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  1. #1
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    Skald of the North

    I'll let the literary buffs figure out what this character is going to be.

    I really enjoyed what you guys did for me with my Conan piece. I thought it would be a good idea to post here again for another painting I'm doing.

    The first with color was what I was going to go with, but the composition was really boring to me. So I sketched up a B&W composition that I was going to use for another character closely related to the one I'm doing now.

    I'll post again when I work on this a lot more. Any advice is appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    The first one still can work ^^ you centered the character and we don't see what he is facing. Just enlarge a little the canvas, move him on the right and create a shadow or something coming from the left (you can just show the shadow but you can add a part of the ennemy. A shadow only would add to the mystery and the "horror" of the scene).

    The lighting is a little flat too, that's why without any sense of drama the piece start to boring you, in my opinion. Go for a strong light, with strong shadows and again, try to make a decision about what colors you want to use. Everything here is in flat color, the light had no influence on him.

    The second one is interesting but will be really difficult to do because of the perspective. That will be the same problem : you need to decide where the light come from. The light direction will help in the drama and will lead the eyes Now you need to think "what is the story I want for each of theses pieces". Is the character friendly, scary, impressive, in danger, heroic, seductive ?

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  5. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion griffon.

    I worked on both a little.

    I took your suggestion for the composition I thought I was bored off. And worked some on the extreme perspective look.

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  6. #4
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    Alright, screw those last two ideas. They weren't even inspired by the source material. They where just some generic ginger barbaric characters. Uninspired. I'm going to have to cook up 100 more thumbnails next time. So many that I start to hate it, so I can exhaust myself of ideas and find the one that I REALLY like.

    So I went back and listened/read/remembered some of the adventures of fafhrd and decided to reenact to an extent the adventures of Stardock. Where the duo got frisky with some snow nymphs.

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    Doh, I liked the two previous you did I didn't saw them last time, sad, I would have said they were really nice !

    The one you attempt will be interesting, the cold and seductive lady and the strong man. I like your Nymph and the look she have for the hand... that can be in fact for the sword she intend to steal and use. That mix of intention can be pretty.
    Keep in mind to look at some references before going to render, the composition and gesture are very nice but the anatomy need some refinement.

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  9. #6
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    Update.

    I just now started working on where the light is coming from. Which is shredding up the painting again, but with work it will smooth out nicely. I added more dimensions to the tower. Put the banjo/bard instrument thing in 2 point perspective with the tower. I JUST started adding value, after fiddling with ideas and poses and tower shapes.My main problem right now is figuring out how to render the woman considering she is going to be pale skinned, and their snow everywhere. I'm going to have to lower the value or one or the other.

    It's looking really rough right now. But I expect great things.

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  10. #7
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    I woke up and looked at it with a fresh mind and thought the piece looked really really amateurish. And I'm tired of that.

    So then I analyzed why I didn't like what I saw.
    - The Pose doesn't make sense, at least to me.
    - The characters weren't in 2 point perspective, which makes them look pasted on.

    So I drew up some more dynamic poses, that fills up the canvas. I really like the narrative idea of the nymph looking at the sword/fafhrd's hand in naughty contemplation. So I'm trying to work that in. I've got all day, I'm going to get somewhere with this even if it kills me.

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    Well, it's good you want to do dynamic pose, but it do not fit a lot a seductive moment to use the perspective at this point. If they are fighting, it could be interesting to continue on your new composition and perspective point of view but if you still want to keep the "seductiveness" you will have more difficulty to transpose it.

    Maybe what was bothering you in your previous image was the canvas size, because the dynamic is already present : the elements create a path for the eyes, the caracters are clear in their role... You can make the pose more dynamic without breaking your composition or exagerating the point of view.

    Look at some frazetta works I think that can be a good exemple about "simple" perspective with very dynamic pose.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dXnETd-i0F...gmanofmars.jpg
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o-9ZEqILTV.../DemonKing.jpg
    http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...KboOXw-sB26iEQ
    http://www.romanempire.net/romepage/...a/frazetta.gif
    http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-conten...veprincess.jpg
    http://pipocaenanquim.com.br/wp-cont...0/12/Sheba.jpg
    http://www.boingboing.net/filesroot/...ough-work3.jpg

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffonnage View Post
    Well, it's good you want to do dynamic pose, but it do not fit a lot a seductive moment to use the perspective at this point. If they are fighting, it could be interesting to continue on your new composition and perspective point of view but if you still want to keep the "seductiveness" you will have more difficulty to transpose it.

    Maybe what was bothering you in your previous image was the canvas size, because the dynamic is already present : the elements create a path for the eyes, the caracters are clear in their role... You can make the pose more dynamic without breaking your composition or exagerating the point of view.

    Look at some frazetta works I think that can be a good example about "simple" perspective with very dynamic pose.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dXnETd-i0F...gmanofmars.jpg
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o-9ZEqILTV.../DemonKing.jpg
    http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...KboOXw-sB26iEQ
    http://www.romanempire.net/romepage/...a/frazetta.gif
    http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-conten...veprincess.jpg
    http://pipocaenanquim.com.br/wp-cont...0/12/Sheba.jpg
    http://www.boingboing.net/filesroot/...ough-work3.jpg
    You always give pretty good suggestions griffon, thanks again. And if it wasn't bad enough that I was listening to Conan while typing this. I guess its safe to say that Frazetta is going to be one of my main inspirations.

