View Full Version : WIP chinese village

10-30-2008, 08:04 PM
I am working on this piece trying to practice perspective, and cross hatching. I am at the point right now where I feel I need to have some input on the perspective. Also when I get here on all my drawings (that is to this point) I feel that if I add any more detail which I know it needs the image becomes too sloppy. Is this because My lines in the beginning sketch are sloppy to begin with?

I look forward to your crits so I can get over this hump in my drawing.

Pencil: Chinese Village.

There is also a river under the bridge, but the scan made it too dark
Edit: Also I have been drawing blocks and circles in perspective for practice over and over. I know I don't have a great grasp on it yet, but at this point should I start working with my wacom in grayscale or should I stick with pencil untill I get good?

http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/2176/chinesetestza5.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

10-30-2008, 09:05 PM
If you have a Wacom, USE IT!

Don't give away your pencils, use them, too. But there is NO better time for you to buckle down and start learning to draw straight, even, clean, lines, than by using the Wacom to practice.

I can see NO evidence of cross hatching here. I have a hard enough time finding a clean outline of shapes in this piece. There is also way too much empty, dead space between the visual elements, as if you are laying out silverware on a tabletop...

Shading is done after you have a clean line sketch, not before.
You need to clean up your base sketch before you worry about hatchwork.


10-30-2008, 11:17 PM
You need a vanishing point.

Check this out and it'll get you started on getting the perspectives right:



10-30-2008, 11:42 PM
I have most of my vanishing points off the paper I have 3 seperate objects atm which each need their own vanishing points because they aren't parallel. I know they're not exact but I went through many perspective tutorials a book and stuff so I'm learning.

I just don't like the look of the perspective when I jam all the vanishing points inside my field of vision. It makes the objects change too dracticly to be anything near reality. Correct me if i'm wrong.

10-31-2008, 02:29 AM
I'd say show us the vanishing points you used, the perspective lines and your horizon line. That will help us see what you are up to. At the moment it does not seem that your perspective lines would end at a consistent horizon.


10-31-2008, 03:13 AM
Thanks for the replys, I am still pretty new at perspective but I thought when the objects are not parallel then they each need to have their own horizon line. I will try and show you:

by Seedling from Conceptart.org
http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/486/perspective06threepointfx4.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

I decided to bring this sketch into photoshop and start scribling away at it in grayscale just to get a feel for digital painting which I have even less of then my drawing.

Photoshop: Chinese Village From memory
http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7039/chinesevillagejg2.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

10-31-2008, 03:13 AM
Also could someone maybe do a paintover of the perspective lines they would go with in my first sketch if you have time. :P
I just want to make sure I understand what you are talking about.

10-31-2008, 03:38 AM
This is sort of what perspective I was following.
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/1041/chinesetestperspectivetq8.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)

10-31-2008, 02:09 PM
the vertical lines should be perfectly vertical and both the red lines and the blue ones should converge to the same point on the horizon line. Which is not the case above ;)

10-31-2008, 02:32 PM
This is sort of what perspective I was following.
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/1041/chinesetestperspectivetq8.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com/)
"Sort of" does not EVEN cover you when you are talking straight lines...The fact that your drawing doesn't even match YOUR crooked lines just shot this piece in the foot.

This is now 'Officially' a DOODLE.
IF you want to make it an image, START OVER.
Draw STRAIGHT perpendicular lines, and then MAKE your image CONFORM to those lines.

You are wasting time, yours AND ours, to try to make something decent from a badly drawn doodle. There is so much to be corrected, the odds are high that you will simply walk away from this before completion.

Save us all the grief. Start over.
The WIP/Critique forums are to help you, but we can't work miracles.


10-31-2008, 04:27 PM
I am going to start over , but I need to make a few things clear first.

1.Can you only use 3-point perspective correctly when you are noticeably below or above the object?

2.Will all of the objects use the same 2 vanishing points for the horizontal lines unless they are rotated on the z-axis such as in the cube image above?

