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Hey mate, I agree totally with you about the Chow topics. Perhaps we could start setting a few subjects for ourselves and try to get them finished in the week timeframe. I've realised that if I really want to push my work further that I need to do more completed illustrations and start revealing to myself the flaws in my overall composition and rendering skills. So perhaps if we set ourselves a topic and get a week to complete the design sheet re: Ch0w and then another week or so to take the newly created character and place them in a scene. It could be a good way to get some new completed images for our portfolio's and try out some different techniques. We could apply the same idea to the other community challenge topics and work on our environment and industrial design skills as well. I'm going to go back and have another look at the dragon when I get a few minutes, I do feel like it's a shame to leave him unfinished.
I completely missed the belly button problem in the minotaur!! I suppose the high waistline threw me when I was looking for the error, you always expect the belly button to be between the waistline and the chest. It now just seems crazy that a rogue belly button wasn't spotted earlier.
Ok Screw the Chow's until a good one comes along. I suggest we work on our weak spots but also have fun. I personally like getting a challenge with some details from a buddy and then attacking it with my own spin. So give me an assignment. What I want to do is a zombie. Preferably female. Other than that, why don't you give me all the specifics like method of death, description, characteristics, whatever and go from there.
Targeting weak spots is a must in order to improve and honestly, I want to improve on everything all the time. I could use more weapons and props, environments, female characters, creatures and not to mention environments. More Sci Fi, fantasy and post apocalipse stuff. blah blah blah.
I also have a couple of ideas on the back burner. What do you think?
A Mucha inspired female illustration.
Character illustration featuring Alias from the old Curse of the Azure Bond Series.
Speaking of Bond, James Bond Anything....
Boba Fett Anything
More creatures and Stories from Greek Myth and Celtic Myth.
A Star Ship Troopers Power Suit design
I'd love to do a series of zombies. Multiple characters and levels of decay. Lots of Fun with that....
Ok I've rambled enough but let me know what you think and if you want to tackle any of these.
I've picked up a few freelance gigs this week so I don't know how free I will be to meet a tight weekly deadline but even shooting for one illustration a month isn't too un realistic.
That Belly Button thing hit me like a slap in the face. I know I missed it because I had this awesome ref of a fat man's belly and I just wanted to incorporate it in the character. Funnily enough, nobody noticed it but me! I guess with a creature, you can get away with these things more easily. Anyways, it was a quick fix and all is well now.
I haven't got to keep up with this, but your stuff is excellent as always. Here's a good idea for a challenge: Try redesigning a spacecraft from an old space shooter. (Examples: Gradius, Darius, R-Type, Raiden, Rayforce)
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Alright, I am all in favour of this idea! You're probably right that aiming for a finished image every week is a little ambitious so lets try and keep it to a month at the max before moving on to a new topic. I also could definitely use improvement in every discipline so nothing is out of bounds as far as assignments go, but I'm concious of trying to get some nicely polished sci-fi & fantasy illustrations so a fair helping of topics that fit that mould would be ideal. I think the way you've laid out the assignment by giving me a topic that you're interested in and allowing me to define the specifics works really well to keep up both the excitement and the challenge of each piece. With that in mind I had a look at previous Ch0w topics earlier and was quite taken by the Guardian of Atlantis topic. I'm happy for you to define any and all characteristics for this one but I'd prefer to do a male character if possible.
Your assignment this time: Crazed Zombie Tourist.
Cause of Death: crushed (I think this could present some interesting design limits, I'll let you define the degree that her body was damaged while still keeping in mind it was enough to kill her.
Clothing: whatever touristy attire you think would be appropriate, for full cliché effect I'd like to see tropical tourist inspired get up.
Zombie Type: Considering her cause of death she would probably work best as an old school slow, shambling zombie but you're welcome to try and twist this around to do something a little unexpected.
Appearance: She has been dead for a week or so now and has visibly started to decompose.
Beyond these specifics I think you should be free to set her appearance yourself, if you'd like more or less parameters for this topic let me know.
