I "stopped" looking at this a few days back, now I want a second eye on it before I trash it and start again from scratch. Please tell me whats working and whats not working. I'd like to try all 7 deadly sins before years end. I am attempting a few new things, have started using line-work again to some degree. Here's What I worked up. It doesn't feel natural to me at all. Your consideration and advice, as always, is much appreciated.
I suppose my initial reaction is that nothing about it feels especially "slothful." If I were art-directing this I'd say "come up with something that expresses the "sloth" concept better."
Other than that, it looks OK to me except for the fact that her arms are incredibly long. (I'm not a fan of the giant inflato-boobs either but I suppose that's a stylistic choice.
I agree with Giacomo. It seems you were going for a person with stuff growing on her, but it doesn't really fit with her position. Perhaps if she were lying down instead - it would look like she's been lying there for so long that she's been nearly swallowed up by the plants around her.
For this image specifically - she's missing her lower legs. Even if they're supposed to be blocked from view by her thighs, at least her feet should still be visible at this angle.
In english at least, sloth means to be very wasteful of time, to loaf aimlessly, considered a deadly and corrupting sin in the ancient world.
wiki says that another word with a rather different meaning, used interchangeably in some cultures used translate be dejection, the discription of which sounds more like chronic depression to me. a bit harsh to call that a sin, but bible people and their bronze age medicine, whadyagonnado?
In any case, I guess the picture of a sad person locked in place by bonds of despair is kind of hwat youve drawn. but the stick poking out her head i dont get at all.
I checked and in my language it either means being lazy or being a human parasite :p
I'm not really understanding the branch out of the head part either. Not much of it really resonates with me as "sloth". If you wanted to go with the whole "becoming a tree" theme, I think it could be cool to have like some sort of tree trunk where a person is half imprisoned inside of it. Still, it would be hard to think of "sloth" even if you did do that. Seems you picked a pretty hard sin to start with
how can this be a sin??
I second the comment that some of her lower leg should be visible from this angle, at least her left (our right) foot.
There are some other anatomy issues as well - for example her left (our right) arm appears to connect to her neck, and aside from the fact that her breasts look like melons, and one is higher than the other. Even if she's lifting her shoulder, it wouldn't have that drastic of an effect. The connection point of the breasts is also oddly high on the torso. And the legs' connection to the pelvis could use some work. Reference, reference, reference.
In terms of what's working, I do mostly like the color palette - especially the figure having blue skin. However, I don't think that these are necessarily the best colors for the theme you're working with. The strong reds and blues clash to create a sense of tension - sort of the opposite of what I'd imagine 'sloth' to be. Be sure to do several color thumbs on the next one as well. Have a clear theme and mood in mind, and let those dictate the color scheme. It's great to see that you're not afraid to be adventurous with the color choice.
For future pieces, I highly recommend finding or shooting good references after you have settled on a thumbnail+gesture. And for my own sanity, please look up how a pelvis works, particularly the forms of the iliac crest and how that connects to the external obliques, the glutes, and the legs.
Thank you all for your VERY helpful input.
I start to see clearer what I need to avoid in my next attempt. I wanted to start with sloth because it is very rare and quite controvertial. I did a few thumbs and believe it or not this was my idea of the best option. I clearly was not pushing my creative juices. I think sloth is something that only becomes a sin to ones nature at its utmost extreme, in my mind its not slothful to be a little lazy, its slothful to give up on life and dejectedly allow yourself to waste away.
I think its clearer with the above observations that I need to get that emotion across better and the pose was not ideal nor was it accurate to human proportions (I tend to be a bit too generous with body parts I like, tis a terrible failing!). Each of the seven characters I hope to develope is a human on its way to becoming a demon of that particular sin. I will try this again, maybe come up with a better concept. Please keep the crits coming in!
And now the revision begins for sloth:
As pointed out sloth is interchangeable with dejected behaviour. I am starting to see it as an opposite of gluttony. where gluttony is about appeasing need to its excess, sloth is denying that need to the harm of ones own well being.
reading left to right, top to bottom:
1. Here I imagined someone being so dejected they refuse eating and sleeping. she is snared but does not do anything about it, she is prone to the elements and to danger, completely disinterested in surviving.
