My Final, hope it's on time >_>
Lol, seems I just managed to miss the poll. I guess I'll post final nontheless. Sorta pointless to make the banner and the process sheet now(and I was just about to start doing that >_____<)
I realised pretty late on that I'd gone down the wrong route with mine so I decided to just shelve it and see what everyone else came up with, promise to try and make more of an effort next time though.
My Sketchbook Please have a lookie...
Pixeltuner, voted for you, since I feel you have the best overall design and just the righ tamount of polish; I was worried in the beginning of the dragon render, since I was afraid you had laid down strokes that could take away from the scaly texture, but it turned out beautiful. The rider is also in synch with the dragon, and I like the way you've added bulk to the female body using armour.
chazillah, great stuff. The render on the face of the dragon reminds me of Hurri's work - would have definitely voted for you if the dragon and the rider were more visible in the final illustration.
continue, incredible work. Wish you'd entered, would've voted for you.
just wanna say excellent round, guys!
pixeltuner, Si_Swe, and m0uS3r got my votes, and there were lots of other good ones as well.
yes; great work every1! before i vote.. is it multi? or do i have to stick to 1?
Warning, I draw babiez
Thanks very much for your kind words Vritra, that made me feel very happy
Awesome round everybody, there are some scarily good pieces out here, thanks a lot Eofin for this great topic, it surely attracted a lot of great artists. I voted for Sean Mcclain, Whiskey Sour, PixelTuner, Si_Swe, krAtul, unicornmadness(yeah, lots of people I know, but this is just an EPIC round)
And so I decided to write some comments/critiques
Sean Mcclain:Great composition! I love your use of desaturated color and flat triangular shapes. The whole piece has a great mood and gesture. For critique, I think you can add just a little details(at least around the eyes) along the dragon to bring a bit more focus, but then, adding too much will rather destroy the sketchy energies in this piece, so it's a fine balance.
Cool process BTW, inspired me to start a piece in BW first. The colors worked out very well.
Havoc Reed: Very nice design on the dragon, and nice rendering as well. I love the snake/eel torso and the wings.
I think the rider could use more design, and some simplifying, like thinking more of big shapes when designing his costume. The background could use a bit more work too, the texture shouldn't show through as much in the back, and the values would have more a gradation. like darker in the front and lighter in the back. I mean, there is a gradation now, but it could be more defined, at least in my opinion.
Whiskey Sour:hahaha, very funny, I seriously laughed when I saw it. Great work. Love the decay on the wings, and the dragon's tattered hat and that gnome's huge nose and pissed off expression.
I think the yellow light on his hat is a bit too strong in the composition, drawing a lot of attention, maybe add a bit stronger highlight around the dragon to bring it out?
Schwoar: That's a cool dragon, very interesting design. I think the neck connection feels more natural in the character sheet.
derekdedgell:Lovely work! Almost feels like a scene from Dragon Age. Both the dragon and rider has a very cool design. And beautiful rendering overall.
Right now, I think the fire around his nose is creating a very strong tangent. It is the brightest color in the entire picture, and it just keeps drawing my eyes to it. I mean, it is supposed to be the focal point but it's too strong right now. What should be the picture's main rhythm(from the rider to the dragon's head to the man on the ground), is suppressed by that tangent.
Just add some way more atmosphere to the far ground will help with this, and adding a sense of depth too~
Autumnflame:Great concept, it's interesting to see somebody taking from a SciFi angle. Cool StarWar-ish backstory too, Ku-Marilik is a great name!
TheLuvableNerd:Awesome piece! I love the great graphic feeling of it. Very nice gesture and choice of color. Think adding a bit of bright color around the dragon's head could help, but that's just what I would do with my style.
greyskillragon's expression's great, and the rider's very well designed. I think lightening up some of the dark tones would help.
Yajmon:I love the character sheet. Great job on the armor. Maybe adding another light source from bellow in the illustration?
PixelTuner:Ahhh, I'm absolutely floored by your piece. Absolutely awesome design, gesture, rendering, color and basically everything. It's just such an adorable, lovable dragon, those little legs are very cuute. Love the expression marks as well. Saved straight into my inspiration folder.
