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Thank you all for the critques. I'll try to dig deeper!
^keep me going by visiting my sketchbook^
Great job on the entry everyone, they just gotten better and better every single week. It's reall hard to decide which is my most fav, too many to pick from. This is what I call fun! Give me another reason to wake up in the morning...and some cool stuff to look forward to.
Big props to Fozzybar for the Coolest Thread.
Thanks everyone for the C&C
Hope to see all you guys in the next entry. FUN!
I voted for Xia mainly because of its originality and grotesqueness... alot of personality packed into his creature as well!
I was equally impressed with Dixon's (also very original IMO), Fungi's, Stoke's piece, and Prostate Sunrise (that face with the eyes is just awesome)....
Sorry I don't have any crits for now but I may post some later when I've got more time....
Man, what a week! Everyone made some great posts and really put in the effort there, and this part is great, where we can comment on the entries and exchange ideas. I can't stress enough how much fun I had participating so far. I feel like I have learned a lot from taking part in this activity, and the learning hasn't stopped.
Helzon: Hey thanks man, I totally get what you're saying with "dont be afraid to screw them up", our teacher here told us the same thing once and it really stuck with me. I think its by far the best advice I have ever gotten. I see what you mean by trying to make the creatures less terrestrial in esthetic and anatomy and more "out there", I will definatly be experimenting more.
lekronium: When I started doing this image I wasn't really sure what I was doing or how to achieve what I wanted. I had a really vauge idea and I just started out with the composition. I feel like I really neglected the perspective, anatomy and the lighting because I was more focused on the composition than anything else. This caused problems with the perspective later because I did not establish a horizon level, and there were no clear vanishing points either. I had started with the figure and then added the perspective and tried to adapt it and ajust it to how I had planted the creature and not the other way around (big mistake). Since the vanishing points are not really clear, I didnt draw perspective lines for the ground either and just scrambeled some patches of dirt there rather intuitivly, which did not really work out either. Looking at it you just get the feeling that some is "off".
You are right about the lighting too, I felt I was really struggling with that, no defined light source (the lava over there maybe) so rendering the different planes I really didnt know how to go about it. Plus in the ink version before coloring I added so much ink scribble that you couldn't really tell if there were actually areas in the light, midtone and shadow.
About the colors, the main problem I had to deal with was the fact that since the lighting was not well established I didnt know how to establish the colors. I wanted to use white for the strong highlights, yellow for the light areas, orange-red for the mid tones and then red and red-bluish for the shadows, with red as a base. I can see its not working but I thought that was because of the lack of tonal definition, rather than the color choices themselves, so I dont really understand this part of the crit. If you can spare the time please tell me a bit more about the colors and what could have worked better maybe. If its because the yellows are sort of greenish that was actually an accident! I wasnt thinking when I was painting it I guess. I definatly didnt want to produce vibration between the yellow-greens and the red base.
I know there are many subjects I really need to be studying more, and doing these activities has made me more aware of the things I am lacking in study and practice. I feel compelled to go out and learn more, put in the effort. I'e been doing many of the excercises in the loomis books and I realize that subjects like perspective, lighting, anatomy, are fundamentally important and need hours and hours of constant dedication and practice. That is why I disagree with you when you state that its the small details that really count, because these are not small details at all. If anything, subjects like lighting, anatomy, perspective are so important topics that neglecting their study is career suicide. They are, after all, so full of contents we will probably continue to study them through out our entire lives.
Oh yeah, cool thing you liked the compostion!
Glokund: I see what you mean, making a tonal plane in black white and greys sounds like a great idea. I will keep this in mind and try to work on this principle from now on, at least until I know more about tones and tonal composition. You're right, I did not really know what I was trying, or wanting, to achieve. I actually did look for lava reference and tried to work with the images I had but none of them looked like the lava I was hoping for and painting lava was actually quite difficult and tricky. I definatly did not know what I was doing. The lava I wanted to paint based on the images, I wasn't getting good results or anything that even resembled the images I had. Also, the light from the lava I had intented to portray that too, but I just lacked the knowledge and the skill to know how.
Overall, this week was great. Helzon, lekronium, Glokund, you guys, thank you so much for taking the time to crit, its been very very helpful, I will keep all this in mind and think more about it. COW has been a great learning experience particularly in the sense that I feel I have become really more aware of the areas I need to focus more study on. Great work everyone.
Ok I've already said it and I'll say it again this week has been great, congrats to everyone who participated posting and commenting!
