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Hello everyone! I'm working on this image of a huge underground cavern with tribes (tho I've only worked on in so far) that have made their homes near the waterfalls that flow in.
I would love to hear what's going right and what needs to be fixed. Thanks!
I'm not geological expert but..
Where is the water coming from? Is it 3 seperate creeks flowing in seperate directions meeting almost at the same point then falling down 3 seperate holes? Not very feasible..How did the holes get there in the first place? If the water has been there long enough for a city to be built around it, why hasn't it eroded the rock of the hole down so that it's running down a wall by this time? For that matter, if it is splashing so close to the edge where it falls for so long, why is that not eroded? If the water is going around the city every day to head downhill, you think that would be the first part to go, too.
sb's sb: Crit it! Hurt it! Make it cry!
I wouldn't worry about geological realism so much...but you can definitely have picked a way better perspective and composition to make this more interesting. First off, your village which I'd reckon is the focal point, sits right in the middle of the composition. Then you have all these really lit waterfalls competing for the eyes attention, diminishing any depth which is key to making this piece work. I think you are trying to show too much without letting the piece speak for itself. If you really want this to be good then I'd take it back to square one and start with thumbnails. Nothing will save this from the basic issues.
And on top of erosion, waterfalls that huge would never be clear and they would be likely to spray water mist that'd engulf the whole town there.
Also since there seems to be stalactites on the ceiling there, it's bit unlikely that the ground around the town would be that flat, as stalactites drip water down and eventually create stalagmites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalactite as you've drawn on the background there. Unless the villagers constantly smoothen the ground around their village and on the other side of the river, I'd expect less sharp and smooth surroundings.
Last edited by TinyBird; November 15th, 2011 at 04:31 AM.
I admit, I've focused so much on the waterfalls the rest does seem to have become a throw away. They are really throwing me in terms of how to paint them. I know they should be more frothy, and therefore whiter. At the same time I know they are falling into a very unlit area and I can't envision how exactly that would look. GIS is lacking in this particular imagery; most every subterranean fall is small and artificially lit.
The undeground city!! is rather too small as has been said a few times already, so as a change of pace make it a single dwelling and make it more of a focus. The attention is all on the underground waterfalls at the moment so make them smaller and less distinct.
If you want an underground city in there you need to go way back to thumbnails and rethink the composition mate sorry I really cant see you pulling this rabbit out of the hat without a restart.
all the best with it whatever you decide
Oh I am hurt, hurt by all your words! No, I kid. All the help is great.
I went back to the drawing board and came up with these two.
Here's a quick value study of my favorite of the two. I'm consideringscrapping the human element; something like that vying with a huge waterfall feels like it's creating a conflict of interest of sorts.
I absoloutely love the second one its much more interesting and gives you much more room to play and experiment, but I would straighten up the waterfall so that its back in that eroded gully. Another thing you could possibly do would be to make it a temple and other subordinate buildings. That would look pretty cool I think, but you would have to be careful with the lighting and sources.
all the best with them anyhow matey
I think you are onto something about there being more room to work in. Here's the second one with values put in. As far a the cave's denizens go, I'm going to stick with something a little more primitive, stick and grass huts, some stone tools and communal fire pits and the like strewn around.
You are onto something with the 'more room' idea. Here's the second one with values. I believe I shall go with this version.
I had to leave this to languish for a week owing to work and travel, yuk. Here's the latest.
Thats coming along ok, but now comes the challenge, you have to provide the homes with some lights and put highlights and reflections around the place as its a bit damp in there.
I think you need to decide how to focus this too, as its dark we just look at the tunnel mouth, so we need to lessen that somewhat and bring the eye in onto something else.
All the best mate, I look forward to seeing your solutions to the problem.
Ah, yup! Added the torches and fire pits yesterday morning. Would some of them be reflecting in that pool at the bottom, do you think?
Your piece needs a focal point. The eye shoots straight to the top of the waterfall where there is nothing of interest to look at. Then you have these flames which consist of the same values and saturation, they are all competing for attention. Perhaps make one of the structures that of the chief and give it some visual interest. Make it stand out above the rest. The huts you have now are bland and don't have any character, try thinking of ways to make them more appealing. Lastly, this image can really use some atmosphere, give it some depth!
I had toyed with the idea of a chieftain's hut, but I don't think having one as a focal point would make the piece 'do' what I want it to, if that makes sense. After I read your post, I did think maybe if the opening and the flames were a little closer in color they might fit together better, ie; change the outside to a more sunset kind of color scheme.
I'm thinking a dragon peeking in would be a dandy reason to have the eye at the top of the waterfall, but, awesome as dragons are, that's so cliche it'd be a last resort kind of addition.
The problem is you are now trying to make the focal point work around your composition, when it should be the other way around. Composition is so important because all the elements should work together in leading the eye to where you want it to go. The focal point should never be an after thought, it's what you base your image upon.
Let me back up a step or two. I never intended the top of the waterfall to be the focal point. I wanted it to be seen, sure. In the end I wanted the eye to wander and see the huts and the little people living in there.
But: if the sky area is that big a draw for other folks, then maybe spicing it up would be a better direction for the image.
It seems you never even intended for there to be a focal point. Again, you are trying to patch up fundamental flaws with second thought additions. Squint at your painting and tell me what you see. I guarantee it's a big light area and little specks of flame everywhere. We see none of the important stuff.
Agreed! Avatar is right and I did mention that earlier, Take a step back matey and think about it some more, whats the story behind it?
Are there mines down there?
Is it a temple to an underground deity, like hades or someone?
are they hiding down there from King Kong?
Once it has a purpose its easier to make sense of and give a focus to it. Personally I rather like the idea of a temple, you already have the stairs to the right hand side there and you could use that device to bring the eye down through the picture to the temple of even a party of people coming out of the mine holding torches, anything!
Squint at it mate and you will see that as it stands its dark at the bottom and despite the orange blobs we still are drawn to the light at the top.
Its coming along mate but it needs a push to get it right, all the best with it.
short critique and paintover. My biggest issue is how dark this is, just because a scene takes place at a dark area doesn't mean you should paint it all black. show off more of the village, try to give it some character and life by designing different types of homes and structures, right now it look very "lived-in".
A tip for not making the waterfall the focal point: don't make it the brightest value on the picture.
If you haven't already, read through this: http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm there's a lot of gold nuggets here, Check out the"Focus points" it seems simple, but it makes a world of difference if you consider the things they mention.
The composition is also quite boring, the paintover i did i tried to go with a similar angle as you did here, but if you want to make this more interesting, you can try to showcase the city from the POV of one of the villagers, looking down at the village and the rock formations.
There's also the fact that the composition makes this look like a giant vagina.
One thing I wanted to point out and that is the villages organizational skills. All the huts(?) or homes looks nice and clean meaning all the (bottom part) side walls of the hut just seem to meet the ground with nothing making them different, unique. Things like maybe a pile of firewood stacked up, especially with that many fire pits/torches. Or maybe tools, plants and other things of clutter.
Perhaps you have yet to get to this part of the drawing? Keep going it is looking good! I admire people whom can do this.
Thanks for all the feedback, a kick in the ass really is nice to have (not being snarky). I'm gonna bench this concept til I can come up with some much more alive.