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I've been very sick this week and today finally was up and out of bed and I just couldn't help myself. I dragged myself over to my work station and churned out the beginning of what could be a very promising picture of a Drow Shamaness.
Now I just need to make time to work more on it.
Last edited by Truepinkas; June 11th, 2011 at 03:28 PM.
What is the lightsource down there? Right now it looks like it will be the spider (which also seems to be lacking in the butt and pedipalp department /petpeeve).
Also the colourscheme is kinda monotone (drow, walls and light are all purple) and the woman gets kinda lost in it.
I'd pimp her up a lot more - remember females lead the drow.
As for the spider - well we can only see the head and thorax - it doesn't have to look exactly like a spider, though obviously basing it on one is a good plan.
Have a search for Meta bourneti or Meta menardi - both are classed as cave spiders over here in the UK - the way the eyes are placed and abdominal patterning might help.
TinyBird: The light sources will be the spirit companion spider which for the moment I think willbe pink-ish, and there is a orangey ambient light from an 'unknown source' I may also have to add in another source to throw in a faint rim light if there is a section who's edge that becomes unclear and I cannot find another solution. The amulet may also glow slightly. The spider is a placeholder for now, don't worry, I'll propperly research him before I paint him in. As for the coloring, while I do want a limited palette, I don't want her getting lost. Hopefully this update helps.
Venger: Excellent point on the pimp gear. I had a costume design in mind but it wasn't working out, so now I'm kind of doing things on the fly...But I will try to add in more pimp juice. Thanks for the note on the Meta menardi, I will check them out.
So here's a mild update. I think the biggest challenge I will have it keeping her looking 'shamany' while upping her 'pimpage'. Is the color scheme working or no? This illo is being done as if it is an interior art for a D&D book, so this would essentially be a player character drow shaman, as I don't think shaman fit very well into drow society.
More minor progress. Just kind of seeing where it takes me. Since this is a personal project, there isn't any deadline to rush to meet, which is nice
I'm surrently focused on the Drow, and once I'm reasonably satisfied with her I'll work the BG some then the spider, but I feel the BG and spider are still a ways off.
I'm still deciding on an appropriate level of bling. Overall, It's going well I think.
Just as something of a reminder, her arms are going to need a bit of work. The forearm of her left arm is misaligned while I have no idea what's going on with the right. The rest of the design works quite well though.
you sure her left is misaligned Falchion? i think its just lack of elbow, but it looks right to me other than that. i agree about her right though, even though i can see the gesture, it feels a bit wonky. I guess until its more finished its ahrd to comment on.
Eh, to better demonstrate what I mean:
As a random suggestion, maybe she should be riding that spider?
Yeah, there is some wonkyness in the arms for sure from my initial gesture sketch. I plan on shooting some ref for them tonight or tomorrow though.
I'm currently playing with weapon ideas. I haven't decided if its a longspear, a staff or a scythe yet. Longspear would fit the genre best, but the other two could be really cool too. I plan don doing some pencil sketched on my train ride into work today.
Have you considered about having her use her staff to point rather then her hand? If not, then just make sure her hand isn't behind her elbow, if you really want it to be behind, then you'll have to twist her some more on the side, or have her arm straight. I'd personally recommend a more comfortable pose.
Little bits of progress here and there as I find free time to work on it. I'm still not sold on my choice of lighting colors and spell/spider colors, but I'll keep playing with that...(Edit: I changed them and uploaded the new color version which I like for now.)
I have replaced the arms, though they still aren't completely rendered. I think I've appropriately addressed the issues mentioned before. I know it still isn't the most comfortable pose, but what lacks in comfort it makes up for in drama IMO.
The spider is still essentially just a place holder, as is the background. I plan on 'finishing' the drow and then working on the BG and then the spider.
Last edited by Truepinkas; April 30th, 2011 at 03:21 PM.
There's just some slight lighting weirdness from how I see it, mostly with how the light's curving around the limbs. Very minor stuff that probably only bugs me.
I'm kinda surprised noones called you out on this yet.. You've got this nasty tangent line thing going on with her right leg and the spider leg. It has to be corrected or else it looks like she's part of the spider. Nudge her either forward or back so the spider clearly overlaps nicely.
P.s. Do you say drow as in brow or drow as in bro.
-start a revolution.
Falchion: I see what you mean. I will correct this issue in the next revision.
DanielBodinof: Excellent point. When I replace the spider place holder with the actual spider later on I will be sure to watch carefully for this.
Well the Drow is coming along well and is pretty close to done. I think I might bounce to the spider for a bit now and get it up to par then go back and finish the Drow then do whatever seems appropriate with the enviro.
I'm torn between the general aesthetics of black widows, cave spiders and tarantulas...Leaning toward black widow.
Edit: updated the image, as I did a little more work before bed...
Last edited by Truepinkas; May 7th, 2011 at 11:55 PM.
definitely black widow!
-start a revolution.
