FanArt Brawls are a fan held competition by Anton Zemskov, an artists who makes official Hearthstone art.
The 15th art brawl - Hot Azeroth's Summer - ran from June 6th to August 17th and results were announced on August 24th. We bring you the showcase of Legendary Winners and Epic Contributions, as well as a little interview with each winner.
The theme was to "Draw a chilling character from Azeroth (not fighting or training)". Let's see how the artists fared, shall we?
You can check all the submissions on the Brawl's social media where you can also find works from previous competitions!
Interview with the Winners
We got in touch with the five winners and asked them a little bit about the competition, why they picked the characters they did and their design process in general. Read what each had to say below.
Doraig Art - Riding That Win-Streak!
Sinti: I know you said last time that it was your first time entering one of these, and you have been among the winners right away, now you continue the streak. Deservedly so. Can you tell us a bit about the art for this comp and maybe how was the second competition different from the first for you?
Nikita: This time I wanted to make a picture that would include familiar objects from the World of Warcraft, in an unexpected way. This is how the idea of surfing an elemental came about. I decided that it would be cool if the summer atmosphere affects not only the heroes of the game, but also the simple monsters that we are used to seeing only as a target.
This competition was different for me in that I was required to show the quality of art that was not inferior to the previous one. In doing so, I wanted to demonstrate an interesting dynamic composition and a fresh idea. I was required to collect all this into one art.
I will try to participate in the next competition and will try to pleasantly surprise you again!
Anton Shakov - Fishing for Better Tomorrows!
Sinti: I noticed that you made only one piece of art this time around, was that because of not enough time, or were you just really happy with your first design?
Anton: This time there was a lot of work, so I decided to limit myself to one illustration :) In general I am satisfied with this result, but you can always do better.
Sinti: I like that you are perfectionist at heart, always trying to do better even though you are already quite good! Where did you draw the inspiration for your art? It kinda reminds me of Megafin, but maybe in his younger years, where he wasn't so angry :)
Anton: When you look at a lot of other artists, there is always a desire to do the same cool stuff, and sometimes the spirit of rivalry wants you to surpass them :) It's always easier for me to draw when there is a task and clear goals, this is why FanArt Brawl is one of my favourite options for developing and practicing my skills. Perhaps in the summer, Megafin isn't so angry, because he has a fish :)
Sinti: What is that yummy drink that is in the bottom right of the picture, some herbal tea to sip from while waiting for fish to hook?:) And what about the lure? It looks like those fireflies flying around.
Anton: Well, since the summer was hot, the murloc needs a fresh drink, a mixture of herbs and fruits (or whatever other plants he can find). Yes, I thought it was worth using what fish usually eat, and float similar to the firefly was the right decision.
Sinti: Smart, I like that. Have you been approached by Blizzard yet? Your quality of Hearthstone style art is quite high and could easily be put on cards right away as far as I'm concerned.
Anton: Unfortunately not, but this is an extra incentive to try further and be more confident in my skills, of course I want to try work with them, but this isn't the only reason why I draw :) Everything has its time.
Stefano Gil - Happy Is the Way!
Sinti: Can you tell us what made you decide to draw this particular character? Not a typical "summer time" depiction with chilling at a beach or sun, being outside and stuff.
Stefano: Happy characters in funny scenes is one of the top things I like to draw in my free time, so the theme "Azeroth in Summer'' brought me some great ideas and a great opportunity to put that in practice. The first thing that came into me was a character enjoying a huge pool, beach or something like that (which is also a good idea), but for this challenge I decided to represent what would be a few guys enjoying a night time program, sort of a bar show or something like that. This was also a great excuse to play with some different light sources which I'm not used to, hard but great times doing it!
Sinti: How did you enjoy the competition, being able to come at the top compared to the last time as a runner up?
Stefano: The competition was awesome, I love these kinds of challenges, they really inspire the artists to put their hearts into the piece and bring something new. I can’t wait to join future brawls!
Sinti: Also, I think your art style is quite unique, but at the same time you and your brother [Diego Gil] seem to have a very similar one.
