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About Digital Art / Student Premium Member Darryn GrymmMale/Australia Recent Activity
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Books I like

Figure Drawing For All It's worth, by Andrew Loomis…

Colour and Light, by James Gurney…

Imaginative Realism, by James Gurney…

Villpu Drawing Manual

Perspective For Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea…

Art of Patrick Brown Video Game Art & Character Design by Patrick Brown…

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton:

Force, Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators by Michael D. Matessi:…

Force Character Design from Life Drawing by Michael D.…

Anatomy For Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry…

Muscles In Motion by Glenn Fabry…

Drawing Made Easy by Felix Lorenzi…

Art of Drawing Landscapes by Sterling Publishing Co.Inc.…

Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth…

Drawing Made Easy by Felix Lorenzi…

online learning: courses I like

The Art Department:

Vilppu Academy:

CG Master Academy:

Gnomon School of Visual Effects:

The Gnomon Workshop:

Sketch Theatre:

CDW Studios:


The Art Academy, Adelaide:



DarrynGrymm's Profile Picture
Darryn Grymm
Artist | Student | Digital Art
I am currently studying a 15 month course at CDW Studios in Adelaide, South Australia.

I am a freelance concept artist seeking work.

I have a strong desire to tell stories and my focus at the moment is character design.

Journal History

The Tao of Tarzan and the Way of the Wandering Chi

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 19, 2013, 5:07 AM

My proposed  colour compositions will be a study of colour and composition using the elements of repetition, visual texture, and shape to create visual flow. The structure of these colour compositions is based on rhythm, contrast and focal point.

The colour compositions for this illustration are an attempt to communicate the contrast between a force of nature represented by the figure of Tarzan, and Schultes who represents mankind's thirst for knowledge of nature in order to classify it, and understand it in order to exploit and benefit from it.

In the scene depicted, Tarzan is curious because in meeting Schultes for the first time he recognises something of himself in the figure of Schultes; he has a growing awareness of something beyond the bounds of his forest. In turn, Schultes is curious of Tarzan from a scientific viewpoint, but also recognises something of personal significance; a yearning deep inside him to explore his own primordial nature. In the space between these two respective characters a new dynamic space is created.

 It is a meeting of worlds, electric with possibilities…..


They dance to their own music, Tarzans is the music of the forest, and schultes is the music of the classics, both literature and music.


Dances with Apes………


The moon can be used as a device near Schultes to help portray his knowledge of man's place in the universe.


It will be fun to place books like Edgar Rice Burroughs novels in Schultes collection by the fire side.


A number of opportunities present themselves to emphasise this contrast in world views. Namely; pose, facial expression and gesture. Tarzan should blend in with the trees; seem to be a part of it whereas Schultes should be somewhat separate from it. Tarzan carries nothing except a knife and wearing a loincloth, whereas Schultes would be shown having the trappings of a scientist in the western tradition, wearing western clothes, perhaps some books, jars of plant matter classified with notes or labels. Schultes could be shown in a clearing cooking a meal with an emphasis on the smoke coming from his campfire, emphasising exploitation of nature and reliance on technology.

Portraying both characters presents many opportunities for contrast. Tarzan should be inquisitive, almost naïve, having an innocent quality, and be drawn using similar smooth and rounded shapes and angles to that of the forest. His expression and musculature should resemble a large chimpanzee, but with an aristocratic temperament and poise. Schultes could be drawn with more angular shapes, and resemble a somewhat bright eyed but drawn and thin conservative professor type, neglectful of his own appearance, absent minded perhaps but acutely intelligent. He wears glasses and perhaps squints on first seeing Tarzan, as if trying to categorise him as a type of ape in one of his many reference books lying scattered by the campfire. These two characters meeting for the first time are trying to comprehend each other. Tarzan is wary but driven by curiosity, and his ape companions show many expressions on their faces, echoing the thoughts racing through Tarzan's and our own minds. Schultes own curiousness  stems from a purely scientific basis, and he feels no danger, merely academic doubt and confusion. He could be seen pointing to a picture in a book while looking doubtfully at Tarzan while Tarzan stares on craning his neck with curiosity, but ever at the ready to protect his companions (chimps in background should be shown with children) with one fist closed and the other open.


