View Full Version : Master and Servant 2D Entry: Crystal Schwengler

03 March 2005, 03:23 PM
Crystal Schwengler has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: The last step (

Ok. My signature is here. All is done. I wasn't sure what the difference was between final color and final image so please read the last entry for final words.

Thankyou everyone for your comments and suggestions!

03 March 2005, 07:59 PM (

These are some character ideas I have for the challenge. I wanted to do a narrative based on a loyal servant. A go to the ends of the earth type of being. I'm still thinking of a good setting in which to place them all, but am leaning towards a limp figure on a horse trudging through unbearable odds to save its master... or perhaps the horse/horse creature) is pulling its master to safety from a dragon or war. Is the idea too boring?

03 March 2005, 08:05 PM
story seems fine to me.

excellent drawings!

03 March 2005, 09:00 PM
hmmm, very very cute style... subscribin' this and wishin' you much fun and best luck! Keep et comin' crystal!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 12:13 AM
Excellent style! I'm subscribed

03 March 2005, 03:30 PM (

Here is the dragon sketch. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to use a dragon attacking the girl while her horse/creature rears to save her.

Laramus Maximus
03 March 2005, 03:42 PM
very nice style. Good luck!!

03 March 2005, 03:45 PM
The style is great, i like the way you did your characters; we can almost tell their personalities just by looking at them.

The story, it is fine imo. :) Nothing bad or boring with it since it is not the proud knight saving her but her mount. As for the setting/location... It should be in a place were you wouldn't suspect a dragon to be, or else the girl would probably be more aware of the danger and not run right into the dragon, making the horse having to save her.

03 March 2005, 03:50 PM
G' day Crystal :cool:
I like your dragon, and the character sketches! :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 07:11 PM
Everyone thanks so much for the comments! I think I will place them in an unfamiliar setting! Hmmmm.... now to decide where!

This contest is really fun so far. I'm practically addicted to CGtalk now.

04 April 2005, 03:26 PM (

Here is a sketch based mostly on emphasizing emotion. I added wings to my creature so he has more drama. I think I will do another sketch before I add a background because I think I'd like to have the dragon coming in at a better angle. The girl is a little hard to see as well.
The basics of the image are that the dragon has stolen the horses rider. Even though it could mean the slaves freedom, the horse fights the dragon to get her back.

04 April 2005, 03:29 PM
love the artwork!! keep it up

04 April 2005, 04:38 PM
sooo cute! i love your style:thumbsup:
i didnīt read the description first, so it took me a while to find the empty saddle..

keep up the good work - iīll keep an eye on this one..

04 April 2005, 04:53 PM
ooooh... nice composition.

I really like the sweep of the wing. It brings your eye around past the horse and in to focus on the girl.

04 April 2005, 03:45 AM (

I reworked my previous sketch to show so that I could improve the dragons size. There are still a few \\\"technical bugs\\\" to be worked out such as details and anatomy but I think this gives a better range to play with. I also thought the other image leant more towards my horse defending himself rather than fighting for his master. In this image I think it is much clearer that he is attacking the dragon. I am fighting with what to put in the background. I invisioned horse and rider on a mission to save a dying relative in her homeland and this is one of the main obsticals of her plight. The dragon has hit the horse and then proceeded to take the girl (which fell off in the sky). I think too much background will become distracting... any ideas or comments? Does anyone like the last sketch better?

04 April 2005, 04:57 AM
hey its a tough call for me which i like better the last has a nice flow to it but before the charcter focus was better especially the emotion if you could find a way to merge both those srong point it could be even better

04 April 2005, 05:09 AM
wait if you lenghthen the previous one horizontally you could have more room do that cool expanded wing spanplus now that i think of it this epresses a more master and servant relation between the horse and the girl even without the story the last one ,not so much


04 April 2005, 06:43 AM
Thanks so much for the comments. In retrospect I really like the first one better. The composition is stronger. I will do some thinking.....

I feel the need to do some colour sketches. I think things will be better played out if I can pull some colours into things. Then we'll see indeed.

04 April 2005, 06:45 AM
hey, very nice sketch, can't wait to see this in color. Keep up the good work!

04 April 2005, 08:05 AM
I love your style !
Waiting to see more !


04 April 2005, 01:53 PM
Great update. i love the allover dynamic and your flow to go through your composition.
i think it could help the dragon to get the bendingpoints of the neck extendet to keep up the great flow (longer, more curved) lets say continue the horseneckdirection to pick up the curve on a neckwith more right on the height of his winghand.
dragon hand should look in my oppinion inwards, not outwards. rightpegasus wing could move towards cam. actulla looks downwards, while leftwing is lifted. right backlegg could be more forwards and stand on the dragonbelly, as an idea. well, just keep it up, you're developing a great piece, looking forward top your next update

04 April 2005, 06:32 PM
I like the picture where your looking over the shoulder of the dragon. It's an awesome composition! i think I might agree with lynch about xtending it horizontally. You could use the extra width to do some cool stuff with the wings.. it might even give the dragon a bigger sense of scale, something I think you were trying to do in the last drawing. Keep up the fantastic work! I'm going to keep my eye on this thread for sure!

04 April 2005, 10:25 PM
I like your last sketch and description but I must admit that it is not easily understandable at first glance. This is mainly due to the horse being perfectly aligned with the dragon's body.
Just a thought.

This will be beautiful ! good luck !:buttrock:

04 April 2005, 02:27 PM
Dark Angel: Great comments. They are all very constructive. I'm going to adapt my first sketch now, make the dragon bigger, extend the page, etc...

