Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
Thanked 849 Times in 162 Posts
I considered that happening, and have a backup plan in case that happens. I'm all ears for a better way of judging these three way battles. Even if only one artist was to be chosen by each judge as "the best" piece, a tie could feasibly happen. In case of a tie, I'll just toss the top two choices back for a revote.
The judges ranked the pieces for each battle, giving 3 points to their first choice, 2 for the second, and 1 for the third. Each individual score is out of a possible 15 points.
Match One - steak-tron vs. nicolas vs. DSIllustration
1st Place - steak-tron - 13 points 2nd Place - nicolas - 10 points 3rd Place - DSIllustration - 7 points
Match Two - dougbot vs. JasonChan vs. Chris J. Anderson!
1st Place - JasonChan - 15 points 2nd Place - dougbot - 9 points 3rd Place - Chris J. Anderson! - 6 points
Match Three - prostate sunrise vs. Dan Milligan vs. Eriboss
1st Place - Dan Milligan - 12 points 2nd Place - Prostate Sunrise - 10 points 3rd Place - Eriboss - 8 points
THE FINAL ROUND has been decided: steak-tron vs. JasonChan vs. Dan Milligan! Look for the starter thread to be set up tonight, where we will hash out exactly what the last round topic will be. I'm thinking I'll leave it up to you three to decide on an epic, badass topic eh?
Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
Thanked 849 Times in 162 Posts
On top of that, Imp Head left some great crits behind for everyone.
This is really a gorgeous piece. The simple background works nicely with
the figure both in its limited palette and the graphic execution is
complimentary to the rendered foreground. I would like to see a little
more separation between the wall and the girl in the lower bit of the
image. Perhaps a fourth layer between the two (e.g. pipes, a box, rusted
brackets, etc.) could be inserted to push the low wall back and bring
the figure forward so they're not competing for attention. I also love
the way the dynamic figure and walkman implies movement, while the cant
and shape of various bits on Pandora instill a cagy sexiness in her
bearing. I was struck by the choice to crop the figure below her eyes.
It's a bold and dangerous move, as the eyes are what we viewers use to
connect to the characters in images and when their eyes are covered or
missing the figures tend to become objects instead of characters but in
this case it worked really well and adds an interesting edge of
anonymity to Pandora. Furthermore the multi-layered play on the concept
of "Pandora's Box", through both the image and the graphic design, is
brilliant. It furthers the story behind the picture but still lets the
viewer fill in the details. My only gripe is the close proximity of the
image to the edge of the card. A smidge more space at the top will help
it look less crowded.
I love the different layers of finish on the various parts of this
image. The simple lines and graphics are subtle enough so as not to look
out of place but also enhance and compliment the rendered subjects. The
lines of the dragon mirror Pandora's hair, the pink glow of the energy
coming from the box set off the pink of her skin. In fact, the color
choices throughout the piece are stunning, subtle and cohesive yet with
a definitive hierarchy as to direct the eye, first to the skull then to
the box and the girl and lastly to the dragon gracing the background.
The figure is highly polished and believable but I would like to see a
little more time given to the girl's face. Though essentially accurate
in it's portrayal I think the features could be pushed a bit further
towards the extreme to make her seem more feminine and exotic. A thinner
neck, higher cheekbones and a sharper chin would set her off nicely.
Compositionally the piece is again, solidly done. The layers of both the
elements and their execution from graphic to rendered give the piece a
wonderful depth, the neoclassic pyramidal placement of the elements give
the image a stoic quietude that make it extremely forceful. I would like
to see a little more asymmetry in the girl, perhaps in the tracks of her
tears or in a slight tilt to the head but it'd have to be subtle to not
compete with the dynamics of the skull and its importance in the
hierarchical structure of the image.
I'm really attracted to the simple reality of this piece. The tech looks
workable, the lighting and rendering are savvy, even the figures are
believable. The palette is cohesive but with enough diversity to lead
the eye from the sickly green in the foreground to the clean white of
the back. The composition however, is a little to symmetric for my
liking. Though I love the dichotomy between the sterile, direct lines
leading to the inevitable chaos inherent in the Pandora's Box story,
this feels a bit too structured. Everything is exactly mirrored as if it
were a Rorschach inkblot. With a touch of asymmetry, for instance with
the addition of a third technician in the foreground, the balance would
be shifted enough as to add a subtle tension so as to enhance the overt,
cringing, horror and sense of imminent doom already inherent in the
piece, but would still give you a seemingly solid symmetric composition.
This is a really lovely piece of work. The simple elegance of the
composition supports and really enhances the potency of the emotional
depth of the image. The girl is wonderfully rendered and has such a
sublime touch of resignation that it elevates her plight from a physical
to a metaphorical state. I would like to see the contrast taken up just
a touch to bring out the hair lining the pit, the gradient from the
light at the top to the dark at the bottom and, most importantly, the
glow of the girl, but it would have to be a very subtle shift as to not
destroy the simple elegance of the piece. The green of the background
sets off the blood flowing from the box nicely and the dark tones around
the edge frame the whole piece in and direct our eye downwards giving
the girl a sense of movement. Beautiful work.
