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here is my work on COW 74 the Golden Guddle Greaper:
I shrunk these wips down just to view more easily in my sketchbook...unlike a lot of previous work I started at my final resolution of 600x800 and just began detailing. I wanted to create a painted, realistic look to my creature rather than looking illustrative. I began with some custom texture brushes to block in an underlying roughness to everything then built up my final colors and textures on top of that rough sketchy image. I feel I made a good step forward with this piece and I am happy with the look.
Great work in your thread. Your pencils and digitals are great. I would love to see some more of your finished pencils. Keep posting the step by step of your pieces as wel. Great way to learn for the rest of us here.
Nice piece Tom. Good concept and painting.
Nice to see you're throwing yourself into thje COW challenges.
Hey Tom. This last piece seems to be a huge improvement over previous pieces. One thing that I've noticed as a recurring thing in your digis is the use of small soft edged brushes being used to fill in large areas. Try using large hard edged brushes on a high opacity for filling in those large spaces, and always try to use the largest brush possible that will fit in the given area you're working on. I read somewhere on these boards, and i'm sure it's been said more than once, that to help in developing a sense of brush economy turn off shape dynamics in your brush property dialog. You mentioned in one of your posts about being worried that your colors are too washed out, and I have to agree that some of them do look very washed out. If you feel that your piece is getting a little washed out, try experimenting with your saturation, and hue settings to get a little more saturation in your colors. Although the washed out can be good in creating a feeling if you learn how to use it. Anyhow, good progress so far. Keep at 'er!
Thanks all. I really try to improve myself with each painting, even if its just using a little tip I learned somewhere. I appreciate all the support I am getting from this community, you guys are all just a driving force of inspiration! Thank you!
Here is a freshly finished piece for my friend's Lovecraft work. A Deep One.
I am trying for a classical looking illustration quality to these. At least as a starting point. To fit in with the era in which the mythos exists.
Last edited by TomCardin; January 23rd, 2007 at 11:08 PM.
This went together quick...just a couple hours. The great race of Yith...another Lovecraftian beauty. My take on the creature from "The shadow out of time" by H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft describes the skin of the main body of the Great Race of Yith as "rugose" (heavily wrinkled) and "iridescent" but doesn't give it a color...whereas he says the 4 trumpets are red, the 4 flower stalks on the head are grey as well as the rubbery skirt, the head is yellowish and the 8 tentacles suspended from the underside of the head are greenish. This is what it all comes together as in my head.
cgoz - Thanks! Trying hard.
Here's my entry for COW 75: 75 Tons
I am really happy with how this came out. I found some satisfying techniques for the ground and sky and I worked out a dynamic pose that was fun.
I would like to evolve my technique more...I still see speedpaintings that are more effective but I am not sure how to get from A to B if that makes any sense.
Not sure if this is the type of advice you're looking for Tom, but the first thing that pops into my head is that your colored images will benefit from stronger contrast and sharper highlights in certain parts (or more discrete shadow masses). For that very last one (your cow entry), maybe you want to reserve the light orange color for the streaky, sharp highlights only, while applying light purple/pink for your diffuse light effects on the body.
Not sure if you know what I mean, I'm only beginning myself so I can't express it very well. Still I hope that's relevant to you.
Realy cool stuff but I have a sugestion if u dont mind. Your paintings have a lot of atmosfeer but they could use a bit more impact. Try more contrast and sharper edges. I photoshoped your pseudodragon from COW to show you the amount of contrast I thinck looks good, but in the end it could be just a matter of taste so dont go changing if u dont agree with me.
Keep on keepin' on!
I'd love some constructive criticism : my sketchbook TY for taking the time
Let's all just be friends and chill the f*** out, k ?
