E.O.W. Round 156: Temple at Uppsala
Topic suggested by JanJager:
Temple at Uppsala
Taken from Wikipedia:
The Temple at Uppsala was a religious center in Norse paganism once located at what is now Gamla Uppsala. Sweden attested in Adam of Bremen's 11th century work Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum and in Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Theories have been proposed about the implications of the descriptions of the temple and the findings (or lack thereof) of the archaeological excavations in the area.
In Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Adam of Bremen provides a description of the temple. Adam records that a "very famous temple called Ubsola" exists in a town close to Sigtuna. Adam details that the temple is "adorned with gold" and that the people there worship statues of three specific gods that sit on a triple throne. Adam describes that near the temple stands a massive tree with far-spreading branches, which is evergreen both in summer and winter. At the tree is also a spring where sacrifices are also held. According to Adam, a custom exists where a man, alive, is thrown into the spring, and if he fails to return to the surface, "the wish of the people will be fulfilled."
The existence of the temple disputed, and there's no historically factual details of what it looked like. There are just two written records - none of the writers ever saw the temple and there are few archaeological records. You can choose to follow the wikipedia briefing or just have at it loosely.
In the end I went with something a little different than the straight-on old-school Norse approach and went with a sort of techno-blend (don't get me wrong, great universe to explore, I just felt like doing something a touch different). I tried to hit all the basics though : giant evergreen, golden chain(s), some ledge to throw people off of into the spring water. Added a few raven-banners here, the Thor statue in the Mjolnir inspired floating ship, fancy-bits to the bottom rear reminiscent of the shields offa the Drakkars. Anyway, enough chatter
Good fun & I sorely need the practice. Good luck to all !
I went with my imagination and thought the temple would likely be a massive structure in an out of the way holy place, so I went for a feeling of seclusion, but still tried to keep the scale large. I liked the idea of the temple almost being a cap to the mountain it was on. I also wanted to incorporate the spring and tree, I think it adds to the feel that the temple is in something of an oasis in the mountains.
The subject matter is really dark and eerie, so i wanted to try and paint the setting at day time but still give the uneasy feeling that people portrayed in the writings. Subtle dead bodies in the trees people casually sitting at the waters edge, a decayed arm floats to the top...
Please vote for your personal favourite artwork from this round. Remember that your vote should reflect an equal weight of aesthetic impact, adherance to the brief, and idea development. Help strengthen the activity by leaving criticism for the artist you vote for, and for any other artworks you can manage! It's appreciated as some artists may want to polish their entries and use them for their own portfolios or for other personal or professional uses.
**The following entries aren't up in the poll but please comment and/or vote for them in a PM or public post in this thread if you'd like. Sorry for any inconvenience to the artists**
**Your votes will be public***
Thanks & enjoy.
Last edited by Vulgar`; February 2nd, 2011 at 08:14 AM.
I'm sorry to clutter with this but would you still let this one in up for voting? I was hoping to enter this round despite work for my client and univ but I hardly got to touch my entry last week so I'm late and yeah it's a little sketchy so you tell me.
Ahhh damn... Unfortunately there's no option to edit the voting poll or else I would! Added you and Xezor's entries in so they're up for comments & feedback. Anyone can vote for you both in this thread by posting or PMing you or myself.
SouMeng - 7 votes
Xezor - 4 votes
Last edited by Vulgar`; March 3rd, 2011 at 02:48 PM.
votes for both Xezor and souMeng
A wandering mind is more likely to find new places
ohh lol i forgot about this one and never finished mine haha... thanks for putting it in the poll anyway although im very unhappy about my piece haha.. i vote for Xezor really nice atmosphere and rendering
vote for xezor !
I wanted to take part in this, so here's my thoughts on all the images.
Emerging: I think there could be a little more life, or motion in it. The building seems a little too uniform in color, texture and shape. Maybe a stronger foreground would help? I like the colors.