At first, I thought maybe the tail could be trimmed a little, but then, I think it actually adds a sorta awkwardness that makes more a far more striking design, just a thought.
Thanks again for the link as well, really helped a lot!
wizo54545: Awesome dragon! Love the head, especially the mouth and the huge ears. Love the double wings as well, beautiful work.
Si_Swe:Great original design! It's so very cute, the interaction between Sam and Dozer shows a very natural intimacy. So great storytelling. I like the rocky texture on the dragon and the beard as well, adds a lot of age to the it.
I think the composition could show the dragon's body a bit more, right now, I can't really see what's going on very well. Maybe a bit of rim lighting in the back? And maybe you can actually show the fish as well, would definitely clarify the story.
Feil Magnus: The girl looks awesome. And the dragon absolutely reminds me a bit like the deer god from Princess Mononoke, if you've watched that movie.
m0uS3rWow, beautiful work!
Ironbyte: Very nice character, I love the steampunky accessories and the tattered clothing. I prefer the new pose for the dragon as well, definitely more energetic. Not sure why we can see through the dragon, or why there's a lighter in his mouth. And be careful, his left claw just touches contour of the leg and that creates a rather strong tangent, it's also creating a round hole near the crotch. Maybe move the right leg a little bit to the right?
Rob Powell: Love the interaction between them, for some reason, I can't help thinking of a documentary I watched about an Australian woman who raised a baby horse and had him for like years before setting him free. Anyway, lol, chatters aside, I think it's very well designed but maybe you can add more contrast to the rendering.
chazillahOh man, can't believe I missed you in the voting, great mood and just beautiful everything. Saved to my inspiration folder.
krAtul Man, I was just thinking about what to replace my wallpaper with, and you just solved that problem. It's just so fucking BEAUTIFUL.
I think this must be the most striking dragon design I've ever seen in my life, SERIOUSLY! It's just so beautiful!
ashess: Great improvement just in this thread. The new colors are very cool. I kinda wish you had gone with the character in the first process shot though, at least around the face, you know, like long hair and smaller chin and all that .
unicornmadness : That's absolutely awesome, great inspiration. Please render that out, I would love to see it. D'you post your art anyway else? I would love to see them.
Well, I was gonna write a comment for everybody, but time runs out >____<
Great work to everybody, this whole thread is very inspiring!
And now I gotta run, hopefully I won't miss my tennis appointment from writing this @____@
my votes went to
sean mcclain- beautifull brushwork, and composition, looks great, the only let down for me is the eye, its not agressive enough for me, goos use of the spikes in the rider armour
Autumn Flame- very nice characther design, and good use of the "metallic" plates on both the rider and dragon it really conects them
Greyskill-love the characther design together with the dragon design, love the big scales and the feather wing, and the way you introduced in the rider, nice composition too
Pixeltuner- altought i prefer a more sexy feel to female characters, i really like the armour your rider has, really dynamic and anatomic on the rider, and the dragon is just awesome with nice rendering, and love the name fifi, altough i think it would be very dificult for your dragon to fly on those wings it lacks sustance for me
Oakks- love the dragon, the composition, and lighting, altough i thing its a bit unfinished, on the back legs, i dont really get, your rider char. sheet has a badass armour, really beautifull
Kratul- very original dragon, and colors, altough it seems the dragon is designed more to run, than to fly, wich is indeed different, love, love love he rider outfit, very hilarious and creative
There are others amazing designs, and all of them great, and some i didnt vote because the rider outfit/armour didnt seem to me to be inspired on the dragon they ride, since it was on the briefing that the armour or outfit must seem to be made from shred nails skin or other things the dragon shred, and as such match the dragon
All around great topic and once again thanks for the awesome artwork everybody presented, it was a inspiration to me and i belive many others
Man, so many awesome pieces and I'm so sad some of the ones I was hoping would make it into the poll didn't get in on time.