What is the jeopardy?

I show only enough information in the piece to help sell the message. What's the message?

What is the problem? The problem is the problem. Redefine it……

How does an ape move?  How would an ape influence an ape to move? Can a human move like and ape? He moves like the forest animals natural and raw, limb and cartilage and muscle and bone whereas Schultes brings the artifice of man into this realm and it is not welcome. But something about the man causes Tarzan to pause. The chimps frenzy with a mixture of fear, panic and anger.  Everything in the forest is alive to Schultes, but he can only wonder at it. (Have a microscope)

He is unwelcome. He has not yet been accepted.  Still clinging to western science, he brings knowledge, but no understanding………


The third character.

The main protagonist in this jungle setting is the jungle itself. As well as being the stage upon which the meeting of The Ape man and Schultes meet, the jungle itself invites us in, controls what we see, reveals just enough light for us to discern the mood of the meeting, and ultimately expresses itself in taking us on a journey through the picture plane. The jungle is the third character.


I find the composition based on truth of the characters and the story being enacted by the meeting of these two forces, each with their own physical and spiritual presence. I find the message I want to communicate by the nature of the visual problem presented which begs to be explored and expressed. The contrast of the natural and man-made worlds and Schultes gradual disintegration into this natural state is what is being expressed.


The meeting and the about to pose……

Schultes should be about to classify Tarzan, but then hesitating, doing a rethink or a double take, whereas Tarzan should have an expression of wild animalistic urges tempered with a human intellect, ultimately Tarzan is beyond classification. He is primordial and beyond comprehension, unknowable, but offers glimpses into our own psyche. The forest is impenetrable, showing us only what it wants us to see. It is a strict and powerful mother, resisting any attempts to control it. This is how it should be because Schultes and the viewer do not have the insight to fully comprehend nature and its complexities. We have not earned understanding; we remain outside and separate, but a child of the forest nevertheless. We are born of the forest.  We are a lost child of the forest and Tarzan is our guide.  

Pictorial space is used to emphasise this truth, space and pattern are structured to help express this poignancy. The page shows us what to do, this truth passes through me and I see the Truth emerge from the void of the picture plane. I discover the story being told, and bring it into sharper relief, and into the light of recognition.

In order to portray organic forms faithfully, I have studied internet references, a rainforest in Adelaide and those plants in my own garden, altering the forms slightly to better reflect the tropical forest environment.

If first there was the breath of god, the word, then movement and action were its qualities. Movement is the defining quality of life, its inherent trait. On the picture plane moments of action may be captured, frozen , which allow us to study and ponder Truth, and get a glimpse into the meaning of life, we can see ourselves reflected, and ponder the truth of our own lives. Get ready to meet yourself for the first time.

The viewer is invited to find their own meaning, to interpret and use their own values to interact. This is not literal truth being expressed, rather a spiritual and psychological poignancy.


Space, repetition, order, no flow, static, separate shapes, mainly light coloured area

The Tao of Tarzan

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 19, 2013, 4:58 AM

I will produce a digital painting colour comp focusing on diffused light.

The composition will be set in a jungle under low lighting conditions and portray a character or characters acting or responding to a situation. I will focus on portraying how diffuse light effects the depiction of the human figure and try and create a mood to support the story being told. Story will be portrayed mainly through the action of the figures and emotions on the face.


Richard Evan Schultes meets Tarzan and some Amazonian natives

Schultes should be depicted with a fifty-three pound canoe, his pack containing one change of clothing, notebooks and pencils, a camera and film, a first-aid kit, a hammock, a thin blanket, clippers, plant collecting paraphernalia, and a few cans of B & M baked beans.

