View Full Version : CHOW #095 - Squirrel Mage FINAL BURNING
November 1st, 2007, 10:17 PM
This week we break from human or humanoid characters and try a new approach with an animal character.
Cedartuft is the female lead in sword and sorcery Middle Grade Reader (ages 8-12) story of high adventure.
Cedarturft also happens to be a squirrel, a mage, and on a quest to save squirrel kind in her world.
She carries a small cedar staff (a stick to us), a gray green cloak, and has various pouches, satchels and tidbits associated with her craft.
Think of this as if it were for a book cover; so leave extra room at the top for a title, and show some action!
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(for the new people)
THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE. GIVE FEEDBACK
See if the entry you are voting for has mathced the topic requirements. Take time and give feedback - you will learn a lot
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YOU CAN VOTE MORE THEN ONE ENTRY
You can vote only ONCE! It's up to you how many entries you cast your vote or.Think before you click that button.
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example: "CHOW#100_Oregano.jpg" ;)
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November 1st, 2007, 10:21 PM
Killer topic, we need more like these :D
November 1st, 2007, 10:21 PM
I loved this topic to death, so much fun!! :D
November 1st, 2007, 10:26 PM
:teeth: :teeth: :teeth:
Johann de Venecia
November 1st, 2007, 11:29 PM
For the squirrels!!!
November 2nd, 2007, 01:33 AM
Here we go :D
November 2nd, 2007, 04:15 AM
Enjoyed this one a lot !
November 2nd, 2007, 06:10 AM
This was great fun. :teeth:
November 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM
November 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM
That was fun. Got carried away though, hehehe. Sorry about the size but otherwise the ubercool halftone won't show properly... :rolleyes:
November 2nd, 2007, 01:50 PM
Hope you like it... :bashful:
November 2nd, 2007, 08:44 PM
Not quite like I imagined, but a good animal exercise... it was fun. :)
November 2nd, 2007, 08:50 PM
Super fun topic, brought me right back to grade school and the redwall books
November 3rd, 2007, 07:10 AM
well the c drive decided to collapse due too an overdoes of memory so I couldn't finish it...so I guess this'll be my final :P ah well, will have to be clearing it out i suppose.
November 3rd, 2007, 09:58 AM
OK, it's done :)
November 3rd, 2007, 12:29 PM
My first Chow :}
November 3rd, 2007, 02:43 PM
Hehe, I have to say that this is the best CHOW topic ever. I have never ever drawed anything that's supposed to look cute - this is my first try. :)
I tried to make it look like a real childrens book that you can find out in the store. ;)
Changed to a more suitable filename.
November 3rd, 2007, 05:09 PM
Great stuff everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed painting this squirlol and am looking forward to some big crits.
November 3rd, 2007, 07:16 PM
Great work everyone
November 4th, 2007, 12:49 AM
November 4th, 2007, 07:55 AM
this was fun
November 4th, 2007, 02:24 PM
Not so pleased with it but I'm calling it done. I learned some things at least. =)
EDIT!! I goofed on File name, Sorry! I just noticed when I was making a CHoW folder. Hope I didn't mess you guys up! Fixed it though!
November 4th, 2007, 02:54 PM
Great job everyone, got some really great entries. I am impressed with the amount of entries on the non human CHoW. Can't wait to see everyones finals and give some feedback.
November 4th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Yup :rendered: :rendered: That's my final.
Great job so far, everyone!
November 4th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Fantastic looking entries everyone!
November 4th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Cool topic. I would like to have more time for this to fix some things but well...here it is :)
November 4th, 2007, 05:26 PM
Oh I could hardly finish this...
November 4th, 2007, 05:43 PM
medium: red pencil | copic multiliners| copic markers | photoshop cs
November 4th, 2007, 06:34 PM
Thank you for that awesome topic, Shane, I had so much fun with this!
Lots of great entries, it will be difficult to vote :-)
November 4th, 2007, 06:37 PM
Excellent work everyone, had lots of fun doing this :)
November 4th, 2007, 06:49 PM
Hey well i veered off topic slightly but wanted to have a bit of fun with it
November 4th, 2007, 06:53 PM
One of these days I will learn how to do proper backgrounds, I swear...
November 4th, 2007, 07:55 PM
Squirrels are awesome. Had a lot of fun with this one!
November 4th, 2007, 08:41 PM
First post on ConceptArt, and first time with a computermade drawing/board.. but it was such a fun character this week.. !
November 4th, 2007, 08:43 PM
This was a lot of fun. Here's my entry, oil on masonite (6"x6")... about 6 hours:
November 4th, 2007, 08:55 PM
Great topic for the week, I'm out of time so this is how much I have :rendered:
November 4th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Hi everyone. This is my first post on CA. I did this in oil on canvas and unfortunately my digital camera isn't the best not to mention my lighting setup.
November 4th, 2007, 11:11 PM
I managed to get it done!! I had a blash doing this topic!! I cant wait to see everyone's finals!
November 4th, 2007, 11:17 PM
November 4th, 2007, 11:26 PM
Narfboy - you appear to be missing something :bashful:
Wonderful work everyone!
November 4th, 2007, 11:34 PM
I had fits with the colors on this one and still am not happy with it. Very fun topic though. Nice submissions from everyone so far.
November 4th, 2007, 11:38 PM
Here is mine:
November 5th, 2007, 12:01 AM
my first CHOW entry!
i seriously need to get me some money and buy a tablet, i was forced to do this thing using just the touchpad on my laptop!
but it turned out well enough, i think.
November 5th, 2007, 01:19 AM
November 5th, 2007, 02:31 AM
A lot more needs done to this...but it's done for now.
