View Poll Results: vote for the best "pale greeter to the gates of hell"
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Fused the the gates of hell, Atreup is bound to the eternal task of ushering in the souls of those who in life gave themselves to darkness. Gazing upon its face brings upon a pain unlike any have ever felt. this is but a small taste of what awaits past the gates.
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Concept: The Knitter/Sinner's Angel
The Knitters dwelt here in this foggy desert long before a god built infernal realm for his evil minions and the eternally damned. Knitters afterwards readily adapted to this change by moving closer to Hell's gates, since there seemed to be a constant inflow of their favorite food. Surrounded by thick fog and standing with their pale hunting nets ready, they were mistaken for white robed men or angels, waiting to greet the newcomers. In the end, they did greet anyone who wandered too close to them, in their own fashion. They tore and collected guts out of their prey, sucked its content and when well fed, rested and knitted a new hunting net with cleaned guts, getting ready for their next guests.
Last edited by Tacijana; July 25th, 2012 at 07:19 PM.
Reason: type error
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Concept: Pale Greeter
Every soul of the damned must pass through the Pale Greeter. The greeting consists of the soul being ingested and passed through the creature. Inside the creatures stomach the damned go through a trance like nightmare that forces them to experience and feel the pain they inflicted during their lives.
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Concept: White Scale
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Concept: Fluked Gate warden
A large agile creature with many deadly claws and sharp pointed teeth, not outwardly violent but perhaps that cold hard intellect is more terrifying as it scathingly recounts your latest crimes as it welcomes you to your new permanent residence.
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fuckin crazy this week guys!
even though there are only 19 entries, i decided to make it a multivote week.
so vote more than once if you want to, but please keep your votes to a maximum of 4.
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Voted for Magellan, Edward B, bonjour and VegasMike.
I thought Magellan had the best concept, his creature is truly more of a "greater", more mindf*cking nightmare than dangerous monster.
I voted Edward B for his amazing rendering, bonjour for the beautiful composition and VegasMike for the badassness and the little people falling and walking in line.
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Obstfelder - I really like this idea, of the creature covering the entrence as if ti was the gate itself. The design is solid. I like how the heads are alike yet have different features. The reflections on the floor and the architecture in the bg wraps it all up very nicely. Too bad you didn't put more time into finishing up, though.
elephant's stroke - It looks frightening. I just feel you should've cleaned it up a lot more to give it's defining features a more solid feeling. I get the impression you felt you really had an awesome idea in your head and while it started out good, you kind of lost track of it at the end.
lkjhgfdsa - The crab-like design works nicely.. I can defintely see how it keeps itself busy, feeding on souls just like a real crab. I feel like you could've done so much more with the environment around it though.
MAC - Very different approach here. It's interesting, surreal. It's kind of like something you'd expect but at the same time not really. I don't know if that made sense.
As a creature it doesn't really work, imo, but as a living gate to hell, it's brillliant.
njoo - It's very well thought out. It's inside-out features is a great idea. I like the smaller details, like the outside heart, the blue veins and the spine sticking out.
Christoffer - A masterpiece. You really outdid yourself here. Bravo. BRAVO!
Magellan - The butterfly wings with the eyes pointing towards the middle really wrap this piece up. I like the design of the upper body on the creature. It's almost iconic with the halo on top. I think you went a little too far with the rest of the body though. It's too long. If it were a more serpent-like body it would make more sense, being able to lift itself like that.
EdwardB - Very nice rendering. Lot's of tasty subsurface scattering going on. The design is solid but I don't understand why you added motion blur at the bottom. Is there suppose to be a strong pull from the gate?
Bonjour - That's a cool creature and the bg has a nice feel to it. Wish you had more time to finish it.
Antono - That's a cool looking slug-like thing. Very nice rendering. you really captured that translucent, slimy look. It's not very hellish, though, but then again everyone's interpretation is different.
jPerols - Love it. The face is great and the light coming from behind is gorgous. I love the thick, smokey atmosphere.
Whiskey Sour - A lot stuff going on here. It kind of looks like a diseased, mishapen goblin, which is cool. There aren't enough defining features like musculature, bone structure and joints that it's hard to make things out.
Hive_minD - Nice work. It has an alien look. Good to see a bg too.
Draconius - This could've been a great piece. Too bad you didn't have enough to time to finish it.
BlkCelebration - I like the idea of looking into the face of the creature. It's a little hard to tell where the creature ends and where the rock begins.
Tacijana - that's a lot of guts. and the knitting is hilarious. Nice work.
VegasMike - It's frantic, disgusting and insane. I like it.
Bazar - Hmm..It's different. It's also very hard to make anything out.
Kichi - there's a hint of abstract art in the details on the creature. The head looks interesting.
