Art: Building A Fantasy World, One Painting At A Time.
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  1. #1
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    Building A Fantasy World, One Painting At A Time.

    Pushing myself to create more personal work, I decided to revisit a fantasy world I started to create back in 2006. For this painting, I looked at a character I created in 2008, called The Octopus Man, and reworked and updated his design. With many more denizens and settings in need of radical updating, my future personal art work, at least in the short, will be devoted to the world I call Dostrameeni and, one painting at a time, I aim to bring it to vibrant life.

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    The Daemon of Delarch

    After a cave in at the Mana Mine, close to the town of Delarch, saw that many of the miners perished and many others, maimed. Those who survive speak of a huge worm that burst through the wall and started to eat men whole, laughing manically as it did so. Truth of these events have yet to be verified but, one thing is clear that, since the cave in, the town of Delarch has begun to economically crumble as export of Mana Ore has ceased. The mine has since been sealed up and abandoned.

    Created in Photoshop.

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    Skull Walkers

    Used as steads by the Moon Clan, the Skull Walkers are strange creatures that originate from the deep, underground catacomb system. Evolved to survive the rampant growth of mould upon their backs, these harmless creatures have a diet of wall maggots and small, ash growing herbs. They are also very caring parents and mate for life.

    Created in Photoshop.

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    Are you going to be continueing? I would love to see some of the city locations and environments, to get a feel for the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonkahe View Post
    Are you going to be continueing? I would love to see some of the city locations and environments, to get a feel for the world.
    Absolutely! I have so much planned for this world. I have 2 old note books full of locations and characters, more creatures, short story ideas, maps and everything like that. It just takes me a little time to get round to it but I can say the next painting is set in the green east of the world so will look very different to these. Plus, I'm painting another, very important character from the world, so I will spend the week working on it. I will post it here when I'm done though.

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    Awesome work. keep posting as I also like to see more of the scenes in your fantasy world.

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    The Roof of the World

    In the far East, on the predominantly mountainous Gawan land mass, the Ray Wolf Clans build their fortresses and castles high up upon the peaks. Impressive, magnificent and dominating, the Ray Wolf are a powerful race and their magical abilities and grace in battle are unmatched amongst the other races of Dostrameeni.

    Unlike the Northern Empire and Southern Kingdom of Garlesh, their problem was their lack of focused co-operation and no centralised government. Petty squabbles would break out over territories and resources, clans would war against other clans and the snow of the peaks would be stained crimson for days after hostile meetings. But, it seems, that those volatile times are at an end as clan after clan are becoming united under one, fierce Lord.

    --

    This digital painting is more of a polished sketch, a 'feel' concept for the setting. My intentions with the Dynasty of the Ray Wolf, is to really build up their shared culture and create a lot of imagery set on the Gawan Land mass, for I have ideas of setting a computer game there. The idea, you play as a young lord who is forcibly ousted by the Lord who is uniting the land mass and you follow his journey as he seeks retribution.

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    hmmm, I think that the fungus wouldn't work to well in the cold, maybe have them in clumps at the bottem of valleys or something? idk, looking good man.

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    Aw, well this is awkward, because it shows up my skills as an illustrator... but they're meant to be little trees, like bonsai trees...

    ...I mean... these are magical fungi that flourish in snowy weather and that is what I intended all along... *eyes shift from left to right.

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    Hi there, this is my first look in the SB section after a long time and I see this sketchbook - what a nice surprise!
    I like the idea that you want to built a world, the creatures and the landscapes look very refreshing .

    A small crit:
    storytelling:
    The cave illustration looks impressive, but I could only make sense why the worms mouth looks bloody after I've read the description.
    I thought that it could also be his unusually colored saliva or that he maybe just had a fight with one of his worm-rivals.
    You could add a bit more of visual storytelling if you leave bits and pieces of the miners between his teeth, like a piece of mining equipment, a helmet with a lantern on it, a pickaxe, even a human torso - that would describe the situation and you can also given the viewer a better sense of scale. Another way is to add pieces of destroyed mining-machines, maybe with splintering wood flying through the air... I bet there are several other ways to spice the picture up .

    composition and light:
    The light is very even on every part of the picture, that takes a lot of energy and DRAMA away:
    You can easily add beams of light that just shine on certain parts of the worm and leave the rest of the body that's in the dark to the imagination of the viewer.
    Like in these:
    http://theredlist.fr/media/database/...theredlist.jpg movie is "black narcissus", see how her head and shoulders are the lightest and most interesting part? It's like a light gradient. Here's the same principle with a face:
    http://www.nisimazine.eu/local/cache...1web-7f898.jpg (same movie)
    With the landscape, you could add cloud shadows, to move the eye through the composition and create points of interest.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    and the other way around, light foreground, dark background, light sky: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    and a last one, because I laughed how the shadows around the silly t-shirt make it appear more epic and dramatic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spidere...n/photostream/
    The even light is probably a habbit that comes from pillow-shading, the only thing you really can do to get out of this habbit is to paint from life (or from photos lol)

    And structures:
    This is something that's in the picture with the guy coming out of the water and the landscape:
    Watch out that structures get smaller when they are further back:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    http://www.iiiil0liiii.com/art/show/1/11 (the cracked earth, Nivbed had a tutorial about this online, but it was years ago and I can't find it, wah! I think his trick was that he just took a reference photo of the cracked earth, tilted it, duplicated it and than painted over it)

    ok, hope I could help out, keep on painting !