I do have to say that I'm surprised at how sketchy some of the entrants are. I thought we had to submit relatively refined pieces? Am I incorrect? It'll be good to know so that I don't overdo it if I ever actually GET to a finished piece...
Sorry folks, I intended to pull out some crits much earlier than this, but I’ve been very busy with other projects. Now, as I’m new to character design, my criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt, but I hope you find them helpful. That said, I am not here to stroke your ego.
As a general crit. I tend to find that, for a piece that implies that the character and its dragon are bound to one another from birth, there appears to be very little relationship between rider and dragon in almost every piece.
Sean McClain - The piece is moody, but I don’t really feel it functions well as a piece of character design. You have that really Alchemy-heavy style that’s great at roughing out shapes into a cohesive illustration, but with that comes the need to then bring focus into the piece by giving us more detail on the focal points and letting that inform other forms, instead of letting our minds fill in the entirety of the obscurity in the piece. A lot more could have been done to hint at forms on the dragon. It’s back half isn’t even really developed, which is a missed opportunity in this case. The character sheet feels rushed, and would benefit from more attention to quality of line.
Havok Reed - It’s clear you’ve put a lot of thought into the armor design, which is a nice touch. I almost wish the same level of detail was put into the design of the dragon. There’s a heavy reliance on custom brushes and texture overlays for the dragon and the background, which aren’t carried over into the character. In fact each element appears to have a slightly different rendering style, leading to a lack of cohesion. Despite the dynamism of the most, there isn’t really any weight to anything, everything appears to be flying every which way, but there isn’t really any motion in any of it, and you don’t actually get an impression of gravity in the situation.
Whiskey Sour - I’ll put aside the fact that eofn specified that the rider should be human. The rendering on most portions is quite nice. The wings don’t really feel functional, partially because they lack practical shape and musculature. I would recommend looking at bat wings or even Lockwood’s dragon anatomy, and you’ll see what I mean. Wings have a particular logical structure to them, and these look a little bit too potato-like in comparison. There’s nothing wrong with shaking up wing-design, but they should at least look somewhat functional. The character I think needs a little less stoicism and a little more personality.
schwoar - There are two things that immediately pop up as red flags, for me. Firstly and most importantly is the awkward mix of line and form. Once you get to a certain level of defining form, line begins to become detrimental when not properly addressed. Your piece doesn’t thoroughly define the linework, nor does it do away with it entirely, putting it in this awkward middle ground, which has a tendency to look sloppy. The second thing is that the dragon’s anatomy needs work. The positioning of the joints and the way that it’s weight is distributed looks like it may have broken it’s back two legs. I’d look at references for big cats or bears to get a better impression of how the leg musculature should lie, and how they should look in that perspective.
derekdedgell - Nicely constructed illustration with good focus and sense of narrative. While I think your painterly style works in a lot of ways for you, there’s a certain point where it starts to work against you, and starts to make things look less painterly and more rushed. The smudge-brushed grass is one example of this, or the upper reaches of the clouds just to the left of the dragon. I think your shadows in the foreground really need to be cooled down in hue, and the dragon appears a little differently lit than the character. As dragon design goes, I think the head comes off as a little large, and its pose a little static. The wings look a little on the small side, and it becomes clear that they’re cropped out because you didn’t want to render more of them.
Autumnflame - It’s nice to see at least a few people when a little more for the sci-fi direction. The first thing I notice is the lighting inconsistencies. Why doesn’t the character have rim lighting? Why isn’t the breastplate of the dragon reflecting any light white light? Compositionally the it feels squished, which would be remedied significantly by extending the canvas on the left side by a fair bit. The foreshortening on the dragon’s leg needs some work and the rock could have used a little more attention, but at this point I’m just nitpicking.