Schultes could be depicted as a type of Indiana Jones, or perhaps a type of fighting scientist as depicted in the movie Master and Commander.

Inspiration and resources: Rembrandt and Matessi for gesture, Burne Hogarth, and Andrew Loomis for face construction and dynamic anatomy, Faigin for facial expressions, Frazetta for everything, Mark Shultz for similiarity of drawing style, J Allen St John for colour, Gurney for lighting. Films; Indiana Jones, Master and Commander. 

Purpose: This is my first artwork for a character animation portfolio.

I am trying to depict character(s) acting in a setting.

Style: Working with the radial gradient tool and the lasso tool over a coloured ground, the sense of volume in both characters and foliage will be kept to a minimum to help depict the diffuse lighting conditions. Dimensional space will be depicted through the distinct use of tonal variation between the foreground, mid ground and background.

Media: Digital painting colour comp 

The problem is the problem

Instead of focusing on depicting a subject in low light conditions and the myriad of ways this may be achieved, I will concentrate on finding the message of what I want to express, and then find the best way to express it using diffuse light, since this is our focus this month.

I am interested in depicting the emotional impact of two characters meeting for the first time. I intend to show Tarzan meeting the real life person of Richard Evan Schultes, a modern day Harvard trained intrepid scientist.

Both characters have a strong connection to the forests and the natural world, but from very opposing viewpoints. Their own personalities and individual physical characteristics are quite distinct and it should be quite fun to contrast the wild character of the Lord of the Apes to the quiet and conservative Harvard Professor.

In a visual depiction involving so many avenues to explore I find it useful to place certain limits on the outcome so as to arrive at a more interesting solution.

 Problem:  What is the connection of these two heroes and plants?

Problem redefined: How may plants be used as a visual device more than just being used to describe the environment the two characters inhabit?

Solution: actually connect Tarzan and Schultz with plants. Use the forest as the structure of the painting. In this way it becomes the third character.

Tarzan actually lives in the Jungle, whereas Schultes studies it for medicinal purposes, although he does inhabit it to a large degree. He represents a conservative relationship with nature, although he inhabits the jungle, he ultimately does so to reap the benefits and take them back to civilisation. Schultz represents a western intrusion into nature. Tarzan on the other hand is a force OF nature.

This contrast can be depicted by having Schultes be somewhat separate from plants visually, perhaps in a small clearing, boiling up some water for a nice cup of tea. This foreground element may then transition through the middle ground to the background tonally from light to darker to represent three dimensional space.

Flat shapes representing foliage may be used to connect both characters, which change tonally from foreground to background. Forms should be seen as emerging from diffused light. Illuminated volumes will show spatial depth, not outlines.

Upward facing planes will seem lighter since they receive more diffuse light from the forest canopy above. In all forms there will be no distinct light side, shadow side, terminator or core.

Faces are an opportunity to highlight the emotional drama of this meeting.

Tarzan may be depicted as emerging from the forest, almost part of it, in diffuse soft forms, as opposed to the starker and more strongly lit form of Schultes in the foreground. 

  • Listening to: The Life of Pi
  • Reading: Villpu Drawing Manual
  • Watching: Matrix Reloaded
  • Drinking: Coffee

Delicious Bookmarks

Sites with educational material or an educational focus


Add a Comment:
RosmanPL Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for fav and watch!:))
DarrynGrymm Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student Digital Artist
No problemo, looking forward to more of your stuff. Excelsior!
1oshuart Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for the watch ^^!
pencilsandstrings Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for watching! Much appreciated :D
DarrynGrymm Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student Digital Artist
No problemo. A pleasure!
KangarooJumpers Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014   Digital Artist
Yayy, thanks for the watch! ^_^
DanielMurrayART Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Right on!

Thank you ;)
TracyWong Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Happy Birthday, Darryn! :party: :cake: :dance: :w00t:
DarrynGrymm Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you very much StacyRaven! I had a great day surrounded by family and friends.
TracyWong Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent! That's awesome news! :D 
Add a Comment: