Darn, Helzon that looks so much better
Your idea is great Fozzy
I love Fungi's pic. You know I'm a big fan of your work anyway, but this one really comes together with all the things you're really great at - beautifully managed colours, a wonderfully understated and elegant rendering style and, above all, a marvellous sense of design in both the creature and the composition of your piece. It's the best image here, and a true piece of art. But...
I couldn't give you my vote.
Why? Ultimately, your creature's just a really cool worm. There were lots of other entries which I felt more obviously satisfied the brief either with their description / concept or because the visual design was tailored more towards feeding on lava and surviving in that environment.
Dougbot gets my vote.
Honourable mention to my brother, Stokes, for the best creature description we've yet seen in the COW.
Well done to all.
Sorry, bad joke. But I voted for Dougbot. This image just plain and simply ruled in terms of quality and execution, and (of course) the concept was ROCK solid.
Enough bad puns.
Weekly Upside/Downside critique for all 28 entires should be soemtime this weekend, and hopefully my Lava Creature will be done enough that I can include it in my post... I really want to get some feedback on it.
Professional Level work by almost all involved folks, congratulations.
Fozzybar, sorry for the problem with my pic. I guess it's solved now?
As for the vote, I hesitated between fungi, dougbot, and matt dixon. I finally chose matt, because of the good balance between the pic and the concept.
fungi I find your picture marvelous, but your concept destroyed its "magic", IMO. (problem is, I had already an idea before you posted your concept, so maybe next time, try to post them simultaneously)
dougbot, awesome technique and design, but I felt a discrespancy between your pic and your concept : it looks like a 20 feet+ beast, but your concept seems of a much smaller critter...
I don't know if I'll participate to the next one, religious themes have an inhibating effect on me
Talk about an experience! Okay...I will.
This has been a most rewarding series to review and deliberate over. I plan on providing my thoughts to all as a whole, but will do so later. There were elements in everyone's piece that I enjoyed and hope to see more of in the future COWs.
Fungi you get my vote and a spot on my monitor's desktop so I may appreciate form, composition, and color of your work. The wyrm looks as old as a volcano! But what gets me is your rendering - soft, subtle, and dynamic saturation shifts in all of the right places.
I don't see any lava, but I know it's there from the color range you chose. My only crit - the wyrm looks as though it is moving through space, not through magma, and it'd be cool to see it actually eating lava, but I'm just too overcome with this piece to not give you the vote.
OKay...nuff said, thoughts about other top picks and thoughts for all will come next. Thanks to all for entering your work....!
There is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in pie. And there's an "i" in meat pie. Meat is the anagram of team...~Shaun "Shaun of the Dead"
I voted for Dougbot only for he can be in draw, tie or equalize (i don't know wich word fit good) with Fungi( both really good indeed).
But my FAVOURITE one is MAT DIXON's creature.Is so suggestive i fall in love in this one.
Sorry for not participate this time but I'm trying to learn ZBRUSH.This is what i made if you are interested.Not too big thing.
time for replay:
About 1h 37 min. without photoshop
My vote went to Matt Dixon.
Loved the color scheme on this piece. The rendering on the lung is nicely done.
Perhaps the face of the creature is the only thing that "bothers" me a bit, but does not detract from the over all quality of the image.
Very tough vote to make.
great work all around. i voted for mattdixon because the colors are great and the idea is solid.
fungi, prostate, xia, and dougbot. great work as usual.
Sorry for the long post but I found it easier to type everything in wordpad then just copy it over as one post when I was done.
Fozzy - The platypus got lost on his way to the thread this week. He's currently living off bugs and groundwater until he can find his way to the next thread! Hey thanks for the crit this week. I appreciate it. I'll work on my future concepts. I've always had a problem with my work being too literal. That's why I find this so much fun. It's good practice.
Helzon - Hey It's good to hear I at least made it to the incredibly solid work list this time, thanks!
The best thing I like about this piece is the lava. That combined with the intense red reflections really make it look hot. However, the creature could have been pushed further and brought into focus a little more and the white background with white highlights doesn't do anything for me. It doesn't give me a sense of any kind of environment.
