WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf (LotR fan-Art)
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Thread: WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf (LotR fan-Art)

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    WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf (LotR fan-Art)

    New Topic, new motivation

    I want to draw the battle between the Balrog and Gandalf in the mines of Moria next. I friend wish, that I draw that and Iīm a fan of that monster :p . References were taken from the movie "Lord of the Rings".

    Would be nice to help me through the process of the painting and give me some feedback, when I make some mistakes!
    Thanks so much, CA-guys!

    Please vote first for the composition:
    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 1.JPG
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    Last edited by S_Gangl; October 12th, 2011 at 03:23 AM.
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    I like #4 a lot, it's a nice dramatic image, though I would make it so that the balrog and Gandalf are both on 1/3rds of the canvas. Right now there's a tad too much unused space to the left.

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    Thanks Lhune! I also like #4 most.
    1/3rd of the canvas? Can you give me a bit more information about that? Iīm not sure if I translete everything correctly

    Yes, you are right. on the left is too much empty space.... I think I will draw there a column or a archway or sth like this..... I will see

    Also I want to draw his fire - whip!

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    Hi matey

    I'm rather sad that Lhune likes no 4, because No 6 reminds me of the film a lot and gives you chance to do the fire behind him thing and gandalfs weapons. But I also like No 2 I like the dramatic difference in the sizes of the two protagonists.

    However Lhune is more knowledgable that me I'm self taught (mostly) so I would listen to her. The rule of thirds in composition would probably be easier on the eyes in No 2 now I think a bit more about it.

    I am almost tempted though to say do the thumbnails on all three a little more and see what comes through, they are all quite strong in thier own right and it would be interesting to see which has the most potential.

    All the best with whatever you decide mate.

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    I like 4 a lot, the way the bridge cuts across the canvas in the bottom adds a lot to the epicness of the composition. I like the fact that hes head-level with Balrog. I think it makes Gandalf look more powerful and equal. And his sillouette is easier to read, especially if hes going to be contrasted against a fire-y background.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightship69 View Post
    However Lhune is more knowledgable that me I'm self taught (mostly) so I would listen to her. The rule of thirds in composition would probably be easier on the eyes in No 2 now I think a bit more about it.
    Hey I'm mostly self taught too, you know.

    By thirds of the composition I'm talking about the rule of thirds; the most important element should be on a third both horizontally as well as vertically. This makes for a pleasant, informal look of the image and often helps to make it less stiff (so, more dynamic).



    Since you have two equally important characters here, it may look nice to have the balrog on one horizontal third of the image, and Gandalf on the second horizontal third. The bridge will help balance out the size of the balrog, I think

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    Lightship69: yes, 2,4 and 6 are the most interesting sketches indeed.... for my opinion!

    but I agree with regieeuronymous that the second sketch would be very contra-productiv for Gandalf in atmosphere...

    Lhune: oh thanks for the ref pic for the rule of third. .... First I worked on the sketch in the middle here.... then you post your comment and I tried to follow that rule with the first sketch.
    The third sketch (old 6th sketch) is not so good now, I think. Donīt like it, like the other sketches.....

    I like #1 of the new set of thumbs at the moment...... Only problem here is that the fire-whip is not very good recogniseable
    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 3.JPG
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    Hi matey

    Yep with this new lot I like No 1, but personally I would make Gandalf a tiny bit bigger and loose that stone column or fade it right back its going to fight for attention if you are not careful mate.

    all the best

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    Simon,

    I like number 1 as well. I think you need to move Gandalf DOWN, though. The more you can make the Balrog seem huge, the better in my opinion.

    Also, you could try playing with the whip element more. That's got some really good potential and it'll easily move the eye around the canvas if placed well.

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    hmm..... well, I think I should make Gandalf bigger... you are right... havenīt done it here on the current sketch.

