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The art of gaming, part IV: E3 through a painter’s eyes

It’s hard to capture the experience of being at E3 in words. Video gaming’s own annual Lollapalooza aims to deliver a single message to a variety of parties, from gamers to retailers: Buy our stuff.

And to that end, the event is designed around spectacle. The most popular games go big, loud, and pretty, and their individual appearances at E3 are meant to capture that spirit in a way that can be writ large across a number of different mediums. Words alone don’t convey all of the sights and sounds of such an event.

With that in mind, we’ve commissioned artist Joshua Mongeau to bring you a slightly different take on E3. Each day, we’ll be sharing pieces of original artwork that reflect in some way on the popular games and talking points of the show, as seen through the eyes of a creative-minded observer. For more beautiful eye candy, check out Part IPart II and Part III of this week’s Art of Gaming series.

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six: Siege © Joshua Mongeau

Our final day of work from artist Josh Mongeau kicks off with a riff on the two Tom Clancy game appearances at E3 2014Rainbow Six: Siege and The Division. This piece, like several of the others today, is less abstract, but Josh’s creative approach to the composition — which combines the user interfaces of both Siege and The Division — makes an eye-catching statement on the chaos of even the most carefully staged tactical exercise.

Mech in a Dogfight

Mech in a Dogfight © Joshua Mongeau

Don’t let the little Destiny logo in the corner fool you; Mech in a Dogfight isn’t riffing on any single game. This is Josh trying to capture the epic moments that so many emergent content-oriented games these days are capable of. The beautiful picture of designed chaos that emerges when all action focuses in one location, with the player at its center.

AAA

AAA © Joshua Mongeau

Another mash-up piece, AAA amounts to a creative regurgitation of E3′s most memorable visual themes. Josh inundated himself in all things E3 this week, and the unending wash of shooters and action games left him dazzled-slash-addled. For as much as smaller, more thoughtful games grab an increasing number of headlines, the so-called AAA offerings continue to dominate. This piece serves as an outsider’s perspective on the flash of E3.

Battle of the Consoles

Battle of the Consoles © Joshua Mongeau

Josh’s own words here may speak best to an explanation of the driving idea behind Battle of the Consoles:

A classic PS1 can be seen (center). The Foreground Character is inspired by the rage-infused, smack talk-filled “Evolve Tournament” at E3 the last few days. The three MMO / RPG characters in the background are grinding away. Gold doesn’t grow on trees you know.

Queen Zelda

Queen Zelda © Joshua Mongeau

At long last, Hyrule Warriors lets players step into the role of Princess Zelda. The full extent of her combat abilities remains to be seen, but we can make an informed guess that she won’t be carving up the battlefields using Link’s familiar Master Sword & shield combo. Here we have a combat-ready Zelda, fresh from a trip to the blacksmith.

Smash Bros.

Smash Bros © Joshua Mongeau

Inspired by Nintendo’s bizarre-yet-cool Codename: S.T.E.A.M., Josh drew up a set of alternate characters for Super Smash Bros. This piece beckons back to his work this week, with hints and nods to a number of characters featured in his earlier pieces.

She Mech Suit

She Mech Suit © Joshua Mongeau

We’ve seen so many mech suits in games lately, both at E3 and in the months leading up to it. None of the suits account for a more feminine shape, however. She Mech Suit is a response to that.

Mech Exo E3

Mech Exo E3 © Joshua Mongeau

This final, beautiful piece from Josh sticks to today’s mech-heavy theme, moving the hulking battle armor into an underwater landscape. Their continued abundance in games is reflected in this vision of a patchwork war machine in the most unlikely location.

artist Joshua MongeauJoshua Mongeau is an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums. In addition to his work on branding, logos, illustrations, and advertising, he’s also created art for children’s books, film/video games (including work for Lucasfilm), and the graphic novel, M.E.N.D. You can check out more of Josh’s work on his portfolio website right here.

Adam Rosenberg is Digital Trends Gaming and Movies Editor. Previously, he worked in the games press as a freelance writer and critic for a range of outlets, including Digital Trends, Joystiq, G4, Official Xbox Magazine, MTV News, and Rolling Stone.