Swamp Monster
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Thread: Swamp Monster

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    Swamp Monster

    Hi Guys,
    Stayed up late last night drawing up this swamp creature I had in my head. I wanted to take a stab at a medium tone canvas, using just white and 1 dark color. An approach I haven't done in a long time. Let me know what you think: creature, style, lighting, whatever...

    *New version painted below...check it out!

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    Last edited by revboyjames; February 17th, 2012 at 12:14 PM.
    -Concept Art & Vector Art- www.freelancefridge.com
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    I like the design you have.

    Some stuff I noticed-

    The horizon line is to low for the perspective you have
    I'm not sure how much you plan on coloring it but the green you have now is a bit to strong for my tastes.
    I would think about adding some swamp fog around his feet.

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    Thanks scrt_AgentMan. Initially, I wasn't intending for that cutoff of the ground to be the horizon, I guess I should work in a little detail showing the actual horizon further off, lol! Good catch! And I might try adding more swamp fog too. Still trying to decide if I should leave this guy as a quick monochromatic illustration, or use this as an underbase and paint it up fully, with color.

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    I would use it as an underpainting since you already have the mood down.

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    TinyBird is offline Why you gotta be an angry burd Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    The arm and head become confusing, I first thought the arm/hand behind the head was part of the thing's jaw, and I have trouble seeing how the arm is posed behind the neck, as it comes off looking like it's way shorter than the other arm.
    Also there's no real focal point in the creature, using a gradient would help on that: http://nanya.deviantart.com/art/Grad...rial-169834885

    Also I personally agree with AgentMan about the colour, it's that sort of poisonous toxic waste green rather than what I'd consider actual swamp green, giving this a feeling of nuclear monster rather than swamp monster.

    And I'll add that I'd take more time referencing swamps, that's pretty unrealistic looking swamp you are having there, which doesn't really hurt the image since the creature is pretty cartoony, but it doesn't help the image either.

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    Cool start! I agree that the head is getting lost against that other forearm. Also, your choice of green is pretty close to a pthalo green which is not a natural pigment and is avoided when attempting a realistic, natural setting. However color aside, the values are nice and I like your approach starting from a middle canvas and working back and forth on it.

    Please Sir, I'd like some more.

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    zephyri is offline professional guacamole maker Level 5 Gladiator: Myrmillo
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    Very nice start you have, I actually rather like the design of the creature, and it's a nice idea to try it with one colour. I've done a quickie paintover just to try and give you an idea of the points I'm about to make, attached at the bottom!

    I think you've overused white as a highlight colour... especially with something that's in quite a dark environment. What I did to fix that was just put another layer on top of your image, set to multiply, at about 50%, using one of the mid greens of the image. If you know how to use masking on a layer, you can then use that to 'erase' some of the highlights back in (using a mask rather than just erasing the image will allow you to repaint in areas if you want them darker again). It also means you can be more efficient with getting some cool highlights onto his skin, though be sure to use them sparingly, in order to get that shiny, wet feel.

    In the same way you've maybe overdone the highlights, there are also no cast shadows, which adds to making the highlights look strange. If the light is coming from top left (on your orignal image) then I'd expect his head and neck to cast a shadow across his body, same for his forward leg, and the arm closest to us, though you'd see less of a shadow from them. I'v added the biggest one over his pecs and chest area, and left it fairly soft, as would fit the grimy atmosphere you've got!

    Tiny bird has a point about the head and arm, and I think in some of the areas, you've gone over detailed. If you blend the back arm and leg back, so they blend a bit more with the background, his head pops forward, and allows you to focus on all the cool detail you've added in there. Same kinda goes for down at his feet and legs, though less so. Another thing to bear in mind when doing this in a more swampy misty atmosphere would be to use the darkest tones on the parts of his body that are closest to the viewer, so try and keep the brighter highlights and 100% dark greens for the shadows of the parts you want to come forward in the mist.. I've sort of done that with his closest arm and his head and neck too. Don't be afraid to lose a bit of detail here and there, since the viewer will automatically fill in the blank areas with what you've suggested in the more detailed areas.

    Only other thing I did was tweak the colours, so that even though it's still a monotone image, there's a little bit of a temperature shift between darks and lights. I used the hue/saturation/brightness at the start, before I did anything else, and tweaked the green to be a bit more toward the yellow, and desaturated it a bit. Then at the very end of the image, I used the colour balance (Ctrl B) and made the highlights a bit more green/yellow, and the shadows a bit more magenta/red.

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    I hope all of that is of some help, and that it doesn't come across as too critical. You're initial image is actually quite strong, it's just the lighting and overall colour that needs a bit of tweaking. If anything doesn't make sense, please let me know and I'll do my best to elaborate.

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    Awesome, awesome help, all of you!!! I am most definitely going to take it all into consideration! I really like this guy, so I think he's worth investing more time into, to make him great. And yes, I was having a little trouble with the positioning of his back arm, I'll be tweaking that along with the toxic neon green color and shading/lighting. I hope to have time to post an updated version this week. Can't thank everyone enough for the awesome advice.

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    Ok, finally got some time to refine this guy more. Again, I really appreciate the input. I tried to incorporate a little bit of everyone's suggestions:
    -Moving/obscuring the back arm
    -Changing the toxic green
    -Adjusting the "horizon line"
    -Making the swamp background a little more believable
    -Using gradients in the foundation to help with the light source
    -Zephyri's shadowing and highlight suggestions
    -Some other insight I gained from James Gurney's book: Color & Light
    Zephyri: I purposely chose not to look at your paint-over while I was working on it, as I wanted to push myself to think about what I was doing, not just blatantly copy your image. (Although it was partially in my head, lol).

    Let me know what you guys think.

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    Last edited by revboyjames; February 16th, 2012 at 03:50 AM. Reason: forgot to write a part
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