Attempt at a Temple
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    Attempt at a Temple

    I'll be the first to admit that I need the practice when it comes to envioments and interiors, so here I am asking humbly for assistance in my attempt at doing some concept art of a desert temple.

    The temple being a place where powerful people meet and thus there is water, but apart from that I really don't have much more in the way of ideas. Even the iconography for the temple "god" itself is vague.

    I was thinking a woman holding two jars and pouring the water but it's not exactly very god like.

    Any constructive help is much appreciated.

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    Id look into Ancient Egyptian temples, and see what kind of style they had going on. Its helpful to borrow concepts from real life. Changing topics here; I think your depth with the poles is really working well, but for my taste, the composition is a little too symmetrical. It might also help if there was a doorway of some kind in one of the walls kind of to indicate that theres more to this special place than just this one room. I dont know where all that came from. These are just random ideas that popped out of my head. Do what you want

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspia View Post
    The temple being a place where powerful people meet and thus there is water, but apart from that I really don't have much more in the way of ideas. Even the iconography for the temple "god" itself is vague.
    The standard practice is to finalize the concept before starting the art.

    Also, the scale of the room feels like someone's apartment---very mundane. I'd suggest (at minimum) making the ceiling much higher than you've got here.

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    How godlike pouring water is depends on what kind of god it is. The greeks had a goddess like that (statue of Hebe):



    If it's in the desert, water will be incredibly important for the residents, and one of the most holy icons around them, and a deity ruling over water will also therefore hold a prominent place in their pantheon. Hebe wasn't terribly important in Greece, but they also had plenty of water most of the time, especially compared to a desert people. Hebe was more of a cupbearer than a strong water deity, water was more like one of her attributes. If you properly show us that this is in the desert, it could work. Placing water in the central axis already made it important, having a deity pouring water will reinforce it. How about putting flowers and offerings around the statue to show how revered the deity is?

    Maybe read up a bit on Greek and Roman architecture? And Egyptian, of course.

    (Oh the irony, iTunes started playing "Sahara" by Nightwish when I was writing this post. XD)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    The standard practice is to finalize the concept before starting the art.

    Also, the scale of the room feels like someone's apartment---very mundane. I'd suggest (at minimum) making the ceiling much higher than you've got here.
    Yes, figure out the concept first, then worry about technical mechanics. Once you've spent all that time with your perspective construction, you're unlikely to make changes to it even if it would make the piece stronger. On the other hand, if your focus is strictly on this being a perspective exercise, do something like drawing and existing scene from a different angle, so that you're not trying to juggle too many balls at once.


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    @David_a_ray: Thanks, the symmetry was mostly meant to emphasise the importance of the central god figure, but I see what you mean. I've added some hallways off to the side and opened up the windows at the back to try and make it look more open.

    @EagleGrove:Thanks very much, that's very helpful. I think I'll set with a woman pouring water in the center, and I've put offerings to the side but might add more to the statue itself when I've finalised how it looks.

    @Elwell & Giacomo (since you basically have the same critisism): I did have a concept, a desert temple where water was the main feature. The god and the shape of it are all window dressing. Some temples don't have to be huge, having a vast cathedral that you can pack the whole congregation into isn't always a primary focus for some religions. Think of this as a more intimate religion, although if you have more criticism in the general construction of said temple that would be more helpful, thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspia View Post
    I did have a concept, a desert temple where water was the main feature. The god and the shape of it are all window dressing.
    Well... yes and no.

    Take for example greek temples, where the actual shape and positioning of the temple held religious meaning. Another example are zen-buddhist temples, where the design of a temples courtyard and, primarily, entry-points are important.

    With that said, let us return to your original question, that is what kind of iconography does the temple hold. Assuming a desert temple there are a number of different cultures that you could borrow from, egypt, persian, syrian and babylonian comes to mind, as well as arabic.

    Now, you have a lot of square shapes and straight corners, so perhaps an arabesque-pattern might be an alternative to a god? especially if its a low-key temple?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Meijer View Post
    Well... yes and no.

    Take for example greek temples, where the actual shape and positioning of the temple held religious meaning.
    That's true, 100 was an important number to them but it ended up making some temples very weird looking or extremely narrow. What with all the columns I added that triangular relief which greeks liked a lot of in their temples but I'm thinking it's too small...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Meijer View Post
    Now, you have a lot of square shapes and straight corners, so perhaps an arabesque-pattern might be an alternative to a god? especially if its a low-key temple?
    That could be an alternative, but it might end up making it look more like a bath house if I just have say...a mosaic of water or pattern with water colours within. I admit that the iconography is important but the vagueness I had before was more how powerful to make them look or to just have a water bearer statue depositing water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspia View Post
    That could be an alternative, but it might end up making it look more like a bath house if I just have say...a mosaic of water or pattern with water colours within. I admit that the iconography is important but the vagueness I had before was more how powerful to make them look or to just have a water bearer statue depositing water.
    Them? Who are them?

