Conan the Barbarian.
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  1. #1
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    Conan the Barbarian.

    Well - hi!

    Ehem... This is my first post at Conceptart.org for ... three years!?
    I've been in a lengthy "I suck" period, you see.

    Anyway - I'm actually pretty much finished with this one, so I was a little uncertain if I should post it directly in the Finally Finished section or here.

    But I ended up posting it here, because I will change this if I get some good constructive criticism.


    Details about this drawing:

    Background: No references.

    Conan: three different photos of bodybuilders, one photo of Conan's sword, a couple of photos of Arnold as Conan from the movie Conan the Barbarian. And actually a little bit of myself in a mirror (no, not the muscles...).

    Note: This 'Conan' is not supposed to look like Arnold in the face. Just thought I'd mention that. It's not Arnold's body either, for that matter.

    Anyway - I would like some constructive criticism, as to things I should do to improve this one, before I can post it in Finally Finished.

    Thank you.

    [edit] UPDATED VERSION FUTHER DOWN THE THREAD. [/edit]

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    Last edited by John P.; July 26th, 2006 at 01:48 PM.
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  2. #2
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    the fur on the boots looks unfinished.
    the forground has a more painterly feel while the back ground dosnt, looks like conan was cut of of a painting and added to a computer generated back ground.
    im not sure about anatomy issues but the body looks good to me.

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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I used different techniques/brushes for Conan than for the background (everything other than Conan, pretty much). Mainly because I was planning on using the same brushes for Conan as I did in the background, but it turned out I just don't have the technique in me yet to paint skin tones with that kind of brush. I'll have to work on that. Most of Conan is airbrush, while the background is sharper brushes.

    You tend to go blind after a while of staring at a drawing, but now that you mention it, I agree that the fur on the boots need some work.

    Not sure what to do about the difference in painting technique in the various parts of the drawing at this point. We'll see.

    Thanks for the comments, I'll fix the boots.

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    Yea, think about a thing called atmospheric perspective:
    as things get farther away they get less detailed and there is less contrast in color as well,

    the fur on the boots definitley looks too soft and cloudy

    You might think about adding some elements to keep the viewers eye moving around the picture, variations of light/color in the sky and landscape perhaps, soften/loosen it up,

    I think the figure is really impressive,
    except that straight front leg needs some serious foreshortening. Where would the foot touch the ground?

    Last edited by Nallen; July 25th, 2006 at 11:46 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I was thinking that leg was stretched out more, but I agree - the foot should probably be in line with the other, or at least close to being in line with it. So I'll need to foreshorten it. I'll also try to change the background a little as suggested. Thanks.

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  6. #6
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    Okay, I've tried to follow the crits I got. Not sure I remembered all of them, but I think so.

    But is this a step in the right direction, you think?


    [edit] UPDATED VERSION FUTHER DOWN THE THREAD. [/edit]

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    Last edited by John P.; July 27th, 2006 at 11:02 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Much better...but I'm wondering why you need all that background...I find your lovely COnan gets lost in all that bg....I took the liberty of cropping it for fun....I find it far more interesting that way.

    I love what you did with the fur and his leg definately looks better foreshortened...



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    Hmm... well, you gave me something to think about there.
    I value your input, 'cause I see from other threads that you know what you're talking about.

    I'm a little hesitant of cropping it that much though... I kinda want that big epic thing going. But I'll certainly think about cropping it somehow. Won't promise anything though!

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    I would actually prefer to see it cropped a little more to the left - taking out that white mountain peak, which though lovely, is very white and somewhat distracting, imo. I love the reddish sky - if you cropped to have more of that and less of the mountain, I think it'd look perfect. (:

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    Maybe I could tone down / darken the snow, or perhaps remove it altogether, yet keep the mountain? And maybe crop a little.
    I'll look at this tomorrow.