    Eric: thanks for the critique
    but I think I shouldnīt bring him down. I like the idea, that he is on the same eye level with the balrog.... or that it seems so ^^

    The the whip is a very good thing in that pic. I think the balrog is a real overkill in color and hugness in that pic.... The viewer will first see it.... The whip should lead the viewer to Gandalf... The second main person in that pic.

    The fact, that the balrog can control how much fire he has on his body, I want to draw him with not too much fire.... so that the whip is really bright!

    A very rough and quick value sketch show that, I think!

    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 5.JPG
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    just found the right composition, I think. Started drawing now..... Any critique at this stage?

    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 6.JPG
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    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 7.JPG
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    Just to take a step back here;

    your initial colour blocking doesn't have to be all in one shot, like it seems you've done here. What if you started off with an overlay or hard light layer to liiightly imply some colour, then another light normal layer to turn some of the black's into a deep red. Then maybe another overlay type layer that's just about getting some more intense light.

    The point is you can build up something like this gradually to make sure you're getting the colours and lighting interesting. If you go flat right away you might miss a chance to either get the colours more complicated or you might lose the spirit of the sketch. here's a quick example with your initial black and white;

    Name:  uomzpnr2g.jpg
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    The bottom one isn't a finished image buy a long shot, but as a base it might lead to some better colours/more atmosphere. notice i put a bit of the "gandalf blue" over to the left behind the balrog just to the colours are moving around too.

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    Hey Jason!
    Thats very interesting, what you posted here! I really like the way you did that!
    To be fair, I have to say, that I havenīt draw any light of the balrog yet. I just started with setting the colors to the chars. I know, what there will be much more light and fog around the creature. Havnīt done it yet. ... I know, what you want to tell me.... hopefully xD

    I wouldnīt let the background be like this
    But I will try this with the different layers... soon!

    Thanks so much for your OP!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Gangl View Post
    some more work on that piece:
    I think the whip is a little bit too big in this one. Also, it's closer than both Gandalf -and- the Balrog and it is currently highest in contrast to the rest of the piece, which makes it look very important when it's only a secondary thing. Also try not to make it touch the corner and borders as it is now; it looks very unnatural and breaks the flow of the piece.

    Otherwise I pretty much second Jason .

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    kk.... cool Feedback, Lhune! Thanks for watching here

    well, did add some fog and flames and sth like this.... also reduce the whip a little bit.... is it getting better?

    Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 9.JPG
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    worked more on it!
    Please tell me, what you think about the face of the balrog and the pose of Gandalf! Something is wrong, I think, but canīt fix it Name:  WIP - Balrog VS Gandalf 10.JPG
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    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf.JPG
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    You didn't place your midlines correctly on the Balrog's face so its mouth is going one way on the face and the eyes/nose are going the opposite way. Also, everything on the face is tilted at different angles so it looks like nothing on a the Balrog's face is connected.

    Gandalf suffers from "I totally didn't use reference for this"-itis. He looks like a clay figure, the sleeves don't drape around the arms like cloth would so his arms look a foot thick and way too long. The grip on the staff is unrealistic, his right hand's fingers wouldn't curl that far around the staff. Also his head and chest don't make any sense when placed together. Take that pose, sketch it out on a piece of paper using 3D shapes and placing midlines and drawing through (drawing as if the shapes are transparent and you can see even the things that are covered by other things). Remember that the body is symmetric and the neck is going to lie on the midpoint. Where is that going to place the head?

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    oh shit! you are right! That was, what make me feel upset.
    thx vineris!!!! I havenīt done all corrections yet! this is just my current workstatus! but I changed the pose of gandalf and the balrogs face a little bit... hope its getting better a bit


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    Okay so now we really need to take a closer look at Gandalf. I know you tried to change up his posture a little (and you did) but its not actually anymore "correct". In fact it could almost be considered less so. Also the cloth is very off. You have to consider that cloth itself has no "shape", only what its filled by. Right now its very rigid and static almost like a tube. The folds of his robe don't make any sense.

