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Hello people, I'm working on an image of a scene and I need your help. This scene is in forest with sunlight coming through, 2 characters reacting to their friend's death in front of huge weeping buddha statue.
I made two thumbnails to start thinking about composition. I'm trying to get the lighting and value balance right in this pass. The first image is vertical composition with the statue standing alone. The second is horizontal composition with statue half buried in a huge tree. Any comments/feedback is appreciated.
*Edit*moving the images to the next post.
Last edited by raqmo; February 7th, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
I like the first one a bit better than the second. It seems more easily readable, and it sorta has a nicer tonal structure. But do a jillion more little thumbs! Search for Loomis' informal composition process. It's a great tool for cranking out lots of variations on an idea that are well laid out and grounded. Good luck!
Don't make it so literal. The first one image is like saying, "The the reeking, putrid, disgusting garbage smelled bad."
From the description, the reader knew the garbage smelled bad, no need to say it.
A weeping buddha can be pictured less forward than that.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
rseward: yeah I agree the first one is more clear. I do like the idea the statue is buried in the wall of trees in the second one...
OmenSpirits: I assume you are talking about the posture of the statue. Yes I agree the pose is too literal. "weeping buddha" idea came from someone who requested this illustration. There's actually chinese statue named weeping buddha, and it has this specific pose..which I personally don't like. My client wants me to include this specific figure as main piece in the composition. I'd rather put more subtle gesture. I totally agree with you!
This is interesting question for you guys...when we are working with client who gets ideas that doesn't work nicely, how much should we fight against it? This is one of my dilemmas I always get and frustrated...
Well, I tried 2 more horizontal composition really quick. I think I'm looking for calm, serene scene hinting this tragic event in a subtle way. Longer horizon seems to set the atmosphere calmer I feel.
first post's images are here:
Last edited by raqmo; February 7th, 2012 at 06:55 PM.
still working on composition and value. Well, after thinking through regarding the feedback, I thought I can go for 2 directions.
The problem of the 1st image was the statue catching too much attention. Since the posture of the buddha is not my focal point it should be toned down.
1. Focus on the character
Let's focus on the incident and try to capture the emotions by gestures of the character. I want to focus on the most important characters here, and decided to cut the third one out. Having the third character gives more weight to the environmental composition which I don't intend to do here.
BTW the main character is one armed.
2. Use buddha wisely
For this one I changed the resolution to widescreen. I thought having longer horizon would help to give a sense of scale. In this one I added 2 more statues, all covered by gigantic roots. In this way hopefully... with weathered look, the gesture of buddha won't bother too much. I want to play with light and shadow, especially with the placement of characters.
Hello people, here's update. I want to work on both options as much as I can. I like painting mossy forest, and I miss doing character stuff. It's been a while since the last time I painted character...so...
Today's update is a quick color study of option #2. My stuff tends to get monochromatic, so I'm careful keeping the hue vibrant. In this pass I am trying to get the general color scheme and atmosphere. Shout out your thoughts/concerns.
Option#1 color pass may be coming soon.
Hello, I'm keeping marching in solo, guys!
I didn't mean to jump on to details like this, but it kinda happened naturally. Maybe this is wrong. I'll be extra cautious not to lose the hue in this process.
This will be a long project. Like the dragon painting I've been working on,
I'm expecting to go through tons of revisions from now on.
This is an experiment for training myself to create "finished" concept art. This guy told me I need to push myself to the direction. Hopefully once I go over this wall of "doneness", I will understand something about painting...
ShiroYama: Thanks for the comment! Yay agreement!
worked a bit more again. feels like I'm going back and forth between blocking and detailing. almost feels like I'm breaking the balance of the composition...
well, I heard once... in order to push it further it's necessary to break through what you created. so I guess I'm going to the right direction...?
I mean this version looks much stronger for sure, isn't it?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the trees to the far right look like they're lit from our right and maybe a bit from behind, while the trees in the middle (our left of the buddha), look like they're lit from where we're standing. What I'm trying to say is that the light seems inconsistent, somehow. Though I need to learn a lot there too.
I don't think the gesture on the "weeping Buddha" is reading at all...in fact, if I hadn't read the comments I wouldn't even have identified it as a human form (right now it looks like a boulder). Find some reference, do a tighter sketch--whatever it takes to get the concept across.
EagleGrove: good point. I'll tone the light down.
Giacomo: mm...yeah it's pretty hard...here's the reference
the original sculptures already has difficult forms. at this point, it's not the center of focus to show the buddha weeping, so I'll leave it as it is now...all I need from the statues is that they are ancient looking, weathered stone figures curved in primitive art style.
kinda like this one:
thanks for feedback!
I have 2 thoughts on the latest version regarding 1/lighting 2/the perspective:
1/The good lighting on the Buddha posted on 7th february is fading away so I would brings some back... Also I would try to have different brightness level for the 2 Buddha..for example ,the left one could be darker than the one on the right. The point is to break a bit the slight repetition that generates theses two elements..(the perspective /distance makes them less repetitive but that may not be enough)
2/Perceptive, we feel it in the ground and the roots but not in the foliage...according to your grid we are under it and I am not sure we feel this now
Last edited by paulboutros; March 1st, 2012 at 11:46 PM.
I understand a pretty high level pro told you you need to do finished work...did they tell you anything else? Just wondering...
I ask because what they should also have mentioned is to be able to do finished work you need to understand the fundamentals of what goes into a piece. Without that understanding, sure you can finish something, but if it lacks fundamental visual principles it won't come together.
The biggest problem with this piece is the lighting...composition isn't terribly interesting either. Your narrative of two people reacting to a companion's death is completely lost due to the POV and scale. Did you do a series of thumbnails exploring a variety of viewpoints, camera shots and compositions which give the image the impact you're after? That is always the first place to start. From there you work out the lighting and value structure which provides teh mood and feel of the scene.
I would get Gurney's book "Imaginitive Realism", read it thoroughly and give it another shot.
JeffX99: thank you so much for the advice. It is correct, I need to work on the fundamentals, and lighting is always one of the most difficult things to deal with for me.
This particular piece is getting to the point that it's too far to tweak it to make it work. Too much details are put already, so it's easier to start over to nail down the concept of what this is supposed to describe. Though I think I can still use this for brush experiment, as a practice stepping stone.
My mentor didn't mention about fundamentals. He said I'm at some level already, and need to focus on spending time to complete work so I will understand something...(I still don't know what it is yet for sure...) higher level about digital painting.
Regarding the thumbnail study, I did think about alternative composition to focus on the characters, if you see the earlier posts . I decided to ditch the direction mainly because I thought it's good for me to focus on rendering environment since I haven't done it with this much detail. Taking your comment sincerely I think the study wasn't deep enough.
Honestly, I think I'm trying to do two things at the same time in this one. I need to learn painting basics, more of the technical side like lighting and color, and also how to make "concept art", that is more of visualization of good ideas. In this piece I'm getting into basic techniques like how to deal with brush in photoshop too much, so creative composition to tell a story became secondary.
I do want to work a bit more on current version to bring it to some level of resolution, at least good enough for a sketch or a study though. Then I should start over and really focus on the concept itself.
Great feedback, thank you again, and I ordered the book...I'm excited to read it (I hope it's not too thick. Reading English book has never been easy for me :p)
P.S. If you could do draw over how to correct the lighting I'd appreciate it very much. All I can see now is toning down middle tree leaves to create accent...
Last edited by raqmo; March 3rd, 2012 at 03:34 AM.
I'm glad you took my critique well. I will try to find time for a quick paintover today. I actually think these two were stronger compositions and told the story better:
Last edited by JeffX99; March 3rd, 2012 at 08:48 PM.
JeffX99: oh this is great! Yep, I think I know how the scene should be rendered now. After your pass, now it's apparent that this painting needs more foreground element. The area looks unnaturally open for that kind of forest...
Regarding the thumbnails...it's funny, most of the time I end up the first comp the strongest. I'll do another comp pass keeping in mind what elements are crucial and what's not to tell this story.
hmmm...trying to make the focal point as clear as possible. still not sure about the character placement, but I guess it leads eye better...(maybe not?)
I thought I need to put more foreground elements, but working on this pass made me think differently. If I use lighting and ground texture right maybe I don't need them. Also the last thing I want is cheesy framing blurred elements in foreground, so...