View Full Version : Spectacular 2D Entry: Jesse Speak

09 September 2005, 07:01 AM
Jesse Speak is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: War God (

09 September 2005, 07:05 AM
Heh heh, so the challenge finally surfaces!

Not sure what to make of it yet. It seems really wide open, which I guess is a good thing, though I the other challenges seemed to have more of a focus. This one is like "a compelling image please"!

Anyway, good luck to one and all, I'm looking forward to seeing what you lot will come up with!

09 September 2005, 07:06 AM
Welcome jess .. good luck :buttrock:

09 September 2005, 07:11 AM
HEllooo Speaky!!

welcome to another one , buddy!

have a grreat time!


09 September 2005, 07:14 AM
goodluck speaky!nice seeing u again mate!:scream:

09 September 2005, 07:37 AM
Good Luck:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 08:18 AM
hey jesse, looking forward to see your sketches :) how many are you planning to do?

09 September 2005, 08:21 AM
best luck and have loadsa fun! :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:26 AM
hi man! good luck in this one! Im waiting for another great pic of urs :)

09 September 2005, 10:00 AM
Already I sense your work is going to be something really cool. Good luck!

09 September 2005, 10:57 AM (

I had to make a start somehow!

I was thinking ... spectacular ... spectacular ... and I was imagining all kinds of Sci-fi scenes of devastation, huge motherships, death fleets ... my cup of tea and all that.

But then I don't want to rehash the Grand Space Opera challenge do I?

The next thing I thought of was some kind of fantasy setting, an army poised to overthrow their tyrannical leader. And, some kind of huge dinosaur with a human rider in the saddle (anyone know if this has been done before?) ... perhaps some kind of supernatural champion summoned by the mage to lead their army to a desperate, bloody victory.

With such a wide-open challenge, it's a bit difficult to know where to begin!

So I began here...

09 September 2005, 11:18 AM
SPECTACULAR start Speaky! I'll keep an eye on this one.

Good luck bro,


09 September 2005, 11:27 AM
Hi; i'm glad to see you here

09 September 2005, 11:30 AM
Nice sketch man! Good luck!

09 September 2005, 11:45 AM
Good start and good luck!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 11:47 AM
Hehe maybe a Trojan dinosaur with a tail ramp for on/off-laoding troops :D

Great start! - Good luck!

09 September 2005, 12:02 PM
Speaky: great work so far! Good luck with the challenge can't wait to see more :)

09 September 2005, 01:31 PM (

Just another very quick sketch, moving the various ideas around into a better configuration. A bit better.

I wanted the high mage to be silhouetted in the foreground, with blinding sorcery happening in between him and the dino-warrior. The summoned warrior atop the dino could be wreathed in shadows I thought. I like the way the dinosaur is roaring at the mage, as if it was a painful summoning. Perhaps the warrior could be reining it in?

Not sure if this idea is a keeper. Bit too lord of the rings / wraith rider perhaps. We'll see.

09 September 2005, 01:43 PM
maybe the sorcerer guy shud be closer to the lens,or maybe have a shot of him in the same pose,but we'll be looking up at that dino creature,emphasising his *spectacular* size?.

great idea btw...

09 September 2005, 02:22 PM
Cool ideas... i love how open this challenge is. All the sketches posted so far are just so very very different.

A big beasty is a great idea!

09 September 2005, 02:38 PM (

I just can't seem to shake this one.

Yet another quick sketch (all around 15-20 mins in Painter 9). Had an idea to improve the composition somewhat, so I started off by drawing a big oval type shape to fit the action in. The sorcerors arms, the rump of the dino and especially the dino's neck all follow this dynamic loop and keep the eye in the center of interest.

That's the idea anyway!

09 September 2005, 02:43 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome, everybody! Reminds me why I've enjoyed each challenge so much. :)

Note to self:

learn some dinosaur anatomy. The first one looks like a rodent. The second one looks like ... something that's got bad breath and just told the high mage to "stick 'em up". The third one is a bit better, but that dino's head just ain't right.

09 September 2005, 03:20 PM
Hi Jesse, good luck to you!

09 September 2005, 03:43 PM
wow looking good! I like the lighting. My best wishes to you!

09 September 2005, 04:13 PM
Really cool start. I like the second sketch. It faintly reminds me of the LOTR fighting between the Nazgul and the Eowyn. :)

09 September 2005, 04:20 PM
Nice start Jesse :thumbsup: good luck to you :bounce:

09 September 2005, 04:42 PM
I will follow with interest all your sketches and work, I was very impresse from the past contests. I wish you good luck !

09 September 2005, 05:30 PM
great sketches and very cool approach, encourages to think outa da box :) love the dynamic you put in your pet :D

09 September 2005, 06:12 PM
looking good mate....good luck

09 September 2005, 12:12 AM
Seems like you have a good start here. Good to see you again. Goodluck


09 September 2005, 01:58 AM
Nice start! Good luck:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 02:13 AM
Great start. If your still contemplating compositions, how about you have to so the sorcer is off to the left a bit while the dinosaur and warrior are coming out of the ground (with the ground being split open) as if he summoned them out of the depths of hell?

09 September 2005, 09:24 AM
Nice development Speaky... maybe u should try put the camera over the knights shoulder, so the dinosaur will look bigger and more fraightening. I think that way u bvring more action and dynamic to the image. Just my opinion ofcors :)

09 September 2005, 10:03 AM (

Spent a bit longer rendering this one out, about an hour in total. I googled around for some T-Rex imagery and realised that one of the problems I had was that the dino's head was too small. T-Rex heads are huge!

So this one is a bit better proportionally, but still not really T-Rex enough for me.

I'm exploring ways to frame the action, so have got the two billowing volcanic mountains in the background framing the dino-riding knight.

09 September 2005, 10:08 AM
Yeah! Super cool! I love the colours and the lighting. nice work!

09 September 2005, 10:21 AM
Thanks for your comments everybody. A couple of specific responses:

Yongkiat - I agree, especially with the previous one. It's the long neck that makes it reminiscent of the Nazgul in the LOTR. If I stick with this concept, I reckon a (more) realistic dinosaur will be original enough hopefully!

the1st_angel - Thanks! Sketches are so important I think because they are the opportunity to work out all the major elements in the pic. Composition, values, colour all need to be sorted when it's small. Ideally, the pic should look interesting and balanced when viewed as a tiny thumbnail, and hopefully some sense can be made of the content too. If it 'reads' properly at this size then you guarantee that it reads properly at a bigger size. Think of it as a pic hanging on a wall which you see and like from a distance, even if you can't make out the details.

ace4016 - I like the idea of the ground splitting open and hell spitting out the dino-rider!

NinjaASSN - Hey there, cheers for the feedback. Not a bad suggestion at all, a bit more challenging a perspective than the one I've got at the mo. Do you mean put the camera down behind the mage's shoulder looking up at the dino-rider, or behind the knight's shoulder looking down at the mage? I'm guessing the first. Solid idea, though, I'll give it some thought. :thumbsup:

... and looking at the pic now I see that it's a bit greeeeen all over. Hmmm. I think the sky and the background mountains need to be less greeeeny yellow to balance it out.

09 September 2005, 10:44 AM (

Just a quick update to show the colour-corrected version. I took it into Photoshop and found that the histogram for the blue layer was way off, correcting it sorted it out quite a bit.

09 September 2005, 10:51 AM
Nice colours and the lighting.
Good luck

09 September 2005, 03:30 PM
I dig the concept and colors. :D

09 September 2005, 03:31 PM
wassup speak nice start and good luck, holla!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 03:37 PM
Already with the color images? Man, you're fast Jesse! Anyhow, glad to see you here again. Only comments at this point would be to explore making the dino bigger, and perhaps moving the camera down to get more of an up-shot of it... Might be more dramatic. Not like you don't have tons of time to experiment... Good luck!


09 September 2005, 03:41 PM
Man, I'm sure this is gonna turn out great. Are you pointing out the Spectacular idea towards that cool T-Rex thing or the guy who's about to cast a spell? Coz I think they're both spectacular, and it kinda divides the focus between the two of them, taking out the BOOM impact of something singularly spectacular out of the picture... Hmm... I'm not sure I explained that the way I should've... Just an opinion though. I still love the idea man, keep it up!

09 September 2005, 04:05 PM
Nice to see you again in the challenge! Good luck :)

09 September 2005, 04:09 PM
yes, u got me right, the first one.. where the camera is behind the mags shoulder (the one on the floor :)) and thats how u'll get what walrus pointed out. a bigger t-rex, more dynamic pic and also more dramatic angle.

09 September 2005, 04:40 PM
Beastly beast! I like T-rexes too. Perhaps if he was bigger? Nice job, keep it up.

09 September 2005, 06:51 PM
Hi there! Its a nice piece to start with but I agree with most people here; change the composition and use a more dynamic camera angle. Your work will be alot better I'm sure. Good Luck!

09 September 2005, 06:56 PM
Wow! Good progress already! I really love the lighting in your concepts :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:19 PM
Best wishes Jesse. It's always good to follow the progress of talented people.

09 September 2005, 07:24 AM
I liked the pose where the rider had his sword arm up in a more dynamic pose like in the 2nd rough thumbnail. =)

Good Luck!


09 September 2005, 06:17 AM
Really cool start.
only thing i dont like about the new composition is the rider on the t-rex
He is sitting very low in the saddle and the t-rex has a massive head. So he wouldnt really be able to strike you with that sword? Therefore he seems less threatening than his mount. Maybe if you gave him some kind of ranges weapon like a spear or lance held upright for a nice line. Or if you switched the weapons so the other guy has the sword and he has the magic? I dunno. I just think the guy shld be scarier than his beast. Like in LOTR the fell beasts were awesome but the witch king was scarier (or so i thought)
really cool lighting and compostion though :)
keep up the great work.

09 September 2005, 06:53 AM
my bad, I didn't read through the forum to, what you were about to do, make him bigger, and maybe change the angle of the camera to make it more dynamic, like walrus said, that would help with the scale of the T-Rex, anywho good Luck with it!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 11:10 AM
i really like the oval-center comp in post #21 im looking forward to how you'll develop this :D

09 September 2005, 11:13 AM
welcome, willkommen, bienvenue,.... good start Jess. nice colors! good luck, i'll come back soon see next step!:)

09 September 2005, 11:16 AM
Hi there Jesse, great to see another telent taking part in the challenge again. As far as the concepts thus far go, I kinda agree with vahn, the ovel centered post had more of a sense of action, certainly as far as the body language of the dino goes, on the latest two, he kinda looks a bit static, but this may change if you alter the angle and/or composition. Nifty ideas though, I'll be back to see how this progresses. Best of luck!

09 September 2005, 08:11 AM (

Hello again!

I'm still struggling on with the dino-warrior concept. While I do agree that a more dynamic camera angle would help, I do want to get a good amount of ground and horizon in the shot too, so I can show off the army massed in the background, and show the mage and his retinue in the foreground after preparing the incantation.

Not particularly well composed or balanced, but here I've gone for a much more epic scale to the war-god and his dinosaur.

Rising from a volcanic crack in the ground, no less ;)

09 September 2005, 08:14 AM
Very nice so far! I like your lighting and palette. I'll watch for more! :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 08:33 AM
The new composition is looking better. The warrior is more grand and threatening in this latest sketch. But I have one question ...

Is the warrior supposed to be a Giant? He's rather large in comparison to the wizard. Ugh ... I should have probably read the whole thread first. Sorry if it was already mentioned somewhere. :eek:

Very nice use of diagonals to draw your attention to the main characters. :D

09 September 2005, 08:37 AM
War God ... you should have gate open from which would spew
forth weapomns and armor for the warrior(s)

that dude could be standing on a ledge and the dinosaur mount,
all saddled n stuff could be rising from the ground toward him,
so he could hop in it's back.


09 September 2005, 08:45 AM
Just keep flushing it out you will arrive to your likings, I love the lighting so far, holla!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:18 AM
Hey, thanks for the comments!

To elaborate a bit more on where I think this pic might go:

The premise is that a tribe hunted and fought to near extinction are about to reveal the ace up their collective sleeves - the summoning of their god of war. In the background, what is left of their armies are massed to witness this spectacular (!) event. In the foreground are the mages who have long prepared for the ritual, with the high mage standing out on a rocky protrusion over the volcanic scar from whence the god of war is arriving. He is indeed a giant figure, astride an ancient and terrifying beast.

I'm thinking now that the T-Rex might be an undead mount in a state of partial decay, flesh hanging off in strips, smouldering and burnt from the passage through fire. I see the war god itself as being wreathed in shadow, a sinister figure exuding terror and power in such quantity as to make Frazetta's Death Dealer wet himself in fear.

09 September 2005, 10:17 AM
Unfortunatelly I dont have much time to go thru every post now, but I must say that the position of the characters works fine now, but still some problems with the whole composition if u ask me. While the light from bellow (lava) is awesome, u should point that out more, make a closer shot to the main action... at the moment those characters r lost in gray surrounding which a not a good thing. Pull the character more to the viewer, crop the image and go on from there. And one last thing from me, it would be a good thing to texturize the t-re a bit, giving him war-paintings on his face. But! All this is just my opinion so u may completely ignore me hehe :)

09 September 2005, 10:48 AM
Cheers Blaz, I appreciate your feedback a lot.

I know the composition needs some work. Flipping it horizontally makes it look wrong when a good composition looks 'right' however you see the image. It's a really useful way of checking stuff out.

I'm not sure I want the high mage to be the main focus of interest. I think the main character should be the war god with the mages just being a conduit for summoning or something.

I can see, in my mind's eye, that a closer crop with the mage much larger and more 'into the action' would make for a great pic, but I really want to show some background - rain-drenched, mountainous terrain, the remnants of an army, and in the foreground some shadowy, softly defined figures (lesser mages perhaps).

I want the sky to be quite dark, yet light enough to pick out the war god's upper body and weapon. The main colour and drama will come from the jagged horizontal slash of the volcanic scar. Already I think the reflected glow from the lava is much too bright on the T-Rex's lower jaw and neck. The mage's magic will be green, to contrast with the red of the lava, and I think he'll work best as almost a silhouette.