TheLuvableNerd - Nice and clean, with a better sense of personality than most, this week. In terms of the brief, I think a little more could have been done to match rider and dragon, but when working with such solid colours, you risk losing distinction. I think the lighting could be improved and the dragon’s design could be pushed.
greyskill - This is another case where I think you need to either push further towards, or further against line. It’s really just a case of refinement. I like the lighting and the design of the character is quite nice. The dragon design is creative, but that midsection would be completely non-functional, only being capable of storing the creature’s own spine. Beefing it up a bit would help the design significantly. The only other thing I see as an issue is some of the ambiguity brought up by the palette. The palette is unified, but that creates some issues in terms of readability in some areas. Take for example the area of exposed skin beneath the character’s armpit. On first read, it reads as negative space, making the character seem as thin as the dragon’s midsection. Slight adjustments in variance in the palette would really help with that kind of readability problem.
Yajmon - Anatomically, your character feels like it’s been stretched vertically. The torso and head, in particular, feel too thin. The torso needs a little bit more tapering towards the arms at the top. Your brushwork needs a little more variance to aid the materiality of the piece. Right now everything from the armor to the cloth feel like they’re made out of the same material, there’s no texture variance. I would also recommend increasing your brush size when working on metal textures. Right now it’s making the armor look really rough and muddy (and not in a good way).
Pixeltuner - The dragon is excellent, with the exception of the issue with the wings I mentioned in the WIPs thread. The character is working fine for the most part. The design feels really unified overall. I get a little distracted by exactly how pink the character is. She’s bordering on the quinine magenta range, which gives her a little bit of an unnatural look. I realize that with the blue hair it could have been what you were going for, but with it being so in between the totally unnatural and caucasian skin tone, I really think you should have either gone all out and made her totally magenta, or gone with something a little closer to the caucasian range.
wizo5454 - Very nice sense of motion. I like the rat-like design on the dragon. The ground/water feels really unfinished, and some of the areas that are purposefully undefined for the purpose of creating motion don’t define themselves well enough in the nodes where movement wouldn’t actually be happening. Other than that, I guess I’d just like to see a better sense of cohesion between dragon and rider’s design, as it was part of the brief that they match somewhat.
Feil Magnus - You’ve immediately given yourself a really hard challenge in terms of lighting, being ambiently lit by magenta, then backlit by cyan. I’d take a look at some illustrations that have similar lighting schemes for reference, to really get an impression of how that looks. Right now, the character in particular feels front-lit be white light, which is really clashing with the psychedelic lighting presented. The dragon is relying a little too much on texture and custom brushes to really hold together a design, and both its anatomy and the character’s could use a little work.
nAniA - It’s nice to see a more asian dragon aesthetic in this round, which features mostly western-style dragons. The dragon is inconsistently rendered, and requires a better sense of light and shadow to define its form. There’s a particularly awkward moment with the tail in the foreground which is undefined enough that it looks like a particularly long claw on the foreleg. The character requires a bit of bounce light from the dragon, and could use some work in terms of musculature.
OakKs - This is another case where I think the painterly style is working both for and against you, depending on the place in the illustration. There are some very nice moments of motion and dynamism created by your style, and in the case of the character itself the rendering works quite nicely. Then there are moments like the dragon’s neck and jaw-line wherein and ambiguity is created that flattens the whole image.combine that with the utter vagueness of the back half of the dragon and I find myself wish the whole thing was just a bit more refined.
m0uS3r - The dragon is done quite fantastically, even if think the its design could have been pushed a little more. My sole issue is with the size of the eyes, which suggest more of a juvenile dragon. The dragon is so nicely textured and lit, that the character feels flat and out of place in comparison, which would be remedied significatly simply by bringing the secondary lighting on the character up to par with the dragon.
Ironbyte - The character on her own looks great, which is why I feel disappointed by the illustration of her on the dragon. The foreshortening on the dragon is an issue but it becomes secondary to other, more present issues. First off is the quantity of visible brush strokes which are creating visual business and muddiness in terms of texture. The shape of the brush is also creating a really out-of-focus look to the whole piece. The character on the dragon feels a little like an afterthought, and the postion of her hair isn’t really enough to suggest forward motion, so much as it creates a treasure troll vibe, which is especially disappointing to me, considering the quality of the character by herself.