2. In the second image she simply stands still. she has stood that way long enough to have plants grow around her and inside her. the need to rest in this case is thoroughly ignored
3. The third is a woman being attacked by a tree demon that distorts ones desire to struggle against an enemy. the orb mesmerizes her into a relaxed state of mind, thus she drops her weopon. here the woman isn't commiting the "sin". here the demon is amplifying apathy, so I guess its the sinner? no idea.
4. my quickest of the lot. a young girl starves naked and alone. the apple is there but she ignores it. the body yearns for it regardless, you can see the hair creeping towards the apples as it grows. I like the sad undercurrents to this one.
If you're going for sloth, why does it have to be an attractive woman, most pieces tend to lose their gravity with attractive women and huge porn boobs. If she's a sloth she wouldn't take care of herself which would mean no rock hard abs, not even slightly well kept hair, her teeth may be falling out, she would be dirty and fat. You want to exaggerate the worst of a sloths attributes.
Also, your poses seem really off - she looks like a model that's been posed. Especially the first one - you REALLY wouldn't be able to keep that pose for any length of time. Think of more zombie-like postures!
If she's starving, she'd be way thinner than that, anyway - ribs and hips sticking out, barely any stomach OR breasts, etc.
"If you're going for sloth, why does it have to be an attractive woman?"
Totally agree, its like youre doing a Sloth pin up which is confusing. Sloth to me means giant fatties who never do anything, not supermodels.. my 2c.
Hmm, not sure about that, anorexic girls are driven to extreme avoidance of food, doesnt sound like something a lazy wasteful person would do.
i guess sloth is quite a complex concept, and rooted strongly in a rather poverty stricken bronze age desert society. people can make money playing poker online today which some ancient wouldve considered incredibly idle.
as a taboo it arose in a culture where not pulling your weight was likely lethal or a major burden to everyone around you. the modern day archetype is the benefit scrounger, although in reality their lives seem anything but idle bliss...
in any case, nothing about supermodel babes posing in the woods seems particularly slothful.
although.... thinking about it the spoiled millionairess is often condemned as being lazy and stupid, ie slothful... maybe there is mileage in the hot chick lounging around doing nothing ... but maybe not in a wood with roots coming out her head...
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 22nd, 2013 at 12:41 PM.
"Slothful would mean they avoid any effort, in which case, going and getting food would require too much effort. On a metaphorical note, their bodies are too slothful to even bother digesting any food they do consume or converting it to body fat. I'm pretty sure that would equal anorexia."
I think your ideas about anorexia are somewhat dated.
Attaching a moral taboo to a mental illness seems extremely pernicious, and also, resisting the urge to eat takes tremendous will power.
Similarly, models have to work hard to get and keep their jobs. I agree that being pampered and having no reason to do anything seems to make people behave in line with the traditional concept of sloth (bored, lazy, wasteful), but I think thats better illustrated into the billionaire's daughter than the hard working fashion model.
I'm not talking about how hard models work, I'm pretty sure they do, but the concept of their job is in all slothful, I'm not saying they are slothful.
"I'm sorry but your ideas of obesity are outdated too."
true enough.. again, its very old fashioned to attach morality to what is basically a health problem. i doubt anyone obese particularly in the ancient world, if they existed at all, had much choice, or bad choices, in the matter.
except perhaps for the idle royals... which comes back to the millionaires daughter...
its probably crossing over into gluttony in any case.
i should add i dont subscribe to this moral framework really; emotions and health issues dont mix to well with morality in my world view. its too simple a model for too complex a thing. i dont think obese people are evil, theyre victims of a culture not evil wasters of food.
I dont see why the concept of a model is slothful..? or any more so than any other work? which by definition, is what slothful people presumably dont do; work.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 22nd, 2013 at 01:19 PM.
I think you're confusing anorexia with malnutrition...? Anorexia is a mental illness, you can be completely healthy or even overweight and still have it. It is not a physical description.
Obesity's a pretty good way to show sloth because that's what most people associate with it, even if it's an outdated view.
There was an episode of Supernatural where a demon of sloth made some people so lazy, they couldn't be bothered to get the food right in front of them and starved to death :u
Right, its laziness due to being spoiled i think.
if youre severley malnourished you might struggle to move and get food, but thats not really a moral evil. but if youre rich and spoiled, your personality grows up warped and you dont value things properly, etc etc. that i think its the core of the taboo. however, its complicated because people are also jealous of the millionairess. no one is envious (another sin!) of the poor person struggling with obesity. its a nasty can of worms the whole thing.
Who the hell associates obesity with sloth? Sloth is a lack of something, where the opposite, gluttony, is a desire of something. Hence you're not going to have any desire to eat to make one self obese, as that involves physical movement which you wouldn't want to do if you were slothful. Basically, sloth has little to do with weight...
calm down. weve already covered the fact that these Deadly sins are ancient caricatures, and youve changed my mind, obesity is if anything more associated with gluttony not sloth.
"Sloth is a lack of something, where the opposite, gluttony,"
i didnt realise sloth was considered the polar opposite to gluttony. in fact, i know it isnt. its industriousness. ie working hard.....
the point is maybe sloth isnt a lack of something, it comes from having too much of everything, or acting like you do. ie after the gluttony comes the sloth? ie indolence, boredom, and subsequently capricious cruelty..
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 22nd, 2013 at 02:19 PM.
Keep in mind that gluttony is another of the seven sins. Since he's planning to do them all, it might be good sense to avoid obesity in sloth as it would end up being a retread later.
For the thumbs, I think the bottom left one is the most visually interesting and closest to the concept. The arched back is kind of ruining it though; it's very unnatural and 'posed'. The top two thumbs don't feel very sloth to me, and they look pretty close to your original idea. The bottom right one feels more like depression. Be careful that you're not really portraying Acedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins#Acedia (unless of course you're rather just do Acedia instead of sloth). Maybe you should try to make her look happy about the fact that she's lying around starving to death. I presume sloth is a sin because the subject would prefer to do nothing and let their life waste away (as opposed to being too depressed to motivate yourself to do something about your situation).
Also, be careful with that apple. A woman in a tree with an apple will probably confuse viewers as they are more likely to associate it with the story of Eve than of sloth.
I read slothfulness as being too preoccupied with ones self to bother with anything else. It's pretty close to slovenly behaviour. Ever spent the day in bed doing nothing more than sleeping or reading with the odd sortie to fetch food when there are jobs to be done, but you can't be bothered?
I love those days!
Wow the wealth of response in this thread!
I have thought long and hard about the physique of a sloth demon (or someone succumbing to sloth). on one side yes, I weigh in with the opinion being slothful is to let yourself decay. on the other hand no, I dont think a thin person instantly translates to slothfulness. my trouble with associating sloth with annorexia is the fact that anorexic people treat themselves the way they do out of a twist in perspective. What to us looks unhealthy is in their opinion the epitome of health. anything other than this is unacceptable. its a form of perfectionalism. My point here is it's commonly associated with aesthetics and the self abuse that follows resolves itself into a desired "look". going to such extremes for a look, for me this crosses into the realm of Vanity. It's a harsh and dated perspective but as the 7 deadly sins categorize things with ancient precepts in mind, thats where I'd slot it.
Now I am trying to give each piece a supernatural character. they aren't regular humans, they aren't full demons, If anything they are corrupted immortals giving in to vices. I want their environment to reflect that more than their physical features. I do concede to the point that sloth feels false with overtly idylic features. I will attempt more sketches of her in a dejected pose like the bottom right with less curves. I do not believe she needs to show outwardly that she is zombifying, but i will thin her up and exagerate her joints and cheek bones to show neglect.
I want to have her features warping into something not human, something that reflects slothfulness to the point of unnaturalness. Looking at the animal of the self same name there is no emaciation. Just lassitude and a lack of hygiene leading to fungus and moss. I imagine a person of similar qualities would allow for moss and fungal growth at an extreme level. maybe I set aside the tree theme and go for a swamp monster theme instead? perhaps a girl growing a huge pile of mushrooms on her back is an option worth exploring...again really grateful for the discussion and advice, will keep working on it and post more sketches up as soon as possible.