... my mind is constantly chewing away on this concept, it might be the one...

09 September 2005, 12:18 PM
I think you need to add a rainbow in the bg, and some flowers on the mage's hair :)

09 September 2005, 12:46 PM
I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. If the motion of the pic is vertical, maybe an even-more-vertical composition, with the dino a bit higher in the page? (Right now he's hip-deep in lava, which is only so majestic...!) Anyhow, sure, it could always use some tweaking, but it's still quite early. But I think the camera angle is working better - much more dramatic - and the lighting is terrific.

On a seperate note, don't worry over working on a desk at your bedroom... I did that for years before being "promoted" the the basement where I am right now. I finally get a nice office in the new house, but I paid my dues. You'll get yours someday, too! :)

09 September 2005, 12:59 PM
Cheers Mike, encouraging words there! Interesting idea about making it more vertical, though I like to stick relatively close to a more 'usual' ratio. I will consider it. Funnily enough, I hadn't meant for the T-Rex to look like it was wallowing around in a lava flow, more like it was climbing out of a crevasse with lava at the bottom. Heh, I guess the light from the lava is a bit too bright! It might work better the way you see it. Hmmmmm...

A basement?? We used to dreaaaam o' workin' in a basement... ;)

09 September 2005, 04:43 PM
Very cool... I'm digging the lighting and drama. On the composition side, what if the dino-head were facing the opposite direction? Just so the curve of the jaw-line contrasts with the curve of the rocky out-cropping... perhaps those opposing angles might add some more drama - just a thought. Looks great, though!

09 September 2005, 09:10 PM
I like the new comp (although I imagined more jagged rocks breaking around the dino with lava instead of just lava, but that's just me). I can't seem to put my suggestions into words right now, but as soon as I find a way to say them (or jsut wait for your next update) I'll be sure to post.

09 September 2005, 07:55 AM
Hey Speaky
Looks fantastic. I love the mood.
However compositionally it neeeds a tweak or two. Like you said bit more of the army in back would be cool.
I also couldn't stop myself from doing a quick paintover to show you how I would solve some of the problems.
Mainly I wanted to get the flow working a bit better. right now you had everything leaning to and favoring the right. I flopped the FG and created a nice s-curve to the main character.
I also gave the dino a bit more of an apparent intellect and focus. I find that to be more scarry than big and dumb. Some banners and war machines to break up the horizon and there you go...

I hope you don't mind. The good stuff always gets me thinking.

09 September 2005, 08:05 AM
llooking very nice speaky. . .no comment.. just enjoying

09 September 2005, 05:41 PM
botched - Currently these roughs are just to experiment with the content and begin to think very loosely about a palette and the composition. So yeah, I'll probably be trying a bunch of different poses once I've learned how to draw a fricken T-Rex! Cheers!

ace4016 - I do see where you are coming from. Like up and out of the earth's crust rather than climbing out of a volcanic trench (not too easy for a creature with useless forearms). I can see it now, the dino and rider breaking up and out of the ground, a spiderweb of lava-spewing cracks intensifying toward the point of rupture. Smoke, steam, flame... I like it!

Kory - Wow, talk about getting stuck in! ;) I appreciate that you've taken the time to come up with a very visual suggestion, and it's all good. As I mentioned above, once I'm happy with the content and palette, I'll start to seriously tackle the composition. For instance, since the last sketch, I'm thinking it might be good to have the dinosaur a bit armoured like a warhorse. Now that I know that, I'll need to find another angle perhaps to show it off a bit better. You're spot on about the background and the battered war machine. Thanks!

Will - Hey, cheers for stopping by! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. This challenge - so many interpretations aren't there!

09 September 2005, 07:30 PM
Looking good. Definately liking the colour comp so far and its an interesting idea. Well, i know you're still working on it and working on the composition. So no critzs to say right now. will come back later to check on progress.


09 September 2005, 12:10 PM (

Just a quick update showing some of my sketching where I'm working out the logistics of the T-Rex dragging itself from the crust of the earth.

I've googled some half-decent T-Rex skeletons and now have a better idea of how they work, and how it might manage to clamber up and out of the earth! The T-Rex's head has a very distinctive profile, so I think I'm going to try to capitalise on this.

I scanned this in and did a quick colour comp since I reckon the past ones are a bit overboard on the old saturation, especially the earlier ones. That's what happens when the sun is streaming in through the window - it makes everything onscreen so much darker and more muted. I'm happier with the lava brightness here, nowhere near as neon. I used lots of light washes of digital watercolour, very low saturation, to do the bulk of it, using the round camelhair to add brighter colours and work some areas further.

And, I'm still not considering this composition in any way final. I'm just trying to home in on something that'll work!

09 September 2005, 01:33 PM
Cool sketches :D

Good luck ;)

09 September 2005, 01:41 PM
I'm diggin' the love here, Speaky! Keep going... I can't wait to see you work your magic once again! :thumbsup:


09 September 2005, 03:09 PM
Looking good. Everything work here very well in my view. Good luck.

09 September 2005, 03:18 PM
yes a t-rex. i love this dino. itīll be sure hardfun to paint all the veins and crinkles on it.
canīt wait to see it becoming alive :)

09 September 2005, 09:07 PM (

Building on some of the sketchwork I did today, I drew the various bits together into a bigger version. Scanned it in, coloured it in painter.

I find I'm having some issues with the value structure. It looks good to my eyes now, but in the daytime tomorrow I wonder if it'll look too dark? A lot of the previous sketches were done in daylight, and now at night they look washed out! Sheesh.

09 September 2005, 09:17 PM
Foxoo, Artjunkie, Pawlack - Thanks for the positive feedback, it helps!

Comaone - Yeah, some dinosaurs just rule. And the T-Rex is yer classic model, what better a steed for a war god, eh? As to all those wrinkles and veins, I think my style is tending towards less rendered detail and more suggestion these days. Perhaps I'm lazy, but I really wouldn't look forward to rendering each wrinkle and fold of dino-skin. I'm hoping to get away with a bit of a simpler technique! ;)

And for a bit of after-the-fact self-criticism:

The war god himself seems to be sat forward in a bit of an eager way! Maybe his piles are playing up. I imagine him to be laid back, almost subordinate to the huge T-Rex but still obviously the boss. The proportions are a bit iffy as well, I think his whole upper body is too big. But we live and learn!

09 September 2005, 11:10 PM
that war god looks amazing! this is really superb!

09 September 2005, 12:20 AM
wow... nice sketch!!

I can't wait to see more!!!:bounce:

09 September 2005, 12:25 AM
nice atmosphere and colors !like to see how this turns out! goodl luck and have fun!

09 September 2005, 04:25 AM
wow,this is really good,i started to imagine this piece when it comes to an end,the armour details, and the dragons!i just feel.the green is alil jumpy though,the rest looks great:scream:

09 September 2005, 05:12 AM
I still liked them on more of a cliff.
As for the shapes and proportions I think they are a bit "chibi"
I think that's the word. You know big head and small body.
I takes away from the power of the characters.
Also compositionally putting them dead center creates more of a static image.
Try raising them to give the god a more visual and psychological dominance.