    I think it would be helpful if you thought for a bit of what kind of inspiration you are looking for, or at least how to convey that. It might just be me, but I'm really confused as to what you are trying to get out of this thread...

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    How powerful to make the iconography look, sorry, should have been more specific in the use of wording there. Whether to make it like a pattern or just worship of water in general or a specific god. As icons of people tend to hold more weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Meijer View Post
    I think it would be helpful if you thought for a bit of what kind of inspiration you are looking for, or at least how to convey that. It might just be me, but I'm really confused as to what you are trying to get out of this thread...
    Well feedback, which I am getting so thank you. What with all the columns everywhere I thought it was rather obvious what I was trying to convey but I suppose that means that I have to work on that, so I shall.

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    OK, if you're going for Classical, you've got lots of material to work with. I would look not only at temples, but also at Roman baths, and see how you could take that imagery and make it specifically sacred. The other thing I would look at is Zen shrines, which often incorporate water as an element. You could get some interesting effects combining Classical ornamental detail over Japanese architectural structure.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    OK, if you're going for Classical, you've got lots of material to work with. I would look not only at temples, but also at Roman baths, and see how you could take that imagery and make it specifically sacred. The other thing I would look at is Zen shrines, which often incorporate water as an element. You could get some interesting effects combining Classical ornamental detail over Japanese architectural structure.
    I'm really not sure how to make something look sacred, other than to make it a focal point of the picture and to leave offerings around it to make it look enshrined.

    Made an influence image from stock photos, none of which are mine, and going to have some more thought about how Japanese structure would look with classical elements. Seeing as they built with entirely different materials and the environments are vastly different.


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    An idea might be to ask yourself, what invokes a sacred feeling to me? And then translate that into the image...

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    Suppose I'm going to have issue with that, I don't think tea and jam sandwiches are very sacred to others outside of Mid Lothian.

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    I like the idea of this but think you're coming at it from a boring angle. Maybe try a view from down in a corner or up at the ceiling looking down, or through one of the windows.

    I also like Elwell's suggestion about mixing elements from Classical and Eastern architecture. That could be really interesting.

    I wont comment on your ideas about the deity because it sounds like you're still trying to figure that out. But I will say in general that you're capable of much more than what you're showing in here, so push yourself, try some crazy mishmashes of cultures and religions and architecture etc, and see what you come up with.

    Good luck!

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    Giving up to start on something else less boring and mundane sorry to waste everyone's time.

    Last edited by Caspia; May 30th, 2012 at 08:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspia View Post
    Giving up to start on something else less "Boring" and "mundane" sorry to waste everyone's time.
    Throwing out drawings and ideas is just part of the process. So your first one didn't work - get some reference, and explore new expressions of that original idea of drawing a desert temple. (Thumbnail, thumbnail, thumbnail.)

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    It's not a waste of anybody's time, especially yours. It's just part of the process.


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    Not going to be able to sleep anytime soon so did some more thumbnails. First one basically the same building but less face on angle. Second one outdoor shrine which most japanese one are. Mushed some Torii with columns and a mosiac pathway.
    Need to come back and do the plantlife and so on. Seeing as a desert temple would probably be in an oasis if there was a water source.

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    Better angles and compositions over all. I am not sure which one I prefer, probably the top one has the most potential but I like the design of the second with the cloth.

    I would look at water features, fountains, man-made waterfalls, water displays, they might give you some interesting ideas for decoration and interiors.

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    Yeah, they've both got potential. The architecture fan in me loves the first one for the strong uprights caused by the columns. But I also like the idea of the second with the flowing cloth flags.

    I guess it's up to you which one you go for, and this thread definitely wasnt a waste of my time or anyone elses I don't think. We're all in here brainstorming together after all.

    Good luck with this and I'll be looking out to see where you go with it.

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    @Rachel Pierce: Thanks, a man made waterfall might be nice although just have a flat one might look odd, although it leaves more space for mosaics and pretty patterns. Having a short one and some clouds in the backround might give it a sense of openness. hms.

    @Candra H:I'm glad you like them. Eh, might end up doing both for different reasons. Need to tidy up the first idea properly though.

    I know it sounded like fishing for sympathy but I am genuinely that self depreciating that I dislike wasting people's time on things for myself or that involve me. To be honest it's best to ignore me when I say things like that as I get over it pretty quickly and get back to drawing.

    So thank you everyone for your comments so far, I appreciate the time taken.

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