Dahami, I disagree, and while you may think you have trouble with expressing the contour of a representation with scales, your problem actually consists in your choice of medium. You're not using the correct medium to express the 'texture' of what you're trying to represent. If you're trying to accurately preserve the likeness of what you're failing (note: your failure is primarily attributable to your medium choice, for I believe that you should consider a medium specific to your purposes, and, in that vein, you should scrap whatever "progress" you've achieved in this sketchbook) to depict, then you should seriously consider optimizing your medium choice. Here's the medium you should have been using:
1: [PHOTO MANIPULATION (i.e., to reiterate: the medium you should be focusing your efforts on)]
First and foremost, let me start by saying that I'd heartily recommend that you consider photo manipulation due to defective quality of your draftsmanship. I can't even understand your pictures because of the smudgy, under-confident, scratchy, and inconsistent quality of your lines; and I'd hasten to admit that they're unduly interfering, to the point of distraction, with my viewing experience of the 'subject'. Furthermore, photo manipulation would allow you to cull from nature's rainbow of texture, color, etc., to express whatever the abductee's report to be appropriate based on their first-hand encounters. Moreover, I believe the sampling of nature's textures (say, provided by your local zoo's lizards, etc.) in the photographic medium to truly authenticate the documentary nature of what an artist is SUPPOSED to depict when they are merely translating an abductee's account into a visual representation of said account. Finally, even though it may be difficult to achieve what you want to with a photograph as you are dependent upon nature to go along with you, I think the 'manipulation' aspect of the medium of photography, specifically photo-based manipulation, to allow you to fully express whatever it is that isn't captured in the photograph (because of your low level of knowledge I think (and I don't think I'm in the minority here) that you could achieve better results by choosing a less visually distracting medium); for example, an incorrect scale hue can easily be remedied by way of a simple photo tweak in Photoshop or some similar program, and you can roughen the look of the photograph, etc., wherever you find it necessary; simply collage your manipulated photographs to acheive what's most appropriate based on the information you've been provided with first-hand (second-hand, whatever-hand, etc.) by whoever/whatever is informing you.
P.S. Just because you seem to be comfortable with what you're doing, doesn't mean that you're doing the right thing. Penultimately, you're failing the abductee with your medium choice, and the inequity with respect to said abductee's treatment is clearly demonstrated by your refusal to select an appropriate medium. Lastly, Your choice of medium is truly in poor taste, because you're not choosing what's most effective for the viewer for purposes of communicating what needs to be communicated (i.e., a documentary visual representation of an abductee's verbal / written account).
Last edited by BlitzKev; October 5th, 2009 at 08:42 PM.
moosepaws, thanks. Angular lines may do the trick, and it's true that if I don't get the line work right to begin with, then the time I spend rendering details is kind of wasted.
Well BlitzKev, if you're being serious, then thank you. I know that it is possible to achieve a good scale texture through photo manipulation, but one has to pay a lot of attention to lighting and the angle of the scales and so forth in the source photo. Not to disappoint, but at this stage I'm not quite ready to get into that.
I also think you are trying to make a point related to what I said in Main Loop's thread. I think archipelago said it best: "I think you are trying to project your own artistic goals onto other people, and it is just not going to work. Try and reach those yourself."
My current artistic goals don't include the use of photo manipulation, but perhaps at some point in the future.
ahhh, yes. all the 'classics' are represented here. I used to read UFO books all the time when I was little. obsessed, really. Now of course these are all pretty wacky and look like they are from The Outer Limits, but as a kid they were horrifying.
The only type I don't see represented are any 'hairy' bigfoot types, just with really long arms. I recall reading about them here and there, mostly seen in Kentucky and Brazil.
As fine art, the simplicity and subject matter in the simple painting is fine and even appropriate. However, from an artistic standpoint, you might want to paint real people and other subjects from life for awhile and then come back and do some more alien portraits and see if your craft has improved.
Randis, there are a handful of reptilian sketches I've done within the past few months, that I will be scanning and posting at some point.
CENOBITE, I have a few images of hairy bipeds and "Littlefoot" (short versions of Bigfoot, very rarely reported) and I will post these at some point. I understand what you are saying about painting real people and other subjects from life, though I don't expect to be doing that any time soon, for simple lack of motivation (I'd rather be playing computer games). Still, the exercise would help me with some of the basics.
