View Full Version : Newborn-Nickillus Nibbles
June 6th, 2009, 02:07 PM
OK then. It seems we're off, and I've had a five minute scribble to get a first sketch going.
Really looking forward to seeing what the big boys and girls come up with. Do hoe they are going to start threads and share the process - pretty please.
June 6th, 2009, 02:40 PM
That's some great anatomy, Nick. Looking forward to what you come up with.
I guess I'll start a thread too, seeing as other people are :)
June 6th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Oh Yes - You really have to start a thread. I don't think I 'd forgive you if I didn't get to watch the process, young Baron.
Tiny bit more on mine - with the proportions are all over the shop. It will have to change a lot. Still very early days though.
June 7th, 2009, 05:13 AM
Pretty dramatic poses. What does have you in mind? Words would be helpful, especially at this stage.
June 7th, 2009, 06:28 AM
Fragile yet tough.
Slapped a back tone in and started playing with placement of a few more figures. I'll most probably extend the canvas of to the right, with what I've got in mind.
June 7th, 2009, 10:39 AM
I thought you were going for a shipwreck raft at first, but it'll be interesting to see how this pans out :) Nice sketchwork!
June 7th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Hard not to be impressed by Gericault's Raft of the Medusa. Yep - love that painting, and there's no doubt that it must be influencing me somehow.
Thinking of a more socially responsible pic, which isn't like me. I'll probably snap out of it before the deadline and go with something daft instead. Just playing about with this for the moment though. Some very loose colour, and have added a canvas extension to the right - not a conservatory. Hundreds of miles to go with it. . . . .
June 7th, 2009, 08:49 PM
Hi Nick, interesting piece developing so far, i see you lay the gritty textures down very early..Artrage looks like a good program to play around with..judging by the efforts of you and Simon.
best of luck to you
June 8th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Mmm, looking yummy. You've already got a palpable mood developing and I like where you're going with the light. Will be interesting to see how you build on it.
June 8th, 2009, 08:51 PM
That's the chalk tool in ArtRAge that makes it look gritty LightSovereign.
I'm not sure exactly where it's going either, Si. Nor am I sure I like where it's going. Hmmmmmm! We'll see.
Another half hour spent on it, muddying the waters.
June 8th, 2009, 09:37 PM
You totally nailed the colors that go right with your theme. If you change the scene in anyway, I think you should still keep this color palette.
June 9th, 2009, 03:48 AM
You've got the mood mate, tho your perspective is off as we travel from left to right of the picture.
June 9th, 2009, 09:24 PM
Yep. Persective all over the place, Brashen. Spot on with that. On the over-loooong list of things I need to fix.
Little bit more playing around, beginning to place where other featrues might be.
I'm also learning to count. After two stages saying wip4, this one woud be no.6 then. (Duh!) Have to get my shoes and socks off to make sure I keep counting properly as I go on.
June 9th, 2009, 09:43 PM
I love the take and subject. Respect. :)
June 9th, 2009, 10:51 PM
i think the wonky perspective works for it honestly. famine distorts the body, the mind, and the morale of a person. It seems intentional due to the subject. This is really coming along nicely, deep man :)
June 10th, 2009, 05:01 AM
Its looking great. My main concern is that the composition has a large arrow pointing to the right, out of the image.
June 10th, 2009, 07:05 AM
Thanks for the comments chaps. You're right of course, Andrew, the composition needs a lot of adjusting. A very bad idea, but I often tend to wing it a bit on stuff like this and make those adjustmets as I go. Great having another pair of eyes like yours flagging obvious problems up as I go though. Much appreciated.
Meanwhile I had this other, equally badly thought out idea rattling around. Composition is awful, but I just wanted to get something down as a base to work away from. A more jokey idea with a caption something like 'She's Lovely' or just 'Whaaaaaa!' May be much more panoramic with the opportunity for more faces and some interraction between them.
Also can't help thinking there must be mileage in something based on the slaughter of the innocents.
Wonderful to see more folk coming on board with threads containing some diverse takes on the topic. Educational and inspirational.
June 10th, 2009, 07:30 AM
I think the composition of the original is fine, just need to move the "camera" to the right and get rid of some of the space to the left, the push the right-most woman and child out into the newly created space (easier said than done in AR :) ). I do like that image, though, it has a good feel to it despite the subject matter.