10-31-2008, 11:24 PM
I decided to finish the digital version of this piece. I made out some real perspective lines and I will follow them through the painting process.

http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/5101/perspectivephotoshopqd5.jpg (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=perspectivephotoshopqd5.jpg)

I just got the idea to have only one color pallet and the rest grayscale. The mood changed from my sketch as soon as I added the mountains. So now I am going to have tiny flames in the mountains like this village is being watched from afar.
http://img48.imageshack.us/img48/6207/chineseew6.jpg (http://img48.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chineseew6.jpg)

[url="http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php"]http://img362.imageshack.us/images/thpix.gif (http://g.imageshack.us/img48/chineseew6.jpg/1/)

11-01-2008, 12:42 AM
I have a question again. If I wanted to add the bridge going almost horizontal across the bottom, but slightly rotated which perspective lines would I use? Would I have to come up with another set of vanishing points for the bridge?

11-01-2008, 01:20 AM
objects don't have perspective. the viewer has perspective meaning only one set. Even when things are not parallel they still shrink away from the viewer at the same rate. Having separate vanishing points for everything just makes it look like objects are randomly set around. You're buildings lean because of the different vanishing points, you want a bridge, then follow the two point perspective you set out. I would start again on this Image with two point perspective and see how you feel. Remember perspective lines are in relation to the viewer not the object, you give things perspective by viewing them, until that point there is no perspective.

11-01-2008, 01:24 AM
1. Yes
2. Yes
The bridge below will be the correct use of 3 point perspective. But 2 of those 3 vanishing points are the same as the main scene...

Excellent questions. Here (http://www.khulsey.com/3_point_perspective.html) is a 3 point perspective discussion that you may find interesting, although it does get a bit geometry intensive...


11-01-2008, 03:26 PM
I realized the best way for me to learn perspective is to observe my surroundings and photos. I came across this cityscape and decieded to trace the lines to fin the vanishing points, but I got some weird results. The vanishing points don't even line up on a horizon line.

http://img397.imageshack.us/img397/6923/cityperspectivestudybz4.jpg (http://img397.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cityperspectivestudybz4.jpg)

11-01-2008, 03:45 PM
That's why the old saying, "Cameras LIE" is true.

It's called barrel lens distortion, and is a result of the optics used to create a focused image with a camera lens.

That's one reason (of a few) why photo references DO have their limitations.

Photoshop CS2 and up has a lens correction filter which helps, but it still will fall on you, the artist, to be able to render a building with straight lines. You are not a camera, so you are not granted a "barrel lens distortion" allowance. Sry.


11-01-2008, 04:03 PM
Another thing, i don't think the house in the middle has the same angle on the groundplane as the two on the left. It looks like it is sort of rotated 45 degrees compared to the ones on the left (the "edge" of the house is pointing to camera). So your vanishingpoints/lines on that house can never be the same as on the other two if you draw them like that.

11-01-2008, 05:53 PM
Here is another update on the image. I know i'm going slow but i'm thinking about the light and perspective how does it look so far?

http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/8586/chinesevillage2zz3.jpg (http://img76.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillage2zz3.jpg)

11-01-2008, 06:20 PM
Because you haven't even blocked in a foreground I would say cut out the bottom third or so. The image looks good with the mountains and Chinese tower and conveys the enemy in the hill equally well. I think you'll have a hard time incorporating the lower bit/foreground without your image turning into two images anyway.

11-01-2008, 07:02 PM
This is going to be my last post until i'm done. Thanks for the tip Endo, Adding the bridge etc so late would be hard and probably wouldn't look right. The focal point is a mix between the tower and the mountains atm I havn't really been thinking aobut composition :(. I will add one more small building to the right of the tower acting as a pointer to the mountains so it will be in a circular composition. I will then further define the main focal point.

EDIT: I cleaned up the perspective lines and here it is as of right now.

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/599/chinesevillage3am4.jpg (http://img262.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillage3am4.jpg)

11-02-2008, 02:34 AM
2 things:

I'm just going to go back to that picture you posted from dan heller. One problem is you are working from a very small picture, and attempting to extend a line (the edge of a balcony on the left) at least 10 times it's length - it's almost impossible to make that work accurately. Despite this, if you look you will see that your yellow and blue lines do cross pretty damn near the horizon line (which I estimate is just above the water line).

Your green lines don't match because you didn't look closely enough at the photo - that building is circular and juts out towards us. If you look carefully at the outer, non-curved balconies you will see that they are all just what we'd expect from this perspective, parallel to the horizon line - they aren't supposed to end at a vanishing point.

Second, your most recently posted image doesn't actually follow the perspective lines you drew - this isn't something you can fudge because the human eye can easily notice lines that are only slightly off parallel to each other - your building looks skewed as a result. In your shoes I would really take a few minutes and match up your building edges to your perspective lines. Use a small brush so you can see where things intersect. Remember you can use the shift key while painting to make sure your vertical lines are perfectly straight. Right now you've just got big smudgy blobs of grey. Get something that looks like this:
or this:
before you start detailing it.

Trust me, your work will go 10 times as fast and you'll be happier with the result. You can take a peek at the most recent post in my WIP to see how even small changes that take perspective into account will help an image.


11-02-2008, 03:47 PM
I was looking through some peoples concept art and noticed this guy, a pro who seems to have his perspective backwords, making his images look odd.


11-02-2008, 04:04 PM
Which images are you specifically talking about?

Some of his works are deliberately distorted, but the majority of them show remarkably good perspectives...
You have to know the rules before you can effectively break them. His deliberate skews do exactly that.


11-02-2008, 04:10 PM
His fifth and sixth concept images have certain parts getting smaller as they move towards the viewer.

11-02-2008, 04:31 PM
More specific, please.

WHICH parts are getting smaller?
Also, what percentage of the entire image would you say these perspective discrepancies provide?


11-02-2008, 04:41 PM
On the fifth image there is an angle arch type thing and the top of the arch is one example, another would be the loop that wraps around to a process looking thing near the top
also the edge of teh circle type thing towards teh middle.

Lol it's hard to describe without being able to show you.

I would say they take up a good 20-30% of the image

11-02-2008, 09:36 PM
Another change

I was trying to figure out how to use up all of the space around the building. I added this big wall, but then I realized it takes away from the mountains and the mystery of what is waiting to strike. It gives the village a sense of protection. I was thinking I could either damage the wall giving this image a bigger more mysterious feeling or just take it out all together. What do you think?

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/2622/chinesevillage4eh2.jpg (http://img206.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillage4eh2.jpg)

11-02-2008, 09:51 PM
Can't find a good size version of the 5th image...
Here is the 6th:

I see the angle is off a bit on the RH side, but that is the only perspective discrepancy that really jumps out to my eye.

You have a LONG way to go before your perspective skills are this developed.
Work on basic 2 and 3 point perspective, accurate and clean perpendiculars on your canvas, and consistency. When you get this good, the occasional "off-kilter" line will be hardly noticeable, as well...

If I draw a basic vertical and horizontal perpendicular line on your image, your main building is still crooked as hell...You gotta be able to draw a straight line for accurate matte work. At least while you're learning...


11-03-2008, 02:52 AM
Technical practice like drawing complex sets of shaded cubes will help you develop perspective, doing a simple task to completion and making it more complex the next time you do it will build what you can do. I think the wall is a good idea but, its as tall as the tower near as I can tell. I think making it just higher then the little hut to the left of gate, and extending the gate into walls that go behind the hut will give you what you are looking for. Keep it up.


11-04-2008, 10:12 PM
I wasn't thinking that hard about composition when painting which probably isn't good. This is how my eye moves through the picture. Is there anything wrong with this composition?

http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/3201/chinesevillagecompositiae0.jpg (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillagecompositiae0.jpg)

11-04-2008, 11:24 PM

Perhaps try fixing the underlying technical errors (that the others whom have posted before me) before you move onto detailing the painting? I think then from there, you'll have a better and more solid foundation to work off of as you progress on this.

11-04-2008, 11:30 PM
I have been trying to straighten my edges and fix my perspective. I can't tell what else I need to fix. I'm not being ignorant I do know there are many things wrong with this image I just can't see them anymore because I have been looking at it for so long.

11-04-2008, 11:36 PM
Flip the image around. Sometimes things that you didn't see before pop out when the image is rotated/flipped around.

11-04-2008, 11:52 PM
Sorry for all of the posts: here is an update after fliping the image a few times. I did start to notice that the pillars and the roof were a bit off. Did I fix any of the major Problems in this image?
http://img386.imageshack.us/img386/2206/chinesevillage5vk3.jpg (http://img386.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillage5vk3.jpg)

11-05-2008, 01:34 AM
Ok, I'm saying done. I am moving on so here is my final render.

Thank you everybody especially CyberGfx for puting up with me :O.

Hidden Danger is what I decided to call it
http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/6645/chinesevillagefinalbw1.jpg (http://img378.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chinesevillagefinalbw1.jpg)

11-05-2008, 02:45 AM
HI again

I'm afraid I'm not seeing that you are even attempting to follow any of the advice offered to you. This remains a big smudge of greys. When I downloaded this and extended your perspective lines, you have 2 vanishing points on either side of the building. There must be only one on each side. It took me 2 minutes to do this...

I'll try to be really clear:

Go to image/canvas size and expand your image size horizontally ( see my attached image)

Reduce your present painting layer to 10% opacity

Create a new layer above it

DO NOT trace your present image.

Pick 2 vanishing points, one on either side, a good ways out (e.g. the far left point in my image)

Use the line tool and draw a line from the left vanishing point, to the bottom corner of your house. Now draw a line from the right vanishing point to the bottom corner. Work your way up the building. Once again, see this image and do exactly the same thing: http://www.frontiernet.net/~tlsh78/image1-94.gif . See how all the lines converge? Repeat for the arch thingy in the background. Use the same vanishing points for now. You don't understand the rules well enough to start working with multiple vanishing points.

Create a new layer

Now take your brush and reduce it to 2-3 pixels and sketch your building like you were using a very sharp pencil. Keep your lines clean. If there is a door or window, draw it in as a simple square - no shading yet. It should look like this: http://www.brownmatthews.co.uk/assets/images/trinity_mews_photo_02.jpg . Make sure your vertical lines are all vertical (use the shift key).

Now your landscape like this: http://www.nzetc.org/etexts/Gov12_09Rail/Gov12_09Rail011a(h280).jpg DO NOT trace your present image - it's just there to show you where things are generally placed.
Set this layer to multiply

Create a new layer

Decide where the sun is shining from. Draw parallel lines to indicate the direction of the sun. Shadows are where the sun doesn't shine. Set this layer to multiply.

Create a new layer under the sun and sketch layers

Now start to block in your walls. Don't be sloppy ! It's like coloring inside the lines in your coloring book as a kid. Once the big areas are blocked in, you can worry about the details.


11-06-2008, 07:10 PM
Yah, I see now. I never did try re-extending my perspective lines I just went by the first ones I drew which were off anyways. I'm starting over and here it is.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/637/newchinesevillagenu1.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=newchinesevillagenu1.jpg)

11-06-2008, 07:18 PM
It already looks better.

Don't apologize for the posts. That is what this forum is all about. If you were good right off the bat, you wouldn't be posting here...

As you now see, straight lines are a must...
As you now also see, you can't cheat. Only the stupid or uninterested will not notice...

Take the time to do it right the FIRST time. For the few minutes you spend setting up your perspective lines, the time you SAVE not having to start over or try to correct, will more than make up for it...

BTW, the background mountains are quite nice for this. It was just that horridly off-kilter architecture that was distracting.

Lets see how this comes out with a stronger foundation under it!


11-07-2008, 12:26 AM
I agree ! Much better already. Use the same Vpoints now to add any other buildings, walls, etc and go from there.


11-08-2008, 01:19 AM
Load Failure Deleted

11-09-2008, 11:11 PM
I finished finally :). There are some things I could clean up, but if I look at this anymore my eyes will pop. So I'm moving on to something else.

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/7714/hiddendangerxo4.jpg (http://img338.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hiddendangerxo4.jpg)

11-10-2008, 01:43 AM
This is a much better place to stop than the last one, don't you agree? I'll offer a bit of advice - random smudges of color (or in this case value) are a bad idea. You are better off with smooth walls with no texture, than smooshing on paint with no specific intent. Every brushstroke should have a purpose behind it. There is a big gap between effective texture and looking like you can't lay on paint evenly :-)

Onwards !


11-10-2008, 04:40 AM
Really improved.

Yes, time to move on, but you've hopefully learned a lot about straight lines and perspective!


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