Tommoy: - I do love the building-esque tower, hopefully you can play around with that one a bit. Oh and yea, the update on the Ace of Wands....AWESOME! As for the common element for the Aces, I still don't mind the mount. The northern lights could work for me. I don't mind the mount either.
Nic - Digging the sketches for Judgment. I like the third one best, but I agree with Tom and maybe try and rework the comp a bit? All in all though a strong start, I hope the other projects don't cut into your time too much.
B-man - Looking forward to seeing some progress, let's see if we can't nail down that unifying factor.
Here's some progress on my end.
1. Spent a bit on my Death character, took Tom's suggestion and added bit of skull, some furry boots and scarf and she's Norse right? Hah, I don't know guys all the rendering in the world won't take away the boring. Oh and although composition wise the moon is cool, lighting wise it makes no sense. May scrap it.
2. Sorry bout the toon-ish nature, but I was trying to get my point across with color quickly. I got the idea that Death rides through a field of dead, they're souls awaken and begin to mount the ghost horses that Death has brought with him, and away they ride into the pale blue moonlight.
3. A quick sketch, cliche, no?
4. Onto the comp studies. I like this one the best. Moon accenting the figure. Death, on his Death horse, and ghost horses cascading back. Bodies in the foreground, middle, background. Souls rising to meet their steeds.
5. Playing with camera angles, overhead shot of the same scene. A bit cramped, but I kinda like it. Not as much as the first though.
6. Same story, different perspective. I like this one the second best. It really sets Death out front and center. I may elaborate.
So yea, major arcana coming along.
Aces wises, I agree with Nic that a unifying characteristic should be used. I'm loving Tom and B-man's progress. I'd hate to have to pick something that would drastically change either design. I'd look for similarities between the two. I did like Tom's idea of B-man character riding an owl, but if that creates too many problems we can look at the northern lights, Norse mythology, wardobe, location, anything.
Let's keep it up guys!
Last edited by t i m; January 6th, 2010 at 11:04 PM.
For Judgement I also preferred the third pic I posted earlier. I'll toy with some other ideas soon but for now I like the "story" like Tom says on that one, even if the visuals have to be worked on (I have an idea for the ghosts that should fix this particular composition some).
Playing with the Ace of Swords a little more this evening. Different ideas, not gettin' bogged down in details and costumes yet, just wanna bull's eye the big picture first. Went with a female Ace this time, see where that took me. Also figured one of us should have a Drakkar in there somewhere, dunno if it works so hot at the moment but I'll see if I can work one in somehow. Postin' 'em here and callin' it a night. Get some sleep and shoot a few more off tomorrow.
Tom : I see you're startin' to work on a monastery/castle in the background. Got me thinkin' about Nordic architecture hehe Went and found a few quick refs on the net then. Here are a few stave-church pics I found, figured I'ld share them : steep-sloped wooden roofs and dragon heads just scream "Viking" as far as I'm concerned (ironically these are Christian churches...) :
Crit about the evolution of your Ace. I feel the cape takes away from the strength of the original sketch (at least where the cape lies now), where you had the odd laced-up dragon-harness thingy visible against the light background and his right fist up higher, looking more in control of the dragon I reckon. Quite liked that.
Tim : Of your sketches I prefer number 6. There might be less focus on Death (as in number 4), but I like the fact that you can see a path, a direction in the composition.
Tim, nice work with the new sketches. If you compare them with your initial sketch, witch was in no meaning bad (beautiful values on the body!), it's obvious the new sketches are more erm... alive, skull or no skull Of course the image with the skeleton on a skeleton horse is chewed on before, but still with integrating the Viking elements and the Nordic light it could be just something else. Images four and six are the most interesting.
Nic, thanks for the Nordic architecture, it pushed me a step further as you can see in some new sketches I've made.
I agree somewhere there has to be a drakkar, but don't forget the carved stones, the weave patterns that are in your moodboard. They are so typical for Vikings, we could/should use them.
From your Ace of swords I like the first graytone best, it has a nice lighteffect that could make this pic very dramatic.
I was screwin' around with the Ace of Sword some more and THIS happened. Ace of Swords = Ace of Spades... Anyone into Motörhead at all ? hehe
I put in more time than I planed on this one but I was havin' fun so it's all good. I don't think we can use it for a Tarot Card (not to mention it doesn't respect the ChoW 3/4s rule), but I might end up keepin' Lemmy as a template for my Viking dude though. He's pretty weathered nd battered I'ld say hahah I didn't think he would fit in at all but the result is actually kinda convincing I think, well... a lot more than what I EXPECTED at any rate
Tom : I like your number 4 the most out of the new batch. The pose is the best I reckon. I honestly am not sold on this Tower-golem thing though, not to mention P from team Tomato Tea seems to be goin' in that direction as well.