Well here is my first real attempt at the spider...obviously still pretty rough. It's odd how struggling with new and challenging things is both simultaneously frustrating and rewarding...
I took a lot of the anatomy cues from Black Widows.
Okay, so here's pretty much what the finished spider's going to look like, He'll be applied to the image using the Screen blending mode, so the black areas will be translucent.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
So this is where I'm at right now. I still need to:
-Render her boots, which are just red-lined in there for now.
-Retouch the light/shadow coming from the spider to better unify the planes of her body.
-Fancy up the scythe handle a bit.
-Paint her a proper ear.
-Whatever else pops into my head before I call it 'Done'.
I am aware of the tangent/overlap of the spider leg with how the edge of her skirt if flowing, and I'm fine with it for now. If it's too distracting in the final I will knock down the brightness on the spider leg.
Last edited by Truepinkas; May 22nd, 2011 at 08:49 PM.
her nose and face is really bugging me, perhaps re work it a bit. The white on the background is too bright and distracts the eye try using a muted gray blue. The blade on the scyth is really short, was that intentional? Most scythes have a 2ft-3 ft blade, though if you designed it to be more like a halberd thats cool. everything else looks great.
Thanks bullitbikini, after reading your post I went and shot a new ref pic for the facial lighting and reworked it this morning while eating my oatmeal. I think this version is more realistic and adds more drama, but we'll see how I feel about it by the end of the day, I think it still needs tweeking.
The scythe is somewhat foreshortened, and I wanted it to have a shorter blade on it, as this is a weapon, not a farming implement, so I guess I'd call it a war scythe? An actual scythe just seemed somewhat impractical.
And as for that glaring white backdrop, this piece's final destination is print media, so all that bright white light on your monitor will be turned into harmless white paper.
Last edited by Truepinkas; May 25th, 2011 at 05:50 AM.
Dat's a war scythe.
Yours reminds bit more Ji (Halberds) and Ge (Dagger-axes) from ancient China, so you might want to reference those if you want bit more exotic look.
Anyway, I'm liking this so far, but I think the arm holding the scythe looks like it's supposed to phase through the spider, it's hard to see exactly how far the hand is from the spider, and we see so much of the underside of her nose that we should see as much from the underside of her jaw too.
Thanks TinyBird! That link is very interesting looking, I'll make time to read it later, for now I just looked at the pictures. Good point on the chin and 'phasing' of the weapon arm. I have some ideas on how to fix both of those now that you've called them to my attention.
Working hard on this so thought I'd chime in...
Perspectives seem off in subtle, but important ways.
- The pov seems about at her waist (according to her foreshortened arm). We should be seeing the underside of her jaw - which seems like a big old manly jowl/jaw and chin currently, rather than a sleek, deadly drow jaw.
- Rings on the haft of the scythe not following perspective - lower one for sure.
- Her hand holding scythe a bit small - especially compared to other one further away.
- Very complicated lightsourcing going on...somewhat inconsistent in areas, really make sure where the primary lightsource is and define it accurately with shadows.
Aesthetically/story-wise...is she casting a spell? Pointing at something for the spider? Just wondering because she looks a little passive or mellow and relaxed. If casting a spell I would imagine a little mre dynamic attitude and tension going on with her.
Good job so far though - almost there!
Thanks Jeff! You are spot on with all of these crits and I will do my best to correct them.
I’m really struggling with the jaw issue, I can’t seem to get it to look right even when I follow my references very closely. I think correcting the jaw is causing conflict with other structural parts on the face/neck area. I’m getting near a point where I may have to reconstruct the whole face to correct it, which is kind of a bummer.
Next few days are pretty busy, so I’m not sure if I’ll have time to work on it/update but I appreciate all the feedback, and I hope to not disappoint when I do update.
Here is an attempt at correcting the chin issue. I'm going to have to step away for the day and then look at it again after work and see how it strikes me.
As for her action, she's directing the spider. I was hoping that the energy on her hand being the same color as the spider would help bridge that gap, but apparently not enough.
The reason you're having problems is probably because you have construction problem on the other features, and you only try to add light, instead of actually moving the head.
I didn't know what level of pretty she's supposed to be, so I went with generic pretty here.
Hi True. Sweet stuff going on.
Even in your After pic, it looks like you're reluctant to get to that undersided angle that we should probably see of her jaw. You're rounding it out, which also gives a relaxed look, whereas an angular, sharper jaw would provide more tension, which I think would be good for this image.
As Tinybird implied in the paintover, the eyes are angled in a cat-eyed way, so if that wasn't intentional you could definitely adjust those to wrap around the head better.
One other thing, the magic smoke/dust coming off her pointer hand is creating a hard tangent with the background structure creating both visual confusion and also leading our eyes off the canvas. You mentioned how you hoped to tie that element with the spider, so what if you were more direct about it and had the smoke trail coming right from the spider to her finger, as if she were "clicking and dragging" it? It would immediately make her action clearer and also give some visual direction of action. Just an idea.