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This was one of the most competitive rounds i remember. Loads of cool concepts...my favourites concepts : whiskey, vegas and Edward, though there are three or four more that i like a lot too.
@Christoffer, thanks for the critique, i agree with you.
"Nature has the coolest patterns because there is chaos but then, it's also controled" Feng Zhu, design cinema, episode 35
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My 2 cents...
"MAC- Very different approach here. It's interesting, surreal. It's kind of like something you'd expect but at the same time not really. I don't know if that made sense. As a creature it doesn't really work, imo, but as a living gate to hell, it's brilliant."
Thank you! I think I follow you on the surreal aspect. I also agree on the creature aspect not being completely successful. I realized that at the beginning. However, I just couldn't stop myself when I started to have so much fun with the design.
Obstfelder - Fantastic concept! I loved the direction and atmosphere that was starting to come into place. Hopefully you put so more time to render more of the details even though what you did focus on is very successful. The solitude of the figure and overwhelming size of the greeter is wonderful.
elephant's stroke - Love the texture and type work you used to push your design. It compliments it well. I wish I could see a bit more structure to some of the anatomy.
lkjhgfdsa - Your critter made me laugh and creep me out! Success! Well done on all parts. Additionally I might have increased the color range of the hole to further expand the depth to your illustration.
MAC - I felt I failed to to make it a species however I did end up with a fun living structure.
njoo - Always a huge inspiration! The awkward stance of the creature with the twisted exposed tissue and organs was spot on for horrific.
Christoffer - Love the premise and poise of the creature. I Imagine the "head" of the greeter would fold over to make a headless torso? Its noticeable that you spent some time on the function of your hellion.
Magellan - Your angel of death is very symbolic and graphic. Well done. Some parts due to color saturation seem to flatten out but besides that I enjoyed your dark humor very much.
EdwardB - Fantastic mood lighting. I loved the dark energy you brought. A couple of the hands were problematic for me but that could be due to intended mutations.
Bonjour - Terrifying! Your city scape is equally as effective.
Antono - Seems we both had similar thoughts on devouring in regards to hell indoctrination. Its freaking gross, awesome!
jPerols - So well done! I thought of a hell cricket and wonder what horrible sounds it would make.
Whiskey Sour - I love the details you decided to go with. Gruesome beast! A minor comment- the ground seemed to flatten at certain parts which lost some environmental depth for me.
Hive_minD - Twisted! It immediately reminded me of the corridor beast in Hellraiser. Maybe push the atmospheric perspective on some of the ligaments?
Draconius - Awesome! I hope you continue with this piece and flush it out even more.
BlkCelebration - Obviously I too was a fan of the living gate idea. I love the sense of heat and hopelessness you created.
Tacijana - Oh man! Where to start? Love it! Very unique and interesting approach to your design. Such a complex notion for what the creature does yet you successfully pulled it off.
VegasMike - Straight up gangsta! Looks filthy terrifying fowl and I had to watch The Thing that after noon.
Bazar - Such a great style. Strong movement and gesture of its breath drew me into your illustration.
Kichi - I love your choice of pattern and texture. Very graphic and quite successful.
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@Bazar: I voted for your piece because of the execution. I do believe, next time, you can take your forms a bit further to convey a better sense of volume, but, it did stand out to me. Yet, I am but one person in a sea of many. Good luck to you in this competition!
Everyone else did a great job this round, but I feel like the brief was very clear as everyone hit the nail on the head.
Thanks for the critique! I agree with everything said. Should have pushed the rendering further but I was a little too lazy.. Christoffer: It's true what you said about the tail. It almost looks like it would break or something.. Should have gone a different direction with that..
My votes went to Obstfelder for an original and cool design, EdwardB for the best rendering, bonjour for the overall painting and I love the face of the creature and jPerols which was my favorite.
Really fun and crazy round! Keep up the great work guys!
It has been a long time since I did any critiques. I figure this is a good time to do some, since there’s such an array of skill levels present in this round.
Obstfelder - Creature is nice and gross. Interesting design. Edges need serious cleaning up which is not helped by the light bloom you’ve used in this piece. Some textures are well defined and solid, others (like the vertebra) are flat and textureless. The extra week you had could have easily been used to clean up the background. It strikes me as strange that you would finish the one on the left but failed to finish the arms and spikes of the one on the right.
elephant’s stoke - While I like, in hellish beasts of chaos, that look of jumbled together parts, there are some concessions that must be made to overall design even when using this principle. The humanoid front of the creature makes the massive tail-end of the creature look superfluous and unnecessary, while the stiffness and oddly forward positioning of the legs also make that humanoid element feel stiff and incapable of motion. In fact, the biggest problem of the creature is that it lacks weight. I can’t imagine any part of this creature moving in any way. A problem I’ve noticed in your other word, that I think I’ve been mentioning relatively consistently in my crits of your work is that you use a brush that’s WAY too small for the area you’re covering, so your work ends up looking busy, rather than detailed. As a final critique: presentation should be considered here. You’ve chosen: a background of similar overall colour to your creature, and overlaid the text onto the image where it could easily have fit in the black border you’ve provided yourself. All of it leads to a busier image that’s harder to read. If all of this sounds harsh, I apologize. Your work has been steadily improving and some of the detail work here is really stellar, especially on the creature’s head.