But in that same vein, I was thinkin' since the Tower is supposed to have people falling off of it in the regular Tarot, maybe you could have the tower as some sort of "ride", a humanoid ride of course. I was thinkin' this would work pretty well with some robo-mech or something like that with the "pilot" on top, but this could be made to be some sort of living/magical armour type giant. Anyway, just throwin' out another idea. I drew a quickie from your original hammer-wielding-tower idea to help illustrate what I mean. Ok ok it looks crumby but it still should be better than words alone hehe
I agre about the carved wood : that's quite nice as well. I'ld like to manage them into my cards but I don't wanna force it either type of thing ? Anyway, more sketches to come, one WILL work for me !!!
About the Tower, I'm not looking what other teams think up. Just go with what suits me fine. The idea of a mech kind of tower is possible although I want him mainly consisting of rock, stones and wood. In my new sketch THE HAMMER's back, talking about Motörhead
Hey looks like I might be travellin' to Vietnam end of February for that architecture gig I mentioned earlier. You just might have been right Tom : 2010 just might work out hehe
the HAMMMER ! hehe I liked it before but now, now it's the HAMMER The update makes me think the character's breathing through some towering lava-tubes, dunno if you were goin' in that direction ? All cavernous and burnin' from the inside like. Is that Jormungand swimming towards him ?
Some more screwin' around on my part : some for Judgement, some for the Ace. I feel I'm sticking to close to some historical likeness for the moment with the Viking theme so I figured I'ld try and cut loose some. I'll do more, see where they gets me.
Tom - Loving what you're doing with the Tower! So glad you took the time to rework this guy as much as I liked the hulking viking, this is just so much better, can't wait to see more!
Nic - Congrats on the gig, Vietnam, very cool man! Loved the last couple series of sketches you've done. Digging the mask work, like the thought you're putting into designing it, going with a samurai-viking inspired design, pretty sweet. Keep plugging away, one of those sketches is bound to work.
On my end, I've finally nailed down what I'm doing for death. Researched the card a bit and got inspired by this story:
"The air is cold and wintry, the trees bare. Before him, he sees, rising with the sun, a skeleton in black armor mounted on a white horse. He recognizes it as Death. As it stops before him, he humbly asks, "Have I died?" He feels, in fact, rather empty and desolate. And the Skeleton answers, "Yes, in a way. You sacrificed your old world, your old self. Both are gone, dead." The Fool reflects on that, "How sad." Death acknowledges this with a nod. "Yes, but it is the only way to be reborn. A new Sun is rising, and it is, for you, a time of great transformation."
Nic, cool drawings, specially the face and hand are nicely done. I also like your search for the helmet. Personally I like the second goat kind of helmet the most. The Viking/samurai helmet/mask looks sweet too. I hope you keep the Drakkar, its a very strong element. About Judgement, here's some text I came along googeling Viking law, its quite interesting.
The Vikings and the Law
Did the Vikings have laws?
Oh, yes they did and we know what they were like. The very word LAW in English is a Viking word. The English word for a local law, e.g. laws about where you can park cars etc., is "by-law". The word "by" comes from the Scandinavian word for "town". Similarly a local election is called a "by-election". There are no indications that the 'Danelaw' in England was more lawless than the areas under Anglo-Saxon rule.
What was the Viking Legal System like?
The 'ting' was the Viking word for a legislative assembly and a court. A criminal was brought here to stand trial. The presumed facts of the case were established by a panel (Old Norse "kvidr") of people stating what they THOUGHT was the truth.
A jury of 12, two times twelve or three times twelve, depending on the importance of the case, decided the question of guilt. The 'law-sayer' told the jury what the law said about the crime committed and the accused was either convicted or declared innocent by the jury.
If convicted, the criminal was either fined or declared an out-law. To be an outlaw meant that the criminal had to live out in the wilderness and no one was allowed to help him in any way, and he was free game for his enemies. They were free to do their best to hunt him down and kill him.
'Ull's ring', the sacred ring of the Norse god ULL, is supposed to have been important at trials.
What about Vikings attacking and raiding other people?
There was no law against war with others (Is there today?). Like the Elizabethans in England and others, the Vikings had no law against piracy as long as it was against the "enemy", so raids outside the "law-area" were not illegal!
