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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    if it aint broke..
    if you ever in london go to the british museum and have a look at those assyrian wall friezes, theyre dope. plus they do breakfast beers there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    arenhaus: super-informative. I never knew that's what saddles were for.
    Well, parts of saddles, anyway. Horse blankets are for the same purpose; your primitive riders could use those, instead of advanced saddles.

    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.
    That's a great observation. I'm proud of you.

    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.
    Why feel bad? Sharing an epiphany is a great reason to add to the thread, even if a picture is not included.

    Believe me, your realization that there can be a working method to drawing is going to be more valuable for you than any picture you make.

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    Came across this and thought of your piece. Seems to be a similar storyline to yours, in a way, but a very different mood. Just food for thought of their setting.
    http://artbabel.blogspot.com/2012/10...am-miller.html

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    Did I say I'd be back on this WIP in a few days? Because it looks like I meant six weeks. Huge apologies for ditching it. I don't have an excuse, just the usual crap that's tossed around: busy w/ day job, despair at drawing, etc. One of the main reasons for abandoning it was my realizing how much hard-ass tedium this sort of thing entails, as opposed to pure imaginative orgasmic fun-time. I got cold feet about pursuing it as a career, and I dropped learning fundamentals just as I'd started them. But now I'm daring myself to try, and I think a good way to accomplish those boring fundamental studies is to do them in service of a project like this.

    Your awesome advice and references were not in vain! Anyway, I wanted to redo the whole thing because there were too many problems w/ the original, so I started with rough thumbs (below), which I still need to draw more of because I'm not sure I've got any winners. Gotta envision something good. Per the advice above, I'll then start looking up references that apply directly to the comp I choose. PLUS I'll also do general fundamental stuff in the meantime (figures, horses, whatever). So I'm actually going to disappear again for a couple days while I get some practice out of the way. But I just wanted to bring this thing back from the dead already. I'm thinking I want to try for a realistic look. I might even try digital paint instead of the cop-out above. This is a huge challenge and a huge undertaking, but I've been lazy and aimless and I want to make up for it. It might take a while.

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    This is freaking sweet. Glad to see you working on this again.

    Sketchbooks:
    Virtual Sprite - New
    Cali to SC, The Joshua Hollis Story - Old

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    Also glad to see this one brought back. You can do it dude!

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    i'm interested to see this finished, i really like the composition and lights of the first image.
    are you sure you want to go for a realistic look?
    i'd add some details but keeping the first post style, it might look pretty good..

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    i'll echo the part about keeping the feel of the first one. it doesn't look realistic, but it doesn't need to either. i'd be careful about being too clear on the narrative. you were talking about putting a post apocalyptic landscape in the background, but if you'd ask me i think it works better without it. the image didn't really read to me as a band of nuclear survivors before i read your description, but i liked it tons nonetheless. there's nothing wrong with just hinting at a narrative, instead of shoving it up people's faces. letting people inscribe their own experiences and emotions into a work of art makes it that much more powerful.
    and yes, i know this is conceptart.org and we love guns and war torn cities and huge tits and robots but it's really nice with a change every once in a while. keep it up!

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    Thanks for the encouragement, everybody. I'm surprised people are telling me to stick to the original. It's not bad, but it's not really the feel I wanted, and I'd have to change so much that I might as well just start over, is my thinking. I mean, maybe I'll mess around w/ it again down the road. Or try multiple styles/angles instead of just one. Then again, I don't want to promise too much, because it'll look bad if I don't deliver.

    Another reason I'm starting this project back up is that I've been having trouble getting motivated enough to start learning fundamentals. I guess "get better at drawing" is too vague a goal for me. Someone suggested I try working on projects, and I figure getting in fundamentals practice with an eye towards a particular project might work better.

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    The composition in the first piece is lovely! But about the saddle vs. no saddle comments, as an experienced rider, I agree with arenhaus. I almost cringed when I saw the naked guy in front riding without one. Ouch! Either dress the horses or the riders, or both, if you want your human and equine creations to appear comfortable together.

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    So, learning to draw figures and learning to paint is taking a little longer than a couple days. Shocker. I'm still planning on doing something epic with this idea, but in the meantime, I got an idea for a different take on the same characters. I'm totally stuck on this, though. I liked iambanana's suggestion to keep the in-your-face post-apocalyptic stuff to a minimum. But I'm not sure what to replace it with. Maybe add more areas of grass to replace some of the concrete slabs radiating out of the center? I dunno. What should I do to make this more visually interesting? I was also thinking of having some shadows of trees or buildings or something coming in from the left. At the same time, I kinda like the desolation and starkness.

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    A completely different take on (superficially) the same idea. They both could work, depending on what mood and situation - and point in the story composition - you are dealing with.

    You don't really need to add detail to make a minimalistic light-and-shadow treatment like that work. I recommend you play with framing a bit, to find the best one: there is a little too much empty room on the left. Another thing you could do is make the perspective on grass-grown cracks sharper, so the vastness of the ground is enhanced.

    I am not sure what's going on with the line-and-pattern saying "1776-2076 tricentennial". It looks like a watermark over the image, but the slabs on the right are above it, so I presume that it's supposed to be etched in concrete pavement or something? In that case, put it in the same perspective as the riders. Right now it is strictly face-on, and the pavement is clearly at an angle, and the mismatch makes it look detached from the picture.

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  46. #26
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    Thanks again, arenhaus. What did you mean about sharpening the perspective on the cracks?

    Yeah, the characters are etched into the ground. They already had some perspective, but I gave it more. Hopefully better. I'm also channeling Moebius or something with the color changes:

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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    Thanks again, arenhaus. What did you mean about sharpening the perspective on the cracks?
    I mean making th perspective more evident - the angle more shallow, so the ground would not seem so face-on. You have such a wide angle in a top view, that some 3-point perspective would do it good.

    Yeah, the characters are etched into the ground. They already had some perspective, but I gave it more. Hopefully better. I'm also channeling Moebius or something with the color changes:
    It doesn't look quite so much like a watermark now, but it needs even more perspective, still.

    Can't say I dig the extreme color change. The long shadows suggest either sunset or sunrise, and the pale yellow/purple color scheme kind of clashes with the idea, and so does the mostly purple color of the ground. Perhaps if you saturated the colors?

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    I like your image but I did think it was a watermark at first. One problem I see is that everything in the writing on the floor is too perfect. If I were you I'd add a line weight, here is an video of Matt Kohr that explains it better than I could: http://ctrlpaint.com/videos/the-power-of-line-weight
    As Arenhaus, I prefered the first color treatement, it looked more natural.
    Just one last thing, I think there is too much details/contrast in shadows, actually they're more apparent than they are in light.

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    arenhaus: Ahh, I see what's bugging you about the perspective now. I was actually going for that "flat" effect on purpose, trying to make it look like a photo taken from high up and far away, zoomed in a lot, so you get that telephoto effect where perspective is diminished. But maybe you're right and it'd benefit from some 3-point perspective, dunno. I might try later. Thanks for the advice as always.

    StefRob: yeah, it's been bugging me too. I did the text / separations on the ground in vector, then just copied and pasted into Photoshop. I could either roughen up and vary line weight in the original vectors, or draw over what's already there in Photoshop. I think I've seen that particular Ctrl+Paint clip btw, way long ago.

    And aw man, I can't believe no one liked the new colors. I was going for something a little weird and psychedelic, not necessarily realistic. More visually interesting. But I guess the first color scheme was pretty weird already. I'll keep messing with it. I'm also thinking of putting this one aside for now and trying yet another new take on the idea. Shocker.

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