Painting Sikh History: Mata Bhag Kaur
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    Painting Sikh History: Mata Bhag Kaur

    Women in the army and equality of gender and races, etc is what I like about Sikh history.
    Hey everyone! Its me again! This will be my last post here until I finish up the three paintings, and move on to new ones.

    Anyway, like the title suggests, this painting depicts Mata Bhag Kaur, a female sikh, who leads an army in to battle. She often referred to as Mai Bhago.
    Again, wikipedia knows more than me so here is her background. http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php?title=Mai_Bhago_ji

    For this painting, I didn't use other people's work to start me off.

    This is what I had before:

    and this is what I have now:

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    Last edited by prince911; August 16th, 2009 at 03:08 PM.
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    The horses back legs look weird. That doesn't look like a scimitar.

    For such a dynamic shot, it really feels like a static pose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    The horses back legs look weird. That doesn't look like a scimitar.

    For such a dynamic shot, it really feels like a static pose.
    The scimitar is supposed to look like this:http://pirates.missiledine.com/images/swords/Talwar.jpg

    I think the real point of criticism here is to make the scene/pose as dynamic as possible! So like you said it does not look very dynamic, how could I work to make it more dynamic?

    (I think the first one looks more dynamic, but don't know why)

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    I saw the image, and yep... that is what a scimitar looks like. I agree. It IS supposed to look like that. Notice how the curve travels along the entire blade? In yours the bottom half looks straight, then curves at the end.

    Thanks by the way for telling me the "real point" of a crit. That helps. I have been doing it wrong all of these years apparently.

    You want the piece to be more dynamic, add dynamism. Stop making everything feel really stiff and straight.

    I am sorry if it was an abrupt crit before, but this is the third piece of yours I have helped on, and was hoping to move on to helping someone else. I thought you would be able to see what I was talking about and help yourself.

    On a side note, being snide and snippy will take you somewhere, but I am not sure if you will like where you find yourself.

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    And the first one does look more dynamic, because of the free flowing brushstrokes.

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    It's the front legs that are wrong. Horses move on the diagonal. His near (left) foot is "dishing" (throwing outwards) makes him look unbalanced.

    The horse's legs are too far apart; bring the off (right) leg closer to the other, and it should be leading (in front) not the other. You were closer to a horse's movement in your first wip. By getting the movement wrong you've made the horse look splay-legged and concave-chested, and arrested the forward movement.

    Also, if she had her sword ready for action she'd be looking at her target, not the horse's neck. Her legs are too high. Make her sit a little deeper into the saddle and drop her hips/knees/heels or she'll look ready to fall off.

    If you want to make it look as though she's moving really fast, bring her body nearer to parallel with the horse's.

    Gesture tips, not painting. Not smart enough to give tips on digital painting.

    Good luck....

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    To add dynamism I would have said have the character standing up in the saddle, but there is none.

    Riding bareback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    I saw the image, and yep... that is what a scimitar looks like. I agree. It IS supposed to look like that. Notice how the curve travels along the entire blade? In yours the bottom half looks straight, then curves at the end.
    hmm ok.
    Thanks by the way for telling me the "real point" of a crit. That helps. I have been doing it wrong all of these years apparently.
    Sounded like you were being sarcastic. I didn't mean to be rude in my previous comment. I just read a sticky at the top and it said mention what exactly do you want a crit on. So I replied by saying "real point of criticism here is to make the scene/pose as dynamic as possible!" and I didn't mean to say it jsut to you, it was supposed to be for everyone who will reply after you.
    I got really excited when you said it looked static because i was trying to figure out how to make it more dynamic (its supposed to be dynamic) and what I meant was that I am stuck and help me out in that particular aspect.


    You want the piece to be more dynamic, add dynamism. Stop making everything feel really stiff and straight.
    So how would I go about doing that?


    I am sorry if it was an abrupt crit before, but this is the third piece of yours I have helped on, and was hoping to move on to helping someone else. I thought you would be able to see what I was talking about and help yourself.
    I saw what you were talking about but I can't help myself. So please share your wisdom when you get the time!
    On a side note, being snide and snippy will take you somewhere, but I am not sure if you will like where you find yourself.
    I am sorry I didn't mean to sound that way. I posted the pic of a talwar because that is what I am going for. That was there to help you help me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    To add dynamism I would have said have the character standing up in the saddle, but there is none.

    Riding bareback.
    Good idea!! There is supposed to be a saddle there.

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    Ok here is the horse I used for reference.


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    Wow...

    Um...

    That was a really nice post. I am impressed. I thought you were trying to be rude/mean (you get those on here every so often) and you really just floored me.

    To add dynamism, I would say think of some really dynamic situations and see what would fit with the story elements of your shot. Running up the beach is a dynamic situation, but what about us catching the scene right at the moment where the horse is leaping over a fallen tree / broken boat pieces / opposing soldiers. That would add a lot of arc to the pose and add to the drama/suspense/dynamism... but it might not fit. It would also push the character to the point where it is harder to hold on the the horse and would add dynamism to his pose of trying to hold on to both the horse and his sword all while flying into the air.

