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Trying to go for a creepy, spooky look for this piece. Having the woman standing in the doorway with light coming from behind and hands grabbing at her cloak. Any critiques on the lighting or anatomy would be appreciated!
Well, getting a good amount of "creepy" can indeed be hard, and to me that doesn't really say either creepy or spooky that much. It may be the very confident pose of the character, the unrealistically purple hues, the bright light that mentally says "safety" even if it's not supposed to (as in we see that if anything dangerous should happen, she can just step back to the light which makes the darkness less dangerous, as opposed to, for example, we seeing an endless, decaying and dim stone corridor knowing that the character really has to go there or that the way back is just that same), the laughably large boobs that are practically highlighted with the cross so that you can't miss them and the fact that there isn't very much to be creeped off as we really don't see much of the surroundings.
And you mention that there will be hands grabbing her cape, but once again the character is not scared, and it will automatically nibble off some of the spooky feeling as their confidence re-assures us that they're safe. Could be also that lots of "creepy" feeling tends to come from waiting something to happen, instead of something already happening.
Overall I'd suggest you to tone the purple down and go for bit more "realistic" and varied colour schemes (suggested also so that the character and background are separated) like blue/gray hues (I suggest referencing games like Ghosthunter, Fatal Frame, Forbidden Siren and the like), and go for the details on depicting the possibly creepy details on the walls (like how old and crumbled they are etc) to bring out mood.
Also unless there's some specific reason for the light to be plain white, I might experiment by changing it to something "normal" or recognizable (like, a room with normal light or sunny/night outside view of the yard or more of that dark corridor with some light source or something) or make it even more antagonistic (maybe some skull faces of the restless ghosts that inhabit the light) or something like that.
Last edited by TinyBird; June 21st, 2011 at 05:52 AM.
tell us the story, like "she's heading into a dark crypt, and she's scared"
for that, I would recommend showing her creeping crouching through or at the entrance to the crypt.
you got Joan Wayne marching in shouting "this crypt aint big enough for the 10 of us..."
if its not sequential art/comics, then why not show her creeping in and all sorts of nasty boogers outlined in the dark.
and fog, gotta have ground fog pouring out, and cob-webs, and other horror icons, spikes and stuff, bones...rats, spiders, gargoyles, candleabras, torches, lava lamps, hippies, Jerry Garcia, you know HORROR!
Agreed with the above crits, especially about the lighting. Just to tack onto that, I'd suggest maybe some strategic under lighting (reflected or otherwise) coming from around the camera POV. I don't know if that's too cliche, but that sort of subtle under-lighting always seems to easily up the spook factor.
Thanks for the critiques. I should have included a little context with my piece before asking for help. The piece is supposed to be a promo image of sorts for my comic serial which is horror themed. It features a wandering exorcist. The character is supposed to be a very large woman; she is meant to be both tall and very shapely. My anatomy and portrayal could use some work though which is why I'm here for help.
The attitude I'm trying to portray is a feeling of fearlessness on her part. Even in the face of the dank hallways and creatures tearing at her cloak I wanted her pose and expression to be steadfast. I was inspired somewhat by this Wes Craven poster, I really want to achieve a Grindhouse look.
I will take in account the comments on lighting and try doing something with some creepy under lighting.