I also wing it with composition - in fact, I barely give it a thought; I reckon if I started applying "rules" and whatnot I'd end up with something too contrived.
June 10th, 2009, 07:55 AM
Looking nice has a really kind of biblically classical painterly feel about it, dont know if your keeping with this or if its just because its in its ealy stages. I think something to break-up the horizon line might work well, wether it be figures in the forground or landscape in the backbroung.
Very good work!
June 10th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Both good idea. Thanks guys.
I had been wondering about expanding the canvas horizontally - and hesitaitng because as you say, it's not quite as simple to fill in the blank areas in AR as in some other software. You saying it tips the balance, Si, and I'd better bite the bullet and fudge it across.
You;'re right about the horizon needing breaking up, Roy. I do plan to have more resucuers dotted about providing some verticals to try and keep the eye from sliding straight off the side of the canvas. May not be enough though. Hmmmm! I'll contrive something to do it if they aren't enough. I can be very contrived at times.
EDIT - added a widened wip - dropped a few figures in but loads to go - so plenty of scope to move the eye round and steer it away from the edges, despite those legs sketched in on the right tha take you straight out! (They'll probably have to go) although I do want to hint at there being a lot more of this going on either side of the actual image. Darkened it a bit too - but that may or may not stick.
June 11th, 2009, 08:16 AM
Really taking shape now, those figures are very natural-looking. It's a bold move to include many figures like this and you've certainly got the skills to pull it off. I still see the space on the left as very uncomfortable but perhaps a low-contrast figure in the mid-distance would solve that. One other thing, the guy in the foreground - his right leg seems too twisted and at a difficult angle.
Looks like it will be a great piece.
June 11th, 2009, 08:57 AM
Thanks Si. You have more faith in my skills than I do.
Yep that gap on the left needs something and I do have a few idea - it's just a case of getting one of them to steer the eye back round behind the main group. And yes, his darned leg is in some sort of extreme yoga impossiblity isnt it? And it's longer than the other one. Maybe he's been a shepherd on the side of a hill and only walked one way. Well - it could happen. OK - you're right of course. It's another fix that needs doing. Soooo many all overe the place on this. Juggle-juggle. But that's the fun bit isn't it!?
June 11th, 2009, 09:23 AM
maybe he's a contourtionist from the russian circus that wasn't getting paid enough so he left in search of food but alas, here he is, he did not find any. lol just a lil humor ; )
Just want to say that the dark edges are working much better for this piece, it looks more cohesive now with the added figures. Perhaps curve the one body, so that mroe than his legs are in the composition, but so that they are still getting cut off at the edge so it's apparent more is going on than we can see.
like have him on his side or something, half fetal position. Does this make any sense? I don't know, you know this stuff way better than I do. :) I just dig the dark edges, it works.
June 11th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Haha Hala. Maybe that's it.
Either way he was complaining it hurt, so I've tried changing it a bit. Bet he'll moan about how I have it now as well. Yep - i've been thinking about having a few figures in the fetal position. Great minds eh!
Thanks for the feedback. Always helpful and appreciated.
June 12th, 2009, 08:49 PM
Minimal progess, because I'm a bit busy.
A couple more figures marked in.
June 12th, 2009, 11:03 PM
Looking good mate...tho I just don't feel that it's got anything to do with the contests title....that's me tho you probably have something else in mind.
June 13th, 2009, 10:21 AM
Again this is looking beyond amazing.
Story wise I am a little concerned (i'm always so negative :( ). I see people (painted wonderfully btw) in poverty and in need of help. Suffering from dehydration and lack of food. Possible lost in the desert or some other barren wasteland. BUT why? I think to win this competition we need to make something where the viewer reads the story from the painting rather than than needing a description or title. Could be as easy as seeing architecture or ruthless soldiers forcing the people over the desert. Or if this is the end of the world then we need to show destruction and ruin.
The person with the arm raised seems to have a torch upon him with the direction the lighting is. So with the upraised arm I would imagine him blocking his view from the soldiers coming towards him. Again without knowing the full details of this piece its hard to see certain reactions.
I hope i'm making some sense :D
June 13th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Yeah, I don't really get what this has to do with the Newborn theme. Excellent painting though.
