Fantasy Illo - Finished

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  1. #1
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    Question Fantasy Illo - Finished

    *UPDATE* Sort of repurposing this as a WIP thread...converting previous composition images to links... Updates are at bottom*/UPDATE*

    Hey folks. Working on some illos for an RPG for a friend of mine. Pretty much open subject, so here's the first I"m doing, a full page fantasy type piece based off of a fairly loose sketch. Right now I'm just trying to figure out the values and get some of the background working to help the composition.

    Ignore the rendering and quick shadows thrown down, but please do comment on the value choices and how I can make the larger areas of value better balanced. I'm also open to suggestions on how to use the background (in particular the sky and any additional foreground elements) to balance the composition of the rider and beast.

    Here's the current sort of value blobbing:
    http://www.forestzachman.com/images/...copy.sized.jpg

    Here's a composition/value group I was playing with before (with the sketch turned on). I noticed I was starting with too many blacks/whites so I tried to cut those back in the version above to give me more room to punch things out later. I also eliminated the crappy tangent with the lance you can see in this version.
    http://www.forestzachman.com/images/..._1_a.sized.jpg

    Thanks for looking folks.

    Last edited by fukifino; August 15th, 2004 at 04:36 PM.
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  3. #2
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    if the creatures is going to be light, i'd make the sky behind him dark (and then fade lighter). if he's going to be dark, i'd make the sky like it is (light to dark).

    i think it would help his shape, but it also depends on the lighting you have in mind.

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    Thanks Mike..you know...after posting this last night and going to bed, I couldn't help but think that maybe the value choices for the creature and the ground were wrong...I couldn't help think maybe the creature/rider should be generally darker, and the ground should be lighter....hmm...still not sure how to play this up.

    And I was thinking about lighting from the upper left, slightly in front of the figure.

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    Hi there!

    Does the front limbs of the creature strike you as being too much ''hominid''? Looks like they are more suited for gripping then locomotion. Maybe it's just doing ''push-ups''. eheheh.

    Sorry it's not what you were asking for I just noticed.

    Can't wait to see it done.

    Don't hate me cuz I'm beautiful... yeah, right!
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    Haha, no, JSDuret, you are correct. The anatomy for the beast was very much based off of a human and not an animal, as I just got done studying human anatomy. I'm planning on ordering a few animal drawing books and searching the net for some pictures for refs now that you've called me on that. Thanks!

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    OK, I think I'm liking this value scheme a lot better.

    http://www.forestzachman.com/images/...copy.sized.jpg

    Last edited by fukifino; August 6th, 2004 at 01:15 AM.
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    i'm curious, what is the goal of the piece? what are you trying to show?

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

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    Hehe, honestly, at the beginning, I didn't really know. I'm really just trying to turn a sketch I had into a final illustration for my friends book.

    As it stands, I'm thinking it's a victorious warrior, although I'm thinking he may not be a "good guy" per se. In the version I'm working with now I've placed a fallen victim under the left claw of the beast (our left, his right), while those streams in the background are smoke from some sort of fire in the background (burning village? who knows)...

    Why do you ask?

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    I was looking at the value changes in the pictures and noticed you changed the guys spear, and was wondering why...

    I was just trying to think what you were trying to accomplish with the lighting, the values and the overall feelings and drawings in the piece...

    just curious mostly...

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

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    Ah...the value change in the spear is a simple block in and I was just trying to get it to contrast with the sky. I also wanted it to have a gleaming metal tip so I was trying to work in a darker background around that area so I could sort of play up the gleam on it. But yeah, basically since I lightened the sky, I darkened the spear so it wouldn't be lost.

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    changing the spear was a good a move, changed the whole composition of the piece in a good way, sets up the horizon/ground and the spear as two strong parrallel lines

    value wise heres frazettas take


    since subject wise there pretty close, i thought what the heck hope it helps.
    as you can see what you have right now is pretty good, you could even push your lights and darks further.

    -jose

    No man should be less than what he is.
    sketchbook- http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=61756
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    Heya Jose. Thanks for the reply! And definately thanks for that Frazetta comparison. I suppose at this stage in my art, it definately can't hurt to take some pointers from great paintings like that. Just flipped through my copy of Icon and found that painting. I think I'll probably end up borrowing quite heavily from it in certain aspects. And I definately agree about pushing the values...I was just trying to work out an overall balance to the picture at first.

    I only worked on it a little tonight but here's an update:
    http://www.forestzachman.com/images/..._2_b.sized.jpg
    *edit* converted to link to save me some bandwidth */edit*

    (BTW, this piece will remain a b/w illustration)

    Last edited by fukifino; August 11th, 2004 at 12:26 AM.
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    please get rid of that flag pole comming out of his head! I know it's still early in dev. so that is my only concern as of now.

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    But it IS growing out of his head!

