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C.O.W. 215 Hissing, Shelled Canopy-Crawler_Voting!
ROUND #215 VOTING
Topic: Hissing, Shelled Canopy-Crawler
Deadline for the voting: 1 week.
Round Requirements (read BEFORE posting anything)
- Must reside in a Canopy of some sort, using "crawling" as it's main form of locomotion therein
- Must have a shell in some way shape or form
- Must hiss in some way shape or form
Last edited by Si_Swe; June 9th, 2011 at 01:00 AM.
Concept: Cherax stupefacio
[/B]Commonly knows as the Hissing Prawn, it stalks the upper levels of the dense Antarctic kelp forests which flourished after the polar ice caps melted turning the surrounding waters into a tropical paradise. Despite being known as a prawn it is actually descended from freshwater crayfish of Western Australia which in response to over fishing ventured out of their river homes into the open ocean.
The Hissing Prawn stuns its pray by sucking in water though its fused mouth and propelling its self at high speeds forcing water over its horny protrusions creating a noise so high pitched that it disorientates its prey from a distance and as it gets closer the hissing is so overwhelming that it induces muscle spasms and even heart attacks. When threatened by a predator or unsuspecting diver it does not hesitate to impale them but sometimes a quick thinking diver can get away with a minor seizure.
Its main diet includes bait fish and small Crustacea but has been known to consume its own young if food is scarce.
Sorry if there's to much of a bio but i really got into this cow and being a marine biologist i felt i had to do it justice
Last edited by mclovin; June 6th, 2011 at 11:45 PM. Reason: forgot to add template thingy
Concept: Hissicus Arbori
About the size of a chimpanzee, rare and vicious looking. The look of its teeth might be misleading - its main food source are fruits.
Artist: logistic puppet
Concept: The Forest Gateau
The Forest Gateau gets its name from the camoflage shell which ripples with colours and patterns depending on its surroundings. From above it is nearly impossible to see which is convenient seeing as it lives high in the forest canopys where few predators below can reach it. It moves across the canopy in a slow motion on long nimble legs, avoiding attention from its prey which consists of various insects.
The most peculiar aspect of this creature is its orange tail end which it uses for multiple purposes. It sends a low vibrating frequency which lets off a low hissing noise. As well as attracting insects it is also used to attract mates during mating seasons. It has also been seen confronting predators such as birds and even primates by raising its body and using its tail to send out visious hissing noises. Despite this, the Forest Gateau is generally a peaceful creature which spends most of its time hidden and out of danger.
Cephalopodean features of this creature - long, muscled "arms" - enable climbing even the highest trees in search of delicious flower nectar. Elongated mouth not only serves as a straw but also makes hissing possible. Due to its extraordinary intelligence quatropuses taught themselves to utilize snail shells as a protection from (almost always) lethal fall from the highest branches. Quatropus likes to embellish its shell with leaves or moss to attract other specimens as well as to camouflage itself.
My sketchbook Crits and advice highly encouraged!
A large ambush predator that hides in the canopy. It uses its many hard-shelled legs and strong prehensile tail to maneuver quickly across trunks or branches. When hunting it will lie in wait, only to present itself to its prey, drawing its attention in order to strike from behind, or anywhere out of its prey's field of vision, with the poison stinger located in it's tail. It is also known to swing down suddenly at it's prey, plucking it off the its feet with it's powerful forelimbs.
When your coloring sucks this much, make the background as busy as possible to distract them!
Since the creature's the important part, its ok that i used stock pics for the background, right?
Artist: Rob Powell
Concept: Hissing Tree Clam
High in the canopies, lives an odd creature. The Hissing Tree Clam, with a clam like body and a head similar to that of a tortoise it sits in the tree tops with it's shell slightly open snatching any passing birds or insects as they fly past. When threatened it will retract it's head and close it's shell, it then takes in air through these small holes on the sides of it's shell, then releases it through the shell to cause a loud hiss. If that still doesn't deter the intruder it will snap at it with it's tentacles. Though heavy, it moves slowly through the tree top clinging onto branches with it's pincer like claws advancing itself towards other trees to find more sustinence.