Mitze: The dragon looks flat, as if his tail is directly in front of the hill, even though he is placed back on it. Depth of field seems too abrupt. Cliffs look really sharp then the whole background appears blurred. I think the dragon and temple seem a little disjointed. They seem hand drawn and flatter as opposed to the rest of the image. They also seem to compete for attention? The lighting feels odd, maybe it’s the color contrast between the sky and the landscape. I think you could’ve brought more of the sky color into the rest of the scene.
Android411: Seems unfinished. As the colors are a bit odd (the forest is nearly one tone of green), the bridge looks like it was pasted out of a photo? The foreground looks flat. Some things in the image look overly sharpened, the trees look like they have several different styles. The lighting emitting from the building doesn’t seem to hit anything around it. Everything feels like separate elements pasted together, not really tied together. I think the temple might look better if brought down a little more (away from the top edge of the image) and a little closer to the center (rule of thirds?). I think you should try to loosely block in the whole composition and keep all the elements to a closer level of polish.
Loaker: I like the direction this is headed. The building seems a little overly flat, as the posts to the left of it appear stacked on top of each other, flattening out its shape, and the column in the middle doesn’t taper off at all. I think the tree has too much contrast for where it lays in the distance, bringing it forward a bit from where it should be. I like the texture of the sky. I think it would help to establish the foreground more.
Goog: This is really nice! I love the colors and the composition. Awesome job on the foreground It feels like you are in the scene, following the gaze of the figure. One thing is it looks like there are rays of light breaking through clouds overhead, but I can’t really tell, they seem a little confusing.
DannenArt: I like the style – where’s the tree, pool and all that though?
Brambor: I like the composition. The building is definitely the focal point, the image leads your eye into it, but it’s a little disappointing that there isn’t anything more interesting going on with the temple. I like how the colors and rendering keep everything tied together very well (something many artists seemed to struggle with on this one).
Benza: Looks like two photos stuck together with a few filters run over them?
ThomD: It’s nice. The Cliffs seem a little flat, the edge of them look too crisp for how far back in the distance they must be. I think some atmosphere between them and the mountains in the bkgd would help.
Daflom: Your painting has a solid start, the golden bits (I think they are torches?) look like an afterthought, not really casting light. Something about the colors of the temple doesn’t seem right. I like the value perspective.
Misplacedhippos: I really love the style of this one! I voted for it, really cool although the parts seem to fit kinda oddly together, at least I think the perspective of the building and the well could match a little better. It’s nice to look at though
Rambozo: I like the composition and your different take on it. I feel like the tree and the temple are at odds with each other a bit, my eye doesn’t really flow through the image but kinda gets stuck on those two areas, not sure what seems off about them. I think the tree should look like it is going into depth more as it is so massive it looks a little flat. I imagine the distance between the tip of the cliff and the tree is huge, but it looks like they butt against each other.
Llyann: It’s a bit flat, hard to identify foreground-midground-background. No defined light source. I like the style you were going for, but it seems you could spend more time on it.
Jaunay: The composition is weird with the tree dead center, other parts look mirrored.
Xezor: I like the colors and mood a lot! The temple I think has too strong a value range, as if it belonged more in the foreground. I think your darks are too black, but not bad. The clouds seem a little too blocky. The contrast in how sharply rendered the temple is, as compared to the clouds behind it (look like they were painted much quicker) stand out. I think the clouds need more love!
SouMeng: Nice, I think the colors could be a bit more “in harmony” with each other? The rays of light may be a little forced. The tree texture seems a little odd. I like the composition and vantage point.
Last edited by Wholewheat_keyboard; February 4th, 2011 at 08:21 PM.
Actully there where 9 photos used as refs, to bad u don´t like the image.
To me the final image is more important then how u made it, and this is an image I feel happy about. I described how I made the image in the original thread.
Thanx anyway for taking the time to comment
A wandering mind is more likely to find new places
+1 for SouMeng nicely done man!!!! Great work everybody!
actually you can edit a poll.
Love that this is still rolling after my total fumble, keep up the good work ya'll.
To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
+1 for SouMeng
Hey guys! This EOW topic intrests me a lot, because it's my town that is in the topic, I live there! Sadly the temple ain't here anymore, but we have some marks left from it like the graves of viking kings (which looks like hills). I hope that some comments from a real viking from the said viking town intrests you. It better! RAAAAHHHH!
Emerging - Great scene, I really like the mountains in the background, it's a shame we don't have such a view here. I agree with Wholewheat_keyboard that some kind of motions and life could be added, like some vikings walking along a path to the evenings sacrifical-mass. Some trees would have helped the scene too, even in barren lands there are trees, shortgrown but still present.
Just wondering, did the church at Old Uppsala (Gamla Uppsala) inspire you? It reminds me a lot of it.
Mitze - Nice landscape and setting. I think the background with the hills looks quite flat and it doesnt blend together with the rest of the picture. The dragon, foreground cliffs and temple all seem to have different colour values, as if they werent from the same scene but a cut-together almost. The most troubeling thing is the fire, it doesnt mix harmonicly with the rest of the image at all, it stands out for itself too much.
android411 - Wholewheat_keyboard said all that was needed to be said (great critique!)
Loakers - The picture doesn't have any depth of field, there's the same grey values in the foreground as in the background which is one cause of this. Make the transition from darker (foreground) to brighter (background) much clearer. And I think the fact that the cloud in the sky is as grey as the ground ruins the composition.
Goog - This one is lovely , the contrast between the purple shadows and the green grass is superb. You sure know what you're doing. Maybe a bit more details on the guard/warrior and the trees in the foreground could have enhanced the depth of field.
Dannenart - If I am going to be honest, this looks exactly like the cathedral in my town. Since the temple was of the Aesir faith, an christian cathedral doesn't fit the concept. And to be honest you had everything layed down before you and it isn't much thought behind it, because it looks EXACTLY like the cathedral with some minor details added to it:
Next time do something from scratch, something of your own.
brambor - The composition of it really works for me, adn the temple is looking very true to Aesir faith.
ThomD - Beautiful image, the colours in it are fantastic and how it goes through the trees. The fact that you added a lake does a lot to the picture. But you could have worked a bit more on the mountains, especially the one farthest back.
daflom - Good start. Good touch with the boat in the river. The mountains in the background look too close to the temple, which makes the depth of field very short and not as wast as I imagine you intended to.
Misplacedhippos - Oh I like this! Very intresting style, it reminds me a lot of medieval cartographic art. Loving the design of the temple.
Rambozo - Intresting craft design. I find the perspective confusing, the temple-craft and the ground beneath it got a different perspective then the waterfall, as does the trees. Other then that it looks really good.
Llyann - I like your idea about an oasis like temple in the mountains, and the design of it is quite futuristic looking which is a plus from Moebius freaks like me. The image looks flat, especially the mountains which doesnt seem to have a clear lightsource.
Jaunay - Don't mirror an image, it ruins the composition and one can instantly see this clear in landscape paintings especially - landscapes shouldn't be homogenous and repeating - if it's not man-made.
Xezor1324 - Very harmonic and pleasant colours in your scene, easy on the eyes. Although you tilted the image horizon a bit I notice, which confused me a bit from the beginning and made the temple look like its tower was tipping over. I also think you should make the huts and the people a bit more prominent, I didnt notice them at first.
SouMeng - Now this is awesome. Very mighty impression you get from the perspective you used for this. The temple is very believable and even the landscape in the background looks like my home country at the site of where the original temple layed!
"I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw BeksinskiMy Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!
+1 for Soumeng
Great perspective/sense of atmosphere. It's nice that the pseudo-Yggdrasil has such a central place in the picture. I don't know how Norse the architecture looks, but it works.
I've voted for:
- emerging: I like the depth and colours in this picture
- ThomD: composition works well and that reflecting surface of the lake adds so much athmosphere to the picture
- Misplacedhippos: wow, this reminds me so much of my old books with fairytales, it stands out in a very positive way and is just unique.
- SouMeng: well made interior, definitely has the atmophere of a mysterious sanctuary, place of power.
My sketchbook Crits and advice highly encouraged!
My vote went to Misplacedhippos
Your style is so unique and speaks volumes to me while still very much falling within the breif.