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Thread: By Crom!

  1. #1
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    By Crom!

    A typical Conan painting, I've just started with the washes of color. I spent some a good amount of time with the face, I'm sure its not perfect. I thought it would be a good idea to ask for some guidance. I have little experience with digital painting.

    And another question would be, what would be a good resolution to do a digital painting when you want to take care of finer details? I'm using a 2500 x 2500 canvas with this piece.

    Edit: Put the final up front.
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    Last edited by J.R.Hollis; March 7th, 2013 at 11:20 PM.
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  3. #2
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    well... your line art is not good also, there are a lot of problems with the structure of the character, if you make it better in the paper, use it, scan it to computer and paint it digitally....

    Speaking specifically of Conan, who has a lot of artists for comic books, if you want to learn from studying these ones, I suggest you restrict your references to the work of Neal Adams, John Buscema, Barry Smith and Cary Nord... for painters, use Norem (he made a lot of covers for Marvel)... Use their work to see how the build the figure of Conan and how they gave some action for that comics....

    best regards and keep going
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    Ahh, thanks. I should have looked up those guys from the start! I love Norem's pulp art, thanks for the recommendation!

    As far as the structure of the character goes I'll try my best to iron out anything I might be able to catch. Anything wrong in particular with the structure?
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    I woke up today, added more color to the piece. But not to throw away your suggestion, because my scanner is out of commission for some reason, I just created some thumbnails.

    Perhaps what you mean by "structure" is anatomy? Or the composition? How he swings his sword?
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    Okay, I know this is going to sound like the most tired, overused piece of advise you'll ever hear on this forum, but you NEED a reference photo to draw from, especially because your grasp of anatomy is far from functional. I'm sure you can find a zillion really good references for human anatomy drawing, but for practical purposes, use yourself. Have someone take a picture of you from the angle you want the viewer to be, doing the thing your character is doing. I know it sounds silly (and you'll have some explaining to do if anyone ever finds your phone and looks at the pictures) but it will help. In fact, its just about the only thing that does. Also, it cuts the scanner out of the equation because you can upload the picture without it (or just choose to look at it while drawing, but I'd recommend the former).

    As for the thumbnails, I like the one second row on the right. Its kind of like the one you have now, but it makes more sense if you consider the mechanics of the scene (for the angle you're currently using, to see the ceiling, both the barbarian and his victim would basically have to be lying flat on the ground, ie making it impossible to be swinging a sword or doing anything).

    Please, please save yourself the hassle and don't go any farther with coloring or rendering until you fix the basic structure. I guarantee you will not regret it. Hope this helps!

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    Bah, weather it's used advice doesn't mean its tired. Thank you for your advice. I don't have a camera...but I DO have a sizable mirror near by. I think it should do for now. I don't know why I didn't use it in the first place. The only thing that is sort of jarring with me modeling is that I don't have the muscle of Conan. However guess its the functionality I'm looking for. I'll re-post with a more refined composition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzusaPesant View Post
    Bah, weather it's used advice doesn't mean its tired. Thank you for your advice. I don't have a camera...but I DO have a sizable mirror near by. I think it should do for now. I don't know why I didn't use it in the first place. The only thing that is sort of jarring with me modeling is that I don't have the muscle of Conan. However guess its the functionality I'm looking for. I'll re-post with a more refined composition.
    Not having the identical muscle mass won't be a huge problem. I've used myself modeling for female characters, male characters, fat, thin, muscled, doesn't really matter, since you're really looking for the pose and the angle.

    That being said, since this dude is really muscular you're probably going to want to supplement your references with some pictures from online so you can get a feel for the way the muscles connect, overlap, etc. Or you could just get really buff. Whichever is easier. ;-)

    Soldier onward friend!