DrEvil: Thanks for the comments. I very much agree with what you said. I've already started coloring the first sketch and have made small adaptations based on what you have said.

Deadly Force: Also thanks. Yes, the alignment doesn't do the composition any good. Probably went overboard with the story too. Keep the comments coming!

04 April 2005, 02:36 PM
I like the way you position your picture, its very well taken. Good luck for the challenge :)

04 April 2005, 07:05 PM (

This is my very first attempt at colour. I am very very new (my fourth day?) at painting on the computer but hopfully will pull this off anyway! Wish me luck.

04 April 2005, 08:29 PM
what's up,

Cool sketches. I love the style that you have. It's a little whimpsical, but with an edge. Pretty original. Keep it up and GOOdluck. I think you'll do fine at painting in Digital.


04 April 2005, 05:37 AM
Hi Crystal,

Nice character style, strong and beatiful Iīm sure your final work will be great!!!


04 April 2005, 07:19 AM
I'm not so advanced at painting with the computer too so I will follow your progress with attention :)
That seems like a good beginning so far...waiting for more updates !:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:20 PM
It looks great so far, the style is as fantastic as your idea. The only thing i would mention is maybe have the girl character looking a bit further back at the dragon's head rather than neck, so she is looking in her captors eyes or close to. It will creat a bit more of a personal relationship. That's all, i can't wait to see it fully colored.

04 April 2005, 02:28 PM
thanks arc80, deadlyforce, racrufi, and boltman for the comments.

Mike: I very much agree with the comment about the girl looking back more. When I get some more base colors down I'm going to scale the dragon up and then change the girl around a bit.

04 April 2005, 07:14 PM
just stumbled on this... i think it is great. well done.. Cant wait to see it fin. anychance you do childrens books?

04 April 2005, 11:06 PM
Hey W!L Thanks for the compliment. I do draw and paint childrens books... glad you noticed!

04 April 2005, 06:54 PM (

Here is a little more colour. I'm not convinced that any of the colours are what I'm going to stick with but for now they will be ok. I'm thinking of making the girl a blonde... but maybe red hair would be more fun!

04 April 2005, 07:00 PM

i think the red hair would be cool. It would be a nice contrast with the creatures colours.
You do have a very watercolour style which most childrens book illustrator uses. Can't wait to see more updates.


04 April 2005, 11:03 PM
Thanks Arc. I'm think I'll use red hair for sure.

04 April 2005, 07:34 AM
oh how could i miss this, thats a big change! the new angle looks very interesting, the dragonwing maybe covers a bit much of the girl and the pegasus, sort of prefered the old layout cuz of its great dynamic flow.

what if you lift up the wing and get a curved framing along the actually white area to show more of your scene and still have the pov with focus on pegasus and girl?

keep it up Crystal, keep on goin'!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 07:39 AM
looking great!

04 April 2005, 12:45 PM
ilike your horse-like craaaazy for horses, great design.. the good servant line art i personally liked better.. i dont know the movement looks harsh, and faster it really looks like they are in a heat of a battle.:)

04 April 2005, 02:29 PM
Sacha, Thanks for the comment. Hmm, maybe I should go backwards a bit into sketching some. Sounds like everyone has some keen interest in my other sketch! I agree with showing the girl off somemore.

Nubian: Why thankyou very much.

Linda: Thankyou. I'm going to do some more sketching! I wasn't completely happy with the last sketch so dived right into the old one.. maybe a little too rash.

Keep the comments coming!... Hopefully will have an update very very soon.

04 April 2005, 02:42 PM
Aww... i thought it was an update. I was kinda waiting for this one too.
Anyway, since you're a childrens book illustrator, go check out this website, She used to be my teacher in art school and a good mentor to me. So go check her out if you have time.


04 April 2005, 06:08 PM
Hey Archie: Thanks sooo much for the link! It is really really great. Still checking it out.

04 April 2005, 01:07 AM
This may seem like a step backward from my last image... well, maybe it is. I quickly put together a comp on a new angle. Its quite rough and I can see a few anatomy issues but I think this will be much more dynamic than the last. I'm not looking to give the girl too much emphasis because I really want to show off the tension between the horse and the dragon.

So far Corel Painter is fun to work in but a little hard too. There are so many things yet to learn. I colored this using the Oil Pastel Brushes and a few pencil tools. I think if I'll change much with this sketch it will be the girl and her pose. I'm not sure I like her angle... perhaps a little to outward? Oh, and I'd love to in the final (closer to the end) have a tiny bit of glow coming from his throat and mouth as if he's just about to breath fire or is perhaps threatening... hmmm....

I'd love some feedback, especially from those who have seen my three base sketches. I'm not concerned about the story too much, mostly which angle is the best. I'm getting nervous about my timeline and need to get into some serious colouring.

04 April 2005, 03:36 AM
Wow, you have an apparent natural talent for telling a story with your images and characters. I feel as though I am pulled right in to your story, becoming a part of it.
I do like the last one the best with the close up of the characters. I feel much more "involved". I might disagree with you on one thing. You said you want to take emphasis away for the girl. I think she should be quite involved in the scene. Actually I think it would be nice to see her with an expression of divine compassion, directed towards the horse. Atleast if it were me, I would be concerned for my companions life. Although, maybe you had other things in mind. You have really beautiful work birdybear, keep it up. :buttrock:

04 April 2005, 03:47 AM
loves the latest composition you posted, gives a real dynamic feel.


04 April 2005, 10:59 AM
Hey, very cool update. I don't think it's a step down from your previous one. I think it's a lot better and well thought out. The composition is a lot stronger and you can definately see whats going on. This one also showcase their expression which is a good way to capture the audience attention. I really like this one. Can't wait to see more updates.

