Illustration of the Week #45: Winter's Keep
This is a one and a half week topic.
This weeks topic is Winter's Keep.
Far into the mountains it lies. On a clear day you might catch a glimpse of it, near the top of the coldest peak.
Winter's keep. Its frozen spires stretching towards the pale sky. No one knows who raised it, only that they're long gone.
It's gates has been frozen shut for centuries and no smoke rises from it's chimneys.
But rumor has it, that on the coldest night of the year, when it is so cold that no one dares venture out, an eerie light can be seen patrolling it's battlements.
Your task this week and a half is to illustrate the fortress of Winter's Keep!
The deadline is Sunday 3rd of February, 23:59 GMT
Finals thread here.
Here are a few preliminary thumbnails. Haven't quite achieved the level of epicness I'm going for though.
I can't decide which one I like more... from left to right, top to bottom: 1, 2, 4, and 7. 1) The semi-subdued palette. The mood is hard to place but lies for me between dream and reality. 2) These colors are just perfect. I didn't think that eerie green could be used again without being derivative of Lord of the Rings, but here it's creepy, and quite lonely. 4) I'm a sucker for a purple sky. But if you go with this one I must say I like how in one and two you've got the asymmetrical position going for you. 7) This one feels very much like winter. I say this still being inexplicably consumed by Skyrim. I can feel the bite of a cold fog, imagine ice clinging to old stone. And the light here carries me right into the fortress. Can't say I'm surprised by the yummy quality here. But still... Wow!
@benedikt - I like the value contrast in 3 and I agree with MasterTroglodyte about 7. The mood is there. It looks cold and abandoned. Nice thumbs all around. I'm trying to get into environments, but I'm not there yet.
Thanks for the input on my thumbnail sketches. Went with #7.
sytrex: Nr 1 seems the most promising to me, nice sense if scale. A bit difficult to judge at this stage of course.
tobba: I like the vibrant colours, you're having some issues with depht though. Try a little bit of atmospheric perspective to push the building/ the mountains further back.
This is still WIP obviously:
Needs 3 or 4 hours more work I'd guess.
Really like the topic, and I could use the practice so count me in.
Benedikt- Great thumbnails and wip. Lighting, mood, composition, you got it all working, keep going.
tobbA- Agree with Benedikt on the atmospheric perspective, also I think the ice/rock formation on the left and the bridge need some sort of scale indication, adding figures and moving around cast shadows might help do the trick.
sytrex- I like the idea of the hidden fortress built in the mountains rock, waiting to see more of it.
Ok so here are some initial sketches, looking for good composition and potential for storytelling and playing around with some ideas (the forgotten frozen gates, the hero venturing into the ancient keep, an arriving caravan of explorers).
I decided to go with the last one and made some modifications and color thumbnails, right now I think I'll go with the night scene.
Love the night version Homerid. Can#t wait to see it large/finished.
Working my way up in a detail pass;
Still WIP of course.
Thanks for the input guys. I think Ive created myself a few problems with the cave idea lol. I changed the composition to make things more believable lol
Benedikt - Thats a lovely environment youve created. Everything is working very well. I cant wait to see the finished product!
Homerid - You got a nice narrative going on there with the guy and the night time and the moon and everything lol. Lots of subtle details
Thanks for the comments. I'm hoping I've solved most of the issues in the new version...
Benedikt: I think this is looking cool, looking forward to see it finished
Homerid: Same here. I like the eerie figure(?) standing in the pass.
Sytrex: Not much for me to say at this point. But I like the concept.
This is final:
Will post a smaller one with proper borders in the finals thread =)
tobbA- Nice change to the keep, the dome ceiling really adds to the silhouette. In my opinion I think the piece would improve if the peak on the left would be a little smaller, its a big and bright triangular shape and takes a lot of attention from the point of interest.
Benedikt- Face melting skills dude. Seriously great stuff. Also I want to thank you for putting up those youtube videos and reminding me how powerful are photoshop's lasso tools, been doing some traditional stuff lately and completely forgot how fun it was using them.
Thanks for the comments guys. Made some adjustments to the piece, pushed the keep farther into the distance, tweaked the perspective on the bridge, changed the ghostly figure for a less defined silhouette and worked on some details. So here are the results.