To solve disputes
Holmgang (A duel) was a common way of solving disputes and there were detailed rules for duels. If the duel took place near the coast a small islet, hulme or skerry was chosen, and inland duels took place at some secluded place. Swords and shields were favourite weapons. The sagas state that a dueller was defeated as soon as his blood touched the ground. To win a duel was regarded as proof that you were right, because the gods always helped the "right" man to win. The introduction of Christianity put an end to this kind of duel.
Ordeal by fire
Jernbyrd 'carrying of (hot) iron' (Old Norse: Járnburdr) The Christian church introduced the Vikings to ordeal by fire. The most common method was to grab a piece of iron from boiling water and walk 9 paces with it carrying it in ones hands.
This way of deciding the truth outlived the Viking Age. Inga from Varteig in 1218 'carried iron' to prove her son Håkon Håkonsson (king of Norway 1217 - 1263) was the rightful heir to the throne of Norway.
Walking 12 paces on red-hot irons (ploughshares for instance); could prove innocence if after 3 days the feet were inspected and the wounds were found clean e.g. without infection.
Harald Gille, king of Norway from 1130 - 1136, "proved" his right to the throne walking on hot iron.
The Christian church introduced these methods and the church also abolished them. In Norway it was abolished in in 1247.
In Fiji, among other places, fire walking is still performed today using hot stones. This is done as a cultural ceremony, not a trial.
Tim, that a very inspiring text, almost can see the picture before me.
Björn, any progress on the Ace of Pentacle.
The Tower is coming along fine, its less bulky, thanks Nightbleu, the colors are a little better, thanks Niva, I've made changes to the towers, they're not supposed to be tubes, and now I know what exactly is swimming between his toes, thanks Nic I'm going to give it some more admospheric depth, I want it to be hUge. Maybe I use some Nordic light in the background. Of course there will be lightning, just gonna keep working on it.
I really like the tower, it's coming alone very well. the color is nice, and I just like how the stone and bricks has character and personality. However (here we go...lol), from my understanding, The Tower means "vanity, chaos, and destruction". This guy looks too peaceful, too "in control". In traditional Tarot card, tower is always showing on fire or falling down. well, that's how I picture tower~ looking forward to how you interpret it.
Janos - Thanks man! Yea I really was digging the color scheme too, had a decent amount of mood to it. I can always go back to that piece. I suppose I wanted to challenge myself though, hence the overhead comp of this last one. Could be great or a complete disaster, we'll see...
Tim : I think the composition on your last one is miles ahead of your first pic (she-death by the stone). I liked the inclusion of the stone in the first one though, maybe you could have one or two in some background. I say this and I see a few vertical stones popping out from the ground, a few sorta disapering in the distance another one closer so we can see a few details on the carvings and such. Hell dath is near right so maybe the carvings are glowing a little because of his presence or something... Anyway hehe
I do find it's a pretty "typical" image of death though, but I'm sure that can be solved with Norse layering and detailing onto the character. I think this one fits in with the potential of # 4 and 6 in your post number 121. When I compare them I personally prefer seeing death on his/her ride simply because it places the character on a pedestal figuratively, like he's better than you, but this one on foot also works for me. I prefer the fact that he's dealing with only one person in this version as opposed to the multiple riders in post 121. The association between the corpse and the querent is much easier this way, I find.
I quite like the angle too, and much prefer the helmet to the hood. So they have their pros and cons. Am I right in assuming you're goin' with a raven-styled helmet ? If so that's cool for the symbolism and also because I think I might be moving in that direction with my Judgement card (but more about that in a subsequent post).
Also, the sun is a key symbol for this card so I guess with the camera angle from above it sorta kills the possibility of including it in the pic (although again it makes for a nice perspective visually). Maybe you could have the morning sun included in some other way. I can see the shadow cast behind the character right now so I can "see" a sun there, but I reckon that's because I know I should be looking for one. Maybe there's some way of adding it symbolically ? Dunno, just a thought. The morning sun reflecting offa the black armour is gona look sweet though I imagine, set up against some pale bluish skull/body could be pretty killer pallet wise.
Tom : Ya Danelaw Thanks for the info, interesting. Any suggestions on how to work some of this in with the meaning of the card ?
Björn : Are you still having problems tryin' to post those pics you were talkin' about in your previous post ? Get well dude, anxious to see your stuff. Maybe you could give us some feedback if you're still to ill to draw any ?
Alright, I'll be posting some more sketches later. Not "the one" yet but I think I might be settling on an idea or two. Anyway, I'll get into that later.