November 5th, 2007, 06:29 AM
The hunting of the snow spider
November 5th, 2007, 12:02 PM
Hopefully I'm not too late...this was a ton of fun! Lots of wonderful entries too!
November 5th, 2007, 02:09 PM
im late, just got back from vacation and thought the topic was too rad to not attempt
November 5th, 2007, 10:33 PM
Fantastically good show people. This round is already rough! A lot of great ideas and some excellent execution. There's a lot here to like this week!
NOW VOTE! :confident
November 6th, 2007, 12:03 AM
oh dear this was a toughy.
My vote went to Alice in the end. I really enjoy how simple it is, although Fydbac's and Lukavi's entries really impressed me as well.
Darn it i wish i could vote on all three :tihi:
Props to everyone who entered though, some really good takes on the subject, specially ones like idle.'s ... you've really given me some awesome ideas to try out on my art.
Inspiration galore :bow:
November 6th, 2007, 12:17 AM
Darn it i wish i could vote on all three :tihi:
Just for future reference, Dakardaur, you can. The poll is set up to allow multiple votes.
November 6th, 2007, 12:51 AM
This was a tough choice, so many good pieces, but i tried to cut it down to 3, but i had to add a 4th. Reason for my choices? mainly, each piece had an element of all - 1. which images could i imaging finding in a book shop?, 2. Does the image tell some kind of story, of magic or adventure? 3. And simply quality and execution, Is it eye catching enough to stand out in a crowd, of hundreds of other books?
in no particuler order-
oregano, i realy like this, its got a realy fresh feel to it, very natural, and lighthearted, with a mixture of adventure. For some reason it says Australian bush.
felicia, i love the magical feel on this, and the norse type character direction you've taken it. Only crit i have is the hand, also not to sure about the hair. I think it might be better without the hair. btw, i love the happy bags :)
lukavi, i like the detail in this, she fits well into her environment, and her crazy manic expression is great, Again my main crit is the tail, i think i thicker bushier tail would improve it.
jessibean I wasn't at first going to pick this, as i know you can do better, although i like this new aproach, the one thing that stood out for me in a negative way was the black line. I think if you had kept the whole image with black line as normal it would look great, or if you had no black line at all it would look great. But half and half in my opinion gives it a half finished look, and thats my only crit on this. What realy won me over on this though is the expression on her face, that cute inocent, girl next door look she has. :)
I would have concidered 1 or 2 others also, if only they had read the description more carefully.
November 6th, 2007, 01:33 AM
wow.. really struggled to vote.. :O
alice & Fydbac were my favs.. nicely done!
November 6th, 2007, 01:40 AM
Lukavi and jakkas!
Excellent both :D
November 6th, 2007, 02:03 AM
omg for reals!? sweet! now... i'll remember to vote on all my choices next time then! lol Choosing just one was so hard =.=
But yeah... we are all here for feedback right? So i'm gonna give my 2 cents to whomever I can. lol.
oh heck, scroo it! I'm gonna do everyone's! It's the least I could do methinks.
here goes. *turns on teh musik*
fedezz - Simply awesomely cute. My major turn off on it was the fact that I didn't feel like this particular squirrel was out to save her kingdom. Lol. Still, awesome attempt, loved the style. You earned yourself a follower. :D
entdroid - I keep thinking "mischeveous squirrel" when I look at it. I feel picky saying this, but I just can't tell if thats a female... oh god don't hate me XD, it's still a beautifully done piece. :)
JessiBean - I thought the colors you used on the "lights" stood out too much and drew the eye away from the character itself. Otherwise a great piece... squirrelmarillion... good chuckle :D
Lukavi - One of my favorites, I way you dealt with the painting and the colors are just perfect. However, there is too much going on methinks, making it hard to focus on the whole thing. Still, one of the best pieces this run, imo.
PutridusCor - I liked this one expect for the fact that the background and the pose didn't really do much for me >.>. Maybe something more dynamic? Also the light on the wand seems much too bright for how little of it's color there is reflected on the picture. Even so, great work man!
Spitch - Enjoyable, nothing stands out too much in relation to the rest of picture, I would love to maybe see an enemy or target for this squirrel's magical scorn though. :3
Ampersand - Pleasing to the eye, but as I've mentioned on a couple before, I don't see a character who's out on some amazing quest for the fate of squirrel-kind. Also, considering the amount of green in the picture, I would've liked to see more of it reflected on the character itself i.e.: the fur.
Pixel Dust - I loved the little things on this one, like the match on her stick or the fact that she's holding a marble. The cloak is rather distracting though, and it would rock if you threw some uh... "magic" into the mix. You know, flashing lights or some weird smoke coming out of the book... who knows... imagination knows no bounds :D
idle. - Now THAT's a squirrel with a mission in life! Really exciting and the style... just phenomenal.
Thujon - The major draw-back on this one is that it's rather hard to read, the character much too dark on an already rather dull and, forgive me for saying this, boring background. You are the god of this squirrel... make it strike a sick pose and throw some sunshine into its world :D
hoshicat - Oooo! The leaves are a very nice touch, the staff however (the top) gives more attention to the action than the character itself. In otherwords, it feels like this is about the magic being done rather than the character performing. I'm not making sense am i? Lol.
Silarvalla - I really like this one, she seems so... coy. Really nothing I can say beyond, great work!
Tydal - Hrm, perhaps a wider range of tones. Right now it feels like it's being swallowed by the background, also, something colder for the tree-branch as it stands out too much, and some texture. A good effort :3
Meme - I wanna pinch it's cheeks! lol. However... I sorta think uh... itlookslikearabbit. Don't hit me! xD. It's the ears. Otherwise loved to colors on this one. :D
Kroevyn - Not much I can say about it other than awesome! The pose does bother me a bit though, as it seems rather stiff. Hope to see more entries on future CHOW's
LORD M - Well, you did a great job making that squirrel look cute... I wanna eat it. lol. The background really hurts this one though, methinks some clouds here and there should do the trick. The practically one solid color just really takes from what is otherwise a very well done piece.
baby-bel - A good effort but parts of it are really hard to read, such as it's right leg (the one on the left), or what I'm assuming is it's tail.
artdwx - That's beautiful, I'd really like to know what you used too.
