Unicorn vs. Merman WIP
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Thread: Unicorn vs. Merman WIP

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    Unicorn vs. Merman WIP

    Hello!

    I would very much appreciate any sort of feedback, pointers or any sort of opinion on this pic I am working on.

    So,I saw this challenge a while ago titled 'mermaids and ponies', so I decided to alter that in an action pic where the pony has washboard abs and this ninja attitude and is fighting a Fabio-looking merman for some leprecon gold. I thought that something as insane as this would be the perfect way to 'discover' my cartoon style - something I am not very comfortable with.

    I was happy with the way I started, but when the pic started expanding more and more, I kind of got lost in the composition of the pic and now I don't know how to fill the emptiness i have on the landscape, without overdoing it and making it too busy colourful. I was thinking about adding a whole bunch of sheep, with more flowers, mushroom and maybe hot air balloons and a flamingo?

    Also I dont really understand how to make water splash, especially cartoon style and I am not quite sure if the landscape looks weird.



    So does that main concept of rediculousness come across clearly? what is akward looking and any suggestions of any kind? This pic has been a lot of fun and I really want to do it properly, so I would love any feedback

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    1. Your anatomy is borked everywhere. Living things, even cartoony ones, just don't bend this way.

    The weird limb bends you put in strange places give me a suspicion that you had been referencing some kind of 3D thing like Poser or DAZ. If that is so, delete it and never touch it again until you have a good awareness of real anatomy. These things simply do not work. You can sort-of use them for reference when you know your bones, muscles and joint dynamics, but at that point you don't really need to.

    2. Your lighting does not work. You've locked every color in its own little ghetto, with no clear sense of light direction or shadows, and the result looks completely fake.

    3. Your perspective doesn't really work either.

    4. Your composition could use improvement, but try to work out a better perspective first. Try framing the thing differently, too; your figures don't have to treat the edges of the picture like scalding-hot acid.

    I recommend practicing life drawing in pencil, and learning to build formal perspective.

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    The concept is great and yes the ridiculousness and creativity rally shine through. The anatomy is a little off in places as arenhaus mentions, some of this you getaway with but in others , the Mere-mans wrist and foreshortening in his left arm it doesn't work quite as well.

    I like the bold colours. You've established that its fantasy and not reality which adds to the comedy and playfulness of the scene.

    The foreground characters have epic proportions they seem like giants within their environment. This does add to the drama but i'm not sure if that was what you intended. My main concern about the background is the river. Water does not flow uphill and always finds it's level but the way it winds makes it look as if it is flowing uphill in places.

    It's a great idea and very fun. It will be great to see it when you have done some more work on it.

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    I did not get that they were supposed to be fighting until I read your description. They just seem to be flexing a little.

    The leprechauns and the kettle is the most succesful part of the painting.
    That you tagged the thread not safe for work made me chuckle.

    It is ridiculous indeed but it would be more fun if you worked on the narration.

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    I like the style a lot *u*.

    Hm, there seems to be something odd with his tail and hand, thou. Try fixing them up a bit if you can~.

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    Cow

    Hey! I'm sorry it took so long to reply, I did't want to do so without having worked on the pic a bit more.




    Here's an update - click to enlarge Is anything better/worse?






    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    1. The weird limb bends you put in strange places give me a suspicion that you had been referencing some kind of 3D thing like Poser or DAZ. If that is so, delete it and never touch it again until you have a good awareness of real anatomy. These things simply do not work. You can sort-of use them for reference when you know your bones, muscles and joint dynamics, but at that point you don't really need to.
    2. Your lighting does not work. You've locked every color in its own little ghetto, with no clear sense of light direction or shadows, and the result looks completely fake.
    3. Your perspective doesn't really work either.
    Hi arenhaus Thanks for the reply!

    1. Do you mean the Merman, the Leprechons or the Unicorn? I didn't use any references on anything apart from the Unicorn and I used pictures of life horses in order to get an understanding of their anatomy. I am a bit more comfortable about drawing people so it was all me, freehand, trying to draw cartoony. Which bends exactly are you referring to?
    2.I see what you mean, I don;t know what I was thinking! I guess that the image looks more dynamic?! I dunno. I tried fixing the issue on the updated pic above. What do you think now?
    3. I agree, I didn't bother much there because I find it incredibly boring to just stop and plan things. I like drawing and seeing what happens, But I guess that doens;t work very well! Could you please point out specific areas that are really off?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobiahs View Post

    The foreground characters have epic proportions they seem like giants within their environment. This does add to the drama but i'm not sure if that was what you intended. My main concern about the background is the river. Water does not flow uphill and always finds it's level but the way it winds makes it look as if it is flowing uphill in places.

