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  1. #1
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    C.O.W. #428 - Sand Stalker - WIPS Thread

    C.O.W. #428 - Sand Stalker - WIPS Thread

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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=110879


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    Round #428 - Sand Stalker

    Topic:

    #428 Sand Stalker!

    Hello everyone. My apologies for making you wait weeks for a new topic. But we have a new one and I'd just like to say that the last round was fun to watch. The Sand Stalker is a vicious carnivore that can burrow in the sand and strike with lightning fast ferocity. There are certain things to think about when designing this creature such as: What does it look like when burrowing? How does it actually attack AND, what does it attack with? Try not to randomly draw something living in the sand without first giving it purpose. tell us a story as to why this creature looks and moves the way it does. Use callouts, action poses, and color combinations to help explain its personality and background. Have fun!




    Due Tuesday, September 4th!


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  4. #2
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    Thanks for getting the next one up Bobby, needed a fix. Lol
    Alrighty then, let's get the ball rolling shall we? Hehe
    Some ideas.
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  6. #3
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    Scorge: Very cool concepts. I like both a lot. The top one draws my interest simply cause it gets away from the shapes I see ofthen in your design like the kaiju style head. Still both look rad and I love seeing your work either way. It always amazes me how fast you can kick this stuff out. Hope all else is good.

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    Thanks Nick! It's all these years of practice man, life is decent at the moment. Gonna drop something here yourself?
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    Hi guys, here is an idea, and a super rough doodle. A worm that burrows itself under the sand. This worm move in groups, they are like the vultures/hayenas of the dessert. It has fine red bristles to detect vibrations on the surface..... It grabs its prey with its pincers. its eyes can secrete a caustic kind of enzyme to dissolve its prey into a soft liquidy state, then it burrows itself into the prey. Nutrients is absorbed through the fine bristles.

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  12. #6
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    Scorge: Very good and glad all is good man. Yes had to get in on this one. Wanted to try some new stuff...
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  14. #7
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    One more...
    Attachment 2299177
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    Last edited by scorge; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:36 PM.
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  16. #8
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    Scorge: Absolutely fantastic! The design of this creature anatomically is just awesome and I really like those holes in the back of the head that are just something totally different. I love how the creature is also of two different armor / skin types. You have the more aggressive stuff going on, on the outside while inside seems like it would be more vulnerable, but good luck to whatever is going to try and make an attack. Really awesome arms too, they remind me of super thick and aggressive tree branches. This creature looks super stealthy and like it would definitely fuk some shyt up out there in the desert. I like also how you didn't even go with a cliche sand like color scheme to camoflouage the creature for it's environment cause it really doesn't need it, it's just too bad ass. I like this one a lot and you really went crazy on all the little details with this.

    I have some questions on this if you don't mind:

    1. What program / programs is this done in? (you know I gotta ask, and I'm assuming Painter and maybe some Photoshop, but I see you are tagging alot of your Instagram stuff with Sketchbook Pro)

    2. What brushes or variants do you prefer the most in the times? We have talked before in the past about this where oil pastels where mentioned and technically everything can be done with a hard round in any program. In regards to settings I have been working in Painter more and have been experimenting with the brush well, with resaturation and bleed settings. What is your take on those and do you feel there is a better setting? What is your thoughts on the inverted bleed option or checking off the brush loading box under dryout to sample a larger range of colors? For a good hard round in painter the airbrushes would probably be most people's go to but I see many using simple water with the method set to cover, is this something you work with?

    3. Do you use smudge tool at all in your work in Photoshop, or choose to blend with a brush? If brush, do you prefer a softer brush or just move forward with the hard round? The blenders in Painter are superb, the grainy water and add water are easily two of my favorites.

    4. Do you still paint with the lasso tool to help define harder edges in the piece or just use the brush? If using brush do you ever paint without pen pressure and toggle opacity instead?

    5. Do you bother masking the perimeter of your character with any masking, I notice a super hard edge around most of your creatures, but then I noticed they are blurred some in certain areas to break things up?

    6. What is your greatest inspiration when it comes to finding a color scheme, as I feel challenged with that sometimes and tend to grab from the environment which can easily make things clash?
    Do you just simply make these up out of your head, or more or less find the perfect palette in nature?

    Thanks for any advice as always and I'm just forever tinkering and trying new things to be happier with the look of my work. Awesome creature again! I might go for a second one if I can too.

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  18. #9
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    As to #5, I am not sure how Scourge does it, but this can be achieved with a soft brush and a hard brush. You can use a blur tool or use an airbrush or soft round to create softer edges, then use a hard brush with opacity set to 100% to get that really defined edge. Start loose sketching with soft, then work over the areas you want to emphasize with a hard high opacity brush. This is a technique that is really awesome in John Singer Sargent's work, among many other things. He uses hard and soft edges to move things around in a painting.