Blindfolded Guy - I'd just like to see more of the character. Still, cool entry
Alice - In its own elaborate design, it still manages to remain simple and very pleasing. Youz rocks!
NARobles - That's a squirrel I don't wanna piss off, lol. She does seem a tad stiff, however. Still, melikes!
Mythlore - Great entry, I particularly love what you did with the tail. Well done!
liolev - This has great potential, but a lot of it is lost on how dark the piece is, imo. Still, good work mate.
Muleskinner - An awesome entry! I really enjoy looking at this one. The action nut in me wishes for something more dynamic, but I know for a fact that's just me being picky. Lol. Great job dude!
Jakkas - That is just... beautiful. I would like to see what you could do to it with more time. Pretty please with a cherry on top? :D
Ranalea - I bet this took a great deal of effort and dedication. I like this one... and yet the action nut in me yearns... alas, I need to keep him quiet. hehe.
fydbac - ...you are a god amongst men.
Nike - A job well done, although some more highlights would make it even better :3
realitycheck - An awesome take, however, it took me a while to realize there was a staff, and that said staff was being held by it's tail. Also the arms are a little hard to read. And some foliage on that branch or in the back to would be awesome. Good job man.
rodriguez - the LOTR theme brought a smile to my face :D
daestwen - Haha, I feel you on the whole background deal... I hope that day is near, because all this piece needs to go from "very good" to "OMG THATS AWESOME" is a background. Well done man
Dakardaur - wait... thats me... Well, after looking at it for a while, I've decided it needs a better background, or a more defined one anyway. Some highlights, specially on the cloak would rock, as well as maybe a wider range on the tone front. Do you guys concurr?
miffo81 - Well welcome dude, I'm more of a lurker than an active member (something I hope the change soon). Considering that's your first attempt, dude, you are light years ahead of where I was when I first tried. lol. Some color would've been nice
Chingwa - oooo me likes! The pose seems a tad awkward if I act it out... alas, I AM too picky... but yeah. Awesome. I love the feel of the medium too, darn it, I should learn. lol.
Sturnus - awwww I wish you'd had more time =.=. That's awesome dude, I'd love to see a background on this beaut.
phantomstranger - Ok here's the plan, I fly to wherever you are and we use my uber-camera to take a superawesome picture. It's a shame that what seems like a great effort is hampered by it's delivery. Good job man.
Narfboy - Very well done, however that blue and yellow really draw attention from the character. Hrm, I wanna see whose butt that squirrel is kicking too :D.
pseudobiotic - I don't the black in the background does much for the picture. Maybe tone the amount down a bit to a few scraggly but rather scary twigs and branches? Also, I'm having a hard time telling where the lightsource is, but other than that good job dude.
Oregano - Awesome. It just looks like it only has one leg >.>... I really love how you did the cloak man.
mrbol18 - Me likes. I'm having a hard time telling where the staff ends and the arm begins though, or rather, if there is an arm at all. Still, good job man!
Felicia - That's just perfect. I like her bags... they look like little owls :3
r-idz - how in the world did you do that with a touch pad!?!? I can barely play solitaire using the damned thing! Hell, I'd put in money myself to get you a tablet, I see potential... but alas, unemployment. lol. Anywho, back to the piece, it's just too much black =.=. What CAN be seen is fantastic though.
jack frost - oooo very nice! Would've liked to see a more elaborate background... some clouds maybe... or a distant forest or some mountains. who knows.
LAG - I say, that's a tough looking squirrel. I like the details on this one... Some yellow highlights here and there wouldn't hurt though.
grenogs - Great work! that tail is so pretty. One thing though. Is she floating? standing on something? Hard to tell >.>
Teigrob - Coolio... not much I can say about linework >.>... the needy child in me would like some colors. Oh Oh Oh! Can I do 'em? pweaaaaaaase! :3
Davi - Awesome man! It's all like, creeping about and stuff. Methinks a darker, scary environment would add soooooo much to this. Well done!
And I believe thats it. I'm gonna feel like crap if I missed someone >.> lol.
Hope it helps a little bit >.>
Thank you all for posting everyone, as I said before, some very insipirational stuff here.
November 6th, 2007, 02:38 AM
thanks for the comment dakardaur, floating? no, shes supose to be stood in snow, but the sparkly magic green is hiding it. Something i hadn't noticed myself, but now i look, i can see why you ask. hmm.. i may have to change something there :(
Also i agree about the coments about your own image, especialy a larger tonal range will make it stand out more. Also make the left hand a little larger than the right hand and the right foot larger than the left foot to make up for the foreshortening.
November 6th, 2007, 02:55 AM
god, so many excellent entries... my vote goes to... Lukavi, Jakkas, fydbac and alice - i love them all - so magical and really well painted:)
November 6th, 2007, 03:58 AM
Wow seeing all these entries together makes it so hard to vote I'm torn on which ones to choose.
Thanks for the comment Dakarduar getting feed back is always great I used watercolor and pen.
Again great work I always love the non human chows
November 6th, 2007, 04:12 AM
What an awesome turnout. Fantastic display and variety of Cedartufts! Cast my vote for Felicia - She is one tough looking mage. I love it! Conjures images of the Black Forest and she's defending (possibly) against the dark work of the Baba Yaga.. Aready spinning a yarn in my head.. :). Beautiful form, lighting, and rendered details.