You're backlog of ideas are all pretty appealing to me. My favourites were Boba Fett, Jame Bond, myth and legend, Star Ship Troopers suit and the space environment.
I've been keeping a few ideas floating around as well.
Grand Space Opera themed image.
Medieval Knight designs.
Steam punk + mundane object designs.
More hardcore fantasy creatures (ogres, goblins, dragon mark ii, etc)
WWII era spy.
Song of Ice and Fire scene illustration.
Should we continue to post about this in out sketchbooks or do you think it's worth starting a new thread that will allow us to converse frequently without flagging our sketchbooks every time we post? I'm excited and ready to get rolling!
Fighting Seraph: Another great Idea. I always got my ass handed to me in those old games but I dig retro themed anything. hmm.....
Eb: Hmm,, she would have to have been bitten before she was crushed so she could turn and the crush couldn't have been so bad as to immobilize her limbs and spine. I have a friend who's wife is a mortician, I think I'll give her a call for some ideas.
The problem with using established characters for our project is that they will be relegated as fan art and not our own IP's. Some people take that as a negative and yet, illustrating Ip's get's you way more exposure and can demonstrate that you understand a company's products and demonstrates your ability to handle their characters. Either way, you will get WAY more hits on your website with a Boba Fett Tag then you will with , Cool monster I made up. You would be surprised.
Time to get to work!.
An interesting point about working with previously established Ip's. I hadn't really considered putting any considerable time into doing a piece with a previously established character or setting but I imagine it would be refreshing not to have to worry about the design and just focus on putting together the illustration. Most definitely worth considering for future projects!
I need to spend some time brushing up on my zombie lore because I completely forgot about having to be infected before becoming a zombie. The crushing idea should still work pretty well with a post mortice effect and will still present all the challenges of creating a design that is still scary and threatening while being less mobile.
You're first zombie sketch is looking really good! There is a strong undead flavour floating around the image. I'd be interested in seeing a more vacant, undead expression on the final figure but that's no big deal for your first zombification sketch. I'm looking forward the coming installments over the next few days!
I love everything here. You've definitely inspired me! Thanks for the links to the Fresh Designer site. I'm now playing around with the Riley Method and enjoying it quite a bit!
Here we go with a female who has received a crushing injury post infection that killed her. I envision her as a bikini model who once bitten, panicked and got in the way of a yard arm on a boat while escaping. Somehow, the arm got loose and swung around and hit her left side in a downward motion, you'll see more damage to her caved in chest in the colored version. But she appears to have an imobile left arm, dislocated left hip and stove in rib cage for starters. So Art Director Eb, What do you got for me before I go into colors? I'll add the flower pattern on her skirt.
teutelquessir: Hey man, I'm glad to have inspired you. The riley method is pretty sweet and something that I should be doing more of. Enjoy!
She is looking nice and mangled just the way I like my bikini model zombies. The pose you've picked works well for communicating how difficult it is for her to get around with all the injuries, I especially like the huge bite out of her arm. Not much more to say beyond I'm looking forward to seeing you develop the grisly details as the piece grows.
I agree with Ebersol, I really like the pose and how you made it work. Nice job
Here we go with the next round Eb. I was trying to keep this one more like a concept design and less a finished illustration. Your thoughts? Should I take it any further. The goal in this is to push each other to excel so don't be afraid to force me level up.
I'm still on the fence about the portrait portion. We'll see if I have more time.
The gore factor is pretty impressive! If you're planning on using it as more of a concept piece rather than an illustration I'd think about softening some of the sand effect over her feet. Although it does help to establish the setting of the character the weight of it at the moment is obscuring the injuries on her lower legs and feet. I'd also consider adding a little more flesh to her chest. As much as I love all the gruesome details, the way you've rendered her right breast it looks like there should more flesh than there is. Are you still thinking of adding some floral patterns to her skirt? Beyond those little points I wouldn't bother rendering it much beyond this point because it's communicating her character clearly and has some great style.
What do you think about continuing with the zombie series? Are you engaged enough to go on with another one or is there something else you'd prefer to have a go at? I'm really liking the new regime so far, it's been way more engaging than the community topics. Let's keep this thing rolling!