I'm glad you like her works. She's pretty well known. That reminds me, i need to email her and ask her when is her book signing her in New York.

BTW, i'll give you another link of another friend of mine (once i remember her website address, hehe).


04 April 2005, 02:26 PM
Thanks Guys!

Jason: Thanks so much for the comments. I think you're right. Perhaps I should allow more focus onto the girl. I'm going to think your comments over. The expression... well, its totally able to change from here!

Terence: Thanks! Its a go.

Archie: Thanks for checking up on my stuff again! I'm really enjoying all of your comments. Thanks for the links! Good work on yours by the way.

sarah j
04 April 2005, 06:25 PM
wow Crystal! you've got such an organic way of drawing, its very refreshing to see! No stiff lines at all, very nice flow. I'll definitely keep checking on your progress!

04 April 2005, 06:28 PM
i'm still impressed!

04 April 2005, 11:02 PM
Thanks Sarah and Nubian!

04 April 2005, 11:31 PM (

Here is some colour for the last sketch. I'm really getting excited about where it is going. Have to change position of eye, etc... Much work to do... can't wait. Wish I had my own computer to do this on (trying to finish during work breaks)... *sigh*

04 April 2005, 07:46 AM
This is very nice !
Everything is really looking good so far. I have no crits.:buttrock:

I hope you'll manage to finish that piece of artwork !
I have the same time/work problem.
Keep it coming !

Cya !:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 12:28 PM
No critzs here. Just want to say keep the update coming. I still can't remember my other friends website, hehe. I should call her...

Archie :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 11:23 PM
nice composition...ill reserve my commnts later...

04 April 2005, 12:15 AM (

I'm not sure how many times I should post..? Perhaps I'm going a little crazy with the posts, but what the heck. This is a start on the color of the horse and girl. It is still so early in the process. I hope I am able to work out the many many problems that I can see! Including the girls face and even pose a bit... and the horse... tommorow maybe!
Thanks to all for the comments. I've really enjoyed them.

04 April 2005, 05:26 AM
Looks great. Love the thick brush strokes and the detail on the dragon's head is fantastic.
Can't think of much to critique. Maybe if you could add some more darker blackish tones in the image to form a focal point on a particular area of the composition. Perhaps maybe making the upper left corner a bit darker, drawing the focus more towards the dragon's head and the girl.

I really like the composition you have in that zoomed in shot above ^^^. Really draws the attention towards the dragon and the girl. Perhaps you could form a similar effect by using darkness and light.

Just an idea. Looking great, keep at it!

04 April 2005, 02:17 PM
Daniel: Thanks very much for the comment. I agree with what you've said. Think I'll try that at lunch today!...

04 April 2005, 02:23 PM
keeping a tab on your work. youve got a pretty unique style. kudos

04 April 2005, 03:15 PM
Nice work, the dragon could use scales of course, and the green
color could me aged with off-gold tones and such to make it more
natural. You probably were going to do something like that.

04 April 2005, 03:49 PM
goin' good so far. i love the dragon, and the colours are great also.:)

04 April 2005, 03:57 PM
Nice take on a picture with such classical beasts. I love the design of the pegasus. The dragon doesn't necessarily have to have scales, you could do a smooth skinned one, maybe work some kind of mythical patterns into it instead (thinking in terms of time restraints!). Your colour pallette is a favourite of mine too, purples, blues and greens. not much I can offer in the way of crit currently, as you're just getting into it... the dragon's eye looks a little plastic, perhaps you could try sinking it back into his head a bit (pulling the brow over it a bit) and casting some shadows on it. But thats a minor point, and it's looking great. keep up the good work!

04 April 2005, 06:13 PM
Wow! Thanks for the crit Joni, Brian, Linda and Sam. Not quite sure if I'll add scales yet (but, yes, I was thinking about it)... but love the idea about a subtle gold here and there.

Sam: Really love the idea of setting the eye back some more. I'll work that into my design!

Keep the comments coming and thanks for checking out my work. Your comments mean alot to me.

04 April 2005, 12:09 AM
I like the dynamics on this one! Nice colours too. Can't wait to see you refine this.

04 April 2005, 12:17 AM (

Well, here is another attempt at the girl. I just hated where she was going and I've had so many tries at it now I was ready to give up! But I think I like the direction this girl is going... She'll get an awesome costume in the end.

04 April 2005, 12:46 AM
hey birdybear.. the work is progressing nicely. i miss the "cute" style though. i really liked that. any way will be keeping tabs.


04 April 2005, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the comment Joni. Yes, it seems I have lost that cute style. I've been having such a hard time with my facial expression that I got too carried away with the refrences I was using. I'd really love to rework her (ah, sigh! yet again), I'll be able to give it another go after the weekend. Why do I always do this????.... Guess I need to relax a bit.

Also thanks to Cameron!

04 April 2005, 06:33 PM
nice colouring technic. i love the colours. the dragon still looks great!:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 09:52 PM
That's coming along nicely. You did loose that children's book kinda quality to it, but it still looks cool. A lot darker too. About her expression, i just think you need to exaggurate it a little bit. The mouth and the eyebrows in particular.

cheers :)

04 April 2005, 05:15 AM
Well at least i read this time. Was about to say that. I hope you bring back your sparkling-star- princess-sweetness back to her, as all your style is filled with. love the sweetness in your style, and the flow of your strokes. the colorchoice looks actually a bit hard to me, but its early so it may get into the right ballance with it. i love the darkblue/purple of the dragon, i could imagine (just a little sugestion) to try a cyan/lightblue for the dragon (wintercolors) to get a bit back to the fairytale feeling, also its less dominant than green, cuz yellowtones have much weight. so the green makes it a bit heavy. but thats just me,...
hope to get some rest and energy to put up your bestform to let this piece shine in the light of your adorable loveley style!!! keep it up, Crystal, and rock em all!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 10:51 AM
hi birdybear,
i must say i miss the cute style on the girl too.. (<--itīs very unique and i love it!)
the bluish colors of the dragon-head are very nice i think..

waiting for updates - keep going!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:32 PM (

Thanks to everyone who told me I'd be better off going back to a cute style. I think I'm over the most of my frustrations with the girl (although there are still many hours of tweeks to do!). I hope she's closer to my cute style because I really liked my sketches...

Things to change: I'm adding a head piece set of horns (don't know what to call it) to the dragons head, girls expression a little, maybe the shape of her head, darks and lights to the picture more... well, heck! The list goes on forever so I'll stop there.

04 April 2005, 03:11 PM
cool, this is definately feeling more like a childrens book piece, which is going back to your root i guess. Very nice changes. I especially like the new female character and her expression. She definately works with the overall style of your piece. The left horn is a bit off though. You have the horse's face in profile, so that horn should be a lot closer to the other one. Anyway, great colours and i like the flow of your composition. Keep in coming:buttrock:


04 April 2005, 03:27 PM
definately a big step frorwards! the toning of the dragon helps the allover weights a lot, its much more ballanced now. love the update on the colors.
glad you brought back your sweet style on the girl. she's your style and most addorable.

on the horsehorns: id go for a placement in a 15-30° upwards left (9 o'clock position) upwards line on the perspectivic placement, (almost parallel to to horsearline) shorten the left horn a bit.

keep it up Crystal, you sure are makeing one of the loveliest entries all over the place and i'm looking forward to your next update, keep it up!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 06:31 PM
Thank you very much for checking out my piece and taking the time for a crit!

Archie: Thank you for your comment. I totally missed the horn! Thanks, I can see now how "off" it is.

Sacha: Thanks as well! I will most certainly fix that horn for next update. I'm so glad you both like the new look. I've finally got something I'm ok with to work on! Next update I hope will be by the end of this week.

04 April 2005, 03:33 AM
yup yup yup. for me this works. doing good. cheers!

04 April 2005, 06:05 AM
oh Crystal, with your loveley stye, you really should go for childbooks, i'd be the first to buy one! Was in love with your colorfull and playfull beings from the moment i found em, and I'm looking forward to every single of your updates. keep it up and have a nice week! c you :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 07:19 AM
great image... however i liked some of the 1st sketches better then the newest one... but the color seems alright will look out for updates.

04 April 2005, 08:32 AM
Neat sketches and good colour WIPs. Good luck! Looks cool so far :D

04 April 2005, 10:06 AM
u have a slight fairy-taleish style.keep it up!:)

04 April 2005, 10:29 AM
Great style you have going on! Love the sketches and I'm glad you pulled back to that more 'cute' look... it's a wonderful style. Your colour choices are brilliant too... nice and bold, oh and I like the composition alot.

You're goin' places with this one for sure... please continue! :applause:


04 April 2005, 10:51 AM
oy ur style sorta reminds me of disneys hercules...that means i like a lot:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:25 PM
Surprised to see so many comments this morning. Thanks to all of you who wrote me a note. Thanks to Joni, Sacha, Yaroslav, Edite, Linda, M. Grant, and Stjepan.

Sacha: I'll let you know if (hopefully when... someday, fingers crossed) I get my own book published!

Yaroslav: Just curious, which sketch did you like better?... and thanks

M. Grant: I'm really glad I switched back too. I find it still a very new thing to paint "cute" human faces as before all they were were sketches. Many, many sketches...

Stjepan: Thanks for such a neat comment. I've been admiring your 2D piece for some time now!


04 April 2005, 03:32 PM
cant believe i missed your thread!

Great layout, with the wing. And i totally agree with the cute thing.
i love it. So refreshing with the fairytale style.

ill be watching!! :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 09:54 PM
Keep up the good work !
Everything's excellent so far !:thumbsup:
I'm waiting to see the whole picture...

04 April 2005, 12:50 AM (

I've done some adjustments on my girl as you may notice. I'm still trying to get a good expression down, but this should do for now. I'm also trying to decide if I enjoy this kind of stylization and if it matches the painting, but I think I'll go through with it in any case... no time to redo!
Won't be able to work on this until after the weekend! (Sigh!)... So have a good one everyone!

04 April 2005, 01:28 AM
Hey there crystal, nice to see this entry coming along. I love the way you use Painter's brushes... I cannot get my own to work that well for all the money in the world. And this style is one you're obviously more confortable with, and I think it makes for the better painting. Your use of colour is great too, looking at all those purples and reds used in the skin tones. I can't really offer any crit, cause I think it's coming on nicely. The only suggestion I can think of right now, is maybe looking at the position of her eyebrows. I kind of got the feeling you were going for a more scared or anxious look, whereas at the minute she looks like someone sprung a nasty birthday surprise on her. Maybe try forking the brows down a bit before lifting them up in the middle, might work. Then again, I could be talking rubbish... Whether you try it or not, I really love your style. I'd definitely work on getting a book together, it'd sell like hotcakes with such gorgeous artwork!