There's so much talent and skill here. Yet another display of inspirational creativity.
November 6th, 2007, 05:52 AM
My votes went to JessiBean (the face is cute as anything, I love the execution of the magical glows and the runes in the background), fydbac and lukavi - both wonderfully ornate and gentle to look at, with that slightly quaint storybook feel which I love. I like fydbac's subtle coloured lines and the dreamy glow in lukavi's, though in the latter the squirrel's tail is possibly a bit thin and fox-like. Great entries all around though, it was hard to pick just a few. :)
November 6th, 2007, 08:23 AM
My votes went to fydbac, lukavi and oregano. JessiBean, you were a close call on this one, but a) I feel like I've voted for you for the last four/five weeks and am therefore bias, b) it wasn't quite as strong as you've been doing. I still really like it, but I always (as much as I can) cut my vote to three. But at least I can say that you did a good job. :) I don't quite agree with grenogs on this one... I think the line/no-line combination is okay mostly... the only place it stands out for me is the hand, which has such a thick dark line around it compared to the face... I think you could fix that by having a little bit of a rim light on the underside of the wrist... it should bounce there anyway, as the arm is round...
anyway, i digress.
lukavi, I really love the style and feel of yours, and all the detail, hence my vote. The only thing that almost lost it for me was the face. But I think even though the face is still very stylized, the rest made up for it.
fydbac: There is nothing wrong I could say about it! :O I love it! I love the pose! I love the colour! ... well, okay, there is one crit. The only thing that bothers me is the colour of her eyes. I can see where you're going, I just think you should have either lightened it or darkened it up to differentiate between the fur colour and her magic eyeballs.
oregano: I gave you my vote on this one because I liked the cape once it was fixed, and the eye vs. the bead. The only thing I might suggest would be to up the contrast on the squirrel a bit, she's a little grayed out. (But, I'm not sure if that would take away from the bead/eye lighting, so.)
Too many of them didn't look like squirrels to me. :/ I could be very biased, having grown up in cottage country Ontario where if you don't have four squirrels living in your yard and one in your roof then you don't actually live there...
November 6th, 2007, 11:49 AM
Lukavi -- Rich detail! Definitely embodies a unique character. I continue to love your quality of line; it has a lot of life/movement.
Fedezz -- Eloquent, concise, simple. I really get a sense of confidence in how you've executed this one.
Spitch -- Fabulous light and textures; everything is very tangible.
Entdroid -- I love the quirky style and illustratorly quality! I'd definitely pick this up off of a bookshelf. (As an aside, I also love that choice of font.)
Alice -- For all of the extremely delicate details.
Overall, I'm impressed with the amount of energy that went into this CHOW.
November 6th, 2007, 12:11 PM
Thank you guys for the great feedback, I'm glad you like it!
Dakardaur: God amongst men, eh? Well, i am quite fond of being the only female in a group of men. Wait, ...that may have come out wrong.
Daestwen: haha, funny cause I did try different colors actually, but none fit my fancy. But I may just go back and test it out again. Thank you for the feedback!
Though my vote went to Lukavi, these are my favorites in this round:
Alice: I love the trinkets, and the patterns used; they really make out her character and the personality of the story. For myself though, I would have loved to see the front of her outfit. Seems like it would of brought out the things I mentioned even more.
Entdroid:I love her expression and stance. It'll be interesting to see what change in impact it would bring if the aura/wind around her body had the same fade off smokey feel as the two around the staff
Felicia:The lighting and composition on the clothes is great! Definitely adds to the mood.
Lukavi: Love, love the style! I do agree with others [and yourself from what I remember from a previous post] in mentioning the tails and how the character in general resembles a fox/cat more than anything.
Oregano: As I've mentioned before, I really love the atmosphere. The beads and the flow of the cape are my favorite aspects next to the feel of the environment.
November 6th, 2007, 12:11 PM
fuckin awesome round guys, I was expecting alot of furries on this round...phew, thank you for not making furries- I hate those things
anywho Special kudos to Idle, for throwing something totally different in the ring. I love it man, but...you could have made it even better if you were to variate the halftone graduations on various parts of the image and character.
lukavi, jakkas, Felicia...:xpld:
November 6th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Thanks a bunch for the votes, guys! :D Too bad I didn't know you could vote 3 times. :(
I'll try and comment on some entries, even though I am poor at giving critics:
Daestwen - I really like this one, the tribal tattoo on the face really made it stand out - and it's also a very excellent drawing.
mrbo18 - This really looks like a squirrel, a cute one. And I love the fall season concept in your drawing. Just thought you might have spent a bit more on the fur.
lukavi - What can I say? It's a superb and amazing drawing, one of my favos. Maybe there's a bit much stuff she's carrying, but that's fine. The tail looks more like a cat tail and the face looks a bit intimidating - not something for a childrens book imo. :P
Fedezz - I love the style - so great and yet so simple.
davi - Looks very realistic, but imo the colours seem a bit dull. Some brighter colour somewhere in the pic might have lightened it up.
MEME - Your drawing looks so happy! It makes me smile when I see it. Great style!
R-IDZ - I like the way the light falls on her when she's bending over and drawing the runes in the ground.
Artdwx - Somehow this makes me think of the concepts on characters
from Zelda: Ocarina of time. Great one, but somehow the eyes looks a bit evilish. Must be because of the eyebrows.
Ampersand - I love the face, looks cute - but somehow imo it doesn't fit to the body, just my crappy opinion though. I like the background, it suits the character well.
Teigrob - Looks like something from Disney - the better Disney's. I like how you had it hang upside down, it looks natural somehow. :)
SPITCH - I love the colours in it! The light from the staff falls very nice on the squirrel. But I think yours look more like a vilain then a hero. It looks a bit evil imo.