COW #215 Hissing, Shelled Canopy-Crawler:
Artist: J.R. Barker
Concept: Hissing Demonhead
This creature has pink venom sacks on the sides of his head. When he hisses at his prey he can shoot this venom from small ducts near his mouth. He has a hard blue protective shell that protects him from other predators. He also has the ability to slither using his body and grab from branch to branch in the canopy to move along.
Last edited by jrbarker; June 8th, 2011 at 11:55 PM.
Concept: Birch Crawler
The Birch Crawler has adapted to birch trees in its camouflage and has even grown appendages that resemble leaves and is virtually invisible in the forests. It travels silent, unless provoked, then will unleash a ferocious hiss by releasing air between its shell plating.
- My Artwork! -
This kind of exotic spider lives deep in the rain forest. It webs silk between its leg which serves as a parachute and allows it to jump safely from trees over swarms of small insects. It then eats whatever was caught between its legs. Since its a very territorial spider, it hisses when he wants to defend it.
He is a very weird creature with a shell and canopy on his body despite of his weird looks he is very sweet and kind creature and bees and insects always stay and play on his canopy and trees in his body.
Awesome artist and friends
No cuts this week. Crits for the week (finally I get around to some...):
mclovin - Your marine biology background show through in the design. It looks like a potentially real creature. The filters on this give it a bit too much of a photoshopped photo-collage look. The creature looks in front of the scene rather than in it. Bringing some of the teals from the water into the creature and adding some atmosphere would give that relationship more depth.
dragon4lunch - While parts of the foreground feel a little overworked, It’s a strong piece with an original design. Strong lighting and forms, nice sense of dyanmism. Leaves tend to light up in a different way from many surfaces, I would have maybe liked to see that come across a little more. I voted for it in the end, it was the clear winner, to me.
logistic puppet - This is a stylistic departure for you that I feel has worked well. The patterned shell looks a little odd, but the rendering style is nice and crisp. It reminds me a bit of nram’s style. The limbs look a little stiff and straight and would benefit from better attention to muscle structure. The fact that the eye brows overlap the branch also bothers me.
brambor - There’s something immediately humorous, I find, about the creature. It fits the brief nicely, though. I think the eyes look a little too much like a cartoon character when they close their eyes too hard, and I think the textures look a bit off in areas. I think the image would be stronger in context and I’d love to see you tackle more of a background. Last but not least, I feel like you need to increase your average brush size a ways. The tiny strokes make jarring textures and busy up areas of the image.
Chron121 - Make the background as busy as possible to distract them doesn’t actually work very well. It makes your creature look more out of place than it otherwise would. For colouring, your main problem seems to be giving surfaces too little variation, flattening all the forms present. I would do studies from life as much as you can to get a better idea of light and creation of form. Secondly is that the tone of the piece has a very low range of values. Desaturate your image and you’ll see almost exclusively midtones. You need a more even spread of highlights, shadows and midtones to really balance a piece out. With your current level I might avoid background for a while and focus on the creature. Design-wise it’s interesting, but it seems too stereotypically ‘badass’, falling into monster design cliches.
Rob Powell - You’ve abandoned line, and it’s give you much stronger forms. In terms of rendering form and depth, this is the strongest piece so far. I would’ve loved to see it in colour. As suggestions go, the head and neck seems like it’s in a slightly different perspective than the body. The claws of the right hand should extend to the point where they’re visible beneath the head. Finally, the legs need a bit more attention and would benefit from a slightly more complex design.
jrbarker - Nice, dynamic illustration. I really get a good sense of viciousness from the creature. Pretty nice rendering for the most part. There are areas where it looks like you’re using too small a brush (on the reaching hand in particular). Anatomically, the rear legs look rather awkward in the way they’re bending, and the musculature on them feels like it should taper a bit more. Compositionally I think the piece might be stronger if the canvas extended to the right a little bit more.