June 13th, 2009, 02:31 PM
I concur with all the comments on this thread and I think it is a very beautiful painting in its own right and could have a very flowing narrative on its own. Themewise, however, of all the WIPs , my favourite is the very first sketch. I thought when I saw it that if u added some little details to suggest a story or a concept concerning only this woman and a baby on her hand. It has a strong composition as the focal point is more or less directly her expression and the baby; it has that, it has gorgeous anatomy, you are obviously very good at painting, so if you could just imply some narrative or concept, I think it could turn into quite a powerful image. :D
June 13th, 2009, 04:15 PM
I disagree somewhat. The brief never said you had to have something "new" or coming to life within the piece--but the concept that the artist brings into the world something that "makes people think" is acceptable as well. I don't know if that made any sense I'm a bit incoherent right now ;p
But I do agree with what Rist said in terms of making the piece just have a little more power to it. :)
June 13th, 2009, 05:49 PM
This is coming on really well. You sorted the leg and it looks as natural as the rest now. You've handled the focus very nicely too, so despite many figures there's no distractions from the main centre of interest. As for fitting the theme, well, not sure what you have in mind but of course you could get around any confusion by having the guy offering the others water from a bowl or something. I reckon that would satisfy the "bring to life" aspect.
June 13th, 2009, 06:34 PM
This painting is looking great. Composition, colour, lighting and technique are all very well executed. It is dramatic and very expressive. The only thing that is bothering me is the narrative - the painting seems to tell a tale of death and the pain of loss - and it does this quite brilliantly. I could be missing something - I am reading the painting purely on its merits withour any word based explantation - but there is no indication of 'bringing something into the world' or 'to life' in either a physical or metaphysical sense that I can percieve. For me the painting would be truly outstanding if there were some suggestion of new life within this tapestry of death. At the moment there is only one indication of this - in that it seems it may be the dawn of a new day. If this could be played upon in some way then I think this painting will be quite remarkable. Great work!
June 14th, 2009, 04:26 AM
Maybe because there are a bunch of newborn babies lying around???
June 14th, 2009, 05:07 AM
It feels as though it is perhaps thematically darker than the sort of image they might be looking for with 'newborn', but that being said this is quite beautiful so far. I like that you've gone for something unique - haven't really seen any of the other entries for this yet but this certainly wasn't the kind of thing I would have associated with the title. The lights and colours are wonderful...
Are the figures further out towards the background going to be detailed or are they intended to be something a little ghostly?
June 14th, 2009, 05:29 PM
Very nice composition and rendering! You reall do know your stuff.. keep it up!
June 14th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Wow! I go away for a couple of days , obilvious to the confusion I've left behind. Sorry people. Family stuff. You know how it works sometimes.
What I'm aiming at if I can get the image to work, will be the discovery of a new born baby still alive among a scene of human tragedy. The plan is to have the baby's hand grasping the discoverer's finger, picked out by the light. The idea is that even in the the worst of circumstances there is always hope and the chance of a new beginning. Corny, mushy stuff, huh!
Next I'll do Lassie saving a 'ickle kitten' from a grumpy grisly in a lightning storm .
Thanks for all the really nice comments chaps, and for the feedback that tells me how far I still need to go to make it read better. Just haven't got to the details like the baby etc yet. No wonder it wasn't giving you many clues about what I might be thinking. That would be too easy - Mwahahahahahaaaaa.
It's all invaluable commentary and really appreciated. Great stuff. Thank you all.
June 15th, 2009, 07:30 AM
Ah, now I see. That certainly fits the theme. Looking forward to seeing this one finished!
June 15th, 2009, 08:23 AM
What I'm aiming at if I can get the image to work, will be the discovery of a new born baby still alive among a scene of human tragedy.
That's what I thought you were going to have. I'm really enjoying the progress.
June 16th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Not had very long to spend on on it recently, but here's a tiny bit more, creeping progress. Still a ton of stuff to resolve. Not the least being the baby I've marked in looks kind of white skinned !?! Hmmmmmmmmm?
June 16th, 2009, 05:58 PM
Those colours are looking good. So many different hues, some quite vibrant, yet the mood of the piece is still very strong and consistent. My only crit is the baby is too small. I can see it but if I didn't know it was there I... well, wouldn't know it was there.
June 16th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Thanks for that, Si. I'll bear it in mind. Overplaying the 'fragile newborn' card probably.
June 16th, 2009, 07:03 PM
It's going to look amazing when finished, and very powerful too.
June 16th, 2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks Hala. You have more faith in it than I do.
Tweaked the baby a bit, which is now marginally better I think.
