Looking for Weapon Suggestions

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  1. #1
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    Looking for Weapon Suggestions

    Hi, my name is Leonardo, i'm a video game artist. I'm looking for suggestions regarding the weapons on my character illustration. I need advice on what type of weapons would match this character type. thanks in advance.



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    Last edited by pongstah; January 27th, 2014 at 10:30 PM.
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  3. #2
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    It's a bit difficult to say because if I was just to look at her in isolation (like minus what she's carrying right now), then I would say she shouldn't be carrying any weapons at all!!! Unless it's a bottle of sun tan lotion (if you get my meaning?)



    Because she's in a sort of fairly generic and undefined bikini outfit atm, it doesn't instantly bring to mind any kind of period or culture etc... Also, she looks pretty much completely neutral - in both stance and expression so it's really hard to derive any kind of character or personality from that. I mean if she was say snarling and crouched - you might think a short nasty looking knife would fit. But she looks pretty happy like she's just going out for a stroll!

    I don't know if that answers your question, but it suggests a disconnect between what you want to achieve and where you are right now? Maybe it would help if you went back to the beginning and had a think about things like personality and cultural background and then firstly using stance/pose, secondly expression, and thirdly clothing to help the viewer to read her as a character, it would probably become immediately obvious what she should be carrying weapon wise

    If on the other hand you're just looking for an aesthetically pleasing image (like one of those deviant art images you see all the time from super talented korean or chinese artists) - where it's not really about personality, character or practicality, but about pure 'look', then personality and 'character' don't really matter as much. Every image is basically an asian barbie with crazy armor and accessories, so my advice would be to go crazy - make it a 6 foot sword shaped like an eagle's wing and have her in super shiny bikini armour (but don't forget to up the skin and sexiness) - think tera online! Remember tits AND ass at the same time are mucho important in that style of illustration

    Saw your sculptures on your blog btw - excellent work - love the samurai guy in particular, where do you work?

    K

    Last edited by lovingit; January 20th, 2014 at 08:00 AM.
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  5. #3
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    Hi lovingit, Thanks for the reply. I'm aiming for a female barbarian traveler look for this character. The bikini is sort of a placeholder, I'm still trying to make my fur painting to look right or at least acceptable, I will change it into a fur/ leather... bikini later. . Same for the hair, I'll also try to make it look more fluid. As for the weapon I'm hoping to get advice on the sword design, like which kind of sword would a barbarian use, reference images and a bit of history like time when it was used, place of origin, name of person who wielded it, would be much appreciated. I'm aiming for a bit of authenticity on the look of the weapon, shield and the fur clothing.

    Glad you liked the samurai sculpture, those are pretty old sculpts I will post newer ones later.

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  6. #4
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    *double post, must have accidentally pressed the reply button twice

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  7. #5
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    Hiya,

    I realise that you've spent quite a long time rendering her face out etc... but I think you gotta seriously consider your current direction. It feels like you started painting the face - probably from reference using an attractive pin-up model or something - and now you're thinking about what you want her to be and I think this is the wrong way to go about it?

    The character needs to communicate something and it needs to do that instantly. Visual cues should tell us as the viewers what this character is right away, and at the moment we have zero visual cues which point to her being a barbarian apart from her weapons which is I guess why you feel like they are really important (when actually they're not). So I'll break down what's currently reading wrongly.

    a. Hair style - I know you said that you'd work on the hair to make it more fluid, but I don't think it's a rendering issue (if that's what you meant?). At the moment it's way too clean. What do barbarians have? Messy hair, braids, pony tails, spikey hair, punk hair etc... etc...
    b. Expression - she's kinda smiling - and this conflicts with her carrying weapons - barbarians aren't known for their smiles... priestesses, nuns, etc... like to smile, but barbarians? See my caveat about this...
    c. She's wearing a bikini. Okay so this is kinda contentious because lots of people draw barbarians in bikinis - but going from what you said about wanting her swords to be authentic - what's the point of her having authentic pattern welded swords when she's in a bikini which just speaks of la la land? You need to pick one or the other otherwise it sends incoherent signals to the viewer - is this a fantasy character in which case she's got a huge axe and it's ridiculous but that's okay because she's also wearing a ridiculous bikini - so ALL good!
    d. Makeup - she's got bright red lipstick and eyeliner on - again this reads as beauty shot - magazine fashion shoot and not barbarian.
    e. Posture - her pose is neither here nor there - she's not attacking, there's no real character coming from the posture at all and certainly nothing which is saying 'barbarian'.

    This isn't all hard and fast - I'm not saying you can't have a smiling barbarian or a barbarian with makeup on her if all the other visual cues are coherent but if 50% or more of the visual cues are conflicted, missing or wrong then you're not helping the viewer understand your character.

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    I did a quick paintover to try and illustrate my point (also it was fun to warm up on). I've completely destroyed your previous painting (except for the face) so I apologise! And I'm not suggesting that you should make her look like this! Just that whatever you decide to do - the more visual cues you can weave into your painting the better.

    I got rid of her mascara and lipstick and gave her more 'barbarian' looking makeup in the form of warpaint
    I gave her braids, messy hair, pony tail the works
    I gave her a fur cape - classic barbarian clothing
    Cuffs, brooches, bracelets etc... are all typical barbarian regalia
    I covered her up - otherwise she'd be a bit cold: And here's the thing, you did a great job rendering her face - she's beautiful. You don't need to show lots of skin. Have faith in your skills and trust that a viewer is going to find her attractive simply through her face alone. Think of how many times you've walked past someone and thought they were beautiful. Chances are they probably weren't in a bikini right? Sometimes less is more and certainly it's not necessary and if you're going for a believable look, I'd avoid it!

