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Art by Lamp [nsfw]

1235

Posts

  • SeveredHeadSeveredHead Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    how do you draw digitaly from life? do you just draw on a tablet?

    nice studies, i especialy like the hobbit some nice textures in there

    EDIT: BOTP
    Lamp wrote: »
    Here are some things I've done lately.

    Pirate study, got bored and kind of abandoned it though.
    7f1w6y8cszvc.jpg


    Was feeling very bad about my cloth rendering abilities so I did this hobbit study.
    s7iwb5z416ag.jpg

    Felt like I had a couple of ah-ha moments doing that study, so as a little exercise I erased Sam and painted an original character (friend's DnD char actually) in the scene to see how it would come out, referring back to the hobbit study for lighting and rendering cues. I feel pretty good about this I think, probably can push it a bit further.
    906tqb65kexj.jpg

    Then here's a couple of recent figure drawings from life.
    2fwvw243iglg.jpg
    k922dmc9bbdb.jpg

    SeveredHead on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    how do you draw digitaly from life? do you just draw on a tablet?

    @SeveredHead Yep I take my Surface Pro 3. I attach it to a wood board with a rubber band like this. The bottom of the board sits on my knees, and the top is propped up against a chair or the front part of a drawing horse

    fld5e8zrwjza.jpg

    I used to use a program called Radial Menu to make touch screen shortcuts for hotkeys. But I got fed up trying to tap tiny touch buttons, which was really slowing me down. So I found a better solution (for me), which is to use a Bluetooth keypad with the keys remapped using a program called Autohotkey. I strap that to my leg with a belt. I posted these photos in the chat thread but here they are again!

    nkbifascj00x.jpg
    fqib0fxd18sz.jpg
    w6olau5ebesc.jpg

    It all feels really smooth and natural for me at this point, with my little keypad I don't feel handicapped at all anymore. Pretty much just as good as painting at home on my cintiq (but with a smaller screen). As a side bonus, people are always interested to talk to me about digital painting at figure drawing (a lot of poeple don't even know it's a thing) so it's a nice conversation starter during breaks!

    Lamp on
    SeveredHeadtapeslingerNatriPeas
  • SeveredHeadSeveredHead Registered User regular
    man that is so cool, that little keypad was a great idea

    tapeslinger
  • NatriNatri Registered User regular
    That is a sweet setup, Lamp! I tried it once with my laptop + wacom tablet but that was entirely too cumbersome. This looks very practical. How do you like your Surface Pro for drawing compared to the cintiq or tablet?

    www.instagram.com/ceneven
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    @Natri Honestly I think they're pretty much on par. I've heard people complain about some minor jittery line issues on the Surface if you do REALLY slow and deliberate linework, but I don't draw like that so I would have never noticed. I think maybe the Cintiq feels slightly smoother and more sensitive... maybe. On the other hand, I like that the Surface has zero parallax so I feel like I'm drawing directly on the screen without any space between the stylus tip. Then again, I don't actually notice that on the Cintiq anymore. Anyway, bottom line is that I think they both feel great.

    Natri
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    All righty, here's a couple of new things. This first one is another simple little character painting, I'm trying to focus on learning to paint clothing and inventing drapery/folds. This robe was a struggle but I think I had a couple of small breakthrough moments here.

    iuz0ldy6h5ne.jpg

    And then here's a couple of little 2 hour poses from life drawing. Trying to spend a bit more time on the environment during each session. I'm also starting to appreciate long pose more because I get to paint a whole "character" in an environment and have a "finished" piece in just a couple of hours. It's fun!

    6fgzj6r71p6m.jpg

    x6tzzquu1fqp.jpg




    Lamp on
    tapeslingerPeas
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Blerg, been working on this for a while and I don't know if it's bad or what. Tried for a dynamic angle on the action and it's been a real struggle getting the poses and costumes in the right perspective. Also haven't really worked on the girl nearly as much as the samurai. Obvs still a long way from finished. Would appreciate some feedback!

    6geyia8xyj6w.jpg

    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    The composition itself seems a bit cut at the knee.

    I like the samurai, but I often think your gestures are a little stiff. I might look towards animation and comics to try to get the best read on your actions.

    If it weren't for their expressions, I wouldnt really read the poses as actually making an impact. It seems like hes pointing his sword rather than swinging it.