And took a break from the intensity of that piece to revisit the other one with the beginnings of a bit of digital watercolour.
I do have another idea, but can't see any way of even starting that. I'm no Simon Dominic Brewer!
June 17th, 2009, 07:24 AM
Ha, come off it Nick, I can't imagine you have many problems getting your ideas down, given what I've seen of your process! IMO many artists can produce awesome landscapes and monsters but fewer can paint multiple characters that interact realistically and tell a story, something you seem to have no trouble with.
June 18th, 2009, 12:50 PM
We all want to able to do what we 're not so good at, Si. I'm crap at landscpae and monsters. Figure-work I'm OK at half the time, and it's what I enjoy. Doesn't mean I don't want to be able to do the other stuff. Just have to work at it a lot, lot more.
Was ill yesterday and playing catch-up today, so yet another excuse for minimal progress.
June 18th, 2009, 01:25 PM
their personalities crack me up xD Hopefully you are feeling better :)
June 18th, 2009, 02:27 PM
The second one is off to a good start. And I'd love to see how the first one progresses.
June 18th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks Hala, thanks Ninjacat.
Can't settle today, so threw down a very quick sketch for another idea - and I do mean it's sketchy.
June 19th, 2009, 12:24 AM
all looking grand so far...lots of concepts to keep you busy there, Ill be struggling with one submission :-)
Was just wondering what packages you tend to use...your site mentions artrage, which i have only just started experimenting with myself (like 1 hours playing about)...usually Im 80% PS, 20% painter, and Im looking to start spending more time in a painterly app.
Any thoughts on painter versus artrage ?
Possibly one of those discusions that will start a furious debate - but would be keen to hear your thoughts.
June 19th, 2009, 05:54 AM
Thanks for the kind words.
Bear in mind that this is only my opinion, and coming from a background of umpteen years spent using real media - watercolour and line in particular. I'm a bit of an old fuddy-duddy.
I used to be a staunch advocate of Painter despite its many foibles (a tendency to crash and/or corrupt your image files !!)- and I do still think it's a fantastic app, but I only really like it for a few of its many tools. The further it goes into trying to make painting a masterpiece from a cloned photo available to the masses, the more it moves away from being the straight replacement for traditional media I originally loved - albeit with the advantages of layers and such that can never be overlooked. I never did get on with the pencil tools in there though and just couldn't seem to get the settings I like.
Stuff I still love in it (apart from its speed and ability to handle large files):-
soft oil pastels
Tinting brushes (I use them as an alternative to the ultra laggy watercolours they go on about)
'Just Add Water'-blender brush
Chalks in combination with the paper palette controls and the ability to make your own paper textures.
'Artists Oils' (not really an oil painter myself, but love their tactile feel).
I've not tried out Painter11 much, but first impressons didn't bowl me over. That's not really a fair assessment though, so have a look yourself.
Tempted to look at Painter SKetchbook which is a pared down version that might suit me better if it has the right tool set and enough of the capabilities I do use.
Enter Sketchbook Pro:- Tried version 1 and liked it a few years ago and then got hold of version 2. It's an idiot-proof sofware compared to Painter, but has the most responsive pencil tool that feels and looks like pencil. The rest of the tool set was a bit limited, although great feel in all of them. No layer blending modes! No textures. That hurts if you're after a watercoloury type look, but I just worked slightly diffrently in it. Workflow is wonderfully intuitive once you get a grip on it and you can really concentrate on your drawing without being distracted by constant trips to tweak and change your tools
Sketchbook Pro2010 - released this year. A whole raft of great improvements - most notable for me being the ability to create an save custom texture brushes. Still not bogged down by a huge tool set and workflow is still great. I turn to it or ArtRage straight away for any sketching.
I love Sketchbook Pro 2010
Around the same time as I found SKB1, a little, free app called ArtRage popped up. Sweet little software with a fairly uncluttered interface. It seemed a bit 'hobbyist' (no disrespect to hobbyists intended - just rather 'user friendly and fun' rather than aimed at pros). Did have a nice sensitivity to the pencil and other tools though. Pretty good with textures and paint blending too. Hmmmmmmm!?
So when it popped up with a new version2 a few years later I took another look and actually forked out the immense fee of about $25. It was just fun to sketch in and you could get some nice results. It had layers and some useful tools. Then they carried out a series of free upgrades through to version 2.5 and it was transformed for me.
