This is a rough (photoshop) sketch for a painting I'm about to do. The name will be something like Temple guardian. My question is, based on the rough sketch, can you tell what's happening?
Looks like somebody woke up the mountain from its slumber.
And, it's PISSED.
Your composition is very decent. However, the mountain in the distance on the right as it goes behind the foreground cliff creates a tangent, looking as if it belongs with the foreground. I believe it's because the mountain peak in the background is seemingly on the same plane as the foreground element right next to it.
It makes those background/foreground elements seem like they're visually fighting each other.
Seems like if you pushed that peak to the left (and up) a bit, it would break up that 'sameness', and be more visually interesting.
Also, if the cliff has just awakened, and we're seeing the freeze-frame from 5 seconds into it's maw that's about to masticate a tiny person, then it seems unsuccessful in conveying that. You've drawn something that may look interesting, but it seems like there's no movement to the big snarling head. There's no real danger, because it looks like you've drawn a statue, more than you have something that's just come alive.
Also, if a mountain like that really did come alive, and it really seems as if it's angry, the movement of that much angry face-rubble would be kicking up a LOT more debris, yes? As it looks now, what should look like a very exciting & dangerous event comes across as very calm.
But it's still DAMNED INTERESTING!
These things I'm suggesting are the small additions & fixes, not at all an overhaul.
I will say this... there's a severe dragon vibe I'm getting from your animated cliff. Its forehead seems to look like a road that leads from the front of the building above. If that's the case, why can't it be a cobblestone road? It would go well with the 'theme' of the dragon-like head, would it not? You know, like the cobblestones are scales...?
And if you do that, I'm wondering if you couldn't show (coming from the left side of the drawing, on the same plane as your cliff), the remainder of a bridge that was once whole, but now has come alive? A bridge that would now be the forehead and top-of-the-snout of the now snarling cliff?
Maybe the guy is now in mid-air, seemingly about to be swallowed up by the snarling cliff-mouth, having fallen from the suddenly broken bridge...?
Yeah, it was just an idea.
Very nice drawing. I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
Last edited by magnut; March 29th, 2009 at 02:18 PM.
Oh, by the way... I just looked at your links.
Damn, you're very good. Beautiful work!
Great stuff Magnut; thanks very much! You're right about the background. I've not quite decided what I'm doing with it yet. I think I'll end up playing it down so as not to steal the attention from the foreground story. Originally I was thinking of the piece as being horizontal which would open up more space for the background but of course force the main subject to be smaller and the overall piece more passive. However, with the current vertical composition I'll need to be sure not to try to force too much into the background.
Hey, I like the idea of the cobble stones and a natural stone bridge come to life idea a lot! That would also address a visual logic issue I have with where the "living" stone is being displaced from. I'll certainly add lots of dust and debris, maybe some guys on horses or maybe some sort of steam punk vehicles to show reaction. I also want to work in more contour to what would be the "spine" of the dragon. At the moment it feels too stiff. Well, granted, it IS made of stone, but still.
This is exactly the sort of feedback I was hoping for. Since this piece isn't for a client I'm just sort of winging it to see what ideas it sparks as I sketch. I should also pull some reference on mountainous landscapes and such but I'll do that once I decide on the design.
Thanks again, this is really helpful.