I used all my will power not to paint. out of respect, I didn't want you to think I was picking on you. Heh Heh.

keep up the great work

09 September 2005, 12:19 PM
nice progress, the colors r ok, they r not washed out or too dark on my monitor (apple cinema display) but the size of the t-rex confuses me a bit. It looks very small... :/

09 September 2005, 04:44 PM
Nice progress man. But I agree that the Dino's head looks a bit awkward. Suggestion: would you consider the dino blastin' out of the ground for more impact in the scene? Keep it up! :)

09 September 2005, 04:53 PM
Sweet, Jesse!Very dark & demonic...I like it.

09 September 2005, 05:44 PM
The dead center fell of the compo is not working, creating for an uninteresting compo. I think if you move the trex head far to the left of the compo and have him growl at the guy with the green stuff shooting out of his hand and have the trex body swing from the center of the compo, It give the trex a more dynamic pose and the mouth of the trex can serve a pointer towards the guy with green stuff shootin' out of his hands and also establish a relationship with the two serving for a more powerful image, but anyways you sketches are on point, holla!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 05:54 PM (

Here's the latest. After the super-deformed oddity that was the last sketch, here's one in which the war god and his mount have slightly more epic proportions!

Honestly, I look at the last one, and the pen sketch I did before hand and really wonder at what exactly happened there.

So, using a pencil this time, reworked the whole piece spending most of the effort on the war god and the dino. Scanned into Painter 9, coloured with lots of low saturation washes and then wiped over with the Round Camelhair. I do like that brush.

Back comes the ledge for the foreground, though I've spent very little time on that part, not even any mage-type action going on either.

As I say in the title, I'm going away for two weeks and won't be able to work on this. But perhaps the break will let this idea ferment a bit and I hope to come up with some new ideas. I'll be taking my sketchbook along.

So thanks for your kind words, one and all, and I'll try to check up on happenings in the challenge via my parents' dial-up. If they still have it!

09 September 2005, 06:10 PM
...And, some kind of huge dinosaur with a human rider in the saddle (anyone know if this has been done before?) ...

Yeah, there was a series of toys (and a cartoon I think) called Dino-Riders. But don't worry, they didn't look anything like this. Very nice work so far.

09 September 2005, 11:18 PM
haven't seen this one yet, great mood, this stands out, great job :)

09 September 2005, 01:41 AM
A lot better than the previous one, good stuff so far, keep at it!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 06:55 AM
I can see all sorts of posibilites! I'm sure you'll work your magic, looking forward to seeing more. Have a nice break.

09 September 2005, 02:55 PM
Last variant - the best. :thumbsup:
Good configuration and color. There is an atmosphere.
Good luck!

09 September 2005, 05:00 PM
Hey whats under his butt,,getting charged up or what?:) BTW the first image is definately charming indeed, may be with a little more dynamic lighting its gonna rock!

09 September 2005, 10:39 PM
impatient to see more ! good luck

09 September 2005, 04:44 PM
Waaay better than your previous sketch :) Keep it up man.

09 September 2005, 05:39 PM
Good job so far :)
The t-rex's legs and hands bug me a little though.
I think the leg should be larger. The hands (so to say) should be a little closer to eatch other as theyr ribs were more narrow than theire hip. (I suggest you just move the hand that is not on the ground a little bit closer to the other.
I love it's head!
Otherwise it looks promising :)

09 September 2005, 04:40 PM
Hi Speaky. In one of your sketches you lost the perspective, demensions and depth, but the last one looks great. Keep going. I like the composition.

Good luck
xbo :scream:

09 September 2005, 04:51 PM
my eyes are still a bit at loss with the proportions, but in general the pic's
very nice! :thumbsup:


09 September 2005, 10:13 PM
Hi Jesse!!

This last up is good! But I think "The previous ones had a project of better light".

What was there? Forget the lights, or is the beginning alone?

Good Luck!!


09 September 2005, 02:33 AM
I would ty to work the size of the dinosaur a bit more the heads fine but its body should be bigger cause it would never hold the head up. At the moment the man doesnt look much bigger than the dinosaur. dont be afraid to go off the sides of the page with his size especially the tail you dot to make it long and sleek. rethink the sheer size of the animal and give it a go is all I ask you might supprise us and yourself but i love the way your going with it

09 September 2005, 08:38 PM
hi man! r those 2 weeks over yet? we r waiting for some new stuff here :)

09 September 2005, 12:51 PM
nice! well, the dude riding the creature might be tad too large, I understand it's supposed to be that way but it looks fake at the moment. You need to find a solution over this.. otherwise it looks it's just bad perspective.

Maybe add tons of little details, to bring some scale to it?

09 September 2005, 08:14 PM (

I'm back at my computer at last!

Here's a concept sketch with the POV a lot lower down than the previous ones. It has been suggested before, but until now I hadn't found a way of doing it right.

Before, I wanted to show figures in the foreground, the summoned God of War astride his T-Rex AND have a massed army in the background. To fit this all in, I was having to put the POV quite high up, which I think was making for quite a boring picture. Now the POV is at the mortals' level, looking up at the god, which I hope will increase the awe-factor somewhat. It also removes the need to depict the T-Rex having to pull itself out of the ground in an ungainly fashion. I mean, how is a War God to keep his composure if he's in danger of falling off his mount?

I'm undecided as to what those figures in the foreground are to be. Many possibilities!

Might they be facing the War God? If so, then is the middle figure summoning, challenging, or swearing loyalty to the War God? Who are the supporting figures? Perhaps a mage cadre, or the survivors of a bloody skirmish...

But now I'm thinking, what if they are facing outward, toward the viewer? Perhaps they are defiantly readying for battle now that they can feel the presence of their War God at behind them?

On a technical note, I thought my sketches were becoming way too tight, and I was falling into the trap of noodling areas of detail before the basics were in place. Dumb-ass. I should know better. So I've used Painter 9's artists' oils at a low resolution here, and that pretty much prevents any noodling even if I'm tempted!

09 September 2005, 08:45 PM
Lots of replies while I was away! If I've missed you out, then apologies, the 'Reply to Thread' screen only goes as far back as Korline!

Korline, Beelow, cLos71, Sergey Banityuk, feerik, ahbeejieh, NinjaASSN - Many thanks for your kind words, it is always a pleasure to get a thumbs-up! Cheers! :)

Donsam - Charged up ... naah, the T-Rex and Rider were supposed to be clambering out of a volcanic rent in the ground. Lava, or perhaps a hot curry the night before? :eek:

Lady Medusa - All good suggestions. Honestly, looking back at some of the previous sketches, I'm aghast at my anatomy 'skills'. The proportions are ... all wrong! :sad: I'm hoping that the final pic will improve on these.

2xbo - I think you'll find that it wasn't just the one sketch that I lost the perspective and depth! I'm glad you think it's headed in the right direction though, thanks!