    I worked on the perspective piece, which makes me feel bad because your suggestion was pretty good. I should work on showing dynamism in any camera angle. I feel like this is working however.

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    Hahah having Frazetta as main inspiration definitly is a good pick, you will learn so much. This guy have simple but strong compositions, one of the best way to descrive character in strong posture... I really love his work, I think you can learn a lot from him !

    Now what you just maybe need to work on is the intention you want to put in your piece. For exemple, this one here works very well (the composition is okay, the two characters have an interesting place) if you want to show a mercy scene or the end of a fight. The two characters are far from each other, no contact. So they are not involved into a love affair.
    The lady laying on the back can for example try to reach the sword to save her life or beg mercy. You can have some tension in it if Farfrd have his hand on the sword too, that would involve a point : is the woman trying to stop his hand, trying to convince him to spare her life ?
    If you make Fafhrd having the same posture, move the sword into his hand, you will have the pypical victorious pose with the lady begging or offering something for her life.
    If you move the sword direction and make the lady point it to Fafrhd, that would appear as a defense gesture to keep it far away.

    Now if you still want seductive feeling, you can chose to change one on the two character posture. The lady should not be on her back for exemple but listening sit, maybe she can have her head resting on his leg while her hand try to reach the sword in his back.
    If you want to keep her on her back, you can make him laying by her side, for exemple.

    All of the problem is too use the perspective to deserve the story now you need to decide it, but keep in mind this will involve a "strong character at the top of the image" and a "weak, defeated one at the bottom" !:-)

    Last edited by Griffonnage; March 19th, 2013 at 05:39 PM.
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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffonnage View Post

    All of the problem is too use the perspective to deserve the story now you need to decide it, but keep in mind this will involve a "strong character at the top of the image" and a "weak, defeated one at the bottom" !:-)
    Aww damn, now that I think about it I am totally doing the same sort of composition of my last WIP. You blew my mind even thought English isn't your first language. Thanks again griffon haha.

    Besides this fact, I'm going to finish this. Then consider your advice for anything else I plan on doing. I really need to think of character relationships as intensely as color choice, or applying value. It takes a lot more contemplation then I thought.

    Here is how far I got on the grey scale render. I need to boost the contrast after work.

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    The man and reclining figure look like they've been taken from two entirely different angles. Is your perspective grid still being useful? I would suggest maybe blocking out the figures as cuboids to help with the foreshortening.

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by krysjez View Post
    The man and reclining figure look like they've been taken from two entirely different angles. Is your perspective grid still being useful? I would suggest maybe blocking out the figures as cuboids to help with the foreshortening.
    Eesh, thanks for that. I couldn't see it, but your right. I'll rework the figures.

    Is the woman in the ball park? I would assume that her elbow would be the closest to the camera.

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    Screw my question I found out for myself and it was pretty much no.

    So I did the cuboid thing, it was pretty cool. And now I'm going to be looking up reference and some anatomy stuff to make sure things look right from this angle.

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    This is how far I've got into the value work, I'm going to have to focus on this if If I want to get the snow right. By studying some pictures of mountains I've gotten a pretty good idea on how to paint one convincingly. Pretty much snow has a hard time clinging to steep rocks. Then I'm going to add a star field sort kinda to the rest of the sky. Which takes some studying to pull off, and I live in a place with tons of street lights so fuck.

    That and Fafhrd has a really stylized face, that I think nails his character in my head. So I'm conflicted, because the proportions are really off but it looks cool.

    And thanks again for reminding me about the grid krysjez, I wouldn't have caught at all.

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  22. #16
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    The background value is nice, but I'm not convinced by the position of the hand that look strange and mix the sword with the castle. Take care of the shoulder too :-)

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  24. #17
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    Just got back from work. I did some quick things with the shoulder and sword so that that confusion doesn't exist.

    That and I decided to lower the shoulder and show some of the trapezius a bit, I was just thinking that that part of the body wouldn't show at that angle. And at this pose you wouldn't see a lot of the arm pit because of the bicep in the way. Its iffy, I think I'll find a way. And the nymphs hand needs to be bigger, I repainted it wrong.

    I think this improves the piece quite a bit griffon, thank you again. Going to work on this until I pass out, I don't have to work again till 6pm.

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    I've changed a lot. I liked how the mountains looked, so I decided to change that focus into the tip top of the mountain giving birth to a star like how I imagined in the literature. So I got rid of the tower. This is my attempt at some sort of stellar nursery in the back, needs some work.

    I just splashed some color on, some color dodge highlights. I'm still working in value when I get the chance to get on.

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    I see what you want to try, that could be nice
    Just about the mountains, the one on the left, the little one, looks a little cramped. You do not need to make it appear as a pyramid that much ^^

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  28. #20
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    Since my new job I haven't been able to give my undivided attention to this, plus other things. One point I have so much time I get into a procrastination slump, the next I can't find time to do that thing that I was trying when I DID have time. I find that a good time away from the piece gives me fresh eyes every time I look at it again, so that is a plus.

    Its all for the best in the end.

    Here is what I have to show you guys before I go back to work. I changed the mountain, because that WAS good advice. Smoothed some things out whenever I got back to it. I changed the woman's arm and hair situation because it didn't read right. I know griffon will help a brother out, hes cool like that. But I would like some more opinions on this.

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