Medusa try again

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  1. #1
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    Medusa try again

    I've already tried in the past to paint this mythological subject before. And once again I fear I bite off more I can chew.
    I've made a paper and pencil skecth, scanned it and started to color the scene. And there the problem begins as always with color scheme to use. Long story short: I'll be glad to have any kind of advice to get through this illustration.
    Name:  Méduse-001.jpg
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    Why does the foreground guy and medusa have the same pose? Why are they both missing thier right hand? If the room the two characters are in is that dark, why are the two characters so well lit? Is the guy with the sword a statue or is he attacking? I think if hes a statue he should seem a little more surprised... If that makes sense. If hes attacking then I think he should have more movment and dynamics to his pose to show that.

    Try starting with value rather than color, once you get the values right its much easier to add color later and finally try to visualize the ground plane your characters are standing on so that you can get a feel for how to place them in perspective, right now it feels a little off.

    Its a good start so it will be cool to see how it turns out, keep it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    Why does the foreground guy and medusa have the same pose? Why are they both missing thier right hand? If the room the two characters are in is that dark, why are the two characters so well lit? Is the guy with the sword a statue or is he attacking? I think if hes a statue he should seem a little more surprised... If that makes sense. If hes attacking then I think he should have more movment and dynamics to his pose to show that.
    For the similar pose, it's a pure coincidence, actually I didn't notice ;-). And for missing hands, it's just because it's preliminary sketch.
    About the light, lights are hidden, but you're making a point here and I think I'll add one in background to suggest the presence of the hidden ones.
    The sword guy is a previous attacker turned into statue but I like your idea of the surprised (or horror) face and I think I'll add it. I'll try to improve the dynamic of the frozen movement (what a weird sentence).

    Quote Originally Posted by element1988 View Post
    Try starting with value rather than color, once you get the values right its much easier to add color later and finally try to visualize the ground plane your characters are standing on so that you can get a feel for how to place them in perspective, right now it feels a little off.

    Its a good start so it will be cool to see how it turns out, keep it up.
    About the value begining VS direct color begining, I've asked myself and to others numerous of time. I do see the point of starting this way but some people told me that secondary coloring rise some issues and I've trusted them as I've never tried to color B&W.
    You're right about perspective, either Perseus is too low or the others are high. I'll fix this.
    Thanks for encouragements, I think I'll need them ;-)
    By the way, what do you think of the color palette? It's my main fear right now.

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    You dont necessarily need to add light sources in the background. You can show the hidden lights by showing where they illuminate the floor/walls, the shadows they cast and not just where they light the figures. Think of strong directional, but constrained light like seen through a forest. As you have it, your figures should have the same relative brightness as the ground they are standing on, unless someone's lighting them up with tight spotlight like beams.

    An image like this could really benefit from a big difference in lighting between the two subjects. If Medusa is your main reason for doing this, then have Perseus in the shadows trying to hide. Or alternatively have Medusa in the shadows as the menacing threat, he's trying to avoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefRob View Post
    About the value begining VS direct color begining, I've asked myself and to others numerous of time. I do see the point of starting this way but some people told me that secondary coloring rise some issues and I've trusted them as I've never tried to color B&W.
    Well if your set on starting with color its probably a good idea to use an adjustment layer that would make the image greyscale when checked, that way you can switch it on and off to check values while you paint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markscholey View Post
    You dont necessarily need to add light sources in the background. You can show the hidden lights by showing where they illuminate the floor/walls, the shadows they cast and not just where they light the figures. Think of strong directional, but constrained light like seen through a forest. As you have it, your figures should have the same relative brightness as the ground they are standing on, unless someone's lighting them up with tight spotlight like beams.

    An image like this could really benefit from a big difference in lighting between the two subjects. If Medusa is your main reason for doing this, then have Perseus in the shadows trying to hide. Or alternatively have Medusa in the shadows as the menacing threat, he's trying to avoid.
    Thank you very much for the ideas, especially the big contrast of lighting between Perseus and Medusa. I'll definitely incorporate that.

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    Ok, here are the last changes: changed the global color tonality, darkened Perseus and changed his anatomy, added the floor, basic lighting and more background elements.
    Name:  Méduse - Copie-001.jpg
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    Of course I'm far from being finished but I wanted your overall feeling about the evolution before going any further. Do you think I'm going toward the right direction? Any others advices? If needed,feel free to paint over to make your point.

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    During the CA shut down I've worked on it. What do you think?
    Name:  Méduse - Copie-002.jpg
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    Thumb up!
    Ok, this is my final version BUT now that I'm done with it, it feels quite flat to my eye anybody to point me the issues, I'm kind of disappointed after spending that much time on it.....
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    Thumb up! My last updates were during the CA forum crash so, I try again. Nobody? Really?

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    In my opinion, which is just a beginners opinion, I really think that Madusa needs to be in a completely different pose than the guy that is hiding. Right now, regardless of if you copied and pasted the torsos or not, they are facing exactly the same angle.