NIKE - Awesome! I really like this one! You made it look like a real squirrel wearing the equipment. :P I love it.
pseudobiotic - Haha! I love the cartoony style of your entry. Maybe a bit more details wouldn't have hurt.
Jakkas - Wow! Stunning piece you got there. I can't see anything to criticism on.
fydbac - Lovely. Looks very clean and smooth.
Oregano - Very nicely done fur, looks very nice. I love the eye - but it looks a bit intimidating. The gems are very realisticly made, I also like how you made the light fall through the torn cape.
Realitychek - This does look like some old book I read as a child, it's a great cover. Maybe a bit more details hadn't hurt.
JessiBean - This one got my vote - it's very well made and I like how you made it look so cute! Awesome entry!
(Also, it looked a bit better with the red cape. :P)
IDLE - Great way making it look like an existing manga cover, it really stands out in the bunch - in a good way. ;) Maybe some more colour maybe had made it more alive.
Felicia - Great colouring! I like the cute owl pouches on her jacket - very original. :) But if I'm going to be honest with you I thought your character look more like a rabbit then a squirrel, imo.
ENTROID - So damn simple looking and yet so brilliant! Goldstar for you! I can't give any critics to this one.
alice - I love it. This one was one of my favos - if I had known you could vote more then once, I would have given you my vote. I love the details in it, the cape and mask looks lovely. And it looks overall cute! It also reminds me of a childhood book I read looooong ago. Great piece!
Johann de Venecia
November 6th, 2007, 01:40 PM
My overall favorite is Alice. Love the color palette and mood of the pic. Everything flows and comes together.
Grats to everyone, this topic yielded lots of fantastic entries. And thanks for the kind words and critiques. Cheers all!
November 6th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Phew...I intended to do crits on all of these, in the spirit of this forum, but I ran out of steam. There are so many! So here go the ones that I got through. I will take a little break, and do the rest.
Grenogs: I love your character, but the background is overwhelming the focus, in my opinion. I like what you are intending to do with the tail, but it's a little too in the way for me, and not so natural a gesture. Great choice in the magic trail of nuts. Very squirrely.
Pixel Dust: It's nicely executed, but I wish you had given more character to the squirrel, instead of relying in props to get the point accross. Something needs to be exciting and awe inspiring in this image, so I think it's definitely something you could keep working on, because the base is well done. It just needs the "Wow!" element.
Daestwen (I am assuming this is your handle): Nice format! I can't really find anything wrong with your image, and I love the fact that your squirrel's head is realistic and not so stylized. I guess the only thing it's missing for me is some more oomph, something unique that makes me stay looking at your image longer. Great cape, beautiful colors, very sophisticated palette and handling.
Thujon: Your entry has a wonderful sense of character, and the squirrel has a great expression. Some elements are getting lost in the darkness for me, and I wish the shapes were clearer. I can't really tell much what the squirrel's left arm is doing, I think it's holding the orb of light, but then there is some other shape on the squirrel's left side that is throwing me off. It just needs more clarification for a quick read.
Miffo: your squirrel is a bit rat-like for me. Your lights and darks need some work, you need to establish a clearer hierarchy of value and light sources, but I think you are well on your way exploring this. Watch your cloth, study some folds to see what it does when it's flowing. The background could use some love, and some variation of value there, might help you punch up the image a little more.
mrbo18: Nice. I like the leaves, and the environment elements, but the information of what the squirrel is doing is getting a little lost because there is too much going on in that bottom left hand corner. I had to look at it closely to realize that there is a medallion flowing, the staff glowing, and the hand casting a spell. Maybe you could have posed the squirrel more upright, to get all of these actions in a better position.
Lukavi: your piece got my vote, because it reminds me of some illustrations of european children story books I had when I was little. I love the richness of detail, and the accumulation of gear the character has, which is very squirrel like. If I was a squirrel, and a mage, I would probably carry a fair amount of stuff with me too. There are some wonderful details that add a very endearing unique character to your image (the little bell on the tip of the hat, the different patterns in the cloth). There are also some great storytelling elements in the costume (the nurse's cross, the saddlebags, the bell.
My only critique is that background and caracter are competing a bit. Maybe some atmospheric perspective could really help you separate both, and it would add interest to your image that much more...maybe some mysterious rolling mist...
Anyway, beautiful awesome work.
Lag: it's nice, but I wish we saw more character. Your background is getting too fuzzy for me, and the "magic" looks like it was rendered in a rush. The bark and the creature have a nice traditional feel to them, so the digital look of the glow and particles really contrasts sharply with the rest of the image.
Fedezz: I love your style, and you were among my other favorites. It's a great design overall, and I don't have much of a crit, other than the suggestion of maybe incorporating pattern into the collar, and giving the spark a more detailed treatment. That is of course not a crit, but a suggestion and the image and choices are yours.
Davi: Awesome, great gesture, nice effect on the staff, your image was another favorite of mine. Only crit, that squirrel's foot looks a little awqward. That's me being super picky, though. Nice textures, man. Got a brush you wanna share? ;)
Jack Frost: Beautiful image, love the rune circle, I just find the fading on top a little unsatisfying. The contrast in the hands would punch up the glow and clarify the shape, which I think it needs because it's a great gesture. Another super picky bit, I wish for the sake of comp that there was more space between her feet and the edge of the page. Minor detail.
Meme: very nice, great feel and color palette. Took me a bit of analizing to figure out what is going on in the background, especially with the squirrel's left hand, but I got it. I love the painterly style, and I love the squirrel's face. I'm not so hot on the title, but that's just my personal opinion.
