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The Art of Nicolas Noben


I first noticed Nicolas Noben's (@keyle) work on Twitter. He posted amazing abstract Blender work on an almost daily basis. Interested in who was behind this, I asked him to pick some of his favorite works and introduce himself to our community.

I'm a 35 year old designer/developer living in Australia. At the moment I'm trying to make a game in Unreal Engine and I use Blender to produce 3D assets.

I produce electronic music in my free time and I'm also an artist. I occasionally paint. I've always been fascinated by Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and other modern movements.

For a very long time I've tried to bring abstract expressionism into digital art. I used a Wacom but I've never felt satisfied with it. There is a unique freedom that comes from painting on canvas. There is something gritty and organic about it, that I can't reproduce with a tablet and Photoshop.

Surprisingly, after years of trying different techniques, including Processing, Sketchup with weird plugins, and writing my own software, I found refuge in Blender.

Blender's workflow is very organic and flows really well for me. It allows me to work as if I have a canvas in 3D. I'm always trying to mix shaders with various techniques to obtain images beyond realistic or traditional NPR looks.

I try (mis)use most of the modifiers and I twist them to produce interesting results.

I currently do an #everyday with Blender, which you can follow on twitter. It's an escape for me, it allows me to push and explore more techniques each day, while keeping the scope down and with no particular goal.

I constantly document the evolution, with some patched up screenshots in a folder (see tip example screenshots), so I remember how I came about these results. All things considered, I'm still fairly new to Blender. Screenshots documenting the process allow me to remember various set ups and quickly mix some older techniques with new ones, to continue moving forward as an artist.

People can follow me on Twitter @keyle and on ArtStation

If you have any questions, please shoot!


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Rombout Versluijs on

    How do you make those beautiful color gradient on the mesh. Is that just a gradient with generated coordinates orso?

      • Rombout Versluijs on

        Sweet, looks so cool!

        I use Blender but use a different render engine. We dont have a proper gradient tool. But we can map textures to a camera so i could sort fix it that way.

        Thanks for the 'late' reply :)

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