View Full Version : Spectacular 2D Entry: Steve Holt

09 September 2005, 08:26 AM
Steve Holt is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Escape from Fire Mountain (

09 September 2005, 09:18 AM
Hello all,

My first challenge...

Oh gosh, where to start...?

Off I go then into deep thought for a week or two...

Good luck everyone

Steve H
Viking Warrior (

09 September 2005, 01:10 AM (

Finally started scribbling today for Spectacular.

I've not had a chance to do anything for this since it started, but my mind has certainly been turning over thinking about it, even though Iíve been too busy to do anything.

This challenge is tough, it feels so open that in some ways that makes it harder. And itís my first challenge as well.

Anyway, everytime I think about what would be Spectacular and even amazing to see, I found myself thinking about two giant beasties dueling to the death in some kind of gladiator arena.

This is a real rough concept, but the idea is two huge creatures, perhaps one of them a Minator of some kind and the other a Cyclops or ape type fella battling it out, and to stop them escaping and eating members of the crowd (although that would make a great illustration to!) there is a ring of lava between the inner arena and the crowd stands.

It's just an idea, I'll sit with it, and do more concepts this coming week and see how it feels...

09 September 2005, 09:02 AM
Thats what Im talking about!

This is some nice thinking :thumbsup:

good luck

09 September 2005, 12:50 AM
Thanks IKIN, I certainly think it's worth trying to develope the concept. I had in mind a cross between a Roman gladiator feeling and a StarWars pod racing feel...

10 October 2005, 07:07 AM (

Just trying to work up this concept into something I can get my teeth into, because I really like this idea.

I might change the angle to either a very low view, just above ground level, looking up at these guys, or looking down on them from further away, not sure yet. But i'll probly do concepts for both and see which looks best.

10 October 2005, 11:46 AM
WOW....hi Steve-h. That's goimg to be a hard Battle. I imaging blood every where. :twisted:

I'm going to be close to your nice work.

Good luck
xbo :scream:

10 October 2005, 03:42 AM (

Still working out the characters for this, and the perspectives.... here's one of them, a Minator. I don't know if I'll use this sketch. I'll just do more and see which one I like best. But I'm going to post as much of my WIP as I can.

10 October 2005, 05:50 AM
concept scribble 1 looks hot!
nothing like giant beast fighting it out in an arena!

good luck:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 10:04 AM
hi.steve wow a giant fighting. wow imagine when a giant fall to ground, a big earthquake is going to happen, who's going to win then? goodluck bro :buttrock:

10 October 2005, 05:12 AM (

Ok, here's the other character for this, ummm... Fight Spectacular?... and it's a Cyclops. Not that you can see that he's only got the one eye, you'll just have to take my word for it. It's based on a character design I did a while back.

So this is going to be a giant Minator fighting a giant Cyclops...yep, happens all the time!

So I'm just getting the pose and composition down really, not too worried about how good or bad the sketches are at this point, it's more about the forms and lighting, and composition really. the heavy details come later.

Now I might still mess with the positioning of the hands and arms, ect. But this is pretty much the pose he will be in in the final painting. Unless of course I have a total change of heart, which I doubt.

10 October 2005, 11:16 PM (

Well, I said that I doubt I'd be changing things this much, but I'm going to. I'm now thinking of having the Cyclops facing us, and the Minotaur with his back/left side towards us, so they are basically swapping positions now...

I also learned how to spell Minotaur properly :)

10 October 2005, 11:28 PM (

Here's a Cyclops character design I did a while back, I'll be using this as my reference to do the new one.

The one I'm doing for Spectacular won't have the horn or the spear though like this fella, I'll stick with the chain mace I reckon, and I might add some armour, not sure yet.

10 October 2005, 11:22 AM
cool ideas.. first sketch looked like cyclops vs. Minotaurs.. GOGO Minotaurs!!

10 October 2005, 11:30 AM
thats a nice image mate. Love the monster designs and ancient greek mythology is always a good choice. the cyclops is good. AArmour or any changes to it are not essential i reckons but would be nice to see you add to it. keep em coming

10 October 2005, 08:52 AM
Hi! Your idea is very promising! Your characters make a strong impression on me! I look forward to seeing this progress! Good luck! :)

10 October 2005, 09:21 PM (

Just starting to bring the elements of this together now, and settle on a final composition.

Any feed back, comments, suggestions or helpful ideas are all welcomed.

10 October 2005, 09:50 PM
I like your idea, I wonder if you had thought about more of an action pose to make it a little more dynamic.

