Art Order "Art Test" challenge: UPDATE 4/28 final WIP
***UPDATE 4/28-*** check page two for latest updates
Hello again everyone. Just read the most recent Art Order challenge and decided to put my other illustration on pause and work on this first. The challenge is to depict a soldier or town guard from the culture of a selection of character concepts. The link to the page with the art is here, towards the bottom of the article-
From the concept art I got an Eastern European/Central Asian kind of feel, so that's the direction I'll be going with for the soldier's clothing and armor, althoug these drawings are still too rough to really see that. I also got the impression this culture exists somewhere cold due to the character's clothing, so these pictures take place in mountainous areas or tundras.
Last edited by dwilliams; April 28th, 2012 at 10:53 PM.
Composition wise the two on teh right have teh flag and cape blowing the same direction as th ebackground...might want to counter them. Also values of background are too dark...same darks as in the figure and foreground.
Personally I would push for something dynamic or that had more a sense of place or narrative. Perhaps an indication of an outpost/wall/tower/citadel in distance as a secondary focal point?
I would check out how some other artists handled similar compositions - not so much theme but arrangement wise - Angus Macbride comes to mind. What I mean is I would decide if I wanted it to be a concept piece or an illustration.
What would Caravaggio do?
Thanks for the replies. I've definitely been looking at some Angus McBride for this piece. I'm thinking I want this piece to be more of an illustration than concept art, since that's what I'm more interested in doing career wise. I'll play around with adding other narrative elements into the scene.
Okay a little update before I go to bed. I took some of the advice I got and made some adjustments to the composition. In the background towards the horizon I added a city to give the soldier a little bit more of a setting and narrative, so that it isn't a picture of just some guy on horseback in the middle of nowhere. I also changed the direction of the clouds so that it wasn't symmetrical with the flag and cape. I still might need to tweak the values a bit though- let me know what you think
Much better imo. I was reading the large dark backdrop form as cliffs rather than clouds...really have to watch values with clouds - they're never as dark as you think.
So, a question to ask on the narrative aspect...why is he occupied with holding a big banner? I mean...it's pretty and all but? I would maybe try to think of ways to include the dynamic and identification of the banner, but in a way that fits the context just a bit better. Just a lone horseman out riding patrol with a banner doesn't make much sense.
What would Caravaggio do?
Hey d. I have been tumbling ideas around in my head for this artorder too. I'm really excited that theyre looking for new talent.
I think the composition you chose is a good one. But its my opinion that the horse doesn't belong. Its blocking the character design. I know you want to do an illustration, but you sure as hell better fill the brief that Jon has asked for. And the brief is for character design, AND its for a city guard, not cavalry. EDIT: It does say 'or soldier' which is open to interpretation I guess. But I stand by the non-horse thing.
Also, why would the city guard be so far away from the city? And like Jeff said, why is he holding a big banner?
What if you take the third thumbnail. Remove the banner. Make the dark cloud shape the city wall behind him. Then have his head turned looking to the right... you know like with a vigilant gaze into the distance. And probly turn his body to the right a little so hes not straining to look to the right. BAM!
Thats my opinion
Last edited by Artfix; March 31st, 2012 at 03:34 AM.
I was thinking maybe the soldier was on patrol, which is why he would probably be on horseback, and the banner was just a nice compositional element to add to the piece, but I'll keep playing around with the narrative some more so that everything makes more sense.
Okay I think I may have found a compromise here. Instead of the soldier carrying a large banner, he's carrying a typical lance with one of those small flags on top of it, so it gets the interesting movement of the banner but also makes more sense narrative wise. I also added another soldier on horseback behind him. With the low contrast and having most of the second soldier hidden behind the lower ground I think the soldier in the foreground will still be the clear point of interest in the piece. Adding a soldier behind him I think helps the patrol narrative a bit more, as if the two are partners kind of like today's modern cops going about looking out for trouble.
Hey, really nice idea. I also like the middle composition best, though for some reason I keep trying to view it as having the horse and rider facing to the right rather than the left. Maybe I'm feeling dyslexic today.
Not much to say about narrative elements or values because they're beyond my ken at the moment. But I do like the horse in there so I think working things around that would definitely be a good idea because without it, the picture in general might lose some of its impact. For me anyway.
Also, looking at your stormy sky immediately brought Turner's "Hannibal Crossing the alps" to mind (I have a thing for Turner) so I thought I'd post an image for some possible inspiration for clouds/stormy skies etc -
Good luck with this one, and I'll be following to see how it develops.