    In these instances, some acting and taking reference may help you as well. It seems like you translate stuff pretty well 1 to 1, but if you are just working from found reference and not pushing your gestures and poses, things may end up more stiff. Taking your own pictures can help you push angles and find the exact right pose. I might take 20 pictures to get the one I actually work from, or even cobble them together.

    Anyway, Overall I think your stuff is feeling more and more put together, so thats awesome. You just need to keep working at your structure, gesture, and proportions.

    Angel_of_BacontapeslingerLamp
  • Agreed with Iruka, though I would point out that this is still a pretty good start to a painting- you could just keep going, polish it all up and it'd make for a decent illustration as is IMO; so as far as my critique goes, it's more of trying to get things to the next level, and may not be something you want to try with your next piece rather than try to work into one that's already so far along.

    Expanding on what Iruka was saying, observing animation or live action footage frame by frame (Frame by Frame is a good blog for this: http://framexframe.tumblr.com/), or reading up on animation resources on gesture (such as Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators or Drawn To Life by Walt Stanchfield), would probably be helpful towards pushing your gestures. I would even go a step further and say you may find it beneficial to actually try to keyframe out the action being portrayed, since the process of flipping back and forth frame by frame really forces you to understand the forces, the weight, the torquing going on- a single static frame can make you feel like something's working well enough as is, but putting it into action is a really unforgiving way to strip away any illusions about if what you're drawing feels like a legitimate action, and if you're pushing things as far as you need to.

    It doesn't have to be full frame Disney animation, you don't really have to get into timing or worry about anything being a 'nice drawing', you just have to work to make the action feel believable.

    For example, I took a pass at the action here- just an anticipation frame showing the windup for the swing, a frame of the sword contacting and the other figure absorbing the blow, and the follow through on both actions. Just enough to get a handle on the full action, start to finish.
    lamp_anim.gif

    This isn't great drawing, and probably not great animation in the grand scheme of things truth be told. But the process of doing it really pushed my brain to consider nuances of the action I hadn't anticipated (which is to say, I had to erase out huge portions of every frame about 10 times when I realized I missed something, or it no longer made sense, it felt weird, or things were to ambiguous- animation is hard yo.)
    For example, as I was doing this it became clear that a big part of selling the gesture would be making sure that I capture the forward momentum of the body, of the striking figure, that I'm capturing the twist of the torso and the front leg absorbing the weight of the mass of the torso moving forward. It also became clear that getting the blow to feel impactful would involve the shield figure bracing their back leg to absorb the blow without losing footing, and twisting the torso from the pelvis and having the torso and arm roll back and down with the blow, so such a powerful strike wouldn't simply knock the figure down.

    Even though the drawings are pretty crude, having to work back and forth between frames made me push to make sure the gestures further than I otherwise would have, and thought more about the physics at play- so if I were then to go to a finalized illustration, I'd have a much better sense of what's going to be important to get reading right in that final static picture, to convey the feeling of motion and action.

    (This is all doable in regular old Photoshop BTW, though if you've never used those features before you might have to do some manual reading to figure out how to use them. Short version is, you make a Video Animation in the Timeline window, make a Video Group, fill the Video Group with all your frame layers, turn on/off/fiddle with the Onion Skin setting so you can see other frames while you're drawing, drag the playhead over the red vertical line in the Timeline window to move between frames.)

    IrukaLamptapeslinger
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Dang, thank you so much guys, I don't deserve such great and thoughtful crits, that animation is amazing and really opens my eyes to some of my biggest shortcomings.

    To be honest, I had sort of imagined the samurai's action as sort of a lunge forward that's being parried or turned aside, rather than an overhead slash like that. I don't know if that helps my gestures make more sense. Either way it was a dumb idea in the first place, because an overhead slash with impact is way more interesting for an action scene like this. And it isn't reading like what I had imagined regardless. I think maybe part of it is that while I was trying to depict the samurai as lunging forward, I chose a low, upward-angled view that's sort of perpendicular to his torso, which flattens him out.

    Anyway, I'm going to try to resist the urge to dump this picture, and soldier on until it's finished. At least it's a decent rendering exercise.

    Again thank you both!