    Hehe, actually I noticed it too. But I'm glad you guys are calling me on this stuff. Sometimes I'm not sure if my feelings are right on certain things or whether certain things are big deals.

    Here's an update. Grabbed a few refs to help me realize some areas. Made the feet more lizard like.


    Currently, the area of the beasts right foot (well..the foot on the right side of this particular image) is bugging me...I'm not sure how to portray the part of the fallen knight behind that foot, and I'm also concerned that area might become too busy and awkward with the smoke emanating from behind the hills. Curious as to others thoughts on this.

    Thanks to everyone who's replied so far and helped me out. Hmm, I think I'll clean up the images in this thread to just be links to save some time.

    Or, should I just abandon this thread in favor of a wip thread? Or just repurpose this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fukifino
    Thanks to everyone who's replied so far and helped me out. Hmm, I think I'll clean up the images in this thread to just be links to save some time.

    Or, should I just abandon this thread in favor of a wip thread? Or just repurpose this?
    ...Fukifino



    hhahaaha srry couldnt help it..hope im not the only one that gets this

    -jose

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    sketchbook- http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=61756
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    Har!

    Hmm, I'm starting to hit some roadblocks with this...not really sure how much I should push certain areas of the image, and I'm not sure how to render parts of it without losing the loose, textured feel I've got going in areas. Blargh. Any comments greatly appreciated. I was hoping to finish this by this weekend. Might not happen.



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    Maybe the knights left leg could go out somewhat straight behind him and his right bent with knee pointing under the beast.

    You drew my eye to the foot of the beast, and I thought that it might look neat if his claws were slightly digging into the knight.

    I hope you do work to finish it, seeing your progression is awesome and is a learning experience for me too

    --marie--


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    Thanks Marie. I thought about trying your suggestion, but I thought it might cause too many wierd intersections in that space under the beasts head. So I took the cop out route and adjusted his thigh armor to indicate the rest is sort of going behind the leg from our view. But I did start to add some interaction between the claw and the fallen knight.

    Basically just a very minor looking update. Most of the continued work was pretty subtle. Davi showed me a bumped up contrast version of the picture, and I'll probably end up doing that at a later stage, but I want to work the contrast and details as much as possible before I do that.


    Still not sure how to handle the smoke in the background. I kind of like the rough, painterly look it has right now...but I think it might be too rough. Opinions welcome.

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    Hey Fukifino,

    Hey man I hope you dont mind I did a little pain over to show you how you might want to handle this. Rather then yap, yap I'd rather show you. Basically I put the creatures right front leg a little to his side giving him a little more BALANCE AND MOTION. I also increased the value a little of all the fore ground elements..BLAH BLAH.. hope that helps man and using Frazetta as arefrence is a good deal to get ya going.

    all the best bro

    JP

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    Wow, JP, thanks a TON for doing that! I definately see what you are talking about with his leg there...he looks more proactive in going for the knight rather than just sort of standing there...I gotta remember that dynamic action shit. So much other little stuff you did there too...man, I got a lot to learn.

    Thank again for the paintover!

    OI, one quick question if you end up comin' back to this thread...what did you use to do the paintover? (Photoshop vs. Painter) and which brushes did you use on the overpaint of the smoke...looks like a sort of wet edge brush...ah, screw it, I'm sure I'll figure something out. Still trying to work on the techniques of using all these brushes/tools in my digital paintings. Guess I just gotta spend a day experimenting.

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    Hey bud your welcome for the paintover. Its just practice, doing tons of little thumbnails in your sketchbook helps alot to. Also when you create a creature think about how it's is built and how it moves..is it a Dinosaur like creature?..reptile?..where is the bulk of it's weight located?, that will effect it's posturing and movement.

    The most important thing you must nail each time is the drawing aspect and composition of it all. Because what happens if you dont get those out of the way before hand ,you may struggle with the painting because you are correcting the drawing when you should be concentrating on the rendering and textures.lighting etc. A few seasoned artist have the ability to start off with a blob and develop it before your eyes..those guys are well experienced and have that knowledge but for guys like us and yhea me too, we gotta keep grinding it out in stages.

    To answer your question, I used photoshop 3.0 with brushes on wet, and about 75% opacity.

    peace my man and I'll check on your progress.

    JP

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    Definately a good point about the composition work. I actually have a couple of illustrations planned for this book, and I did thumbnail a few of them. But this one was just a random sketch that I kinda had a thing for...so I sorta hammered a composition around it, rather than starting with the composition and working in the elements.

    As for your paintover, here are the things I most liked about it:
    -The way you reworked the right side of the image really brought the fire and smoke there closer to the figure. In my original version, the smoke seemed like it was a quarter of a mile back or something and really had no connection. You brought an immediacy to it that I think really helped make it a part of the image and connect it with the figures in the foreground.
    -The smoke in yours has a much more liquid, almost oily feel...much more like the smoke that just trailed off a pile of burning bodies. Much more effective.
    -Obviously, the reworked pose on the creature.
    -"dangly bits"...your creatures and sketches are always full of cool little details and ragged bits of things hanging off that add so much life.