04 April 2005, 06:40 AM
Looking sweet crystal!! Love this painting style.

04 April 2005, 06:22 AM
Sweet update. Love the closeup, it really looks like "sweets in oil" somehow. :) keep on it! rock on!!!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the comments over the weekend.

Sam: Thanks so much! I just started using painter too. Thanks for help with her expression. I'm still going to fight with it today... it never seems quite right.

Cameron: Thanks man.

Sacha: Thanks again for checking out my updates!

04 April 2005, 01:06 AM (

It seems like I'll never finish this! I'm at a stage which begs me to give up (but I don't think I will). I'm so mad at it that I had to stop and post it as is... Whew, when will the madness stop? Sometimes it makes me very nervous to look over all of the other entries (they are just so darn good). It is hard to show your work among such great professionals!

I still have quite a few hours left for this piece. Much to do. All wings are severely neglected. I've been concentrating on only select areas that are bothering me instead of working on the whole, slowly molding. I'm still working on the girls expression but it will have to do for a while. The dragon is being left behind and I've started adding color and darks to the horse creatures wing. No saddle work done at all yet... SIGH...

Thanks for checking this out!

04 April 2005, 03:34 AM
Wow, that's looking really good. I love the improvement on their facial expressions. I really have no critzs to say since everything is blending well with your style. I guess i'll wait for the next update.

Oh, and don't get nervous at looking at other people's work, hehehe. I think everyone here helps each other out and it's also a good way to learn some new tricks since everyone here has different approach to things. Besides, you're doing well and you have a nice style. I dig the oil looking painting quality.

I'd really love to see this piece finish. I think it will be a great one :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


04 April 2005, 01:35 AM (

Here are some tiny details on the dragon. I gave him a gold eye because it wasn't popping out like I wanted it to and added some blue highlites to the dark side of the dragon. I'm not sure if I've ever put this much detail into something before... its kind of fun.

PS: thanks Archie for the comment. You are giving me much confidence. Thanks a million!

04 April 2005, 01:54 AM
Wow, that detail is really incredible and It is just looking awsome. The gold eye is a nice touch too. I just love the scales and texture over the left eye.

04 April 2005, 10:54 PM
This is quite simply, awesome. Stunning work Crystal!!

04 April 2005, 10:59 PM
It's looking really nice! The details are coming along nicely, and the color is just incredibly luminous. Good work, and good luck with the final bits...!


04 April 2005, 11:09 PM
Thanks so much for the support Mike, Cameron and Micheal! Your comments mean more to me than you know. :love:

04 April 2005, 11:36 PM
Ooooo... now this looks interesting. :bounce:

Love the expressiveness/emotions of the girl - heck, even the creatures are expressive! The colors flow nicely and the composition is well thought out; I also agree with the changing the color of the dragon' eye (it now gives it more of a "de-humanizing" effect, if you know what I mean). Only thought is, it took me a while to figure out that that was ther dragon's arm/claw holding the girl - it seems to come out of nowhere (plus there's no other arm on the other side to "balance" it out).

Can't wait to see the finished version. :)

04 April 2005, 12:05 AM
Jason: thanks for the comments. Great crit. I was wondering myself about that hand. I think I'll add another hand on the other side and try to work out the other one... I really hope I can finish this.

04 April 2005, 12:41 AM
Excellent work Crystal !
Colors and composition are very good !
There is something that bothers me though :

It's difficult to understand that she's handling the dragon's arm. I mean, I saw the dragon but I didn't realize immediatly that he's got a hand near the girl. The dragon body and his hand seems to be two different objects...Hope you can fix this (or not if you think it's ok like that :)).

Anyway, I love the picture. There are not so many with that style in fantasy...:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 01:08 AM (

Here is a redo of my horse. I was really hating him and I hope he looks better now.

04 April 2005, 01:11 AM (

Well, it seems I'm having quite the problem with my dragon arms! I couldn't agree more. I added a second arm to the dragon but am going to rework the other arm (the real problem arm) tommorow. Right now I'm just out of juice. I took out the horse horns for now because with the other arm the whole picture got very busy in that area.

I think in order to fix the problem arm I'm going to rotate it more so it's not so up and down against her body... This would have been so much easier if I had a clearer sketch to work from!

Crits welcome and thanks for checking this out!

04 April 2005, 01:13 AM
that's awsome ,u have a unique style and i love the way that's it go into the fairy style
keep it man:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 04:36 AM
its really coming along.

just opinions: not much of a fan of brown horses. i think it would be a bit more interesting if it had "uncommon" colors?

the little girl can a bit dynamic as well. sort of struggling? probably just body language. the expressions are great.

just opinions. :rolleyes: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 05:21 AM
What about a dark grey horse with a few light grey spots and white hair? Or vice versa? The brownness of the horse doesn't fit into the picture very well for me.

Will be waiting for you to finish this one! :) All the best!

04 April 2005, 07:42 AM
WOw, somebody's been working overtime. LOOKING GREAT there crystal. I see details coming along and i dig it. :thumbsup: I do agree with JUGERAS and JEROMOO about changing the colour of the horse. Oh and one more thing, be careful with the left hand of the dragon. If the right hand is that big, then the left is kinda small. Just watching out for you ;)

MORE updates please :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


04 April 2005, 01:01 PM
very beautiful colors.:bounce: :bounce: and cool story.:buttrock: :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone.

Punklover: thanks! This is my first attempt at a fairytale so I'm glad you like it.

Joni: So you don't like brown horses? It's ok (laughing). I agree with your comment about my horse though. I still wasn't 100% happy with his color. I can attempt to change it. By uncommon colors were you thinking pink or crazy colors?

Jerome: I like the idea of the grey or white horse... speckles... hmm nice idea. I just may do that.

Archie: Thanks about the dragon hand. Thought still looked a little too big.

Thitipon: Thanks!

04 April 2005, 08:09 PM
the colours are astounding! they are intense and yet they go together so perfectly! i have no words here except: BRAVO!!:thumbsup: :drool:

04 April 2005, 11:50 PM (

Well here is yet another version of the horse and a little more details. Please tell me what you think! Thanks and be back after the weekend.

04 April 2005, 11:54 PM
me like the white stallion... i loke your color palette too:)

04 April 2005, 02:40 AM
Yeah, the white with spots looks great :thumbsup:

cheers :buttrock:

04 April 2005, 05:07 AM
Now that's better!!! The horse looks befitting for the princess he's trying to save! At the same time, it also looks noble and courageous! Glad you tried my suggestion! It is beginning to look great.

04 April 2005, 05:29 AM
Thanks for the comments. I'm really really glad you guys like the white horse. Thanks so much to Jerome, without your suggestion it may have stayed too dark forever. Wish I had a computer hooked up at home (sigh....)...

05 May 2005, 05:19 AM
Hey Crystal. I eckon you should go for the rich brown one. Seems more appealing and less cliche to me.

05 May 2005, 04:12 AM
(looking good! Hey, is that a new third avatar in 3 weeks?)

HAHA! My boyfriend must have sent me a comment without logging me out first. Thanks Greg and yes, I really love making avitars.

ps: Cameron... hmmm, too cliche hey? Well I dunno. Think I may stay with the white a little longer. But I am thinking of adding a little more color to the spots, like candy.

05 May 2005, 06:30 PM
An interesting theme.

05 May 2005, 12:49 AM (

I've been working on the horse a little so I decided to post a close-up. I've combined horse, goat (ears), cow (spots)... and my own quirks too. I love cows and thought hey! What a great place to add a touch of them. Cows are great servants, although my dad, who is a farmer, says that sometimes he is the servant to them. I think in a relationship such as horse (or other creature much like it) there are many switches that happen regarding who is master and who is servant. I feel bad for horses, always travelling blindly with their masters. Although, I suppose they don't really care too much where they are going as long as they have a place to eat and someone to love them, maybe a herd... who knows!

Thanks for stopping by!

05 May 2005, 02:04 AM
I like your new horse-goat-cow hybrid very much! I think that makes the animal even more unique!!! I look forward to the complete version soon!

05 May 2005, 02:14 AM
I'm really a sucker for your work, love the style, the sweet colors and the light so much. thanks for thos beautifull closeups! keep on rocking Crystal!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 03:59 AM
yup. looking good. the cow thing really works for me. two cents worth about the white color - its ok but... (there always a but) can it be off-white - can be a bit bluish or a bit beige - or pink - like one of your color studies. something very subtle. it can be but doesnt have to be.

oh and another thing. im not too sure about this but do horses show teeth for aggression?
and you might want translucency effect for the dragons wings. and...

now ive talked too much. youve got great work going on there. :bounce: :applause: :thumbsup:

p.s. hmm brown... come to think of it might look a lot better... joke only.

05 May 2005, 01:24 PM
luv it,great colour choice!

05 May 2005, 02:24 PM
Thankyou all for the comments.

Jerome: Thanks.

Sacha: What do you know? I'm a total sucker for your work too! It's awesome to see you write in here... sigh...

Joni: Thanks for the really great crit. Your comments are always helpful. Thats a good idea with the slight colors, and I think I'll work it in next time. I think I was getting caught up with a silver horse/beige horse but it really just turned out a little grey. Oh and the dragon wing... I havn't even started to work on it yet but if any of you have ideas on how to make it translucent please, be my guest. I really am not sure how to do it but I'd love to try. I had teeth on one of my old versions of the horse and have been thinking about putting them back. I'll try and see how they look.

Nubian: Thanks!

05 May 2005, 04:21 PM
wow..great detail!:bounce: :thumbsup: love ur colorful painting style.
will back to see more.

05 May 2005, 04:41 PM
Looking wonderful Crystal, I just love all that texture, the unicorn is amazing, really does look like something out of a children's book. You have a great way of working with strong colours, they don't look over done, which can be so hard to do... it looks like the scene, if ever it were to be realised really would be that colourful, and believable. It's cracking stuff!

05 May 2005, 11:43 AM
havenīt been here for a while.. i see the cute style is back! :thumbsup: if i still were a little child iīm sure the flying horse would stand on the absolute top of my christmas-wishlist! :) very cute work!

05 May 2005, 01:34 PM
Love the tweaks you made to the servant, Crystal; now it really does look like a fantastic creature straight out of a children's fairy tale.
Keep it up. :)

05 May 2005, 02:32 PM
Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. I spent a while working on my file the other day only to have painter crash (can't win... that things always crashing)... and lose all new info. I'm crossing my fingers for a good solid couple of hours to get most of the painting work finished this weekend because the deadline is approaching at an alarming rate!

Good luck to all!

05 May 2005, 02:43 PM
I like your style. If you not already doing it, you absolutely should do children's books. :thumbsup:

Best of luck to you!

05 May 2005, 06:10 PM
thats so sad to hear! if nothing works, use the same trick i done with my photoshop that crashed all the time last weekk maybe: i made screengrabs every 30 mins or so and saved em seperately, so i could paste the new areas and did not loose all my updates. then, at the end of the week, clened out my system, hope your machine lets u work now. best uf luck Crystal!!!

05 May 2005, 06:13 PM
I love ur coloring technique man, i's so rich in colours,...this is great!:thumbsup: :buttrock:

05 May 2005, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the comments.:love:

O.Martin: Thanks, I'd really love to do childrens books in my own style...!

Sacha: Thanks for the tip. I've been taking the screen shots and it's really been helping. Plus its kinda fun to open them up and watch my own progress. I've taken my work home now and am waiting to get hooked up to the internet... I really hope to have an image on there this week, because I've done so much work on my image and have had no posts to show for it. This contest is the best contest ever (done in a Simpsons voice).

Fandy: Thankyou very much, sometimes I worry that I've put too many colors into my work and I probably do... so its good to know that you feel they are strong here. I think my next "on the side" project will be something more subtle to see if I'm even capable of doing that!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!... the contest is nearing its end. I hope everyone finishes on time and is happy with their end results. A special good luck to sacha. I appreciate all of the comments you've made on my thread.

05 May 2005, 07:34 PM
my first visit - wonderful colour, great work!


05 May 2005, 07:41 PM
HAppY COlOrS !!!

05 May 2005, 12:54 AM
Hi again-I like the way this is going, glad to see you are adding little details
like the shimmery points on the dragons body. I think people find the less obvious
details a lot of fun to find, kind of whimsical and to go mystery
hunting for them. Fun to wonder what they are doing there in the first place!.

05 May 2005, 10:24 AM
Nice style you have on your drawing and interesting colours too, wish you good luck

05 May 2005, 12:36 AM (

I'm almost finished, or at least think so. Just when I'm getting closer there's always that something else that gnaws at me... I wish I could have posted my progress up until now but this will have to do.

I've put alot of detail into the picture and finally started to get into both sets of wings (which I had ignored up until now). I have much work to do with the lighting and a few more details here and there but that's only the fun part. The main things that still seem "off" to me are the girls face (which I may just end up accepting anyway), the saddle (which is rather more like a flat pillow at this point) and many many color corrections.

It's nearing the end and I wish luck most of all to those who say they aren't even sure if they'll be able to finish! Don't give up... there are so many awesome entries that I'd love to see finish in time.

05 May 2005, 02:14 AM
Wow Crystal, this is turning out just brilliant! Beautifull textures, wonderfull use of colors, and most beautifull style. keep on rocking!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 06:40 AM
Almost done Crystal. This is looking beautiful. Definately a style to see and be seen :thumbsup: I don't know what else are you going to do with it, but i'll be waiting for the final piece. Lovely work :applause:


05 May 2005, 09:16 AM
Wow, you have a very different but awesome style, I like your use of colors.

Good luck


05 May 2005, 06:04 AM
i think i said so before, but :thumbsup:

Im happy that you didnt get caught up in this photoreal thing that many ve got going.
Its better like a fairytale, the only thing id brush some more is the dragons wing, its looking a bit flat right now.

but good job, really personal style.

05 May 2005, 06:14 AM
Hi !

Your progress on the picture is very good...the thing that really bothers me is always that dragon arm that the girl is holding tight. I'ts difficult to know where it comes from at first glance.:wise:
It is also possible that some parts need some blurring though I'm not sure if it is wise considering your style. But I think it's worth a try. Maybe the other dragon's arm for an example. It could help focus on the horse in front of it and add a little depth in the picture.

However I admit that your style is really refreshing and the whole picture is especially cool to watch. I truly like it ! :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 02:32 PM
Thankyou for the crits everyone!

Thanks Sacha, Archie and Dirk!

Eric: Thanks, I hadn't noticed that the dragons wing was too flat so I'll take a second look.

Norman: Thanks for the crit! The dragons arm is still a problem, hey? I think I can see that. I'm not quite sure how to fix it yet but I'm definetly going to try this weekend to get that worked out. I also think the blurring idea is great because having that arm there has been really distracting. There is so much going on in that one area. I'll give your idea a shot!

Good luck guys and lots more crits welcome!

05 May 2005, 02:58 PM
Hi Crystal... I've been 'absent' for a few weeks and it's ages since i dropped by...

I love the style of this piece! I'm finding the competitiona real distraction from my own style, so i think you've done fantastically to produce a piece in such a bold, illustrative style. I really like the wing on the horse. The colours and feathers and highlights are wonderful.

I'd agree with Eric that the dragon's wing could do witha little more work, but i think it may help to attach it slightly higher up the dragon's neck, maybe aided by a curve or an 'elbow' type joint. It's a little confusing at the moment because it joins right next to the arm. That's a very small crit though and it might be a good idea to ignore it!! :)

05 May 2005, 06:43 PM
Jonny: thanks for your crit. I really love the idea of attaching the wing differently and will work on it tonight. It is hard to keep with your own style on CGtalk because I find there are so many great samples of a more realistic nature on here that I start emulating them. You can tell if you look back at my sketches. The pic is'nt quite as "cute" as I originally planned at first... but nonetheless I am quite happy with how things are turning out. GOOD LUCK Jonny! I really love your piece this year. Hope you finish it. :)

05 May 2005, 06:37 AM
very impressive!!
beautiful color:thumbsup:
keep going.good luck.

05 May 2005, 10:24 PM (

This weekend has been very stressful! My good old imac finally died (there is no hope I am afraid!) but luckily that day I had taken it to my boyfriends to have him help me fix an internet problem and we saved my master and servant on his ipod (just in case something weird would happen!)... whew! Minutes later the harddrive died. :(

But, thankfully, my boyfriend has a great computer that he's going to let me camp out at for a couple days so that I can finish this bit. I just hope he can put up with the constant clicking!