Squibbit - Yeah, I know, I find figure drawing and anatomy so damn tricky. It's down to practice, as they always say, and you can tell how much I do! Cheers bud. :D

Lotah - Even though I don't quite understand what you're trying to say here, I'll thank you for taking the time to post. If you're saying that some of the previous ones had a better light / colour scheme, then I'll agree with you. I'm trying a bunch of different approaches to try and find something that 'works' for me, and I'm not sure if I've got there yet.

Soriah - Yep, yep, spot on. I am a bit wary of going 'off' of the page here with the main subject. I don't want lines leading off of the page, but I'll give it some thought.

Ranath - Fair points, though the War God is supposed to be inhumanly large, so much so that even a giant T-Rex will groan when he mounts up. How do you like the latest? Not much detail, but you should be able to get a feel for how the final pic might look. Thanks for the critique!

09 September 2005, 08:49 PM
ChrisThatGuy - Damn those dino-riders! That shows how difficult it is to be truly original, but I googled the cartoon (having never seen it) and I don't reckon this is that similar. Well spotted though. Cheers!

09 September 2005, 10:24 PM (

I heard you sigh, admit it! Just another in a long series of Gods mounted on T-Rexes. This one has a warm colour scheme and the T-Rex / God facing to the left.

Makes a nice change, doesn't it!

10 October 2005, 10:48 AM
Nice this seems to be working a lot more than your previous ones and yeah I sighed, sorry, LOL!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 09:51 PM (

Just dumping three WIP sketches. This is a value study I felt was working nicely.

10 October 2005, 09:54 PM (

Here's the value study coloured in roughly. I find using a multiply, color or overlay layer on top of the black and white tends to mess up the values.

So here I'm going over each area, colour picking the different values and finding a colour with the same 'V' in the HSV colour mode. Useful, that.

10 October 2005, 09:56 PM (

I've refined the colour sketch a bit here, trying to get a feel of how the planes are receiving light and colour.

10 October 2005, 10:18 PM
That war god looks like a big bully! I love the colors you've started painting the sky with! Maybe the wargods ride is covering him to much..?

Good luck!

10 October 2005, 12:42 AM
It's lookin' good so far.

Good luck!:)

10 October 2005, 01:47 AM
Cool lightining

10 October 2005, 04:48 AM
Nice dude! The silhouette really makes this picture amazing, but you need to add some highlights to the dinosaurs body, it's too dark for it's environment! Good luck!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 08:16 AM
This is it stick with it jesse, great stuff so far love the lighting, can't wait to see it more flushed out, good luck holla!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 10:11 PM (

Refining the last pic yet further. A horizontal flip keeps my eye fresh, and a doubling of resolution lets me dabble with a few touches of detail here and there.

The anatomy of the foreground figure is typically atrocious, I'll need to revise it soon. No layers, by the way, it's all on one. No matter how hard I try, I find using many layers (other than in the very first layout / composition stages) just bogs me down and leads to unnaturally sharp transitions between colours and values. Nothing wrong with using them, mind, plenty of you lot do, it's just a personal thing!

10 October 2005, 10:23 PM
I like this layout, Jesse, and especially the strong values here. I have to say, I miss the lava and the underlighting it added from some of the earlier comps. And it's also unclear to me what the character in the foreground with the sword straight up is doing... Raising his blade in tribute? About to make an awkward down-stroke with the weapon? It's really unclear right now, 'though I know you plan to work on that character more. Anyhow, overall looking nice... keep going! :)


10 October 2005, 09:56 AM
great work dude!!!the low angle works wonderfully well.good job man!!!color contrast also looks good too.i m cheacking out your website...may ask for some tip!!!hopw u won't mind!

10 October 2005, 09:53 PM (

In this version, and back by popular demand ;) I've reintroduced the idea of the lava crust and the underlighting it gives off. This is just a quick and dirty mockup to see if it'll work in the current arrangement, and I do quite like what I see.

One of my original reasons in ditching the lava was because I was having difficulty imagining how a T-Rex mounted God could pull itself up from the bowels of the fiery earth with any kind of dignity left intact. Ouchy, cough cough, gravel up the nostrils and soot in the eye. That and it was proving to be damn hard to get the dino looking right.

At least this latest pic solves two problematic areas in the last one - the lower half of the dino where I couldn't quite work out which leg should be advancing or receding, and the sword figure on the crag in the foreground. Now we've got a mage type figure chanting away and raising his stick.

Any feedback or thoughts on which direction I should take with this is very much appreciated, and thanks Mike for the helpful feedback!

10 October 2005, 11:35 PM
That is looking lovely, maybe turn the head of the guy on dino towards the wizardish looking guy,great lighting so far!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 06:38 AM
Oh Yeah :buttrock:

Who dosent love dino's,wizards and warlords!

nice work,cant wait to see more.

10 October 2005, 10:23 PM
The latest update looks great. Maybe you should direct the god's head in a certain direction, looks weird with him just looking straight at the cam. Keep it up.

10 October 2005, 10:34 PM (

A quick update. I've worked on two areas mainly - the T-Rex's lower body and the mage figure in the foreground. I kind of like the way he's got a bit of a beer belly on him!

10 October 2005, 10:46 PM
ace4016 - beelow: guys, you are both dead right. His head will be tackled next. I'm thinking of having his head thrown back in rage / elation at being summoned. Maybe do something a bit more dynamic with his shield... cheers for the feedback, it's all useful!

CG-AvangarD: I'd be happy to give you some advice, what is it you want to know?

10 October 2005, 06:03 PM
hi speaky! very very nice development! The dyno is geting better and better, the composition as well and I just love the light. Some ppl threatened by the t-rex wouldnt hurt (in the front, hiding behind the mag) and spear of that warlord could be pointed more into the sky, slighty back, not so in front. and that just because the pic will be read better and with more depth. I hope u understand what Im trying to say... somewhat an optical trick to make the warlord even bigger and more powerful by changing his spear direction. keep the good work buddy! and I love the lava thing down there... I must say that too :) and the t-rex should be on the right yes, coz that is the negative side of the pic, where bad guys r usually coming into the scene. cya!

10 October 2005, 11:04 PM (

Here's the latest version of the pic with the war god's posture having been reworked a bit. I reduced the size of the T-Rex's head in photoshop by just lassoing around it (after saving as a max quality jpeg) and transforming it down a touch. Back into painter and I filled in the white gaps again.

I've expanded the canvas a bit on all sides as I thought the top of the lance / spear and the back of the T-Rex were a bit tight to the border.

10 October 2005, 10:09 AM
Great work...the sky looks really great as a backdrop. One small suggestion...the War God's right arm could be projected upwards almost as if he was pointing to the sky with his spear. Keep it up!

10 October 2005, 11:30 AM
Hi Speaky. I like the develop and steps from your work. I have just some coments to say.
* In my opinion the tip top nose are a little bit to soft for a Dino.
* the mask for the warior looks to heavy. You lost again the prportions there. I think.
* may be you can defined more the rocks an the Hands form the Dino.
Well that's all to say. Remember. It's just my opinion. :shrug:

Keep you nice work.

xbo :scream:

10 October 2005, 09:25 PM (

Tonight's update. Worked on the War God's arms (added one holding the spear), head (made smaller) and shield (don't know what the previous one was meant to be, but this one looks a bit more like a round shield).

