Interview: Jill Goritschnig

Hi everyone!

Today we start with our very first Weekly CG Challenge winner interview. We think this can be a great addition to the actual challenge, that the winners share some of their knowledge with us. This time Jill Goritschnig (first place winner of challenge 100) from Salzburg, Austria, will answer some questions and give us a look behind the scenes of her winning entry.

Jill Goritschnig
Student University of Applied Sciences in MultiMediaArt

Follow her:

Winning entry of Weekly CG Challenge 100 “Movie Poster” by Jill Goritschnig


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

My name is Jill Goritschnig and I come from a small village near Salzburg in Austria. At the moment I am in my Master studies at University of Applied Sciences in the department MultiMediaArt. About two years ago I really started to get into 2D animation. That was why I made a 2D animated short film as my final project for my Bachelorstudies. I have never done animation before and I also haven’t drawn much in the last years. It was also the first time for me to really draw with my Wacom bamboo tablet, since I bought it years ago. From this moment on I really enjoyed digital drawing.

2. Where did you find the inspiration for your latest entry?

As a child I spent most of my time outside playing in the forest. I always wanted to draw a detailed forest, but wasn’t able to find the time. So I used the WeeklyCGChallenge as an opportunity. Now I am planning on making an animated short film about it.

3. What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image?

I did everything in Photoshop and on my Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

4. Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

I like to use Photoshop brushes to get some texture in my digital paintings.

5. Can you give us a short breakdown of your entry?

At first, I always do a lot of research. For this entry I looked at hundreds of illustrations and photos of forests, to get an idea how I want my final painting to look like. I did the same to find out how the girl should look like. Painting characters is still very hard for me, so I took a picture of a girl and used it as a reference to create a sketch oft the girl (Fig. 1).

Fig. 2 – Sketch of the forrest

Fig. 1 – Reference to final character design

The sketch of the forest I did directly in Photoshop (Fig. 2). After that, I start to decide which colors I want to use. For me that is the step which takes the longest, because I find it really important, that the colors reflect the mood of the scene. To choose the right colors I also look through hundreds of photos and paintings. For the coloring process I often use the path tool to get smooth curves. After coloring the main shapes I create the shadows and details with rough brushes (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 – Colorized plants

6. Any advice for people who want to learn 2d or 3d art?

Lots of people say they don’t have the talent to draw. Personally I don’t believe in talent. Of course some people find it easier to draw but I believe that this is only because they are good at observing. Learning to draw equals learning to understand how things really look like. Everyone knows how a horse looks like, but when it comes to drawing you really have to observe horses or images of horses first, otherwise you won’t be able to create proper drawings. For me it is also very hard to draw things for the first time. That is why I always do a lot of research before I start drawing.

7. Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

That is a tough question, but right now my favorite artists are Rafael Mayani and Sa Lu. Rafael is an illustrator based in Canada and at the moment he is working as Art Director at Giant Ant, which is well known for their beautifully designed and animated work. I am really fascinated by Rafael Mayani’s paintings, because he always uses beautiful colors and shapes. Although his illustrations have often lots of details they have a graphic and flat look.
Sa Lu is an illustrator who is a studying in San Francisco at the moment. What I like most about her work are the imaginative characters she creates and that she integrates nature in nearly every of her drawings. She paints analog as well as digital, but I prefer here analog illustrations where she mainly uses Guache and colored pencils.

Thanks for the interview Jill!