lkjhgfdsa - I’m very glad to see you return to our humble little competition/activity(/learn-athon?). As usual, your design is highly original and beautiful in the details. The body and lower limbs of the creature are quite excellent, but the upper limbs feel quite flat, which is not helped by the scene itself lacking overall depth of field. It makes the scale and positioning of some things quite hard to discern. Greater play of hot and cold with more intense lighting contrast would have been a big factor in this piece as spacial sense went.
gavinmacdesign - The concept is a creative one, but it fails to adhere to the rules of creature of the week. Your creature is formless other than having a mouth an eyes, which breaks COW’s rules on creature design (I believe is under Rule #1). Your brushwork is muddy and needs to be worked out. You seem to be approaching light and shadow rather timidly which is flattening the image and making your shadows and highly illumined areas look splotchy rather than bathed in light or shadow.
njoo - I will say off the bat that it is very hard to critique artists working at such a high skill level. Your work is beautiful as always, I’m quite enjoying the less cell-shaded work you’ve done the last couple of rounds. I feel I don’t really need to state exactly everything I love about the work so let’s move on to the nitpicks. Firstly, the position of the character feels a little off, I feel like they should either be a little bit further left and forward, or a little further right. Secondly, I would have perhaps liked to have seen the texture of the floor hinted at a little bit more. The rocky pillars help inform my eyes, but at the moment its just a vague (if solid) mass (I’m referring primarily to the red area here), though I understand that may take some of the punch away from the slight whisps of grey, which are one of my favorite details.
Christoffer - Very moody piece, with a lot of embedded narrative, but ultimately the composition lets it down. Composition wise, your creature is far too centered, tearing attention away from every other element, which is unhelped by the fact that the creature has the only hint of colour (again, right in the center) which not only detracts attention from the narrative at play, but also the rest of the creature. Positioning the creature further back, and to the right will really help bring this composition together, as well as a greater play of warm and cool hues. Tonally, the figure and the muck it is dragging itself out of is so much darker than anything in the scene that it forms it’s own little distraction. The dark, dripping and shiny texture is a key point of interest here and while it’s drawing attention to itself tonally, it’s such a small area that it fails to really allow the imagination to fill in the blanks of what is off to the left. As design goes, the creature has some nice concepts at play that give a sense of evil and mysticism, but it’s top-heavy and awkwardly posed, with the legs far to close together to seem functional.
Magellan - The first thing I’ll say is that I’m not a fan of symmetrical comps, especially in a competition based off design. A head-on shot like that gives me a flattened impression of the form and design of the creature, even if it creates the mood for the piece you desired. The biggest issue in this piece is really that you’ve backlit it with this intense warm light, and then done nothing with that lighting when it comes to the actual objects at play in the illustration. There’s no backlighting to speak of on the creature, instead all we get is ambiguous top-lighting and almost no play of warm and cold. As a final note, when it comes to using photographic material in concert with digital painting, it’s best to work back into the photo with paint rather than apply a filter (i.e. those butterfly wings look off and out-of-place).
Edward B - There are instances where I feel like your rendering gets our of control and takes priority over design. This is one instance where I feel that even though it has your signature ultra-smooth rendering, it works really nicely in compliment to a simple but effective design. The fiery branch(?) on which it sits begins to break down on close inspection, but does it’s job as a light source relatively admirably. The large under-rib shadow has some unfinished-looking strokes which feel particularly out of place in the middle of such polished brushwork.
bonjour - Solid illustration, nice lighting. Rendering reminds me a bit of Arbinn’s work. Foreground rocks etc. could use a bit of definition. Rendering on the creature’s side -where the eyes(?) are- doesn’t feel up to snuff with the rest of the creature.
Antono - Lighting is the big strong point here. Creature feels grotesquely phallic, which works to it’s advantage. Specular highlights are getting a little out of control, particularly where they are largest (on the belly and the neck). The palette is nicely balanced, but the chief area of warm is dead center which works poorly compositionally. The figures in the back look almost like they were meant to be looking up at the creature from in front of it which confuses the space, and the rendering on the rocks feels rushed and muddy compared to the very clean work on the creature.
jPerols - Design-wise this one was my favorite this week. It feels simultaneously grotesque, awe-inspiring, mystical and ancient. The enviro compliments the creature nicely, and the figure gives a good sense of scale. The blurry rendering on the creature’s right limbs does bother me a bit (at least on the foreleg).
