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So I'm working on a piece of World of Warcraft art. I'd really like someday to work for Wizards of the Coast or WoW TCG so I'm trying to push my artwork further, to make it more dynamic and tell a story.
Usually I would just dive straight in with silhouettes and rendering straight away but looking back at my work, it seems to result in very static imagery. I want to start properly planning a picture beginning with a sketch and working up, making sure my foundations are stronger before I dive into the details.
So, here is where I'm at so far:
There will eventually be two characters in the piece but this is a variation on the first. I have a very clear idea of camera angle and the atmosphere I want for this, what I currently need help with is solidifying the anatomy and positioning of this character.
The idea is that two troll shamans have been in a big fight (they're working together) one is a melee monster the other is a healer. They're both pretty beaten up but right when they're looking done, the healer drops a torrential healing rain spell, invigorating them and quite literally closing their wounds. It'll be a low camera angle with the viewer's eyeline/horizon line around the belt.
With this guy I want to convey a sense of foreboding badassery, these guys thought he was done but he's just getting started kind of thing. He's kind of head down, poised and tensed and about to go apeshit. I want to convey that sense of strength and power but most importantly, he has to be recognisable as a World of Warcraft character and I'm not sure I've quite got his anatomy correct for that.
I will update this with the other character at some point, but suffice to say he will be mirroring this guy. He'll be a little more side on but with an open posture, clearly showing that it is him casting the spell.
So first up, I really need help deciding
A) which of these postures is better and,
B) correcting the anatomy, foreshortening and readability issues
Really look forward to your replies, the guys here are so talented and I'm hoping to learn a lot from this piece.
Where are your thumbnails for this image? Judging from the text there's gonna be loads of stuff going on and you're definitely going to need thumbnails.
And just having a good idea of what you want isn't an excuse to not do thumbs.
Last edited by TinyBird; August 13th, 2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: can't friken write
Here is the original thumb I drew about 6 months back when I first planned this:
I left it for a long time because I couldn't get where I wanted with it.
Recently though I started rethinking it and had a brainwave about how I wanted to make it more dramatic. I tend to use thumbnails as a very rough get it on paper type exercise. My sketching is very bad and I often find myself getting frustrated at this point and I've found personally that blocking in is a better approach in regards to working out what I want. I am trying to pull back a bit and approach things more 'professionally' though, but one thing at a time. Trying to fix a whole working method in one drawing just isn't realistic but forcing myself to work within parameters whilst feeling comfortable enough to continue allows me to learn and see what it is I'm doing wrong (self taught artist here).
Here is my updated thumbnail:
Very rough I know which is why I didn't put it up earlier but this is the overall thing I'm going for. It's a simple enough composition, the story is more for my own benefit in terms of thinking about posture, pose, expression and feel. I just thought it would be worthwhile me describing to anyone helping what I'm trying to do. I'm certain people here could fix the posture but they may fix it in a way that does the complete opposite of what I'm looking for, the 'fix' may be to do something completely different that I'm not seeing.
Also I'm going thumb > lines > lighting > colour, so whilst I definitely appreciate comments such as 'the lighting there is wrong' I am very much aware of that and have every intention of addressing those issues when I get to that stage .
So after some brilliant and helpful comments in another thread, I decided to rework my thumbnail to be more dynamic.
I will be working it up a lot more but I think I probably need to buff them both up a bit more as they're looking a little too lanky for my taste. Would appreciate any comments people have. Am I going in the right direction? Wrong direction? Any anatomy or perspective issues that stand out?
Thanks in advance
It's technically more dynamic, but the poses don't make much sense. The lower bodies look elongated, and they're standing off balance. In fact, the only way they could be balanced is if their backs are touching, which makes even less sense pose-wise.
To get the perspective right, the first thing you should be doing is defining the horizon, and then working from there. If something is above the horizon we should see its underside; if something is below we should see its topside.
The story should direct everything else in the picture. Where are they? What are they doing? Why? What events led up to this moment in time? What is about to happen? Two characters in random poses will always look just like that: Two characters in random poses.
Iron out what you are trying to communicate. Write it out in words if you need to. The final illustration should communicate all this on its own. Use the story to guide your thumbnails, and make a lot more (at least 8). Try wildly different camera angles and poses. Try depicting slightly different points in time surrounding this overall scene. Show us all the thumbnails for feedback. You shouldn't be putting in line art or detail at this stage.