Migsta - A strong second place, for me. I think there are areas of the creature that look somewhat synthetic, with the style and distribution of the bumps, and the matte reflective, grey shell. I realize the caterpillar-like head was added so we could see it’s face, but I felt the piece was stronger when it was just mandibles visible. Much of the face was implied and not as important to the design as the shells and the leaf-like appendages.
RXMT - Original idea, but I don’t really see the hissing element of the creature, so much. The background could have used more attention, and some studies of atmospheric perspective would be beneficial in a situation like this. The rendering on the creature’s yellow areas is a bit muddy and the edges seem oddly jagged and have a torn-like quality. The spide also lacks a shadow, which makes it seem a bit out of place in the scene.
@Mclovin: Interesting creature design, and very thorough backstory. One thing, the tail, where is the rest of the tail? Doesn it just stop off the page? Is it continuously long? Another thing, I get the Hissing, Shelled, part but the Canopy-crawler is a bit iffy. The Canopies of an underwater kelp forest I believe is fine, but it seems like it just swims around the canopies instead of crawling around, perhaps if you showed in your illustration the prawn 'crawling' up and down a strand of kelp maybe it would indicate that a bit clearer. As for the rendering, a lot of the highlighting seems a little too bright and it looks a bit unnatural, and inconsistent. And with no secondary and mood lighting coming from the background the creature doesn't look like it in the background. Also the way the creature is positioned on the image sort of distrupts the flow, your eye is focused on the head then follows the body until it awkwardly runs of the page, as I've stated before showing a bit more of the creatures tail would help fix this as well as show the creature's anatomy more completely. A suggestion would be to have the tail coil back around behind the head, fading a bit into the background.
@dragon4lunch: Very nicely rendered, the textures and details show well without looking too overdone. The creature looks more agile so it wouldn't necessarily be crawling in the canopies, rather than leaping between branches like a monkey. Other than that you nailed it very well, and earned my vote!
@logistic puppet: Good job dude. This is the best rendering I've seen you do so far. Seems a little awkward the way his head interacts with the branch, and he seems to be missing a leg, but it looks very smooth compared to your other work, keep it up.
@Brambor: Interesting creature. Once again, I believe it would look better if you had some of the moss loosely hanging off of the shell to make it look a bit more natural and not so tightly packed. I feel like some of the shading on the shell is a bit too dark for the amount of lighting that's suggested by the creature's skin. I think you should start trying to refine the rendering a wee bit more, because a few places still seem a little fuzzy, but it's not too far off.
@Chron121: It is actually too distracting to have a busy background as such. Your creature is looking very flat, when it comes to colouring and shading you want to consider the form of the creature, top planes and side planes. Consider where the main light source is coming from and add lighting accordingly. It is also a good idea to create your own background. The human eye is very much attracted to high contrasts therefore it will naturally look at high contrasts, making it a good idea to place high contrasting regions near focal points in the image, your image lacks any good contrast thus making the eye wonder over the image looking for something interesting to look at. Something else to consider are contrasting colours, basically warm vs. cool colours, there's lots of green in your image so adding a few red and yellow hues around the focal point will make it stand out a tad more, and giving the eye something interesting to look at.
@jrbarker: Cool looking creature. I like the way it's reaching out attempting to grab a potential meal, however there are some parts where the rendering seems a little choppy. But overall this is a good concept. Good work.
@Migsta: Nicely done. I do have to point out it that the rendering in some places seem a bit more realistic compared to the actual creature. The shell of the creature looks a little too clean, and is need of some textures. I'm not a fan of the tiny head with the big body I do have to say. But you've still done a good job, I like a lot the work your contributing and will keep an eye out in future rounds.
@RXMT: Looks better than your last entry. The rendering on the tree looks a little incomplete as well as the background. Also the face on the creature is looking a bit flat, a bit of added shading can improve the form and add some extra depth. It would've been neat to see a couple of these guys in action in the background. It also would've given a bit more meaning to all that extra space on the right as well, because on it's own it takes away from the creature.
@Strangedawn: This is probably the best rendering this round, shame you didn't make the poll, cuz it would've made my vote a bit more difficult. The textures on the tree look like they need to be pushed a little further, but in general there is a really good attention to detail here. As you mentioned in the description, a few bugs buzzing about the tree of the creature would be a nice addition......[edit:hmm...guess you did make the poll then....but my vote's in so nvm]
...on a side note, would've liked to see Arbinn's piece completed, I liked the concept and it had a lot of character, another that I would consider voting for.
Last edited by Rob Powell; June 9th, 2011 at 02:29 AM.
Migsta: Leaves and legs are rendered nicely, the shell I still find very plastic-looking. Not sure what kind of material it is supposed to be. Throwing on a little grunge texture would instantly make it more organic.
The head of the creature... I'm not crazy about. Looks like some kind of alien from an 80s B-movie. Ah, The Fly remake. Terrible movie, original is way way way better.
brambor: While the shell could have been rendered better, this little fellow has so much cuteness and personality with that great face and the sloth-like pose - you get my vote!
strangedawn: Very nice painterly style and a nice overall treatment. Design-wise I'm not sure what this little protrusion at the rear is, the giant pimple thing, next to the branch. I assume the tree-branch at its rear is supposed to be on the center-line, like the one in the front - so I would assume there is a pimple protrusion on the opposite side also?
My suggestion would be to fix the rear of the creature, as it looks like the perspective got a bit lost. Other than that - good stuff!
logistic puppet Technically one of the best entries. Design-wise too phallic for my taste.
whoops, looks like i missed the deadline.
mclovin: I like your description, but i dont think it translates very well into your drawing. For example, what happens to the water it sucks up - where does it go? There doesnt seem to be any holes for it flow through, so does the creature bloat like a puffer fish? Or does the water get propelled out through the back of the tail, which then gives it the ability to steer itself? If any of these were the case, you would need to communicate that through the drawing. its very easy for important details like that to slip through.
dragon4lunch: Neat rendering, and I'm really digging the regal look. I think you did a good job making the royal shell flow over the creature very naturally. I was very close to voting for yours, but the reason I didn't is because hissing doesn't seem to be an innate functional characteristic of your creature.
logistic puppet: I like how the facial expression really shows its nature as a peaceful creature, but it appears to be trying to wedge the branch in between its shell plates for no reason.
brambor: I dont know why, but yours strikes me as funny (in a good way). You've combined octopus and snail interestingly enough, but something you might want to work on is your rendering, since it looks like you have roughed in colours with certain brush/layer modes on the shell, but neglected to actually get in there and hand paint it in so that it meshes.
Chron121: I'm guessing it is a creature that would require a skeleton, yet the back half of its spine is looking all broken and tangled, woven like that between the branches. It's better to have no background, than one that destroys the composition. Also if you can recognise your weaknesses (colour), you can tackle them head on!
Rob Powell: It's quite neat how you've combined different marine wildlife, and your description is brilliant. The eyes are bugging me though - you need to figure out where they reside in the skull. My only crit for rendering is that the atmospheric perspective looks muddy, probably because you only did it in the immediate area of the creature.
jrbarker: Very cool and scary and, to me the pose really works. Though I would love to see a more polished version! Voted
Migsta: The way its looking at the viewer, I get the feeling it has a higher level of intelligence than most insects. Great use of colour, and I am digging the biomechanical look.
