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Art of Skyrim

Posted in Other Artist Work

If you have a video game playing male over the age of 17 in your house, chances are he's playing Skyrim. The game came out this past November and is a big hit.  One of my sons noted how artistic the game is.  I sat down to watch and he is right –  the artwork of the game is beautiful! The landscapes are gorgeous, dragons have detailed scales and  reptile skin, the boulders look real, the lighting is wonderful, the carvings on doors and the little details on the buildings are really something to behold.  I don't typically think about the artwork that goes into creating a video game. And yet, these artists are such an integral part of video game creation. Take a look: has a great article about the artists behind the game Skyrim.

Art of Skyrim Gameinformer

Meet Matt Carofano, the Art Director on Skyrim from Bethesda Softworks. Included in this article is a video how this talented team of artists bring the land of Skyrim to life. At 3:10 in the video one of the digital artists is using a digital pen to detail an image on the computer, which is interesting to watch. has some great shots of the conceptual art before it goes to the level designers who create the actual gaming actions.

Skyrim conceptual art from kataku dot com

The lighting in the first photos is fantastic. The detailing of the arm muscles and chain mail in the second photo is some of the attention to detail of the artwork in this game.

Escapist magazine details what influenced the artists and the direction of the artwork:

"Living by the mantra of "less Renn-fest and more biker bar," they pulled heavily from McFarlane's work, dark fantasy art, and Bethesda film favorites, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, without giving in to the temptation of ripping them off entirely. In the end, 90% of the work was thrown in the trash, leaving only the best ideas to provide a visual blueprint for Skyrim.

As with all conceptual art, it was eventually handed to the level designers to create the physical, interactive world. Of course, not everything translates precisely from those first ideas, but without such a vibrant foundation, the programmers would never have been able to hem such a large, consistent world together so seamlessly. "There is so much more than what we drew that's just so amazing. It's like Christmas," said artist Adds Lederer. "It's so cool to see all of that stuff come together, and what's really amazing is just how much further they take it, and how much cooler it is."    – Escapist magazine

And that's a peak behind the video game easels. The bloggers at are devoted to showcasing the fine art of the video game artists. Stop by their blog to see  more about these fantastic artists.

One Comment

  1. Several of the guys on my co-ed soccer team have been playing this game – they love it!  Their eyes light up when they describe it, and they are at a loss of words for how much they enjoy it.  I'm sure a large part of their  enjoyment comes from the art giving them the sense of being immersed in this beautiful world.

    January 15, 2012

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