View Full Version : WIP: nymphs discover the body of icarus (nudity)

08 August 2005, 02:48 AM
I decided to take a break from my 'exotique' entry and do something else. All I have done so far is the linework, and it's pretty delicate right now, so I'm sorry if it's hard to see. I've provided a detail shot to help. I'm not exactly sure what style I'm going to paint it in. I was thinking maybe Art Nouveau-ish - exagerating the lines a bit more with simpler color and tones. I dunno, tell me what you think.


I'm also thinking about making his wings look a little more torn up, and add more waterish qualities to the nymphs.

08 August 2005, 02:51 AM
I actually like the lack of gore in this picture. It feels more angelic. I look forward to seeing where you go with color and background. My only suggestion is to represent a feeling of death in the angel a bit more, he seems very much alive in this, and in 'discomfort'.

Great work, keep us posted! :)

08 August 2005, 06:08 AM
Thanks, Lord Blue, for the advice :)


I don't want Icarus to look too peaceful, considering his death was a tragic one. Also, he'll look more deathly once I add color hopefully.

UPDATE: color beginnings

08 August 2005, 07:37 AM
I like where this is going. If I may, though, I think the wings look a little solid at the moment, especially considering they were supposed to have failed him because the wax holding them together failed. I also agree with you that he looks a little too peaceful right now. Not only because his death was a tragic one, but also because his death was a rather drawn out one (falling from that kind of height would put at least some terror in his expression). Looking forward to updates. :)

08 August 2005, 07:54 AM

Your initial sketch is beautiful, I can tell right away that you're going for an Art Nouveau-ish, or 1920's kind of illustration style. Anatomically, the main thing I notice is his left leg and foot, which seems a bit less carefully drawn than the rest of his figure and the other figures. In terms of his expression, I would suggest trying to make it more serenely tragic ~ as though he is sleeping. Right now the expression has a bit too much of a Disney feel, and I would love to see the mood of the piece kept serious and serene.

But great work so far, and I think your results will be fantastic! :thumbsup:


08 August 2005, 07:32 PM

This is already a beautiful sketch. Great compostion, concept and a very compelling perspective. Maybe this will be a candidate for exotique.


08 August 2005, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone. :)
I've colored it some more and wanted some feedback. I also tried to fix his left leg/foot and facial expression, but I don't know how successful I was :shrug:
Although I haven't started on it yet, I think I will make his wings a little more melted looking... still angelic and wingshaped, but maybe with some scattered crumpled feathers and some holes with wooden structure seen underneath.
I would also like some suggestions for what to do with the background. I really need to figure that out before I get too far along, or it will look like an afterthought.
So, let me know if you have any further suggestions about, well, anything.
Thanks :)

08 August 2005, 07:57 PM
no crits, i like it, i can't wait to see where you are going to go with this.
just remember to make the womens skin a much mor alive color:D

08 August 2005, 08:58 PM

I like the expression a lot better, I think that the way you changed the eyebrow now makes him look more serious. The way you are painting so far is really cool, and not what I would have expected, which is great! :) I think if you moved the ankle of his bent leg a bit back towards his heel, it might improve his bent leg a bit. Otherwise, it looks like you're on a great track, and look forward to seeing updated versions! :)

Also, I don't know if you only showed a cropped version, or if you actually cropped your image this way, but I like the composition much better this way ~ there is a lot less empty space, more emphasis on Icarus as the central character, and the female figures are more intrestesting cropped in this way. Just a thought. :)


08 August 2005, 09:35 PM
hmm... I had just cropped it that way for the thread, but now that you mention it, Rebecca, I might experiment with different ways of cropping the image. I think it will also make a difference if and when I add a background.

And I'll also try and fix the ankle, thanks :)

08 August 2005, 09:58 PM
First off, I really like how it's coming along. I have no criticisms, I'm just interested to see where it will go.

You asked for suggestions with regard to the background:

I wonder if, since you are working in a wet look to the nymphs, you should have woter in the scene. The way they are all laying/sitting, it looks like they are on a flat, dry field. Maybe in the upper left, or lower right corner you can work in the edge of a stream or a lake, with rushes growing, and maybe the nymph on top or the one on the bottom could be partially sitting among these rushes.

But largely the area seems like it needs to be flat, so i was also thinking a grassy field, with scattered leaves (maybe autumn leaves, signifying death), and maybe some of the leaves should be lying on top of Icarus' body... it would sort of show he was dead, he hasn't even brushed off the fallen leaves. Maybe some twigs or a branch could be sticking out from under his body, to suggest he fell through some branches, which broke off under him as he came down. Some detail elements like that might help tell the story of the action that just happened, even though what we're looking at is the static aftermath.

Maybe instead of grass, though, the ground should be dirt and stones... it would look more inhospitable.

Anyway, just ideas, not crits. I like the look so far. If the background elements help tell the story, it may solve the need to crop the pc for interest, as all that negative space wouldn't really be negative anymore. Maybe some kind of crop might help still, but I'd hate to see it cropped as close as the close up above... too much of the top & bottom figure are lost, there, in my opinion.

I'll be following this thread for sure!

08 August 2005, 09:43 PM
Okay, folks, updates all around...

I've colored everyone and worked on the wings some more. I still don't know exactly how I'm going to crop it, so I'm going to go ahead and color everything for now. I might crop it square - not how this update is cropped - but similar. For the background, if I crop it square, I might have them on a rocky sea shore with the water line at a diagonal in th eupper left corner and some large jagged rocks in the bottom right corner. I would put puddles of water, shells, rocks, and sea vegetation scattered around.... maybe with some vegetation lying on Icarus, like billcunningham's suggestion about the autumn leaves (which I liked, thanks:) ). The background will still have this beige-ish color in it in places to keep everything unified, but it will mostly be cool colors, like the shadows on the figures.