When you first posted this I thought the idea was kinda cool. A small twist on a simple idea but the finished version doesn't look a whole lot different than what you first posted. I think lava reference could have helped push this a little further.
I love the colors and detail on the head of this creature! His expression makes me laugh because he looks surprised at how hot the lava is or he's just too lethargic to know any better. Your rendering is always top-notch but sometimes I think areas fail to read like solid objects like the tail in this case. I see the steps you took to paint it before I see the tail. The face is awesome though!
I think the concept on this one could have been pushed a little further than just an ant that shoots lava out it's rectum. Did it have to look exactly like an ant? Try playing with the proportions a little and see what you can come up with. If it shoots lava out its rectum maybe the picture could have shown a little more in detail how this might look. Ah, who am I kidding? I just wanna see some lava shooting ant booty! haha
This made me laugh when I first saw it. The only thing I would suggest in the animation is to show the magmatite actually float away like I thought I read in your description. This is the best work I've seen from you yet.
No description? The one thing that would help this picture is either another color to help break things up a little or the addition of the back light source. The red from the background will cast highlights on the backside of the creature. So dark areas like the back of the neck will pop out from the background and look more dimensional.
Very cool. The concept is there and the picture is beautifully rendered as usual. My eye keeps getting caught on the long black line on the front claw in the foreground though. Not sure if that's a part of the anatomy or just part of it in shadow. Compositionally, I would kind of like to see that repeated a little on the front claw in the background, depending on exactly what you meant it to be.
I also wish I could have seen this in an environment to give it some scale. Judging just from the picture I instantly see this thing the size of a bulldozer. And thanks for posting that tutorial, that was awesome!
There are several things going on here that need to be addressed. The first thing is colors. The base color of red and the green-ish yellow highlights isn't working. Second, the rendering of light and shadow hasn't been established. And finally the perspective is a little off. The rocks or ground in the foreground doesn't follow the same plane as the horizon. My best suggestion would be to find reference that can guide you through the process of completing this. Find reference of lava and study how it looks and reacts to it's surroundings. Get a picture of a lizard and study how light reflects off of it to achieve form. I think the composition of the picture is great, but it's the small details that really count.
Good job on the details of the story. From what I can tell the drawing and creature look great but it's the color that's so overwhelming. I can see Dougbot already helped you on this.
This thing...hey wait....oh
I like the concept you added to this. The painting is soft and the composition is great. I would add another color to the chef to not make it so grey looking. The only other thing is the rock formation in the foreground looks a little too transparent.
Nice approach for describing the character. I'm just not sure it goes with such an energetic painting. Don't get me wrong the picture is great....and the layout is great. I think they just contrast each other too much. The only thing I could suggest for the layout is to try offsetting the picture to the right hand side. You could easily do this by bringing the black background in on the right side which would only move the type in the upper right hand corner. Right now I feel there's is too much empty space going on compared to the rest of the compositon and it might balance the picture a little more.
I like it. I like the design of the creature and the description you gave.....very unique. Good job as expected.
Definitely 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.
I know you struggled on this and that we talked about this already so I'll keep it brief. I like the lava pools being on the flat plains. I like the idea of a Magmahound. But there is something about the hounds I thought could be improved. By looking at it now I think it might be the fact that the heads of the hounds are too humanoid.
I think it's been stated before but you have a very Rackham-ish style and I like it. Your compositions are always nice and your drawings are always detailed. With this particular creature I like the idea of it being so cold that it needs to warm up occasionally.Good Concept. I think with the illustration the colors could have been kept a little more under control. It's mostly in the area of the sky.
I looked at this several times and always thought it was one big creature. Then I realized it's actually a leech wrapped around a pile of lava. So I guess I could say I was a little confused since you normally don't see lava in a mound like that. I do like the fire though.
I like your concept and it would be cool to see several of these shown linked together but I can't get past the fact that these things just don't look alive to me.
I like the illustration and I like the concept even more. The image suggests a really harsh environment but I would like to see a little more contrast in the hotspots. Maybe going to a brighter orange or yellow for the hotspots and highlights would help make this an even better illustration.