I love doing zombies and I never NOT want to draw them. I've thought about restructuring my website to have a page of just zombies. So, yeah, I could do more. The thing is I only want to work on stuff that will push me to improve and grow etc. I feel like I've pretty much got the zombie thing down unless you can think up something to push me to take them further. I'd like to do a fancy schmancy full painting of a rotting zombie corpse and I think I will revisit my chick sketch from earlier this week to polish it up and take it further.
I reviewed the piece with a buddy last night and he told me the broken ribs were hard to read as a crushing injury which he is right. I think I'll revisit it and make some changes. I want this piece to be portfolio worthy without having to paint he hell out of it.
Great update mate. The piece really pops now and is looking great! A little less sand has gone a long way and helps the flip flop on her right foot read a lot more clearly and the extra colour in the skirt compliments the image well. I think your friend is probably right about communicating the nature of the injury, but that is a pretty tough one to do without showing the impact as it happens. Maybe rather than a yard arm on a boat doing the damage perhaps a stone arch could collapse onto her and some of the debris could be left in the wound?
I think your right about moving on to another topic. As much as I like seeing the zombie stuff you've got it down pretty well and unless you'd like to transition into more creature based zombie characters there isn't a whole heap of new ground to break. Are there any topics floating around in your head that you'd like to move onto next? Or would you be game to leave the whole topic up to me and go in completely blind? I'd be interested in trying something like that after I finish up with the Guardian of Atlantis piece. Talk soon.
I love those life drawings! Great style. Makes me wanna do some life drawings, too LOL
You know, when I look at it some more, I could simple erase the whole left arm and then she looks like it was ripped off. Oh well, you can beat a piece to death so I'm moving on. Zombies... It would be presumtuos to say that I have them down but I've hit a wall with my style/ approach is probably a better analogy. Like I said before, a more painterly version might be cool. i never thought about creature zombies but I did watch DOOM last night and they had some fun mutant/zombie thingies...
For our next challenge, I'm not too picky, I would like to get to the other ideas I mentioned earlier especially since I've already started the Mucha inspired piece. I'm open to going in blind but what I really want you to do is help me plug holes in my portfolio and improve on skills. I need more of everything!
I started the ball rolling, now it's your turn.
Jansi: Thanks for the feedback. I'm torn on the dustiness myself. It certainly makes her look more apocalyptic.
Lauraroid: Thanks. Life drawing is always helpful and I'm always telling myself i should draw more too. Cheers!
Alright let's get this thing going for the second round. As you're leaning towards the Mucha inspired piece let's move on to that one for this topic. Although it's already been done a bit I'd like to see you try and combine a subject with the Mucha style that will create an interesting contrast. A couple of thoughts for this subject could be: another zombie (which would definitely force you to approach them in a different way), a female D&D character or creature and although it wouldn't be female you could combine your Boba Fett illustration with Mucha which could be pretty cool. By keeping with a character that's already been established it would be easier to focus on pushing the style and really polishing the illustration but if you're game for the challenge designing a whole new character that would of course work as well. I think you should really invest some time in this one and complete a full illustration that will show off your abilities to work outside of the concept art field. Your thoughts?
Hmmm. Problem with your suggestion on the Mucha piece. I agree that I need a more polished piece / illustration but I've already set my mind upon the idea and put some leg work into research and comps etc so I don't want to start all over. How about, we get back to the challenge thing after this one and instead you be my art Director. I'll post up my comps and project brief later and we can take it from there. How does that work for you?
Also, I won't be able to put as much time into this one short term as I have 2 contracts to work on this week as well as a couple of private commissions so I'm pretty busy. Which is good!
PS: I ran the Beach zombie past the mortician that I know. Apparently I nailed it regarding the injury and the blackend feet but if she was a week old, she would be black and blue all over with a big bloated stomach. I thought that was pretty cool.
Last edited by Wheeljack18; February 19th, 2012 at 02:36 PM.
That sounds like a fine idea mate, we can wait to do a surprise assignment later on. As it stands I'd still be very interested in seeing what you do with a Mucha inspired piece so let's go from there.
For the next zombie piece it would be pretty cool to try and do an accurate depiction of a week old corpse with all of those traits mentioned by your friend. Those as some pretty heavy guidelines to be working within and would make you think a little out of the box for that piece. Nice work on the accurate depiction of the wound!
Sorry about the lack of update from me today. I'll have something to post tomorrow but I got a little sidetracked. I'll try and get something done pretty soon because working on this piece for so long is starting to lose it's appeal a bit. It might be time to take a quick break and work on another project and then come back to the guardian with fresh eyes.
Looking forward to seeing your comps!
As promised, here are some comps for that Mucha inspired piece that's been kicking around in the back of my head. The idea is to complete an illustration using the Character Lisa from the 80's movie " Weird Science". I want to combine the elegance of Mucha with the sexiness and magnetic quality from the Iconic "reveal" scene when she is created. I don't want to recreate the Iconic pose, this is why I have so many thumbnail versions of the pose for the character. I also have a couple of rough design ideas for the frame/ presentation. Once the pose is picked, I think that will lead me in my design choices. For now, here are some of my ideas. Let's see if I can pull it off. How about you guys art Direct me and help me narrow down the choices. Fire off some thoughts and input and help me out.
Eelis: Hey man, welcome welcome. We don't have a real firm plan, we're just helping each other out and pushing ourselves to grow, improve and plug holes in our portfolio. Chime in. Do you want to do a Mucha inspired piece too? Do you want to work on something else? Do you want EB and I to take a look at your portfolio and give you suggestions on what to work on? Eb, help me out here..
Eb: Don't worry about the lack of the update but I'm not going to let you walk on this one. NO BREAKS! As a professional, you can't say to a client, I'm bored, I'll get back to it later. Every piece isn't going to be a winner but the main point (and I wish I learned this earlier than I did) is to finish a piece and move on. Learn something with every piece and take what you like and forget what you don't. Besides, this guy can remain a Black and white image, There is no rule on you having to color it.
For your next gig, How about you do a zombie using the guidelines mentioned or you can join me in a Mucha piece. It's all good. or I can surprise you....
I've been studying photo references recently for practice, so it would be great to finaly do something original again to try out if I've grasped anything.
Wheel: Imho the second from left in the upper row and the middle one on the lower row grasp the feeling you are looking for. For the overall desgin choices, heaven's gate one looks like a really strong support for the actual character. The phallic one ain't bad either, since the idea of mini potrets is good. Maybe the portraits could hold some other subject though? Zoom in of her seducing gaze?
Real good job on those zombies.
Hey bud. Very nice sketches so far, good to see you using reference to build your final image and not just ripping it directly. I think that's a very good indicator for where you understanding of the figure is as most of the time I've only see pros work that way. I agree with Eelis that the one your selected to develop is that strongest sketch by far. I'd like to see you rework the middle bottom figure so that her left arm cuts across the image on the left side at the same angle as the extended arm on the right. This would create a strong diagonal in the composition and would be worth looking at I think. As far as the area surrounding the figure goes I think that #2 and #4 are the strongest layouts, but the space between the portraits and the title in #2 needs to be developed before I could really pick a favourite.
For the next image I'd like a surprise please! Anything from your list of topics or from mine will be fine, but I'd like you to try and pick something that will be really challenging and give me a real shove. Once I get access to my work computer tomorrow I'll post my final version of the guardian and show some colour comps that I was exploring. I definitely learn't a few things while working on that piece, but layer management was one of the more important lessons as I really shot myself in the foot once I got to the colour stage. Thanks for kicking my butt mate .
I'll work up the 2 poses that you suggested and then we can work on the design next. Thanks for the feedback. I responded to each of you in your own SB's so we can go form there with your next projects.
EB: What was the problem with layer management?
Great stuff!I love where this is heading!
Here are the two poses worked up a little bit more based on your comments. I'm leaning towards #2. Your thoughts?
RE: coming up with a our own thread. What do you say Eb? Want me to take the lead on this? Anybody want a cool name? Crimson Daggers is already taken....