10 October 2005, 10:18 AM
I like the composition and the characters. i prefer the first idea of the stadium, but this is very good too; the two very small characters on the bottom make the whole scene really imposing!

10 October 2005, 03:08 AM (

Well I just spent the last few days developing this idea. I've been refining the sketch some and adding some fine lines, and also thinking up a working title for it as well, and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting closer to the kind of thing I want to paint and detail. So this will count as my line art mile stone. Iím going to start blocking in some colour nowÖ

I'll be surprised if I stick to these lines, I often change things once I start adding the colour, but we'll see how it goes.

The idea here is of a couple trying to sneak past two giant creatures who are (luckily for them) about to do battle, and so preoccupied. Itís hard to see the little human figures at the moment, but they will become clearer as I start to add the colour.

10 October 2005, 08:52 AM
Love your concept man. Very Harryhausen-like. Perhaps some crushed or chewed up bones of humans or some large animals like lions, scattered throughout the land, may add to the feeling of dread for the couple. Can't wait to see this in colour man.

10 October 2005, 11:50 AM
I agree with ahbeejieh. Is that a kind of homage to the great Ray Harryausen? Which software will you use? Grrat sketches!

10 October 2005, 10:07 AM (

Just been trying to flesh out some kinda background for this, and I do like how itís coming along at the moment, butÖ It may change quite a bit before the end, I donít know yet.

Iím just making it up as I go along really, I spent so much time thinking about the characters I never really thought to long or hard about the background, I only ever had a general idea for it.

It's a little flat at the moment, but thatís ok, I want to see how it looks once I start blocking in the characters before I make any more changes to the overall lighting.

Any feedback, suggestions or ideas are all welcomed of course.

10 October 2005, 10:24 AM
ahbeejieh: Thanks for the ideas, I do want to add little things like that, small details, not sure what, but some good suggestions there.

medunecer: I do love the work of Harryhausen although he was not in my mind when I came up with this, now having said that my Cyclops is certainly influenced by him.

smurph: Yes, I did consider an action pose, but it felt more powerful somehow to have them about the start fighting, or sizing each other up... I wanted to leave it to the viewers imagination as to how the actual battle would go down.

Thanks for the feedback and ideas, much appreciated.

Another update soon...


10 October 2005, 12:13 PM
Although I like the all of the elements in this picture, I think having two giants fighting and two huge volcanos spitting fire on the background is a bit too much. I think if you remove one volcano it will look much better, and also try to focus the attention on the two human figures instead of on the giants. I think in this picture they are the most important, although they are the smallest.

Good luck anywayz :)

10 October 2005, 04:55 PM
wow... great concept... the volcanos looks great.. keep it up!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 05:43 PM
yoitisi: Hmmm, I'll have to give that some thought, you might be right though. I have been worried it might be a little too much, I'll sit with it and see how it feels. If I dont get rid of one volcano I might just try to push it back deeper into the pic.

Ducklator: Thanks for the encouragement.

medunecer: I'm using Corel Painter IX, and all of the concept work has also been done in Painter.

10 October 2005, 01:58 AM
the thing that i really like here is that it is over the top, with everthing that is going on. If you worried about it being a little flat, try making hte volcanoes step in color from more neutral in the back to more intense/saturated as they get closer. Try searching "atmospheric perspective" if you need an example of this.

your smoke and explosion looks really nice! I'm actually wondering how you did it? Keep it up.

10 October 2005, 02:20 AM
this is kinda cool... definatly something no one explored in a while ... the classic mythological theme. keep going mate. :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 06:21 AM
awesome work on the background, very cool character design. maybe the taurus upper parts could fall a bit more into the right vanishpoint on the horizontals to illustrate its height.
appart from that, very cool design, keep up the great work! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 07:18 AM
KITTNLITTER : Thanks for the feedback and the tip about atmospheric perspective; I'll see what I can dig up.

Glad you like the smoke and explosions! It still needs a bit more work I reckon but it's coming along. How am I doing it? Its a charcoal brush varaint, the 'just add water' blender and a couple of hours, no real technique, just brush work really.

Slav: Hello Slav, thanks for the visit and the thumbs up.

the1st_angel: Hiya, Good tip about the arm, I think you might be right there, Iíll give it a bash...

10 October 2005, 01:11 AM
:bounce: I love this stuff!!!
You are doing a fantastic job.
Some good crits as well (Applause to all).

The one thing that you may want to explore is this...
Put the woman between the fighting beasts.
And the man waiting in the wings for that moment
when they actually fight, so he can rescue her.

Awesome work...I love seeing this kind of stuff!!!

