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torstan
01-15-2010, 05:32 PM
I don't know how many of you follow the Artorder challenge run by the art director for 4E. I've been keeping an eye on it waiting for them to do a map challenge, but to no avail. Instead I finally got up the pluck to create an entry for the creature challenge - New Year and all that.

Here's my entry for this week's assassin devil (art brief here: http://artorder.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-challenges.html)

I'd be very grateful for any C&C before I submit it on Sunday.

20331

philipstephen
01-15-2010, 05:46 PM
i dig it... the look and tone of it are great!

i wonder if the hand holding the sword would be larger, considering foreshortening...

also, something about the breasts don't sit quite right with me. i think because the pectoral muscle would extend from the shoulder, it looks like her right breast is too far to her left and that her underarm rib area is too large...

or something... i am not sure if that is the exact reason it looks slightly off...

also, it took me a moment to realize the black was a mask and not something strange with her face. I wonder if there is a way to bring it out a bit more?

Those critiques and comments are in no way meant to suggest I do not think you have a strong piece here. The shape, pose, subtle shading, most everything looks really good.

Good luck on the competition!

Phil

torstan
01-15-2010, 05:49 PM
Yep, the chest has been bothering me too. Thanks for calling me on it - that suggests I have screwed something up so I'll work on it some more. Good note on the hand too.

Not sure how to emphasise the mask. I agree it doesn't necessarily read that well to start with. perhaps some straps holding it on would give the clue as to it's nature.

Redrobes
01-15-2010, 06:09 PM
Ahh I looked at the pic and then the thread. Boobs were my point too. It looks like a) she needs more of an uplifting corset to be more anatomically right and b) well okay shes not human but under breasts it falls to abdomen in an unusual way, sort of too rounded and not curvy S shaped enough. I like the armour a lot tho.

Edit -- I thought the mask was something odd about the half of her face too. It didn't occur to me that it was a mask actually given her strange life form (feet, cloak etc). I think Phil has it nailed, it looks like its flush with the face.

Edit2 -- I went to the site. Since the mask is part of the requirements for the image then its likely that the people viewing and judging it would inherently know that its supposed to be the mask. Maybe its not such a big deal.

torstan
01-15-2010, 06:11 PM
Yep. I think you've nailed it. Her corset isn't giving her any lift. That'll teach me for doing the anatomy drawing and then just placing clothers over the top. Of course the corset changes her shape. Bugger. Will fix that tomorrow. Thanks a lot for pointing that out.

I had a lot of fun with the armour. First time I've drawn metal and I'm really pleased with how it came out. :)

Ascension
01-15-2010, 08:19 PM
I looked at the face first and said "ah, dudely devil" but when I saw the breasticles I said "wait, she's a man, baby, yeah". The foot has a bit of that weird anime big-footedness to it or whatever that style is with the big feet. I can't really make out if the proportions are right cuz the leg blends into the cloak. Since it's a lady devil you could get away with making the head a little bigger (I always draw ladies with slightly bigger heads and slender shoulders to enhance the petite-ness but I do comic book style, shrug) and that would fix the chestal area. And maybe a little long hair or something to suggest more of a feminine feral look...oh and bigger eyes and lips but not anime huge, comic-book big. You might also want to lighten the black around the body to accentuate her form. The style and techniques are good so no problem there, just some things on shape and form that come to my mind.

DevinNight
01-15-2010, 08:21 PM
Nice piece over all.
I think her head is too small. You can increase it quite a bit... allowing you to make the detail there a bit more obvious.

Pulling in the armor would help define her figure more.

Lastly add a lot of highlight to the sword and arm that is in the foreground.. much like the leg that is well lit, that will help it pop from the background that is her torso.

Good luck.
I'll have to go check out the site..

Djekspek
01-15-2010, 09:48 PM
looking pretty cool torstan! (also loved your city illustration btw, makes me wanne draw again). I'd do a dark background for more drama and add some more highlights to give it more depth as well (maybe using the same 2nd lightsource you used for the lower legplates), e.g. the sword could use some and also the knee and toes. still, as it is its already really nice. cheers

philipstephen
01-16-2010, 03:39 AM
Torstan,

i checked out that Art Order site and subscribed... i would love to get picked up by Wizards of the Coast at some point... but likely need more practice and knowledge and such...

do you mind if I enter this contest as well?

and it looks like the deadline is the 24th... so i am not sure if you were shooting to get your piece done this Sunday, but you have a bit of time... a week i guess...

i hope your edits are going well...

phil

Steel General
01-16-2010, 08:40 AM
I can't draw people worth a poop (never could) but I still like this (even with all of the mammary abnormalities the others covered).