Chris J. Anderson
The quality of light and action in this piece is great. The dynamic
figures blasting away from the chest give it a nice sense of action
frozen in time. Black clouds, replete with screaming skulls, eyes aglow,
coalescing from amorphous shapes lends a dire, unspoken threat to the
overall feeling of the piece. The desperate looks on the poor people
trying, in vain, to replace the lid of the coffer allows the viewer
quick insight into the events leading to this moment and allows them to
share in the catastrophe unfolding after. Though I love the implied
motion of the piece, the placement of the elements in space is a little
confusing. The energy and subsequent clouds from the chest seem to be
billowing up behind the central figures even though in relation to the
viewer the energy should be in front. Even a couple of the figures
flying back from the blast should in fact be behind, in or otherwise
obscured by the clouds. Though this lets the viewer connect with the
characters of the piece it gives the image a bit of optical flip-flop
that distracts us from what's actually going on in the image. This
lessens the overall draw and potency of the subject and thus the image
loses some of its ability to draw in and hold a viewers attention.
The detail in the demon is astounding. The weave of organics both
recognizable and suggested are very well executed and drafted. The top
heavy composition gives the piece a wonderful sense of tension, as if
the entire biomass that Pandora has unwittingly released will at any
moment topple over and consumer her. The figure of Pandora, though
technically well done, I believe is the weakest part of the image. With
her back to us we the viewers are psychologically blocked from a prime
entry point into the piece. Had she been facing us and in essentially
the same pose but with her right arm back and her left arm raised with
the lid, it would have allowed us an open access to the image and
greater empathic connection to the Pandora character thus heightening
the sense of empathic dread for the viewer. I also would have liked to
see a more depth in the background. Flat colors tend to flatten images
out and with a flat image you lose the pop and thus the emotional charge
of a piece. If you were to change the flat color of the background to a
value gradient, dark at the top to light at the bottom, you'll give the
piece much more depth.
There's a number of things I like about this piece. The concept of the
box as a non-box shaped container, the costuming on both the gods and
Pandora alike, even the visages of the gods portrayed as masks rather
than entities strikes a chord with me. The overall stoic nature of the
faceless gods and Pandora alike give the piece cold and quiet feeling as
if the end result of the classic story is inevitable. I do like the
unified color palette with its subtle shifts of color, however I think
it is almost a little too subtle. With just a couple of touches of
turquoise, blue and green throughout the piece, you'll get a lot more
pop overall and can use them to accentuate and more importantly separate
the elements from one another. I really like the rendering of Pandora
but would like to see the figure rendered more definitively in the lower
half. Or barring that give us a better idea of her coalescing out of
mist. It would give the piece a better fulcrum to balance on than the
end of the box as it currently is, and would strengthen your composition
This is a very clever piece on a number of levels. Emotionally charged
images of skulls, a beautiful woman and a flayed body are further
enhanced by the bold use of color to not only direct the eye but to
instill a glorious sense of dread and anxiety. Red is a superb choice
for the overall tone as it tends to catch the viewer's attention and get
them emotionally riled up. The blues and greens though calming in most
cases, work instead to compliment the red and make it even more potent.
The crucifix shape of the imagery also carries with it very charged
emotions even for secular viewers, and the layers of meaning are carried
even further with the realization that this could be folded into a box,
however I think both the cross and box elements could be enhanced by
carrying the bottom of frame further down so as to give the shape a
stronger crucifix design and give the box six sides instead of five.
Also, I feel as if having the actual box folded up at the bottom you're
sort of visually giving us the answer to the riddle before we have a
chance to discover it for ourselves. If you were to instead give the
viewer more subtle clues, for instance, fold instructions and dotted
lines, it would promote interaction between the image and the viewer on
a visual or even a physical level and give them the opportunity for that
epiphany when they connect it all together.
I really appreciate subtle message behind this image. The girl who puts
on a happy face for the world despite the fact that inside she's a
seemingly endless pit of despair and depression. The gun, which is
shaped like a key, will "unlock" her head and release her from the hell
that she is living but will inevitably also release the chaos and pain
inside her onto those she leaves behind. The image uses a common myth to
illustrate a far more tragic social and psychological concept which goes
beyond the simplicity of Pandora's Box. The application of paint, both
bold and chaotic, works in some areas but I think is a bit overabundant
in the painting as a whole. If there were areas of calm expressed
through tighter rendering, amid the chaos it may better mirror the story
you're telling. Also, though the girl's face is gorgeously emotive the
rest of her anatomy wasn't rendered with the same care and so ultimately
the figure suffers and thus our ultimate connection to the piece
suffers. I think given a little more time, this piece would really
awesomeness. no surprises there
Congrats everyone, unlucky Prostate, you had my vote dood.
Imp Head - Great Crit, thanks man!
What a ride, I'm surprised I fluked it this far hehe.
Congrats everyone, what a wicked final this is gunna be!
Awesome man, that was a blast. I knew immediatley after seeing Jason's I was done, so that was no surprise. I'm glad I'm not in the final round, because the two losers are gonna be executed on a CA webcam. Good luck to you three.