View Full Version : characters: lovers

11 November 2003, 03:52 PM
I posted this in the finished 2D section but someone suggested that it should be re-posted in this section. Seems to me that this might be a better place for it after all. Here's what I wrote in the old thread:

"Hey there. This is a painting I just finished (using photoshop7) for a coffe table type design book themed "DESIGNMUSIC". It's being put together by nervousroom and will be published as soon as they find a publisher. I decided to mix the theme around a portrait of my wife and I. I didn't use refs for this one, I guess for a couple of reasons: I was stupid and would've saved myself some pain, I wanted to give a more rounded impression of the two of us than using a ref would allow me with my style, and again, I was stupid. Because of that some proportions are off (I fixed as many as I could without destroying the painting) and the lighting is completely arbitrary. It's got a dynamic quality that I really like though and it's a far step above my last couple of painting I feel. So, enjoy and feel free to share your wisdom."

sketch (
rough (


11 November 2003, 04:11 PM
I like it.

I like the styalized characters and how they don't have photographic proportions - it brings meaning from the artist through them. And I know it isn't an easy task bringing a pencil sketch into a full colored image.

Great Job! :)

11 November 2003, 06:01 PM
I also love this style. It's very much like Aeon Fluex, a graphic cartoon that used to come on MTV late at night. Very elongated body parts. Not too many people do this style of drawing so it's always cool to see artwork like this.

11 November 2003, 10:29 PM
this is a very interesting piece. with all the grey and the off-orange color, I get a feeling of emotional coolness and the shapes almost appear like ruins, a garbage heap. or something. I get the sense the woman WANTs to feel something for this guy with her body leaning against his, the heart on her shirt... like she wants her heart to be in fire, but the heart's empty and grey in the middle, as is the shirt. the man appears ambivalent, even angry, scowling at her like her love is threatening to him. He is cold and black, yet he at least puts up with her, and I would say WANTS to feel something for her. His arm and hand don't actually touch her, such intimacy is too risky for him... and besides he's a "bad-ass", right? Love is something he should deny himself his head tells him.......

hmmmm, heh. What was the message you were going for here? nice artwork, btw.

11 November 2003, 12:54 AM
Interesting interpretation. I didn't realize what the hands-in-limbo could imply. I was really going for a beauty/beast, female/male theme, a contrast of sorts. I didn't mean for the man to be distant from the girl but actually surrounding and protecting her. I think the hands were to appear relaxed yet ready to defend her. That's how he loves her, by protecting and guarding her. She loves him by allowing him to protect her and drawing into his arms. The heart on her t-shirt is not only her passion but his as well because he (I) made that for her. He has given her his passion and she wears it, in turn creating a passion for him. His dark look is not directed at her but at the viewer or any other that threatens her. She is his beauty and he is her beast. Thanks for thinking through this picture Drakaran.


11 November 2003, 07:54 AM
what I'd suggest then is have his hand placed on her thigh and his eyes directed out to the viewer. that brings her into his "circle" and not just surrounded, it also shows he's not worried/concerned about what she is doing/feeling, but vigilant about what others may do (ie, you don't warrily watch someone you trust, in fact, you'd be lookin almost everywhere else as long as there is a perceived threat. personally, if this is about enjoying music, I don't really understand why he needs the bad-ass attitude anyways. *shrug* I feel like, instead of two real people feeling and experiencing together, that there are two people acting out rolls, like what they think they should act like. ...but then, I guess young people go through a lot of that. hehehe

anyway, I do like the piece no matter how I may feel about the message. The too long figure of the guy and the poses are pretty cool. It good work

11 November 2003, 12:08 AM
Hm, I do agree with drakaran. because the girl is pretty and he is ugly, that in combination with her looking down makes me feel like she doesn't really want to be in his arms or something.

He, however, looks like "look, people, what I just conquered". Makes me think of some kind of blackmailing situation.

I am touched by this image, mainly because of the very good job you did on the girl.

11 November 2003, 05:54 PM
i LOVE your painting. it's the kind of thing that's my thing. the girl is soooo beautiful. her left arm should not be shown i think. it should be on his side, or on his lap or something. his fingers on his right hand are hmm, maybe alittle awkward (?) but i love the colors and i feel like they're both enjoying being in each other's company listening to their headphones. i absolutely love it i'm making it my backgroung.

guereja :)

11 November 2003, 09:28 AM
wow, i really love this. fantastic. i got the beauty / beast thing straight away, he is protecting he from the filth around them, keeping her pure.


11 November 2003, 12:57 AM

I am going to side with Drakaran on the interpretation of this lovely painting.
One little detail that bugs me: Eventhough the proportions are way off on purpose, his left arm (around the shoulder) seems a notch too awkward (spelling?) like it's disjointed or broken.

Really nice painting.


11 November 2003, 11:25 AM
side? ACK! well, all I was meaning to do is give a perspective and some suggestions. I'm certainly no authority.

11 November 2003, 07:35 PM
Thanks guys, you're awesome. I really dig your thoughtful feedback. I'm with you on certain limbs not feeling rightly connected. I didn't do as sargent says and make sure my foundation was solid before continuing. You know how it is, sometimes you just get impatient out of excitement.

I'm glad people are diggin' the piece, however they might interpret it. Rock on.


11 November 2003, 07:48 PM
in my opinion, they're just a couple hanging out, you know? they're not listening to the same song or anything, they're just spending some time time together enjoying each other... about his angry face, i think he's that way cuz we're disturbing their moment, they're not wearing their shoes, they're in place no one (but them) knows (talking 'bout the background); and i disagree about him having his arms around her, it's not like you're always holding your girlfriend...there's no need to!

anyway, great image. very well painted, and i really like the colors

11 November 2003, 12:31 PM
the colours speak volumes on this painting,
they do convey a sence of warmth and closiness,
wounderful style i love it !!!

11 November 2003, 12:43 PM
Wow! I've been lurking for awhile now but after seeing this I'm compelled to post.

First and foremost, I love this painting!
I got a totally different impression than the others. I see two people trying to share a momment of peace surrounded by chaos.

The man is her protector. His face shows that he is alert to any danger and his arms are ready to pull her in and shield her if need be. The exageration of his limbs shows that he must be larger than life in order to defeat any threat to her.

In the woman I see a sadness, due either to the enviorment she is in or possibly that she needs protecting. The way that she leans into him shows me that the fire in her heart is for him but now is not the right time, evidenced by the hand at her side instead of touching him.

All in all, this is a beautiful work!

12 December 2003, 11:20 PM
so here it goes.

I believe you guys are missing a very important element. The Headphones. They are the "creative" encircling the listeners. The world you see is very content/relaxed, even though it looks chaotic. The tones of the coloring show this.

The background is being created by the music they are listening to. The reason it is so engulfing/powerful (in the scene as a whole) is due to their listening through headphones...blocking out Everything else.

I believe the girl is totally comfortable and must rely heavily on the man, who is demonstrating his care by his posture....BUT...he is also showing his lack of constraint by his posture as well.

Just my thoughts.

I have been a DJ for many years, and that picture has come across my inner sight many times...obviously in different forms... Great work, I really like it!!!


12 December 2003, 02:02 AM
side? ACK! well, all I was meaning to do is give a perspective and some suggestions. I'm certainly no authority.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- was just a poor choice of words. I simply meant that I shared your interpretation of the painting.

Great forum folks.

01 January 2004, 10:18 PM
Very nice painting.

She seems very cozy. He seems a bit like a spider and the background looks a bit like a web. Think of the symbolizm there... he has her in his web and she doesn't really notice or care. It makes me wonder about the type of protection he's providing.

I like it when a painting can be suggestive and not conclusive.

iDio is Me
01 January 2004, 08:45 PM
Looks like me and Sum, I like how you have the guy looking directly at the spectator, almost as if he is saying "don't think about it". I love this style and you will be seeing things from me like this soon, an inspirational piece for me. They are both music lovers and I like how you made his limbs longer than anybodys really are, nice work overall, and I love the background.

01 January 2004, 08:21 AM
I find that the thing that makes me think she may not enjoy her position is the look on her face, the downcast mouth and eye's if she was perhaps more focused past him or more thoughtful less sad.. however the rest of the composition and colours works Beautifuly.

02 February 2004, 05:48 PM
great great great painting.

I love it. wish you would do more of this kind. I checked you website and there is few of this style.

It reminds me of Justin Bua (
(this is a compliment...I love his work:))


02 February 2004, 01:19 AM
Hehe, brad, ur one lucky sonofabitch.

This is very good. Itrestin to see a pair of lovers, who, rather than perfect, are dark and dynamic. Fittingly unfit for eachother. very good!!

02 February 2004, 04:43 AM
His exaggerated limbs remind me of the teepee of wood you'd picture in a campfire scene. The way they angle around her, enclosing her, in a protective way, she represents his flame, his muse. The tones and colors of the scene are like a warm hearth. Her downcast eyes I don't associate with sadness as some have said, but they represent introspection, you could even say that she does not represent his mate so much as his inner self, his inner fire.

Very nice piece.

03 March 2004, 05:24 PM
Dang, for some reason CGTalk stopped emailing me when people posted to this piece. I had no idea people were still looking at it. I never imagined there would be so many interpretations from it. That's cool. Glad you all liked the painting.

I really dig the 'the background is the music that connects them' interp and also the 'guy is the firewood and the girl is his flame' one. Those ring very true with me.

Nazgul, I'll do more like this once I get through with my freelance work. Just finishing up some projects then I'll be done with freelancing for a while.

DirtySkillet, who's brad (if you ever read this)?


04 April 2004, 03:46 AM
This is great work. I think some of you are missing an eye for art, or something. It could be personal taste. Who knows.

04 April 2004, 07:56 AM
Very nice In my opinion this scene demonstrates that he is an tyrant and the dicktator of the relationship and she is forced to be with him and is unhappy and depressed about that Its a beutyfull scene as well as have a great theme it is also very well painted technically

well done

04 April 2004, 08:19 PM
&^%& server busy !!

I like the characters the most . They look really good .. i dont think the
guy looks ugly mabye just angry or disapointed. And the girl is beautifull.

2 things i didnt like

-her knees make her look like she is a burn victim
-they would look better if put into perspective on a couch for example.
I dont like the fact that they are floating on thin air.
I really think if you put them in a good background you would
definietly have something amazing.

05 May 2004, 12:38 AM
first emotion impressions
Haven't read every post but what cought me is that the guy has a pose with his arms and hands as if to catch the girl in case she does a runner, the look on his face is one of "don't stand there waiting for a chance to pick her up" and to her "don't you dare take a runner coz I've got long arms and I'll catch you anyway" Style is great, love the colors and strokes, and the calm but sad expression in the girl. What is she listening to? Music from home ? Maybe she's sad coz she can't go back home because of her forbidden love.

05 May 2004, 02:44 PM
First off, this is a beautiful and powerful piece of work. I just reread your original statement and realized that the source pic is of you and your wife. Hope I don't touch on some sensitive topics in my critique.

The girl: I don't see her "taking a runner". Her body language -- knees and head turned toward him, hair draped over his arm -- indicates that she trusts and wants to be there with him. Her casual dress indicates that she's not putting on airs and she doesn't feel the need to impress him.

05 May 2004, 04:01 PM
Sorry, I posted that before I was ready.

The guy: I was originally thrown by his odd proportions, but I think it really adds to the picture. Where the girl is drawn accurately, he seems awkward by contrast, and may mirror his self-image (maybe he believes the beauty & the beast metaphor too). He's got overly broad shoulders, so he'd be able to protect her and share her burdens. His arms are long, but they're draped around her, rather than enveloping and smothering her. His eyes seem to be on her, trying to discern her thoughts, and he wears a skeptical expression. It reminds me of a John Cusack line from the film "Say Anything": "Are you here because you need SOMEBODY or are you here because you need ME?"

The scene as a whole: Since they're both listening to headphones, there's a separateness between them although they're sharing the moment. I can't tell if she's sad or content, but she appears to prefer the silence, while it makes him pensive and uncomfortable. I like the background -- I think with a formal background people would take the scene much more literally and you wouldn't have generated such an involved and interesting thread here. Besides, the brown winding shapes complement the guy's arms. They suggest roots, a stability and strength that he provides to her.

Colors are great, background is great and the girl is beautiful. The only flaw I see is his left leg -- it's out of scale with the disproportionately long right leg. I suggest lengthening the short one rather than shortening the long one (lol), especially since that hole in the knee looks so good as it is.

05 May 2004, 05:52 AM
As soon as I happened upon this thread and saw the picture I had an immediate impression... I checked to see I wasn't repeating anyone else, but it seems no one else saw it like this...

The colours remind me of some depiction of hell I guess... So I immediately thought that guy is the devil - maybe not the devil - but a guy who has that dark and sinister aura some girls find attractive... and just the way he looks to have been painted around the girl, she's not actually aware he is there - that is why her hand doesn't touch/caress him.

But he is the man she's thinking about or that she's hearing about through the headphones...


Why does it evoke this - both the beautiful colouring you have used and the contrast in style/detail (not sure which until I go back and look again) between the girl and her surroundings. It's like the world around her is something created by her thoughts or the music she's listening too.

Thanks for a special image!

05 May 2004, 11:23 PM
Expressively, evocatively this picture has a accomplished eclectic ease about it. It communicates an essential idea of shared pleasure, male/female intimacy, to the temporary exclusion of an unpredictable world. The contrasts between the mannish and feminine traits of the characters are charming and the "beastly" aspects of the male give us a universal entry point into the image. The stylizations and eclectic devices such as the comic book treatment of the girls hair and perky bosum, the master's, model book formulation for the male's hands, and the painterly, die Brucke treatment of the natural background are well enlisted to deliver the theme. In fact, the less than totally seemless integration gives the work an honesty, and sense of illustrator's pragmatism.

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