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hi all, this in an in progress version of a book cover for my illustration class this semester. it's pretty much my first color illustration and my first real involved use of painter, so it's taking me a long time to work things out (both from an illustration standpoint and a technical standpoint). i'm getting pretty far along, so i don't think i'll be making any overly drastic changes right now, but i'd love to hear what i'm doing wrong (and right, for that matter) so i can either make changes or impliment them into my next work.
anyway, i have barely touched the castle and the background, though the background is just there to support the foreground in this case and won't be refined too much more.
(oh, by the way, the name of the book is To Reign in Hell by Steven Brust. if you've read it, you'll know i'm not sticking too closely to the characters described in the book and it's got a different feel than the book really has)
I must say that I am rather confused by the arms. Im having difficulties deciding which belongs to who. Also, is the demonguy kicking the soldier in the face *questionmark* I kinda like the metaltexture on the helmets as well as the lighting. You could make it more dramatic though. Make the light brighter for example, atm it seems to go through some sort of fog.
-just spilled a glass o milk on my keyboard so the shiftkeys dont wok...
thanks for sacrificing your keyboard to critique me...
that's interesting that the arms aren't reading as well to you. i must be to used to my drawing and i just see what i expect... i'll see what i can do to work them out a little more...
and you kinda caught me in a shortcut. i had to redraw the feet a while back, then readjust the leg later after that, and the foot ended up kicking the soldier in the face. i adjusted his helmet to be a little more askew, but maybe it's not enough?
i agree with the more dramatic light source to a certain extent. i want it sort of moody and vague with haze for the background but i do agree the light should be a little more intense. adjusting now/tonight... i'll post progress tomorrow.
"(oh, by the way, the name of the book is To Reign in Hell by Steven Brust. if you've read it, you'll know i'm not sticking too closely to the characters described in the book and it's got a different feel than the book really has)"
Just wondering why your doing a book cover illo and changing the feel of the stories and not sticking too closely to the characters. Why bother with a mock cover when you can just paint a scene of a winged man fyling over some armed knights. Doesn't seem along the lines of what a book cover should be...
As far as technical stuff is concerned. not bad. The forground knights are falling into the background. mainly because theyre boththe same color. Is it supposed to be a wraparound? I assume it is because the piece isn't book cover size format.keep in mind how big the actual books are. If this was to fit on an actual book it would be tiny and al the work you labored over will be lost. Also pay attn to where type would be going. the wings/cape and the staff are possible dristraction from when the type mpst logically would fit in your piece. Hope this helps.
voodoochile: thanks for taking the time for this, let me explain a little bit, though. I feel like the bookcover doesn't have to be spot on to what the content is, but rather to be eye catching and at least get people to pick it up. hence the high drama/action type thing (the current cover of the book is pretty awful in that regard). there is war and battle and flying angels in the book, i just took license in what the characters look like (they're not described as demons, but more like people). so i guess i got close to the feel of the book, but it's really more about satan getting manipulated and misunderstood than about war. you should read the book, it's really good.
now, technically, here's my line of reasoning... maybe i'm way off: the foreground knights are supposed to not so much fall into the background, but sort of blend and not draw attention. i wanted to keep your eye off them to focus on the demon (satan and all his buddies in the book). though, now looking at it again, they are a little too similar. i'll fix that. about being a wrap around, yes, it is. it's the exact dimensions of the current cover (front, spine, back). the front cover is 8.5" tall by 5.5" wide. (then .75" for spine, and back cover is the same) so i'm not really doing too much detail that will be too small to see
i was thinking the text would start on the top left of the front (about where that mountain is in the middle of the painting) and go over the top of satan's spear but behind the wing. it should only maybe the edge of the L in Hell, and i want to show it through the translucency of the wing. is doing it that way against the rules of book covers?
again, thanks for the honest critique every little bit helps
here's my update. i didn't really do much on the arms except try and adjust value to keep the same value range for each soldier. i'm gonna stop here for now and see what my teacher has to say about it tomorrow morning. more changes to come i'm sure. heh...
I know this is supposed to be an action shot, but it feels to calm to me.
Satan's legs (especially the cloth of his pants) look a bit too relaxed. Try making the stretch lines of the cloth more intense. That soldier's head also doesn't look like "Ow! The Prince of darkness and all that is unholy just vaporized my skull with his bad-ass kick!" it looks more like, "huh... that light over there sure is interesting... maybe I should cock my head in a curius fashion..." maybe try a different angle and throw his arms up.
The soldier on the far left also looks like he's more curious and less intense.
Nice Work, Uridian. I think you solved the problem with the arms from the first critique, by putting a little more detail on the far arm of the central soldier. It was falling a little too far back before.
I would also hold back on the use of the text. As far as I know, Illustrators are usually contracted by a designer to create the illustration, and the designer handles the typography. I think as a piece, your title becomes a little distracting from the solid composition you've created, and brings the focal point up above the warriors head, instead of between the warrior and the soldiers.
Is this piece for an Academy class?
rhineville: you're absolutely right about that and it's been bugging me for a while. originally there was no kick, but when i had to fix satan's leg, it ended up on the guy's head so i adjusted it to 'fit' but did a craptastic job with it. i'd like to take a different approach this whole project again when i have time. also you're right about the far right soldier. he was an afterthought to help carry the scene onto the back cover of the book. i was hoping no one would notice. heh.
wilderness: thanks... i wasn't sure if i should do the text and i agree that it's distracting, so i'll take it out.
***edit - oh yeah, this is for class at the Academy (Illustration 3) ***
thanks again, guys
This is coming along pretty well *exclamationmark* You really solved one of the arms out by adding the increased amount of detail, very good. But I still feel confused by the position of the arm in the lower right corner. Does it belong to the soldier in front of it, in thyat case it is way off, or another soldier *questionmark* The problem still reamains with the soldier being kicked in the face. If you try to vizualise someone being kicked at that angle with that power his reaction might be a bit different as well his head might get knocked in a different position. To me, right now, it seems as if the soldier is being gently stepped on upon the cheeks. I love the scenery *exclamationmark* A bit more work and you'll have a killer cover....
btw. your hands look very good.