LordM: Nice. The background looks a little too dark to me, it could be tamed up. The eagle's left wing could use some clarification, and maybe the "magic" elements could be pushed a bit more.
R-IDZ: I like the glowing runes on the ground, but I want to see more of the squirrel. This image is like...the spot illustration of the book, and I wanna see the cover, you know what I mean?
Rodriguez: Nice, Very endearing and cute image. I especially love the little hamsters right behind cedartuft (they are hamsters, right?). The main character could use some sharpening up in the rendering, but I like what you were going for.
Artdwx: I've always liked your style, and this is really working for me, but for some reason I don't like the face. It looks more like a fox to me...I also think you need more contrasting values on the face, to guide our attention to it, but again, these are minor details, and yours is a very nice image.
Ampersand: Beautiful gesture, I love the stretch of the fabric and how it's reading, and I am digging the watercolor look of it. I guess I don't have much of a crit except that maybe you could push everything a little more and bring it to a higher level of finish.
Tydal: You have an interesting way of rendering and I think I like it. Just watch out where the squirrel connects with the tree, it's getting lost to me, and they look oddly attached. You could use a more defined light source, and better values overall.
Teigrob: LOVE IT!!! That drawing is gold, and you now have to paint it :) I won't crit that because I know right now you are a very very very busy lady. But seriously, the drawing is absolutely stunning, as always your gesture is spot on, and I would totally buy this as a drawing.
Spitch: Your squirrel is so angry! Nice chiaroscuro, it's a beautiful image, and I guess it's a totally personal reaction to the expression that kept me from voting for yours. Sometimes, art is just like that...totally subjective...I don't have a negative crit other than it didn't connect with me...
Ranalea: Very nice, I think you could use some more contrast overall, and more definition of values. It might be helpful to turn your image into grayscale and seeing how it all separates in black and white.
Phantomstranger: I think this is a picture of a painting? Things are a bit too fuzzy for me to crit accurately, but I like your colors and lighting. I just wish it was clearer because I am intrigued.
Nike: There is something very endearing about the gesture of your character, and I really like that. It's a nice composition, and my crit would be to work on your lighting, and maybe play a bit more with saturation of the color of some elements in your image, and defining some edges. It all looks a little fuzzy right now. The hands of the squirrel could use some love. The feet are great.
November 6th, 2007, 03:01 PM
fydbac - oh crap, my bad... please don't kill me? lol
grenogs - alas, foreshortening is one of those things I tend to ignore. Thanks for pointing it out :D
November 6th, 2007, 03:02 PM
Narobles: It's a nice image, but it feels constrained by the trees on top. I think you were trying to create a border, but I think it's throwing the whole thing off, they are too straight, and not really incorporated into the image, because they are not reflecting the light. You have a great opportunity to really take advantage of the light from the staff, but it's not really glowing as much as it should on that black background.
Mythlore: I am not sure what's going on in the background, but it's terrifying me. It's a nice detail in the staff, but I don't see much of the character in your image. It's also a bit monochromatic, you could incorporate some more variations in temperature and color.
Pseudobiotic: Nice character, but the pose feels very unnatural and even uncomfortable. There are some nice details, I like the staff, and the glowing magic, but there are a few items that feel a little confusing, especially what's behind the squirrel's right leg. Is that the cape? it's just reading very oddly, almost like something you forgot to paint. Your light source is a little ambiguous, and I think you need to decide which is more important, the glow of the hand, or the environment light source. They are competing right now, and it makes the image look flat.
Narfboy: whoa, there is a lot going on, and the special effects are taking away from the character. Too much magic for me, and the reflected light on the surfaces needs to be revised, and organized better.
Baby-bell: Very cute, I like the gesture, and the lighting. It could use some sharpening of some elements, like the leaf above the head, which is by the way mysteriously placed for me. The belly of the squirrel is very large, maybe the bottom should fade in the dark a little more so it's not so prominent and bulbous.
Muleskinner: hehehe, that squirrel is on the prowl. If he came at me, I would run for my dear life. Nice storytelling, I like the silouette of the poor victim in the foreground. The right hand of the squirrel looks odd, and disembodied holding that staff. Your title made me laugh a ton.
Jakkas: It's a beautiful rendering, and awesome lighting, and great great great costume, but the pose is just a little stiff for me. Still, there are so many wonderful little details in this, and that bark is mouthwatering.
Fydbac: Another favorite of mine, because of the wonderful feel of your pose. It's very cathartic, that squirrel is in deep spellcasting trance. I love the colors, and the movement of the image, but I think the background is a little heavy on top. I think if you carried the blue from the sky a little higher, it would be a nicer read, and a nice frame for the most exciting portion of your piece, which is the head and the flowing cape. Awesome work.
Oregano: Beautiful, moody, evocative. The pose and anatomy are a little strange to me, and it's almost bat-like in how the arms are so long and the legs so scrunched up. I love the detail of the beads and the composition. Awesome naturalistic look to the squirrel's face.
Silarvalla: Great work, just needs a little more definition for me. The way that tail merges with the foreground branch is odd, and it throws me off because they are almost the same color and value. Your composition could use some rethinking.
Realitycheck: I like your pose. The background rendering looks a little messy and rushed, and the staff could glow a bit more, by increasing the darkness around it subtly. You could have more fun with that cape flowing in the air. It's a little boring right now.
PutridusCor: Your color palette is a little unusual for me, and I think the magenta glow of the staff is throwing me off a bit (totally personal opinion). The background is more distracting than anything, so maybe you could just tone it down, push it back.
Kroevyn: Nice style, wonderful peaceful color palette. The eye of the squirrel looks a little weird, and I think it could use more depth. The cape folds could use some more careful analysis. I like the watercoloury feel of the sky and the background.