    It's a great idea and very fun. It will be great to see it when you have done some more work on it.
    Thanks for the feedback! I see what you mean about the proportions. Actually I was trying to make the leprecons feel tiny and frightful. That's why the pot with gold is also quite big. Now that I have a few more figures added does it look clearer? Or should I just shrink the 2 main figures?
    And I will see what I can do about the river, I agree its wrong but I didn't spent much time on the background that's why I decided to ask if I could get away with it

    Quote Originally Posted by Frida Bergholtz View Post
    I did not get that they were supposed to be fighting until I read your description. They just seem to be flexing a little.It is ridiculous indeed but it would be more fun if you worked on the narration.
    That's exactly what I was wondering! thanks! ANy ideas how I could make the action clearer???
    Quote Originally Posted by Frida Bergholtz View Post
    The leprechauns and the kettle is the most succesful part of the painting.
    That you tagged the thread not safe for work made me chuckle.
    hahaha thanks! Actually that was an accident! That was my first post here and I thought I had to pick one thing from the rollout in front of the topic title. And I had no idea what NSFW stands for sooooooo I just chose that one!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ijao View Post
    I like the style a lot *u*.

    Hm, there seems to be something odd with his tail and hand, thou. Try fixing them up a bit if you can~.
    Thanks! Do you mean the tail and hands of the unicorn or the merman?

    Last edited by Kameliya; July 5th, 2012 at 08:06 PM.
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    You're welcome~.

    And yes, I mean of the merman :3. It seems a bit too thin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kameliya View Post
    Hi arenhaus Thanks for the reply!

    1. Do you mean the Merman, the Leprechons or the Unicorn? I didn't use any references on anything apart from the Unicorn and I used pictures of life horses in order to get an understanding of their anatomy. I am a bit more comfortable about drawing people so it was all me, freehand, trying to draw cartoony. Which bends exactly are you referring to?
    Most of them.

    You are ignoring real structures and introducing nonexistent joints everywhere. The merman doesn't have a normal human ribcage - I know of no human in whom it tapers off like that without wearing a whalebone corset for a lifetime, and you seem to have fused the shoulderblade into it. The horse's hip somehow manages to stay in the forward position while the whole leg is in the back position, and you appear to have given it two knee joints. The horse's shoulder is a piece of complete misunderstanding. And so on. There is no way I can imagine this being drawn from a real horse. You somehow managed to reproduce the bloopers that Poser models typically make. It's a mystery.

    I don't know what you could do here except get Ellenberger's and/or Thompson anatomy atlases, and study the actual structures instead of making guesses.

    2.I see what you mean, I don;t know what I was thinking! I guess that the image looks more dynamic?! I dunno. I tried fixing the issue on the updated pic above. What do you think now?
    I don't see an appreciable difference apart from the inexplicable pink flamingo and his friends.

    Dynamic or static quality of a composition is about how you place the big masses and empty space in relation to each other. Not about filling every little hole with a random character. And decidedly not about color!

    3. I agree, I didn't bother much there because I find it incredibly boring to just stop and plan things. I like drawing and seeing what happens, But I guess that doens;t work very well! Could you please point out specific areas that are really off?
    100% of this picture is off. No reason to point out specific areas, other than as examples.

    Forgive me for being blunt, but if you find planning boring, and prefer just slapping things together and see what comes out, why are you even bothering with representational drawing? Try abstract, or a whimsical graphical style where the correct anatomy simply does not matter. There is a ton of things that could be done without realism.

    Note that whatever you do, you'll still have to deal with composition - at least value and color and leading the eye around. But there's no sense to try representational drawing if perspective, form, lighting and anatomy bore you. You can't do it without planning. Either learn to love the fundamentals and proper method, or don't try compositions like these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Most of them.
    You are ignoring real structures and introducing nonexistent joints everywhere. The merman doesn't have a normal human ribcage - I know of no human in whom it tapers off like that without wearing a whalebone corset for a lifetime, and you seem to have fused the shoulderblade into it. The horse's hip somehow manages to stay in the forward position while the whole leg is in the back position, and you appear to have given it two knee joints. The horse's shoulder is a piece of complete misunderstanding. And so on. There is no way I can imagine this being drawn from a real horse. You somehow managed to reproduce the bloopers that Poser models typically make. It's a mystery.
    I don't know what you could do here except get Ellenberger's and/or Thompson anatomy atlases, and study the actual structures instead of making guesses.



    I don't see an appreciable difference apart from the inexplicable pink flamingo and his friends.

    Dynamic or static quality of a composition is about how you place the big masses and empty space in relation to each other. Not about filling every little hole with a random character. And decidedly not about color!
    100% of this picture is off. No reason to point out specific areas, other than as examples.
    Forgive me for being blunt, but if you find planning boring, and prefer just slapping things together and see what comes out, why are you even bothering with representational drawing? Try abstract, or a whimsical graphical style where the correct anatomy simply does not matter. There is a ton of things that could be done without realism.
    Note that whatever you do, you'll still have to deal with composition - at least value and color and leading the eye around. But there's no sense to try representational drawing if perspective, form, lighting and anatomy bore you. You can't do it without planning. Either learn to love the fundamentals and proper method, or don't try compositions like these.
    Well yeah I do find planning boring. I study architecture. I don't do anything but planning there. and while working on my personal stuff Id like to have fun and just see what comes out. Thanks for the feedback. But I think I will just finish the pic the way I started it, because if I follow everything you said, Id just have to bin it. And its too much fun for me to make.
    BTW I've never used Poser so I guess it IS going to remain a mystery

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    It's always worth fixing and working on the areas and parts of the image that clearly aren't right. At the end you'll feel a lot of reward and you won't make the same mistakes again in the next piece of work that you do. Of course this is difficult and frustrating but always worthwhile.

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