So, I'd like some feedback on my progress, as well as any further suggestions about how to crop it and ideas for the background. After it's all completed, I'll mess around with the colors in photoshop - I'm not sure if I'm completely satisfied with them as is.

Thanks for all the comments for far. You all have been so much help. I really appreciate it.:)

08 August 2005, 10:32 PM
It looks beautiful Brittany, you are definatly on the right track.

08 August 2005, 10:51 PM
wow... realy nice and beautiful sketch.... looks like stone:thumbsup:

keep it up!

08 August 2005, 11:12 PM
At this point i think your nymphs are too closely related to the deceased by tones. Add some more orange to their skin to give them life. I like where you went with the dead angel, but your nymphs look too close to the dead as far as over all color. Their skin needs more 'alive' tones to allow your angel to actually look dead, yuh know?

Anyhow, great work here, keep it up! :)

08 August 2005, 12:58 AM
At this point i think your nymphs are too closely related to the deceased by tones.

Agreed. Thanks, I think that's what was bothering about it. So, I tweaked it in Photoshop. Does it look better now, or do I need to push the tones even farther apart?

08 August 2005, 01:00 AM
Ooh, I hadn't noticed that before, but the livelier tones in the female characters definitely make Icarus look that much more convincingly dead. Good call, Lord Blue! ;)

Great work so far!! :)


08 August 2005, 01:16 AM
I must say I really like this one. Especially the seaweedish hair.

08 August 2005, 03:52 AM
I love this!!!

I really can learn something from this work. Your skin tones are amazing. I'm always afraid to go with different colors for skin tone. I need to experiment. Also leaving the linework in the piece really defines the different elements. Beautiful!!!

08 August 2005, 04:18 AM
Thanks everyone! I'm really happy about where this is going too, and it's all because of your help that it's getting there. It still need work though, and so I still need some good input.

Remcv8: I love experimenting with skin tones, exagerating tones I see and even adding some I don't. Don't hesitate to do some of your own experimentation. Maybe practice doing some quick sketches in a sketchbook or digitally just for fun. If you look at good photos of people's faces, and really observe them, you'll be suprised how many different hues you'll spot.

08 August 2005, 07:25 AM
The new tones are definitely on the right track! From my perspective, as just a viewer, I would go even further removing all blues and purples from the nymphs skin. Personally, I would add more subtle oranges/reds and even greens for deep tone. But this opinion comes without the knowledge of how you wish to portay them. So take it with a grain of salt. :)

With the current background it is hard for me to say if the difference is enough to present the life/death feel to the viewer at first glance. I believe once you add in the grass, rock or whatnot for your backdrop the colors you picked for the skin will definitely show whether they are best for the piece.
Until then, I would not stress over colors just yet. Not to mention, you need enviroment to portray reflection on the skin and clothing! It especially makes a difference when you factor in the fact that the reflected light changes color based upon the object it hits. So yea, we really need to see everything to give you the best suggestions (or at least the most helpful). :D

Anyhow, this is piece has a lot of potential, i look forward to your updates! :)

08 August 2005, 11:26 AM
Your drawing looks good, however its worth mentioning that Icaros fell in the sea and not on land. That’s why the Icarian Sea in Greece is called …Icarian Sea…

Perhaps you should have used mermaids instead of nymphs

08 August 2005, 02:44 PM
Your drawing looks good, however its worth mentioning that Icaros fell in the sea and not on land. That’s why the Icarian Sea in Greece is called …Icarian Sea…

Perhaps you should have used mermaids instead of nymphs

:) Yes, thanks you, I was aware of this. Icarus did fall in the sea, and then his body washed up on a near-by Island, where his father later buries him (as told by Ovid). I thought it might be interesting to show that his body was first dicovered and mourned over by the sea nymphs. I guess I could of portrayed them more mermaid like, but perhaps when I get the background completed, it will be more clear.
Thanks though, for the input. I guess I need to work on the story being better communicated in the piece.

08 August 2005, 04:21 PM
Hey i've been looking at this for a while now and just wanted to say that its looking really nice. I love the colours in the skin of the nymphs it gives them some otherworldly kind of quality. The other thing that is bothering me at the moment is Icarus's chest. Might just be me but it doesn't seem to flow or intergrate with the rest of the body for some reason. It maybe seems a bit flat in comparison to the rest of his body which seems to have greater volume. Anyway thats just my observations might be completly wrong but thought i'd just say. I look forward to seeing how the rest of this peice develops though :).

08 August 2005, 04:55 PM
Brittany, I love the colors you added to the nymphs, they really seem alive and magical. The overall feel so far reminds me of Waterhouse's painting of icarius, one of my favorite paintings.

08 August 2005, 05:17 PM
Looks nice so far, very nice indeed, were you inspired by 'the lament of icarus' y herbert draper, a fantastic painting depicting alost the same scene, Ive had the pleasure of seeing th original close up and was mesmerised, good luck with the rest of the painting

08 August 2005, 06:12 PM
oops yes, how could I have forgotten it is Draper's work this reminded me of too!

08 August 2005, 11:04 PM
Looks nice so far, very nice indeed, were you inspired by 'the lament of icarus' y herbert draper, a fantastic painting depicting alost the same scene, Ive had the pleasure of seeing th original close up and was mesmerised, good luck with the rest of the painting

Yeah, I was definately inspired by that, among other paintings of icarus and mythological scenes. Draper's Icarus is so magestic and beautiful, it's awesome that you were able to see it up-close. (Where is that painting, in a museum or does it tour?)
I was also wanting to do an after-math/tragic piece. And I've already mentioned my mucha/old illustration style that inspired my linework.
I guess it's a mix of a lot of inspirarion. :)

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll hopefully be posting some new progress soon.

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