Digital Painting Process: "Rayks Forrest Explorer" Covers Composition and Design

Join 500,000+ Artists

Its' free and it takes less than 10 seconds!

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,210
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 435 Times in 85 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Digital Painting Process: "Rayks Forrest Explorer" Covers Composition and Design

    I wrote this in response to a thread posted here by raykart. There's a lot of information in this section about technique - rendering, anatomy, lighting, colour theory, etc. - and less concerning some of the more basic elements involved in crafting an image. This was put together very quickly, but a couple of people have mentioned that the information was useful, so I thought I'd repost it here.

    Raykart's image -

    Name:  forest_explorer_280606.jpg
Views: 34428
Size:  190.5 KB

    My reply -

    Composition. It's hard to create an interesting, dynamic image with your subject so central. Look at the attatched image. The pic to the right of the original shows your basic arrangement - a central subject with a symmetrical frame on either side. Not very exciting. But your composition doesn't have to be complicated to be interesting - in the pic to the right of that, I've simply shifted your subject away from the centre, and added some foreground to balance it out. If you have trouble establishing your composition early on, or struggle to break away from symmetrical arrangements, try laying out your image on an oversized canvas then cropping down once all the elements are in place; that'll give you the chance to try different things to see what works.

    Design. Your bot looks awkward. That's partly because of his stance, but the design is inconsistent - you're mixing circles and oblongs and large and small masses, as I've tried to indicate with the purple outlines. An easy way to avoid this is simply to base your designs around a single shape which repeat throughout the design. It's a pretty crude approach, but it's a good starting point. Notice that even though my bot ( in the middle ) is very simple and is made of different sized bits, he looks consistent because of the repeated curves. The next pic shows that bot dropped into the altered composition.

    Narrative. Your pic has a nice mood to it, but it really isn't telling us anything. There's lots of simple things you could do to add interest here. On the bottom row, I've put in a few examples. First, I've dropped the camera to really show off the size of your bot - you can exaggerate this further with some atmospheric fade, pushing the bits that are furthest away from the viewer towards the background colour. Next, I've dropped in some birds, a cheap trick to push his scale even further, and added some little critters to the foreground blob, which has now become a branch. Why are they there, what are they doing? It doesn't matter as long as it prompts the viewer to ask some questions and get involved with the story surrounding your image. Finally, I've re-introduced the backlight from your original - that will help set up an evocative mood and be a useful way to add definition to such a simple composition.

    Name:  ForestExplorerBits.jpg
Views: 36784
Size:  161.4 KB

    In my opinion, this stuff really is the most important part of our craft. The bones of your image. Get this right, and the rest of the process will be much easier - your painting should 'work' even if, as above, you only spend five minutes scribbling it out.

    Last edited by Sepulverture; November 24th, 2009 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Cleanup and re-organizing - Sepulverture
     


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. The Following 49 Users Say Thank You to Matt Dixon For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  4. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    874
    Thanks
    168
    Thanked 119 Times in 72 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks again for helping me out Matt! It really helped me in how I should approach my ideas and bring them to life. Definitely some great advice there, hope others will benefit from it! I'm not sure how I forgot about the main point of my image - the narrative. The image you came up with is very inspiring - it gets my imagination working and thinking of a story.

    (p.s. i got davi to change my username to rayk )

    Last edited by paberu; July 7th, 2006 at 08:15 AM.
     

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    ah, thanks for this!
    Question though: after you plotted this out..do you directly paint on top of this greyscale painting using an overlay or hardlight layer?

     

  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    205
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Great insight offered here, this will be useful!

    My Sketchbook Please feel free to stop by and crit/comment!

    My Blog!

    My Deviantart

    Painty paint paint
     

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    3,763
    Thanks
    2,126
    Thanked 1,004 Times in 654 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I definitely found this helpful. Thanks!

     

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'm amazed how Matt found the weak areas in the picture and demonstrated them so well. I usually start to draw without thinking much about the composition of the picture. I know that some compositions please my eye more than others, but it's hard to get the right and dynamic composition on an empty paper. That's why i should sketch, sketch and sketch. Also i find the way to sketch the picture in grayscale colors pretty interesting. I should give it a try.