Rob Powell - I’ll take into account that you didn’t manage to finish the piece. I think you’ve probably gotten enough crits from me to know the kind of stuff I’m about to say, but here goes: There’s a really nice sense of personal connection between the characters, which is become the appropriate focus for the piece. The environment, though I will assume is unfinished, really isn’t up to snuff with the rendering on the character and dragon, and considering your penchant for drawing every tiny detail, becomes a jarring contrast. Hair on the dragon: practice drawing hair and plumage, it’s still not quite there. Don’t feel the need to outline every scale, enough so that we know what’s going on, then hint at the rest and our eyes will do the rest. Finally, bigger brush: Do it. Your highlights still feel really subdued and tentative, and they’ll continue to until you become more confident with bigger, wider strokes.
mcreation - The first thing I notice is an over-reliance on photo-textures. Photo-textures really only work if they are subtle enough that you can’t distinguish them from painting, which means either toning them way down, painting back into them quite a bit, or (preferably) both. Here it creates a really jarring contrast between the textured areas, and your own painting, which is just not up to the level where it seems seamless. I would really recommend focusing on fundamentals of rendering form before going crazy with textures. In fact, I would recommend completely avoiding textures for a while, to focus on fundamentals; otherwise they become a crutch, and a bit of a bad one at that.
chazillah - I must say I love the narrative present here. There’s a really nice sense of melancholy about the dragon. It’s unfortunate that the same sense of emotion isn’t mirrored in the character, who feels a little static and void of personality in the image. Other than that mirroring, my chief issue is with the lack of definition of the dragon’s form, which, considering the portion of the image it takes up, should be more significant. As a personal qualm, I have to urge against using grass custom brushes. They almost never look good.
Gulldur - I’m a fan of the set-up of the scene, but there are some issues in the execution. I’m a little disappointed you abandoned the projected shadow present in one of the WIP shots. As matter of lighting a few things need to be adressed: firstly, when light is showing through a membrane like the wing, it should lean more towards saturated colours, generally reds. It would be good to grab some reference for this, bit you should see what I mean. That colour of light, should then be providing soft light the areas behind it. One of the chief lighting issues here is that you have the orange light of the fire reaching areas it rightly shouldn’t. That whole right half of the dragon should appear to be in the same blue-brown palette as the environment, with the bulk of it’s highlights coming in with the lighter blue colour, instead of simply being rim-lit. As a final nit-pick, the way that the wing is folding itself at the elbow looks especially rigid and awkward; could be adjusted somewhat.
Divine - The rendering on the character is fantastic, and if it were carried through into the rest of the image I’d consider it a winner. The character’s right leg feels a litle bit stunted, as if it were force to squish so as not to go out of frame. I see what you’re trying to do with the curvature of the dragon’s neck, but because of a lack of foreshortening on the dragon’s scales off the right, the angle of that surface isn’t reading properly. The dragon’s head looks great up until you get to the snout and mouth, which feel significantly flatter than the rest of the head. I’d also like to see some of the foliage that would be closer to the characters refined a little more.
krAtul - The character and the dragon are nice and original, but I don’t feel like the rendering is quite carried through. I can tell from aspects of the drawing that you’re quite capable of reducing some of the roughness present in the piece, particularly in the character, who feels significantly flatter than the dragon. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of teh pattern used for the scales on the wings, which look kind of like the mosaic filter in photoshop. Other than that, my only real qualm is with the stiff, geometric anatomy of the dragon, which I think could have been tweaked just a bit to make the whole thing feel more organic.
bytheoak - I can tell from the character sheet that your ability to work with line is not insignificant, but it fails to come across in the illustration. The lines feel too tentative and they aren’t supported enough by the rendering. It’s another case where you either need to let the rendering sit back and really reinforce the lines, or push the rendering of forms with light and shadow, and really tone the lines down. In terms of perspective, some work is needed, with the current perspective, your character feels like he’s in the process of falling off the saddle, to the right (possibly after having one mead too many).