Ok so maybe you don't get my vote for this week but you had them for the last two weeks. I like your style of painting and your creatures you design but comparing this to last week's digger creature it lacks personality. Plus you stated the creature has metallic skin but I'm not getting that impression from the illustration. Maybe if it was less humanoid and resembled more like raw material I could let it slide.
damn! Beautiful rendering and incredible detail. At first I thought it was suppose to be swimming through lava but then I reread your concept and realized it's popping out of the surface. Now knowing that I would kinda like to see a little more suggestion to the atmosphere around it. Maybe suggesting a rocky surface to break up some of the gaseous atmosphere would work for me. Other than that I think it's a beautiful piece of art. Definitely one of my finalists.
I like this a lot. Not just for the creature but there are so many things to look at in this picture. I find myself looking at all the textures and scribbles in the background almost more than the creature itself. The creature is rendered extremely well but I would have liked to seen the back of the creature not so plain. Right along the spine could have either been broken up a little or refined because right now it's playing tricks on my eyes as to whats what. I like the whole gauntlet idea and when I look at the creature I really get a sense of this thing clawing and digging away. Definitely up there as a finalist as well.
Haha, well I guess this was expected when Dougbot posted his tutorial. I like the concept of this thing eating lava and excreting it as plates that it sheds. The only area that I feel needs refining is the mouth and tongue area. To me it's not reading as a tongue.
Interesting take on a creature with no limbs. I like the texture you added on it's back but I'm a little distracted by the festive lava decor on it's underside.
Come on! wheres the concept part of it? I want to know what this creature is all about. It looks really interesting and I like the art although I might tone down the white highlights a little.
I'm glad somebody did a sea slug. I actually did a second picture of a lava snail but I think I like yours better. Nice rendering.
Such a light-hearted comical take on a lava eating creature. I think you could have cropped the picture in a little closer so we can focus on the creature a little more. I would also like to see something in the picture that would give me a sense of scale. Is this thing a giant or human sized creature? It steals oven mitts so I guess he's kinda smaller but I don't get that sense because he's sitting next to a crack in the ground and mountains in the background. Those all suggest something very large. The color could have been pushed around a bit more too. Maybe adding some slightly cooler fleshtones to the highlights and some warmer tones like you did to the mouth to the rest of the body and maybe the area where it's sitting. Come to think of it, I can't find my oven mitt..hmmm
Hey another one without a description! Again, I would like to know something a little more about this creature. I could try to pull it out of the artwork but this figure isn't in any environment and it's really not doing anything so it's kinda hard to say anything about it.
Wow I can't believe I just commented on 28 pieces of artwork. I felt I had to do it since everyone seemed to put so much effort into this one. I know this takes a while but I would like to see a lot more of the talented people commenting on others artwork and help them try to improve week to week. This means even picking someone you don't know.
It's easier to comment on the more professional pieces but it's not a critique if you don't have anything contsructive to say. I just don't want to see these contests end up with a run away winner every week like it has been. I don't want to know who's going to win until the deadline is up. That's what makes something a contest. If not then it's just someone's personal gallery that everyone else happens to post in.
So in the end I think prostate_sunrise has my vote. It was either his or fungi's. The reason why was because I think the composition was a little more interesting to me. There was so much more information put into the picture than just being rendered really well.
Ok. enough typing, back to painting.
Thanks Man!Originally Posted by leckronium
Great input, and you're the second person to say the exact same thing re: lava versus leech. Oh well...there's growing to be done. I'm already an inch taller!
As for the fire - thanks! That was handled by rendering color as you normally would and then when happy, I merged all of my layers, duplicated my file and then used the smear tool - looks like a hand with index finger extended - to create the fire effect. First time for everything.
Seriously enjoy it when peeps put time into giving crits. Mine will be coming in the next few days....a boat load to write.
There is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in pie. And there's an "i" in meat pie. Meat is the anagram of team...~Shaun "Shaun of the Dead"
My vote goes 2 Dougbot
Strong concept, very original, and great rendering!