JessiBean: I also almost voted for yours. It has a wonderful lighting, and feel. The rim-light on the tail is a little solid for me, and it could be a little fuzzier. Nice detail in the the writing on the background.
Dakardaur: It looks unfinished to me. It's a nice start, with a great gesture. The right leg of the squirrel needs some study, and watch how that bag hanging off the belt is almost the same color as the leg in the background, which can look confusing on a first read.
Chingwa: Nice work, great painterly feel. Maybe you can work on adding some more interesting elements to the design.
Blindfolded Guy: Watch the glow and rim lighting. It's easy to get carried away with it. I wish we could see more of your character.
Gthurnus: Nice work, but the tail is a little strangely positioned and really obstructing your overall silouette. You could have fun with it, if you moved the character to the right and allowed that tail to flow in its natural position. I love the staff and the costume. Have more fun with the buttons! It looks like you intended to put them there and then changed your mind.
Idle: Honestly, I have to say first this style isn't my cup of tea (I have to say that because it might be biasing me against giving you a more positive crit), but it's a nice graphic execution, and it makes me wish I knew what the text on top says. Nice hat to the squirrel. the right leg seems to originate in a strange way from the body. The branch is too busy for me.
Hoshicat: Nice start, you could keep working on this image. Push your values a little more by looking at it in black and white. Your text is getting a little lost.
Felicia: Awesome. I also had this one on my vote-for list. No crits, but I voted for Lukavi's because it touched me a little more deeply. Totally subjective. Oh, LOVE THE BRAIDS!
Entroid: I like your image. It's a nice graphic style, and I think the only thing that is competing with the overall is the swirly details on each side. They do frame your image nicely, though, so they might have to be there. Don't know...I think I am tired of criting...hehehe.
Alice: another favorite for me. Beautiful beautiful details, very soft, great movement, I simply love your choices, and it's unexpected to me. You are accomplishing some great modeling of shapes in the cape, and the tail isn't doing it the same way for me, so maybe it's something you can work on if you choose to continue working on this. Beautiful piece.
November 6th, 2007, 04:04 PM
my votes go to jessi and alice just coz they gave me that overall mystical, magical feeling, whilst keeping the squirrel looks and sticking to the brief. Thanks for the crits btw caro and dak, really helpful :) Ye i hope to make a little more effort next time with the extra time i have spare. Good round peeps, and my first time to the poll, lol. although everyone get's accepted now (basically :P)
November 6th, 2007, 04:21 PM
This was a wonderful round of competition with some truly wonderful illustrations and character "ideation" (quoting something familiar :) ). I voted for quite a few people because of how many great pieces their were...
since their was so many I am just going to quickly comment on the pieces I personally dug.
Alice: What a wonderful illustration, aside from missing a detail of the assignment (me too so don't worry) it is a truly wonderful piece of art, I could really see this on the cover of a book detailing the character, and the subtle details in the cape an accouterments fantastic. Great unique vision, can't wait to see your other future entries...
Spitch I really like the way you have taken a solid character drawing and brought it to a really nicely rendered illustration with lighting, shadow, tone and mood. A truly solid piece of creative work, the detail in the satchel is also quite well rendered
Jakkas very nicely rendered and illuminated art work, great use of color
Meme great style and character action pose
fedezz amazingly strong style that gives a great visual simplicity to your rendered image this also goes for Entroid
Chingwa I really love the fact that you painted this on board in a traditional medium, I think it really lifts the great character painting to another level
lukavi great illustration, par for your course :), I will keep voting for you as long as you keep producing uniquely individual images breathed to life by your very singular and beautiful vision Cheers!
davi super late but super great, very solid character illustration plus your solid visual construction works so well, what amazing progress since I first started seeing your posts on these boards
oregano are really like your characters style and pose, not to mention a greatly rendered image mate!
psudobiotic you have a nice illustration here, I really like your interpretation of the staff too
something else I noticed that I wanted to say, it was really interesting to see what each of us saw for a squirrel since these boards are geographically diverse and their are a huge variety of squirrel species in areas where some of us have posted from...
also, if anyone noticed, cared or even thought of.... yes I forgot to paint the tail on my squirrel, talk about a AHHHH moment, but thanks for the votes people
November 6th, 2007, 04:35 PM
I think Alice had to be my favorite this round, if only for overwhelmingly wonderful style and whimsy (I know I'd buy that book). But there were SO many great entries. WOW. I wanted to limit my votes to 3, but just couldn't... :teeth:
I also want to say THANK YOU for the great crits. Definitely food for thought and things to work on...
November 6th, 2007, 05:07 PM
Hey fellow squirrel-mage participants!
I think there are a lot of beautiful images and til now, I couldn’t decide what I’ll vote for.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on my pic or offered crits (carotello, you’re right on spot concerning mine – thank you!).
So, I thought I’ll try to give some feedback, too – not that I’d be very good at that, unforunatley, but I’ll try.
I like your entry, the character is nicely rendered (love the detail in the clothes etc.), and nice light coming from the staff.
What is a bit unfortunate, in my opinion, is that the tail hides a big part of the character.
Also, the spider. I wouldn't have guessed at first glance, that this displays a fight with a spider (as I read in your description), because you see only parts of 2 claws and no action coming from that direction or going into that direction, which makes the scene look a bit stiff.
If you want the spider to be part of the story, you have to show more of it (or a reaction of the character), make the situation more clear.
PixelDust – Very cute, I love the way you put that book leaning on the branch. Crit – the cloak looks very stiff and the background could have needed some more love.
Daestwen - one of my favourite sketches, it’s a pity that you didn’t finish it. The background makes it a bit sloppy.