    I use Photoshop and that's a fairly easy thing to demonstrate. I might put a gif together tonight showing what it looks like.

    If I could add a #7 - Out of Curiosity Scourge, Do you mix your own colors from a palette, or do you use the color picker?

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  20. #10
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    Flame Unquenchable: Awesome input indeed and thank you. I used to use the hard brush, soft brush concept years ago and then somehow got away from it and started using mainly hard to middle edge brushes, using only the soft edge for effects and stuff like atmospheric perspective. I'm forever searching for better ways to work and aquire a better look with things so I never stick with the same way of doing anything too long and I feel everything I do looks different because of that. I have done this for years and still am not satisfied with a steady look in the work. Very interesting that you mention starting with the soft brush first and then tighten things up with the hard round because I just conducted a small and fast experiment with this and the soft to hard way of working opposed to working from hard to soft definitely gave a different feel to not only the finished work but also the work flow. I never realized Sargent pursued this method of work flow in his work but now it's mentioned I can see this looking at some of his work now.

    Great number 7 question to add there, lol, the colors are so natural and in harmony that it almost seems like it would be color mixed.

  21. #11
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    Hey there Lege,
    Thanks buddy, that's a lot of questions! Lol I just sent you my current set of Painter brushes to check out, you can see how they're set up there.
    This particular picture was done entirely in Photoshop. One brush, chalky.
    Blending is done with brush and a spattered smudge.
    I don't really use the Lasso tool, it's mostly paint and erase.
    No masking. Takes too long. Hehe
    Color schemes are pretty much always derived from whatever color scheme I used last, or whatever best suits the subject. Local color, (environment), is always a factor when there is a scene involved, but it's as an accent, never as an overall scheme.

    So now that you know all of this, and since we've known each other for so long, I'm going to be honest, you're asking the wrong questions. The "How to come up with unique and believable designs consistently" is what you might be after? While I appreciate your enthusiasm for how I do my stuff, it's important not to get caught up in the technique. You and I both know that brushes don't mean much when it comes to ideas and execution. It certainly helps to know your tools, but in the long run, improvement comes from the ability to know when something doesn't look right, and change it until it does. That is my main technique. I never settle if something look even remotely off. If an arm, tentacle, or tooth doesn't seem to work where it's at, I move it, change its shape or eliminate it entirely. When I see that there are repeating patterns and a lack of consistency in lighting or forms, I make sure that they line up. Silhouette is everything, so I make sure to spend a lot of time painting zoomed way out, that one I've mentioned a few times. Last thing is to make sure that the overall design is cohesive. All the parts should look like they grew there instead of being glued on. There has to be a rhythm to what's included, and if you treat each section of the anatomy as if they are different things, that will stand out. Of course the rules of perspective, dynamic shapes and angles and the understanding of the horizon also come into play, but I've mentioned those as well.

    So, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bust your balls, but these are all areas that need improvement in your work.

    A lot of things have improved though as well, such as your understanding of 3 dimensional forms and some improvement in foreshortening, silhouettes are getting a lot better, but you still need to evaluate how the forms play against each other, especially in terms of depth.

    I know it's been a while since I've laid down a proper (brutal) critique, but I feel like as your friend, you should know about these things.

    Hope to see another from you!
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  23. #12
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    @Flame Unquenchable
    I mostly use the color picker (Palette), once I get a groundwork of base color down, I then use the Eyedropper like mad until I need to choose a new color. Shifts are very subtle when using the color window.
    This goes for Painter and Sketchbook Pro as well.
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  25. #13
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    Great to see some activity and discussion on here! I got a chance to doodle out some rough options, playing up poses and expressions and proportions and all that. And thank you, Scorge, for the critique! Even though it wasn't aimed at me, it's the types of things I struggle with too and I can definitely sympathize with you, Lege, on finding the right questions to ask and the right areas to focus on when trying to up my game. Maybe I can get one or more of these more refined, too. It's about time I got back into some creature design.

    Name:  Sand-Stalker.jpg
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    64% of all percentages are made up on the spot.

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  27. #14
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    One thing to add to what Scourge is saying. Look at the perspective too. I think this is part of silhouette and form of the creature, but you have to execute perspective properly or the creature will look very unnatural. Scourge always has spot on perspective among other things, so the creatures look believable. I think a little research into color theory might help as well. Once you understand that, color, distance, light and shadow all start to pop. Also, never be afraid to use references.

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  29. #15
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    Scorge: Thank you so much man and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to completely redo my entry to show the comparison and contrast of things. Seeing things like this really tells me a lot and I understand all of what you are saying. It is having a super strong foundation that is going to pull everything together and I get what you are saying about how it's not the right brush, setting, etc, it's the right look of things over all. The idea of really inspecting everything and making sure things are as spot on as can be and if it's not right, then get to work and figure out how to fix it or rid away of it all together.


    I read your message there about 20 something times to take each thing in as slowly as possible to hopefully really grasp everything and start using it to better my images which I'm never happy with. Thanks for the recap on what you told me in the Thunderbug forum cause I apparently need the reinforcement and I know it's all for the better.


    I'm going keep on with the good fight and try to focus on all these key points you point out and do better next time around. Thank you as always for real, it's many years here and I just keep trying to figure these things out and see improvements in the work regardless of anything.I'm always excited to see your work because it always shows that there is so much room for improvement and I just bang my head against the wall sometimes wondering why anything I do just doesn't look nearly as good. Aside from the concept side of things your art side of things just always looks amazing. I feel strongly that you could do a complete retarded and jacked up concept that is an epic fail but it would still look incredible on the rendering end,lol.


    You're definitely king of your craft!

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  31. #16
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    Tyrus: Definitely good to see you in here and I'm liking 3 a lot!

    Flame_Unquenchable: The perspective thing for sure seems so ever important as with all the other stuff, especially the silhouette. I'm hoping to be able to pay closer attention to these things and and get some difference going on in the work and for the better. I sadly used a reference for my sand stalker and I also used Painter to try a different feel and look to the work flow which I don't often do. Gonna just keep plugging away until it all clicks one day,lol =)

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  33. #17
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  35. #18
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    I've been playing around with #3 some. It feels like a JRPG character, but I'm cool with that.

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  37. #19
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    Tyrus: Focus again on all that stuff mentioned above; make a list if you will so you can literally check it off as you go. I'm actually going to compile a check list for myself to be able to drill the important stuff in my mind since I tend to forget and get side tracked with thoughts of rendering etc, the idea is that it will eventually become second nature after ex amount of time of repetition. Scorge has made a grand point along with many other artists I have researched and followed that there is no certain way to do something. At the end of the day it's all about us putting in lots of work in the right fundamental areas and everything will bloom and blossom from there. I have learned the hardway that one can not neglect the fundamentals of image making. I think the best thing an artist can do is find out their weak areas and really get to work on trying to fix that as soon and best as possible; thus why this site is so amazing where we have the priviledge of having pros like Scorge and others brutally critique us and we can have the opportunity to pinpoint those weak areas and grow develop stronger.

    With all that said, I think you should consider letting the right hand / paw of your creature overlap that leg there as they are butting up directly against one another and it's causing what I would believe to be considered a tangent. Overlapping and layering things helps with the fore shortening and perspective anyway so I strongly believe it would be a good look. I did a quick scribble just messing with some different things that you can there. I think the legs should probably be bigger and I would really consider giving your creature a torso cause right now it's just a big head sitting on tiny legs with two arms and large size claws sticking out. I did a little side scribble to show what the silhouette might possibly look like with a torso.

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  39. #20
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    Thanks Lege for getting me back on track. I rebuilt the creature with form in mind first. I'll start adding in more details after.

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  41. #21
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    Tyrus: For sure and looking awesome!

  42. #22
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    Here's my redemption piece,lol...Tried best to switch things up and make a better way.

    Scorge: thanks again for the heavy critique and advice.
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  44. #23
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    @Lege1 Dude! That is looking great man! I can see you took those critiques to heart. Not to rush, but when you start pulling the white and black out of the color scheme you will be well on the way to another level. That study you did above, it has some yellows, and greens, and different reds. I see the newer image as a definite improvement in perspective and form, but the colors make the creature read a bit flat. Try using pink on the light side of the creature instead of lightening the base color with white. Maybe use orange, or slowly add some yellow. Maybe start adding darker red hues like the sand into the shadows. Add another layer to your drawing and do a paintover, see what colors begin to look good with the creature. If there is light reflecting off the sand, you definitely want to see a bit of that reflected light on the creature. Hope it helps.

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  46. #24
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    Flame_Unquenchable: Thanks much man and I definitely need to work with the colors more. I know to stay in the gray area with the values as well except for extreme shadow and highlights, I'm just a sucker for putting things on a white back ground, I can't say why. I'm going to be working more on the warm and cool contrasting with colors in the piece for sure. I get what you are talking about by completmenting the shadows with some of the reflected lighting. Looking forward to putting in more work.

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  49. #26
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    @Lege

    Hey man that's looking cool! I think if you want to take a step forward in your creature designs, study joints and musculature around the mouth of animals. Another thing that helps me is finding animals that most closely represent your creature and literally paint over their stances. This prevents your creatures from looking stiff. I always like looking for photos of animals running or hunting.

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