I envy your talent Torstan.

torstan
01-16-2010, 09:52 AM
Thanks for all the crits! That's given me a good chunk of work and polishing to do. I'll post the new version when I have it.

Philipstephen - of course you should enter! I'd be really interested to see your take on the assassin devil. Thanks for the note on the deadline. I'd forgotten that he moved to biweekly challenges rather than weekly ones. Next week is hectic though so it's good to be almost done early.

torstan
01-16-2010, 11:57 PM
Okay, increased the head size, tried to make her less Dude-like (cheers Ascension :) ) and fixed some anatomy issues around the chest and collarbone. Also, increased the size of the hand and altered the flow of the corset. Not quite there yet, but I think this is getting there.

Any further crits much appreciated - I know there are still things in there that are off. Shout about the ones you notice and I'll get back into it.

20377

Imahilus
01-17-2010, 06:32 AM
As with the others, I thought the darker part was part of the face (which I found to be an interesting touch), but apparently it is a mask.. (no offense, but I liked the idea more when I thought it was part of her face).

The thing that has been bugging me the most about the picture is...
I'm missing an arm =\
For some reason I'm looking for her other arm.
Now if the 'mask' was part of her face, you could've done something like use a different style arm, two arms on her left side, or something very different like a scythed tentacle or so.
(not familiar if you can make 'any' assassin daemon, or one that represents an allready established concept)
In anycase, to me, she is missing her left arm.. (I am aware it could be hidden behind her body, keeping the cloak back or so, but it just doesn't strike me as such a pose).

torstan
01-17-2010, 08:34 AM
The left arm is actually there but yes, it could be picked out more clearly. As for the other questions - the mask on the face and the number of limbs are determined by the art brief in the link in the first post. No getting away with scythed tentacles on this one, more's the pity...

Thanks for the note on her left hand. I'll fix that.

torstan
01-17-2010, 02:15 PM
Back arm highlighted. Tweaks to the face. Edited the foot to go for the more standard three toes of the 4e devils. Detail on sword arm and hand as well as a subtle edge highlight on the sword (it is made of shadow after all - it can't have particularly sharp highlights). Oh and added a face strap for the mask too, to help it read better.

20387

... and it's away. I decided I had to submit it or I'd never stop tinkering with it. Thanks to everyone for their help. It was exceptionally useful.

Redrobes
01-17-2010, 02:38 PM
All these changes are looking good. Can I suggest one more. The eyes seem to me to be pointing in different directions. Her right (our left) seems to be aiming to our left compared to the red dot behind the mask and both eyes should be forward.

I reckon you ought to be in with a shout with it tho. Its very nice.

Darn now I read below the image that you sent it. Good luck anyway - keep us posted.

torstan
01-17-2010, 02:44 PM
Good point on the eyes. The issue here is that we note the light points on the eyes as the reflected highlights. In this case the light is forward, but a little top left, so the eyeball has a top left highight. However the right eye is a glowing orb that emits it's own light so the highlight is dead center. That does mean that the lightest point of each eye is in a different place, giving the impression of the eyes looking off in different directions. Ho hum, we'll just have to see how it fares.

I'll post here when the entries go up on the site - should be a week on Tuesday. People posting about entries in comment threads help a piece get noticed, so I'll be counting on the good folks of the CG :)

Djekspek
01-17-2010, 08:02 PM
pretty amazing painting torstan! getting better and better. I love the way you painted the armor and the claw/nails. cheers and good luck with the entry!

torstan
01-26-2010, 12:26 PM
The entries are up! Here's the page with all the contributions. Some very interesting versions on there and some interesting lessons that I can learn from. Definitely going to have a more careful look through the larger versions.

Check them out here:
http://artorder.blogspot.com/2010/01/creature-retread-challenge.html

Pieces I particularly like: Jason Jutta - lovely way of using the cloak in the vignette; Florian Stiz - nice terrain; Dana Henderson - love the shadows coming off the sword; Chris West - another cartographer, and I love his texturing; Chenthooran Nambiarooran - those shadows! Awesome cloak; Adam Lane - how I wished mine looked. Very clean, lovely terrain that helps the sotry telling - just all over great.

torstan
01-26-2010, 12:26 PM
The entries are up! Here's the page with all the contributions. Some very interesting versions on there and some interesting lessons that I can learn from. Definitely going to have a more careful look through the larger versions.