WhiskeySour - Nicely grotesque, relatively good design and some good sense of form. If I have a consistent issue with your work is that you don’t particularly define texture on your characters and creatures, so almost the entire thing looks as though is made of the same, perfectly smooth, perfectly matte substance. That’s fine sometimes, but here I feel like it’s less because that’s the intended texture, and more that the creature is unfinished and is waiting for that final texture pass. The wing appendages feel a little stiff, and even though the other limbs have the same sense of not being particularly capable in the locomotion department, the wings in particular seem anomalous in the design.
Hive_MinD - I think you’ve taken an interesting approach with the overblown backlighting, but I think it could have been pushed further. Much higher contrast of light and dark and much higher contrast of warm and cold really would have been your friend here. Design wise the creature feels like an armature, a sculpture, not a creature. The creature is top heavy and doesn’t show any anatomical features that would suggest it could hold itself up so it seems as though it might topple over backwards. The spindly limbs with massive feet and hands are probably the biggest offender of this.
Draconius - There’s some very good design going on here and there are some really nice textures throughout. Your edge control needs a good deal of work, the whole piece is suffering from blurry forms. Better indicators of scale would help give a more unified feel to the creature as I can imagine this beast as being both massive as well as being around the size of a chicken.
BlkCelebration - That’s a name I have not seen in many rounds. I certainly can’t take marks off on originality. There is a good deal of ambiguity as to the actual anatomy of the creature, particularly where the creature begins and the environment starts. I feel like the contrast in the palette could have been pushed further, and the lighting needs some work, which would have been helped by greater tonal contrast.
Tacijana - Brutal concept. The piece would have likely been more effective in colour. Much of the main body of the creature remains too ambiguous, never quite transcending the appearance that’s it’s mostly a pile of guts with spidery limbs. Placing more recognizable features (at least hinting at sensory organs) would have definitely helped this situation.
VegasMike - Really nice work as always. My favorite thing about your creatures is that they’re always right in the thick of it, moving and living, which really helps give them a sense of believability. I have a few nitpicks in this piece: the main thing is that I feel like some of the areas are getting a little to blurred and undefined. In many cases it really helps establish focus (like the foreground elements), but in others it creates muddiness (the upper reaches of the creature and the character on the tentacle in particular). In terms of scaling, there’s a bit of confusion that’s caused by some discrepancies between the character on the tentacle and the perceived size of the figures. Design-wise this is a winner, but there are little roughnesses that I know, based on your other work, that could have likely been polished out.
Bazar - There’s something to be said about using custom brushes for creature design. They help establish textures and forms you might not have otherwise thought of, or couldn’t have rendered regularly, otherwise. That said, it is my firm belief that this should only be used as the beginning of a design. Here you have used the custom brush as a crutch for what appears to otherwise be fairly weak rendering and design. The overall creature’s form is very standard bipedal monster, so it’s interest factor comes from the texture provided by the custom brushes, which quickly lose their interest factor when they aren’t defined enough to actually create proper forms. I would try and avoid relying so heavily on brushes, and look more closely at your fundamentals, lighting, perspective, design and composition in particular.
KICHI - There are two main issues with this piece, solved by the same easy correction. Firstly, your creature feels out of place in the scene, a pasted in element. Secondly, your creature’s textures cause it’s forms to become ambiguous, and as a result, the creature flattens. Both issues are solved by lighting. Your creature is anomalous in that while the rest of the drawing is relying heavily on it’s lighting for establishing mood, it has none of the same lighting applied. Creating more contrast in tone (and especially in hue) will really help place the creature in the scene, as well as help define the forms of the creature.
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@Si_Swe, i'm a huge fan of your critics man, you are making very important and clear points, i've realized that the pose isn't good and about the no sense of the anatomy...actually i think this guy it could only work as a statue. Is great that you are emphasizing that issue with the small brush, i'll work to avoid that bad habit i have. What you are saying about the concessions is key i think, i just added and keep adding stuff without thinking too much about anything...just for the sake of add!
I'll keep all in mind...and no, it don't sound harsh at all, maybe not harsh enough
"Nature has the coolest patterns because there is chaos but then, it's also controled" Feng Zhu, design cinema, episode 35
"gavinmacdesign - The concept is a creative one, but it fails to adhere to the rules of creature of the week. Your creature is formless other than having a mouth an eyes, which breaks COW’s rules on creature design (I believe is under Rule #1). Your brushwork is muddy and needs to be worked out. You seem to be approaching light and shadow rather timidly which is flattening the image and making your shadows and highly illumined areas look splotchy rather than bathed in light or shadow."
A solid honest critique. Thank you. I'm very new to painting. Do you have any advice for improving my brush work?
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