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  1. #1
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    Art Order Levi Challenge

    So I'm doing an entry for the Art Order - Levi challenge, and have come to it ridiculously late. (It's been going since early December, and sketches are due at the end of the week? SPEED MODE.) Anyhow, I did a huge pile of thumbnails, and narrowed it down to these:

    Attachment 1402591

    (Hopefully they're understandable - they're already tightened up a bit since I tend to thumbnail with so much visual shorthand only I can comprehend any of it.) I could use a hand picking which one to go with and/or crits explaining why none of these work. I'm leaning towards 1, 4, or 5.

    This is also posted on WIPNation, as required for the challenge.
    Last edited by Revidescent; February 8th, 2012 at 04:58 PM.


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  3. #2
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    #5 and #1 are definitely my favorite

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  5. #3
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    I agree with the above. Just be sure to better break up that large super dark mass if you choose number 1.
    Please Sir, I'd like some more.

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  7. #4
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    I like the compositions of #2 and #4 the best, but I think the contrast in #1 is very compelling. So like was said before, if you could break up the mass of darkness some, I think #1 would be your best bet.

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  9. #5
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  10. #6
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    Thanks guys. Here's a more worked-out sketch of number 1; I'm going to do ones like this of at least one more of them, hopefully two (5 is next, then 2 if I have time)... they're still rough and mostly compositional, so crit is appreciated on composition and lighting (oh god, especially on lighting, help), but I haven't shot reference yet, so I'm not too worried about anatomy and the like at this stage.

    Attachment 1403596

    The more I look at this, the more I think I'll probably be going to final with one of the other comps. =D

  11. #7
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    Hey Revidescent, nice work.
    The thumb 5 is more interesting and dynamic with nice diagonals and nice poses.
    But if you go with this one i think the light is great, coming from below and a less intense light come from them back. Look for some creepy stills of movies for reference.
    Keep it up!

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  13. #8
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    Thanks Luk, I preferred 5 as well. Here're all the sketches:

    Attachment 1404160

    I'm 90% sure I'm going to go with the 2nd one (I... I just like strong light sources) though the challenge has an AD so if they say otherwise, I'll do another one. Or if you guys think one of the other comps is stronger! Do you?

    The third one kicked my ass. Trying to find a lighting situation that was compositionally nice, narratively focused, AND actually made any sense as light, well... I don't think I've done that, and trying to balance them all may have made me fail at all 3.

  14. #9
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    Out of your last three comps I prefer the first one. To me, it convey the most story and evokes an emotional response. The sitting character looks like he is emoting and his relationship with the skeleton is left more to interpretation. Is he there? Is he symbolic? I just like where it is going. the 3rd one could accomplish the same thing but I have a problem with the skeletons spear. It is running almost parallel to the main character and is disrupting the flow of the composition. Perhaps you might consider changing it and pointing out of the picture plane. This would lead your viewer nicely out of the picture and hopefully into the pages inside the book.

    Just my two cents but I hope they are useful to you. Good luck with the challenge!

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  16. #10
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    Thanks, Wheeljack. Making me question my choice of final. =) I do like the first one, but I'm worried about creating a believable lighting situation, and also that - compared to the other entries up so far - it's just not dynamic enough. It is more narratively interesting than the second, though, so I'll have to think about that.

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    I agree with Wheeljack18. Out of the three I think #1 is more interesting than others. #2 and #3 has dynamic camera angles, but 1 still looks stronger because of the relationship of character gestures and background. There's more room in #1 to have creative negative space in background to complete the flow of composition. I like how background is also part of the narrative in #1...because they are placed on the left and looking right, it makes me think what they are looking at and thinking about.

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  19. #12
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    Thanks raqmo. I suppose the two of you have swayed my opinion. =) I've got a friend coming over in a couple of hours to shoot reference, so there's the point of no return. Now to figure out how to actually shoot reference with this lighting... (Two ground-level lamps maybe?)

  20. #13
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    The lines are about 2/3 done, still working on the skeleton, but hoping to get some crit at this stage... I'm completely at a loss how to figure out the perspective for the distant background there; with everything turned at a different angle than the foreground, uneven ground, and a different level than everything else, I don't even know where to start.

    Also, any other crit is super appreciated!

    Attachment 1415091

  21. #14
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    thx for feedback on my stuff...so this is looking good,i don't know about the story but i like this and number 5 too. Anyway,it depends on what you want to convey. But i think the composition could be better, the skeleton and the guy are looking at a same/similar direction,and their lower backs are kind arched toward the same way,maybe modify the skeleton posture a little?...good thing is you have them holding the weapons in a different way...

    Oh,i'm no good in perspective...D= i guess some dry creepy trees in silhouette and a moon would look good for bg..and foggy atmosphere

    Just my two cents =)
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  22. #15
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    you probably don't need this...and I may be wrong...
    anyways, this might help.
    Attachment 1415551

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  24. #16
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    Thanks raqmo, not quite where I had the horizon line, but yeah... I can figure out the grid, but not really sure how to translate it to something so... haphazard? Everything at different elevations and off-grid angles... Right now I've just got some random marks there as placeholders.

