E.O.W. Round #233: The Black Church - (Winners: Tie)
TOPIC: The Black Church suggested by Artanas
The word 'black' can mean a combination of things. It could be a description of a characteristic of a church, for instance the color or the architectural style. It could be the gloomy, melancholic mood, or maybe a church was burnt down or hit by an artillery shell and its foundation is scorched with a dark hue. Is it a mysterious or haunted location? Take it any direction you want, and make sure to have a back story that reveals why it's known as "The Black Church." Thanks to Artanas for the topic suggestion.
1. Design an environment that adheres to the topic/theme.
2. You must post at least once in this W.I.P. thread to be included in the finals thread for the voting poll.
3. Include a back story for your church!
The Black Church
There are non candles. No lights, no torches. Just a brazier burn in the Core of the Black Church, feeded by the monks. But the entire building is leaved to the sunlight grace. Kings and Princes all around the world come here, guided by the wisdom of their mages and old sages to learn the secret of secrets, the most important thing for a leader to know. The Sun enlight the earth with his glory, equally, without refuse to warm even assassins and betrayers. That's the difference between every leader and the Sun, a knowledge that's better for powerful man to understand as soon as possibile.
The Black Church Acrylics and Ink on Paper, size A4
As humans will endeavor more and more into space, they'll take their customs and religions with them. The architects/spacecraft builders will continue to represent the divine and serene nature of the Lord's power. In space they do this by using minimal lightning within the space church hall , using the diffuse lightning from the starry sky to illustrate the splendour of the Lord.
To all participants, best of luck with this, truly enjoyed participating and I've learned a couple of things from this exercise.
On a discovery voyage in drawing wonderland.
Feel free to check out my sketchbook and leave a comment. I like the feedback to draw lessons from.
"Slowly it creeps and spreads from the cold reaches of the black church. Slowly it writhes, and shimmers, and bides its time. Slowly, slowly, it reaches out. It makes no haste. Slowly, in the serene forest, it makes no haste at all. It likes it here. It just doesn't want to leave."
Astro-archaeologists exploring the outer galactic rim made this discovery on an unassuming dead world orbiting a red giant. The only proof of previous life before the apocalypse brought about by their dying sun was this black skeleton of a structure. Believed to be a place of worship before it was superheated by the alien’s cruel star, it seems to be the only thing that has survived the disaster. It is undecided as to if it belonged to an apocalyptic cult that seeks out such events on forgotten worlds, or the last stubborn bastion of a culture that either refused to leave their homeworld with their comrades or if they did not possess stellar travel and were just waiting for the end. The most striking aspect is the glass and crystalline statues that line the open halls, melted and blasted by dust storms, they still evoke the outline of tall, spidery figures frozen in prayer. If they are statues at all…
Now, my critiquing is about on par with my artistic ability, but it'd be a shame to leave all these great entries without any feedback
Voodoo_Mama - Cool atmosphere. I like the subtle colors and lighting you put here. I don't see how it relates to the topic though, since it looks like an ordinary church to me. Maybe you could accentuate the ruins or dead trees around the composition to push the theme further.
wilkerson - I love the storytelling in this one. The cemetery and small forest fire add a lot of character to the church they surround. Somehow, I feel like the two visible spruce trees and several tombstones are too identical to one another, and it takes me out of the piece. If you look at tombstone design, even cheap unremarkable tombstones tend to have a lot of variation. Or maybe it's more a question of the spacing between tombstones being too even. All I know is that area is bothering me a bit :p
BlindLynx - This is really nice. Atmosphere is great, and I'm really digging the sense of scale. But it still feels a little unfinished. Like the scaffolding on the left side: I feel like it would be an important aspect of the design - maybe a bookshelf - but there isn't enough detail to read what's going on with it. There's also a minor issue with the hanging piece of cloth on the right side - it continues a tangent created by the archway, which kinda makes it look like an unfinished pillar instead (took me a few takes to figure it out).
Christof simons - One of the most original approaches to the design this round. The church among the stars sounds like a great place to attend or visit. The aerial perspective gives a good overview of all the most important elements. I would tweak the perspective a bit though - it's a bit too centered. A 3 quarter perspective will help the scene look more lively and more powerful. You could even try a low perspective like you see from BlindLynx. Give us more stuff to focus on in the piece - a lot of it is (literally and figuratively) empty space :p
I also like the backlighting on the rood; don't be afraid to push it way up! Make the silhouette way darker and the lighting way, way stronger to give the piece a strong focal point.
CrookedHorn - Nice one! Beautiful mood, detailing, and storytelling in this piece. Got my vote. If only for being the blackest church in this whole assortment of black churches :p
Moirae - probably my favorite concept here. I realize it would have been pretty taxing, but I still would have liked to see some hints of the statues mentioned in your description (it's such a fun design element). As much as I'm liking the composition, I think the saturation on the sun is just far too high. Being so much larger in the composition, it's swallowing the church up completely. It might work better if you put the red giant at a low saturation but keep the highlights on the church at high saturation. Having said that, I think the cross is working quite well.
