Dryad (digital version) - Finished 01/01/2011

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  1. #1
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    Dryad (digital version) - Finished 01/01/2011

    As part of my prep for my watercolor Dryad piece I did a low res value map in Photoshop. I actually liked that value map enough that it has inspired me to do a full render of the image at high-res.

    I intend to keep this image as greyscale, or at very least monochromatic.

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    Last edited by Truepinkas; January 1st, 2011 at 07:04 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Original value map:

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  4. #3
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    There is obviously still a lot of work to do, but I think It's coming along okay. I haven't exactly settles on a 'pose for her limbs, I don't like how the one arm is in the trunk with her body. I'm also considering adding some woodland creatures, perhaps a bird or two or maybe a fox (I've been looking at a lot of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's work recently, foxes are invading my head...)

    Big struggle right now is that I love the light streaming down on her, but I hate that the spread leaves make her look like a cheerleader with pom-poms...

    Current version:

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    Last edited by Truepinkas; December 26th, 2010 at 09:18 PM.
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    Haha, didn't get the cheerleader bit! Mottled light perhaps? It can still be breaking through some unseen cloud overhead. And bring all the foxes! (Stephanie Pui-Mun is great!). The only crit I have right now, and it's minor, is that in this light her left breast looks larger than the right (left and right of the viewer, not her left and right-- so your left her breast... uh). Other than that, can't wait to see where this goes!

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  7. #5
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    Hey zy., you are absolutely correct on the breast mis-match. I went to correct it and when they were the same size, it looked awkward and fake, so I went back to a mis-match, though not as far off this time. I still may make them a bit closer in size than they are in this version.

    More general work on it. I figure a while longer on hammering out the forms and then I can get in there and play with the bark! We'll see how it progresses I suppose.

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    Last edited by Truepinkas; December 27th, 2010 at 12:40 AM.
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    oohh. I love the leg emerging from the bark! Nice work on the upper body, I'll take your word on the awkwardness, but it doesn't stand out to me anymore. Can't wait to see more!!

    edit: ooh ooh, I played with it a bit, and I think it's the right nipple. It seems to be falling just a little lower. Maybe if that way raised just a bit, then the breast could be re-sized (?). Again, not as noticeable anymore, but anyway... just thoughts

    Last edited by zy.; December 27th, 2010 at 01:32 AM.
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  10. #7
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    Hi Truepinkas,

    You do a lot of helpful posting on others' work so I thought it only fair to post on yours.

    Are you set on the pose now? only it comes across (to me anyways) a little like she has been caught up in some kind of predatory tree rather than her being a wood nymph.

    I think it is because she doesn't have a solid footing and her arms appear to be both above her head in a typical imprisoned fashion. I might be talking rubbish as already it is better than I could do but that's how I see it.

    Looking good though, hope you post more WIPs so we can see your decision making.

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  12. #8
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    This is unfortunately what happens when you start painting without a clear intent... I know for a fact that I don't want her to feel trapped or captured. However I'm not exactly sure what I do want her to be doing.

    I whipped up 5 really rough variations, and plan on letting it sit for a few hours and come back and see which one speaks to me. Opinions are welcomed, (though not always listened to hahaha).

    PS, zy, I think you are right about the nipple. Once I settle on a pose I'll fix that up.

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    I think the imprisoned feeling is coming from her face. I feel like if you changed the face to match the other faces in the other sketches, she'd look imprisoned, whereas the last sketch as it stands right now she looks very controlled. It could also be the harsh lighting. Maybe a softer overhead lighting would help create a sense of wonder and even power and wisdom to the tree woman. Also, try adjusting the tree limbs a little bit if you get the cheerleader vibe. I saw what you meant when you mentioned it, but it still didn't affect the painting in my eyes. Try adjusting the limbs so that it's not a symmetrical "Y". Maybe you can lower the angle of the right limb to create a more interesting negative space in that opening? Just suggestions. Definitely mess around with it

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    Here's my stab at why this has a trapped feeling to it so far. The girl is looking more or less human and independent of the tree which is enveloping her without a real connection between them.
    Some things that could bridge the relationship:
    - The tree looks more freely controlled by the girl, more of a human pose
    - The tree covers the girl more strategically (say, her breasts being cupped by bark)
    - Some gradual transition from tree to girl, bark to skin.
    - Making the girl less fully human (legs flow into tree wood, hands into branches, etc)

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    I think the pose you picked is the best of the bunch, but I still reckon you could improve it.

    maybe something like:

    - http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/...17_468x487.jpg

    or perhaps

    - http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...dWT_XQpFskOsZ1

    Just suggestions. I'm sure you'll come up with something much more suitable but hope that helps in some way.

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    Since you're willing to back up a little: if it were me, I'd draw the girl first, independently, and then create the tree around her. My reasoning is this: naked women are generally considered more interesting as subject matter than trees are, and the picture should be constructed accordingly.

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  21. #13
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    Thanks for all the comments so far in helping me identify and resolve the issues I'm having.

    Giacomo: While I agree with your idea of drawing the woman first and building the tree around her (Which was actually what I did at the start of this version although I didn't solidify the woman well enough , it was more of a loose gesture that got lost as I worked), I don't think that will solve the primary problem I'm grappling, which is the 'trapped' issue. I'm going to take a few more stabs at working with what I already have, but if those do not resolve the issue to my satisfaction I will reboot the project with your suggestion in mind, and do a solid female form before progressing to the tree components.