RXMT: Your creature sounds like something that would be awesome to witness in action and would make for not a bad video game enemy either. I like the framing and perspective for the background, it feels very believable. But the spider's head doesn't look right to me. You seemed to have rendered it out without figuring out the basic 3D structure
strangedawn: It's well rendered and I like how you made the canopy an actual part of the creature, similar to a pokemon. This was also very close to getting my vote but, similar to dragon4lunches' its missing the hissing aspect.
Si Swe,Rob Powell,+dave,dragon4luch - thank you for your crits. Also dragon, what did you mean by phallic? I was abit confused by this comment.
mclovin Cool creature, very different take from everyone else. Would have been cool to see more of the creature and how it interacts with its environment. Also i think its looking abit flat on its background which could be due to the lighting and values. I like the colour choices you used and the patterms in its shell, well done
dragon4lunch Nicely done, i like how you've incorporated the environment in with your creature design, i was going to do this but struggled with composition issues so left them out. The creature itself is a nice design. I think he looks abit static and stiff at the mo, would have been cool to see him in a more prominent pose. Also i think he looks abit flat against the background. Although the composition is solid i think more variety in your values could have perhaps given your scene more depth.
brambor I like the creatures shell and tentacles. (cant go wrong with a few tentacles ;p) His face bugs me abit, i'm not sure the star of eyes is reading well, its hard to read what kind of creature his is because of this, and also it doesnt seem believable. Check out other creatures similar to yours in nature and see how their anatomy works for a beter insight. However bizzare and weird, there is always a reason for it. Nature is the because creature designer. I like your lighting, textures, colours and overall you have a cool creature design. Keep it up
chron121 I like the idea of a steathly canopy killer, you have a good idea! I think your right about the background though, its far too busy and doesnt do your design justice. Also, it isnt your colouring that sucks. You need to work on your lighting and values. Its been said that if you get the values right, it doesnt matter what colours you use. Also the creature is lacking texture and form which is making it look flat. What ive been doing recently to improve my values is taking photos of animals and still life and turning them black and white, and from there studying and replicating these images. You could try this out also, i think you would learn alot doing this. This all being said the creature design itself is very good, just work on those fundentals and you'll improve very quickly. Hope this helps
Rob Powell Your improving every week, its good to see your progress and designs each week! Shame you didnt have time for colour, that being said i think you did a good job with values, perhaps abit dramatic (dont be scared of middle tones) but overall very good. His legs look abit wonky and arkward but i really like his face and eyes. Cant wait to see more, keep up the good work
jrbarker Cool design and composition, i like the choice of cool colours you used. I think his tail wraps around that trunk a little oddly, the wrapped end of the tail seems too far across the tree trunk. I think a little more tidying up and rendering would have pushed this design much further also. I love this face and expression, also i feel bad for the birdy ='( Good design man, good job.
Migsta Beautiful rendering, i love the slick look of his shell. The colours and comp work well too. Something about the design feels unfinished though, perhaps more variety in textures on the creatures body would have lifted the design abit. Good job either way, nicely done.
rxmt The idea of a shelled hissing spider scares the sh*t out of me ;p A cool idea, using silk as a parachute is also cool, perhaps arguable abit far fetched but a good idea. In the image it is not possible to see this spider uses silk for that reason, so in that respect it doesnt read all that well. I'm not sure that shell fit correctly on his body either, it kinda looks detached. I like you original take on the topic though, i look forward to seeing more of your designs.
strangedawn A weird critter indeed, but well rendered and designed. I think the branches beneath his shell look abit odd and its hard to judge the perspective of whats overlapping and underlapping around this area. I also think that the background and branch hes standing on make the composition look abit empty. Perhaps more rendering of the tree branch and abit of backdrop for depth and perspective would help lift your design. Other than that a good concept. you've done a good job of making him look sweet and kind, that face is priceless
Thanks again all, hope these help
Thanks everyone for useful crits! I lack patience to incorporate creature in its natural environment, but it's true that the whole concept would benefit from it. I'll try harder next time! As for rendering: I struggle with it every week, and each time it turns too fuzzy and soft. Conclusion: I don't practice enough I will pay more attention to it.