Thujon – Nice one - yours has some really nice details, like the bones in the bags of the cloak : ) It’s a but unclear what is going on with the hand with that lightball (which could use some more light) though and the pose is a bit stiff. Also, I’m not sure if the backgroundis fitting so well to the character and the story, but that might be a matter of taste.
Miffo81 – funny sketch, but maybe a bit too sketchy. Also, she doesn’t look very female, and she looks somewhat nasty, or, er, dangerous, bot really trust-worthy ;P
Mbro18 – I really like that - character and background are working very well together I think. Lovely eyes.
Lukavi – wonderful painting, as many others have said before, and I get never tired of looking at all these nice details in it. The only crit – though maybe a subjective one – is that for me it doesn’t look like a squirrel, rather like some sort of gnome.
Lag – nice pose and I really like the ways you designed and colored the face. Love the ears :) The glowing lightball isn’t really convincing – you don’t see the warm glow on any other objects in the image like the character, the tree. Background could have used some more love, too.
Fedezzz – one of my favourites, it is so simple, but very convincing. I lve the little details you added to the book cover, like acorn press etc. Also, the color palette is very appealing to me.
davi – I really like this. She looks really involved in her task, concentrated, focused. She’s got character I agree to carotello about the foot looking a bit odd.
Jack Frost – really nice one, and very individual. I like the fact you’ve given her hair. She looks very concentrated which if fitting to the situation you show her. Crits – maybe it would look better without the foot being cropped, and her right hand doesn’t seemto have recieved as much love as her left one
Meme – very funny and dynamic, nice color palette. But for some reason, she reminds me a bit of a hamster/rabbit mix.
Lord M – I really like that – I can imagine it very well as a childrens book cover. I like that fact you put the bird in the picture, too – it somewhat increases the story telling element. The righ wing of the bird seems a bit odd.
R-IDZ – I think the pose is very good, and I also like the mood the colors create, but I think it’s getting too dark in the background - actually a big pat of the character fades into the dark - and some spots look like you’ve worked a bit too much with the burn-tool.
Rodriguez – Nice! Great background, too. Only the pose of Cedartuft seems a bit stiff to me.
Artdwx – I love your style and colors. The ears are great and I like the pose, too. But she looks very grim and her face, exspecially the nose seems a bit foxlike to. (Just saw that carotello has written the same, sorry about the repeat)
So, err, I’m losing my concentration and hope I’ll be able to continue tomorrow.
November 6th, 2007, 05:40 PM
thanks for the compliments and critiques fellow ca peeps
Nike - I think that is the second comment about the feet, I didn't think ahead when I was making the image to worry about a crop area, which as a illustrator is very important....I will remember that in the future, and the hand comment....also very nice entry, I really like how your squirrel character is gripping the branch with its feet, very nicely rendered piece
November 6th, 2007, 05:41 PM
damn man plenty of entries 2 choose from
but after narrowing it down i voted for my 3 favorite pieces
November 6th, 2007, 06:03 PM
Thanks so much for the critiques everyone :) Finally managed to get my vote down to three- so many great entries!
November 6th, 2007, 06:07 PM
Hey Community :blahblah:
Big thanks for your honest answers and crits...its good to know it all!!!
As an apology for the BG, I have to say I really wanted to do some other stuff, but in the end I thought, that this activity is called CHOW, so the BG is irrelevant....well I was wrong and Ill keep it in mind for the next entry ;-)....
Attached is the squirrel with the very first BG that I wanted to do....photoref with some filters, that I wanted to change in the end....
November 6th, 2007, 06:39 PM
thanks for the crits on mine, to those who gave them... i really think my monitor shows things brighter than normal. because i can see pretty much all of my character... but i dont think this is the first time i've gotten comments about things being too dark. hmmmm definitely gonna have to check this out...
November 6th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Alice your detail is fantastic, but my fav this round has to go to Oregano. Your image caught my eye and sucked me into the world immediately, the light through the trees, the cape and jewels flowing in the wind, and the squirrel mage scouting her path ahead...I can almost feel the wind on my face! :)
It also sent my mind into film-clip mode...for the last 20 mins I have imagined the film 'Willow' with your squirrel as the sorceress 'Asrael', and it was fantastic!
November 6th, 2007, 11:04 PM
My overall fav was ALICE - loved the pose and details, cool stylization of the squirrel, overall design.
Also voted for:
Lukavi - Nice linework and concept of the character, nice details.
Oregano - Really like the overall mood of the piece. Like I can feel the wind in the trees. Killer rendering as well.
Thanks to those who gave mine crit, it is much appreciated...
November 6th, 2007, 11:52 PM
thanks for the crit nike, to be honest i wasn't exactly trying to interprate a fight, thats something i was trying to keep open, i guess i was trying to let the question hang there, and not give away the whole story in the image. Thats the reason i tried to keep it as subtle as possible by only adding only a glimps of something spidery and not showing the whole spider in action. Thats also the reason i titled it "the hunting of the snowspider" and not "the hunt of the snowspider" the former i think is more open to interpretation, as to who is realy doing the hunting, the squirrel? the spider?or a totally different character that may be in the book? Also another reason why cedatuft herself isn't in any kind of obvious attacking or defenting stance. As for the tail? yeah, i think you may be right there, i'm guessing i got a little carried away there, i often find i do that :(
November 7th, 2007, 01:11 AM
I voted for JessiBean. I thought it was the strongest composition, I also thought it had more aestetical pull for me, that is, I just thought it looked the nicest ;)
I choose to not vote for any other as I think JessieBeans image deserves to "catch up" on some of the others.
And now..to go check up on her sketchbook... never saw anything from JessiBean before..not to my knowledge in any case...
November 7th, 2007, 09:32 PM
I voted for alice fydbac and daestwen.
I loved the colors and they all had beautiful motion and they are all pictures that would draw me to pick up the book.