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Colin Smith
June 29, 2020

When you set out to create something without a brief or clear idea of where to start, how do you navigate your way through the process? Artist Shaun Mullen demonstrates his creative process when he is faced with the challenge of a blank canvas.

In this video, Shaun shows how inspiration can appear after you start putting brush to canvas; he highlights techniques that can be used to create shapes, show depth, and form an interesting composition without any initial sketching or planning.


Art has always been a dominant presence in Shaun’s life. As a child, Shaun would take inspiration from his love of reading and draw from book covers, comic books, and photographs. In particular, his explorations led him to be deeply impacted by various fantasy and sci-fi artists of the time.

While Shaun is an electrical engineer by profession, he enrolled in part-time art school to refine his skills and create a solid foundation to grow from. During this time, he developed a connection with landscape paintings. His work nowadays reflects his combined passion for landscape painting and fantasy and sci-fi art.

Shaun has worked on various projects including a book published by Madefire and art for a sci-fi sports board game. Check out more of his work below.

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Colin Smith

Colin is a Sr. Product Manager on the Automotive and Conceptual Design Team at Autodesk. During his 25-year career in the CAD industry he has worked in customer support, training, consulting and as a product manager for Alias and Fusion 360. Currently, he works on SketchBook Pro and Create VR and is based in Toronto, Canada.