Fantastic interview about the characterizations, something that is sometimes forgotten in fanon because there is a lot of work as to why we are invested in the characters and Shonda’s team delivers.

Special interview with Johannes Helgeson

Pinup Arena:  Please Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you go to school?, What inspired you to become an Artist?

Johannes Helgeson: My name is Johannes, I’m 29 years old, and I was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden. I currently live in Quebec City in Canada and I have also lived in Singapore and Germany. I went to school at the University of Skovde between 2005 and 2008 where I studied computer game graphics, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in media-studies. My classes were mainly focused on 3D-art, and I learned drawing from books (like Glenn Vilppu’s Drawing Manual, and Walt Stanchfield’s Drawn to Life), life-drawing and engaging in the concept-art community online. I’ve always drawn, but I got a lot of inspiration from playing computer- and video-games growing up. The Curse of Monkey Island, Baldur’s Gate 2, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Fallout 2, Super Mario 64, Grim Fandango and Deus Ex were a few of the games which made me want to work in the games industry. In my teens (and into my twenties) I was an avid Pen & Paper RPG player (Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire the Masquerade, Mutant Chronicles, EON and Drakar och Demoner), and loved coming up with characters, acting them out and drawing them. And of course the animated Batman show from 1992, by Bruce Timm and Warner Brothers had a profound impact on me. I also loved action figurines such as Turtles, Transformers, GI Joe, Lego and Power Rangers as a kid. Prior to committing to art at the age of 19 I had dreams of becoming a professional golf- or jazz-guitar-player.

Pinup Arena: Which software do you use? Please describe the process.

Johannes Helgeson: I enjoy drawing in my Moleskine Sketchbook with Derwent Artist pencils (Burnt Carmine), Col-Erase Brown, watercolor and Black ink from my pentel Brush-Pen. I paint in Photoshop exclusively, it’s the software I know and I’ve had no reason to change. I am constantly experimenting with my process, one of my paradigms is to try something new with each painting, it’s a principle. That said, I tend to be very structured. I start with a rough sketch with lines and/or shapes. After that I create selections and color flats using the lasso-tool. Then I work on local temperature and hue variations and start thinking about hue and contrast in regard to my focal-points. Next up I tend to work with adjustment layers, selections, quick-masks and custom brushes to block in each lightsource and its corresponding shadow-shapes. After that I’ll play with sub-surface scattering, speculars, textures, sculpting edges, and smudging to enforce gestural flow. In the end I add special effects, play around with lens-focus and hue-intensity to direct the viewer’s attention. If I’m painting from life, or doing a study, my process is different, and I do a lot of squinting and try to place abstract shapes of color as accurately as I can, it’s akin to a crossword-puzzle.

Pinup Arena: What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

Johannes Helgeson: Characters, definitely. Coming up with stories to tell, or drawing from things I’ve experienced and concentrating that into shapes and expressions is very rewarding. Obviously it’s hard, challenging and frustrating, but there’s a lot of satisfaction when it’s done. I tend to think of my characters as fantasies for the viewer, that’s one of my starting points. Which fantasy is this character fulfilling? Is it about being the guy with a witty come-back reply always at hand, the badass biker power-fantasy, or being someone confident and seductive etc. I try to be honest with what I draw and paint, and talk about things I know something about. I love to entertain, and when people respond to my characters, or connect with them in some way, that’s immensely gratifying. That said, I try to go outside my comfort-zone as much as possible, and as a professional concept artist I’ve had to do everything from vehicles to animals and environments. I enjoy a challenge smile emoticon

Pinup Arena: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Johannes Helgeson: Life, the beautiful and passionate people I meet, working out, participating in online art-challenges, and working towards my 3 main goals in life; To illustrate the cover of Spectrum, Having my name in the credits of an Oscar-Award-Winning movie, and the third is secret wink emoticon. Also watching movies such as The Big Lebowski, Blade Runner, Unforgiven, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Iron Giant and Big Trouble in Little China inspire me a lot! Sadly I had to stop playing computer-games because they take too much time, but I used to be really into Team Fortress 2, Diablo 2, Battlefield 2142, Counter-Strike Source, World of Tanks and Guild Wars. A good story inspires me, and also my sense of self-respec t is closely linked to my self-perceived efforts at improving as an artist. In terms of art I look at Ben Caldwell, Claire Wendling, Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent, Moby Francke, Bruce Timm and Pixar, Blizzard and Disney, to name a few.

Pinup Arena: Please tell us about your past and current projects 

Johannes Helgeson: I’ve worked as a concept artist for seven years for various companies. In my first job I was one of the co-founders, and learned a lot from more senior industry professionals who shaped my attitude and mentality a lot. The project was immensely ambitious and ultimately didn’t reach our goals. After that I worked for Gameloft in Singapore on multiple mobile-games. Following up on that I had a stint as a freelancer and got to work briefly on some really cool games for Trendy Entertainment and Kabam! I’ve been very fortunate that people in the business know of me, and have taken chances with trusting me with really cool assignments. I then worked In Germany for a very big mobile-game studio, which I ultimately was not a good fit for. Currently I’m working for Activision/Beenox in Canada on various AAA-Games. In addition to that I am doing a lot of personal art-work, trying to improve as an artist and entertain whoever likes to watch what I do.
Thank you for having me! Cheers, and warm hugs and high-fives to all readers and viewers! :)

Pinup Arena: Thank you for this interview :)

Johannes Helgeson on ArtStation

Johannes Helgeson on Tumblr

Johannes Helgeson ON Pinup Arena

Scandal Season 4 on DVD - August 11

Bonus Features:

  • 2 EXTENDED EPISODES - An extended version of the season finale episode, “You Can’t Take Command,” and “No More Blood.”
  • THE FIXER - Kerry Washington portrays Olivia Pope, founder of Olivia Pope & Associates, and a longtime friend of the Grant Presidency and the White House. In her role Kerry portrays a woman who is both fierce and vulnerable. In this piece we spend the day with Kerry on and off set and see what it takes to wear the White Hat.
  • OUTTAKES - Some things cannot be “fixed.”
Watch on

“Scandal” Star Darby Stanchfield

“Scandal” star Darby Stanchfield tells us how she went from a small town in Alaska to starring on one of TV’s biggest shows.


The Ellen Show - The Scandal Cast Reveal Their Secrets (Extended Version) [x]

show-blizzart asked:

Hi Betsybauer! just wanna say i totally love your works ♡ how do you practice your in-motion-figures? (idk what its called) seemed very authentic

Thank you!! I think what you mean is getting a strong line of action into a character. Drawing from life to really understand weight and balance helps with this a lot! Here are a couple of great resources:
(And volume 2…)

Hope this helps!!

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