Zombie Mermaid
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    Zombie Mermaid

    Hello! I'm currently working on a zombie mermaid (well, drowned merperson to be exact) and I'm looking for critiques. Does the anatomy look okay so far? How's the composition right now? What about the perspective? This is way, way different from my usual stuff, so any help/feedback would be awesome.

    I still have to shoot some lighting references and make everything more zombie-like but I just thought it would be easier to get the anatomy/perspective/composition down first and then deal with all that later. Thanks for looking!

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    Last edited by AboveClouds; April 13th, 2012 at 06:14 PM.
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    Bigger picture.

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    TinyBird is offline Why you gotta be an angry burd Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Well, I don't know if it's really my place to say anything since this is just a trade, but I had real trouble figuring our the viewpoint in the image. I mean it looks like we are on the deck level, but there's no horizon and I mistook the stuff on the background to be water, as if we were looking down to the side of the ship, and the tail hovering there enforced that. Also on personal note I might say that having a the viewpoint from above would work better from the "o hai I'll just look over the ship board--HOLY CRAP" mood, as if you yourself were looking down, and not randomly laying on the deck.
    Name:  fisk.jpg
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    If you want to go with the low viewpoint, I might change the creature so that it has dragged itself more to the deck to show more of what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, I don't know if it's really my place to say anything since this is just a trade, but I had real trouble figuring our the viewpoint in the image. I mean it looks like we are on the deck level, but there's no horizon and I mistook the stuff on the background to be water, as if we were looking down to the side of the ship, and the tail hovering there enforced that. Also on personal note I might say that having a the viewpoint from above would work better from the "o hai I'll just look over the ship board--HOLY CRAP" mood, as if you yourself were looking down, and not randomly laying on the deck.
    Name:  fisk.jpg
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    If you want to go with the low viewpoint, I might change the creature so that it has dragged itself more to the deck to show more of what it is.
    Yeah, you definitely have a point. The tail was originally hanging over the side of the ship, but that just made it look like a zombie with something on its butt. I really like your idea of an overhead view, though. It makes a lot more sense that someone would look over the side of a ship and see this thing.

    By the way, I looked at my original gesture sketches and found this:
    Name:  pose2_web.jpg
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    It wasn't very dynamic so I scrapped it, but do you think it would work better? I could move the mermaid's head/outstretched hand more towards the viewer. It just seems like it would be a better pose since the tail is 100% visible (instead of being hidden behind the body like in a hanging pose). What do you think?

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    Sorry I haven't updated in a while. The boat idea wasn't working for me, so I decided to start over. The new picture has the same sort of pose/theme as the old one, but I'm a lot happier with it.

    Anyway, the rocks are based off of some real rocks I collected. I'm gonna take some photos of them later tonight to use as refs. The straight lines in the sketch are from my perspective grid; they won't be there in the final (the final piece will be lineless BTW, but I've left the lines here for anatomy crits).

    What do you think of it so far?

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    I think it's good that you've decided to go with the original sketch as it shows the concept more. In the viewpoint on the other option you couldn't see the fish head at all. I'm assuming the fish is dead as well. Pretty crazy and interesting concept. Maybe consider having his hand reaching towards the viewer. Head seems a little large.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blankstate View Post
    I think it's good that you've decided to go with the original sketch as it shows the concept more. In the viewpoint on the other option you couldn't see the fish head at all. I'm assuming the fish is dead as well. Pretty crazy and interesting concept. Maybe consider having his hand reaching towards the viewer. Head seems a little large.
    Thanks for the critique, Blankstate. It's not my design, by the way. Tinybird made it/him/whatever you wanna call it.

    Okay, here's another update. I'm not sure if I should refine the rocks any further or keep them looser like they are here. :/ I guess I'll decide after I finish painting the water.

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    Some more reference and realism for the fish perhaps? Even if the fish is just sketchy at the moment the style clashes with the rest of the picture, as is a lot more stylized and a lot less realistic then everything else.

    I have no intention of becoming a professional artist, I just aspire to become a really good amateur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by w176 View Post
    Some more reference and realism for the fish perhaps? Even if the fish is just sketchy at the moment the style clashes with the rest of the picture, as is a lot more stylized and a lot less realistic then everything else.
    You're totally right, I'm not sure why I didn't catch that sooner. I guess I was too focused on the human half of the body. Thanks for pointing it out, w176.

    Anyway, I was only going to resketch the fish, but I ended up finishing it instead (well, mostly finished it anyway). The newest update is below.

    Still gotta work on the water...

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    Last edited by AboveClouds; April 2nd, 2012 at 01:17 AM.
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    That is pretty cool, I have never seen a mermaid with a fish being his tail.

    I would recommend a more moody background with fog, abandoned ship parts, more details.
    The rocks are a bit.. vanilla?

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    Hm, I don't know but I really don't like the picture- despite the fact that I like the idea, and the set-up.

    --note: this looks like a paintover but it is not, it just looks like one. I don't know how to improve the picture but I hope to get you some ideas ---

    There are too many things that confuse me and keep distracting me (aside from the lines around the muscles and the hair).
    Here is what I found:
    Name:  zomaidweb4_by_aboveclouds1.jpg
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    All the pink lines are places that confuse me. I don't understand how exactly he is lying on the rocks, he seems to be on top, slightly to the back? What happens with his left hand? And the rendering of the fish tail makes it look straight-on, but I think you meant to retract it slightly? Try to make it out of boxes, as I tried (ha ha!).

