I definitely see the improvement on the back wall, but I think it still needs to be pushed a bit further.
The texture needs to have more contrast to it or be more in focus (does that make sense?).
Like the ground below the alien thing and dog is sharp and in focus, the creature is in focus as well as the bag, and since the light source is coming in what im guessing is a near straight down angle. I feel that the bumpiness of the wall would stick out more, and be as sharp as the ground is textured.
I dont know if the whole wall needs it, because I think as you get closer to the source of the light, the amount of light being smashed against the wall would obliterate any shadow...
I could be wrong.
.../bow to an expert in rendering the most impressive 3d effects only by his amazing talent and vision
Im glad you like it, I appreciate the compliments.
Im really glad you came away inspired, thats what its all about!
I wish I had more time to work on these or another idea, it was the best I could do in a few days inbetween assignments.
Thanks to all for your time, it means a lot!
Hah I wish it were perfect!
The first one being better seems to be the consensus. I actually spent about the same time on each, the first one I fought with a bit more.
Ill do my best to keep on, its all I know how to do!
The back wall is intended to be out of focus so the foreground pops. If you spend too much time focusing on the backwall then the foreground suffers. Adding anymore texture and crispness seemed to really pull from the foreground focus, and that wasnt something I was prepared to do. When you look at the foreground the background is present and textured, but not overwhelming - which was the intent.
I wanted it to register in the mind but not disturb the foci, which is the horror of the event.
But who knows, maybe I looked at it for so long that I lost perspective and went too batshit with the blur.
My leash was so tight that I just didnt have time to perfect it.
Its more hard work and practice than anything else.
5% talent, 95% ball-busting.
I do appreciate your praise, though Josif - it really does mean a lot to me.
Im happy to say I didnt use reference or any 3d programs for either of these pieces.
I really dislike using reference, and only really use it when a client specifically asks me too or I really want to achieve a certain look, like elaborate frogging on 18th century garments or nuts and bolts machinery.
I also never use 3d programs, id rather build my skills to try and achieve that illusion by 2d alone, when you use 3d programs it does that work for you and robs you of opportunities to learn.
Sure it saves time but your skills atrophy and you dont progress.
The same is kind of true with reference. Looking at a photo and copying it really isnt art, its copying a photo.
Copying photo's is really an *excellent, excellent* way to practice though. I do it all the time. You do that enough and you start to remember how light interacts with the world, so when you sit down to draw from your mind you can start to pull it from memory and you improve.
But thats the long way and not the path of least resistance, and people these days dont care for the long way too much.
The mind also has its limits and sometimes you have to glance at a picture or 2 for guidance, hell we all do that from time to time.
But I think when you just straight up copy photos and rely on them for everything then you might want to reel it in a little and start being your own artist; get out there and fight with your shortcomings and create something purely from your own discipline and imagination.
I dunno thats the way I do it, at least.
Sorry for the short-story reply, hee hee!
Thanks all for your thoughtful comments and time!
Thanks again to one and all for all the wonderful comments, conversation, critiques and compliments that I was fortunate enough to receive through competing in this amazing oppurtunity.
Best wishes to you all, and good luck in the contest!
You are an incredible artist, id trust yourself over my advice any day. You know what you want from a piece and I am merely an observer to your artistry. But there have been too many times that through a critique someone has brought to my attention something that... i just had over looked...and it made the piece.
It took me awhile to realize but what if those people had never said anything...
which has since instilled in me this compulsion to always say it and maybe its helpful to the artist and maybe im way off base....
The pieces look amazing, you have a great talent.
These pieces look ok, but definately arent my best.
Although the reason is good (a demanding freelance gig) I didnt have the usual 2 or so weeks to work on something for the contest, these were the best I could do within 4-5 days.
I totally agree with you about critiques, though, some of the biggest breakthroughs ive had are due to them.
There are good and poor quality critiques.
Not everyone leaves a critique out of the artists best interest, however; some leave critiques to intentionally hurt others while trying to disguise it as being helpful, some others leave critiques that dont apply to the artists work at hand, but actually apply to the critics work instead, they feel need to take thier frustration out on others for thier own shortcomings.
After a while you begin to weed out the inane critiques like "that guys face looks goofy" without offering insight as to why, and recognize the helpful ones like yours, where something isnt reading right and you offer your observations and solutions because youd like to see the art realize its full potential.
Also, dont shortchange yourself as "merely an observer". If it wasnt for my wife looking over my shoulder and saying "...this looks off." id be in big trouble. She cant even draw a stick figure, but she is a big time art lover and consumer of games and movies, I trust that.
Same thing with "The Magnificeint El Coro" , he's a teacher, crazy talent and a heavyweight in the business, when he tells me something doesnt read right, I listen and change it. The back wall in my second work - the same one you pointed out - is just such an example.
A quality outside opinion has saved my ass more than once, and will save it again.
So I appreciate your insight, it helped me make one of these pieces better, and thats what its all about.