**Edit : hey Tim, I took at a look at your new pic as I was posting this and a thought just accured to me about the viewangle : maybe it can be the point of view of the corpse's "soul" assending to a higher plane, looking back down at Death. That could be cool : scary because you die, but you also understand that it's for a new beginning. I dunno,I mention 'cause I rather liked the posibility and it just popped for no reason in my head hehe**
Last edited by Rambozo; January 12th, 2010 at 07:10 PM.
Reason: New idea
Alright, a few more forays. Again, letting loose a little, not thinkin' about composition at all, these are the ones that came out not completely horrible. (4's a sculpted forehead helmet, I shoulda mentionned I guess)
One good thing that came out of this is I think I might settle on the Valkyrie idea for the Judgement card. Would seem to tie-in well with it's meaning. If I'm to believe the online sources she's pretty close to Death this card of mine, only this is a voluntary sacrifice, a rebirth that the fool can chose to forgo.
Started fiddling around with some raven-inspired head gear for this Valkyrie, number 6 got out of hand but might be a good direction. Maybe have her floating above over a sacrificial alter, sword readyto be plunged into the fool ? I dunno, I still like my first sketch, the one with the rib-cage horn-blower and the ghosts... A rib-cage Valkyrie maybe ? hehe Thoughts ?
I'm gona keep goin' at it a little, but I'm gona need to settle at the latest by the end of the week so I can start putting some nice detailing on the final pieces. Any help as far as the concept goes would be appreciated at the moment.
Nic - Thanks man! I'm happy with this one too, It gets me the close up I was looking for on Death, which his horse was causing problems with before. I'd have to pan back to get the full horse in, and it was taking the focus off of my main dude. I chose this perspective as a way of capturing the moment of when death approaches the mortally wounded guy on the battlefield, allowed me to get both their faces. Plus I can add some neat extras into the snow for compositional and the narrative's sake. I wish I had room to add a ruin stone, but I don't think it's going to fit. You were also spot on about the helmet, I'm going with a Raven-esque armor design for death. I think it fits well in terms of symbolism and also could fall into the Norse category as well. I think the fallen soldier should solidfy the Viking aspect of the piece. So no worries there.
Here's some more progress, the perspective is a tad off especially on the lower body/torso, still fidgeting with it.:
Ooh just saw those sketches Nic, must've beat me to the punch in posting!
So yea, fucking sweet. I'm really, really digging #1. Warhammer or not, that's a kick ass helmet and imposing as hell. Also #4 is a stand out for me. If you wanted to give Judgment a feminine/feline quality that would work out well, I don't think you could go wrong either way.
As for the composition, I liked your initial sketch with the horn a lot too. It plays it pretty close to the Rider-Waite interpretation of the card. The only thing I might have changed it make it more of a scene?
I bummed this out really quick, if you like it cool, if not that's cool too. Just the idea that Judgment is calling them, it is still their choice to follow him through the door or go back to the darkness. Like you said that is the difference between him and Death. With Judgment you have a choice, and you could interpret a choice as a doorway of sorts or cavern or portal etc.
Tom - I really like how the tower is coming along and the cool colors look great. The design has come a long way! Giood work. as mentioned, tower beeing out of control, falling apart and beeing on fire. Could add more drama.
Tim - Your doing great with the death pic. As Nic said its really miles ahead in composition. I like the animal like helmet/hood. I think it would be cool if it was a cut off animalhead and blood running down from it. Would add even more death and nord like appearence. Maybe make it a boarhead or a deer. Keep it up it looks great!
Nic - Thumbing like a god! I love the designs in 4 and 5. 5 beeing my favourite. maybe try one with a elk looking head more north. Moose and raindeer is also awesome, cool horns.
I also liked the boat with the pointing. It was strong.
Oki I did some more rock looking pentacle and used the outer ring as an iron ring. Dont know if maybe I should make the whole thing rock? Im kinda thinking of not going with this design. anyway posting for the first time, in what seems like ages. Cheers dudes and thanks for your patience! You rock Attachment 878137 Attachment 878138
Last edited by B-Man; January 13th, 2010 at 06:54 AM.
Okayyyyyy, see you guys haven't been sitting still
Tim, you took a major leap with Death. The sketch with the nice color sceme reminded me of the Mona Lisa of fantasy art, Frazetta's Deathdealer, so cool. The second sketch looks more interesting though, the birdview angle gives it something special. I like the crowhelmet and the dead warrior and horse witch will contrast nicely with the snow I think. I know they are hell to draw, but don't forget the horses legs.
Nic, liking your search for the headgear. Like Tim I would go for #1 but maybe with the horns of #4. Concept wise Tim's idea could work, and maybe the judge could be a Valkyrie. That being said, the hornblower or the sketch in post #128 would be fine too, it's your call.
