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Thought I'd share a commission I've been working on.
I got the idea from Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch.' But instead of the Captain's guard going out to do whatever, I wanted to show a trial of sorts where a prisoner's charges were being read aloud while 'the guard' stands by waiting for the verdict. But ultimately, I wanted to try a more classical composition that uses a pool of light to create focal points.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 28th, 2012 at 04:44 PM.
Here's some compositional analysis. My goal in the end is to keep the viewer locked into the general area of these two triangles. The primary focus will be the area where the two triangles are toughing.
Here are some progression shots.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 28th, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
It might just be me, but the lighting is somewhat irregular. For instance, the guy holding the pike above the prisoner, I think his face should be a lot better lit from the left like with the other figures rather than being backlit like that.
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
Thanks, and you are right. Another quick note is the flat of the blade on his pike. It will have some light reflecting off of it when I get around to tightening up all the values.
I'm confused about the board on the prisoner's back. Don't those things normally have chains attached to them? Right now he's just carrying it.
looks pretty good to me so far. the main problem i am seeing is that there are parts which havnet been treated too much and other parts that still contain some line work. i say get rid of all the line work and it will be closer to looking masterful. really reminds me of Repin's work. http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&sa...PMirigLzsIH4CQ
In addition the prisoner's feet don't show the ball of the foot, it just creases all the way to his toes.
thegiffman: Yep the board will have 'iron' shackles around his wrists and neck.
Sunny: I'm not sure if any of my other WIP threads are still on here after all the changes to the boards, but they'll give you an idea of how my workflow progresses from this point. I'll add a layer of color over the top of the values and line art, and then on top of that I will paint out all the line-work. I'll also be knocking a lot of detail back and will bring other areas into focus with more detail. The end result is usually fairly painterly. A comparison to Repin is something I am certainly not worthy of! Thanks for the crit!
I have a question unrelated to anything happening above.
There is an artist (of the fine-art category) that posts here occasionally. He had a sketchbook where he basically started at the skill level of a twelve-year-old and is now doing ridiculously technical gallery work. I want to say his name was Justine or something. Anybody remember who this dude was/is?
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 1st, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
sounds like mindcandymans journey of an absolute rookieThere is an artist (of the fine-art category) that posts here occasionally. He had a sketchbook where he basically started at the skill level of a twelve-year-old and is not doing ridiculously technical gallery work. I want to say his name was Justine or something. Anybody remember who this dude was/is?
Yep that's the man I was looking for! Thanks! Fantastic sketchbook btw sone_one.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 1st, 2012 at 03:46 PM.
I really like the staging of the scenario and how you guide the eye through the image. Your subtle line drawing reveals great skill and solid proportion. Intereresting to read your thoughts on composition about a subject I've been working on for a while. My humble attempt is posted here
My line drawing, since this is all digital, is deceiving you I think. From my progress shots above it goes from thumbnail sketches to pretty clean line art. There's a lot I didn't save in between those steps. All those figures started as messy abstract blobs and scribbles that I moved around and slowly refined into clothed, human figures.
At that point I stopped and took reference shots to speed things along and help solve problems. With reference in hand, I then traced my original sketch and incorporate information from my references. I usually do about four layers of sketching like that until I get to that first round of line art you're seeing from my progress shots above. It's a process I started after watching Donato Giancola paint. In the video he had completed a nice sketch. But had then stopped to create/consult references before moving on to the final drawing for the painting. Seems obvious I know, but I didn't really understand how to do it effectively until after watching him.
It also probably seems like a waste of time to put so much effort into the line art that will just get painted over. But it's a developing weakness of mine that keeps me from progressing with any confidence until I've solved as many problems up front as possible.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 3rd, 2012 at 11:06 AM.
For me, in art is no such thing as wasted time. The more you fail, the more you learn. It's reported that Michelangelo used only one out of ten drawings. Today most people believe he's done only the 600 preserved and every single drawing was perfect. The body of his work is estimated to at least 30.000 drawings from which he burned most of them by himself. Guess why ;-)It also probably seems like a waste of time to put so much effort into the line art that will just get painted over. But it's a developing weakness of mine that keeps me from progressing with any confidence until I've solved as many problems up front as possible.
Looking forward to seeing your image progress, man...
Awesome piece... Even your thumbnails are pretty. While I'm probably the wrong one to answer scaling/perspective issues, I do think that the back wall needs to appear farther off to justify the apparent placement/size of the back row of figures. Or possibly the back figures need to be larger - looking at the feet of the guy behind the king's right hand, it seems that he's only about one floor tile back from the chair, while his size makes him seem further back than that. (Take all this with a grain of salt, though - I absolutely fail at geometry.)
Two nitpicky potential problems jump out for me: first, the leftmost end of the prisoner's yoke appearing to hit the tunic/leg edge of the man in the background. For me at least, it seems to draw the light area into the foreground and confuse the sense of depth in that area. I think either closing the tunic further or shadowing out the light areas would help.
Second, I think the front left (our left) leg of the chair should be casting some shadows to indicate its presence. I know it's obscured behind his leg, but I think it would be far enough back to cast a separate shadow, which would define the location of the chair and keep the king from looking like he's floating above the floor.
Looks pretty good-- nice composition linewise, very professional development and use of photo reference.
The main thing that leaps out at me is that the kneeling guy looks like he's wearing some kind of skintight shirt. The contours and rendering don't really give the impression of flesh and musculature at all to me...if it were me I'd go back and study my reference photo for that guy a lot more closely.
The other big problem is that there's really no midtones in the piece and, to my eye at least, it feels incredibly flat overall...basically, a bunch of dimensionless white splotches on a black field (JPEG below). If it were me I'd strongly consider adding some midtones/lighter-colored clothing/reflected or ambient light to turn the forms and move the eye around. Also, the big bright patches of sunlight on the tiled floor draw the viewer's eye away from what I think should be the central focus (pirate and prisoner.) You might want to darken the floor considerably.
As always, just my two cents.
Last edited by Giacomo; October 3rd, 2012 at 03:00 PM.
Wylielise: Yeah I'll likely end up having to scale some of the figures a little. When I was running with the columns idea I probably could have pulled it off, but now that furthest guy just looks tiny.
Giacomo: I agree some choice ambient light reflections will help in later stages of the piece. I don't really agree with the lack of mid-tone values, observation. I'm aiming at three to four distinct values for this layer and that will be shifted in areas when I'm painting with color to control the focal points.
Thanks for the advice you two.
I updated the images above with the project's current state. I have been sidetracked on this project but am hoping to finish it this weekend, or at least get very close.
Testing color ideas and I increased the size of the figures in back. I'm not so good with colors, so please tell me if it looks like shit.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 10th, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
First off this is a very well done and nicely rendered piece. The composition definately works. But to me it feels a bit like you've basically just put a bunch of guys together and then put spotlights on their faces. I think it would work better if you darkened the faces of the guys standing on a row on the left. It might add some depth and strengthen the narrative. But then again, I'm no expert.
Another update to the images above!
I'm working from right to left and giving everything a 'painterly' paint-over. About all that's left for that layer is the three background figures on the far left and the curtain/tapestry thing hanging behind them. That section feels a little flat compared to everything else, but it will be taken care of in the end.
In addition to that, there are several other things I will tinker with before it's complete. I'm going to up the color saturation for certain figures and areas so that they really catch the eye. I also plan on giving each figure certain ornamentation and patterns on their clothes to add a bit more character. And finally, since my monitor is not calibrated, I don't know if this is too dark or not, so I'll likely adjust the levels so that the lights are even brighter. We want them to pop out nicely in the end.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 18th, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
Alright I think I'm finished with this puppy, or dangerously close at least. Thanks to everyone that offered up advice, and please feel free to keep hitting me with ideas if you've got 'em.
sorry for bringing this up this late but imo your horizon line is too high. not by much, and if it werent for the floortiles i wouldnt have noticed, but still enough to be iritated (me at least).
 id put the vp/hl anywhere between his breasts and crotch, emphasizing the viewer is kneeling/sitting aswell, anyway beeing lower than the king. right now the hl would be too high for sitting (except all these are midgets, then you lose impact... midgets dont provide much drama (generally)), and too low for standing... the guy second from left would be HUGHE... then we're frodo watching the council... and you lose impact again, because its too overwhelming.
good work anyway... just nitpicking
Last edited by sone_one; October 20th, 2012 at 09:35 PM.
I would darken the curly haired man's face on the right to almost as dark as his hair, since he is in shadow, and would it be appropriate for him to be a silhouette.
Sone_one: "...id put the vp/hl anywhere between his breasts and crotch..." "His" in this context is referring to the setting king correct? Also, when I start adjusting the floor, do you think it would be beneficial to enlarge some of the elements on the wall to bring it closer?
Pavel: I'll give it a shot!
Thanks for the advice!
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 25th, 2012 at 12:12 AM.
Alright guys, here's a quick pass at adjusting the vanishing point for the tiles. Moved it from around the king's nose to just above his stomach. Also darkened the foreground figure's face a bit. Anyway, interested in knowing what you all think.
If I can just give my opinion, I prefer the second one, floor feel more like "floor" and the king stand more vertically by contrast... For everything else, I just want to say it's stunning... I really like it and I think I can learn a lot by looking at your work
Edit : Just a question... are some of these characters inspired by those of Game of Throne tv show ? Some face remind me something !
Awesome, thanks for lending me your eyes Griffonnage!. All the faces except for the old man are variations of my own face.
Given the new vanishing point on the floor. Does the far left figure's scale in relation to everyone else feel plausible?
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; October 25th, 2012 at 10:52 AM.
I asked my friend, he lend me an other interesting comment about the vanishing point, he say the first one looks "open" and was like the viewer is part of the guard because it feel "higher", and the second one was more oppressing like you are another prisonner. He really like both of them, and I thought it could interest you to have this opinion too...
Impressive, I really though you were using different face references !
About the scale I see no problems with, but I don't have sharp eyes like other people here...
Douple post, sorry, internet have some problems today :/