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  14. #11
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiera View Post
    Hi there, this is my first look in the SB section after a long time and I see this sketchbook - what a nice surprise!
    I like the idea that you want to built a world, the creatures and the landscapes look very refreshing .
    Thanks very much. My main aim was to try to create a fantasy world that would be void of, you know, orcs, elves and easy to cast magic and stereotypes of the genre. I've kept in Dragons though... one can never have enough Dragons. But yeah, once you start building a world, you kind of get addicted to doing it. I'm not some great artist, with deep ideas in emotion or social comment or an expert in rendering or skill, but I like to think that I can create interesting stories and settings and these paintings give me something to paint and develop from.

    I mean I'm more trained as a graphic designer and I've not been painting for long in the grand scheme of things. You look at the skull walker creature I did 6 years ago and compare it to the twisted thing above and it be obvious. But I'm in no rush and although I've been making notes on this world for 6 years, I suspect I'll be working on it for many, many more to come, but a little bit more focused from now on.

    I just have to keep pushing myself with each piece and try not to be so lazy.

    A small crit:
    storytelling:
    The cave illustration looks impressive, but I could only make sense why the worms mouth looks bloody after I've read the description.
    I thought that it could also be his unusually colored saliva or that he maybe just had a fight with one of his worm-rivals.
    You could add a bit more of visual storytelling if you leave bits and pieces of the miners between his teeth, like a piece of mining equipment, a helmet with a lantern on it, a pickaxe, even a human torso - that would describe the situation and you can also given the viewer a better sense of scale. Another way is to add pieces of destroyed mining-machines, maybe with splintering wood flying through the air... I bet there are several other ways to spice the picture up .
    Couldn't agree with you more. I think because I am so close to the story and picture, I just instinctively know why the thing has blood coming from its choppers. In the little short story I wrote alongside it, I had the big creature eat a someone's beast of burden in front of him... similar to how that guy gets eaten by the 2 t-rexes in Jurassic park 2. I could totally go in an add this creature in its jaws, or add one of the other creature's of the world. This was really helpful.

    composition and light:
    The light is very even on every part of the picture, that takes a lot of energy and DRAMA away:
    You can easily add beams of light that just shine on certain parts of the worm and leave the rest of the body that's in the dark to the imagination of the viewer.
    Like in these:
    http://theredlist.fr/media/database/...theredlist.jpg movie is "black narcissus", see how her head and shoulders are the lightest and most interesting part? It's like a light gradient. Here's the same principle with a face:
    http://www.nisimazine.eu/local/cache...1web-7f898.jpg (same movie)
    With the landscape, you could add cloud shadows, to move the eye through the composition and create points of interest.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    and the other way around, light foreground, dark background, light sky: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    and a last one, because I laughed how the shadows around the silly t-shirt make it appear more epic and dramatic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spidere...n/photostream/
    The even light is probably a habbit that comes from pillow-shading, the only thing you really can do to get out of this habbit is to paint from life (or from photos lol)
    A good observation. I have to admit, I guess I was a little lazy with this when it came to the lighting. I think its because when I set out, I just wanted to draw the monster to cement elements of the design in my head (after coming back from a week's holiday), so only focused on that. I would say then, the the cave around was an after thought and, objectively looking at it, I do think it shows.

    And structures:
    This is something that's in the picture with the guy coming out of the water and the landscape:
    Watch out that structures get smaller when they are further back:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollusk...in/photostream
    http://www.iiiil0liiii.com/art/show/1/11 (the cracked earth, Nivbed had a tutorial about this online, but it was years ago and I can't find it, wah! I think his trick was that he just took a reference photo of the cracked earth, tilted it, duplicated it and than painted over it)
    You know, when I painted this one, I went OTT on the details. Partly, this was an exercise where I wanted to try to manually paint in textures and the water was something I just got caught up in... so to speak. I think, also, I didn't have the best reference photos when I was painting it, so a fair comment.

    ok, hope I could help out, keep on painting !
    You know what, you have helped massively. Thanks for taking the time to look, to read, to comment and to source the reference photos. I do appreciate it. I think I might go back to the Daemon of Delarch piece and add in some more dramatic lighting here and there and also add a person or creature in its mouth. That piece always felt a little unfinished, so I might go in and touch it up a little.

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  15. #12
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    Getting back into doing a few more personal pieces centered around this world I am slowly building. This month (November 2012) presented an opportunity to do a contest piece for Gnomon's monthly forum challenge as well something for Dostrameeni. I have always thought that in my world, there used to be a race of giants that predated a race of Ogres. The idea was that there are some relics dotted about the land, but they are so big no one notices them and few are even aware of their lost civilisation.

    For this piece, I wondered what a rock giant, or earth titan, could have looked like in my world. For the painting itself, it has to be set in the timeline of the world as being something more 'recent' because I have a human in the foreground. Humanity didn't really appear on the scene until after the Ogres which means, in this piece, I guess I am hinting that the giants are still about, but more hidden.

    So the timeline is like this: Planet Forms > Early Life into More Complex Life > The Era of the Giants > The Era of the Ogres and Dragons (and subsequent wars) > Humankind and the other Civilisations.

    This piece was fun to create and I started it out on my new iPad mini as a sketch in the Artrage app. Then, I exported it to the main computer, tightened the sketch in desktop version of Artrage and then painted it in Photoshop.

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  16. #13
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    You have some very cool stuff here would love to see more

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    The Traveller

    After a bit of time away, I was able to return to working on my world building project with this Artrage painting of the snowy capped Central Mountain Range. Just a quick piece for now but I will be updating this tread with some paintings based on characters as I've been studying armour a lot recently. I created this at the end of the last year.

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    An amazing world you're creating, I love the mountain/creature concept. Keep up the great work!

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