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    After hours of metaphorically crumpling the ball and throwing it in the waste bin, It clicked that I needed a real setting for the piece. So I looked up Aztec ruins, and since Conan is fighting monkey people, I made an Aztec Monkey theme. So I had at least some sort of context to the action. Just like actors I needed some motivation. The bananas on the top of the pyramids are a little goofy for Conan, but workable. I still have the 1 point perspective, this time better and the mook being chopped in the head. This time from a better angle.

    This is just a punk-ass thumbnail, but from here I think I can progress. I've included another thumbnail of a file that I didn't delete (With the blue layer on top.), this is the pose that I modeled for. Ill do the same when I go into details on the less detailed thumbnail. I think your suggestion really helped with that Dead_Reaper. Thanks
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    Aside from having a good single piece of reference to work from, sometimes it helps to look at a bunch of pictures showing poses kind of in the ballpark for what you're doing. Get them, stare at them a while. It really does help.

    Happily, these days, you can get what you want with a few well-placed keywords in Google images. Try doing a search on "swinging axe" and see if those aren't giving you ideas (an axe being the commonest sort of thing people wield like Conan swings sword).

    Also, REALLY helpful -- take the pose yourself. Use a heavy prop, if you can. Even if you can't get a digital picture, stand there and hold the pose and FEEL where the strain is. Feel the weight, and which of your muscles gets tired first. It's like getting in the skin of your character. It'll also help you not do really implausible things with your poses.
    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    "sometimes it helps to look at a bunch of pictures showing poses kind of in the ballpark for what you're doing. Get them, stare at them a while. It really does help."

    This. the first thing you should do is google up a big A3 sheet of things youll need. in this case barbarians, axes, action scenes, frazetta, movie stills, anything youll want to mix in. its like assembling your ingredients.

    i really like the coloured sketch where hes splitting the poor guys head, its got tonnes of impact. now try looking at how that sword would look in his hands, at the moment hes cutting with the flat side of the blade; totally impossible. try cutting some bread with the flat of a knife! put the camera on the ground on a timer and stand over it grinning like a crazy man with an umbrella in your hand, take about 15 that way youll get a good one.
    do it with your shirt off to get the muscles, etc. i see people taking ref images of themselves wearing jeans and a hoody, which is fucknig useless if the character is a bare to the waist barbarian psycho or a lithe sorceress.
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    Thanks for the advice Stoat, as soon as I read that I started looking up people swinging heavy instruments. Ive saved them all in my reference folder I'm making. I also posed for myself with a large wooden bat, I took pictures. I used a camera on the ground like Velocity prescribed and I took some poses that looked pretty vicious.
    This one is my favorite. ( This is me by the way. Nice to meet you guys.)

    One thing that conflicts with the scene in my mind is that Frazetta in true Pulp Art fashion never ends the scene with the expected climax. Mine is showing what the viewer expects to see. Even if Frazetta and other Pulp artists are probably one of my higher inspirations, I don't feel like I should conform to this standard. I like seeing the reaction. Total tangent, but I feel this this is a better place then ever to state my observation.

    Anyway, before I go off and start on a new white canvas, I just wanted to show how far I got with the second iteration with two other photos:

    As you can see I'm working on the setting. Should I take this out of my W.I.P folder and stick this in my sketchbook? Should I try again?




    Edit:
    Okay okay. Quick edit before I hit the hay.

    Using my favorite pose that I posted, I generated this thumbnail. I think I hit the mark I was looking for. Simple lighting that the viewer can easily understand. Conan isn't floating, and looks grounded and ready to chop the monkey's skull in twain.
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    Last edited by J.R.Hollis; February 12th, 2013 at 01:25 AM.
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    haha kickass!

    one thing is the head is blocking his arms, move him out to one side if you can.
    yeah reaction is also totally legit, reminds me of;

    By Crom!
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  19. #13
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    Now that is a comic cover, going strait to my inspiration folder!

    Now, which of the pieces is kick ass? The one more developed with the monkey temple, or the thumbnail? I just want to know which would is worth developing.
    Last edited by J.R.Hollis; February 12th, 2013 at 10:04 AM.
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