Mikus - I like the desolate mood and how you matched up the church with the ground surrounding it. I'm a little iffy on the tree stamps in the background. The brush strokes are pretty cool too, but I think the strokes on the ground feel too big compared to the way you rendered the sky or even the church itself. It takes away a little bit of the link between the different elements.
IntotheVoid: I really wish someone criticized my piece, because I was kinda confused with it. I've worked on it very fast, for few hours then I got something was too raw, but was enough. At this moment I'm concentrate on create fast flow, doesn't matter the detail levels. But your point is good: with just a couple of quick modifications it would be better.
Quick critics to you all:
VoodooMama: good atmosphere, nice render, but the concept is a bit poor, and the composition would have been better if focused on a thirds' rule scheme. The banner poles supporting the sky on the upper edge is a bad choice to me.
Wilkerson: I've been in love of your inside the house for days. This one is a bit anonym, as often 3d risk to be. Is well shaped, nice middle american style church, but, there is no thrill. Looks like an exercise, and probably is (like mine too, just for not pass as the Professor). Great textures.
Christof Simons: amazing concept! The visual does not support the idea properly, but I love the piece anyway. Watch some good sci fi artist, and old master, and try to mix the two things. This is that kind of piece that I like to paint twice for understand things.
Crooked Horn: The piece isn't stunning, but is a fast work offering a complex architectonic structure with some quick photobash and paint, and this meets my path. I would just worked more on values, especially on shadows. With your ambiguous quote you get my vote.
IntotheVoid: Values troubles. I know, its always a big mess, especially on complicated structure. Next time use strong reference for a preliminar study, or better a little sculptured model under a lamp. Just with clay or childrens modelling paste. There are good tutorial of this tecnics around the web. And be carefull with style mixing.
Moirae: nice idea, just be careful to values, focus and thirds'rule. And always blur behind with softer colors things behind. A "controluce" of the entire structure would have been a wise choice too.
Mikus: you were really near to get my vote, because of the nice mould hill, and the atmosphere of the church. But structure of the paint is too weak, somehow too frontal and simmetric, without rythm. Something in ascii we can translate like this: Y A Y (tree, church, tree). And the image ratio is original but isn't working good with your work. Try some other cuts, and be carefull to shaped brush (birds and trees) if not supported with good definition of primiary subjects.
Hope was useful. Rip my work apart if you have time =)
As two of you have so gracefully given critiques, here's mine. I'm still relatively new to this, so take it with a grain of salt.
voodoo_mama I really enjoyed this entry. The main issue for me is why is this a "black" church, but that's something you also described in your entry at some point. As blindlynx points out there should have been some sky above the towers. I am also having some doubt with hiding the portal wall in the shadow. The circular window to me merits more attention. I also have a feeling that the towers aren't all vertically correct (might be wrong, but it's a feeling I got).
Wilkerson Loved the image. Nice little pentagram. Also the atmosphere with the fog over the field add to the atmosphere, nice rhythm in the grass. The highlight on the roof properly attracts attention. I'm not convinced with the fires though, but that's it.
BlindLynx When I saw this, I was blown away. I didn't vote for it mainly because I didn't know you could cast multiple votes, but it was a close call with crookedhorn's image. As said, I think this is a really nice entry. The perspective is a nice aspect and helps this image a lot. The group of monks and the brazier nicely attract attention. I didn't mind the scaffolding on the left, but I am wondering where the arch is going to on the right, it doesn't seem to come down (on the left, it comes down out of the picture. On the right it seems hovering in air, and there is some kind of drapery coming down.
Crookedhorn I thoroughly enjoyed this entry. The wide space, the embankment, the stairs to the entrance, the glass stained windows all have appeal to me. The way you've used people and pigeons to get some rhythm in the painting is something I'll take note of. The back lightning with the rest of the city fading is great as well.
There's 4 points I would point out:
First the roof of the main hall. It seems awkward, I would expect a steeper roof from a gothic church (given the construction of the windows I'd expect a similar construction used to support the roof, giving a higher roof.
Second the connectin to the entrance building seems awkward. Although it does connect to the main hall, I find it unconvincing.
Third, the figure on top of the entrance hall (the statue holding a spear of some kind): it looks tilted, ready to fall down. Somehow it doesn't feel as part of the building as the statue on the other side is.
Fourth, In the figures, there's repeats of the same person. The one that sticks out most is the one with one arm sticking out. I see that figure at least 6 times, most likely more. As it's such a easily recognizable figure I'd try to avoid repeating it. More than that, the figure is repeated 3 times on the lower left side almost in a row, and that detracts from the image of the crowd. I thought the addition of a easily recognizable figure is nice, but maybe you should have done more to make sure these recognizable figures weren't as close together, and just a tad different.
