Now Reading
Artist to Watch | John Sidoryk's Watercolor-Styled Masterpieces

Artist to Watch | John Sidoryk's Watercolor-Styled Masterpieces

by Bridget ThrashNovember 19, 2013

Last week I brought you the cool comic art style of Eric White, this week we’re getting a little darker and gritty. Meet John Sidoryk.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, sure thing! My name is John Sidoryk, I am eighteen and living in Prague, Czech Republic where I study Information Technologies in a high school. I go there to sketch drawings in textbooks anyway :). In my free time, I paint digitally and sharpen my skills to become a professional artist in the future. I have very high expectations about myself and will achieve them at any cost, failure is not an option. Beside art, I’m into fantasy literature and, of course, video games.

So how did you get started creating art? Do you have any inspirations or role models?

No turning back now, I decided to become a fantasy artist John Sidoryk

I think I started by drawing cliche fantasy motives and random nonsense in elementary school, just for fun and to kill time during lessons. No plans for the future, nor the interest in art back then. It all changed during one of my frequent library visits. While browsing the Fantasy bookshelves my sight fell on “Streams Of Silver” by R .A. Salvatore. My mind was blown away the very moment I looked upon the cover – beautifully executed painting of a dwarf clad in golden armor, raising high his war-axe, an elf glancing at him from behind and a halfling sneaking with a drawn dagger. I’ve never seen digital art before. Quickly I flipped book over and looked for name of the artist: Todd Lockwood. I repeated this name as a mantra on my way home, book in hand and an urge to found out more about this man. Quick google search brought me to his gallery. There my fate was sealed. No turning back now, I decided to become a fantasy artist.

I just looked up Todd Lockwood! He’s done work for D&D how awesome! I can see how he is an inspiration to you. His work is detailed and effortless at the same time. If you could recommend one fantasy literature to me what would it be?

I’d recommend you and anyone else any book from R. A. Salvatore, John Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Andrzej Sapkowski or Neil Gaiman. Those are authors whose books I have on my bookshelf, but there is just too much good writers to name.

How long have you been creating?

I’ve been creating since I learned how to hold a pencil. But serious interest was formed during my last months in elementary school.

Tell us a bit about your creative process:

Depends on a medium. Traditional pencil sketches are mostly spontaneous and chaotic recesses of my imagination quickly thrown onto paper. Rarely seen by anyone but my family and classmates. Digital paintings, at the other hand, are delicate and require certain order in a creation process. First of all, the sketch of an idea, either from my mind or inspired by other things like games, books and movies. Art of others is an ultimate source of inspiration for me. After browsing someone’s gallery I often crave to paint something. When the base outline of the future artwork is done, I block in the main colors and values, define light sources, cast shadows, maybe alter something in sketch. If I am happy with it so far, I begin painting on top of it all, adding details and shaping the surfaces, erasing sketch lines. I repeat adding brushstrokes until it looks satisfying to me. At the very end I tweak a color balance and contrasts, add a signature and a painting is done.

Do you listen to music while creating?

Listening to heavy metal is awesome when painting mean-looking characters fighting monsters or each other. Unfortunately, I tend to dive into art and completely ignore the music. Album could stop playing and I would not notice it an hour later. So, yes, it plays in the background :)

Ok, so you’ve gotten inspired, you know what you want to create, what’s the first tool you reach for?

I reach for my tablet and seize the world of imaginative realism art!

Let’s say for some, totally hypothetical reason Earth is about to blow up. Don’t panic, there is a savior aka a space ship getting ready to save you! But you can only save two pieces, what will those two be?

Assuming that space ships have power outlets, I’d grab on of those new Wacom Companion tablets to spent my years in space doing what I love the most. And an electric guitar. There will be a plenty of time to learn some tasty riffs, right?

I would hope the space ship has outlets, unless there is some other advanced technology they haven’t told us about yet. You play the guitar, awesome! I am trying to learn the bass, whenever I set aside the time to actually do so. But by pieces I meant your artwork. If you could save 2 pieces of your artwork which would they be? 

Sorry, misunderstood the question. I couldn’t be able to choose two artworks. I like every one of them equally. Maybe I’d take a box filled with old finished sketchbooks I am collecting.


John Sidoryk's 1970 Ford Mustang

John Sidoryk’s 1970 Ford Mustang

Your guilty pleasure video game, that one game you can play for hours on end and tune everything out, what is it?

Something about those simple game mechanics are disturbingly addictive John Sidoryk

That would be Diablo 2 for sure. I could not say how much time I spent by killing every damn monster in search for rare items and runes, raiding unique bosses again and again. Something about those simple game mechanics are disturbingly addictive. Not that I’m complaining, I even smuggled that game to school where we played it whenever we could. All my savegames and screenshots of legendary loots are still safely stored on an external drive :)

And then there is Morrowind, the third game in Elder Scrolls franchise. But I spent way more time in game editor than in game itself. Some of my mods and re-resigns were really cool.

Let’s dig into your pile of shame for a minute. Tell us one game you haven’t played, that you’re ashamed you haven’t played yet.

All of them are console exclusives. And since I do not own any console, games like God Of War: Ascension, Beyond: Two Souls and The Last Of Us are unknown to me. It’s sad to see their high rate reviews and won’t be able to play. Gotta get those in the future. What I am ashamed of is that I never finished the first Witcher. My laptop died with all my save files somewhere in the middle of the story! *cries hysterically*

You have to play the Last of Us! Do you remember the 1st video game you ever played?

Yeah, my very first encounter with moving pixels was Total Annihilation. My dad bought it for me and my little brother because he thought it was Star Wars. Also it was the only strategic wargame I ever enjoyed. Probably because of my complete lack of tactical skills.

Your dream job, what is it? Are you currently working on anything cool?

Oh yes. I am doing my first steps in the world of game development as a concept artist for an indie RPG game “Forged” from Black Treason Studios. And it’s awesome so far. (Also I am working on my personal secret project.)

John Sidyork

John Sidyork

Now for my favorite question: It is Friday and you are about to get off work, what song are you listening to?

Probably something from Blind Guardian, their Nightfall In The Middle-Earth album :)

Thanks again for your time, where can we find more of your work?

My pleasure, it was fun! Every finished artwork and more links to my networks are in my DeviantArt profile here: Spellsword95.deviantart.com Hopefully, my website will be online soon, with more art, links and info.

About The Author
Bridget Thrash
Bridget Thrash