    So...I studied these elements off and on all day, then, when I got home I tried to work those ideas back into the image. I tried not to look at your version, rather keeping the ideas in my head, because I didn't want to just flat out copy what you did. I still have a long way to go, but your painting really inspired me and got me excited about working on this again. Here's tonights update:


    I'm not liking how I have the smoke sort of arcing gingerly around the figure...It seems too contrived so I want to make it intrude more on the whitespace as you've done. I'm also trying to rework the feet, as I haven't really been happy with them since I changed them from the original sketch. They look too...lame.

    I still need to figure out exactly how I'm going to render the smoke and fire. I'm liking the way the chalk brush around the edges of the fire creates the illusion of sparks and embers floating around, but beyond that I still need to experiment. I may try the dreaded smudge tool.

    I may have started adding a few details a little too early so I stopped for now.

    Anyways, thanks a ton JP.

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    Hey there. I am learing a lot reading your threads. Keep posting your updates on this! I am currently trying to figure out value/contract and the digital paiting thing. So this is more helpful than I can explain. Not to mention I am a D&D fan as well.

    - Ladyviv -

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    Its looking nice fukifino
    I like the fogged seeting and
    the creature and the rider are cool.
    critic:
    (the right paw form our point of view
    seems a bit weekly placed into the ground
    it needs a better grasp)
    other than that keep updating this
    great image

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    Thanks for the comment, Ladyviv. Glad it's helping someone else out too.

    Heya Maxetormer. Thanks for the kind words. As for the crit..are you referring to the claw that's on top of the fallen knight? If so, I definately agree. I'm planning on reworking that next time I sit down with it. If you mean the other claw, I just started reworking that area due to Targete's suggestion, so it's still in development as it were.

    Hopefully once I get those two areas straightened out I can begin the final tightening up. I think the final image will still be somewhat loose, mainly because I have a limited time to work on these and I have several more I'd like to complete. I may bring it to a certain level and call it "done" then come back to it if I have time before publishing.

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    This is looking real good fukifino. Two crits I can see. The first one being; your rider is sitting a bit off center to the beasts back, making it look like he could topple off if given a slight push. The second one is the sharp angle at the top of the smoke. Smoke tends to drift in the wind, rather than cut over at a sharp angle halfway up.

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    Thanks for the comments Nikia. I agree about the smoke, it was one of the things I was planning on fixing. I never noticed the rider issue though...I think he was meant to be leaning back a bit, but it does look a bit like he's drunk, haha. Sadly, at this point, there's not a lot I can do about it. I tried to tweak the saddle in front of him a bit to make him seem more centered..but it didn't seem to work.

    Anyways, here's another update. I'm close to calling it done, mainly because I think I've spent too much time on it already and I need to move on.


    Crits and comments always welcome!

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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    In addition to everything that's been said so far, I would think about actually modeling the creature out of sculptey or something. Just so you have a full 360 view of it and can then light it the way you want. You'd be surprised where light and reflected lights can appear when you work from a real model.

    You could make armature and build the clay over it and add all the indentations on the face and body. I'm sure you could find a toy figure to fit on top. Photograph it all and go to work. It wouldn't be practical for a actual job to build things all the time but once you've done it a few times and have a solid understanding of how light effects an object you can start popping things out from memory.

    Well first I should've asked how far you plan to take the piece. Is it going to stay sketchy or are you going for something photoreal?

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    Hey, Eric, thanks a lot. I agree that's a great idea. My lighting job on this is relatively shoddy, although I think it works in a general sense. But yeah, I'm still pretty much a beginner (I'd consider myself an art student, and not an artist), and this particular piece is for an RPG a friend of mine is going to be publishing. Due to the fact that it's just an interior illustration, and I'd like to have several more finished by the time he goes to print, I'm not planning on making this a very polished, or photoreal, picture. Not the least of which because I don't really think I have the skills to do that. Although a maquette of the whole scene would certainly help, hehe.

    Honestly, I realize that a lot of the lighting problems I'm having with this is due to the fact that I don't have a solid enough understanding of exactly what this creature looks like. It's kind of hard to light a muscle structure if you don't know what that structure IS! And in future illustrations, I'll definately take that to heart and spend some more time on figuring that stuff out. I'm not much of a creature person at the moment, but I'm adding animals to the list of stuff I need to study.

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    Bah, looks like you are a bit too far on the job to change something like this but here it goes anyway. Forgive me if this has been mentioned already but, I think it would be a good idea to have the guy pulling back the ropes on the beast with his free hand. Right now it kinda looks like you caught him at a bad time, like he was unprepared for a photo or something. Pulling back the ropes shows control of the creature and makes the guy seem tougher and like he knows what he's doing.

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