Jeri - thanks for the tip. I was going for a heavy atmosphere in this piece...the dust being thrown up by this creatures travel across the waste...also the sun is partially covered by clouds. I thought if I was too sharp with the lighting and contrast that it would mess up what I was going for. I am really happy with how it came out. Its easily the best digital painting piece I have done yet in terms of the end result meeting my goals. I think the high contrast and close to spectral highlights that you are suggesting are great tips for me moving forward. I do need to sharpen up on lighting details...In this piece I paid a lot of attention to the atmosphere and how it was lightening and fading the contrast as we got further from the viewer. I was using that to show the scale of the creature, it needed to be big.
DeMoon - Thank you! More is coming. I am hard at work on cow 76 but I won't be posting that to the cow until sunday. Not going to put up any more wips...they seemed to hurt me...and they certainly were not getting me the critiques I needed.
MUNIZ - Thanks! yes more coming.
cotletan - I appreciate the paintover. As I told Jeri I got the effect I was looking for with cow 75. I am very happy with it..but it appears that the viewers are not happy with it...its gotten no votes. Thanks for spending the time with the pic. The high contrast doesn't match the atmosphere and hazyness I was going for though.
Bendragon - thanks for the input. I put a lot of thought into the knight in the cow 75 piece...He's not a fool, his sword is out but he had no intention of actually trying to fight a 75 ton demonic magical dragon single handedly. So I didn't want him in a combat pose...what I did want was to show him almost knocked off his feet by the impact with the stone ground just a few yards away. I acted out the pose myself, falling down a few times...It could have been a bit more dynamic with him actually flying backwards, but I wanted to keep more of the focus on the dragon and I feel I achieved that. I also kept the detail down on the knight for the same reasons.
archnemesis dbal - thanks..good direction. I played with that interior glow a lot. I felt I made it bright enough to be a secondary focus of the piece, and if I had gone brighter or stronger with it that it would have overwelmed the primary focus of the sillohette of the dragon.
Thanks everyone for the input.
I am a bit discouraged that I didn't get input this good while the cow was in progress...seems like nobody likes it because its gotten no votes. I am concerned because I feel personally its some of my best work to date in digital painting, also because my previous entries got votes yet they were done more hastily and not finished nearly as well. Whats an artist to do? Well I also bear in mind that some top talent participated in cow 75. It also seems that though flawed other pieces are picking up a lot of votes.
I get feedback about my contrast and highlights and there's pieces getting votes that have shadows going perpendicular to the direction of the lighting...big as life flaws.
So there I am discouraged at what I am getting back from the community in feedback and encouraged because my cow 75 entry was personally very satisfying.
I just have to move forward with my personal goal of gaining more expertise at digital painting.
cow entry rocks. great stuff here!!
Check my sketchbook if you're bored
And my blog!
Your sketches get the ideas across with decent anatomy but a large ammount of your digital paintings are very general and soft....
Hey Tom. On your last one (the 75tons COW entry) it seems like with as bright as the sun is behind the dragons head, that the head should be almost completely blacked out. Other than that, our textures look really good on your creature concepts. I'd love to see some of your pencil work.
spudstudios - Thanks!
Rabid Peanut - Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like my style doesn't match something you are looking for...hmmm..could you link me some samples of work that show this harder edged, sharper definition you are thinking I should go for? Would love more specifics please.
Alice - Thank you so much!
Envisor - Thanks! I am thrilled to inspire someone!
Sepulverture - I thought if I had darkened the head too much it would throw off the hazy look. I wanted the atmosphere to look thick. What I did to achieve that was desaturate and drop details and contrast with distance from the viewer. I thought I had achieved my goal but I guess not if people are seeing it as a lightsource conflict...I know in real life on a hazy day or through heavy air that this is what I see when I look towards lightsources.
Just got out of the hospital..went in with a kidneystone on saturday and got out on monday feeling even worse. Fortunately I had posted my cow entry for dungeon cleaner friday night...I had been contemplating holding it till sunday but I just decided to post it soon as I finished. This is what I got.
I went with a simple creature but I used some viniettes to show it in action...I thought a lot of creatures in this weeks cow ended up quite interesting but really didn't show them in action. I didn't feel to well while working on this so I know I didn't give it the attention I gave the previous couple entries.
Hey Tom. That cow entry looks good, but one problem I see with it is it's difficult to get an idea of their actual size. The only real size comparison you're giving us to work with is the alligator thing, but the alligator makes them look really tiny, then in the last frame where the tentacles are coming under the door it looks huge.
Here is my glue maker entry for COW 77
The California Dew Frog...
I used a different technique on this piece. I detailed out a greyscale image to a finished state then masked the elements of the image apart to different layers to color and add some final lighting effects. I also kept my brushes at full opacity, where I usually have opacity set to pressure sensitive on my stylus. This got me a look I liked...a bit harder edged and more contrasty. Hope everyone likes this look more than what I have been doing so far, its a good technique which I aim to develop further. Right now its a good addition to the skills I am building regardless.
Last edited by TomCardin; February 22nd, 2007 at 02:59 AM.
First off, I love the progression in your SB!
Secondly post #68 is my fave of yours
Thirdly the Cow dungeon cleaner entry gives me the heebie jeebies!
HEY!, thats false advertisment..i want naked dragons...i dont see no "nude" dragons here?!?.........lol well setting that aside, those latests c.o.w. frogs are sw-heeeeeeett(with an h for emphasis). they are acctuly pretty life like only crits are that the wya the tail is wrapped round doesnt make sense, it goes up around and out on the same side instead of going in a twirl around it..?, and the "glue ball" in the tail on foreground frog could be more realistic. apart from that v.v.nice.
p.s: the half naked frog doesnt count as naked dragon. and see u in c.o.w polls
Last edited by life on the sofa; February 20th, 2007 at 11:08 AM.
Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
Good work on this latest COW. Some things I see wrong with it (and this may just be me being nitpicky, but oh well) are that the frog in the foreground doesn't seem to be putting any weight on the leaf, and that is taking away from the illusion of it actually making contact with a solid surface. Also the due drops look more like energy balls than water. I'd suggest googling up some images of things like due drops on leaves. water drops in general, etc., etc.. Also, you gotta get some sort of scale in there. Right now I'm getting the impression that the frogs are about the size of my fist, and holding massive globules of water.
Good work otherwise, and thanks for the comment about my recent tower environ (I've got a thing for towers, you might notice that after a while ).
Hey there Tom..loving the dew frog!
You mentioned a layer setup for the image.
Would you mind posting a screen shot of this image's layer setup?
And they lived happily ever after..until Snow White got hit by a car.
dtran - thanks a ton! I really like that dragon beastie too...guess the competition was just too tough on that cow though. And that dungeon cleaner gives me the heebie jeebies too...I love that beastie too
Life on the sofa, Sepulerture - thanks for the feedback...I reworked the image, played with some details and my shadows on their feet and the dew drops got a major overhaul. As far as the size goes I think the impression you have is close enough.
Mattbyng - thanks! I took a screenshot of the layers from an earlier stage before I had flattened out too much. I broke out the frogs and the close leaves and the dew drops from the background and made each piece a mask so that I could make global changes to each major element in turn....worked out well but just breaking the pieces apart from the initial greyscale painting was a big job.
Here's my sketch for cow 78, Heart Harvester...I need to get a sketchbook with harder, smoother paper. My lines come out all grainy and textured.
I used a light soft purple colored pencil, a number 2, and a black colored pencil...I have no idea where the purple pencil came from but its erasable and has a really nice feel against the paper so I like sketching with it. I dropped in the darker shading quickly just to see some lighting options so I am not sure yet how I am going to light the scene...colors are going to make a big difference. First step in the digital process is going to be seperating the creature and the victims from the background.
Last edited by TomCardin; February 26th, 2007 at 03:02 PM.
A bit further along now...I have broken it out into layers and quickly painted in the background (2 hours). I am not a speed painter but I don't want to spend too much time on the background because the focus will be the critters. Also I know my time will be limited this week to work on this. I also made the main creature and the foreground figure bigger and overlapped things a bit for perspective. I have issues with the ground and the far tentacles of the main creature...those are next on my list to correct before I really dive in to rendering it out as deliciously as I can.