Happy new year teammates :) Hi Beelow! Look forward to working with you.
The myth idea sounds interesting as long as we do not try too hard to represent both the myth character and the tarot character. In a chow I did a while back, I referenced "Peter Pan" when doing "Icarus" and that seemed to have confused a lot of people, even though I just tried to borrow the child-like, immature qualities of Peter Pan. I still think it's doable as long as we keep the original myth character strictly to the sideline and just borrow qualities from them, or use certain myth species whenever appropriate. We could also try going straight out and saying "Poseidon as King of Wands" or "Hades as Judgment" and make a myth-themed tarot, although I personally would prefer to stick more with tarot cards as abstract characters rather than reinventing myth figures.
I think an urban, hip flavor might be pretty fresh for tarots, even though that would be a great personal challenge to me since I have no idea how to dress hip. Straight-up fantasy works for me too - funny thing is I don't think I've done it since a long time ago.
I actually like the urban theme, or something like modern fantasy or urban fantasy. (as long as we won't end up looking like Harry Potter or god-forbid Twilight.......) I think it'd be a refreshing approach, I've been checking out all the tarot design out there. I have seen mythical theme, goth, and various culture theme tarot, but haven't seen a modern/urban one.
Although we don't need to go for the "shock factor", it's always nice to have a new perspective.
But it'd be a challenge to interpret Tarot symbolism with modern ideas... and since I rarely do urban/hip stuff... it'd be a nice change of style for me.
Hey there Breelow, nice to have you with us! :)
Hmm, urban fantasy sounds alright, as long as we don't get too realistic, haha. Like I said earlier, I'm pretty okay with anything as long as there's room for more imaginitave elements...
We seem to have a lot of ideas sort of noodling around, I've heard goth/steampunk/mythology/fantasy/urban(modern), that's a lot of different themes to work with. We should really try to come to a decision in the next few days, maybe we can combine a couple of them in an interesting way...
I think the best way to go would be either
mythological/fantasy (or mythological/modern, for an alternate take on it... :D)
I think it's a good idea to keep fantasy elements present no matter what we choose, since that seems to play to our strengths.
Anyway, Since I'm anxious to get started, but don't feel comfortable with starting to design characters until we have a solid theme set - I thought I'd start thumbnailing some compositions...
Here's the seven of wands - I looked up several definitions, and the common thread seemed to boil down to "courage in the face of adversity".
Sooo me, being the monster person that I am, thought maybe it'd be cool to have the figure battling some kind of multi-headed beasty. The description I posted mentioned that the figure had one wand, battling against six others, so of course my mind jumped straight to "six headed monster". XD
(Ignore my writing, it's just me messing around, haha.)
Hey there LancerMoo. Any theme is fine with me. I am a bit overly-anxious to paint, LOL. Like I said I am cool with anything. I second on not reinventing characters, but if everyone wants to do that, I'll go along with that. Modern/Urban Fantasy is cool with me as well. Just stick fantasy with anything I am good, and I'll sleep better at night, LOL. Had to take me a power nap a while ago so I kinda missed all of you when everyone got on. I will keep my messenger running throughout the duration of team chow, so I am easily acessible. Just hit me up. If I don't respond, I am probably off doing stuff and or working on commissions. I'll see it.
I was thinking the same thing as far as doing comp studies. I'll get to that.
Haha, sounds like we are all in the same boat. I'd very much like to start painting as well! How about starting a vote? I think it's safe to say we want a combination of two or three themes. Please vote for the top 3 themes of your choice and we can maybe do the combination of the two themes that got the most votes. If I missed a theme we discussed, do bring it up and vote for it!
Also, I think we should go with the same or a similar aspect ratio, seeing that we are doing tarot cards and all. Any suggestions here? Traditionally tarot cards seem to be long and thin, but there are many other shapes as well, even circular ones.
a couple of color doodles when I try out art rage 3 :)
I second nightblue to the choices made. A C E are my choices as well. Same aspect ratio is better for me. I would like to see try to keep these cards consistent with each other. It's going to be tough for us to keep styles consistent with each other, so I think the best thing is to keep the design of cards and size the same. Colors of the cards can be a bit different though Just same designs, if we go that route with decorating the cards with borders and more graphic design elements.
Nice mood studies nightblue. Reminded me of some Fowkes work.
Here is some Nathan Fowkes for a bit more inspiration as far as what we can do in terms of mood in our paintings, that may work out:
Sorry for the absence. I vote for High Fantasy + Steam punk + Mythology. Although I actually want to stick with Victorian based theme, so somewhere between steam punk and goth with a touch of Fantasy would be nice.