I didn't by any means try to imply that lighting, anatomy, and perspective wasn't important. You are exactly right. I think in this thread though the most important subject is concept. After that, lighting, anatomy, and perspective help define what your concept is. It does take a lot of practice and the more you practice it the more it feels secondary because it will come so natural to your images. If you are overwhelmed right now by all the different subjects that go into a picture, try focusing on a certain one. Because this thread deals mostly with concepts try focusing on your concept and the anatomy of your creature. Your anatomy looked pretty good so maybe now focus on getting your lighting down to help convey your idea. If you can get your message across without a background then don't worry about it now. Fozzy stated in the new thread that most of the winners so far don't even have backgrounds. Good Luck and I hope this has helped you some. I expect to see good results this week!
My top 3 creatures;
Doughbot - the creature is great, great design and very well executed. i could totally see one of these creatures slowly straddling along eating on lava. the description was also very well done.
Matt Dixon - wonderfull creature! i chose this one because its a flying creature, and i liked the idea of the hot gases that are kept in his large lung which keeps it a float over the lava as it feeds. it is also very well drawn and rendered. i also could visualize these creatures slowly floating over vast lava pits. the description was detailed and explained the creature very well.
fungi - the look of the creature is very awesome! i really stayed and looked at this creature for a long time. its very well designed and the whole image is just amazing. the description fits the creature nicely. i chose this one as top 3 because this creature is a worm like creature who actually spends most of its time in the lava
My top 1 creature;
this was hard to pick because i love all 3 of them. one being a land creature, one being a flying/floating creature, and one being a um..creature that lives in the lava... so hard to choose
but i will have to go with doughbot the design of the creature was really great, coupled with a great name and description you hit all points! good job...you bastard!
Wow.. these are all great. It was hard to just pick one. I went with Coon's cause it made me laugh. I loved the humorous description, and the expression on the creature's face after it was full hehe
Here I am with some more comments. Still won't be done, but getting close.
Your pose is dynamic and shows a desire to put the viewer into the space. Looks as though you put some good time into discovering the fire lizards contours and textures. I see the beginnings of pushing things into space by dropping out detail in the right foreleg and left back leg, but if you could do this for the hind region and the tail, it would be much more spatial and pull things together. The bg also flattens the picture plain - push these back by decreasing color saturation a bit. Last thing: lava looks a bit like spaghetti in sauce.
Cool ass creature - got a lot of depth and form and with Dougbot's assist, it's been nicely realized spatially and in color. If you apply what the revision did for your work in your future projects, we may be looking at a new COW winner. Concept copy was well thought out as well.
Awesome lava interpretation...I'm really feeling the heat! The creature looks credible. The only thought is to think more rock-like. The top mantle looks jaggy and organic (more rock like), but the appendages have this equidistant thing going on to show off the lava beneath the hard exterior. Rough this up and make it less consistent and you'll have it. Push the color a bit more back by the tail if you want to really show off the full shape. I'm liking your lighting as well.
Concept copy was a riot to read…did you sneak Dougbot's name in there, or is that just my imagination? So...the question is, what does this chef cook with? The arms look so tiny to me, so I'm just not seeing how he'd cook with that massive chest in the way. Based on your copy, I see another creature, but that's the fun thing about imaginations. Good depth and use of space. I think that having the lighting come from the boiling lava would give a more daunting and majestic appearance to your creature.
The way you incorporated the concept copy into the figure is sweet. Wish there would have been more of a screen effect applied to the creature picture frame so I would have felt like someone watching it from a nearby tank or something. Even having a smaller screen to the side with a thermal reading would have been interesting too. A little more time tightening the creature up is my only added crit. BTW, nice fire treatment.
Damn nice piece, Matt. Completely real in my head and your environment treatment is so on it makes me ill. The lava spittle and smokey reds/oranges cooling to the magentas and purples is rich. The head loses it for me. Does there even need to be a head? Does it fart? BTW, you were one of my top choices as well.
A most unique creature with some pleasing design elements. If you don't mind, I'd like to suggest losing the legs and generating a version that has it in perpetual flight. This would help cool the blood as well. Also, the bg is a bit too sketchy and overwhelming and competes with the creative qualities of your creature. Excellent concept copy. Rather than white hilites, go for the yellow-orange of the lava.
I wouldn't wish these creatures on my worst enemy...look fierce. An intersting pig-like creature…I know, you say 'hound' but I see 'boar'. Lava pools look nicely handled too. Concept copy could be fleshed out more.
A fun creature with a great name! I'd enjoy seeing the heat turned up a bit more in your piece to really give a sense of relief from the body's themoregulatory malfunction. I almost want to see if you can pull a color redo by using's Dougbot's redo of Helzon's entry.
Now don't get me wrong...it's a neat idea and all, but your execution wasn't all that. I know, I'm talking to myself, but I'm my own worst critique, so bear with me. Now you see that the lava lump comes across as the creature and not the damn black encircling beasty. Damn your eyes! In future COWs, spend a bit more time with the concept development working out bugs and lighten up a bit more. Time to let the biomedical bg you have to seep into your work more. It's an experience and I'm proud of you for giving it a go. If I hadn't voted for someone already, I'd give you a sympathy ass pat. Apply more attention to form and lighting.
That's it for now....more to come.
Sure, the first week I don't post and someone takes over for me and critiques everybody!
Actually, you did a fantastic job Red... I have had a busy past 2 weeks, and I am in the process of switching computers and hooking everything up so I haven't had time to do my massive Upside/Downside Critique of everyone or show my Lava Creature in my post (even though it can't get any votes.) I am glad to see a lot more critiques being passed around with some thoughtful insight into each others work.... it is really the best way for all of us to get better.
I'll be back soon.... probably by next weeks C.O.W. 10, and hopefully back to a regular pattern of submitting by then. Gone only two weeks and I am missing C.O.W. a ton and feel like there is a hole in my life.
Damn, that is PATHETIC isn't it?
Just a real quick shout back:
Gloklund : Dude workin like a fiend to get a more cohesive sense of color...with Dougbots help...Im tryin...
Leckronium : yeah dude...the change in coloration should show in this next COW..though I still can't even begin to handle how doug can put in just two hours on his piece..I've already sunk in at least 12....
Redehlert : thanx for the vote of confidence!...will try my best to get those colors up to par!
Lukavi : thanks for the kind words...and yes it does seem that mr. lava singed the old ass hairs...LOL...
Broken Spirit : dude, no big thing...I think you have it in you to really push your limits and start cranking out some really trippy stuff...
I didn't expect to receive a comment, but 3! and one vote! (maybe someone who wanted to vote for matt, in fact )
first of all, leckronium and gloklund, thanks for your crits. I wish I had a more analytical mind to be able to critic everybody!
the feet were one of my many unresolved problems, up until the end. I wanted the thing to stand on the lava, because my conceptualisation of its feeding was too weak, and I needed it to have a more solid link to lava. in the beginning, it was much more insect-like, having 3 pairs of feet, but it kind of crowded the picture and I reduced ut to one pair, ramified, because I could't come up with anything else...Originally Posted by leckroniumDefinitely a unique way of thinking on this one. The idea is good and I like the story you gave with it. Saying that people can harvest the wings as a way to get silver is cool. I'm just not too crazy about the design. The body and wings I like but theres something about the feet that don't seem believable to me. It doesn't say butterfly to me I guess. The first thing I think of is a crane or stork.
You are right, I spent too much time on the wings, and in a wrong way (mask in PS). I should've left them rough and worked more on the BG and body...Originally Posted by GloklundThis is a very different kind of image. Parts are highly rendered and others not and then you have these flat graphic shapes. I think in the end it has a tendency to fight with itself.
as for the legs, you're right, I should've been less anal retentive on the concept, and let my butter fly, I'll know next time I can only agree with you on the BG too... twas my first serious image with ps and a tablet, I'll have to practice alot more...Originally Posted by redehlertA most unique creature with some pleasing design elements. If you don't mind, I'd like to suggest losing the legs and generating a version that has it in perpetual flight. This would help cool the blood as well. Also, the bg is a bit too sketchy and overwhelming and competes with the creative qualities of your creature. Excellent concept copy. Rather than white hilites, go for the yellow-orange of the lava.
thanks for your comments!
Last edited by GomenNasai; March 29th, 2005 at 10:37 AM.
Will this ever end? I won't even finish up with this post - I need to be crackin' on my COW 8....
Slick concept with fun concept copy to marry it all together. Still feels a little sketchey, but that's a minor detail. I like the perspective/orientation and the lighting streaks are visually compelling. Some odd hilites happening making it a little tough to determine overall shape (who am I to be suggesting this - it's one of my major setbacks!) But I'm talking 'bout it anyway. In fact, this may be my only major crit aside from loving to see it fully rendered up.
A bad ass creature with concept copy that makes good sense to me. Good perspective that could have been pushed more by decreasing saturation of the distal part of the larvae and dropping detail as a result. Let it fade into the smokey mist created by the lava field. I want to say I feel the heat, but I'm not...not completely, that is. There's this wisp of value in the left middle third that ramps up from red to yellow-orange then white - there's the heat! Put more of this into the mix and I'll be sweatin' it.
An interesting creature! Rather humanoid with the upper anatomy, but that's all good. I like the posture - feels lazy and relaxed like it hasn't a care in the world. Would like to see more metal in that metallic skin of his (hilites, et al). Lighting feels very nice on your creature, but some areas feel loose (ie claws on right hand) and could be rendered up more since there isn't anything putting it into shadow. This area seems to be in fairly direct light, much like the belly of this beasty.
Wish I had more time right now, but I won't stop until all crits are done. More to come.
Hey everyone. Like I said, I wanted to post my Lava Eating Creature even though it can get no votes (unless there is some sort of AMAZING write in ballot.... hint hint) but I worked hard on it and really wanted to hear what people thought.
This isn't finished, the coloring would be more finished than this, but I can't live in the past forever and you need to know when to let a piece of art go.
I still have a day or two and will try my best to critique everyone, but work (my other job that is) has been killer and time has been unbelieveably short... I won't even get to participate in the Evil Easter Creature post. Sigh, hopefully I am back for week 10!
Anyway, here is my Lava Eating Creature.... enjoy!
That's pretty damn funny.
LMFAO! ARTERIC awsome! hahaha I hadn't even thought of that. Although you should have added a bong in there somewhere/
^keep me going by visiting my sketchbook^
I had considered putting a bong in and totally intended to do so.... even went so far as to try and find an image of a 70's bong for reference. Somewhere along the line I forgot about it.... I was even going to try and add a level of haze across the room for the cloud of smoke they were in, but thought that might detract from the image.Originally Posted by XposeLMFAO! ARTERIC awsome! hahaha I hadn't even thought of that. Although you should have added a bong in there somewhere/
Hey Arteric! First - thanks for the comment about my crits - not trying to take your place though, hoss...that just cannot be done.
Second - great idea! I was dwelling on that one too but hit a dead end - you realized it tho - so kudos to you!
Sorry for the delayed comments for the latter portion of the entries.
Simply love this piece - so atmospheric and subtle, yet focused in the right places. I'd thoroughly enjoy a tutorial on how you worked this project out. I honestly don't have a better critique than an ass pat. Of course, you got my vote.
Yo, Cake - I feel the heat on those arms and face and the overall form is super sweet. Would love to see it rendered up just a bit more, but damn cool concept and funny concept copy...Dougglet....! Good use of the word 'gauntlet'! Your's was in one of my final four category for voting. Kick A.
Ya know...this is a damn cool concept that I'd have love to see in a 3/4 view from above or below (mostly below for the majestic feel and to get a good look at the snout projection). Lookin' a little dark with some odd lighting, but I do like this! BTW, love the fish silhouettes in the distance - made the piece nicely spatial.
Your work is really impressing me with your organic form/lighting that comes across as handled with grace and ease. Maybe it's the brushes you're using and staying loose, but whatever it is, don't stop. I've already seen your COW8 and damn it all - you've done it again. Congrats on having a style unique unto yourself. My only other thoughts are to push the other erupting volcanoes back - in fact, ditch em. They don't do anything for me other than serve as a visual distraction. The steam could be a little more fun like the yellow line work in the throat area...I'm thinking you're borderline graphic/tagger/illustrator in this one. Bravo!
I'm diggin' your creature, Stokes. Lighting from the creature's left side balanced by the light emanating from the sac on the back is appealing. Concept copy, albeit cool, is limiting to say the least. The bg is a bit distracting from how kick ass your creature is - just the lines - drop those and see if there is any improvement.
This is an incredibly conceived piece - very believable and almost voted on. I said final four earlier in Prostate's crit, but I'm revising that to say final five because I can. The only thing that stopped me was that I didn't feel the conceptart bg was right for your piece. Felt it actually hurt it. Would you mind dropping in some other value to surround the creature? Your highlights and differing textures are sweet.
Hairless Alpine Gibbon - where in the world did you come up with that name. Sweetly original, hoss. Your concept copy is very entertaining which is a great start, but I do see the need to flesh out your creature a bit more. I feel like I could pop it with a needle - just a bit too balloon like. I think the smoke would have hints of yellow and orange on the undersides and then go to the grays as it cools. What do you think? I'm looking forward to your progress.
I believe I said it in an earlier crit that rock and magma are organic and would not be so evenly spaced as you have shown here. Break it up, have fun, be lose and let chaos reign supreme. I know that a bg isn't necessary, but the white of your page is overwhelming your creature. Next time, add some concept copy - we want to know why you painted what you did.
Whew! I think I made it....just in time to crit COW8.
The poll is over, fungi has won a well deserved place at the winner gallery...go here for the latest addition of fungis piece:
I think it looks like a poster or cd/book-cover in addition to the typo and borders...must be the intense orange scheme...
Congrats from here!
fungi's worm god is just amazing, sry fungi... but i'm gonna try to one up u!
ps: im a new member
WTF mate this thread is 4 years..YEARS old!
hehe, funny to see the old regulars like Arri., fungi, xia, Dougbot, Gloklund and all the others...
btw fungi wasn't active on the boards since 5 months...it's a pity...we need a topic "COW artists eating creature"...
yeah we prolly dont see them around anymore since they all got jizzobs now
Hopefully you won't see me around in the coming months, it'll mean I got a job hehe.