All that in a few hours? I'm perplex
Great tutorial also. And yeah you are good enough for a tutorial,
Haha your work is damn sick! Though i think it would be nice if you see
the Kotaki Crab also shooting lava, a little more in action maybe
For the rest, great worx again
I noticed many of the artists putting a background at their work now.
For many worx it gives some great sphere. But i think it does'nt has
to goanna b a must, if your creature is a strong design.
Well i hope someday i will b droppin my concepts here
But i'm just to bussy school now. And i guess i just have 2 learn 2 much,
before i can post here. Al these beautiful conceptz make me sick...hehe
I just have to kick myself or something...
Thank you for the mass crit Leckronium, I'm sure everyone appreciates it as much as I do!
Just so we all understand I'm going to be as constructive as I can, nobody's ever gonna get any better if its just a bunch of ass patting. (I'll try and keep that down to a minimum). Hopefully what I contribute in the crit with help you all in some way.
So, on to the critiques...
Davi I really like what you have here. I think most of all I like the color and your play with light from the volcano. It could use some sort of an environment as stated by leckronium. I think that certain areas of your creature could use some more definition. Some parts seem too loose and makes it look unfinished.
Xpose I think you need to try and stretch your imagination a bit more. It's hard to believe your concept due to the fact that we are all familiar with this kind of bird. Combining an average looking bird design which hasn't changed much from what we already know and place it in a hostile environment as brutal as flowing lava is absurd. It's too harsh of a contrast. Change the bird's anatomy, make it more of something we havent seen but "could exist" in that kind of environment. I hope this helps.
Fozzybar When I look at your creature I have a hard time figuring out its "construction". The way its back legs are positioned and its front arms becomes confusing to look at. Overall its painted nicely but has drawing problems underneath. Nice face tho!
Uziel The only thing that I thought was really really cool was that you could cool one of these off and have a souvenier. Other than that it kind of suffers from what Xpose's creature suffers from. A lack of pushing beyond what we already know in terms of an existing creature.
Coondoggle Man this thing was hysterical. It's too bad about not being able to have animated entries, you would have won hands down. I really like the "fun factor" of your piece. The only gripe I have is like what leckronium stated about wanting to see it float around. Now that would be sweet!
evildisco I like the colors you have going on in a monochromatinc sense but I think you lose the form of the creature a bit here and there. It feels under-developed. I think a little more time spent on the form of the creature would help a lot.
Dougbot First off I would like to thank you for the generous tutorial you presented, as it really helps a lot of us in understanding how others work and how we can incorporate that into our "arsenal" of tricks. As for your creature I like it a lot. Overall it's a very cool looking design and has a smart concept behind it.
bRØk3n_sPiRiT I think you needed to use some reference for the lava and the light that emminates from the heat of the lava. Without knowing the priciples of light and dark and contrast the peice tends to take on a flat, coloring book quality. There's no depth, no believeabilty in your image. If it means doing a black and white rendering at first and glazing the color over top of the value to achieve this then do it. It feels like you jumped into this piece not knowing what you wanted or intended.
Helzon I like the linework, but your color is really, really... not there. I can't offer you any advice thats better than what you've already seen in Dougbots paintover. Study it and learn is all I can say.
leckronium This has got to be a personal achievement for you. I don't think I've seen you do anything at this level at all in all the years I've known you. You should be proud. The only thing I'd liked to have seen are some cooler colors placed throughout. Of all the pieces this week this one, in my opinion, gives the strongest illusion of heat.
xia I really like your painting and creature.Tthe only thing that I have a problem with is that the lava seems more like mud. There's no intensity in color like lava has.
Oregano I really like the approach you took. I feel like I'm in a lava-proof vehicle looking at this thing on my targeting radar. Makes for a dramatic picture. Somehow the creature seems unrefined. Maybe it could use just a little more finesse. Not much just a little.
Matt Dixon What can I say, its masterful. I love the technique you use so much it makes me wish you would post a tutorial. (hint, hint )
GomenNasai This 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.
lukavi I like your take on the topic, it was very inventive. The rendering is very well done as well. My only gripe is that it doesnt feel like lava. I think with trying to emulate Rackham's use of subtlety in color with muted tones you've run into a wall. You have a very unique look to your work and I think that it will only suite certain topics better than others, and since this weeks topic is based around lava your style handicaps you from using those bright colors. Otherwise if not knowing what the topic was it looks like they are bathing in a muddy lake.
redehlert Alright, I've seen your site and I know what you can bring to the table. So bring it already, I'm feeling like dinners on me here. I think you could have pushed this further and had something very unique, but the underlying drawing feels like it disappeared under your painting.