    I know this is going to sound like an obnoxious, needlessly obtuse piece of advice but FIND A REFERENCE FOR GANDALF... and one for a person wearing a robe. Right now he is drawing the viewer's eye in a negative way. Check yourself out in the mirror. Have someone take a picture of you on their phone. Get creative but you aren't going to be able to make this work by just winging it.

    Keep it up man, I know I'm being hard but that's because I want to see you pull of this great piece.

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    for modeling the wizard, use posemaniacs.com for a figure to model from...its free!

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    Dread_Reaper: hmm... you are right! Gandalf was really not good. His clothes lack as well. I did a quick sketch for the new pose. I think its more dynamic and make maybe more sense than the old one.

    dmal: cool, thanks! your link helps much!

    What do you think about that new pose, guys? Any better?
    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf pose1.JPG
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    Hey Simon! This looks like a fun piece and good progression so far.

    For Gandalf, I'm going to leave that last sketch alone for now and talk about what you had previous. When I think of Gandalf in battle, I'd say he has a fearless and determined attitude and would tend to confront his opponents head on. The way you had him, his posture was going away from the balrog with his head turned away as if he were closing his eyes and hoping the big monster would go away.

    So based on that, I would suggest having his body leaning in more towards the balrog, with his head downturned a bit but facing straight towards balrog. To play off your first positioning, you could try having his arms on his other side (the right, right arm down on the staff, left arm up) and have the staff pointing more towards balrog.

    The last sketch has a better idea, but it looks like he is doing a karate punch

    I know this would all be much better if I just sketched out what I meant, but I don't have the tools at the moment. Keep working!

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    cool see you here, wooblood! You give a good point of view! Thanks so much!

    I have poorly always some problems to find the right pose

    I changed it a little bit and hope its getting better!?

    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf pose2.JPG
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    Last edited by S_Gangl; October 19th, 2011 at 12:04 PM.
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    Hello Simon.
    It would help if you break the body into several 3D shapes. One for the head. Three for the torso (breast, belly, pelvis). And three for each limb.
    On a quick googling I found in a blog the image below that makes a good example of what I mean.



    When you establish your posture and anatomic perspective, then start building your character. An artist's model/mannequin would also help you.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Cheers!

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    Hi matey

    To get Gandalfs pose right I would say watch the movie, back and forth and see what it is that the guy does in the movie that sells it. After all he was acting to a tennis ball on a stick when he did that bit so he had to do the pose from what he felt.

    As you go through it you should be able to pick out the bit you like or even work something out that wasnt in the film.
    Are we at the phase where he is backing away from it and its broken its own sword on Gandalfs shield? I just wondered as you might want to work in some dust falling from the crack in the bridge, but admitedly thats a later detail.

    Its looking good mate and I can see you are working hard, all the best with it

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    alright!!!! Thanks for the much helpful advices I get here!

    didnīt have the chance to watch the movie (HD) at the moment!.... generally a good idea, but I wonīt copy the whole movie.... because that screen angle is actually exsisting in the movie as well... and I want give some own input for this scene... so I donīt want to copy Gandalfs pose as in the movie... and create a new dynamic pose for my pic!

    I did here some quick sketches for some possible poses. I somehow really like pose 8. What do you think about that?
    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf pose3.JPG
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    I like 2. I also like the fact that the staff will act sort of like an arrow pointing to the balrogs head. I think it will help the composition gestalt style.

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    kk....

    thank you pezzle for the vote!

    I did some variations of that pose... I think the original one... the first one is still the best, or?
    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf pose4.JPG
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    Edit: give the sketch more detail:
    Name:  WIP - Balrog Gandalf pose5.JPG
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    Last edited by S_Gangl; October 21st, 2011 at 12:14 PM.
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    There's something wrong with perspective and anatomy.
    I made a quick sketch to give you an idea of what i was talking about.
    Cheers!

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