But what is important about all these issues, is that although they are all there, the composition leads my eye to other parts than these issues (apart from the leaning statue). I'm also really entranced by the little use of color, which is one of the main reasons I voted for this image.
IntoTheVoid The main issue I have with this image is the environment it is in. I mean what are those trees doing there. They don't add to the scene and the church seems to be floating around on the forest floor. The structure is also very complex, having different elements all over the place, which might detract from the unified building look. I do like the ghosts/spirits floating around.
Moirae Really nice concept. I'm happy you've replaced the lava with this red planet look, it looks better. I realize doing this may have provided additional issues for you. First things I really like about this image: First of all the Red dwarf. Second, the drop down shadow of the structure and third the jagged structures lining the horizon and last but not least the image of that circled cross.
What would I do from this point:
First of all some of the doors, especially the one in the foreground seems too small.
Second get the walls away from the red dwarf darker. I believe it will improve the image.
Third, repeat some of those jagged rock structures in the plains. I believe it will give a better sense of space and help with the rhythm of the piece.
Four: rubble. There just isn't any, there should be.
Last thing I'd give a try: get a fire going in the building lightning the entrance and the inner walls of the entrance building, putting a silhouette of a guarding person in the lit door. I'd try because I believe it will provide more story, provide a focus and will put the size of the church in perspective. It might also detract the attention a bit from the red dwarf behind it.
Mikus Great atmospheric entry. I love the coarse brush strokes on the hill that are used on the church as well. The trees in the fog add to that atmosphere as well. I'm not convinced with the cracks over the entrance, they seem pretty serious and likely to collapse the building there. The only other point I have is that if you'd have been able to produce the sky in a similar way as the foreground I'd have totally gone for it. The rough style would have been over the whole painting, which would have helped it I believe.
Anyway, despite my comments, wonderfull entries everyone. My intention is to constructively provide you feedback. You don't need to take my word for it, as long as you consider it, I'm more than happy.
Last things, I was amazed at the speed most of you provided the work with with such a level of detail. It would also have been nice to know what materials were used to create the image.
Thoroughly enjoyed this subject, thanks to Vulgar for setting up this topic and to Artanas for the idea.
Also thanks for all the feedback. As mailed to BlindLynx, I will probably try a second image of the same using the pointers received here. I'll certainly be participating in more of these EoW.
Thanks for the camaraderie.
On a discovery voyage in drawing wonderland.
Feel free to check out my sketchbook and leave a comment. I like the feedback to draw lessons from.
Hi Guys!, thank you for the critics. It is always good to get a feedback from the fresh eye.
IntoTheVoid, I agree with what you have said, there is a lack of connection between my plans I guess it is because I did not spend enough time on this.
BlindLynx, thank you for your critics, I went for A4 crop which turned out to be mistake. Next time I think I will spend more time on composition and rhythm (Ps: birds were painted manually
Christof Simons, I also don`t like this crack in the front part of the church and I like your advise about the same style of painting the sky, it is nice to get a fresh opinion. Thank you I will remember all advices.
OK, now time to write what I think about your works.
Voodoo_Mama, I love the colors, the church itself and the trees however without a good story to your painting it does not much the subject, also I would give more room above your church and work a little bit on the composition as right side is much heavier.
Wilkerson, I like the colors you have used and the way you rendered your piece, roof has got beautiful highlights, for the cons I am not a big fan of the whole fire thing. Perhaps adding more plants on the church would have given better mood.
BlindLynx, I have seen your previous concepts and what I like about you is that you set yourself bar really high. The Fish eye lens effect is very difficult to imitate and you did it very well (that`s why my vote went to you), also your story set me into a great mood and helped me to understand what actually is happening.
Christof Simons, I like the story and the sci-fi feeling in your art piece however lack of details and lighting style pushed me away a little bit. Keep up the good work although.
CrookedHorn, First thing I loved in here is the church itself, beautiful architecture and interesting shapes, however there is something missing... perhaps lack of sharp edges and shadows? Anyway if I was going to give 2 votes second one would have gone to you. Very nice Idea!
IntoTheVoid, I will be very critical I hope you won`t mind this. There are proportion problems as well as perspective issues. Putting more attention to the basics would have made your painting much stronger. Also it has got cartoonish look which I am not fan of.
Moirae, I like the idea however it looks like your painting is over saturated because of this over mood is not that strong. I would also work more on the shapes to make the church more interesting as it is right in the middle.
Mikus, hell, you are so right. To set myself bar very high is my first problem, and often I get frustrated of my failures. My advice is to make things strong before to upgrade to harder stuff. But I always forget my own good advices.
Oh good round sir good round! Thank you everyone for the crits and comments. I see everyone on this thread is about growing and I am about that 100% about that! Never stop learning as my grandad always said.
@BlindLyxn, my hat is off to you sir.
'til next time!
(for lack of being cheeky...Alons-y!)