This is coming on really well. You sorted the leg and it looks as natural as the rest now. You've handled the focus very nicely too, so despite many figures there's no distractions from the main centre of interest. As for fitting the theme, well, not sure what you have in mind but of course you could get around any confusion by having the guy offering the others water from a bowl or something. I reckon that would satisfy the "bring to life" aspect.
This painting is looking great. Composition, colour, lighting and technique are all very well executed. It is dramatic and very expressive. The only thing that is bothering me is the narrative - the painting seems to tell a tale of death and the pain of loss - and it does this quite brilliantly. I could be missing something - I am reading the painting purely on its merits withour any word based explantation - but there is no indication of 'bringing something into the world' or 'to life' in either a physical or metaphysical sense that I can percieve. For me the painting would be truly outstanding if there were some suggestion of new life within this tapestry of death. At the moment there is only one indication of this - in that it seems it may be the dawn of a new day. If this could be played upon in some way then I think this painting will be quite remarkable. Great work!
Maybe because there are a bunch of newborn babies lying around???
It feels as though it is perhaps thematically darker than the sort of image they might be looking for with 'newborn', but that being said this is quite beautiful so far. I like that you've gone for something unique - haven't really seen any of the other entries for this yet but this certainly wasn't the kind of thing I would have associated with the title. The lights and colours are wonderful...
Are the figures further out towards the background going to be detailed or are they intended to be something a little ghostly?
Very nice composition and rendering! You reall do know your stuff.. keep it up!
Wow! I go away for a couple of days , obilvious to the confusion I've left behind. Sorry people. Family stuff. You know how it works sometimes.
What I'm aiming at if I can get the image to work, will be the discovery of a new born baby still alive among a scene of human tragedy. The plan is to have the baby's hand grasping the discoverer's finger, picked out by the light. The idea is that even in the the worst of circumstances there is always hope and the chance of a new beginning. Corny, mushy stuff, huh!
Next I'll do Lassie saving a 'ickle kitten' from a grumpy grisly in a lightning storm .
Thanks for all the really nice comments chaps, and for the feedback that tells me how far I still need to go to make it read better. Just haven't got to the details like the baby etc yet. No wonder it wasn't giving you many clues about what I might be thinking. That would be too easy - Mwahahahahahaaaaa.
It's all invaluable commentary and really appreciated. Great stuff. Thank you all.
Ah, now I see. That certainly fits the theme. Looking forward to seeing this one finished!
That's what I thought you were going to have. I'm really enjoying the progress.
Originally Posted by Nickillus
Not had very long to spend on on it recently, but here's a tiny bit more, creeping progress. Still a ton of stuff to resolve. Not the least being the baby I've marked in looks kind of white skinned !?! Hmmmmmmmmm?
Those colours are looking good. So many different hues, some quite vibrant, yet the mood of the piece is still very strong and consistent. My only crit is the baby is too small. I can see it but if I didn't know it was there I... well, wouldn't know it was there.
Thanks for that, Si. I'll bear it in mind. Overplaying the 'fragile newborn' card probably.
It's going to look amazing when finished, and very powerful too.
Thanks Hala. You have more faith in it than I do.
Tweaked the baby a bit, which is now marginally better I think.
And took a break from the intensity of that piece to revisit the other one with the beginnings of a bit of digital watercolour.
I do have another idea, but can't see any way of even starting that. I'm no Simon Dominic Brewer!
Ha, come off it Nick, I can't imagine you have many problems getting your ideas down, given what I've seen of your process! IMO many artists can produce awesome landscapes and monsters but fewer can paint multiple characters that interact realistically and tell a story, something you seem to have no trouble with.
We all want to able to do what we 're not so good at, Si. I'm crap at landscpae and monsters. Figure-work I'm OK at half the time, and it's what I enjoy. Doesn't mean I don't want to be able to do the other stuff. Just have to work at it a lot, lot more.
Was ill yesterday and playing catch-up today, so yet another excuse for minimal progress.
their personalities crack me up xD Hopefully you are feeling better :)
The second one is off to a good start. And I'd love to see how the first one progresses.
Thanks Hala, thanks Ninjacat.
Can't settle today, so threw down a very quick sketch for another idea - and I do mean it's sketchy.
all looking grand so far...lots of concepts to keep you busy there, Ill be struggling with one submission :-)
Was just wondering what packages you tend to use...your site mentions artrage, which i have only just started experimenting with myself (like 1 hours playing about)...usually Im 80% PS, 20% painter, and Im looking to start spending more time in a painterly app.
Any thoughts on painter versus artrage ?
Possibly one of those discusions that will start a furious debate - but would be keen to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for the kind words.
Bear in mind that this is only my opinion, and coming from a background of umpteen years spent using real media - watercolour and line in particular. I'm a bit of an old fuddy-duddy.
I used to be a staunch advocate of Painter despite its many foibles (a tendency to crash and/or corrupt your image files !!)- and I do still think it's a fantastic app, but I only really like it for a few of its many tools. The further it goes into trying to make painting a masterpiece from a cloned photo available to the masses, the more it moves away from being the straight replacement for traditional media I originally loved - albeit with the advantages of layers and such that can never be overlooked. I never did get on with the pencil tools in there though and just couldn't seem to get the settings I like.
Stuff I still love in it (apart from its speed and ability to handle large files):-
soft oil pastels
Tinting brushes (I use them as an alternative to the ultra laggy watercolours they go on about)
'Just Add Water'-blender brush
Chalks in combination with the paper palette controls and the ability to make your own paper textures.
