Fowkes is a concept artist for animation studios such as DreamWorks, Blue Sky and Disney. He is also a highly regarded teacher of drawing, painting, color and design.
Here are a few of his recent paintings for the film, Rio 2:
His finished backgrounds are gorgeous, rich and colorful
...and they benefit from the insights recorded in his hundreds of quick sketches from nature.
Fowkes offered the following wise advice for his audience:
Creating an environment is not just showing our viewer a place, it is creating an experience for them.
False dramatizing is no longer enough for a background. There are 100,000 concept artists out there who have learned to fake it by putting some dramatic [Photoshop] filter over an image. We have to do better.
If you want to make an extreme statement, you have to push further and further into what the image is about.
I'm a big admirer of his deft brushwork.