View Full Version : Master and Servant 2D Entry: Christopher Perdigao

03 March 2005, 05:14 PM
Christopher Perdigao has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Fixed Up Final Image (

I noticed on my last Final Image that there was a stray bit of smudge tool across the maid's collar. All fixed.

03 March 2005, 05:23 PM
wehee! ...I'm happy to see you around here again,

good luck! ;)

03 March 2005, 05:25 PM
good luck!

03 March 2005, 05:28 PM
Good to see you back again, Christopher. Look forward to seeing what you come up with this time 'round!


03 March 2005, 05:37 PM
best of luck christopher..!lgood to see u here..:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 04:01 AM
Hey, everybody! This is going to be fun, but I can't get the word "epic" out of my head from the GSO challenge.

I wanted to start fleshing out some ideas about what the concept means and what would make for a good image.

Why Servants serve:
Proof of loyalty
Threat of blackmail
Fear of violence
Coersion by drugs, magic, gadget for mind control

Why Masters dominate:
Lacks expertise to do something by himself/herself
Doesn't want to get his hands dirty
Somebody has to

Possible scenarios:
Pledging a college fraternity or sorority
Fetch! (pet & master)
Cleanup of a murder
Rescue, especially one involving RC gadgets

I'm going to try and learn from past mistakes and do a good number of concept sketches before I get in too deep. Cheers! :applause:

03 March 2005, 07:01 AM
rock on dude , waiting for the sketches :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 02:28 PM
I like Ilikesoup's sketches, so I'm subscribbling to see some more :)

03 March 2005, 04:49 PM
Eager to see what you come up with Chris.


Interesting Sidenote that might help you:
In some constellations it is the servant that bears the true power and not the master (e.g. s/m)

03 March 2005, 04:58 PM
welcome christopher and good luck:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 08:54 PM
Ilikesoup! Ilikesoup! :D

03 March 2005, 09:44 PM
:wavey: I'm watching!

Good luck!

03 March 2005, 03:04 AM (

'kay, here's my first idea. I was thinking of that riddle --

"A plane crashes on the border of the United States and Canada. In which country do they bury the survivors?"

Here's a remote controlled rescue bot. He's supposed to go into dangerous areas, rescue the wounded and gather up the dead for burial. But something is wrong, because he's trying to bury the survivors and his master can't figure out how to stop him. I wanted to play with the idea of a disobedient servant.

03 March 2005, 07:21 AM
looks like a good idea should look good in the sketches good luck in the challange

03 March 2005, 09:16 PM
This is choc full of ilikesoup originality. Cant wait to see more.
Keep it comin!

03 March 2005, 02:08 AM
Cool and original concept, this is going to be a very funny piece

Keep it up:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 02:36 AM
lol~ this is just great and funny!i like the frustrated expression on tha master face~
keep it up man.:)

03 March 2005, 03:09 AM
very provocotive concept, if you develope this technically, it could be a great piece. Good Luck!

03 March 2005, 07:16 AM (

This (top) is another idea that I'm playing with. The cat serves the mistress of the house (queen or duchess?) by catching mice. I'd like to have some human servants behind her, each resentful of the cat for being her favorite. After looking at some of the other submissions I wanted to have a theme with a stronger emotional response, and everybody loves cats, RIGHT?? The other two pics are me studying cat anatomy--not as simple as it looks. I'll try to post a more complete picture soon.

03 March 2005, 01:10 AM (

Here's a more fleshed out concept sketch. I got some books from the library and pored through some Edward Gorey collections and think I'll go for Victorian England as the setting, although this may change. Cat at center in front of the window hopefully makes him and the mouse being dangled below by the maid the picture's focus. Top hat at left is the master of the house who's furious at the level of damage. The lady ("she who must be obeyed") of the house is lifting the cat to the heavens for saving them all. Various resentful servants are in place to put the house back together.

03 March 2005, 04:54 PM
Hillarious! Since we have a cat, that cutie is the thing my mom cares most for :D
I like the idea, keep it up! :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 08:19 PM
I think thsi is your most promising sketch so far maybe do a more detailed one to see if it will work in color but to me it seems to have alot of potential

03 March 2005, 08:49 PM
Okay, I've neglected my own thread long enough. So much fun to noodle around in everybody else's. :D

Walrusmann - I'm not good with colors, but I intend the room to be full of posh details -- all the more things for the cat to have broken. The great thing about setting this in a late Victorian period is that there are sketches, paintings and PHOTOGRAPHS to reference from. Thanks for the encouragement.

coCoKNIght - All those cat sketches in the DSG were good practice. ;) Our cat constantly scratches the furniture and then runs away. We get impatient, but if she does anything cute or helpful all is instantly forgiven. These servants don't forgive so easily, though. Expect plenty of sour expressions.

Okay, here's my "punch list" (things that need to be added):

Torn velour drapes and servant rehanging them
Broken antique vase, spilled soil and muddy paw prints
Silk or other printed wallpaper with scratch marks
Cracked wall sconce
Silver tea service sprawled across the area rug

Thanks for everybody who's dropped by and given their encouragement.
I hope to post some images worth looking at soon. ;)

03 March 2005, 09:47 PM
Im following daily sketchers... hehe, I like the concept, its very funny.
Im looking forward to seeing more! Keep it up!

04 April 2005, 05:34 PM
When I had looked at your sketch without I had thought that you had gone for a concept such as: A guy tells another guy to catch the mouse which goes on and tells a made and this goes on until the last one in row tells the cat to catch the mouse.

But well that what you get for not reading first! :eek:

I like the idea you are going for.. Sort of like a quote from Enki Bilal's Immortel: "Yes I am a pawn, but yet one with exquisite powers" (I am not sure if the English translation was such, but it comes to that meaning)

So as a result the cat is a servant.. but the man has literally no authority over it's actions?! :) Nice catch!

Have you heard of the African tale about how the cat came to chose the woman?


04 April 2005, 06:15 PM
I like the idea you are going for.. Sort of like a quote from Enki Bilal's Immortel: "Yes I am a pawn, but yet one with exquisite powers" (I am not sure if the English translation was such, but it comes to that meaning)

So as a result the cat is a servant.. but the man has literally no authority over it's actions?! :) Nice catch!

Have you heard of the African tale about how the cat came to chose the woman?


Thanks for stopping by!

Yeah, I think that's the idea -- the cat serves the woman by catching mice. The maids serve the woman by cleaning up after the cat. Unfortunately the cat is the only one being praised and the maids sort of fade into the background. My intent is to have the maids in dark colors and not so obvious, while the cat will be a marmalade color like the golden child who gets all the attention. Composition is very flat and linear right now so I'd welcome any advice. Maybe I could spoof the opening scene from Lion King where baby Simba is held up for the rest of the animals to behold, but instead of kneeling the maids are on their knees cleaning.

Would love to read/hear the African tale you mentioned, though. :love:

04 April 2005, 07:34 PM
...Maybe I could spoof the opening scene from Lion King where baby Simba is held up for the rest of the animals to behold, but instead of kneeling the maids are on their knees cleaning... And bending there heads facing down cursing at the bloody thing! :)

Well the tale is a simple one really:
One day the catr decides to hang out with the strongest creature.
So he goes and finds a rabbit. And hangs out with the reabbit for some time.
Until one day the rabbit is killed by an antilop.
Thinking that the Antilop is the strongest now.. he decides to make friends with the antilop.
Then one day when the antilop gets killed and eaten by a lion, his view changes once again.
He is now convinced that the lion is the strongest beast.

Then again one afternoon.. the lion gets stamped to death by an elephant. Which the cat had believed was the strongest until a human came and killed the elephant.

Changing his mind yet once again, the cat follows the man home.
But from the minute the man enters the hut... starta a great quoral.
And his wife.. apparently very angry at him for some reason, kicks him out of the house.

Then on the cat has understood who the stronest is; and who he must hang around by.


04 April 2005, 03:49 PM
what's up dude,

I like your sketch and studies of the cat. It'll be interesting to see where you are going with this and your final composition. I'll be tagging along with your stuff dude.


04 April 2005, 02:15 PM
Hi likesoup!
Just stopping by! Great ideas! keep it coming!

04 April 2005, 01:37 AM (

My first update in awhile. I wanted to take a stab at the linework and layout, and decided to set the characters in a pyramid formation with the cat and mistress of the house at the top. I\'m feeling that the connection between master and servant isn\'t clear enough, though. Bah! I\'ll keep working on it.

04 April 2005, 03:25 AM

Beautiful concept. We all love our pets more than other, hard working people. And why not. People stink, stare, fart, take viagra, drink incessantly, eat entire whoppers in a single sitting, and can't pur. Thank goodness for pets.

I know for me, when it comes to drawing dynaming angles and poses, making basic models in a 3d program like Wings, and rotating it around helps a ton. Just grab a screenshot and trace or redraw what you see. Don't worry about details, just make boxy forms, or forms with boxes, paste the screengrab, and draw the details within the shaded volume.

Or you could spend the day readjusting perspective lines with rulers and compasses.

Or stand on your hand and draw using only your ear.

Or yodel while drafting neo-modernistic post-nasal-drip floorplans.

Or kick some know-it-all-blow-hard in the groin, and steal his overfed pet fish.

Whichever makes your cat meow.

And don't let the daily sketch or pet servitude take up all your energy. This concept deserves as much attention as any four-legged bandito.

Get mean, buster.

04 April 2005, 03:03 PM (

Okay, I'm happier with the vertical orientation -- everything is nice and tight. I've added the red triangle to help me group the subjects. As you can see, the cat's head is the tip of the triangle so he will get all the attention. I expect that most of the damage done by the cat will be shown outside the triangle. I'm starting to pose the characters and give them appropriate attitudes (maid with mouse). I can't wait to start adding color and getting rid of those heavy outlines.

04 April 2005, 04:17 AM (

Just trying some spot colors and whittling down those lines.

04 April 2005, 07:40 AM
I say, sir, but shouldn't your mouse be decapitated, or partially mutilated? Blood always makes a scene more tense.

If a beheading is too obscene (which it certainly is), then perhaps just take off a toe or tip of the tail.

Also, maybe have wads of cat litter sticking to the walls, intimating a servant rebellion.

But, most importantly, add some rat / mouse blood. They breed like the dickens, yet make lousy parents, so deserve a violent tossing.

Charge! :bounce:

04 April 2005, 03:46 PM
Ah, how to respond?
These servants aren't as rebellious as I had hoped. I don't know that scat on the walls is the right way to go, but they'll have to come up with something more severe than scowls if they want a part in MY movie. Also, there will be much collateral damage. I might have to go back to a landscape orientation to fit it all in.

A cat with blood on its paws? Maybe, but my cat always drowns her prey in the water dish. A very clean, but soggy kill. At the very least I've gotta find out how to make the mouse look less like a frog with a tail. Hermes the cat needs to be either more cute or more devious looking or he's out on the street.

Thanks for lookin'!

04 April 2005, 05:52 AM (

I took out the yelling man. He was annoying me and didn't fit with the theme. Now the butler is free to carry in kitty treats on a silver platter for the conquering hero. M'lady has flesh tones and big, green Disney eyes. Mouse has pink ears. Still another servant or two to add in soon. And collateral damage.

04 April 2005, 05:19 AM (

I wanted to post this before I go back to the concept stage. I like the butler with the tray of cat treats -- it's more in line with the idea of serving the cat. I had the idea of the mistress of the house dancing with the cat in a Snow White kind of way. I guess the maid is the evil queen. Anyway, the picture looks very flat right now. I looked through some of Norman Rockwell's paintings and love how he was able to fill a picture with people. That's what I want -- to be Norman Rockwell. More to come. . .

04 April 2005, 02:02 AM (

My old picture wasn't coming together -- one point perspective had the pic looking flat and the characters were too far apart to do a closeup.

She's breaking into spontaneous song and dance 'cuz I wanted to show how wonderful she thinks her kitty is. I'm not sure if she'll be face to face with him or helping him to some kitty treats the butler brought. "Shirley the Surly Maid" will walk toward the viewer with the mouse in her hand and rolling her eyes. Few more concept sketches and I'll be ready to start again, but I think I'm on the right track.

04 April 2005, 04:49 AM (

I sketched these pictures of the maid during my lunch break today. I'm happy to say that I've solved my layout problem. If I show the maid only from the waist up she can go stand in the lower right corner of the picture. That means I'll have the rest of the frame for the woman to dangle the cat and the butler to present the kitty treats. Yay! That only took me a month to figure out :P

Anyway, maid #1 didn't work out so I had to let her go. The cigarette was just too over the top "bad employee". Maid #2 showed promise. She's giving the "gag me" gesture because her boss dotes on the cat so much it makes her ill. I like #3 best because with her rolled eyes she shows the best blend of sass and restraint.

04 April 2005, 09:56 PM (

Playing with new layouts, this is the first of two.

04 April 2005, 10:11 PM (

Here's concept #2 which I think I like a bit better. Butler and maid have similar poses and expressions. Hopefully it's clear that they both think their employer is nutty about her cat and they just grin and bear it. I'll be adding details but wanted to get down some tonal values. I don't like the 2 point perspective so much -- wastes space and doesn't seem to add anything to the picture.

I welcome any and all critiques. Let me have it!

04 April 2005, 03:32 AM (

This is basically what the lineart will be. One point perspective is so much easier. I still plan to put patterned wallpaper on the wall, maybe some cat toys on the floor, whatever I can think of. I'm thinking cat and lady could wear matching jewelry. I need to get some reference pictures for the major players otherwise I'm afraid they'll look too cartoony. What do you think about Parker Posey as the mistress?

04 April 2005, 08:48 AM

Your changes to the layout are well thought out and executed. Quiet scene, yet the underlying tone is clearly aggrivation, and for the maid, bordering on a tantrum. Yet nothing blantantly silly.

Parker Posey as the mistress and Anthony Perkins as the butler would make for fine dining.

Glorus Leetchman can play the maid. Or perhaps Betty Davis.

Avoiding feces and blood is wise. Gross out humor is too divisive and simple. The quiet laugh is more memorable.

Great progress. Let's see some more colour, please! :bounce:

04 April 2005, 03:36 PM
Hey, ravioli_ rancher! Thanks for checking in, pardner.
Color's on the way, but I'd like to get the faces done first. Bette Davis would be killer as the maid, with some really obnoxious lipstick. I think she will be looking down at the rat with a "who farted" expression on her face. I had considered using Mrs. Garrett from Facts of Life, but Bette is too good to pass up. A friend recommended Rowan Atkinson as the butler and I think I'll try it. His rubbery face and basset hound eyes. . . maybe I'll make him allergic to cats, runny nose and bloodshot eyes. :twisted:

04 April 2005, 03:22 AM
Hello I Like Soup;

I know you have already started on things.. but would you concider a something inbetween number 2 and number 3?
The thing is that the facial expressions are really great, and are literally telling the story, but the hand gesture on the maid displaying the disgust to the mouse deosn't apply to her face... Maybe because of her look at the ceiling rather than to the exact opposite of the mouse.

What I thought is to have her just about to puke (Almost) with her covering her mouth using her free hand.

I really liked the new aprouch.. gives a lot more level in the discription than to having broken peaces. Nice catch there


04 April 2005, 06:54 PM
You've had a lot of changes since the last time i saw your thread. This is looking better dude. The definately like the composition of this last post. It's a lot clearer and has a more stronger story telling. Now get back to work and add those damn details :twisted: :)

Will be checking back later dude.


04 April 2005, 08:45 PM
BlackDidThis - Good point. My thought was the maid is rolling her eyes because she's thinking "The way my boss dotes on her cat is so annoying." I forgot how disgusted she'd be since she's being forced to carry it to the trash. I'll fix that. Thanks!

Arc80 - Details, details. . . You caught me dragging my heels. I'll add some stuff tonight. Thanks for stopping in.

04 April 2005, 04:25 AM (

I've been making faces in the mirror lately, trying to do a "Smelly dead mouse face. Still needs work, but please let me know if it's had a positive effect on the maid's expression. Also, everybody had their hair done, including the cat. I added the ball of yarn as one of those cat toys that's always under foot, and hopefully gives you something to look at in that bottom left corner. I hope to try adding color tomorrow sometime, although I might continue to tweak everybody's poses a bit.

04 April 2005, 04:37 AM
Hey, the facial expressions are coming along nicely. I do that too when i'm animating :p
NOw where are the details...heeheehee.
Question, are you going to just keep the flat style or are you going to do it a bit 3D? Just curious to know. You know, this style reminds me of this old 2D animation called "THE CAT CAME BACK" It's a nice short and very funny. you should try and see it if you haven't.

will be checking again dude. CHEERS

04 April 2005, 07:39 AM
Hehehe.. this is turning out really good!!

I can literally read his mind "Here Hermes... take it and shove it!" :thumbsup:

As for what you asked.. to my personal opinion, I can definately say that it has added some real life to it. We not only know that it is a mouse.. but we can put a few more of our five sences into action.

I like the bit about cat's toys being around... but well I would sure hope for you to position it in a more fitting perspective... feels "In the air" now.

Looking great!


05 May 2005, 04:58 AM (

I haven't given this much thought to coloring since I had my apartment painted. Skin tones will be the biggest challenge for me. I'll be checking plenty of reference photos and tutorials. Worst part is I keep thinking of new poses for the characters. This will be a tough 17 days.

05 May 2005, 03:50 AM (

Well, I tried a bunch of different wall colors and I think I like this one best. Funny, I've got just three humans and a cat here and I'm researching home decor, clothing, hair and makeup to try and make this into a decent picture. Plus, I keep wanting to change their poses and expressions. We'll see what happens.

05 May 2005, 04:55 AM
You might want to be careful on that..

What Red does is it literally comes up front.. wo when you have a uniform or dominant red background, you can very well expect that back ground to overpower your foreground.

Notice how the maid seems as if she is leaning against the wall now?

I have no problem with the selection you made.. it is just that you may loose alot of depth in the result of it.


05 May 2005, 02:10 PM
Rush on, m8! :D

05 May 2005, 08:49 PM
Great piece very comical :applause:

05 May 2005, 09:58 PM
I worked on this a bit more last night and hope to post progress tonight. In the next few days I hope to remove the window and add a fireplace. Above the fireplace is ideal for hanging portraits of cats, I'm told. I'm going for the "shrine to Hermes" look.

Arc80 -- You're right that the people look flat. It's not my intent and I'll be working to fix that. For now, let me know if the maid's face needs more work. Everything else will get color, then more light and shadow. Thanks for looking!

BlackDidThis -- Thanks so much for the color critique. That's something I never would have seen. I played with the saturation level and am starting to divide up the floor into different boards. Hopefully that will help with the perspective issue. Do you hate that turquoise bowl or is it just me? ;) It will be fixed by the next post.

lula_assassina -- I'm not built for speed. I'll do my best, tho.

clayeraser -- Thanks. I keep thinking it's too simple an image, but I'm glad you're getting the humor. Thanks for checking it out.

Two weeks to go. . .:argh:

05 May 2005, 01:12 AM (

Fixed the maid's hair so it's pulled back and got rid of that HIDEOUS turquoise cat food dish. Hopefully the lines of the hardwood floor give an accurate sense of proportion. I might have to adjust the angle or scale down the maid. Next up: Coloring the other people and installing the fireplace!

05 May 2005, 05:47 AM
THe face of the maid, well, with the style that you are going for i think it just need to have a bit more contrast and define the structures a bit. For example, the eyes could definately have more of the circular shape. I think you're just missing the lighting. Once you have your lighting then it should be fine. Keep it coming dude.

btw, thanks for dropping by me thread. About the big guy's muscle. I'm breaking some rules on that, i know. His stomach area is actually thiner than his upper body, which i intended to do, but I get what you're saying and saw the reference you gave me, thanks. Oh and creatures do exist in that world. So it's no new to the "ordinary people" you could say. Thanks again bro.


05 May 2005, 11:00 PM
this is going really well, the expressions on their faces are everything!
go go go! :bounce:

05 May 2005, 05:18 AM
Hi ILikesoup

You have a wonderful sense of humour! I thoroughly enjoy it!


05 May 2005, 05:41 AM (

If only I'd stop having ideas I might be able to finish this and get some sleep. Fireplace still has to be put in perspective, but I like it better than the window that was there. I thought the candles could cast a halo-like glow over the servants' heads -- I think they've earned them for putting up with their mistress. I scaled down the maid so hopefully the perspective is more realistic so she doesn't have to kneel. BTW, I got an idea for what she can be holding in her left hand. :)

05 May 2005, 06:15 AM
very cool. the details are coming along nicely. keep it up dude.


05 May 2005, 03:56 PM
Eureka! I just realized why the proportions look so odd (maid to mistress). It's the feet!
I've been looking at Parker Posey as though she's up against the hearth, but according to her feet she's halfway between the maid and the hearth. Gaa!:scream: And she's standing about two feet in front of the butler and hanging the cat out in space. No wonder he thinks she's nuts!:banghead: Thank goodness for two-tone floors. Gotta scale down Parker and the butler, but their heads will stay at the same height.

gordonm, bealobo, Arc80 -- thanks for the encouragement! I'm still surprised that people are looking at this.

Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of being a CGTalk member! Yay!!:bounce: :applause:

05 May 2005, 04:15 PM
Can't wait to get home -- I'm at work with about 7 hours to go. My wife just emailed me that my D'Artiste book arrived!

By the power of Ballistic,

05 May 2005, 05:24 AM (

I colored the butler! Finally found a skin tone I was satisfied with. I'm bad with hands, but he's got two so I guess that's good. The fireplace is done, but I think I need a hearth in front of it. The painting and the candle are my idea of elegance and cat obsession. I still need to finish the mistress and make general touch ups. I'd better hurry -- just 10 days left!

05 May 2005, 06:31 AM
Keep up the hustle :thumbsup:


05 May 2005, 04:38 AM (

I cropped this just to give a closeup, but I kind of like the way it looks. Maybe I'll keep it this way.

I'm adding highlights and tweaking colors. More stumbling in the dark than anything else. Still gotta touch up the cat's fur and shade the maid's uniform.

05 May 2005, 10:48 PM
this concept is so funny... Im watching without commenting but I like it a lot and youre developping it very nicely. the expressions are great!

05 May 2005, 03:57 AM (

Hopefully this was a happy accident. Instead of cropping the jpeg and resizing it to post, I cropped the original and accidentally saved it. For now, this is my picture. I liked the hardwood floor, but there was too much empty space IMO. Anyway, I shaded the butler's face and the maid's uniform. Maid's ruffles bothered me and I gave up on shading them so I trimmed them off. The cat art got a color upgrade. Cat's fur still needs some work, but now it's time for bed. Critiques are always welcome, even if it's to ask for the hardwood floor back.

05 May 2005, 06:49 AM
hehe, that is a happy accident. The composition is a lot better and the audience can be more involve. Just a little bit more details and refine the lighting and shadowing a bit more. So hurry, hurry, hurry and finish it already :D


05 May 2005, 05:01 AM (

Added candle glow on the walls and shadow around the picture frame. I tried to touch up the shadows on the maid and butler, gave the maid a chain and silver cross (it was her birthday). Can you tell I'm avoiding working on the cat fur? Tell me what you think.

05 May 2005, 08:35 PM
Okay, I've started concentrating on the lighting --
There's a ceiling light (not seen) that's casting highlights on the maid's face and (cat feet) shadows in the fireplace.

There are four candles whose shadows will crisscross around the picture. I need to fix the angles and study up on umbra vs penumbra shadows. :sad: Also, with all the crisscrossing shadows the picture should probably be a bit more spiffy looking.

Butler's shading is all messed up. Ceiling lamp should light his face. Effect of the candle light on him should be minimal. Pant legs need adjusting, too.

Mistress' skin tones still need work. And that damn cat fur.
Did I miss anything?

gordonm - I'm hustling! I've been putting in a steady 2 hours or so per night after work.

bealobo - Thanks! I was afraid that their expressions weren't dramatic enough. If they're reading okay I'll leave them as they are. No need to overdo it.

Arc80 - Phew! Saving the cropped image was like the moment you realize you've locked your keys in the car. Glad to hear it wasn't a colossal mistake. And yes, lighting and shading will get some serious attention.

Much thanks for the encouragement. We're in the home stretch!

05 May 2005, 10:07 AM

Your hustle is paying off! This is such a wonderful witty image. I went back to look at it to make more comments - I am sorry I didn't have any - I just wanted to slap my knee and let out a great big laugh! Your sense of humour is great!


05 May 2005, 06:02 AM
hi, soup-liker,

popped in to check out your final stretch - great work!
The love the butler's demenor - it reminds me of Steve Martain serving kermit and piggy in the muppet movie.

don't forget to sleep.;)

05 May 2005, 07:40 PM (

Butler's pant legs adjusted
Shading of butler's face fixed
Candle glow and shadows added
Cat fur striped & ruffed
Little white footsies (sorry)

Still left:
A better subject for the mantle picture. As I mentioned before, since the picture is surrounded by candles, accented by shadows and is a focal point of the room it should be something special, and should definitely resemble the Hermes. I had tried to make it a random art piece celebrating cats in general, but even then the piece is bland as it is. I'm considering Hermes on an award podium, Hermes in a formal portrait or perhaps Hermes in an action pose. Any suggestions?

BTW, I've been experimenting with different PS Elements brushes I'd never even seen before. Much of Hermes color was added with a spatter brush and smudging was done with chalk. I've also had some success with the airbrush with pen opacity flow. I think I'll be using them more often in the future.


05 May 2005, 02:36 AM (

Well, maybe it's not the FINAL final coloring, but it's close. I'm pretty happy with the picture on the mantel now and I'm patting myself on the back as we speak for the ruffles on the blue ribbon. :P I might do a few more touch ups, but I can see the finish line just ahead.

05 May 2005, 02:55 AM
Just darken up some of the core shadows and cast shadows on your characters. Darken the under area of your fireplace and the side of the candles (to give it that cylinder shape) and i think that should be it. Very niiice touch on the wall painting and everything else is lookin mighty SWEEET.


05 May 2005, 07:49 PM (

At this point it's mostly about lighting. I took Arc80's advice (much thanks!) and shaded the candles and the fireplace. I lightened much of the butler's face and did the same for Hermes the cat. Mistress got some light spots, too. Most of the focus was on the maid, though. All soft edges were whittled down -- since she's closest, all details should be sharpest. I lowered the top of her head since POV is face to face with her. I added streaks of gray to indicate light source and a bit of texture to her hair. I wonder about her left arm -- I imagine her holding her arm behind her back but am afraid I've made her look like an amputee. I'll try a few arm positions before the final.

BTW, my Wacom is fighting me. Different tools stay active and make lines on the drawing even after I've lifted my pen. I'm thinking the large file size and extreme closeups I've been doing are overtaxing my computer's abilities. Anybody else experiencing this?

05 May 2005, 02:53 AM
Anybody else experiencing this?

It happens to me from time to time - but it usually only lasts a moment. I usually grab the mouse when that happens and swish it around on the board. I don't know why-but it seems to work. Kind of like slapping an old television set. My other theory is that the tablet is reading the pen signal through part of your hand.

by the way - The maid's arm seems fine- doesn't look at all amputee to me. Great shading on kitty.

05 May 2005, 04:20 AM (

I'm ready to let this one go. The shadows and highlights nearly killed me. The maid's apron looked flat, so I added shading. I also added highlights to her left shoulder pad -- her arm being behind her back would roll her shoulder forward.

Thanks so much to everyone for being so generous with their advice, both in this thread and in their own. I've learned so much from participating in this challenge. Good luck to everyone!

05 May 2005, 04:55 AM (

I noticed on my last Final Image that there was a stray bit of smudge tool across the maid's collar. All fixed.

BTW, I hadn't realized that everybody was writing back stories about their images, so here's mine --

I've known several cat owners in my life, and most are fanatical about their pets. A woman who lived down the street from us could often be seen taking her cat for a walk on a leash. She also had professional photos taken of her little darling which hung in the foyer of her house. Friends and coworkers who owned cats always had stories about what their cat did with a wad of paper, where she left the dead mouse or how she destroyed the living room sofa. My wife and I discovered when we brought our cat home from the shelter, it's something only a cat owner can understand.

I tried to capture that cat obsession here with the portrait on the wall and the woman's fawning expression. I also wanted to show that the butler and the maid "don't get it" and they're really a bit tired of the whole arrangement. In short, their job is to serve the mistress of the house, and the mistress lives to serve her cat.

05 May 2005, 06:37 AM
Wow, another great improvement from the begining to now. Definately an interesting style and you pushed it pretty far. I am very proud of you man. OUTSTANDING JOB and a great strong finish, seriously. Give yourself a pat in the back, because you deserve it.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :bounce: :applause: :bounce:

Oh and please find that 2d animation called the cat came back. It's a nice short story, but you'll like it. It has a simalar feel with your style.

cheers and goodluck and you did a great job.

05 May 2005, 12:13 AM
Arc80 - Can't thank you enough for the advice and encouragement throughout the challenge. Oh, and I did a google search for The Cat Came Back. I found the lyrics to a children's song about how many people tried to kill a cat, but it kept coming back. Somebody had also done their own Flash animation of the song, but I'll keep and eye out for the original. And I'm really impressed by your final image. It's so good to be done!

stepington - Thanks for the Steve Martin reference. That was exactly the attitude I was shooting for! I expect the Wacom problems will be sorted out by the time I start on the comic. ;)

gordonm - Thanks!

Once again, thanks to all for the advice, encouragement and inspiration.

05 May 2005, 04:50 PM
congratulations ilikesoup! you did it again!!!

I specially like the maiden's face and the shading...I think you've really improved!:thumbsup:
you've done a very good job, man! :beer:

05 May 2005, 06:29 PM
Hey Chris!

You sure have improved a lot during this challenge-- I love the dour expression on the maid and the concept is one I understand well...I too am also 'owned' by a cat.
I think this is the best picture you've done so far, you've put a lot of work into it and you have really progressed. Keep up the good work and don't abandon the DSG!:thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 06:47 PM
[/url][url=""]:surprised ( I've only just realized you were in the contest!

:blush: ( ( ( ( I'm so ashamed!! :blush: ( ( ( (

Congratulations on your funny pic! :applause:

05 May 2005, 08:45 PM
elmasfeo - Thanks, guy! I missed you in this challenge. Think you'll be in next time?

Theresa - Thank you so much. And I'll never leave the DSG. I just can't spend 2 months on each drawing like I did on this one.:D BTW, have you decided where you'll be taking your vacation trip?

SoniaNotRed - That's okay. I'm just glad you found the place. Feels good to be done, eh?

05 May 2005, 08:54 PM
Hopefully either Paris or Florence....ahh, the choices!

Paris would probably be cheaper though!?

05 May 2005, 09:40 PM
Good job you did here man:thumbsup: you nailed the theme you described perfectly.
lol the expression on the butlers face is so cool!
congratulations on finishing the piece, c ya around

05 May 2005, 05:20 PM

:bounce: :cool:

Tremendous finishing bravado and flair. You nailed the facial expressions with the shading. It seems the practice of the DSG is providing you with some tricks and secrets to spicing up an image. The evolution is outstanding.

I say you've achieved success without the need for bloody furballs or wall feces and have a worthwhile submission.

Hooray for celebrated fleabags and submissively disgruntled yet overtly annoyed servants!

05 May 2005, 07:21 PM
Cori - Much thanks, pardner. I haven't forgotten that it was you who warned me to step clear of the feces. Also, giving the maid Bette Davis eyes was another ravioli_rancher contribution. Sir, I am in your debt. :buttrock:

Rudeone - Thank you. :)

05 May 2005, 01:11 PM
congatulations for such a funny pic!
Love the expressions!

good luck!

05 May 2005, 06:34 AM
hey mate, finally made it here too! first of all, thank you so much for being so supportive to anyone in this community, you have a talent to encourage people and must most definately be a great person. your entry is refreshing and fun, love the xpressions you trew into your final piece, your work is much out of the box mate, could as well go through some traditional popart piece! best of luck in the final, mate, and congrats on your final piece. keep it up, and stay as you are, you rock! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 05:32 PM

Orginally, I tried to tell you blood and dung was the only way to go. But, No! You said, more dignified, of course, that was a disgusting, nay, a wretched and immature suggestion.

Then I agreed with you, in hopes of still getting my way with reverse psychology.

Ultimtately, in this case, your final submission proves your insticts were well served.

Though, if the next challenge is Bleeding Turds, you better listen to me. :)

05 May 2005, 01:11 AM
I am so sorry for keeping my distance to your thread as I have to so many.
I wouldn't had I been capable of it.. I am sorry.
But none the less it is great news to see that you have finalised your entry and submitted it in time!

I like the poster quality of your entry.. the manner the elements are layed out and how it is literally built up of masses of colour blocks.

It has been a joyous journey to watch your progress come to this. You have been not only generous to allow us all to be a part of your work, but also cared to support many in the comunity.
Thank you for sharing all of this with us and the best of luck to you on your entries next step!


Not really a crit but an suggestion that you may want to experiment with:
Have you ever tried painting on cloth? Particularily velvet?
This image as it is would look really fantastic in the way the material would carry it... uhhhmm I mean I think it will... or well am almost sure of it. actually I am sure but don't want to risk you coming and blaming me for wasting your time if it doesn't :sad: :)

05 May 2005, 09:46 AM
Hey Soup, congratulations for reaching the finish line! And with such a fine and funny piece.
The expressions on all characters is just hilarious.

Good job, sorry I'm late for the drinks :blush:...

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