Some head sketches for the king of wand. Still trying to decide whether he should be a philosopher king or king of finances. Either way, I'm picturing him to be a man full of energy and conviction, no matter his age.
Without considering how everyone else voted (:P), my gut feeling would be to go fantasy/steampunk, with urban in there as a distant third.
Nice color studies Nightblue, I really like the pink+green+white color scheme of the first one. I think maybe both could benefit from a little desaturation, though, particularly in the greens and blues (respectively)
Drew up some thumbs for the hermit, but I don't think I'm too happy with any of them yet... I think this card will rely pretty heavily on the theme we choose, so once I have the character's design worked out I'll go back and revisit these.
So here's what our vote amounted too:
a. high fantasy (DnD) 4 vote - NB, Beelow, fluorine, LancerMoo
b. steam punk2 vote - fluorine, LancerMoo
c. gothic 2 vote -NB, Beelow
d. ancient mythology1 vote - fluorine
e. urban hip 2.5 vote -NB, Beelow, LancerMoo
So here is our theme: Combination of DnD high fantasy style and urban flare, with overall mood being kind of dark as we all discussed earlier. Add steam punk elements or gothic decorations when suitable.
Please scream out if you do hate the theme - sorry if the voting method was a little silly :P
Urban research. There's the rough and gritty, as well as the glamorous and glittery. The boundless attitude seems to be the unifying factor.
High Fantasy + Urban sounds like a unique approach and would be fun to illustrate! Thank you for putting up the vote, NB! Urban can almost be anything, actually, vivienne westwood is urban and goth (I think...) and punk.
a little bit Vivienne and some goth picture I collected. (I don't like Vivienne though... she's too loud, but for the design purpose, I think her attitude is what we want in this exercise).
Also, google harajuku girls, those girls has some crazy urban fashion ideas.
Based on your ref it looks like your going to have a blast. Urban/fantasy sounds like your set will be a real stand out.
(Haha, .5 vote... XD)
Urban fantasy looks like it'll be fun, especially after ref-hunting for an hour or two.
Anyway, just to add some more to the ref pile...
Some of the outfits were giving me a kingdom hearts kind of vibe, so I threw in a couple of those just to see a more fantasy approach?
Most of the square enix character design is actually alone the line of urban fantasy, because the game is sort of high-tech steampunk + fantasy. Since we're doing urban fantasy, we need to stay away from Final fantasy/kingdom heart/shadow heart and all that, simply because it's very unlikely to beat the final fantasy character design...
one thing we could try to do to draw distance between us and FF series, is to lean on the hip-hop side. since FF series is more on mainstream victorian side. .. if that actually make any sense...LOL
:P Lancer, 0.5 vote is what you get for saying "distant 3rd!" I guess a ranked voting would have worked better, aka each person's 1st choice is worth 3 votes, etc... next time :P
I'll have to second the "use J-pop with caution" notion. Square has turned that into their signature look. Mixing in the more traditional high fantasy elements might help though, so it wouldn't hurt to try. One thing Square doesn't do - their costumes don't often look functional (Lulu in FFX, for example :D). If we lean more towards what people might actually wear, we might end up sufficiently different from them.
I am now back at my own home and reunited with my lovely cintiq. A couple of thumbnails... was going to do more but I got sucked into the 2nd one. This is why I am bad at doing thumbnails.
yeah....LOL JPRG's character design can go crazy from time to time...You end up wondering why they didn't trip on those crazy clothing/oversize weapons all the time.
Oh, I didn't mean for it to be an example of the style we're going for, but rather an example of fantasy characters using elements of modern clothing in their designs. Of course I don't expect us to go all JRPG styled, I mean, we did just get done deciding "high fantasy", not "final fantasy", after all. XD
And if I got something wrong in regards to style, well, feel free to ignore it, haha. I'm quite fashion-illiterate, so I was just posting stuff I found interesting; I thought there might be some cool shapes and ideas in there to tweak and mess around with. And hey, better to post stuff nobody finds useful than to withhold information that could make our jobs easier, no? :)
And hahaha, they can get quite ridiculous... by all known laws of physics, some of those characters shouldn't be able to walk comfortably, let alone battle, in some of those costumes. I think sometimes the ridiculousness is part of the appeal, though - there's a place for everything, after all, even 7-foot-long swords and permanently spiked hair. ;D
more king of wand sketches - trench coat and hip-hop inspired, respectively.
Niiiiice sketches dear Nightblue! I'm kinda excited what more can you do with this hip-hop inspired line. I like it.