McLovin: It's cool to see somebody taking a completely different approach. Though it's a shame that you didn't paint a whole creature. Maybe it is insanely long or has crazy tail designed. I like head design and it's great that you've used natural colours of the shell. I think you should have integrated your creature with background a little bit more because now it stands out too much.
dragon4lunch: nice composition, very convincing design, fantastic choice of colours and light. Nothing to creat really.
logistic puppet: wow, I love this expression, it's like something between "help me Obi-Wan, you are my only hope" and "I'm so confused". And I don't see any phallicness (as a woman I don't feel offended in any way ). Design fits the brief and textures you've used emphasize camouflage abilities of your creature. Good job!
Brambor: omg, go learn something first!
Chron121: You've succeeded in distacting my eyes, but I would love to see your creature not a dark mass of lines! I know colouring is hard (and I can tell because I feel lost myself all the time) but maybe you could start rendering with a black&white picture just to get the right values and then struggle with colours.
Rob Powell: I like subtle rendering of the shell and horned head. Shame that you've left it on b&w stage because I wonder what colours it has. I think we're on a very similar level: we render some things well while leaving others neglected. Keep it up, you're improving every week!
J.R. Barker: I love the dynamic composition you've created. Good job and a very interesting design.
Migsta: It looks so much better with a head on, doesn't it grey colour of a shell gives an impression of some cybernetic design or high-tech influence. I envy your rendering skills.
RXMT: As it was mentioned the tree in the background focuses too much attention. Though you have a nice and interesting crawler, whole picture looks like it was rushed.
My sketchbook Crits and advice highly encouraged!
I voted for strangedawn. Loved the style and the concept. I'm in a hurry so no crits now. Sorry. As a slight offtopic I was kinda disappointed to see the WIP's thread locked as I was just going to upload my final there since I missed the deadline. :/
Arbinn, you're welcome to post it in the finals thread since it is a final image. I tend to lock threads as soon as we're done with them to keep everything on task. I'll also be posted a COW revisited thread in the near future so that finals that may be late, or ones we decide to redo can be viewed at our own leisure.
Here's my Runefrog that missed the voting.
Arbinn: Great job on the eyes. Obviously, the shell and the feet needed more rendering. Right now your piece looks unfinished. That said, a 3d modeler still could build it though... yeah, but just a bit too unfinished to be cool, agreed?
I don't know about "unfinished". I get accused of that sometimes. But not everything has to be rendered to oblivion. I personally like a looser, painterly feel. It gives a piece vibrancy and energy, instead of it looking static and dead. Nice work Arbinn.
dragon4lunch I tended to render all and everything and fill every square inch with details to the point where the work didn't look that good anymore. It's very tedious and gets stressful quickly since you feel like your work will never finish. I am trying to get rid of the habit of rendering everything and instead I try to focus on selecting a few focal points for the picture and render those well while leaving areas further away from those points less detailed. This way one can work much quicker and the picture doesn't feel too full. It's working quite well for me as drawing feels much more pleasant than it used to and I don't feel like the quality has suffered.
Maybe I did leave some parts more unfinished than I needed to since I was sulking for missing the deadline but I don't think I would have continued it much longer.
I may give some feedback later on. Now I really need to go outside before I melt.
I agree with Arbinn and jrbarker, mostly because my last two entries were both more or less unfinished. Art should not be limited to completeness, a lot of great work I've seen has a very rough, unfinished look to it. Look at DefiledVisions stuff for example. That being said I actually liked the way Arbinn's critter looked in the wips thread better, here it's missing the Hissing aspect where as the wips had those tube-like protrusions on the shell that could cover for that, and the shell looked better without the scale like patterning on the edge, IMO. Still really like the concept though, part frog part turtle without looking too much like either one. shame you missed the deadline though.