     

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Mexico.
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I love it, amazing. Thank you!

     

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    16
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Although I learned all this stuff from school, Matt you have no idea how cool it is to see someone break down another's art piece by piece with explanations and tips. Thanks to both of you!

     

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Such an awesome breakdown tuorial, as someone who doesn't go to art school and is learning the process by trial and error it's an amazing relief when some takes time to unravel just one of the infinite threads of graphics art cosmic quilt.

     

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,210
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 435 Times in 85 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'm very pleased to see that people are still finding this thread useful.

    Perhaps I can make it a little more useful by drawing attention to the original artist's portfolio site - http://www.artbypavel.com/

    To progress from 'Forest Explorer' to his current standard in just two years is a terrific accomplishment, and a vivid demonstration of what hard work and dedication can acheive. I hope Pavel's journey will be an encouragement and inspiration to any beginners who read this thread.

     

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,831
    Thanks
    1,110
    Thanked 1,312 Times in 544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dixon View Post
    To progress from 'Forest Explorer' to his current standard in just two years is a terrific accomplishment, and a vivid demonstration of what hard work and dedication can acheive. I hope Pavel's journey will be an encouragement and inspiration to any beginners who read this thread.
    Amen to that, after clicking that link my eyes burst open and my jaw dropped to the floor, that's an incredible amount of improvement!

    Thank you very much for submitting this composition enhancement thread too.

     

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dixon View Post
    I hope Pavel's journey will be an encouragement and inspiration to any beginners who read this thread.
    It most certainly is! Seeing the way other people work and watching such grandeur improvement take place right in front of my eyes (kind of) is endlessly inspiring. Thanks for the thread!

     

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thank you so much for this, it was really helpful.

     

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    72
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 52 Times in 21 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Wow he's come along way. Thanks for sharing this, Matt.

     

  17. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    It helped me alot. Thankyou.

    The mysteries that lie in the mountain are not for the mind of a mortal
     

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    1,878
    Thanks
    84
    Thanked 631 Times in 400 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Nice

    **BASTARDISM*WARNING**

    Some aspects are personally flavored though.

    I'd like you to notice that every aspect you add though changes the total effect.

    Let's say the original intent or driver were to have the bot look happy, and the sunnyness glow made the bot look like he's about to break out in song or something Disney style. The attention or the perspective was also on the bot's mood and presenting the bot as an item. "Look at me, here I am, happy in the forest"

    The elements added changed the mood and narrative. The original might have been a simple one but it was kind of effectively or accidentally brought forward. The idea is to move composition into being controlled art instead of accidental so it is usefull for others to point out some flexibility sometimes, but the idea is that you need to know what you are doing and what you want instead of the result being accidental.

    When composition starts you need to have a driver or intent that should dictate all the other choices you make.

    The advice is excellent and useful, it will enhance the artists composition skills but you need to apply them in a way that is conductive to the the driver intent. Centeredness has been made into something that folk might learn to blindly avoid, but it has its uses too, you need to know what those could be. Centeredness is not bad and symmetry is not the devil, it's just that you need to know when it would serve your intent to use it or when it's messing with your intent.

    The forest went from maybe a more open type forest with pathways in to being a jungle, with kittens in it and anacondas. Hence the WTF? expression feeling congruent.

    The birds give a great atmospheric effect but it also has a mood that you might not want.

    I think the picture was good; it just needed some cleaned up rendering and perspective maybe. The forest were also a bit simple and flat.

    Last edited by George Abraham; February 13th, 2009 at 02:35 AM.
    ----------------------------------
    Scetchbook: View the exhibitionist's stuff.
     

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to George Abraham For This Useful Post:


  20. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    179
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    nice...

     

  21. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    179
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    reall cool !!!!

     

  22. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I like the the robot thats about to sing Disney style!I think it just needs detail the first time i saw the picture it was like its legs were buried in the ground.the tips from Matt were very helpful thank you for showing us how this kind of stuff works

     

  23. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I learned some things here, thank you.

     

  24. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    79
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    This was awesome

     

Members who have read this thread: 10

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook