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  1. #1
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    Post riders

    This is halfway between a sketch and something more finished. I drew it up, liked where it was going, but then started coloring it and realized I don't know nearly enough about painting to try to get this anywhere decent. I don't think I wanted to try painting it realistically anyway. I intended on doing it up watercolor-style, but veered away from that too, and just started slapping on a texture from CGTextures. I'm not sure where to take it now, style-wise. Any ideas?

    The initial drawing didn't come out like I wanted. The basic concept is this is a band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic landscape, hundreds of years after the unspecified disaster, taking a stroll on their turf. But I don't think they look ragged enough. The girl in the middle, the focal point, looks more like a porn star. Hair's too smooth, face is too perfect. I wanted more desperation and weathering on these guys. The anatomy is all guesstimated and made-up, because I haven't learned construction/anatomy so well yet.

    It needs a background too. Generic rubble w/ destroyed skyscrapers in the distance?

    EDIT: the flattened perspective is intentional. I was going for more of a graphic feel than a realistic one. Also, I wanted the horses to be a little abstract and sculptural and so on, but I think I went too far by making them so simplified and cartoony ... feels like a cop-out.

    I'll probably try this whole idea over again from scratch at a later point, when I can execute better. For what it is, though, it ain't bad. Probably one of the best things I've done, and one of the most complex. I'm more or less a n00b, though. This came out way better than the initial paper sketch. My Wacom Bamboo + endless undos made it possible. I'm not as good in real life.

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    Last edited by diamandis; February 5th, 2013 at 12:32 AM. Reason: more details
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  4. #2
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    Wow, this is beautiful!

    I'm a little thrown by your perspective, however. Most of your people are in profile, but then your lady on the bottom left doesn't look to by quite lining up with her horse.

    I don't know where you expect to fit in your background. Would you increase the canvas? Right now, the way these people look, I'd expect them to be galloping over a river or a field. But you seem to want your people grungier.

    Here's some possible inspiration for more ragged people:
    riders
    riders
    riders
    riders
    riders
    riders

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  6. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback! Holy crap, those reference shots are great. It hadn't even occurred to me to look for reference shots of post-apocalyptic people, AAAAGH facepalm. I like the more organic-looking people versus the leatherized Mad Max dude, but these are all cool.

    Yup, the woman on the left is a sore spot. I wanted the horses in profile, but then I wanted her to turn back to add some variety, but she looks weird. I could adjust her hips so she's not turning her butt towards the viewer as much.

    Re: the background: yeah, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it either, considering I've got a crazy telephoto zoomed-in flattened-perspective thing going on. I think initially I was planning more "ambiance" (little pieces of set dressing near the riders) rather than a full background off in the distance. It's funny how you have an initial idea and then it gets corrupted as you go along and you forget what you wanted to do initially.

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    thats beautiful!

    sb most art copied to page 1
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  9. #5
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    I like it too. The composition really works. I do feel the centre girl is a bit too bright though.

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    I like the stylized horses. You might want to fix the anatomy a little, though; your horses have canine hind legs. The knee of a real horse does not extend below its belly, like you were drawing.

    I don't think the way you stylized humans matches the horses, though. They are too realistic.

    You also have little mistakes in the form here and there, e.g. look how foot of the girl in the center goes over the mount's thigh. That horse is way too short in body length.

    I'd play more with the design and texture of the humans to bring the whole picture together. Make them match the horses stylistically, or make the horses match the humans.

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    Nice! I really like the anatomy and the sweet lines.
    The sketchbook entries for this are also super interesting.
    I like the composition as it is right now, people in a group of running horses, without horizon or background.
    The composition of the people is solid enough that you could just add more horses and leave out any sort of background.

    I'm not so sure about the horses, I have the feeling that the horses stylization is really random, both from in anatomy and design.
    The heads and necks look a lot like seahorses - this looks good in this picture, it gives the whole image a flowing feeling, but I don't think that this was an intentional decision. The cartoony eyes also look random and attract a lot of attention, right now they are the darkest part of the picture (ok, it's a W.I.P ).

    Eh yeah, references - maybe you get some inspiration.
    I really like how the horses are portrayed in ancient art:
    http://donsmaps.com/images26/chauvet...thredstain.jpg
    http://donsmaps.com/images/chauvetcavehorses.jpg
    http://donsmaps.com/images3/horseschauvet.jpg
    http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008...17477_p465.jpg
    Those were stylizations of very stocky and sturdy horses that probably looked a similar to the Przewalsky's horse.
    I like how they still made them look elegant by making the head wedge shaped, the snout a bit thinner and the neck and body fatter.
    Also check how the back of the jawbone and the ears flow into each other.
    The eyes are smaller and they seem to be embedded in the head by the line that goes down the tearduct/cheek and in some cases by something like a subtle brow-ridge (or just a bump in the skull - I'm not sure.) The space around the eye is also brighter.
    If you have important details like eyes it's useful to have some structure around them that keeps them from flying around in undefined space.

    http://ahuskofmeaning.com/wp-content...3/pantheon.jpg it also looks cool if the cheek of the horse is pronounced.
    Yeah, I think it could be interesting for you to do some head studies with these things in mind.

    Mulan did a cool thing with chinese style horses, you can find a lot of sketches of them on google.
    This series of notes on the horse character is amazing:
    http://one1more2time3.files.wordpres...6/horse066.jpg
    http://one1more2time3.files.wordpres.../horse0067.jpg
    http://one1more2time3.files.wordpres...6/horse068.jpg
    They use huge contrasts in the form (massive body, thin legs), use a line of action in the animal and in the outline of the animal,
    work with silhouettes and they have those sweet dynamic shapes within the design. These red shapes are really important.
    Here they use organic wedge shapes and D-shapes - not pictured is that the chest is one big D-shape and the whole head is a wedge.
    If you want to read up on this, here's a book that uses similar ideas about design: http://www.amazon.de/Force-Dynamic-L.../dp/0240808452

    If you really like a thinner look for your horses, I think you could probably also profit from deer studies:
    http://www.animationsource.org/sites...Models%204.jpg

    If you want to look up animal anatomy, Ellenberger has a quite cool animal atlas and the pages are posted all over the internet.
    You will find horse anatomy and the most common other animals like dog and deer.
    Especially check the hind legs again, how many joints there are and how they connect to the hip-bone - the cartoon horse in your sb, the horses in this pictures and even some of the horses in your studies are especially off when it comes to the legs
    http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/Sci...arge/0003x.jpg
    http://shoestringstable.files.wordpr...1/06/0023x.jpg

    Last edited by Kiera; February 5th, 2013 at 08:22 AM.
    I just took a break to post this.
    But sometimes I also draw stuff
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  15. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's awesome having many expert eyes pointing out problems. I feel like I should be paying for this.

    Black Spot: Yup, I'm having trouble with her skin. I keep trying different things ... dark vs. light, shaded vs. flat. I can't decide. Color/tone in general is something I'm really inexperienced with. I sucketh for now.

    arenhaus: Ahh ... I kept wondering why the hell the horse on the bottom reminded me of a greyhound. I didn't realize horse knees don't do that. Although ... a few minutes of looking at horse pictures later ... I'm seeing that they do sometimes:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-93h01OO0GC...ian+horses.jpg

    ... although maybe not to the degree I showed it in some of my horses?

    In general, I'm really bad about using reference shots. I either forget to, or think I want to see what I can do on my own. I don't know why. It's not like I have a photographic memory. Anyway, the stylization of the horses was a choice I made early on, but I agree I went too far with it, partly out of laziness. I'll try to bring the horses closer to the humans in style. Oh, and the main girl's foot against the horse's thigh was bothering me too. A consequence of my playing fast and loose with the horse limb proportions, and not spending time looking at shots of people riding horses, seeing what poses people naturally assume. I also think I need some kind of saddle on these ... I'm not sure people can ride A) semi-naked on B) horses with no saddle or padding at all.

    Kiera: Holy crap, epic critique, THANKS. Like I mentioned right above, I agree about the stylization of the horses: I went too far, and got lazy. I was definitely trying to build a flowing sea-of-horses effect (but not seahorses, haha), but I can probably accomplish the same effect even if I draw the horses more realistically. I'll try for it later. But I'm not looking forward to it ... lots of horses to draw. I might be in over my head in a lot of ways with this drawing.

    Re: the cave paintings: I just realized my drawing is similar in spirit to those earlier paintings (I had a nagging feeling I was ripping something off). Plus, it depicts a new breed of cave people after societal collapse, in a drawing that references paintings done by earlier cave people before there was any society at all. Totally weird, and unintentional. Maybe I'm secretly a genius.