    ScottDotNet: Thanks. Yeah, the pose needs work, especially the face. I'll spend some time trying to find some ref for it. I'm prertty sure I can work within the existing tree structure well enough.

    wooblood: I think you hit the nail on the head here sir. Originally I prefered a separated/wrapped/ feeling, but because trees are typically so rigid and immobile, that feeling is exactly what's causing the 'trapped' issue. I'm currently playing with a more blended transition, we'll see where it leads.

    wroblewski-art: I completely agree about the face. I will hunt up some ref and change that. I will mess around with the tree limbs as well. as for the 'harsh' lighting, I think that it is probably being seen brighter on most monitors than I intend it to be. On my home monitor, which is calibrated for the printer I use, it is not nearly as glaring as it is when I look at it on my wife's laptop or my work computer screen. I'll still play with it though.

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    Hmm lets have a look

    First impressions Tru:

    It's very flat - or it's reading very flat (at least to me) - think this is partly due to the position of the girl. I get the feeling she is suppose to be reclining in the arms of the tree but she seems to vertical. Perhaps a 'sun-lounger' type pose might work, though you'd might have to play with the perspective.

    If your foreground are the roots, the trunk the midground and focus then I'd suggest you use the branches to support those elements - rather than the 'pom-poms' bring some leaves around or growing up from the base to help.

    If you imagine her covered in a cotton sheet/dress then the folds of the sheet/dress might link into the bark a little better, rather than the 'swallowed' by a tree, she becomes part of the tree - just an idea.

    looking forward to seeing where you take it.

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  24. #15
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    So it's moving along. I think it's going in the right direction quality wise, but I'm not sure it is hitting the mark of the original idea. I think it's getting a little dark and creepy, whereas I originally wanted elegance and beauty...

    Forks in the road and all...

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  25. #16
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    To me it looks awesome so far I wanna see it progress further

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  26. #17
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    Careful of those branches, it looks like she has hulk arms now

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  27. #18
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    Tbh I liked the fact that she looked as if she was taken in by the tree, even though that is probably not what you intended to do.
    I always wanted to do a painting similar to that one, but decided to wait until I got better at painting.

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  28. #19
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    Yeah, after sleeping on it, the two bits that are concerning me now are the 'hulk arms/hands' (both in scale and concept, I think if I shrink them down maybe I won't have an issue with them, I'll play with it) and the body/trunk transition (It's too smooth for me now...). The tree trunk's silhouette is a third concern, but it's easy enough to fix that I'm not that bothered by it.

    I'm holding judgment on whether it's still 'flat until I look at it from work. (I really need to find the cash for a monitor calibrator...) I do love the new head though.

    We'll see what I can do with it after work.

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    head,hair and chest are far superiour but im not sure everything else retains the original idea we talked about buddy...the woman looks more drowned inside the tree now rather than the whole 'breaking out with a stretch' gesture that was originally drawn. Got an eye out for the process,still looks good :3


    Keep it going bud.

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  30. #21
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    Yeah, I think after this project I'm going to start writing myself more specific briefs and then sticking to them, instead of the wishy washy 'lets see where it goes' approach.

    Also from my work monitor I can clearly see I'm not using my full range of darks, my home monitor is playing tricks on me I think...

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    awwh but im so fond of the 'lets see where this goes approach' why not just carry on with this one and where its going BUT keep a neutral psd at this point saved so if you do have a brief in mind you can just work for that after and see how the images differ dude? :3


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  32. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truepinkas View Post
    (I really need to find the cash for a monitor calibrator...)
    -.- I have the same problem. The painting on my screen is different than it is on other screens
    I have tochange that somehow Its really annoying, if there is such a big contrast between them and can change the whole balance of an image

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  33. #24
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    Don't get me wrong, I think the 'see where it goes' can be fun, but it doesn't exactly help me with my current goal of pursuing more serious freelance work. Nailing the concept of a brief is an important skill because if your end product is skillfully done, but does not match the customer's needs, you've still failed.

    For this one though I think I'll stick with see 'where it goes' as my needs are only that it be aesthetically pleasing, but the next one will have a clear brief.

    I'm eyeballing a Spyder 3 Pro for a relatively low cost quality calibrator. I don't know much about these things though.

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  34. #25
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    More progress, hulk arms, transition, and value range (to some extent) addressed. I think I might be getting somewhat close tot he 'cleanup' stage (fixing edges, adding details and fun little Easter eggs ect).

    We'll see how I feel about it in the morning.

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  35. #26
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    I think this bit of tinkering helped out the composition. Reminds more of a spade than a cube now, which I think is a good thing.

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  36. #27
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    i desire to see it flipped.

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  37. #28
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    More minor work, flipped (which I like better), and now showing two versions, with and without 'glowing lesser nymph balls' (I kind of like them, but need to walk away for a bit and come back to see if I really like them, or if I'm just used to them).

    This is probably the last update before I do the cleanup/detailing unless someone points out something groundbreaking that I didn't notice...

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  38. #29
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    Just one more thing before you finish. Above her breasts are two diagonal lines, are they the clavicles, and if so what is the dark ring around her neck?

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  39. #30
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    Well ScottDotNet, you see since she isn't human, she doesn't necessarily follow standard human anatomy...

    LOL! Just kidding, I think one set of clavicles was left over from my original work, and I inadvertently introduced a second set while I was redoing the face and neck. It has been corrected.

    Final version can be found in my Finally Finished thread.

    Thanks for all the WIP love all!

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