    You could still totally use the same head on her but if you just angle the body to be facing the stone soldier then I think it would help. Also, Madusa turns people to stone when they look in her eyes. The stone soldier looks like he is looking down at the ground. If his head was up looking at her with a bit more of a shocked expression on his face then it would read much better...

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    First of all, I'd like to point out one very common mistake (that happens to me a lot of time too): you started working on the little details, like the cave wall, Medusa's hair and the scales on her body too early. I wouldn't mess with that until the most important things like the composition, character anatomy and the light source are fixed.
    In your place, I would work on the stone-soldier a bit: his right feet needs to be farther in, not in the same line as the left. This is simply because of the balance of the body. When I started going on swordfighting lessons, the very first thing they taught me is the stabile stance; legs spread in straddle stand (not too wide of course), knees bent.
    The right hand with the sword appears too short to me. I looked up some reference images for you, I couldn't find any that had the same pose as your character though. It could help if you find something long and around 4 pounds, take it in your hand and watch how it affects your wrist as you raise your arm with it.
    Well, this got a bit long, but I hope it helps.
    (Also, sorry for the bad english)
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    Yeah, you can tell the pose was just made without reference, and little understanding of how to recreate the body un-stiff and convincing. Find a figure drawing class my man, it will do wonders. WONDERS. Google your town and figure drawing together, and I'm sure you will find something. That and the perspective is also unconvincing to me, in one point perspective like this make sure that all figures have the same relationship with the vanishing line. (Which would be at Medusa's eyes) I would lower the hero figure to the same eye level as Medusa.

    The frozen solder's pose is off, that guys neck looks really wrong.
    And values I think are one of the greatest indicators of depth, what you are using in this picture is more of an ambient light found outside than one in a cave. Which would be VERY dark where its dark and VERY light where its lighted. There is no structure of semblance of clothing or armor on the guys back. Going back to my idea of less light, having less light means your also seeing less. You don't have to introduce details where there is tons of shadow, where its dark the light will carve out shape and semblance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfhd View Post
    In my opinion, which is just a beginners opinion, I really think that Madusa needs to be in a completely different pose than the guy that is hiding. Right now, regardless of if you copied and pasted the torsos or not, they are facing exactly the same angle.

    You could still totally use the same head on her but if you just angle the body to be facing the stone soldier then I think it would help. Also, Madusa turns people to stone when they look in her eyes. The stone soldier looks like he is looking down at the ground. If his head was up looking at her with a bit more of a shocked expression on his face then it would read much better...
    Good idea about the stone head guy, so obvious that I missed it.
    About Medusa, I didn't duplicate the torso and I guess you're right about the stiffness, but I really don't like the idea of Medusa facing the statufied guy. The idea was to make her care about the statue like you care about something you like but you're very used to see around in your house(without really giving a thought if you get my meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by helila View Post
    In your place, I would work on the stone-soldier a bit: his right feet needs to be farther in, not in the same line as the left. This is simply because of the balance of the body. When I started going on swordfighting lessons, the very first thing they taught me is the stabile stance; legs spread in straddle stand (not too wide of course), knees bent.
    The right hand with the sword appears too short to me. I looked up some reference images for you, I couldn't find any that had the same pose as your character though. It could help if you find something long and around 4 pounds, take it in your hand and watch how it affects your wrist as you raise your arm with it.
    Thanks for pointing the bad feet posture, funnily I showed the same flaw when I practiced martial arts, I'll fix that. You're right about the right forearm too.
    Cool references pictures you dig up. Very useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.Hollis View Post
    Yeah, you can tell the pose was just made without reference, and little understanding of how to recreate the body un-stiff and convincing. Find a figure drawing class my man, it will do wonders. WONDERS. Google your town and figure drawing together, and I'm sure you will find something. That and the perspective is also unconvincing to me, in one point perspective like this make sure that all figures have the same relationship with the vanishing line. (Which would be at Medusa's eyes) I would lower the hero figure to the same eye level as Medusa.

    The frozen solder's pose is off, that guys neck looks really wrong.
    And values I think are one of the greatest indicators of depth, what you are using in this picture is more of an ambient light found outside than one in a cave. Which would be VERY dark where its dark and VERY light where its lighted. There is no structure of semblance of clothing or armor on the guys back. Going back to my idea of less light, having less light means your also seeing less. You don't have to introduce details where there is tons of shadow, where its dark the light will carve out shape and semblance.
    The drawing class is a good idea but due to my personnal and professional situation it's not possible for me. So I guess I'll have to keep working on it by myself which will take much more time. I'm a patient guy ;-)
    About the nperspective issue, your statement is right assuming Medusa has the same height as Perseus, right? And if we consider she's already shorter than the statufied guy I'm not sure I should change it. What do you think?
    Agreed about values and shadow details, I'm currently working on it. The worst part is that intellectually, I KNOW those rules but for some reasons I end up myself not applying them(or at least very partially). I'll update the picture and show it here ASAP.

    Last edited by StefRob; April 18th, 2013 at 04:46 AM.
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