The first thing that got my full attention was adding a 'precise pencil' variant. That was just like the fine lead pencils I used to use all the time in the real media world. Great feel to it - oh yes.
Then they added full layer blending modes, with solid psd compatibility. These are pro level tweaks.
No support for masks as such but instead - 'STENCILS'. You can make a stencil out of any image imported or painted - which adds a whole new dimension to what you can do. And they are fully transformable and invertable. For me it feels more like what you'd have to do in the real world, so I relate to it. (This is all just my take on it remember)
It's not as slick and fast as Painter or even Sketchbook Pro, but perversely that's a big part of the appeal for me. The team at Ambient are really approachable and respond to suggestions if they can and enough people support it. Their drive is to provide a 'pleasurable painting experience'. And they are working like crazy on version 3 which has all sorts of enhancements in the pipeline to add more functionality and tools without detracting from that 'fun to use' aspect. I'm on the beta testing team, so can vouch for that, but can't spill any actual beans - sorry. It should escape within the next few months, if not sooner (?).
I love ArtRage too
Hope that helps a bit and isn't just a self indulgent wallow in software love. My advice. Just try the things and use what suits your way of thinking and working. We all like different things.
June 19th, 2009, 08:33 AM
ahhh sweet....thanks for all your thoughts on it.
its been something thats been bugging me for a while, i love painter, but a few little things still get me down with it.
I hadnt heard of, or seen Sketchbook Pro 2010 before - looks pretty nice, Ill probably play around with artrage and might look into Sketchbook Pro 2010, see if theres a trial available.
at the end of that day, its pretty handy to be familiar with a variety of apps i think - just would be nice to find one tool that did it all - but i guess its a pain everyone goes through.
Cheers for the ideas
June 19th, 2009, 04:20 PM
The ArtRage discussion has migrated here now. I wonder if we should ask for referral commissions from Andy & Matt et al? :)
That caveman is cool, his expression is perfect. I'm somewhat envious of your ability to use no reference. I mean, for my pic I dressed up in a suit and a leather coat and posed for 20 minutes on my own couch like some kind of gay pimp just to get a reference I could use. Luckily my referencing skills are degenerate so it looks nothing like me, although that's what it takes for me to get something believable down.
June 19th, 2009, 09:00 PM
Ha! Well I already have a dedicated endorsement page on my site, for what it's worth with the pitiful traffic that goes through there.
No reference is no better or worse than reference Si - especially when you use it as well as you do. You take it in all sorts of wondrous directions I'd never think of.
I get myself in knots all the time, trying to elicit stuff out of my head. Just what I've gotten used to doing , that's all.
Bit more on First Spark (cheesey working title for the moment).
June 22nd, 2009, 02:52 PM
Gotten completely distractred by a bunch of other stuff I need to deal with at the moment, but have doodled down a couple more quick sketches - nothing very original though.
A couple of fairy type creatures nurturing somehing or other in a dewdrop - and a creative's creations coming to life - way off decent comps, but I just wanted to get them down.
June 27th, 2009, 07:25 AM
Haven't done diddly-squat on any of these for a good few days now. Just busy, busy with other stuff. Meanhwile it's great to see everyone else charging ahead with super ideas and images.
So a quick toy with this to try and start gathering momentum again.
June 27th, 2009, 11:38 AM
The first painting you did has really strong colors, and i really liked the idea after you explained it. :)
Maybe you would want to explore the creative creations bit, i love the concept.
Keep it up!
June 28th, 2009, 06:31 AM
I like how this one is coming one - its got a very gentle/soothing feel to it and seems like it will be full of sunlight. Good to see to something thats not from the dark side. The characterisations are brimming with personality - very cool!
June 28th, 2009, 06:33 AM
Love the skinny little creates, excellent characters once again. One point - does the egg shape need to be tilted a bit?
June 28th, 2009, 04:49 PM
Thanks as always for the feedback chaps.
Yes it does Si. Odd! It was more tilted when I laid it out in the first place and I've subconsciously straightened it in progress somehow! How anal is that?
June 29th, 2009, 01:11 AM
Loving the work so far Nick. As always, it is a pleasure seeing it develop! Still trying to come up with a decent idea myself! lol. Anyway, keep up the great work!
July 2nd, 2009, 07:31 AM
You can do it Scott. I've seen you at work before remember and know what you are capable of. Just get stuck in and something great will come out the other end. Sounds painful, and sometimes is.
Meanwhile, I've been very slack in getting on with this, or rather - not. Need to get some momentum back. Here's a go at trying to do that, by warming up the over all feel of the most progressed one a bit.
July 2nd, 2009, 07:51 AM
That's looking great, the varied hues work really well together producing a great atmosphere. You say I work fast but if I had to do that many people I'd still be at it!
July 2nd, 2009, 07:55 AM
Thanks Si - but just don't look too closley at the figures. To say they are anatomically diverse is being generous. There's a ton of stuff still to do on it and I don't even know if I like it enough to bother finishing it. It's all rather trite and doesn't yet get any message aimed at across either. Apart from that it's going great. Grrr - it will not beat me though!
July 3rd, 2009, 11:05 AM
I'm glad you kept on with this one Nick it's really quite touching. It's great too that you advocate artrage it's such a great tool :)
July 3rd, 2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks Pearlyking. Glad you seem to be enjoying my thrashing about.
Hardly any progress on the main one today, but a bit more of a dabble with compositional ideas for the caveman one.
July 3rd, 2009, 04:15 PM
That last one made me laugh. Good how you get that caveman look without any apparent trouble.
Once, for practice, I studied Frank Frazetta's "Neanderthals" and then tried to draw it from memory. It ended up looking like a retard version of Reservoir Dogs. Even though your caveman is more a comedy character there's a similarity between how you create the face and how Frank painted his, with the heavy brows and prominent lips.
July 5th, 2009, 08:11 AM
Hi Nick,nice to see you here,your image is really cool,i like your style!!
good luck to you,take care
July 5th, 2009, 01:28 PM
awesome thread.......the colors of ur sunset are really amazing i like the highlights and postures of ppl.....plus ur cave man is so cute and well-rendered i cant wait to see more.
looking forward to learn more from this thread
July 7th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Laugh! And there was me trying to be all serious - cough.
That Frazetta painting with the Neanderthals coming through the mist was one of the first things I ever saw of his - on a cover of Creepy magazine, which I picked up specifically for that image when I was a kid. Reckon we must be using some of the same influences Si.
Hi Younes, Hi Maria.
Thanks to you both. I'll keep an eye out for you here now I now you're here, Younes.
I've been having a lot of software crashing problems the last few days, which is probably an indicator that I need to give my system a clean install. I've gone over 18 months without one, so I guess it's overdue, and has decided to tell me so.
managed to squeeze this screengrab out before SKB lost the work - so at least when I'm back up and running (in a day or so I hope)I can use it to speed up getting back to this state.
Edit - OK, so I'm soldiering on, avoiding the hassle of a clean install for the moment. Working rou nd the software crashes and rijiggin the composition on this one yet again. Bet I'm not done yet either.
July 8th, 2009, 09:47 PM
awesome stuff. I really like the caveman one though, and possibly the blue, "cold/freezing", one the best. Looks like pastels too which i love.
Justice Von Brandt
July 9th, 2009, 12:36 AM
I like the last one the best:)
July 9th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Great work on your next WIP and its a very evocative take on the theme. Of the two versions I think I prefer the one with more open sky - although the more interior cave version also has a nice feel to it too. So what Im trying to say is that either looks great I think! I can imagine all sorts of details and the fun you could have with lighting on this one. Really looking forward to see what you do with this.
July 9th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Comixnut, Justice and Graphicgolem.
Apart from other things that need fixing, I'm not happy with the composition or background and am still fumbling around looking for something I like better. Meanwhile I tinker with other bits while the grey matter fails to function.
With regards the 'pastel' look ion the earlier wip. That's just a texture brush I made in Sketchbook Pro2010. I wasn't really intending a frosty look - it just kind of happened, but may well become an ingredient of the final piece now.
July 9th, 2009, 12:42 PM
I have to say this is a really beautifully executed piece. I think the narrative becomes much clearer when you notice some of the smaller details like the children and babies lying everywhere. I think some more attention needs bringing to the child wrapped in cloth that the guy seems to be reaching for. At the moment it's a bit concealed in its wrappings. I think if it was a little clearer what is actually there than this works really well
July 9th, 2009, 01:07 PM
Love your latest piece, Nickillus. I noticed you use Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage frequently. I need to give ArtRage another try (when their new version get release) after my 30 days trial over as I love the simplicity of the software but didn't get to practice much with it.
July 9th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Thanks muchly D00dlebug. You are right that I need to draw more attention to the foacl point of the baby being alive. I'll have to keep that in mind.
Hi Hueyyeng, and thanks. I'm not so keen on this caveman yet, but feel there is potential in there somewhere. Yep - I love SKB and ArtRage both. They have different strengths and things to offer. ArtRage is definitely worth giving a good go in my opinion - and with version 3 coming out shortly there will be even more to recommend it.
Need to keep this one going as well, so had another quick go to get me started on it again.
July 10th, 2009, 08:17 AM
And another rejig to the comp on this one, which I think has more possiblities.
July 10th, 2009, 08:27 AM
I like the last revision, it's certainly looking better I think. One point I'd change is that the main guy's right hand (our left) seems bent backwards and downwards excessively, at an unnatural angle.
Will you be submitting both or choosing one or the other?
July 10th, 2009, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback and so quickly, Si. Yep - I've been having 'fun' with the hands. That right hand wasn't bothering me much, but with your fresh eyes I bet you've got a point. To close to it for too long. Always a danger that I let awful gaffes slip through that stick out like sore thumbs - literally in this case??? - when I look at them fresh, down the line a bit..
Seems a bit greedy to enter more than one, despite it not being prohibited. I'll most likely only lob that first body ridden one in, but I'd like to finish both if I can just to update my stagnant portfolio.
I'd like to do something with that elfy-fairy one too really, but that's so far off getting anywhere, and I've a ton of other unfinisheds lurking about that are more deserving, if only I can re-enrgise myself to get on with them.
Do have a 'Secret Agent' one on the go for that CGSociety challenge that's proving quite fun to play with too - but I've an awful track record for finishing anything there.
July 11th, 2009, 01:49 PM
For some reason I've had the energy of limp celery today. SO this is all that's happened.
July 11th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Another winner. I love the expression on his face and the leathery feel to his hands. The reaction of the other cavemen is priceless.
July 11th, 2009, 02:10 PM
The usual great stuff Nick
July 12th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I always loved how your pics take me by surprise. I look at them in the beginning and I know it's going to be great but I am still astonished as the details emerge! The caveman pic is awesome. Loving the textures!
July 13th, 2009, 05:26 AM
Great stuff. Loving this
July 13th, 2009, 05:30 AM
I love your figures but something is bugging me about the blue of the sky. Maybe a bit darker and less saturated would work better? Not too helpful, I know, but like you I've been in limp celery mode for a few days and my right brain isn't talking to my left.
July 13th, 2009, 01:39 PM
I have to agree with Simon, darker with a few hazy stars perhaps. I get the feeling that it was already one of those things you were going to get too :)
I really like this one and I do hope you get it finished on time.
July 13th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Lovely textures. :P Pretty much of my comment is already mentioned by Baron and Pearlyking.
Also I noticed that the glow of the fire is a bit washout and desaturated on my monitor. Been referring to lots of fire reference hence my observation. Maybe punch in a bit the saturation of the fire so it looks more lively.
July 13th, 2009, 08:43 PM
Thanks for all the useful feedback. It's all helping me try to saty on track to some sort of coherent finish on this one.
Black Spot - you're very kind
Martin - Always great to see you about.
Scott - I've started combining texture brushes and photo-textures to see how they go together in SKB. That's where those are comming from.
Miycko - Thank you kindly.
Si - Everything you say is always helpful. That sky is just bland at the moment and in need of bringing to lif. Haven't decided quite what to do with it yet, so will try a few things out.
PearlyKing - Yep - that sky. Hopefully I'll have finished faffing about with it in time, but it's probably the other image that I'll stick in as an entry - assuming I finish that !!??!!
Hueyyeng - Thanks for the input. Yep - it's not glowing firey enough yet is it. Hmmm, something else to keep tinkering with.
Here's today's tinker.
July 14th, 2009, 06:37 AM
I love the way the caveman image has come on. In some ways I'm liking it more now than the famine image - despite the lighter hearted feel, the composition on the caveman seems more dramatic. Maybe you should submit both.
One teeny tiny bit of constructive crit on the Caveman - at first I couldn't tell where the flame was coming from - I thought that maybe they'd struck a natural gas pocket and it had ignited, but I think there is some kindling going on there so maybe you should make more of that.
Both looking great anyway!