'Artists Oils' (not really an oil painter myself, but love their tactile feel).
I've not tried out Painter11 much, but first impressons didn't bowl me over. That's not really a fair assessment though, so have a look yourself.
Tempted to look at Painter SKetchbook which is a pared down version that might suit me better if it has the right tool set and enough of the capabilities I do use.
Enter Sketchbook Pro:- Tried version 1 and liked it a few years ago and then got hold of version 2. It's an idiot-proof sofware compared to Painter, but has the most responsive pencil tool that feels and looks like pencil. The rest of the tool set was a bit limited, although great feel in all of them. No layer blending modes! No textures. That hurts if you're after a watercoloury type look, but I just worked slightly diffrently in it. Workflow is wonderfully intuitive once you get a grip on it and you can really concentrate on your drawing without being distracted by constant trips to tweak and change your tools
Sketchbook Pro2010 - released this year. A whole raft of great improvements - most notable for me being the ability to create an save custom texture brushes. Still not bogged down by a huge tool set and workflow is still great. I turn to it or ArtRage straight away for any sketching.
I love Sketchbook Pro 2010
Around the same time as I found SKB1, a little, free app called ArtRage popped up. Sweet little software with a fairly uncluttered interface. It seemed a bit 'hobbyist' (no disrespect to hobbyists intended - just rather 'user friendly and fun' rather than aimed at pros). Did have a nice sensitivity to the pencil and other tools though. Pretty good with textures and paint blending too. Hmmmmmmm!?
So when it popped up with a new version2 a few years later I took another look and actually forked out the immense fee of about $25. It was just fun to sketch in and you could get some nice results. It had layers and some useful tools. Then they carried out a series of free upgrades through to version 2.5 and it was transformed for me.
The first thing that got my full attention was adding a 'precise pencil' variant. That was just like the fine lead pencils I used to use all the time in the real media world. Great feel to it - oh yes.
Then they added full layer blending modes, with solid psd compatibility. These are pro level tweaks.
No support for masks as such but instead - 'STENCILS'. You can make a stencil out of any image imported or painted - which adds a whole new dimension to what you can do. And they are fully transformable and invertable. For me it feels more like what you'd have to do in the real world, so I relate to it. (This is all just my take on it remember)
It's not as slick and fast as Painter or even Sketchbook Pro, but perversely that's a big part of the appeal for me. The team at Ambient are really approachable and respond to suggestions if they can and enough people support it. Their drive is to provide a 'pleasurable painting experience'. And they are working like crazy on version 3 which has all sorts of enhancements in the pipeline to add more functionality and tools without detracting from that 'fun to use' aspect. I'm on the beta testing team, so can vouch for that, but can't spill any actual beans - sorry. It should escape within the next few months, if not sooner (?).
I love ArtRage too
Hope that helps a bit and isn't just a self indulgent wallow in software love. My advice. Just try the things and use what suits your way of thinking and working. We all like different things.
ahhh sweet....thanks for all your thoughts on it.
its been something thats been bugging me for a while, i love painter, but a few little things still get me down with it.
I hadnt heard of, or seen Sketchbook Pro 2010 before - looks pretty nice, Ill probably play around with artrage and might look into Sketchbook Pro 2010, see if theres a trial available.
at the end of that day, its pretty handy to be familiar with a variety of apps i think - just would be nice to find one tool that did it all - but i guess its a pain everyone goes through.
Cheers for the ideas
The ArtRage discussion has migrated here now. I wonder if we should ask for referral commissions from Andy & Matt et al? :)
That caveman is cool, his expression is perfect. I'm somewhat envious of your ability to use no reference. I mean, for my pic I dressed up in a suit and a leather coat and posed for 20 minutes on my own couch like some kind of gay pimp just to get a reference I could use. Luckily my referencing skills are degenerate so it looks nothing like me, although that's what it takes for me to get something believable down.
Ha! Well I already have a dedicated endorsement page on my site, for what it's worth with the pitiful traffic that goes through there.
No reference is no better or worse than reference Si - especially when you use it as well as you do. You take it in all sorts of wondrous directions I'd never think of.
I get myself in knots all the time, trying to elicit stuff out of my head. Just what I've gotten used to doing , that's all.
Bit more on First Spark (cheesey working title for the moment).
Gotten completely distractred by a bunch of other stuff I need to deal with at the moment, but have doodled down a couple more quick sketches - nothing very original though.
A couple of fairy type creatures nurturing somehing or other in a dewdrop - and a creative's creations coming to life - way off decent comps, but I just wanted to get them down.
Haven't done diddly-squat on any of these for a good few days now. Just busy, busy with other stuff. Meanhwile it's great to see everyone else charging ahead with super ideas and images.
So a quick toy with this to try and start gathering momentum again.
The first painting you did has really strong colors, and i really liked the idea after you explained it. :)
Maybe you would want to explore the creative creations bit, i love the concept.
Keep it up!
I like how this one is coming one - its got a very gentle/soothing feel to it and seems like it will be full of sunlight. Good to see to something thats not from the dark side. The characterisations are brimming with personality - very cool!
Love the skinny little creates, excellent characters once again. One point - does the egg shape need to be tilted a bit?
Thanks as always for the feedback chaps.
Yes it does Si. Odd! It was more tilted when I laid it out in the first place and I've subconsciously straightened it in progress somehow! How anal is that?
Loving the work so far Nick. As always, it is a pleasure seeing it develop! Still trying to come up with a decent idea myself! lol. Anyway, keep up the great work!