Stefano: Me and my brother had studied art together but I believe that what makes our artworks “similar” in a way or another is because we have similar tastes and references, Mike Azevedo, Anzka Nguyen and Will Murai are all great artists that inspire us both! I had my brother's help and the opposite is also true, specially feedback in the end of the piece, when we're kinda "addicted" and can't really see how to keep it up.
Diego Gil - Colors, Colors Everywhere!
Sinti: I like when artists don't shrug off the background but instead use it to further the story happening in the picture and you did just that. Great stuff! How did you enjoy the Brawl?
Diego: Thanks a lot for your words! I am really happy that you liked it! I had a lot of fun doing this piece, and I tried to dedicate more time to the whole scene, so I am really happy that you enjoyed it! This is the first time I participated in the Brawl, I had a lot of fun doing that, getting surrounded by many people that like it same as you do is amazing. People are very helpful and it creates a nice and friendly environment.
Sinti: Your brother [Stefano Gil] is also among the winners, that is pretty cool! Do you work together on some artworks or are you each doing your own thing?
Diego: Me and Stefano studied together and we keep giving each other feedback, which is really good for us to keep improving, specially because we have similar references and goals. But we actually never worked on a single piece together, we prefer much more to develop new pieces individually.
Sinti: What made you decide to draw a painter? Was it just something that came to mind at the time or maybe inspired by something in particular? You said that you specifically spent more time on the whole scene, is this something you made sure you did this time around?
Diego: For this brawl, I decided to do a painter because I really wanted to give my pieces more color, which I think that was missing a bit in the last ones, and what is better than a painter to show colors right? Hehehe. I really want to bring this to my next pieces, I still think that I have to improve more the way I plan my illustrations, so I can get more control about how further I want to go with background and these things, but definitely it is something I appreciate, and I would love to bring more times to my pieces. Will Murai’s and Laurel’s hearthstone key arts are one of my main references, so that’s it :)
Isaiah Mesq - Chillin' Hawaiian Style!
Sinti: How did you ended up with a red murloc? That is not a standard color, is it? Is it supposed to signify that he is tanned, or you just liked the color?
Isaiah: Actually it was the first color that came into my mind when I was thinking about the theme, after doing some research I saw that there is no murloc with this kind of color and boom! It is a contest, and you want to be noticed by the judges, right? ^^ Despite about the quality of work, of course. After doing the art I received some commentaries about him being tanned, but I can say... hum... it was a happy accident? LOL. As I said, it was the first color I thought of and it would give me the right contrast with the scenario. But I think overall, this red-purplish color can be looked at as tanned, maybe this could be a great explanation for it. I love it!
Sinti: Tattoos and the lei, beach scenery, it all gives off Hawaii vibes, which are unmistakably connected to a summer time and chilling, was that the goal here?
Isaiah: Totally! When I was planning my piece, my mind was traveling for Hawaii references, Moana movie and the Maoris body tattoos, so to add more interesting look for it, I decide to give him some boy marks. Hum, when you are doing a scene that is just a cut of a moment in time, you want to put some details that give your character some life, you know? I mean, these kind of details give the viewer a sensation that character belongs locally, and it is not just a random character in a random space.
Sinti: What about the little fly-bro? How did that idea happen? These small touches are the best.
Isaiah: LOL thank you so much. The little fly came after the planning step. I really love putting in some gags or doing a funny illustration with explosive colors. We can call it my "style", I think? So, I thought: hum.. what can I put here, small and notable after the viewer sees the focal point? Boom! A little fly chilling in the summer too! Lol. Well, these kind of details give the true beauty to the piece, so I'm always looking for some details to enrich my illustrations more :)
Sinti: How did you enjoy the competition as a whole? Did you like art from other artists?
Isaiah: It was so amazing! My first time participating in the contest, and be one of the winners makes me really happy. The theme, reception from Anton Zemskov, the other great illustrators and support in the group has to be exalted, they are the best! Of course I really loved the other's arts, so many great artist there, that inspires you to do your best, you know? Although it is called competition or contest, I didn't feel like I was fighting against my comrades of art. Actually I was feeling being a part of a great community with the goal to improve and make great arts ^^
There you have it! Which one is your favorite piece? And how was your summer? Were you riding the waves, serenading to a crowd, or just chilling and relaxing? Tell us in the comments below :)