Bjorn, glad you're better mate.
I hope you keep the girl. Making the pentacle completely out of rock would be the best option I think, don't know how she has to hold it though.
Spend time rendering the Tower, this Tower is getting on my nerves, I'm not hating it yet but it's brewing.
Björn : Cheers Glad to see you're back in the saddle ! Ya I might bring back the boat. I wasn't satisfied with that one in particular but it seems like an excellent element to incorporate.
Tim : Thanks for the help ! I went back and reworked the original a little. The view angle is still sh+t, but movin' the idea forward at least.
I liked your mention of some kind of a door/gateway as it brought me back to the idea of my Drakkar, "ship of the dead" type of thing. Not so much a physical door, but more the symbol of a gateway, the "stepping stone" (hey look at that, a pun without even tryin' hehe). Anyway, so I figured I might be the one to include the stone on this one, making it the "door".
The stones would have been anchors for the Bifröst (the bridge you needed to cross to get to Valhalla) to appear when the horn was blown (perhaps Heimdallr's Gjallarhorn ?) Gjallarhorn also happens to be the name of Mimir's drinking horn with which he could drink the knowledge/wisdom giving water from his spring, the same one Odin gives his eye to drink from.
I've tried including the Drakkar dragon heads into the armour as well, the armour being separated and blown further away from the body (kind of like a lung I guess) as the character blows through the horn, fire spreading from his guts. I think this covers the firey angle, but this angel is supposed to be both firey AND beautiful so, I'm gone try a new version with more of a Valkyrie type thing next, see how that goes.
What else. Oh thought maybe instead of just having fire pop up to the sky out of the stone, I thought maybe I could include some Norse knots into the design, gettin' tangled around the vertical axis of the stone. Could be cool but I dunno if I'm gona be able to pull this off clearly. We'll see.
Last edited by Rambozo; January 13th, 2010 at 06:50 PM.
Tom, you beat me to the punch looks like ! The rendering is seriously coming along real good, kickin' it. If you're gettin' itchy about it though, just work on the Ace & take a break some, put some distance for a while. Or try another direction for giggles. Might find a good element to incorporate or maybe even something to blow this current version out of the water (damn it I have to stop it with these corny puns...)
Fluorine might also have a point, I think I slipped a comment about this earlier, about the Tower's meaning beyond the tower itself ? I can see the buildings up top burning so that's good, but I don't feel the character himself suffering, being torn apart, vanity shattered. It feels more like the buildings are parasites on his enormous back hehe
Tom - thanks, yeah I hear you, the whole thing should be rock. No problem with the arm I find a better place for it in the image. maybe even that could give me some more dress ideas. Nic - This last update is great. He looks like hes falling forward though. maybe put his right leg further forward? The stone looks great good for composition. And the values is looking strong and dramatic. What about some thunder in the sky.
edit: cant sleep so I sketched a bit on the chariots face. trying to implement a northlike crown. dont really know if this is the way to go... Attachment 878692
Last edited by B-Man; January 13th, 2010 at 07:48 PM.
B-man - Hey those are coming along! I'm with Tom on this I still think the girl is the way to go, you really captured something there a youth full appearance, almost care free. As for the pentacle, why not make it a kite of sorts? Have the outer ring be wood or some such light material, and the inner triangles be varying flags. It could represent prosperity, and if nothing else the flags could give the image some compositional pop. Just a thought.
Tom - YEA! I think the Tower is coming along great. If you start feeling the creative juices waning, Nic's suggestion is a good one. Stop there and start up on the Ace, come back to it in a couple of days and finish up strong. We're just about at the half way point so we should start thinking about our other characters anyway. Either way, I really like what you've done!
Nic - Haha, found a clever way to get those ruin stones into your piece. I was thinking about it and it actually makes a lot of sense. They could be "way" points so to speak to transport the dead to Valhalla. Judgment summons the dead with his horn and they ride the light UFO style up to the heavens, brilliant! As for the composition if you could find a way to sneak a couple of bodies into the piece, maybe in the shadows, it would really pull the piece together.
Here's a bit more from me, gonna give his armor a feathered appearance and a bit more literal raven helmet. Still playing with the palette. Tom, I was gonna make the horse brown at first, but such a strong value was pulling away from the silhouette of death. I opted for a higher value to blend into the snow rather than contrast with it. Added those feet too, damn horse feet.
kite! Damn tim your right that would be awesome. I was thinking of fabric like a flag or something but kites are awesome!
I like the white horse and colors but I miss the sword standing in the snow. gave the perspective some more dynamics. Doing great bro!