    Here's some early colours, which... I dunno. Not enough local colour, I think, and also trying to work out this lighting situation.

    Attachment 1416576

  25. #17
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    Better base colours now, I think. Trying to make it clear that it's sunrise rather than sunset but hell, I can never tell the difference.

    Attachment 1416945

  26. #18
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    Man, I seriously have no idea what I'm doing here, and my ref isn't so useful for lighting because of my inability to recreate this lighting setup when I took it. I've got the strong rim light from the rising sun, but the rest of the light - which is supposed to be a bit of ambient light coming from the other side, and slightly below - is sort of coming from, uh, wherever. The face and the skull are especially inconsistent at the moment...

    Ah well, the point of these challenges is to push and try new things, and realizing I'm clueless is the first step towards getting a clue or... something.

    Attachment 1417181

  27. #19
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    Little progress on the face? And everywhere else?

    Attachment 1417837

  28. #20
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    I honestly can't tell if this is getting better or worse. Toned down the sky to better zero in on the focal point, but not sure if it worked or not - the red tones seemed to say "sunset" more than "sunrise" to me.

    Attachment 1418370

  29. #21
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    Hi Revidescent,
    I like this image a lot. It is especially admirable, because I can see your development process pretty clearly laid out in the thread. Good job! That being said, I think that things sort of got away from you a bit when you moved to the painting stage. To me, it seems like you might have rushed things a bit to get to rendering. I would suggest carrying the methodical approach you used for the thumbnails, through the painting stage. Begin by focusing on the large masses and general shapes of the composition. Then, 'draw' into these masses, with the appropriate values, to establish the forms. Next add the accents; the hot raking light of the sunrise, the subtle darkening of the shadows and brightening of the lights, in the reflected light. From that point onward it is just a matter of refining shapes and edges. I made a quick diagram to show you what I mean. I used 5 values (10,30,50,70,90) and black. The reflected light was made with the 'in-between' values(80,60 etc.) and the hottest highlights were done with white.
    It is also good to note that the sky at sunrise (or sunset) is actually much, much brighter that the landscape. By lightening the sky, you have a larger range of values available in the image. You can paint light into the shadows more easily without destroying the illusion on light on form. Hope this helps.

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  31. #22
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    in my opinion .. you should have some hint of perspective in the sky using clouds ..I would try to put some long clouds oriented toward us (like the blue lines in my sketch). Bright up the horizon line like you did in your initial sketch,. It is powerful for the composition but also help adding depth/perspective.... again perspective in the sky will sustain the one between the two main character... To me the perspective is one of the element that make your image appealing ..so you should emphasis on it

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  33. #23
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    Hey Man, This one is coming along nicely. I think JavierP has given you some solid advice regarding a way to approach your issue. Another way you can do it although I'm sure I'll get flamed for saying this is you can paint what you do know, IE Primary light source and work out the reflected and ambient light afterwards. This way you focus on only one problem at a time instead of trying to wrap your head around all of them at once. So when is this art order challenge due?

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  35. #24
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    Thanks so much for the crit, guys! That helped a ton, JavierP; I pulled the values back in black and white and simplified, threw in some very basic colour, now I can try rendering out again without making the sort of mess I did last time. I'll try the thing with the clouds. The challenge is due tomorrow; so hopefully I can get this more or less done today!

    Attachment 1418942

  36. #25
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  37. #26
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    wow...seeing the progress of your work is great !!!

    I liked the more lighten version with the red/blue sky...two updates ago. Maybe it´s because i like red/blue skys
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  38. #27
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    Thanks Cutter; I liked the reddish one for the colours, but it read way too much as a sunset to me, and the one mention of time in the contest brief was "It's been a long night", so it's important that the sun's coming up rather than going down. I don't know if people disagree, though - I can't really tell the difference between sunrise and sunset in photographs, so these sort of colours are more my personal associations for sunrise; I have no idea if it actually reads.

    ...

    I've repainted his head more than anything else in this image, I think it's different in every single WIP shot here. I think it's finally about where I want it. Time out for social obligations now, then back to the skeleton and the background, which... yeah, I admit I've been putting them off. I'm weak. I do think I've over-rendered the skull, for the way the light would hit...

    Attachment 1419191

  39. #28
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    ok..one thing i notice now: what does the guy has in his hands? some kind of axe ? a hammer? it looks like it became smaller and smaller during the painting process so it´s hard for me to recognize :/ ..it could also be a long pipe

    Right now it doesn´t look so heavy that the guy need to lay it on his shoulder...what do you think ?
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  41. #29
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    It's meant to be a shepherd's axe. =) (I have no idea how heavy it'd actually be; for the reference photo, it was played by a hammer duct taped to a broom handle...)

  42. #30
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    I think this is done? At least done-ish; I'm going to take one last look at it in the morning when I've had a chance to get away from it for a few hours; contest deadline is tomorrow. Any last-minute crit is super-appreciated!

    Attachment 1419367

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