View Poll Results: Vote for your fav! Regarding the topic!
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March 25th, 2005 #27Originally Posted by Gloklund
Hide this ad by registering as a memberMarch 25th, 2005 #28Registered User
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Awesome round, guys. By far the best week.
I'm voting for Fungi. Solid rendering, the style is beautiful. Though I agree with most of the crits you got regarding the sameness of color. Hope to see more from you.
I picked out 8 random entries to ass-kiss and slam (just kidding):
Jobesu: I like your style, the brushwork is delicate, as are the colors. The execution is great but I'm not particularly tickled by the creature design. The 'lava' concept seems to have been thrown in as an after thought, like it was an accessory rather than being the bulk of the design.
coondoggle: Works just as great without the animation. The creature is simple, not to many trappings, but the idea is clever and witty. Hmmm what is there to crit... I'm not really crazy about the wallpaper effect of the mottled red you used for the bg. Other than that, I think its hawt.
Helzon: Nice savage brute. The back and the face are the best parts, imo. In terms of color, perhaps you pumped it with the full spectrum to get away from the boring red you would expect from a lava environment (correct me if I'm wrong)? I think that's a bold move which is admirable. But in the end, the color pallete worked against you because it defeated Mr. lava.
Leckronium: Intense heat is conveyed convincingly. The legs of the creature glowing from within as the heat from the lava travels up its length is a great idea, but I think the execution could have been better.
Fozzy: Love that face, all aglow from the soothing warmth of molten rock. Even though its subtle, the green glow of the eyes is a very refreshing point in the image. Compared to your other entries, the paint job isn't quite working for me. It seems bogged down in some areas (particularly the shadows on the legs and the shadow cast by the creature's body.
Gloklund: I read in someone's post that this entry seems weaker compared to your earlier ones, but I actually think its one of the better ones you made. Just might be a personal preference, but the style you used (seeing that it varies from entry to entry-- which is awesome, it shows youre having fun and experimenting) is more loose and dynamic. I am not a fan of the deep red and purple combo, but you pulled it off very nicely here. My crits would be to intensify the light source (in this case in the round lava pool) because the reflected light on the hounds' faces are much too bright in comparison.
Xia: That beast looks great! A little too busy with the hodgepodge of fins, tendrils and arms, but I it all comes together as a whole. Plus, I like your color pallete and your style in painting. Areas of improvement would be that string of lava dribbling down its chin. It looks like incandescent pasta to me.
Oregano: Nice work on the perspective. It's an ant creature but you gave it some flare (excuse the pun) with your lighting and perspective. I think it would use a little more refining especially around the head.
That's all 8 of them. Great job to everyone who turned in an entry! And thanks to those who took the time to crit. I agree, I did mess up on the lava. My natural aversion for thick reds is to blame, hehe, but I'll try to work on that. Thanks again.
As for the Rackham thing, I'm really not trying to emulate his style. Actually, I never knew he existed until over a year ago when comments from people prompted me to google his name.
Well you all have a good one. Looking forward to everyone's entries for the next COW. Cheers!
March 25th, 2005 #29
I voted Fungi because his creature felt more real than any other to me. But
great work of everybody I thought this was a very difficult one, Fozzy isn't making it easy; also with the evil easter creature thingy...
March 25th, 2005 #30
Thoughts: Phase 1
Here's part one of several - gotta do this in phases.
The name of the beast aptly suits the concept copy. The pose is appealing and the lava treatment rocks. Face is great, but I'd love to see more follow through. I know you're fast with these concepts, which is sweet as all get out, but I'd like to see you fleshing out the rest of the bod (wings included) for a complete creature feature.
My favorite part is your concept copy. I could picture this beasty dropping a load out in the ocean to create islands. The lava in the beak looks like a piece of tattered cloth, though. I also like the orange spotting on the feathers (is it a part of the feather or flesh protrusions?). I'd like to see you dig deeper for a more dynamic pose and creature.
Smooth rendering on the creature and the concept of the rock-like arms and male glowing 'mating' hump seems perfectly plausible. I like the pose and my only crit is background related. I know the bg isn't necessary, but if you pop it in, I guess I'd like to see it realized better. BTW, facial expression, tail markings and body spots are sweet additions.
Your ant would do very well blending into its environment if seen from above - predators wouldn't be able to see them at all! A more dynamic pose and conception of the ant (breaking out of what we know as ants) is something I would like to see from your work.
Funny as all get out - geez, these creatures must be huge if their lips are wrapped around a volcanic opening. The bg is a bit much for me, perhaps toning it down a bit is all that is in order. I do like how you have treated the bloated belly though.
I'd like to know more from the concept copy, but oh well...I like the creature, but is it a lava fountain or does it have some sort of vacuum quality to suck lava up into its mouth from the upright position? Unable to tell direction of flow. The lighting is going in the right direction (something I have difficulty with as well) but the bg does make it difficult to tell space and creature shape apart from each other. BTW, the creature's eyes are nicely done.
What can I say - your piece was my top pic for quite some time. And thank you for the TUT. The treatment of the lava glow from w/n the crab is amazing. I almost think that the outlines on the right side appendages could lose their outlines and play up subtle hilites, shadowing, etc. to push them into receding space better. The bg is great - ambient, subtle, not really important and keeps the focus on the creature feature. Your concept copy creacked me up after Prostate relayed your usage of people's names you know that are on CA.org. Very creative.
That's it for phase 1. I'll be continuing with more later.
March 25th, 2005 #31
Thank you all for the critques. I'll try to dig deeper!
^keep me going by visiting my sketchbook^
March 25th, 2005 #32
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!
March 26th, 2005 #33
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....
March 26th, 2005 #34
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!
March 27th, 2005 #35
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!
March 28th, 2005 #36
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!
March 28th, 2005 #37Registered User
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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
March 28th, 2005 #38
March 28th, 2005 #39
Thoughts: Phase 2
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.