    This sculpture is beautiful, I'm adding it to my references: http://ahuskofmeaning.com/wp-content...3/pantheon.jpg

    I'd already seen the Mulan horse sketches a couple weeks ago, coincidentally. They probably inspired the look of my horses a little. And I keep meaning to either buy that Force book or subscribe to the guy's website, where he has videos of the same material. I'd probably like the videos better. I'll see. I'm starting to work my way through some other figure books first. But getting really cool flowy animation-style lines is something I'd like to do too.

    Thanks for all the references and pointers. I'll probably take a little break from this for a couple days. I'll try to get back to it later this week, or over the weekend.

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    You posed the question in your sketchbook why doesn't the guy in the back look like he is on the horse, it is because the only contact points that you see are between him and a foreground horse, At no point do you see him actually in contact with his animal. It is causing a bit of confusion.

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  19. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    arenhaus: Ahh ... I kept wondering why the hell the horse on the bottom reminded me of a greyhound. I didn't realize horse knees don't do that. Although ... a few minutes of looking at horse pictures later ... I'm seeing that they do sometimes:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-93h01OO0GC...ian+horses.jpg

    ... although maybe not to the degree I showed it in some of my horses?
    It's not the matter of degree. Look at the picture again. The knee moves far from the body in the extended leg. The flexed leg's knee doesn't go much below the horse's sternum level. And you have the flexed knees do it in this picture, which makes the thigh look too long and the movement dog-lile. Lack of bulk to the horses' body trunks adds to the lean "grayhound" impression.

    Stylizing is good, but you have to know/research your subject well first. Otherwise you might stylize important features away but lock on incidental ones, and end up drawing the wrong animal.

    In general, I'm really bad about using reference shots. I either forget to, or think I want to see what I can do on my own. I don't know why. It's not like I have a photographic memory.
    Few people have photographic memory. That's why we keep photo and drawing "morgue files".

    It's quite fine to try things on your own. But what you ought to have done is do this kind of free sketching, get the flow and impression of the horses to your liking, and then get reference and get technical for a while. Between the highly stylized, creative, but incorrect doodle and the clear, technical, correct drawing of the horse in the same pose, you would have a range of representation to settle on the golden balance between style and believability.

    It's often a good thing to do research after you get the initial idea and jot it down. Planning saves a lot of time later on.

    Anyway, the stylization of the horses was a choice I made early on, but I agree I went too far with it, partly out of laziness. I'll try to bring the horses closer to the humans in style.
    If you do, file the horses for future use or inspiration. You never know when such a stylized thing might come in useful.

    Oh, and the main girl's foot against the horse's thigh was bothering me too. A consequence of my playing fast and loose with the horse limb proportions, and not spending time looking at shots of people riding horses, seeing what poses people naturally assume. I also think I need some kind of saddle on these ... I'm not sure people can ride A) semi-naked on B) horses with no saddle or padding at all.
    See above. Doing research after getting the first sketch out of your system, and recording the very useful visceral feel of your scene, would have helped with all that.

    And yes, riding like that on a naked horse would bring those people down very quickly. The issue is not with seating or padding; you need something to protect your skin from chafing on the coat and irritation from the horse sweat - which is quite acrid. The riders would get bad sores.

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  21. #11
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    arenhaus: super-informative. I never knew that's what saddles were for. Also, I'll spend more time looking up references from now on.

    In working on this thing, I'm realizing that drawing is much more of a process with lots of steps that build upon one another, rather than just 1) sit down, 2) draw. It's like, foundation upon foundation upon foundation. It feels like architecture or something, like I'm building a complex structure. So it's been shedding some of the magic and mystique that us outsiders see in it (although I'm not a total outsider, I guess). But in doing that, it's starting to feel a little more attainable.

    Anyway, I feel bad for bumping the thread without having anything to show, but I'll get back to it in a few days, like I mentioned above.

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  22. #12
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    yeah mulan, that was a beautiful movie.
    what about friezes..

    riders
    riders
    riders

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  24. #13
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    Those are cool ... some nice abstraction and stylization. And they have the same flattened perspective that I was going for. Man. I unwittingly ripped off a lot of art history doing this.

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