July 14th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Hi Nick,nice illustrations,nothing to say!!
i just joined the challenge today,im a bit late,check my thread if you have time;
have a nice day :lounge:
July 15th, 2009, 07:29 PM
You're right Leighton - I haven't put the kindling in yet, and it does leave a big doubt about where exactly the flame is coming from. That is one of the many things that needs sorting. it's on the list - as is trying to make it understood that our cavey has used to two flints to strike the first spark - so they need work too.
You can do it Dissar. I've been in your thread and seen how well you're getting on already. Looking forward to seeing that progress.
Here's a few more bodies marked in. More to come. I'm wondering about having a kiddie right up close, peering over the rock at the flame, with just the top half of his head showing - eyes wide?
July 15th, 2009, 08:05 PM
hi nick,nice update!!your 2 images are really impressive!thanks for checking my thread,really apreciate your help.
July 16th, 2009, 09:42 AM
Nice progress Nick. I'm not that sure if adding the boy will sort of disturb the flow of the composition but no harm trying it since the beauty of working digitally is we are able to test out new idea without destroying our work. :P
July 16th, 2009, 10:49 AM
nice details on the main caveman, can't wait to see you detail everything else.
July 18th, 2009, 12:06 AM
Neat idea! Great progress so far, I think this piece is very strong indeed!
I think the fire needs some love for sure, right now it just seems like a glowy tendril or something. Definitely try to nail the fire, that will be key to this image IMO.
July 23rd, 2009, 07:43 AM
Thanks Diissar, Happy to visit your thread and see the exciting progress. Keep it going.
Thanks Hueyyeng. My feeling is that there are breaks in the flow now and I'm still fumbling with the composition. Just have to try things and see. Really appreciate the input.
You're not wrong Mutonhead. Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to supply valuable feedback.
After having to concentrate on other stuff for a bit, here's a tiny bit more on it. I reckon the new figures will add to the sense of excitement, when they're more complete. Started to give the fire a little more of that recommended 'oomph' as well - and a bit more movement to draw the eye and help the composition.
July 23rd, 2009, 10:02 AM
Coming along splendidly Nick! Nothing else to add except keep at it!
July 24th, 2009, 12:10 PM
i love your vision and artwork
July 24th, 2009, 12:29 PM
great work so far :)
the only thing i would have added is a bit of purple and a bit of blue to the begining of the flame it something i learnt from painting a lit candle and looking at fire, fire does not only have reds and yellows in it it also have purple and blue and other colors just not that noticable like the reds and yellows :)
July 24th, 2009, 03:45 PM
That's looking great, with the detail on the characters and the rock textures. My only gripe is the flame (I bet you're tired of looking at the flame!) It appears a bit top-heavy. Also, where's it coming from, or are you going to paint some twigs and stuff later?
No, wait, something else... the main guy, on the left - I can't quite work out where his lower body goes. The flame's on a pedestal, I can see that, but the rock in the bottom left corner looks a bit like the floor and makes that area confused. Maybe it would look better just black?
Really nice, work, though, those characters are excellent.
July 26th, 2009, 02:43 PM
nice atmosphare ..... :)
August 1st, 2009, 06:01 AM
WOW! What a fantastic entry for this challenge. I've been trying to keep up with the many, many images I'd happily short-list as contenders, but there are just too many that merit it. Wonderful effort, chaps (and chapesses of course - that's understood I hope).
I did my usual thing and let other stuff interfere too much with my progress so have abandoned the caveman one as an entry. It will get finished in my own time and it will get used for something else instead.
I reverted to the first idea I had at the last minute, cobbling it to an almost finish instead, and submitted that. Great fun taking part, which is the main reason anyone should be doing this, isn't it? That and to try to improve and learn as you go. Got both of those things out of this. Thanks to everyone in here for that.
Scott - Thanks.
Josif - Thanks to you too.
Oren90 - You are quite right and it was always on the agenda to 'nurture the look of the flame some more. Thanks for the input.
Si - As always, you spot all the things on the huge list of things that need fixing. Great to have your keen eyes on the job. Really apprecaited, thanks.
Mohdmubasshir - thanks for dropping by and commenting.
August 1st, 2009, 06:37 AM
wow they look fantastic :) great work on those two
August 1st, 2009, 08:04 AM
great job Nick!the challenge is over now,i wonder when we can know the winners;did you see my final image??check it if you have free time
good luck my friend:rocker:
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