Plus some misty haze to pick the mage/priest's outline out a bit better. I've basically run the brush over a bunch of areas, sky, land (continued the river toward us) and the craggy lava area. The T-Rex has had a bit of work shading.

I'm wondering what to do with the foreground now. I'm thinking either a line of worshippers bowing to their god, or some kind of imminent virgin sacrifice (implied).

The foreground needs something.

10 October 2005, 08:24 PM (

The major change since the last post is in the colour scheme, which I'm trying on for size. I received an (offline) comment from my nearest and dearest that the pic was looking a bit drab. She liked the composition, the subject matter was a bit pulp (self-consciously so!) but the colour scheme was bordering on the grey.

So I've given it a bit of a saturation boost in Photoshop via color balance and the Hue/saturation dialog. So come on, is this colourful enough, eh? :)

One thing that was bothering me about the sky was the way the bottom half of the pic had a lot of dark masses which I thought needed balancing out on top, so I copied and pasted the upper half of the image, set the mode to overlay, stuck on a quick mask and gradated it out. I made sure I didn't affect the dinosaur and the war god.

10 October 2005, 10:29 PM
Like the way you use the colours:thumbsup: I was thinkg about this darker area. Iīd try to separate this area against the ground under the War God. I think this fact give the feeling that the God is nearer to the viewer than he really is, do you know what I mean?

I wish you good luck, man!:)


10 October 2005, 01:15 AM
Looking better by the post, colors seem to be working well, no crits for time being, good stuff!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 06:23 PM
yes. colour is looking a lot better. the war god looks like he is yawning to me... sorry! just can't help but see that in his pose and it looks a bit comical. landscape and the composition is nice though... some old sckool imagery you got going on here.

10 October 2005, 07:05 PM
Jesse - Ooops, I haven't tuned in in a while, and it's looking good. I really like the pose and the lava-underlighting so I'm glad to see them back! :-)
Not much to add about the current version. It's coming along well. Only thing I'll point out is the man on the ground's staff: It's head/horn is on a tangent with the side of the cliff wall behind it. Also, it could be nice to see the TRex-back-rider's head oriented more to be looking down at his "opposition." Right now he seems to be looking up, which almost lends the impression that he's being thrown from the back.

Anyhow, keep it coming! :)


10 October 2005, 01:06 AM
Looks great Jesse. One little suggestion about the summoner: maybe his arms can be spread out a bit more, would probably look more summoner like:shrug: . To me, it looks like he is cheering, not sure if thats your intention.

10 October 2005, 10:36 PM
impressive. Good composition.. shield could be bigger, looks kinda small at the moment.

Find some cool texture to foreground rocks, might boost the composition even more.

10 October 2005, 08:50 AM (

Seems like an age since I last had a chance to work on this, but last night I found an hour to rework the War God's posture, weapon and shield, and to make the Mage look a little bit more like he's welcoming the arrival of the God.

On a very positive note, I've fallen in love with the 'Fine Feathering Oils' brush in Painter 9, combined with the small dots paper texture, 90% grain! It allows me to very carefully build up the paint in a way which feels quite realistic and controlled. Painter is such a joy, I love the brushes and the way you can spin the canvas around freely and work on stuff at odd angles. I like!

Is it just me, or is this bloomin' T-Rex's face looking a bit rodent-like again? This was a problem with my first sketches. I need to work on that.

10 October 2005, 08:54 AM
Gonzalo Golpe, W!L, Mike, ace4016, Ranath - Good suggestions, guys. Much appreciated.

Beelow - Thanks for the support, buddy :)

10 October 2005, 02:55 PM
If you think he's looking tto rodentlike, how 'bout this: Maybe the tRex's nostrils have crept down a bit too far, and the nose could be a bit more squared off. Fortunately, I have all my dinosaur encyclopadiae out for this challenge as well! ;-)

On a seprate note, I liked the top left clouds in the last iteration before this one because of how they silhouetted the rider's weapon.

It's coming along nicely. Look forward to seeing more...!


10 October 2005, 04:24 PM
Very painterly. I like it a lot! One of the finest entries so far. I did not read the story so far but I hope your guy is not summoning the war god or I might end up throwing in the toilet my last idea ^_^

edit: holy crap...even if the imagery is different the idea really is the same (and you even live in Italy!)...I went through all your post and I'm impressed as I even had the same 'compositional' thoughts you had...I'm in trouble :shrug: "to drop or not to drop" the concept ?

10 October 2005, 05:06 PM
Walrus - I'm working on it. The nostrils are a bit ratty, aren't they. In the current version, I've got the T-Rex snarling with its mouth wide open, displaying loads of teeth, and I reckon it looks like we're back in business. I'll post it when I've tidied it up a bit.

Xillion - LOL, hey don't drop your idea because you saw similarities with mine! No way, your idea is great, we're thinking in tandem on some stuff, and going about it very differently in other ways. Your summoned demon is HUGE, whereas mine isn't quite as big. And yours doesn't have a T-Rex as a mount, does he? Just think of the many fantasy artists out there who've covered this ground. One of my favourites, Frazetta, did a famous one called 'death dealer' which mine can be compared to (in terms of what it depicts, not in terms of skill I'll hasten to add!). But there's enough differences too. Just like yours and mine. No worries.

10 October 2005, 05:20 PM
The warroir on top of the dino is looking kinda of... bleh. I think he should have a little more action, drawing back his arm wtih the sword would be cool as hell. Of course you would have to compensate the weight with the other arm with the shield so that he looks balanced on the dino, my whole dollar, *damn I needed that to ride the bus, sign* Looking very cool dude, good luck!:D

10 October 2005, 10:14 PM (

Tackling the rodent-like face of the last T-Rex, I sourced some photos of models and skulls in an effort to try to nail the problem. I think the lower jaw isn't quite there, but there is certainly the angularity and distinctive jaw line now. Much less like a big capybura.

Another thing is that I've been wanting to deal with the idea of the T-Rex actually rising out of the ground. The previous pictures all looked like the T-Rex was walking over thin ground and kind of collapsing into a lava pit. With the ground pouting up around the body of the T-Rex, I'm hoping to get it to look like the ground is painfully birthing the God of War!

10 October 2005, 08:30 AM
Hi! Your characters make a strong impression on me! The very good painting! Good luck!

10 October 2005, 10:22 PM (

Something wasn't right with the sky before, namely it had too much detail and texture. Though it looked ok, I did feel that it was competing with the main interest too much, so I got a big fat blender brush and softened it up a lot. I then carefully introduced some much softer detail into the section just above the sword. Also I tried to orient some subtle shafts of light and dark (if you can get a shaft of dark!) such that they radiated out from the war god.

What I've aimed for is to have a much more dramatic sky which funnels the eye back toward the war god and the T-Rex.

I've adjusted the T-Rex's chin slightly and detailed out his neck and leg. The rock rubble which is pouting around the body of the T-Rex has had some work. Along with some miscellaneous bits all over the pic.

