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Here are some gray scale interior images and a color cover image that were done for the Edge of Midnight RPG. Please let me know what you think...they're older images from the beginning of the year, but I'm still curious about what I could learn from my mistakes.
I really enjoyed pushing for the value range/budget that you find in old black and white photographs.
These are pretty nice. You definitely capture a thirties feel and you get a nice, broad range of values in each of the black and white drawings.
Here are a few critiques though.
1 - The rendering feels a bit... 'smeary' Not sharp enough in places.
2 - Your rendering of clothing could use a little work. Not enough attention paid to how the trousers drape and wrinkle, particularly on the one with the guy with the machine gun.
3 - The composition of the cover image is odd. Is there an element missing? It appears not to have a main subject. It seems like the gaunts are shooting at nothing. If they are the subject of the picture, it would be much more powerful to have them facing the viewer and shooting at him.
Also, the elements that most define the image as being from an earlier time are on the back cover instead of the front. The car and the art deco ornamentation on the building will not be seen until someone picks the book up and turns it over. You hid all the cool.
Wow, thanks Nathan. I think you verified a couple of my fears and addressed an issue that the art director and I should have taken more seriously. The gaunts are supposed to be shooting back at foes that are shooting from the buildings windows (the problem is they are only illustrated by gunfire blasts and that clearly isn't enough). I think I worried too much about how the type/graphics would read within the image and the gunfight scenario suffered...if anything, the building itself was treated as a giant machine that is moving forward as a combatant...which I think is a neat metaphore, but it needs to be explained.
I sure do appreciate your clear and thoughtful response.
Here are the thumbnail/comps that were done before I moved to the final...if I was forced to defend the cover, I'd say it suffered from being emergency work and I just need more experience working on this sort of complex piece (probably need to dive into more elaborate color comps on the next cover).
alot of your imagery is very soft and because of this, your compositions can feel unreal in a sense. With even a basic understanding, you should continue to work on your studies, especially in Perspectives. You have a keen eye for story telling which is good, and will make you an excellent illustrator if you keep at it. Post more!
Here is the world's worst sketch, showing how you might get all the elements you want on the front cover in a dynamic way, and still have a surprise for the back cover. My appologies for the scribbling. It really is terrible.
Coinpurse - Thanks for the general response. Just to clarify...I think your saying that the edge treatment (inspired by Eugene Carriere and the like) is hurting the compositions that still exist if you reduce these images to postage stamp size?..and are you saying that I should do more traditional studies to improve my understanding of atmospheric perspective and how its gradation might range from the foreground of the figure to the background?
NathanLong - Hey, there is no need to apologize for that sketch...it's raw and very informative. That would have been a great solution or at least given the direction a good head start. Thanks so much...you didn't have to do that. I appreciate your help sir. I think #4 of the above sketches might be the closest concept to your sketch. I think it came in at a close second when we were making a decision. It would have been a gaunt charging up an old art deco theater walkway, with the footlights, red carpet, and ornate interior, while the audience seats where burning.
Really, thanks again for your comments and your kick ass sketch.
Last edited by Ted; December 19th, 2007 at 04:59 AM.