The Art of Ultima – Alex Gonzales

art_of_ultimaOne of the main aims of the Ultima 6 Project has been to improve on the artwork of the original game and take it to professional standards. One of the artists who stands apart from the others is Alex Gonzales.

While Alex was with the project for a very short time, his contributions were essential and remarkable. His hope is to one day soon work with a major game publisher as a concept artist. We are very grateful that he chose the U6 Project to help showcase and hone his talents in preparation for him taking the next step into the professional game industry.

Alex Gonzales originally started drawing in 4th grade, but didn’t get serious about art until he turned 23. At 25 he was accepted to Art Center College of Design, and the rest is history. His influences include the greats such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, and Picasso, as well as some relatively lesser-known artists such as Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, American painter Jerome Witkin, and Spanish realist painter Antonio Garcia Lopez. When asked what he wants to do with his art, Alex replied:  “I want to be able to express myself without hindrance. A writer has to know letters and words in order to make paragraphs, then a book. Only after many many years of practice will it come together. I am still at the learning how to make the paragraphs part. I want a job that will help me reach my full potential. I have shaped my life around that. I want to do concept art, and eventually go to grad school, then teach … figure drawing.”

Alex prefers to work with watercolors (because, as he puts it, they are the most difficult), but for concept work the tools he prefers are Adobe Photoshop, Wacom’s Intuos2, and a Wacom digital airbrush. But more important than the tools are the art concepts he employs, like “value design, shape, line, texture, proportion. I feel like I have learned how to draw the hard way because I have insisted on understanding and mastering the whole process.”

 Like many of us, Alex grew up with the classic NES games (Zelda, Metroid, Excitebike) and had a particular talent for R.C. Pro-Am. “I was a big gamer,” says Alex. “The hardest game I played is Gradius 3 for the PlayStation. If anyone has beaten this game, let me know.”

When asked why he joined Archon, Alex replied, “I have always wanted to work on a game…. The U6 team is very serious about this project. I feel lucky to work with this bunch. Also to help create a portfolio and to expand my skill set.” We were lucky to work with him too.

We’ve made available some exclusive downloads for you to use as computer desktop wallpaper.


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