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    Hmm.... actually, I think for the snow... perhaps it could do with having more shade on the right of the peak, there? Some more grey there... and highlight the left edge with some soft reddish orange or yellow light? It seems the light is coming from the sunset over on the left, and the mountain peak doesn't seem to reflect this, since it's all so white. Just a thought - I think having the snow reflect some of that reddish/orange light might make it tie in better and be less distracting. (:

    Not sure of how much my crits are, though. *grins*

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    I agree... I actually moved the mountain over purely because you put a lot of work into it. HOwever, the way I cropped it initially where there was mostly sky and a little of the mountain showing looked just as good if not better seeing as there wasn't that big white spot to call too much attention away from Conan....

    My suggestion would be to find a good landscape painting of a mountian with a snow peak....it'll show you best how you should be coloring the montain peak, try to find one that has a lot of contrast on the oposing sides of the peak. Also don't be afraid to use some blues in teh shadow as well as some of that orange and yellow in teh highlighted area.

    As for teh cropping...I did it quickly so it's a little moe cropped on the left that I would like...I would want a little bit more landscape around that side. You already have the epic feeling purely by the figure...the background should only enhance him, not take over and become the primary focus...or else it isn't a background... If you truely want more background, I woulnd't go too much farther than half an inch to an inch more than I've shown you. Of course, it IS your work and your decision. Just know that the background is not what makes this piece lovely...it is the work you put into Conan that does...

    Here...for fun i recropped it without moving the mountain and I gave him a little more landscape on teh left...



    Last edited by silken; July 26th, 2006 at 05:59 PM.
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  13. #13
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    good improvement so far.

    what bugs me most though is the lightning on conan... its a totally different light situation than the background... and because of that looks pasted together.

    id move up the cutoff foot and the camp fire aswell ... they are the most important actors in this piece... so cutting em off kinda hurts imo.

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  14. #14
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    Okay - so here's the next step.

    I haven't cropped it, silken. Sorry - I can't bring myself to do it.

    I have however tried to follow sone_one's crit, and have extended the canvas downward to allow Conan's foot and the fireplace to be fully visible.

    In addition, I have tried to fix the mountain, and also given Conan new lighting, so that he's lit up by the fire.

    Tell me what you think.

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    Last edited by John P.; July 27th, 2006 at 11:27 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Oh, that's very much improved. I like the mountain's highlights, and the yellow light the fire is spilling over Conan - it improves the feel of the piece no end. However, if I were you (and I'm so sorry to be constantly nit-picking here!) I would add some more shadow to Conan - he has two light sources, the fire and the sunset... perhaps in between you need a darker midtone to indictate shadow and the fact that it's practically night?

    I dunno. I think I'm just nitpicking now. (: I do apologise.

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  16. #16
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    Thanks.

    I've made him a bit darker, but I found it hard to create 'shadow' in parts that are 'between' the two light sources, because - well, there aren't many parts that wouldn't be affected by either source, as far as I can see.

    I've made a few improvements I think. I have among other things incorporated an idea I had all along, which was to have him using a grinding stone to sharpen his sword. That makes him have a purpose in sitting that way with the sword, I think.

    And I added some birds.

    I think I'm ready to take this to the Finally Finished forum now, unless there's something really pressing? I'm surely going to get some crits in there as well anyway.

    So, most likely final image:

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    Last edited by John P.; July 27th, 2006 at 04:20 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Hehehe...dont' appologize Dearling....after all the most important person who needs to be satisfied for this is YOU, right... And I feel he looks much better and that right now, the background is helping him be a focus...

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  18. #18
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    Arnold is the man, good face.

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  19. #19
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    this drawing is fantastic.. but im surprised no one has said anything about the lighting. this really need to be improved. you currently have 3 sources of light: the fire, the sunset, and the snow on the mountain [reflecting light]. with these three sources of light your shading and highlites need work. play with some values and see what you come up with. that should top it off qute nicely. great work man - JAG

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  20. #20
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    The anatomy is pretty good, and it's very neatly done, I can see you have spent some time on this piece. But I think he pops out a little too much from the background, it looks a little like you have taken a photo of a landscape and then pasted a character on it. Other than that, I like it.

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