Enough Drama, however. Computers shall be computers afterall. I've been reading the crits you all have given me and have tried various things. I'm working mostly on the wing right now. Trying to get rid of its problems. I moved the arm holding the girl (well, the entire girl actually) and thus developed a whole sack full of problems. Things are unfinished under every character. But oh well! What a fantastic learning experiance.
I've also tried attaching the wings of the dragon a little differently and think I like the results a bit more. There seems to be much more left to do than I originally anticipated.

Crits are always welcome. Three days Left! Yikes.... I hope to finish today....

PS: I still have to rework the details and I'm still working on the color of this new computer... things look a bit darker, more contrasty this time...
Good luck to ALL.

05 May 2005, 10:30 PM crits..hope ya finish!

05 May 2005, 11:08 PM
It's looking great crystal. Just keep going. :bounce:


05 May 2005, 02:23 AM (

Here is the whole shot, no distractions. I'm almost finished, just some details, color adjusts and lighting fixes left. If there is anyone out there who has a little crit for me, please send it my way! Thanks.

05 May 2005, 02:37 AM
Hi Crystal, first time I see your post, and amazing job you did your colors are really nice, and you did a great job on the girl's expression. :applause:

05 May 2005, 03:10 AM
great work, crystal! the dragon's wing lacks enough dimension. How about making it more translucent, like thin skin stretching, with veins showing. Just a suggestion.

The horse is wonderfully coloured!!!

All the best for the final judging! :)

05 May 2005, 03:36 AM (

This is my final coloring. I don't think I'm going to touch it up anymore.... or little anyway. If I tamper with it any longer I just might destroy what expression I have worked hard to achieve.

Good luck guys!

05 May 2005, 03:41 AM (

Its been a fantastic few weeks and by far this is the most fun I've ever had entering a contest. I didn't think I could handle spending another hour on it... so it's done. I'm very nervous but proud too. When I first started the contest I had only worked in Corel Painter for one week. Now I feel so much more advanced and more excited than ever to do even more.

A big thankyou to everyone who took the time to write comments and crits. There wasn't a single comment that I didn't take into consideration.

My story:

My master is represented by a woman who lovingly looks after her servant, a horse-like creature. Because of this loving relationship, when in great peril the creature will risk its own life to save her. Even when confronted by a deadly dragon, the creature rushes to her defence. The best master-servant relationship that I could ever ask for is one that grows into friendship and love. It would be very hard to stay in love with something that pulls and pushes you against your will, but in love anything is possible. Even in slavery love can blossom and metemorph into something greater.

Best of Luck on finishing and in the judges arena!

05 May 2005, 03:41 AM
I think everything is great, but i also agree with jeromoo about the wings. I think you just need to fix that one bone of the wing (the one close to the horse's back). You should make it follow the curve and definately make the stretching skin translucent and you should be done. Do not revamp anything else or change your contrast, because it is perfect with your style.

cheers:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 03:44 AM
Oh man, i posted a little too late. Dammit...sorry Crystal. I guess now its CONGRATULATION TO YOU!!! Very happy and definately consider making this a children's book.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :applause:


05 May 2005, 04:29 AM
Ha Ha Archie! Thanks for the comment anyway. I started to panic a little about everything and just needed to hand in my picture. Sorry that I didn't get to the wing thing but hey, I'm doing this image so that I can get something onto my website (I don't have one yet) so I can still fix it before then. Thanks Jeromoo too! Thanks for the crit and so sorry I didn't get to try out your idea before I posted!


05 May 2005, 04:40 PM
Wow Crystal this came out looking great! You have that style of illustration down I love the thickness of the colors and the choice of colors as well.


05 May 2005, 09:06 PM
Very fine illustration. It reminds me of a children's book type of pic; very fairy-tail like. Congrats and good luck!

my M&S:

05 May 2005, 09:48 PM
hi crystal!

this is such a lovely and unique entry! :) you should do childrens books!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

soooo cute.. :love:

i wish you the best luck and hope too see you around next time!



05 May 2005, 02:40 AM
Wow!!! rightclick, save as and loving it! u know how to make ppl dreaming do u! Loved your work from the beginning and your final piece is just a dream! Best of luck and all the best on the final Judgement, your work ROCKS ROYALLY! :buttrock: :love: :buttrock:

05 May 2005, 06:30 AM
i don't know what you guys are talking about with the stretching translucent skin on the wing .... It just doesn't fit with her style of illustration. Good luck Crystal, I can't wait to see more of your stuff in the future!
p.s my favorite part is the horses wing, i wish i could paint like that! The lighting is just spectacular!

05 May 2005, 07:20 AM
Hi Crystal !

Congrats for your picture, as we say here : it rocks ! :buttrock:
I can see with pleasure that the dragon arm problem is almost totally gone with your last and final updates. The picture is ok to me now ! Great !

Really excellent work ! Good luck with the votes ! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 03:57 PM
Very colourful... great style! Best of luck!

05 May 2005, 04:27 PM
nice pic with more great color the painting is a unique style, good work and good luck for the end

05 May 2005, 06:22 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments.

Norman: Thanks. I'm sooo glad you mentioned the problem with the arm and I'm super glad that it's fixed now. Good luck on yours!

DrEvil: Thanks. I'm glad you think that my wing is ok as is. I tried the veins (a weak attempt I admit... was getting tired of changing everything)... and it didn't work out too well.

Good luck everyone!

05 May 2005, 06:39 PM
Looks great. I like your painting style. Best of luck.

sarah j
05 May 2005, 06:41 PM
hey crystal! I really like your final colors, the final image really comes together as a unit. good job!

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