Dread Reaper - Your lighting is certainly improving from some of the other pieces I’ve seen from you. There’s a nice sense of the over-the-top and ridiculous in the piece. Your anatomy still really needs work, and the smoke obscuring the dragon’s anatomy really isn’t working for me. Parts of the image pose more questions than they do allow for narrative: If cybernetics are so prevalent in the design, why do they require being roughly stitched up? What is the purpose of the random pipeline from the dragon’s throat, back to the neck? Certain design choices feel arbitrary and require more refinement and thought.
ashess - Monochromatic can work for a piece, but you really have to rely less on white and black to define light and dark. Right now the white is making the light seem unnatural and the black is making the shadows feel muddy and the visible linework look sloppy. I would recommend taking a look at a lot of really limited-palette work for reference on how to properly address lighting in monochromatic work.
unicornmadness - It’s really refreshing to see this kind of style in a topic that invites so many attempts to create the most badass duo possible. The style is nice and clean, and there’s a lot of personality. I think the dragons waist should be expanded a bit; even with the style it looks a little bit on the thin side. Perhaps increase the size and scope of the wings, which feel a little incomplete. I would also recommend simple drop shadows, just to ground them in space. That said it was my favorite entry this round, and the sole piece I voted for.
GammaGrey - You have a really soft, painterly style, which lends itself really nicely to mood and movement, but doesn’t give me a great sense of design. Things become to vague to really suss out forms. The character could be old and bearded, or could be Skeletor. I don’t know, because the forms aren’t well defined enough. The dragon may have wings, but I it could just be a shape in the background, it isn’t really clear if that wing is attached to the dragon, or even if it belongs to a pair.
Raavin - The first thing I notice is that the light sources feel a little inconsistent. The bioluminescent parts only seem to cast light on a tiny radius, which doesn’t feel in keeping with how bright you’ve made the light. The character looks fully lit by the warm front light, but also looks like their position would have the dragon obscuring them from a portion of that light. The warm front light suggests sunrise, but the clouds behind them suggest an overcast sky closer to midday, and the light sources that appear within the clouds don’t appear to have any visible effect on the relatively unlit hindquarters of the dragon. These are all things to think about when creating your lighting scheme. Anatomically the dragon is a little awkward. The wings are scrunched up, and it feels like they should start further back, meanwhile the hands that form the foreclaws of the dragon feel overly large. We also should be able to see the other jaw-tendril on the other side of the dragon’s head, but I have reach the point of nit-picking so we’ll leave it at that.
EDIT: Dammit, I forgot one...
continue - I like the rendering and the style. The contrast between the subdued and almost lazy expression of the dragon and the excitable expression of the rider is something that I feel isn't quite there yet. It really could go either way: the dragon becoming more dynamic to match the rider (or vice versa), or have the contrast be even more significant (like the rider getting just ridiculously worked up, while the dragon is nearly asleep, or chewing on something).
Hopefully some of you find those helpful, despite the fact that it's so late in the voting period.
Last edited by Si_Swe; April 6th, 2012 at 09:16 PM.
Are we voting based on the dragon, the rider, or both?
Si_swe: As usual, great crits, i have no idea where you get the time and patients to always put in the effort every week. I hope everyone here appreciates it.
thanks si-swe and continue for the great critting!
I worked on the piece some more; wanted to show the improvement if noone minds.
*brought back the color palette to 1 color and a pair of complementary light/dark colors.
*put some meat on the arms.
Warning, I draw babiez
thank you ver much Si_Swe, for you critique, i agre that the texture is in someplaces sloppy, but i didnt had the time to finish it properly, and it was my first time working with textures, and i wanted to give the real snake skin feel to it, to conect to the idea of the riders pants being made from the same material, but yeahh, you are right, i should avoid it for a while,
for many years i only made line drawing so my fundamentals on rendering form is not very strong, so i hope to increase it with the chalenges here, and citiques like yours.
so one more time, thank you for the construtive crtique.
if you could critique on my characther and dragon design i would be very appreciated
ashess it really is way better now, like me, keep drawing and praticing, and joining here the chalenges, and try to read about anatomy fundamentals, speacially for the dragon
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