Genital_Eclipse It's an interesting concept. I think you could have pushed the highlights/values on the creature a little more to define the shape a bit better. I'm not too crazy about the type incorporated into the background, I think it takes away from the image as a whole.
stormeffex Your moving on up. I can see every week your getting better and better. I like the creature alot, I think it is nicely envisioned However, I think you could have pushed a little bit beyond the monochromatic color scheme and added some oranges and maybe even some cool purples as accents.
JoBeSu Oddly enough one of my earlier concepts was something quite similar to what you have presented this week. In the end I went another direction thinking that it was "too humaniod" and ended up not where I wanted to be. As for your piece the technique is masterful and exciting to look at. The visible brushwork is an added treat. As for the concept itself I feel that this falls a little too far into the "too humanoid" catagory so I can't give it my vote as beautifully done as it is.
fungi Your work through each contest has been consistanly beautiful. As far as the concepts go they have been way out there. All of the creatures exceedingly alien. (maybe not so much the venomous bird) The only thing I could offer, would be to maybe push another lightsource into your work. They all have a tendancy to be uniform in color, for the most part. I would like to see you do something a bit more dramatic with the light and color.
prostate sunrise This reminds me of Frazetta. It has drama and the color's are very much off of his pallet. I like what's going on, the creature, the background. My only crit would be that the creatures back does'nt seem that interesting to me. I think you could have done something with the muscles and lighting or texture or something to hold the viewers interest a bit more. It's such a focal area in your piece.
Red Rook Heh, I was wondering how many entries next week would use Dougbots technique. I did'nt even have to wait a whole week to see one.
Overall it's a pretty nice concept. In the end though I think I was looking at it more in terms of how closley you got it to look like something Dougbot would do. I think that you should just be yourself.
BlkCelebration In terms of feeling hot this one was my second vote next to Leckroniums. I like the loosness of the brushwork. I'm not too crazy about the airbrushing smoke though. The creature seemed a little too dinosaur-like for my tastes.
Stokes I think the lines you have throughout the peice are distracting. I like what you have so far but it feels unfinished. It almost feels like its slapped on the background. I think it might have somehting to do woth the highlights on the creature being so intense and theres no light showing up anywhere else in the forground or background to balance it out.
Jull You have a very sharp technique. Theres nothing to comment on about the rendering. As far as your concept the only thing that I could offer is that maybe there is more light emminating from the semi-hardened lavaand maybe change the shape of the lava. Right now it kind of looks like your creature is sitting on a cow pie.
0kelvin It's plaztek, plaztek people. Nevermind. Your peice comes across as a little too plastic. I like that he's in a cold environment and reaching into a fissure. It's a nice contrast. I just realized he looks more like he's made of silly-putty.
Ptree3 This falls into the "too humanoid" abyss of no return. I can't really comment on the concept of it because you didnt give it one. I think this was probably everyones first idea of what they would design with the cool lava crackles and glow and then everyone reconsidered (and followed rule number one) and did something else. All I can say is try harder to push yourself.
Well thats all for this week. I hope you can walk away without scratching your head wondering what the hell kind of toot I was on when I wrote this stuff, and use some of what I said to help better your work. Alright I'm shutting up now.
Let's go drawring!
My vote went to Matt Dixon this round
Last edited by Ostrander; March 24th, 2005 at 10:16 PM. Reason: I forgot to mention who i voted for.
Well Fozzy, he was serving lava at his demon bar...but it's alright, i realized I was crossing the line a bit...no hard feelings. I'll just have to kick everyone's butt next week Another fantastic week on C.O.W...I don't know who to vote for (though I'm leaning toward Fungi at the moment)! Can I vote for Dougbot's repaint of Helzon's piece...KICK ASS!