10 October 2005, 10:56 PM
Great work Speaky:thumbsup: (as usual)
I really like how your idea hasevolved from a cartoony funny style to this more dramatic.

I kinda liked the previous sky- yes you're right it was a tad fussy ( I hope you saved that version 'cause the sky alone was really good)...
I think you over blured it a bit. through in some random detail-cautiously...
I also think that the T-Rex needs some more reflection (red?/warm colour) from the lava ground to draw a bit more the attention.
He seems slightly dull/dark- although he's supposed to contrast the white horizon...

The sword maybe needs a bit shrinking?
It makes the Dino look smaller, and the hand holding it is a bit too big for the man..

Keep up mate!

10 October 2005, 03:25 PM
I still think that the comp is kinda weak because the dino and the character on its back seem kinda stiff, but there are strong elements in the painting, maybe give the that dino and knight on its back some love, not sure what you can do, I am sure that you can solve it! Good luck with it!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 05:30 PM
For a quite a long time I was away, and u changed a lot and developed a lot. and all that for the better of the image. Love the change of the weapon (sword), the clouds and that misty feeling in the air, the light.. keep that! and the t-rex is getting his true form. Nothing to crit at the moment, really. I love ur pic :)

10 October 2005, 06:50 PM
Much better composition!:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 10:28 PM (

Here's an update at last!

Overall I've boosted the saturation a lot in order to inject some colour into it. Even the last one was managing to look drab and washed out...

I wasn't really happy with the expanse of ground at the bottom and was slowly filling it with skeletal remains. I decided that it had too much space devoted to it so I hacked it away to give more room to the cracked, heaving lava-welling rocks in the mid distance. The end result is that the summoning mage looks like he's stood on something. Quite what, I do not know. It looks a bit like an old fireplace, so I'm hoping that I can change it into something a bit more fitting!

I do like the way the foreground now has a green area which helps to separate the war god + beast from the summoner. More to come soon!

11 November 2005, 02:09 PM
Hi, Jesse, good composition and colors, perhaps, if you at time you can
improve the head you T-Rex, go!go!
E.T :cool:

11 November 2005, 11:03 PM (

Tonight's update.

I've been concerned that the war god himself was a bit too clearly defined - his mask in particular was very bright. At the same time, the T-Rex was merging into the rock.

So here I've obscured the war god a lot, making him much more of a silhouette, and have worked on bringing out the forms of the T-Rex's head and hand-claws.

Finally the foreground grass and the lava plain seemed to meet on one level, whereas I wanted the summoning mage dude (in need of serious work!) to be on a ledge or cliff quite high up. Hence the introduction of a little shaded curve implying the land falling away sharply.

11 November 2005, 01:31 AM
Nice update. I also preferred the war god as more of a silhoutte. In the last comp, the dino and war god seem to have come closer the the summoner (and viewer), and I though it looked a bit better with them farther apart. I think the background land and the lava are the cause of making the lava appear closer to the summoner, and making the hill look a few meters high. Maybe you can also show some grass near the lava, but as it get sot the lava it is burning and turning black and all that good stuff. Also with the summoner, maybe bending his back a bit may help. Just a few suggestions from me. What ever happened to the soldiers chanting and celebrating his arrival? Just curious (or maybe i just have a bad memory). Keep it up, looking forward to more.

11 November 2005, 07:26 PM
Great updates man! I agree that previously the wargod was a bit too bright, but I think that mr. t-rex now is poping out too much. Make him a bit darker as well (the face esspecially!) but leave some areas ligh.. something like if u lighten ur self with a torch at night. I think it would be a great scene taht way, but as always.. just my opinion :)

11 November 2005, 10:31 PM
Great colors and sense of drama! The hot lava lighting really helps is a lot. Keep it up!

11 November 2005, 12:47 AM
looks very heroic! waiting for the rest of the details!


11 November 2005, 03:12 PM

This is truly amazing work. Your work inspires me. I love the composition and the grandeur of your piece. Keep up the great work! Awesome!!:thumbsup:


11 November 2005, 04:54 PM
Summoning mage stand, just pile some rocks on the side and fill the hole, the top part looks good is the side that your not sure of. Either that or echo the same of architechture style your using on top of the stand. Another idea is maybe adding steps to get on top.
The grass helps, I like what you did at the edge of the cliff where you hinted strands of grass. Maybe it needs more of that it would add visual interest and texture.
Mage's cape might be blending to the background just a bit, either that or is a huge cape—not very practical when walking around.

Looking good, keep it up! :bounce:

11 November 2005, 02:09 PM
since last i saw this has really become great.. war god is alot more impressive and intimidating... no comedy to him now.. welll done son

11 November 2005, 10:47 PM (

Trying to get the middle distance to separate from the foreground more by introducing a bit more atmospheric haze gathering the light from the lava and setting sun. I've only really done this to the lower half of the T-Rex and the fractured ground itself, as I wanted the War God himself to be shrouded in shadow.

I've stretched the summoning mage vertically as I felt he was a bit stumpy and not really heroic enough!

Oh and I've added a second character bowing down in front of the awesome sight of the War God and his mount. That's set my mind to wondering what he's doing there. I'm toying with the idea of putting an enemy army in the middle ground so that it looks like the God + dino are just about to cause some major damage!

Not sure about that though. Hmmm.

11 November 2005, 11:04 PM
ace4016 - Is the sense of scale and distance a bit more obvious in the latest version I wonder? I want them to be looking down onto a plateau relatively far below them! Not sure about the armies - I don't want to crowd out what's going on currently, but my mind isn't made up yet. Cheers!

NinjaASSN - Hey Blaz, thanks for dropping by. :) Yeah, I'm happier with the War God now, he wasn't mysterious or sinister enough before. I'm still trying to resist drawing some glowing red eyes on him now!

cLos71 - Thank you!

Squibbit - Cheers buddy. :beer:

TMArtist - Very kind words there, thank you! I'm quite pleased with the composition now, and hopefully you have seen what a struggle it was for me to find one that worked. Maybe it comes naturally to some people, but I reckon they are far fewer than you might think. Lots. Of. Sketches. That's the secret I reckon :)

cLos71 - Good suggestions there, I like it. I'm playing around with the idea of the mage wearing some kind of T-Rex mask but it looks a bit Egyptian / avian at the moment. The grass now looks a bit softer and contrasts more with the lava field I hope. Cheers!

W!L - Thanks for that, I'm glad it's less humorous now than it was. Believe me, the humour was unintentional which says something about my earlier sketches. Some of the proportions were sooo out it's untrue. :D

11 November 2005, 06:12 PM
Nice nice :)
Keep it up

11 November 2005, 06:19 PM
Its getting better, nice work jesse!:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 08:08 PM
Aggiornamento per favore :bounce: Two weeks man, c'mon.

11 November 2005, 10:32 PM
si! SI! si! si! si!...

11 November 2005, 04:02 PM (

What a long time since my last update! Deadline looms closer and closer...

Well, due to work and other 'life' things annoyingly getting in the way, I've had very little time to dedicate to this pic. I have been chipping away at it, though, a little here and a little there. It seemed pointless to post an update when very little had changed, but I think you should be able to see the changes in this one.