    And to make the point that you don't need the weapons at all - I left them out.

    Hope this helps - as I said, I've seen your sculptures and they read perfectly fine - It would be interesting to know how your thought process and/or planning was done on this piece?

    K

    Last edited by lovingit; January 21st, 2014 at 12:15 PM.
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  9. #6
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    Lovingit said most of what I wanted to say about this. There's zero in her character right now to indicate "barbarian", and a fur bikini isn't going to help. Even if you want to do pinup art, personality is still important. (I'm thinking Matt Dixon here. There's no point arguing that the outfit he painted is impractical, as that's clearly not the point of the image - it's pinup art, and obviously tongue-in-cheek - but he sells it with the attitude.) The fact that you're looking for historically accurate weapons makes me think you're not trying to do a pinup, though. There can be a case made for scantily-clad female barbarian characters (as the counterpart to the Frazetta-esque half naked barbarian man), but you need to communicate that to the viewer, that she's dressed sparsely because of cultural or practical reasons, rather than to titillate.

    As for weapons, a good start to your search would be figuring out what cultures were described as "barbarians", or contributed to the idea of fantasy barbarians. The fantasy trope tends towards more brutal weapons, big two-handed swords, axes, that sort of thing. Right now, it looks like she's got a two-handed sword awkwardly carried as a one-handed sword... remember, metal has weight, and you have to take that into account when posing.

    Last edited by Revidescent; January 21st, 2014 at 02:33 PM.
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  10. #7
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    I apologize for not stating this earlier, so the main focus i want for this painting are the weapons primarily and the form and pose of the female body second. Your comments were very helpful, I wanted to know if the sword silhouettes were immediately recognizable as barbarian weapons. I'm aiming for a simple, not too cluttered style.

    lovingit: Whoa! That was quite fast. yes those little details on the outfit is what i'm looking for. I'm having a hard time looking for references online because I don't know what they're called. I tried to paint the face as believable as I can so that it doesn't attract attention. I want the focus to be on the pose/scene. I think I can fit that kind of wardrobe in this scene without covering the body, maybe I'll place the clothing on her right hand instead of the sword and make it look like she's taking them of.

    Revidescent: I did a google search on these artist, this is exactly the style i'm looking for. Good thing you pointed out that it's a two-handed sword, it does look a bit silly that she's holding it with only one hand now that i think about it. Thanks!

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  11. #8
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    * double post again

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  12. #9
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    You know the pose is... sort of boring, all things considered.

    Seriously, she's just walking with a kind of flat expression. If you're going to do something like Matt Dixon's style then she has to do something more than this. All his pinups are posed and have great expressions. Case in point - http://mattdixon.deviantart.com/art/...bing-298712376

    (Also - bless him for drawing so many normal-sized women in poses that are actually possible for someone with all their internal organs. Awesome, awesome artist.)

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  13. #10
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    You know the pose is... sort of boring, all things considered.

    Seriously, she's just walking with a kind of flat expression. If you're going to do something like Matt Dixon's style then she has to do something more than this. All his pinups are posed and have great expressions. Case in point - http://mattdixon.deviantart.com/art/...bing-298712376

    (Also - bless him for drawing so many normal-sized women in poses that are actually possible for someone with all their internal organs. Awesome, awesome artist.)

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  14. #11
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    Ok, everybody has stated the concerns we all share about the pin-up-kinda-chainmail-and-fur-bikini-with-pretty-face barbarian chick. Now let's see the weapons. Right now there are not too much of them. They are pretty generic fantasy swords with big crossguards, perfectly cylindrical handles and small pommels. Now, to decide on which weapons would a barbarian use, you have to decide which kind of barbarian you want to depict and the impression you want to make on the viewer.

    If you want a more Warhammer barbarian depiction (chaos, blood, spikes, mess, etc...) you can go with an oversized and impractical fantasy sword, with skulls a plenty
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    or you can go more with a marauder look, mixing mismatched pieces of clothing, armour and weapons as she would have been picking them up on different travels against different opponents. Curved sabres were more typical from the east (Think cossak, tatary, china..) and tend to look a bit more exotic on westerners, while straight double edge blades have always been more popular in the west. This is a general rule that not always apply. Japanese ken is straight while Iberian falcata is curved.

    If you are thinking more on a what-the-greeks-and-romans-called-barbarians style of character, where people that fancied very practical swords, mostly one handed and straight, although there are exceptions. Crossguard wasn't very wide until 12th century, and to keep balance you would require a quite big pommel. Think Celt, think Northerners, think Visigoths.

    Also, if you're going for two swords, vary size to add some more interest. Add a knife, e.g. an scramasax. Barbarians were many times of nomadic nature, and you cannot hunt/cook/gather with a bigass sword.

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  15. #12
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    Thanks for sharing this info. Yes I was thinking of the Greek/Roman era and the normal sized yet elegantly crafted weapons during that time period. I was leaning towards a Norse/Viking look for the weapons and clothing. Anyway I'm putting the barbarian concept on hold for now, I'll probably just start another painting on that subject after I've gathered more information about the history and origins of the weapon and clothing design during that period. For now I'm switching the theme to elves so I have a bit more freedom on the characters design. The falcata you mentioned looks like it fits this new design, I'll try adding that later.



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  16. #13
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    Added another one, comments and suggestions are welcome

    *sorry wrong thread. I meant to post on my other thread

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