All the best to you.
I see i didn't comment your second entry.
Too late for critics i guess but never to late for a compliment.
Looks creepy good, i love that kind of things.
Hooooly crap! I just about had a mini-siezure after I saw this...
Sir, I do believe that I'll be hunting down all of your illustrations and saving them to my trusty ol' hdd for inspiration
Man, you guys on this site are gonna have to make me get another hard drive soon...this one is filling up quick
The detail and the way you render is just...well, amazing for lack of a better word...the patience you must have...
i'm still trying to figure out if you use something else to blend or if you use a soft brush (assuming that you are using photoshop) AAAAAAAAAH my brain! it hurts so good
your stuff is elite...keep posting more
Best of luck in the competition!
I use photoshop 7, and the stock photoshop brushes, no frills.
I use the smudge tool to blend, so basically I do a lot of finger-painting =).
And your right my friend, its *all* about patience.
Patience and willingness to hurt and then come back for more until you learn what you have to learn.
Which probably means im a masochist, since the learning never ends in art.
Thanks for your wonderful compliments, its reactions like that - that I work for.
All the best!
Really top-rate renderings Cryptcrawler! I have to say I completely agree with you regarding references for illustration. They have their place, for any artist, but it's when you find that critical balance where the references are no-longer a requirement but a collective source of inspiration for your art that you know you've reached a milestone in illustrative development, imo
Good luck with your entries!
Yeah, seriously you give us newbies and self-taught artists out there hope that if we just put in the effort, time and patience...we can achieve so much...
you truly are an inspiration
that's it for the asspats! hehe
do you use some sort of custom setting for your smudge tool or just pretty much stock?
and yeah, I hear ya on the masochism...haha I guess everyone on this site who's really considering art as a profession are all masochists in one way or another
I've been doodling ever since I can remember, but have only really put in the effort to really study this stuff 2 years ago....(I don't get paid to study or draw, so my friends and family all think that this is just some hobby/waste of time that comes to a person naturally...they seem to have a hard time processing that this actually takes a lot of hard work and studying)
and at times...when I truly am frustrated and stuck....I'd like to just say "BAH! I'm never drawing hands or anything with color ever again!!" but know that I just have to push through it...solve the problem and learn...
It's like the last rep of your set when you're lifting weights...when it gets tough...and you want to just stop, curl up in the fetal position and throw up...but know that if you do, you'll never really get the results that you are after...
now enough with the dramatics and lame pumping iron references...
just....thank you man...really, no bullshit keep doing your thing and giving us young-uns something to aspire to...
I showed your entry to my family and said "Here! here's where I am trying to get to...whenever you see me doodling or on the computer, know that I am not just fucking around and that I am trying to build a future doing what I love..."
(wait, didn't I just say enough with the dramatics!?? haha)
Yeap, reference is a tricky and prickly subject for some people.
I cant count how many times ive been given backhanded compliments that essentially call me a liar.
What am I supposed to do? say I use it when I dont?
Sorry I just have no patience for that kind of bullshit.
You bust your balls to get better and when you do you get called a liar? you cant win - so I dont try to, I just keep humping my drawing table.
All the best to you - take it light!
Man, this really meant a lot to me to read. I wish I could say that I didnt think about this everyday when I sit down to draw, but I do - I use a lot of those dark times and experiences as fuel to burn to try and improve.
Its comments like this that inspire me, and its got nothing to do with the compliments, but *everything* to do with relating to how you feel.
Friends, lovers and family mean well and thier hearts are in the right place, and the encourgement comes from a good place; but still dont understand, not unless they are artists, or musicians or writers, or just extremely cool and have been around the block enough times to know.
It was the little things they would say with good intentions that really rubbed you raw "...you should get a real job and do it on the side instead of working in a coffeeshop part-time and living on tips" or "...youve been saying ' its going to get better and work out' for years now..so why isnt it getting better and working out?" or "..you cant work these minimum wage jobs for the rest of your life you know, you need to think about your future"
Its hard to buy "..of course (I) we support you" when the next sentence is an obvious indicator that theyre more scared for you than anything else, theyre not bad, they just dont understand.
You can get into some dark, hostile places chasing your dreams in art; some of them in your own mind when your not improving and your hungry and not socialising very much because your just drawing all the time.
Id do it all over again.
And again, and again.
If it wasnt for being sober for 12 years and my wife having the real job then id still be doing it, too.
So dont worry about sounding overdramatic, because your don't, your an artist, your naturally inclined to drama and beauty - its how you express yourself.
And by the way - were all just younguns, the learning never ends in art - some of us have just been walking on the road a bit longer, theyre not as far ahead as they may look, and I can guarentee you, theyre looking at someone else way up the road, too; I know I am.
Stay fighting buddy, get up as soon as you fall down again, but remember to always stay a little hungry.
Very best wishes to you.
Unbelievably awesome! Cryptcrawler's talent is UNSURPASSED!