Flipped the image (again!), helps keep it fresh and I tend to spot things that need working on every time I flip it.

Sky: It was quite dramatic in the last one, but I felt it was almost competing with the War God for attention so I've dulled it down a bit. Less texture, less detail etc.

Backdrop: Mountain ranges worked on. Previously there was a very straight top edge to the mountains which are currently on the left. I prefer it looking a bit more jagged, might even do some more on it.

War God: Steaming, "just stepped out of a volcanic rip in the ground". Still not decided on what kind of mask he should be wearing. Sword glowing red hot, not sure about that.

Dino: More texture, made it's foreclaws less lit.

Ground: More detail in the cracks, lava etc. Steam curling around the rip.

Foreground: Raised the mage's head so that his head wasn't in his chest like the last one. Still playing around with his mask. Grass a bit more textural.

11 November 2005, 04:15 PM
Hi Speaky,

havenīt been here for a while and your image turned out rock solid. the composition looks very good to me and the lightning adds the dramatic note to it.

I hope you have the time to put all those little details into the image - the only thing left to do in my opinion.

best regards


11 November 2005, 04:24 PM
cool image, You'd have to be a hardcore dude to tame a T-rex. I like the composition. I think if you had the clouds centered around the Demon lord guy on the T-rex it would Enhance the composition even more. Like if the clouds were opening up above him or something, I think that would enhance the summoning concept too.

Awesome image

11 November 2005, 05:01 PM
Hi, Jesse! It's looking really nice. The refinements work well - I especially like the work on the lava and the rocks about the dino. I miss the more dramatic sky, but I can understand your reasons for toning them down.

You seem unsure about the glowing red sword idea... I like it. It ties the top and the bottom of the painting together, and is more interesting than just a plain old sword.

One area that I think could use some more work is the mage. His legs feel too short for the body, 'though that could be in part because the mask/helm/bones make his head look disprportionately large. And looking at him, especially in silhouettte, makes him look like he has no upper arms, just forearms. Which I suspect was not your intent. Lastly, perhaps a clearer delineation between cape and rock would help that part of the pic read better? (So that it doesn't look like his cape is made out of rock. :) )

Anyhow, not much time left but I know you'll make it. Good luck!


12 December 2005, 08:03 PM
Hi Jesse,
I like your latest update:the flip, the coloured sword, the slavfe bowing?, and the work on the Dino&foreground.
I still prefer last updates skies "god rays", where more dramatic and gave that aura to the scene, and synthetically added imho, even if toned down a bit.
I also prefered the warm colours and outline of the side mountain edges, even if they where too close to your character, they "enclosed" the action and focused it with their shape in my view.
I agree with walrus about the cape, and not so sure of the cape as mini dino skin as is. I like the connection, maybe the dino head goes on top of the persons, as the lionskin capes..
Generally very well done, detailed, and atmospheric:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 12:38 PM
Hey, Speaky! Youve got strong image here. The dinosaur looks cool. I love how he's coming out of the ground with the lava. Nice work.

12 December 2005, 02:46 PM (

Nothing like an approaching deadline to get me fired up! Painting, polishing, details...

Most significant change so far is the mage - I've reworked the concept quite a bit so he's more traditionally mage-like.

Also, the sky needed some more work and I've introduced some detail back in while smoothing some of the texture away. Need to find the right balance.

War God - I thought his sword was still not obvious enough so I've given it a wisp of steam picking up the rays of the sun. It's quite comic book, but I like the effect.

More to come...

12 December 2005, 03:10 PM
great work :bowdown:

12 December 2005, 06:49 PM (

Here's the closest thing I've got to a Line Art milestone. This was the basis for the picture as it is now, a lot of elements have been changed since as you can tell!

In fact that's one of the many things I've fully realised during this challenge - with digital it really is possible to chop and change, hone and refine. You don't need to stick to line art you've slaved over, digital allows you to block stuff in, carve bits away, chop and change, duplicate, rotate, stretch.

Obviously this should really happen in the earliest stages, but it's one of the real strengths of the medium (versus traditional) and should be fully embraced!

Pro-digital art rant over. Need to crack on and submit the final image + tiff!

12 December 2005, 07:04 PM (

Here's the final image. The eagle-eyed among you will spot some changes, but mostly it's little tweaks and so forth.

I generally prefer to read my own story into art when I view it rather than have it spelled out for me. So your interpretation may vary, but this is what I imagine this picture to depict:


Rangarr sank to his knees and breathed the cold mountain air in low, but ragged, gasps. Since the dawn of the age of kings, a champion had been chosen from the elite warrior caste once every twenty summers, and given the honour of commanding the royal guard. This time Rangarr had been selected, and after the exhausting physical challenges of the past day, all that remained, he knew, was to pass the test of spirit, or r'ena'alath as it was in his native tongue.

The mage had worked for hours, weaving his magic into a binding summons, the heady scent of sulphur and iron had accompanied each ascending level of incantation until the tremors began. Slight at first, they had grown more frequent and more terrifying with each passing, until the plateau before him had cracked open and a glowing sword tip had knifed through the rocks and begun to carve its way out.

Venting gasses had caught in Rangarr's throat and threatened to choke his already fevered breath. He had watched in barely contained terror, as the sword cleared the hole and swung around keening as the white-hot metal met the chilly mountain wind. Sword, fist, forearm - each dwarfing Rangarr in size - had followed. Then the biggest tremor of them all as the rock surface had violently ripped apart and Kilar'en'venass - the mother lizard - had forced her scarred old snout upwards and outwards.

In three straining and brutal upward lurches, she had freed both herself and her rider from the rock, which bled glowing streams of lava like a fresh wound. Pausing to gather herself, Kilar'en'venass leaned against a spar of rock. On her back, the God of War had raised his eternal blade high as if in challenge, and slowly turned his attention to the small figures on the ledge. Rangarr felt the weight of his regard, the ground's hold upon him seemed to have trebled. The mother lizard drew a huge breath and let out a deafening roar, deep and guttural, which echoed again and again down the valley. He knew, then, that he was being called to judgement, that he would have to climb down to the fractured rocks below and present himself as worthy, his spirit strong and enduring, his will to be tempered like the finest iron. Hands shaking, his mind quivering, his resolve in tatters, Rangarr got to his feet and made to climb down.

It was said that a commander of the royal guard did not know fear, that nothing, not even the most desperate of odds, could break their resolve. Rangarr realised he knew why this was so...

12 December 2005, 09:01 PM
It's looking very good. The lava's a nice touch. Best of luck.

12 December 2005, 06:31 AM
Bravisimo! :beer: Nice job finishing it up and adjusting the color! Best of luck! :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 06:48 AM
hey this turned out nice in the end, good work, Speaky!


12 December 2005, 07:14 AM
Great concept and great style!
Best of luck to you! :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 07:20 AM
Nice entry Jessy, keep up the good work and good luck with your entry!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 12:46 PM
Cool final image!:bounce:

I really like that wispy sword thing...
I see you got rid of the right mountain peaks too..

It has nice tones and the comp as well very well done!
Best of luck:thumbsup:

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