    I don't understand the reaching out. He is lying on the rocks, why would he reach out? The first pose with the arm down made more sense to me. It looked like he was spying on prey, or getting ready. Now it is sunbathing in rage.
    I also enlarged the canvas and increased the contrast because I felt it was too straight-on and muddy.

    ?

    Hope to be of help somewhat~

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    Now that is a fish! Awesome! But one of the problems isn't quite fixed. The flopping fishtail is at a weird angle, that don't look natural.

    I have no intention of becoming a professional artist, I just aspire to become a really good amateur.

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    Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I'm... sort of losing interest in the picture. I appreciate all of your feedback, though!

    Anyway, my newest update is below. The water is supposed to be murky, muddy, and filled with algae, but I'm not sure if I rendered it correctly. This is the first time I've painted water, so I probably messed up a lot of stuff.

    Plans:
    -Finish the body already. Those damn lines have been around long enough.
    -I'll probably add some distant trees in the fog. I really want to keep the background simple though, so they'll be foggy silhouettes if I do decide to include them.
    -Add some fog billowing over the water.
    -The tail reflection is too clear/clean. Fix that.
    -I want the mermaid/fishtail to be the focal point, but I'm not sure if I've made it too bright for the rest of the picture. What do you think?
    -Show farther hand's fingertips peeking over the edge of the rock.
    -Put some algae on the mermaid, especially in his hair.

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    when I look at the image I just see a gangly dude getting eaten by a fish while crying for help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfxtwin View Post
    when I look at the image I just see a gangly dude getting eaten by a fish while crying for help.
    Does he look a bit more like a zombie now?

    Sorry that the hands aren't done yet. I'm getting to them!

    By the way, should I add color to this or does it look better in greyscales? The thumbnail called for a lot of creepy, swamp-like greens everywhere, but the greyscales are growing on me. What do you guys think?

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    If he is a Zombie, then why isn't the fish?

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    Cool concept by Tinybird.

    I like what you done so far AboveClouds.

    This is my attempt to improve concept of a zombie fish. Made one part hollow to make her look like a zombie or at least dead, and in the same time explain to the viewer that there is no guys legs inside, so she isn't eating him. Some minor adjustments on the right hand elbow are made to give sens of depth, crossing over the mouth even more.

    Some improvements to consider:

    - Stone edge at your deviant art link is bothering me. Try to make it more interesting ( rocky, natural, random...), its so straight and not interesting.

    - Lower fin could cross over the stone edge a bit, to break that straight line.

    I hope you find my suggestions helpful. Looking forward to see the finished work!

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    Last edited by alienvironment; April 10th, 2012 at 12:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alienvironment View Post
    and in the same time explain to the viewer that there is no guys legs inside, so she isn't eating him.
    Actually the fish do eat the legs (though only that part) and they are inside the fish, though not in a very presentable condition.
    For LordLouis, I really didn't make the fish very zombie-like either so that's more of my design fault, but some bit more "ragged" look for the fish would probably fit well.

    I do think the rocks look bit soft and kinda like the little stones on the lower right had melded together with the big one, which looks kinda unnatural.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Actually the fish do eat the legs (though only that part) and they are inside the fish, though not in a very presentable condition.
    For LordLouis, I really didn't make the fish very zombie-like either so that's more of my design fault, but some bit more "ragged" look for the fish would probably fit well.

    I do think the rocks look bit soft and kinda like the little stones on the lower right had melded together with the big one, which looks kinda unnatural.
    Good thing you showed up 'cause I was just gonna ask you about the fish's design. Hopefully the fish is ragged enough now.

    The greyscales are pretty much done at this point, by the way. I see another thing or two I might edit, but aside from that I'm ready to move onto colors. The final colors will be pretty muted.

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    Okay, here's my first pass at the colors.

    Concerns:
    -Is the fish's yellow fin too saturated? The fish is based off of a real bass, so I was just following its natural coloration. I could change it if it's too distracting or out of place.
    -Is the background too saturated?
    -I'm not too happy with the zombie's skin color right now. The skin should look unnatural and dead, but I'm not sure if I pulled that off.
    -Does the moss in the zombie's hair look like dyed green hair?

    Thanks for any feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveClouds View Post
    Okay, here's my first pass at the colors.

    Concerns:
    -Is the fish's yellow fin too saturated? The fish is based off of a real bass, so I was just following its natural coloration. I could change it if it's too distracting or out of place.
    -Is the background too saturated?
    -I'm not too happy with the zombie's skin color right now. The skin should look unnatural and dead, but I'm not sure if I pulled that off.
    -Does the moss in the zombie's hair look like dyed green hair?

    Thanks for any feedback!
    Hi, it looks much better in color.

    - Lower fin is too saturated.
    - Your fish should be partially to fully white colored that means it has begun to rot and is dead.
    - Try to dye just one side of the hair and leave some moss hanging from it.
    - Darken that water surface in the lower left corner.
    - Zombie skin is fine for my taste.

    Hope this helped!

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