Spent some time working out some compositions, and a bit of the monster's design... ignore the people, they're just placeholders until I can work out the character.
-First image is a couple compositions I scribbled out. Three is probably the most dynamic, but I like the overall "feel" of one more - I might need to change the person so he's doing something more interesting, though.
-Second image is me working out the design of the monster's head... the bottom one is me trying to combine some elements from the above heads. If it doesn't fit with the theme please let me know so I can maybe tone it down a little.
I'll go back and fix it up a bit later, but this is what I have for now.
-The third one is me (sloppily) pasting the head into composition one, just to see how it would fit with the body...
LancerMoo: These are great compositions, and I love the monster head designs, especially the last one. The first composition is my favorite as well. I am in love with the contrast in proportion between the man and the monster. My one concern is the size of the character - this is a character of the week challenge, which traditionally focuses on character design. I remember peeking into team Acehole's sketchbook and seeing them face the same dilemma with one of their pieces as well.
One way to solve this is to do character-centric cards and add mood illustrations as side pieces. What do you guys think? Do we have time to produce extra pieces? Any less lame ideas? :)
Sorry for the absence again~~~ Here's my first attempt for Magician, the hip hop dancer inspired high fantasy elven magician.... wow that's a mouth full...
Very nice work in here :)
Nightblue you've got some very nice design for the king of cup.
Fluorine the elf is nicee ! but I'm not sure of his legs, maybe it's too bold.
LancerMoo : Man wtf ! Love the 3 compositions ! they all are great, I'm jealous....
Keep them coming ! :yayca:
Fluorine, I really like the direction you're going with the magician! I think if you're going to leave his torso and arms bare, it might be cool to slap a really intricate, magey tattoo on there somewhere? ;D
Nah Nightblue, I don't think that'll be necessary - it seems like I'm pretty much the only one who would have that problem, as the rest of the cards we have seem to be pretty character-centric... kights/kings/queens and such. (except for maybe the tower, that might be tricky).
If the design of that one card turns out to be wrong for this contest I'll just change it rather than give everyone else more work. ;D
I do see what you're saying about the guy, I was wondering about that myself... besides being really small, I was also worried about his back being turned, haha.
My aim was to treat the monster as the "character" for this card, rather than an extension of the person? When I read the card description, it seemed like the person was supposed to depict the querent - so I assumed my job would be to give form to whatever troubles he's facing.
But then, maybe you could make that argument for a lot of the cards. I don't know why, but this one just gave me that feeling. XD
(I hope I don't come off as defensive or anything, I'm just trying to explain myself a little bit, haha.)
I hope that's not a problem, as I was under the impression that "characters" didn't have to be humanoid as long as they got the point of the card across? I think I saw Daestwen saying something to that effect in another topic, I'll have to go hunt for it after I sleep a little bit... If it does turn out to be against the rules, I have no problems with changing it. :)
Anyway, here's another idea I had... this guy doesn't have 6 heads, but he does have 6 eyes, 6 legs, and 6 tails... plus I actually managed to fit the whole body in there. XD
(Once again, please ignore the person's clothes, it's horrible placeholder crud that will be changed)
As my team mate Raoul said, your idea of urban fantasy is really good. Keep at it and you'll stand out for all the right reasons.
fluorine: I love the energy in your sketch! It might be more engaging if the elf turns to look at the viewer, or maybe simply turns his eyes to look at the viewer, or something. The legs might just be too uniform in width. My friend showed me to a blog that's very helpful to me, and check these two posts out in particular if you have time: http://radhowto.blogspot.com/2009/12...on-shapes.html and http://radhowto.blogspot.com/2009/12/rhythm.html . Your costume idea is brilliant - a mage that shows skin rather than hide behind huge robes is really refreshing.
Lancer: The idea of the monster being the character is actually very cool, and damn... that's a badass looking creature! It should work if you accessorize the monster a bit and give it some individuality later on. You could also add bodies that dress identical to the last dude alive to make sure he does not read as the main character, rather one of the victims. CHOW has accepted non-humanoid characters before, but has always emphasized on the creature's "personality". COW (creature of the week), on the other hand, stresses that they are all about a creature species, rather than an individual creature, so I think this'll help us draw the line.
I may not have to work OT tonight, so I'll have time to do some serious sketching I hope :)
King of Wand design a bit more fleshed out.
Edit: changed the pose a bit as well as the lighting to be a bit more sinister. I'll sleep on this... can't decide which one I like more.
I think the first one looks more righteous. The second one has more substance. I like the second one better... I don't like those overall just totally righteous character.