Very often when I am looking at images of aliens created by others, I also look at the depictions they've done of human beings, since I know what humans look like. Then I can see to what degree their human representations differ from the real thing, and in what ways. Then I have a point of reference for what I might need to change in their alien images to make them more accurate to what they are trying to represent.
Hey! I think the vast number of scales is a bit distracting. You dont need to draw every single detail, try hinting a few of them and let your mind fill in the rest. This is kinda like trying to find a focal point, but the scales are all in the same intensity so all try to catch the eye. Try toning it down and I think it will be a lot better!
Bendragon, Yes I could just suggest the scales. There are situations in which that's entirely appropriate. For example, if I was putting one of these reptilian beings in a scene to show what goes on in a UFO abduction scenario, or if I was focusing on showing the heavy bone structure, pronounced tendons and well-defined musculature that characterize most of these beings. But part of what I'm doing is to try to determine what the actual scale pattern is, or at least to narrow down a range of possible scale patterns consistent with the witness descriptions. Consider it like scientific illustration where you are attempting to show something very specific. I want to know not just what reptilian beings look like, but what the scales look like, how big they are, what the texture is like and how they are arranged on the body. Perhaps, however, in the future I will put up more drawings where the scales are only suggested. Then, of course, the question becomes: "What's the best technique for suggesting the scales?" That depends a lot on how smooth the scales are, what shape they are, the direction in which they "flow" and so on.
This sketch is based on a drawing shown at a presentation on Reptilian Beings by Joe Lewels and Barbara Lamb. The head is more "primitive" looking (or less human-like) than some of the others. Most important about this image is the series of snake-like ventral plates that cover the chest and abdomen, in contrast to the solid breastplate, or simple scaly hide, reported in other cases. Also notable is a hand with only three digits.
alesoun, Not so much. Back in the eighties I did a picture of a chaparral whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis lateralis) for an art contest the Monterey County SPCA was having. It won some kind of award. Maybe I'll post it sometime, if I can figure out where it is. I also did a few drawings of California kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae). In the Monterey/Carmel/Salinas area those are generally the banded phase with blackish or chestnut brown cross-bands against a cream ground color. I'm in the Seattle area now and kind of miss those snakes.
It is good advice to do some studies of terrestrial reptiles at some point. Maybe I will.
As if, Texahol!
From an anatomical perspective the lateral shoulders jar a little. The human shapes with scales may be limited to the limited descriptive powers of shocked human beings.
Personally, I always thought that if reptile forms were to travel the void they would be frog-like. Manipulative fingers, (possibly) opposible thumbs, strong legs. Less humanoid.
But again, that could be down to shocked human beings trying to express what they saw. I just can't think of any reptiles with human-type shoulders. As far as I know, the flat side of reptilian shoulders tend to face towards the side and not the back. There's a very cute frog lives in a down drain outside my house.
The reason I asked was that Dahami wants to improve his skills with regards to representing reptiles, and I'd like to see his skills with representing ordinary reptiles. It's a little difficult to give constructive criticism without examples...
To weigh in on this, Texahol. These beings are as real to the witnesses as anything else. They can leave bruises, scratches and claw marks on the body, and affect a person's life as much as any other "real" thing. But there is no accepted "proof" of their existence. They basically show up in the lives of individuals and families, without revealing themselves as "real" to the overall culture in which our lives are embedded.
All this is made more complicated by the fact that some of the reptilian experiences happen as visions during meditation, when someone believes they are in communication with one of these beings, or in some kind of out-of-body state. The reptilians and other such beings seem just at home in an out-of-body state as in a physical one.
This is not the best forum for such discussions, however. There are many paranormal or UFO themed websites where the issue of the reality of these beings, and what that actually means, is debated constantly. Also, for the purposes of the artwork, the question is largely irrelevant. My goal is to create something that the witnesses would deem accurate to their perceptions, and hopefully to approach whatever objective truth might underlie those perceptions.
alesoun, I suspect that the human-like shoulders, if accurate, would be due to evolutionary convergence. Another possibility is transgenics (i.e., "hybridization"). These beings may be partly human in some regard. See the book Life's Solution by Simon Conway Morris for a somewhat controversial but well-supported look at the arguments for convergence.
Last edited by Dahami; October 13th, 2009 at 09:57 PM.
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