    The situation just needs to be pushed a little more.

    Google horses or horse competitions and look for some good poses.

    Again, thanks for the humility. It was really impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prince911 View Post
    Ok here is the horse I used for reference.
    Notice how the horse is coming down into the step? This is at the end of the gallop. I think you need to find some ref where the horse is pushing off with the back legs.

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    I think this will work very nicely, and its similar to what I had before.


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    This shot is from a higher angle though. If you choose a similar pose that was taken from below it will make the character look more heroic.

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    Well, thanks Bai Fan for pointing out like everything I needed to improve all my pieces!

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    Sorry,



    Isn't that why you post in the crit section? To get better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    Sorry,



    Isn't that why you post in the crit section? To get better?
    Ya but I should still thank the people that spent time looking over my work. Its the least I can do.

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    Ah.

    Gotcha. I thought there was a bit of sarcasm in it.

    Did you know that there is actually a "thank" button in the post windows now? I havent been here for a while and they just added that. Pretty cool.

    I think I have gotten 45 thanks in the past 5 days.

    Makes me feel all warm inside. (or is that hot and bothered?)

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    ooh I see it. Apparently I have 2 thanks but no idea why?!?

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    I think I thanked you when you posted that humble message. If you click on the arrow next to your name and go to your profile, there is a link that will show all of the messages you were thanked in.

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    you're welcome!

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    Another great source for horse ńCTION reference is Rodeo sites. Check out the "NFR" National Finals Rodeo and specifically look for events like team roping and barrel racing. Great source for dynamic action and most of the rodeos are outdoors so the lighting is pretty good.

    I like your rough better than the second image. The rough immediately conveys the scene that you are going for with confidence ie: broad strokes of paint. The second one looks like you are figuring it out as you go. My suggestion would be for you to go "Old School". first, do several studies including the figure, the horse, the weapons, the setting, the saddle etc. second, cobble it all together into a composition or perhaps several. Once you've settled on one you like, do a tonal study of the entire piece. Then you are able to tackle the color. As you can see, this method is very time consuming but it is time tested and proven and should help out.

    Also, regarding composition. Have you any of the books by Andrew Loomis? If not, I suggest that you get or download a copy of "Creative Illustration". This book has a superb section with some excellent tools that can help you to make your composition more dynamic.

    Your content is good, you just need to push it further to take it to the next level.

    Hope this helps,
    Cheers.

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    Thanks Wheeljack, I will defintely do that, since I am picturing myself painting sikh history for the rest of my life! Horses are everywhere! Mughals also specialized in cavalry, and many Sikh wars have been with Mughals. So will definitely do studies on horses.

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    Hey guys! I went back to the what I had before, the initial concept, and worked on that a bit more. I fixed the horse using this painting I found with a similar pose. I didn't like the one that was jumping. It didn't work well with what I already had.

    So yes, please look at it and see if there is anything that needs work. Its still a work in progress, but I think this basic layout is good and I am just going to be detailing everything. I am also going to redefine the soldiers in the back.
    Thanks!

    Last edited by prince911; December 22nd, 2008 at 02:40 PM.
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    It's good you scrapped the jumping one, a lot of the time the finer ones are too refined and well-trained, a polished jumping pose would seem out of place in a charge scene unless the horse was jumping a log or dead body.

    These are also some nice references (I tried to find ones with similar concepts, but you will need to flip some of them):
    http://equine-resource.deviantart.co...s-Off-38557442
    http://equine-resource.deviantart.co...op-II-31538222
    http://equine-resource.deviantart.co...-Pose-31614393
    (but horse seems to be making a swerve in this one, but oh well)
    http://equine-resource.deviantart.co...harge-27934959

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    This is what I had before (minus the log). I know the horseman in the back needs to be redone. But right now I am trying to focus on the gallop of the horse in front.
    O


    But I wanted to try some variation in the gallop of the horse. So I tried different poses.
    A


    B


    C


    How can I create the illusion of speed? Do I need to paint it from a different perspective?

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    I don't know about adding speed to the image sorry, but if you're interested in adding more heightened emotion to the image, you could perhaps consider having the horse’s tail raised/flagged like in these two images, which is something many horses do when they get excited (especially when they’re running and their blood is pumping).

    On the whole all the work you’ve shown here is building towards a very dynamic and gorgeous image and I can’t wait to see more.

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    Super, those front leg changes made the difference.
    You should probably try it out on the background horse also.
    Still in WIP, but some lighter values on the lower end of foreground horse perhaps.
    [It's a dark coat though, so I'll have to do some studies also.]

    Nice WIP mate.

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    Hello

    Take a look at these sites. They show paintings by the American Artist Frederick Remington, who is most famous for paintings depicting the American West of the late 1800's. Inparticular look at his horses, which I believe should help you quite a bit.

    As to your rider, why is some one charging into battle looking at their horse's neck. Try lifting the head some, if you like it down, and indicate the eyes are up looking forward.


    http://www.paintinghere.com/artist/F...mington-1.html

    http://store.encore-editions.com/Art...Remington.html

    Mr. D

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