    Lamp on
  • I would say "an overhead slash is more interesting" is definitely not what you should be taking away from this critique- that was just what I had interpreted as the original intention, based on the shield figure trying to get under the blow with their shield, and because a katana-type blade is usually used more as a cutting weapon than a thrusting weapon.

    So maybe if you're working on this particular piece you can get away with switching from a thrust to a cut, if it's just a personal piece- but what happens if you're hired to illustrate a swordfight among musketeers with rapiers and shortswords, where thrusting and agility is characteristic of the fighting style? You can't just give everyone falcatas or broadswords or zweihanders just because you think cutting is a more 'interesting' action- you need to make these particular motions work, not some other ones that are easier to draw. Don't just abandon ideas when an easier option comes along, otherwise you'll just develop formulaic habits and do the same easy solutions over and over, and be ill-equipped to handle anything else.

    The important thing to take away from the critique given is the process of working out these problems, of feeling through the action- whatever action that may be.


    So instead of abandoning the original idea, let's see what kind of analysis you can use to get it to work.
    Let's look up 'fencing thrust' of GIS:

    e802df42463ab81bb88ab9273c943285.gif

    Looking at this, you can see that you can follow a line of action from that back toe right to the tip of the sword- one straight line, to extend the tip of the sword as far as possible- remember that the intention is not for the fighter to just rap against the opponent's sword or shield ala flashy stage combat- it's to forcibly punch the tip of the sword straight through the opponent, as well as any clothing or armor they may be wearing. So everything about the body is being used to achieve maximum velocity at the tip of the sword- it's not just the arm extending, but the torso turning to get more reach, the back leg thrusting forward powerfully to drive that point through. To remain balanced, the off-hand is extended back, and the front knee is bent at a 90 degree angle for solid footing- misplacing that step would leave the fighter off-balance and the strike would consequently lack power. The action of the legs- front bent, back extended at a severe angle- means that the pelvis and torso drop down, and consequently the swordhand, rather than being level with the shoulder, is more around torso-level.

    Now, taking these factors into account, you can probably see why the original picture might be mistaken for a downward cut, rather than a thrust- that straight line of action between the back toe and the sword is broken up by many twists and turns- bends at the knee, the elbow, the torso, the shoulder, etc. Rather than a single, powerful action, it feels more like the arm is moving separately from the rest of the body, like posing an action figure. The front leg and the back leg feel evenly weighted and the pelvis seems high, rather than legs extended in the rear and bent in the front, and the pelvis dropped. This means that the sword is coming in higher than you'd expect from a genuine thrust, which then puts your other figure in the position of defending what looks to be an overhead blow towards the head, rather than defending her center-mass.

    Now, all this information gleaned, still isn't a solution, in and of itself. You still need to feel through the action and push the poses to see how much it takes to make things read. An example I could think of here is that you could replicate that classic fencing pose to a T and still not have it look 'powerful', if the sword barely reaches the opponent- and you might have to then rework so the sword tip flies far past the opponent, so it's clear that had it hit, she would have been completely skewered.

    This doesn't even get into the opponent's pose, which could be any number of different things in reaction to this new action by the samurai- probably she will not still want to defend overhead as she is now, since she'd get stabbed in the belly if she did that. She might dodge the thrust completely by jumping to the side, she could step back to get out of range, she could easily parry the blow to the side and be readying a counter-thrust, she could take it on the shield straight on and be knocked back; she could display confident, experienced swordplay, or she could be inexperienced and barely hanging on, getting knocked off balance or making a non-ideal decision, depending on how she deals with this thrust. There's an infinity of possibilities to make this thing work, depending on your intentions and your commitment to thinking and feeling through the action.


    So again, I'd suggest you keyframe your intended action out, to figure out how to make this action work, figure out what's going to be the important elements in getting the action to read as intended- 3 frames like I've done is probably enough to be informative here in working out the body mechanics and the acting.

    1 frame of anticipation- what is happening before the action- your fighter might bring his sword back in a kind of windup, pelvis coming back and down to put weight on the back leg in anticipation of springing forward for the thrust, while the opponent may be readying their shield and sword in preparation for the incoming blow, or possibly is still recovering from a previous blow.
    1 frame of action- the sword thrusts forward, seeking its target- the opponent has to respond with a reaction.
    1 frame of followthrough- the result- either the sword finds its target and pierces the opponent, or the opponent is successful in parrying/dodging/blocking.


    I can talk all day about this stuff, but I'm suggesting this as an exercise because I don't think there's a real replacement for sitting down and working through all these issues yourself, really taking the time to think and draw through the mechanics of the action in a deep way.

    YoshisummonsProspicienceLamptapeslinger
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Read through this a few times over the last two days. Thanks so much Bacon. This idea of thinking in terms of animation key frames is smart and helps me wrap my head around how to find the right gestures. Thank you so much for taking the time to type out such thoughtful crits. I'm taking it to heart. I won't let your effort go to waste :D

    Lamp on
    Angel_of_Bacon
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Taking Bacon's advice to go ahead and render this out since I was so far along already. Had a busy week so not a ton of art time but I did make progress on the girl. Hoping the cape and the hair do a *little* work to make the image look less static. Thought I'd share the current version because why not. Still some detailing to do on the characters to do, and lots of work to do on the environment as well.

    bvp71c6k4bdp.jpg

    Lamp on
    Iruka
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Its coming along Lamp, I'm glad you are pushing through it. You've been making strides in your rending, which is awesome.

    Flaytapeslinger
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Thank you for the encouragement Iruka that means a lot!

    This is getting kinda close to being done I think?

    vqfyw70vwe0n.jpg



    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    All right folks, so I mentioned in the chat thread a while ago that I'm going to the Watts Atelier "Illustration Boot Camp" in January. It's a week long, and one of the main parts is just executing an illustration while you're there. So I need to go in there with everything prepped and ready to go, with a tight drawing, color comps, ref images, etc. I'm getting started now!

    So basically the assignment was to execute an idea based on one of four provided prompts (You can see them here if you're interested: http://wattsillustrationbootcamp.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-boot-camp-descriptions.html#comment-form)

    So the prompt I chose was this one:
    Angel of Sacrifice (Fake Magic card assignment)
    Show an Angel in light armor who has just taken, or is about to take a fatal wound (arrow, sword thrust etc) in order to save the life of a knight. The angel should radiate a sense of duty and serenity.
    This is not about blood and guts, or an over the top comic book action pose. This assignment is all about subtle storytelling and conveying the emotion of the scene.
    Format is 3:4 (like 12 x 16), horizontal
    Hint:Use google images to find visual references for MTG style angels and knights.

    So here's the rough comp that I have so far. I know that the poses/gestures need work, especially the spear guy. For now I just wanted to put together some blocky mannequins to get the characters in roughly the right positions in the scene to map out the composition and basic lighting. My idea is that the angle is going to have a very solemn look on its face, gazing down at the attacker.

    So at the moment I'd really love feedback on the concept, composition, and thoughts about the character's rough poses.

    a777srt4tccg.jpg

    542fqrp9yaam.jpg

    I also need to play around with some other lighting ideas...


    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Did you do any smaller thumbnails before you got here? I suggest doing your gestures in a sketchier phase, you'll be able to cycle through ideas a bit faster.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Thanks Iruka. I did some other thumbnails but they're not much to look at. My main issue is trying to get three characters in here... it feels really complex trying to plot out their positions, in perspective, to get a decent composition. Especially when trying to preserve a good view of the action. So doing low-detail thumbnails, I have a hard time telling what's going to really work when I actually plot things out... I kept trying to sketch dynamic angles of the attacker+angel and wasn't having much luck figuring out what to do with the character who is being protected, or how to keep them in view. So I thought I'd do this exploratory sketch to really block things in properly. I think it will help me walk around the action and think of ways to improve it.

    Actually I probably just need to rethink the scenario and come up with some other takes on the prompt. And I have some ideas!!! I'll try to work on some additional thumbs and report back tomorrow.

    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    So I decided to maybe give up on the idea of having the angel's attacker being depicted in the scene for now. Here's an idea I sketched up this morning before I had to run out the door this morning. Definitely needs work but maybe I'm on a better track, conceptually speaking? My idea is that the lances would be made of light energy, so the lance piercing the angel would be the primary light source for the characters.

    vbisepx4kfvf.jpg




  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited November 2016
    the pose seems to lack impact. Shes getting struck from behind through the middle, but it looks more like a Crucifixion. She looks stiff, and nearly triumphant. If it weren't for the pole coming out her back, you could read this as her emanating something from her chest.

    Angels are a really easy opportunity to look towards the masters. You can get away with a much more lively pose, we put alot of drama into them.
    https://www.wikiart.org/en/gian-lorenzo-bernini/standing-angel-with-scroll-1668?utm_source=returned&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=referral
    https://uploads0.wikiart.org/images/johann-georg-pinzel/angel-1760.jpg!PinterestLarge.jpg
    https://uploads7.wikiart.org/images/leon-bonnat/jacob-wrestling-the-angel.jpg!PinterestLarge.jpg

    She could be practically writhing, much more theatrical. Maybe the rigidity means something to you, but I would try loosening up.

    Iruka on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Yeah, to be honest, a big struggle of this has been trying to follow the specifics of the prompt:
    Show an Angel in light armor who has just taken, or is about to take a fatal wound (arrow, sword thrust etc) in order to save the life of a knight. The angel should radiate a sense of duty and serenity. This is not about blood and guts, or an over the top comic book action pose. This assignment is all about subtle storytelling and conveying the emotion of the scene.

    I've been really agonizing over trying to square these two ideas:

    1)The angel taking a fatal wound
    2) WHILE "radiating a sense of duty and serenity"

    I am really struggling to imagine a scene where the angel ISN'T writhing in pain -- how else do I convey that it's a truly damaging or even "fatal" wound without the angel doing some serious acting? That's where I came up with the idea that the angel is pinned to a pillar by a lance. I've been toying with ideas where the angel is already wounded and fallen, but then I'm having trouble imagining how to convey the idea that the angel was a protector. The ideas I come up with just read as someone grieving over a fallen angel and that's it. Also, what kind of story would I be telling about an angel who looks "serene" after failing in her duty?

    Maybe the prompt just isn't very good? It seems like it's sort of asking me to depict a character who isn't engaged in dramatic acting, in a situation that demands dramatic acting.

    (By the way thank you for taking the time to respond Iruka, this is what I need, someone to nix my bad ideas and force me to come up with something better :) )

    Now that I've typed this all out, I do actually have another idea... I'll sketch it out and see how it goes.

    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I would give some looks to the angels of classical art, because its rarely a lot of gore. It sounds to me like they dont want you to make a ninja pose, but I dont imagine that has to translate to stiff. She could be impaled but not have a pained expression. She could still be in a fighting position, or something similar. Gather some reference of gladiators and angels and see if there is some combination that could work for you.

    Remember the critique bacon just gave you, and try to imagine the full scene. How is this action playing out? Why is she saving a guy from an arrow that wasn't even on his trajectory? Shes taking a wound for someone, to save a life, this person was nearly a victim and not just a bystander. How can you better illustrate that part of the equation?

    This is why the smaller thumbnails help, because you can burn through 20 ideas and then figure out how to make it work. If you have a thumbnail that just doesn't quite read when you flesh it out more, you should have a few others to fall back on, and occasionally it maybe a combination of thoughts. You should be doing them very very quick, to work out these conceptual questions, and then using the more fleshed out versions to ask composition questions. This is why some peoples thumbnails are more or less illegible until they get to sketching phase, and some people take written notes and barely draw in the early phases.

    With the amount of time you have, and the potential you have to get really solid and pointed feedback, I encourage you not to rush into one idea. Spend your first week just iterating as much as possible, then start to lock it down on the most viable options.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Thanks Iruka. I guess I've always kind of thought of thumbnailing as more of a way to work out a composition, rather than a way to work out a concept? My problem right now is that I'm having a really hard time nailing down even a basic concept (even just in my head) that really fits the prompt, let alone ten. Does that make sense? I feel like once I land on a decent starting concept then I could start banging out additional iterations to get it right. But I'm gonna think through what you said.

    In the mean time, I got to thinking about how the prompt suggests to focus on the subtle emotion of the scene, and I got the idea to depict the aftermath of a battle. The angel is already fatally wounded, but has a solemn look on her face as if to say "it's okay." The knight character kneels down and touches her face in grief. Hmmmmmmm...............

    hv2dg6nfbghr.jpg




    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited November 2016
    Lamp wrote: »
    Thanks Iruka. I guess I've always kind of thought of thumbnailing as more of a way to work out a composition, rather than a way to work out a concept? My problem right now is that I'm having a really hard time nailing down even a basic concept (even just in my head) that really fits the prompt, let alone ten. Does that make sense? I feel like once I land on a decent starting concept then I could start banging out additional iterations to get it right. But I'm gonna think through what you said.

    This is why it can be good to force yourself to do it. Sometimes you see a concept instantly, and others it requires some exploration. Imaging you need to illustrate something less complicated. "A girl crying in a field of flowers" Think of how many possibilities are in that statement. Is she wailing in the field, Is she sitting on the ground? Is she standing and looking up in anguish? Is she shedding a single tear? Head buried in her hands? You could easily immediately settle on one of these possibilities and then run with it, but if you have time and patience, you can look at multiple options and ask yourself what gets the mood you like across the best?

    Like I said, some people dont need to draw through these questions, but finding a system for making sure you are working through them is important. With a prompt that's more specific like this one, there are still a huge number of scenes you could create to make it happen. Push yourself to ask a lot of questions about what this could mean visually. If it's easier to just write them out, maybe try that.

    For me it tends to be easier to draw them. Eventually, with practice, your simple sketches, notes and thoughts will translate more clearly to finished ideas. The trick is to not underestimate the power of a little pre production.

    For instance, this last one certainly shows that she's dying, and the serene expression might show that shes cool with it and shit, but it doesn't tell me she protected anyone to take that wound. Is that possible to emphasis? Is it important? That's the kind of thing you can also be working out in the sketch phase.

    Iruka on
    Lamp
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    So I just decided to commit to the idea of the angel being impaled with a weapon by some baddie, with the protected figure somewhere in the background. So I went ahead to thumbnail out some things to see where I could get with that by doing some sloppy 30 second thumbnails. I did a few more than this but most were not really very coherent. So I just included a few here.

    Anyway I liked the one at the top but I still feel like it's hard for me to know if a sketch is worth pursuing at such a low resolution. I'm sure that's a shortcoming of mine when it comes to being able to see a good composition. But yeah, I decided to run with it and flesh it out with mannequin figures to see how I felt about it. At this point I think it is on the right track (I hope).I I'd be interested if anyone has any comments on the gestures -- I redrew the angel and sword guy a couple of times each trying to push the poses.

    q48281pzece8.jpg

    Going to go ahead and do some more sketching and exploring now. I'm also open to suggestions that this idea isn't any good and I should try again :D I guess if I had one specific question it would be, does it come close to looking plausible that the sword guy could have thrust the sword through the angel before getting bashed backward? (I actually don't think so LOL). I'm also worried that this doesn't actually fit the prompt... ("The angel should radiate a sense of duty and serenity"... "no comic book action poses"...) ARGH. Maybe this isn't right after all.

    Okay okay I think now that I have an assignment that I have to get *right* I'm finally understanding why I shouldn't be wasting valuable time drawing until I really figure out what the scene should be...



    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    .

    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Okay after a bunch more thumbnailing and frantic brainstorming I came up with this. The guy up front is gonna clearly look like an evil villain. The character hugging the angel's leg is a knight. The setting is sort of a post-battle burning throne room.

    azmmew6973gc.jpg

    (and one with a slight zoom/crop)

    9b2yk05qhv2m.jpg



    Starting to feel like I'm onto something with this one, someone talk me down. I know that the image doesn't necessarily strongly convey the idea that the angel specifically was a protector. But the idea behind this assignment is really complex and after trying really hard and racking my brain for days, I am just about convinced that I just can't do it all in one image. At least I can't seem to. Every concept I come up with contradicts the prompt in some way, unless I just leave some of the story to your imagination. If it were a Magic card (as per the prompt) it would be titled "Angel of Sacrifice". I think that would do the heavy lifting to fill in the blanks.


    free.jpg 177.6K
    muh.jpg 189.3K
    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Okay one more... I got to thinking about the one part of the prompt that I had sort of overlooked, which is that the angel either already took a fatal blow, or is ABOUT to take a fatal blow. That second part might be the key. Need to figure out a less awkward pose for the sword angel though... with that character's wings in the way, it's really tough to keep the sword in view while not blocking the person on the ground, all while making the character's pose readable at all... Right now I see that it doesn't look like that character is diving or has much of any speed at all. I think I know how to fix it though. For starters I think he should have his wings folded back like a diving bird of prey... I liked the symmetry of the two outstretched pairs of wings, though. Hmmm.

    1z90i66rodt0.jpg

    And with that I'm done barraging my thread with drawings for a bit because I have to go back to work tomorrow!

    Lamp on
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    What if the protecting angel has his/her wings not in that pose but more in a pose like the angel just arrested momentum and is spreading its wings more to catch and be big and block the attack

    Hmm like
    https://goo.gl/images/DucIRf

    Or
    https://goo.gl/images/fWgYNp

    Lamp
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    Good idea! I'm gonna try to implement that tomorrow.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Pretty much just tried to address the sword angel... still not sure if it looks like the character is in motion, diving. The angle is just so extreme that I'm really having trouble with it. It honestly just kind of looks like the bad angel is flapping there, pointing his sword. Blerg. Didn't have time to experiment with the good angel's wings tonight.

    3gucls94zuj7.jpg

    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Does this look as awkward as I think it does?

    u1icl7ylv136.jpg

    I think I'm giving up on this "angel of sacrifice" prompt altogether. I'll try one of the others. I've been beating myself up trying to think of something that makes sense, but I can't figure it out. It has too many specific story elements that halfway contradict each other, I feel.

    sacr.jpg 178.9K
    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I actually think you worked through a ton of problems, Lamp. Of all the ones, that one reads immediately. Hes about to lance her, the guy on the ground is like "noooo" and shes like "do what you must, evil dude".

    If you want to give yourself another option, sure! try another prompt, but try to alleviate yourself of some frustration, you are making progress, it just doesn't feel like it when you are in it.

    tapeslinger
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    Thanks Iruka! Helped me take a fresh look at this. I'm working on values and lighting right now and I think it's looking pretty good! I'll post an update soon.

  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Hoo boy what a jigsaw puzzle this has been, trying to space all of the characters, architecture and shadows/light sources to make it all fit and read properly.

    mhgh3hg8hbou.jpg


    Not sure about the glowing spear tip. The idea is that it'll have some kind of magical effect on it. I was worried about the character (and especially the spear tip) getting lost in the shadows without any extra source of light/contrast. My first idea was that the whole spear would be a glowing magic thing, but then the the whole character would be bathed in light from top to bottom and that would be too much.


    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    So I started to worry about how painting everything from such an extreme top-down angle was going to be super awkward and challenging for me, and I thought -- why haven't I tried this same concept, but horizontal, with the characters near the ground?


    wp1qw0e58kpb.jpg


    The problem is that I'm afraid that the pose of the sword guy sucks but I just can't figure out a way to pose him in a more threatening attack pose that won't obscure half the scene (or his own head), and which fits into the basic composition. I really want to do a front-on view of the angel because that character is supposed to be the focus, and I want to show the character design. AND I have to keep the third background character in clear view somehow, from a decent angle, which really feels like it blocks a bunch of potential options that I would have without that character. I thought I had sorted out a decent pose for the sword guy with the current version, after hours of thumbnails and posing in front of the mirror, but now that I've done some work on it I am not so sure anymore. Gonna rest on it and see how I feel about it tomorrow.

    lak.jpg 140.5K
    Lamp on
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Quick thing from figure drawing last night.. 2 hour pose but I could only stay for the first 1:30, so this is rushed and rough around the edges.

    518mswwdnp92.jpg

    lukn.jpg 152.3K
    Lamp on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I like how the illustration is shaping up but I feel like the proportions on the foreground guy are a bit weird. I assume its for foreshortening, but it seems like the lower half is truncated.

    I'd encourage you to put all of your thumbnails, even the super rough ones, all together on a sheet and share it. Sometimes it makes it easier to see what was developing, and also the correct solution for what you want may jump out at you more.

    preliminary work is hard because it feels like so much effort gets tossed, but try not to look at it that way. Collecting these thumbnails together will help you appreciate and review the work.

    Lamp
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I don't want to just throw a wrench into the gears of your thumbnail process (I am very impressed by your dedication to the process!), but despite the being very nice thumbs I think you are losing the concept of the brief here. And since this is a mock Magic card, the size of the card impacts the complexity of composition that will really work. Its important to pare down the image down to the core important concepts and leave everything else out. Its good to explore a lot of different compositions, but always make sure that it all goes back to that brief:
    Show an Angel in light armor who has just taken, or is about to take a fatal wound (arrow, sword thrust etc) in order to save the life of a knight. The angel should radiate a sense of duty and serenity.

    Reading this, what I find most important is
    1. Attack has either happened, or is happening in a way that death is unavoidable
    2. The angel chose to be in this spot
    3. The attack would have harmed the knight had the angel not been there
    4. Pose and expression shows 'duty and serenity' in almost contradiction to any shown pain or impact

    I would say that most of your thumbnails show the protective part, but not that the angel is imminently dead. You are generally showing the attack in the wind up of the attack rather than the 'almost connected' or follow through. This makes it feel like a battle, but it doesn't feel like the angel couldn't defend somehow. Also, the placement of the knights in your thumbnails feel more like the stereotypical trope of the maiden in the background being fought over rather than a character that was directly saved from injury in that very attack.

    The thumbnail that I think comes closest to the brief is this one:
    vbisepx4kfvf.jpg

    While I agree with Iruka that the pose lacks impact, theres a lot about this thats working and the things that are not can be worked through. On the list of points above, it communicates #1 which none of the others have. It doesn't communicate #2 yet. #3 isn't exactly clear as the trajectory of the spears looks like they would go over the knight, but that is easily fixed. #3 is something to work through as well, but largely comes down to facial expression, something that doesn't always come across in thumbnails.

    I did a really quick paintover showing something close to your thumb but taken further towards the concept. Hopefully this helps show you what I mean!

    ydlabxl.jpg

    Again, I am really impressed by your dedication in these thumbnails! They are really nicely done - I just felt like the communication in them was off target. I think a lot of these would make great paintings though.

    Wassermelone on
    LampIrukaNightDragon
  • LampLamp Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Thank you so much, @Wassermelone ! That's really helpful.

    I've been driving myself absolutely nuts going round on all the various storytelling aspects of this prompt. I have gone back and forth so many times on ideas for paintings where the angel is being actively impaled/wounded at the moment of the scene. Here's the conceptual problem I keep running into: if the character is being actively impaled, and I want it to read like they are actually being hurt (this is supposed to be a fatal wound after all!), I have to draw them like they're being hurt or it won't make sense for a variety of reason. That means they would have an expression on the spectrum of anguish.

    Because on the fliipside, if the character is being impaled, but has a "serene and dutiful" expression on their face, to me that reads as: this character has not really been hurt, let along fatally wounded. They must be some kind of super being who is apparently unphased by being impaled. So then I think, what if I went for something short of anguish (like in that thumbnail of yours, which I really like by the way!). I might be able to get away with showing an expression of sorrow or shock. But even then I run into the problem: if that spear had enough speed and force to impale the character in mid-flight, then shouldn't there still be a bigger reaction, both physically and emotionally (facial expression).? And that's with trying for something much more animated than "serenity".

    Your thumb actually reminds me of a painting by Pindurski that I saw over at CA.org: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php/272214-Pindurski-s-Sketchbook?p=4010183#post4010183

    I look at that and try to imagine the angel looking "serene and dutiful" while being speared through the chest, instead of looking anguished like they do. I've been trying non-stop for a week, but I can't picture it! The angel in that Pindurski painting is reacting pretty much the only way I can believably imagine a character reacting in the moment of being fatally speared in mid-flight -- back arched, fingers splayed, pained expression.

    So that's the part of this assignment that seems to border on contradicting itself. And it's why I keep going back to ideas where the angel is flying toward danger, UNARMED even while actively choosing to fly toward danger. That's the only way I can imagine a character looking serene and dutiful in this scenario. Of course that makes for a bad design for a tiny Magic card illustration, you're probably right about that!

    I think the prompt is just stupid. To me it sounds like "draw a character taking a fatal wound but not reacting in a believable manner". If I could just draw the angel taking one for the team, and reacting appropriately, this would be so much simpler.

    @Iruka Thanks! I'll round up my thumbnails, that's a good idea!

    Lamp on
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