Hey guys, long time since posting here, but I've been busy with school. Over break I got some time so here I'm at it again. Anyways, I got this piece that I've been workin on today, and I want it to be creepy. Originally the smaller guy (third drawing down) was the main piece, but as I worked on it I got inspiration for the bigger guy and scribbled over it to get the idea down.
My question is which one of these is the strongest concept wise? The works are not close to being done in any way, and I know compositionally they need work.
Basically, which one do you like best (idea, concept wise, compositional potential), and how do I push it further and fill up the composition properly? I'm open for criticism and brainstorming.
The small one definitely better in my opinion. Big guy leaning on the house just looks strong not creepy. For the creepy effect, using small and minor details is much better than giant monsters in my opinion. And about the last image, those things( other buildings?) cover most of the image. I think that is a lazy way of filling the image and it doesn't add much to the composition. I don't have an idea on what you could include to double the creepy effect but I'd keep in mind that things that seem like normal and harmless often can be the most creepy things when used correctly.
Thank you, that's the direction I was leaning towards too. Subtle is better. To the small one, I was planning on adding a sort of rotten garden, just to fill up more of the space. Compositionally I need suggestions on the third one. Thanks!
I like the third one but add a bit of visible detail to those buildings in the foreground. I would maybe add a lightning behind the figure that's above the house to kind of make it more creepy as well as give us a stronger focal point.
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Alright progress on the one that I got the most responses on (mostly outside this forum)
Compositional suggestions or anything so far?
Maybe I'm sticking my nose in your business a little too much but hey you asked for it. I think several impaled corpses took all the subtle creepiness away from the piece. That place just screams danger. But I really liked those fences and how the terrain is coming up. What about adding a big, dead tree and a hanged corpse with crows and ravens around it into the background rather than impaled corpses? Even that is not subtle enough but it's the best I could come up with.
Hey thanks man, I've decided to post both of them side by side so you guys get a better view. I agree completely that the mysterious eeriness tends to disappear once you have blatant dead bodies, but I'm really struggling filling in the composition to the one without spikes
I need help
I think the spikes are unnecessary also. The fences work fine. I don't think you need to fill your picture with stuff. Though it could use some more things on the ground in the middle-to-right foreground area, to add a little variation, interest, and show the depth. It could just be a bump, a lighter patch of dirt, or a few bits of log, stones etc. I would lose the fuzz effect on the windows: it's not realistic in this case and makes it look muddy. A very subtle patch of light on the roof from the front window could be nice. Maybe shore up the house a bit too. It's okay to have some wonkyness, especially in an old, creepy house like this, but buildings tend to sag in the middle, where they have less support - yours kind of bulges outward.
This is a really good piece so I'm having a hard time giving advice lol. Hmm, how about adding some silhouettes? Around the house or a silhouette seen from the window? That may add up to the creepiness but wouldn't really fill in the composition. Also as I said in my other other post maybe some crows or ravens in the foreground might work. I don't know I'm don't really have a thing for creepy things so I'm all out of ideas.
While I agree the dead impaled people remove a level of subtle creepiness, I feel a vertical aspect like those is needed to make the thumbnail a lot more interesting. If only the house intersects the horizon then I (personally) feel that it makes the composition a lot more boring.
Here is where I'm open to a discussion though, because maybe it's just the fact that I drew it but I like that intersecting vertical aspect. What do you guys think?
Here is my take on it, with a quick paint over. I would frame the figure with some verticals that make sense in context of a farm and don't destroy the subtlety. By including the windmill, it makes the figure less obvious and lets the viewer discover it. The mailbox on the other side with the drive way leads you into the picture.
Whoa! Nice paintover, dpaint.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
Alright, so I added some flooded muddy road paths to create that depth on the ground. Still playing around with the vertical aspects, but the bodies are definitely out. I like the windmill, so I'm going to experiment with that next
EDIT: updated another oen with a hanging body. I know we are trying to avoid the bodies, but the windmill idea wasnt working (to my liking, and I'm tryna go with my gut here). I felt this split the horizon alright and directed the eye in a circle throughout the piece.
EDIT 2: Looking at them both, I was thinking maybe a hanging noose would be effective too. I'd like to get some thoughts on that.
Last edited by mRomano; December 24th, 2012 at 04:59 AM.
What I’m seeing is a regular farm house being visited by death. It’s really well done. However, whenever you add bodies to the image, it turns the house into something other than just a farm house, and it destroys the story of the image. My opinion would be to have no visible bodies. Period.
I like the idea about the noose, just put the noose and no body and that should work quite well.
Alright, so I played around with it a bit, here's where we're at...
preferences or ideas?
Alright, so I played around with it a bit, here's where we're at...
preferences or ideas?
I’m only commenting on this again because I feel like this has the potential to either be a really excellent piece or just an alright piece in a sea of alright pieces. In my opinion the best way to do this piece is similar to how dpaint did. Just make a nice little farmhouse. Don’t worry with creepy yard ornaments or anything because the reaper (or whatever) is what sells the piece. Any additional creepiness detracts from the impact of the reaper.
Iím only commenting on this again because I feel like this has the potential to either be a really excellent piece or just an alright piece in a sea of alright pieces. In my opinion the best way to do this piece is similar to how dpaint did. Just make a nice little farmhouse. Donít worry with creepy yard ornaments or anything because the reaper (or whatever) is what sells the piece. Any additional creepiness detracts from the impact of the reaper.
Thanks David. Would you recommend just a regular sign that's not broken? I'm having issues with how think the sign post is, so I was going to make that thinner. As far as the windmill goes, I didn't figure out where a good place to put it was. Where Dpaint put it seemed to make the drawing very left heavy
Well, in my experience, little farm houses like this don't generally have signs. Why would they need one? This is my opinion again, but the sign reminds me of a haunted house, and the generic "Turn back!" signs that are associated with the more comical haunted houses. There are all sorts of things you could have in the front yard. The mailbox idea was pretty good. Though, in an area like this, the mailbox would probably be miles from the house, but that's where artistic license comes in. The more unremarkable, the better, I would think. But again, this is all just my opinion.
How about a tire swing hanging from where that sign is? And maybe put it a little more behind.
Keremcanterhan.... that is a genius idea!
Ill play around with it and see how it looks. Thanks!
It isn't working for me for a few reasons.
Architecturally/structurally the house isn't believeable - my guess or sense is that you just sort of made it up with no reference or research into farmhouses? Farms like this also tended to have numerous outbuildings which could provide all sorts of compositional elements, atmospheric perspective and depth cues.
It also isn't likely a house would be buit down in the hollow you've sort of set up...it would have been built on either side on the higher ground. Might also be more effective as a "house on the hill" type scene - not drastically but just in a believable manner.
Porch appears 2' wide - 3' at most? No support posts or columns for the large eaves either - no railing, no real eaves on the upper roof...chimney? etc.
The orangey/yellow light in the windows seems way too saturated/overdone as well.
The light in the landscape doesn't feel very accurate - you have almost pure white behind the house yet no light/shadow on the landscape itself?
The fences have the same problem - made up cliche fences for effect rather than sensible fencing that has deteriorated with age.
And why is our POV about 3-4 feet off the ground?
So the problem is all those minor miscues add up to a cartoony kind of cliche image with no real impact.
Anyway, that's my take on it. My advice would be to go out into some rural areas near you and find some interesting places similar to this to at least get you started in the right direction.