As a bit of pre-production for our biome project we were asked to pick a hi-res image from a real world location and an image from our favorite landscape painter.
This scene evokes foreboding mainly due to the dramatic contrasting lighting. The dark clouds on the left are just beginning to block out the sunlight, suggesting danger ahead. The barren trees and dry mountainous terrain imply an inhospitable unforgiving landscape. I find a great amount of inspiration in this image as it conveys such a powerful sense of emotion and is almost storytelling as suggests the beginning of a perilous journey through the mountains
Theo Prins is my favorite environmental concept artist of all time. He uses mostly pastel color schemes, yet manages to create a sense of danger and unease in his environments through his use of shape and composition. The juxtaposition of these two elements is refreshing and unexpected. He worked on one of my favorite games, Guild Wars 2. The environments he concepted translated very well to the 3D world of Tyria, and Southsun Cove, is still my number one favorite in-game zone.
Here's how Theo's concepts translated in-game: