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A wolf, a boar and a tynic walk into a bar...

MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin techRegistered User regular
edited December 2011 in Artist's Corner
Here's a bunch of sketches for a project I'm working on. I'm looking for crits, though maybe it's too early? Tips on painting that goddamn chainmail would be nice though.
Sorry for the watermark, this is semi-commercial and I was only allowed to post it as long as I watermark it... :/
They are supposed to be really small in print (supposedly 2,5x3,5 cm but I've got a sneaking suspicion they'll want them a bit bigger in the end) so details are not that important but I sometimes forget myself and just start scribbling little engravings and stuff like that. Silly rabbit!


Mayday on


  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited May 2015

    Kendeathwalker on
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    These are prWATERMARKetty cool.

    skype: rtschutter
  • MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    At least you have a valid excuse for the watermarks.

    The lighting is really confusing on that undergarment thingy, next to the chainmail. It seems to be coming from the left and the right, but on the torso part of the garment it seems to only be coming from the left.

  • kraz007kraz007 Registered User regular
    I love the sketches, look very nice. The three helms at the top are especially "authentic".

    As to the chainmail, I'm a big Diablo fan, so I've always loved Blizzard's artwork. Of course, this isn't a drawing, it's a 3D rendering but it looks pretty nice:

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  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    cakemikz wrote:
    These are prWATERMARKetty cool.
    I know the watermark is reWATERMARKtarded but eh, I'd rather not turn in work without some "peer review", seeing as how I'm just a dumb beginner.
    Kenny- yeahhh what I had in mind is: how to give the impression of a chainmail without drawing/painting every single goddamn chain link on it.
    Mustang- thanks, it looked completely off for me too but I couldn't put my finger on the specific problem.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Well in the darker areas you can let the mail sort of melt together. Using a textured brush is something you can use for that, and then draw the rings on top of that on the lighter places.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Regarding the fact that these are going to be rather small, I'd make an effort to make sure your main forms are reading well against their backgrounds. Specifically, the chainmail shirt and the sword both have backgrounds that I think are less than ideal. They're very close in value and hue to the items that are supposed to be in the foreground.

    Also, think about how much detail you're even going to be able to get out of these things, when they're printed that small. At that scale, the little detail you've added to the sword hilt is probably just going to read as noise. I'd suggest that while you're in Photoshop, you set your View to Print Size, and rough in your shapes and backgrounds, without zooming in. As you continue to work the pieces up, stop every so often and go back to the Print Size view and make sure that what you're doing is still readable, and reads well at that scale.

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Tried to incorporate your tips guys. I'm keeping most detail for other uses (some of these are most likely going to be put in the manual for the game).
    Hopefully I'll be able to do much more tomorrow... blah.

    Mayday on
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    i love how most of these are dynamic rather than just being dead-on views. The spears in particular are excellent. The exception seems to be the shields; even though I can see how dimensional they are from the construction lines in the sketches, they come off as rather flat. Maybe try some stronger ground shadows to help show how these objects take up space? I don't know if you can with your objectives for the project, but you might also consider adding some wear and tear or slight asymmetries in the details to give them some character.

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  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Yeah, I'm struggling with the dynamism of the shield pics. I'll probably add a more defined background and shadows. Wear and tear is a good idea overall, thanks! I'll probably add it to those shots that end up as illustrations for the manual.

    Mayday on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Almost all done. Does that shield look more 3d? And what do you think about the chainmail? It feels like I cheated.

    Mayday on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think the better ones in this group are the ones with the reduced sketchiness, the two spears really stand out. I would commit to either having lines or getting rid of them, you are sort of all over the place on these, making them feel in limbo. If you arent tight on time, I would jump in and put a little elbow grease into the chain mail, Making at least the edges and stuff look hand crafted will go along way, the helmet especially suffer from looking like a pattern.

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Thanks for the input, Ruka! Depending on how the whole project goes, I may or may not have time to refine them, but I'd certainly want to. I hope to get a chance of how they will look in print and decide on desketchifying them- somehow the guy who commissioned them likes very sketchy stuff.
    Here's the last few, the armours were veeerrry problematic for me (one's a quilted shirt, the other's a leather lammellar armour).

    I intend to work on these more, I need to hear from the guy first, he may decide to leave corrections for later.

    Mayday on
  • MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    The scales (I guess you'd call them scales) on the leather lammellar armour are not straight. They're all kind of on a lean.

    It actually looks like you rushed the hell out of it. Straightening up those scales and some uniformity in the rivets would certainly help.


    Mustang on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    Yeaaah, guilty. Gonna redo that one.

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Alright, the client decided he wants heavy outlines so I went with that. Working on the armours now, I'm also probably gonna redo the chainmail parts of the helmets one more time.
    I also at some point in the distant past had this idea to make the item tiers colour coded (tier 1 - bronze, tier 2 - silver, tier 3 - gold) and now I'm gonna have to work with that to make sure the items still stand out against those backgrounds.

    Is the quilted shirt better than the previous version? I'm still not happy with it but I'm not sure what else to do.

    Mayday on
  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    You need to decide what's going on with the backgrounds. Are the objects sitting on the ground? Floating in the air? It leads to silliness because like, that chainmail helmet, what? Is it somehow being supported? Are ghosts wearing these?

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    Yeah, that first chainmail helmet is messed up. But apart from that I thought I'd abstract the backgrounds, so when there's no shadow, it's supposed to be up in the air (spears, armours, axes otherwise it's on the ground (shields, swords).
    If you think that should be unified, I'd rather go with "on the ground" but do you even think the whole "abstract background with a shadow" idea works? Or should I try to draw some actual background?

  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    I don't think abstract background with a shadow works, it looks silly. It is like, what is this thing laying on? It looks like an abstract background with a shadow. I think abstract backgrounds or grounded backgrounds work, not a mix between the two.


    this is abstract, it works. That shit is floating. We don't even care. I don't think you need to draw a hand holding every object or do some more realistic sort of thing necessary, but you do need to be consistent. The weapons work better because you can imagine it's a cropping of a photo of someone holding it. The hammer works because it's in an abstract area, but it still has form in 3d space. The blade next to it? Not so much. The ones that are hovering an inch above an abstract space? Nope. I can't tell if a lot of these are/ sitting on the ground/a surface or hovering. Make up your mind.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    It looks like the reflection of Matt Cavotta's garage.

    skype: rtschutter
  • McGibsMcGibs TorontoRegistered User regular
    What Kochi said. The focus is on the item alone, not where it is or what it's doing.
    I had do to a bunch of similar things, and I did the floaty, abstract background, with a glow around the item. Then I sometimes themed the background to go with the item (like the water shell thing)

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Thanks for the input guys, I'm gonna post shadowless pictures later on, when I'm done ironing other obvious problems.
    Like this chainmail for example. I think I've actually made it look even worse, ugh!! So I came back and did a sketch remake of the old attempt
    Which direction do you think is better?

    Mayday on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    HA! I knew I had a thread around here somewhere.
    Got back to the project (there was a hold up... and I'm to blame).
    So first I remade the two most problematic armours. I'm still not sure about the chainmail, maybe you guys have some tips on what to do with it?

    Next up, I was told to investigate the possibility of putting some animal fur as a background. Personally I'm not too happy with it. Do you think it can be done well (and it has to look good on a card...). I put it on a filtered photo for now (never actually painted a fur like this so I'm just testing the ground before I commit to any work on this- this is basically a filtered photo).

    And now I'm working on the card proportions- those were never my strong part :/
    large image: 51.jpg
    the sizes of the actual card are dependant on the illustrations (already made as ordered). I might play around with them a bit if that's needed.

    Mayday on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Some new stuff for this. Animals and some kind of a bandit.
    I've moved to working on the backgrounds and... this is pretty much the first time I'm doing this kind of thing. I want to keep them simple and out of focus but also any way to make them not look like ass would be appreciated. I can also see that the colours suck but I have no idea how to improve them.


    Also if you think any of the equipment illustrations are significantly better than others, let me know, I think I'm gonna need to put a small portfolio together (I realise I'm nowhere near commercial level of skill but eh, not gonna turn down an offer).

    Mayday on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
  • Mayday wrote:
    Some new stuff for this. Animals and some kind of a bandit.
    I've moved to working on the backgrounds and... this is pretty much the first time I'm doing this kind of thing. I want to keep them simple and out of focus but also any way to make them not look like ass would be appreciated. I can also see that the colours suck but I have no idea how to improve them.

    I would suggest you stop pissing about trying to achieve some kind of "fur texture" with your scribbling, for a start. That's almost certainly a complete waste of time, and only serves to distract from what you really need to be focusing on, which is resolving the major planes of the form- the same way you would paint any other object.

    Because so much time was spent on the fur, I can't clearly see what's in light and what's in shade, or where the form is turning- without those essential things, no amount of "fur" is going to make an animal read as a legitimate object, much less a specific animal.

    An example might help- Take a gander at this Greg Manchess painting:

    Looks real detailed and those bears look real nice and fuzzy, don't they? But now take a closer look at one of those bears:

    Close up where you can see the paint strokes, you can see he's spent very little energy on creating "fur"- it's all just broad planes, with a few rough strokes here and there flicking out. Getting the planes, the colors and the value right in a broad sense does 99% of the work.

    Lets's see what we can get when we apply the principle to your bear here:

    I stripped out all that texture here, and established everything in very broad planes with a very opaque brush- made clear distinctions between the lit and unlit areas. Worked out the basic planes of the head so I knew where the top plane met the side planes, where the muzzle meets the bulk of the skull, reduced the ears basically down to flat cubes, reduced the legs down to elongated cubes, broadly established the eye sockets as planes, and all of a sudden- it starts feeling like a tangible thing. Even with no texture, you're not left missing much in terms of selling the fuzziness.

    Also I wouldn't bother drawing out each individual tooth for each animal- check that open mouth on that Manchess painting again. 2 quick strokes and he's done. There's no need to draw the audience's attention to every crevice in between the teeth. Paint the relevant plane the teeth create (if any), and move on to more important matters. This goes for stuff like the eyes on the wolf, as well. Tiny areas of detail won't help if the rest of the picture has ambiguous form.

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    Bacon, you are a treasure.

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    So basically I'm giddy like a little girl after that crit. Many thanks for it, Bacon.
    I forgot to mention that I'm working from a ref on this ( I posted the ref along the sketch in the doodle thread some time ago...). And maybe this will make the reasons (or more like excuses) behind my problems more clear. Basically I know that my understanding of form is not good enough yet and it's a bad idea to try to tackle a more complicated subject (like an animal which has three colours of fur on it) before I learn that.
    But oh well, here I am, might as well try.
    So here's the ref and my remake without the obtrusive texture. As you can see, sometimes the fur itself makes the light behave in a way that is confusing to me (especially areas I've marked in red). When I tried to recreate that, it turned out reaaaally bad.

    aaargh need to stop typing now

    EDIT: huh, his head is way too wide. gotta correct that too

    Mayday on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Surveyor of Things and Stuff Registered User regular
    Going by that ref, I think his head is too low for the way you adjusted the angle on it.

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    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    Study your animal anatomy bro. That bear looks like a pile of mush with legs.

  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    Godfather wrote:
    Study your animal anatomy bro. That bear looks like a pile of mush with legs.

    sure just post an add on craigslist stating you are looking for a large bear for some nude modeling

    the hairier the better

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    Then just block it into basic shapes first before moving to the painting. Nothing has any sense of weight or structure in a lot of these animals.

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