Check them out here:
http://artorder.blogspot.com/2010/01/creature-retread-challenge.html

Pieces I particularly like: Jason Jutta - lovely way of using the cloak in the vignette; Florian Stiz - nice terrain; Dana Henderson - love the shadows coming off the sword; Chris West - another cartographer, and I love his texturing; Chenthooran Nambiarooran - those shadows! Awesome cloak; Adam Lane - how I wished mine looked. Very clean, lovely terrain that helps the sotry telling - just all over great.

Steel General
01-26-2010, 12:35 PM
There were 4 that really jumped out at me (didn't jot the names down).

jfrazierjr
01-26-2010, 02:20 PM
I had a lot of fun with the armour. First time I've drawn metal and I'm really pleased with how it came out. :)

I'll say! Rock on, that armor looks freaking GREAT!

Ascension
01-26-2010, 06:10 PM
Molnar and Stitz look pretty good to me. Maybe PhillipStephen and I should jump in on one of these.

the-golem
01-27-2010, 02:18 AM
Lets see. I like her color overall, althought I might give her a bluer tinge. The descriptor says "indigo" which (imho) is more of a midnight blue, while your's is clearly a violet-ish color. Secondly, I would make her eye 'pop' some more, maybe give it a glow of some sort (like the reference image). Also, her feet has fourtoes, while the reference image has three. And, yes, the arm is way off. The way it's bent suggest that the fore-arm is bent towards the user, meaning it should be getting larger as it gets closer. IMHO, again, its too short, and the fist is too small. Also, the chest angle doesnt line up with the shoulder angle. Given the amount you can see of her left (rear) cleavage, you should be able to see her left shoulder as well, and probably some of her arm. Another thing, the neck might be too long. Maybe. If you add in that left shoulder it might work out a bit better.

It'd be nice to see some tail, maybe coming from behind her and sweeping left, out of the cloak.

I suppose thats all. Overall though, I like the composition. The shadowy cloak is really keen, and I like the shoulder piece also. Although, maybe the cloak could use a bit of blending. In some places you can still see the brush blots.

torstan
01-29-2010, 12:11 PM
Thanks a lot for those crits. That's a great run down. Let me go through them. The indigo was lifted directly from the definition and flood filled. I did add some red into the highlights so I think that pulled it away from the core colour, but I wanted to warm the piece up a little. In the case of the eyes yes she could go more demonic. In restrospect a nice gold would have stood out well and given her face more character. In the case of the feet - nope. I removed the fourth toe for the final image. I saw that I'd got the early design wrong and corrected it. That final image only has three. For the right arm , it certainly is coming towards the viewer and the hand is larger as a result. Taking standard measures, her fist is wider across the knuckles compared to the rest of her body than is normal (roughly 2 eye's width would be standard), but perhaps this could have been increased. The forarm was done without reference and I think it shows. I should have hunted down reference for that part. In the case of the chest - I did use ref for that but looking at it now the left hand side of her chest is indeed too far out. Good call. The neck on the other hand is accurate. I spent ages nailing the measurements on that. It's because she has no hair that it looks long, but it's anatomically bang on.

The tail was an error. I should have added one and didn't. I just didn't think of it.

In the case of the cloak - I wanted to leave it loose and splattery. I wanted the focus to be on the face so I made sure the smoothest redering and detail was there. I think a few more different brushes could have gone into the cloak and made that work a little better.

Thanks a lot for the crits. You nailed the two things there that could really do with more work - the arm and the chest.

My own thoughts (now that I've had a couple of weeks away from it):

The pose could be more dynamic. She should be crouched. The legs should be splayed further.
The lighting should be more dramatic. The armour on her lags should reflect brighter highlights. I choise to leave her bottom half dark but I think it just gets lost when viewd smaller.
Place her in an environment. I love what the other submissions did with the surroundings. I wasn't sure how to build an environment into the vignette but there were some excellent examples. Not only do they ground the piece, but they also add to the story telling.
More detail. She could do with a whole host of embellishment on her outfit. I specifically chose not to do this as I wanted to make sure I could draw plain armour before I went crazy with bells and whistles. Next time I'll add the extras.
Less human. She's a devil, not a slightly adjusted human woman. It could do with some skewed proportions, a very different face and some scales and ridges to give her a clear heritage.

Otherwise I'm pleased with it. I think I achieved the things I wanted to with this piece and I know what I want to focus on when I do my next one.

Thanks to everyone for the critiques.

the-golem
02-08-2010, 03:20 AM
Hmmm. Silly me, I went to that contest, to read about it, and never thought to actually look at the submitted piece. The changes you made to the final piece really tie things together. Any nuance I noticed from your posting here is gone. Really sir, five gold stars! Since I don't have any stars to give, have some compasses instead. Job well done, I congratulate you.

:compass::compass::compass::compass::compass: