thought it was a bit boring. Anthony Macbain has also always had a huge impact on me. Then there are also artists like John Sweeney, Eytan Zana or Grzegorz Rutkowski, Jaimie Jones, Marek Okon, Arman Akopian, Konstantin Maystrenko, Houston Sharp, Sam Spratt and many more. That was probably the hardest question to answer as it's really hard to pick just a couple people that have inspired me over the years.


Thank you so much for answering our questions, keyholestyle! Please check them out using the links below to see more of their artwork and projects, and give them a follow:

Twitter - Instagram - reddit

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