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  1. #1
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    Donkey Kong piece

    Hi Folks, need a little feedback (actually a lot would be great). I've been given a really awesome opportunity to have an illustration published in a magazine but I'm having serious trouble with it, essentially it was an open brief for me to do whatever I want which was both a blessing and a curse because I'm irresolute about what I should do with it. Here's the rough layout, I know the anatomy isn't correct, I'll work on that, I'm just trying to get something about the composition right but I feel like I'm having a serious mental block. I've got about 2 weeks to come up with something but right now I'm stressing because I'm kinda scared I'm going to blow this opportunity.

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  3. #2
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    Build a perspective plot of the scene, using a few boxes to represent the Kong. It'll help you place the figure better.

    Change the horizon level, perhaps. This horizon is set too high to emphasize the large size of the gorilla.

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  4. #3
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    Well there's plenty of renders of Donkey Kong out there for you to use as reference.
    That being said, go for something with a little more action than just DK "running".
    And if you do go with just that, try looking at DK's run cycle in DKC, it was very good.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
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  6. #4
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    You need to spend way more time PLANNING your illustration.

    The Thumbnail

    10 Things... About Generating Paintings

    There is much more of course, but you should also do your own research. Hope this is a helpful start. Good luck.

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavierP View Post
    You need to spend way more time PLANNING your illustration.

    The Thumbnail

    10 Things... About Generating Paintings

    There is much more of course, but you should also do your own research. Hope this is a helpful start. Good luck.
    You're 100% correct. In my panic I was just throwing stuff down on canvas and hoping something would stick. I'm going to start from scratch, I've done better than this before, I'm just having one massive mental block at the worst possible time, it's like I've forgotten everything I've learned.

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  9. #6
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    yes, mental block picks bad times to strike; panic makes clear thought impossible.

    however throwing lots of stuff onto the page CAN be productive, if you practice. you can use big brushes a blob of lightsource and start just throwing stuff on there in greyscale. if you do about 14 of those, you can usually see an image or two in there. then its a matter of carving it out. like how michelangelo said he waited till he could see the finished sculpture inside the rock, and then had to just free it. or something like that anyway!

    look up thumbnailing techniques, i remember scott robertson did a good one, using random shapes to inspire his imagination. you know how the faces you see in clouds are oddly realistic? same deal.

    my friend Ron Stevens at TAD is a master of the thumbnail and his use made a big impression on me, how you can quickly generate image ideas, even when your mind is blank.

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  11. #7
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    I'm going back and doing some black and white thumbnailing. It just dawned on me in my haste to get something done I skipped over actually working out the structure of what I had in mind, I was essentially just repainting the same images over and over again hoping it would magically just turn out correct. I think part of it is that having artwork appear in a magazine is kinda daunting and I've been apprehensive and indecisive in what I should do. That blank canvas has never looked so terrifying.

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  13. #8
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    Ok, I calmed down and took my time, did some thumbnails, put in a perspective guide and came up with this concept. Still rough but how is this looking?

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    however throwing lots of stuff onto the page CAN be productive, if you practice. you can use big brushes a blob of lightsource and start just throwing stuff on there in greyscale. if you do about 14 of those, you can usually see an image or two in there.
    Yes, and the key here is making many of those. Making one or two quick thumbnails isn't likely to be of much use.

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  16. #10
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    Better rendered B&W. Thoughts? How are things looking?

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  18. #11
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    Better, and I like the extra bit of realism thrown into the face in the recent one. Nice twist. The framing could use a little work, though. His back leg is butting right up to the edge of the frame. I think folks around here call that a "tangent" ... where something butts up to something else (especially the frame) in an awkward way. Also, the fact that he's stuffed into the left 50% of the width of the composition feels strange, while the right 50% has relatively little going on. The vertical line going down the center, created by the palm tree and DK, feels strange. I'd move DK over to the right a little bit to fix all those issues. Maybe make the palm tree fronds reach farther right, over his head more, to break that vertical line. Also, the balloons get lost over on the right. I'd make one of them bigger. Also, no bananas?

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  20. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    Better, and I like the extra bit of realism thrown into the face in the recent one. Nice twist. The framing could use a little work, though. His back leg is butting right up to the edge of the frame. I think folks around here call that a "tangent" ... where something butts up to something else (especially the frame) in an awkward way. Also, the fact that he's stuffed into the left 50% of the width of the composition feels strange, while the right 50% has relatively little going on. The vertical line going down the center, created by the palm tree and DK, feels strange. I'd move DK over to the right a little bit to fix all those issues. Maybe make the palm tree fronds reach farther right, over his head more, to break that vertical line. Also, the balloons get lost over on the right. I'd make one of them bigger. Also, no bananas?

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    Awesome. The realism thing I'd planned from the start, wanted to make a sort of middle ground between the game character and a real gorilla (I kinda love doing that lol), the initial ape was only ever intended to be rough for layout purposes. And bananas will come I can assure you! Just wanna get the main part of the image right first. Thanks for the advice.

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  21. #13
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    Sorry, double post.

    Last edited by joshmc; February 7th, 2013 at 01:37 AM.
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