10 October 2005, 07:05 AM
I like the background very much, especiallythe lava.
I agree with JM_JM: maybe you can try to exchange the
positions of the humans, putting the girl in the middle in a more dangerous situation. Great work!

10 October 2005, 05:55 PM
Great job steve!

Its looking really good upto now, about the comments that said it was too much, well the competition name is *spectacular* :shrug:

Anyway cant wait to see your next update?

Do you have a site? i would like to see more of your art.

10 October 2005, 06:30 PM
JM_JM: That's an interesting idea. The woman in the middle, hmmm.... I guess in my mind he had already sent her on to greater safety, leaving himself at risk and not her. But I will certainly consider swapping them around. Thanks for the input.

medunecer: Thanks, I am going to update in a while, I think the background is looking better now. And yeah JM_JM has a good idea there, I need to think about it.

sypherr: I do have a website, its got more 3d work on it than 2d tho. I am going to be building a new website soon with just 2d work but here is the one I have at the moment.

Thanks for the encouragment, much appreciated. I am going to update today.

10 October 2005, 12:42 AM (

Ok hereís a new update on the background.

I guess I'm about 70% done now. And Iím starting to have more fun with this image now. I always feel like I can relax more once my background is getting close to done.

Anyway, I've decided to make the whole of the background much darker so that it doesnít distract too much from the main characters, who will be brighter overall compared to the background.

It should work out doing that (I hope) of course I wonít really know until I paint the main characters in, but if all goes to plan the background will look dark, muted and shadowy and the main characters and foreground rocks and lava will look more brightly lit and vibrant. So time will tell I guess. My main fears have been that the background is too much, and that it would draw the viewer away from the main part of the image where the story is, but seeing as Iím aware that that may happen I hope to counter it.

Oh and I decided to redraw the Cyclops, and have already decided to redraw him again after I post this, I think he should be much more aggressive so thatís still all up in the air at the moment really. The Minotaurs head might change too, Iíve not had any reference for that so the perspective on the head and mouth is still off.

Thatís it for now, any comments feedback or suggestions are much appreciated as always.

10 October 2005, 04:59 AM (

Just a new meaner and more ferocious looking Cyclops. The old Cyclops was far too cute and fluffy, he just had to go...

10 October 2005, 05:05 AM
Oh and this fellas chain mace is double ended as well, with Two of them spiky balls on it!


10 October 2005, 05:09 AM
Nice Work Keep it up.

10 October 2005, 10:43 AM
Really nice work so far!
Keep up the great work!

10 October 2005, 04:06 PM
The cyclops looks great, cant wait to see him fleshed out with colour on the piece.

Well done! :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 01:10 AM (

Just been playing with the Cyclops; his legs mainly. I wanted to make them look more goat like, and have more shape to them, which I feel like Iíve done.

I think I am happy with his pose now. Iím going to be painting him first so I need to get the pose right. Difficult to get him looking right because I have no real reference for him, just some pics of body builders who are not even in this position and a couple low res goat pic, so this is pretty much off the top of my head.

11 November 2005, 02:24 AM (

Here's a quick screen grab update;

I'm just detailing the cyclops here, I'm currently working on his left arm and the shoulder armour. He's changed a little from the sketch, his upper body is much more bulky now.


11 November 2005, 06:39 AM
Hi! He's looking great! Keep it up! Success! :)

11 November 2005, 11:25 PM
Hi Steve,

a great homage of the classic films and right on time before the new king kong arrives. Cool progress also. The rendered/colored version of you cyclops looks very convincing.

Maybe the clouds of the vulcanos look a bit to much repetitive/patterned but thatīs not really a big deal.



11 November 2005, 12:40 AM (

Another shot of the Cyclops, heís almost done now. I decided to scrap the double ended mace, and I also shortened the chain length.

11 November 2005, 04:09 AM (

In this update I repainted his ear and did some general tidying up work on his face and eye.

11 November 2005, 04:53 AM
The detail is superb!

What kind of canvas size are you working on?

Let me know when you get your new site up ;)

11 November 2005, 11:48 AM
The derstroyed trees! Great idea! I like the fur of the cyclop too!

11 November 2005, 05:16 PM (

Just doing some mid and foreground detailing work now, still quite rough really, but I'm trying to get some nice rocks in there reflecting the lava.

11 November 2005, 10:57 PM (

This update shows some more of the work I've been doing on the mid and foreground.

I've also started to paint the Minotaur.

I decided to get rid of the skull head on his shield, it just wasnít working out right. I think it's going to end up as a wooden shield with fur around the edge and maybe a metal disc in the middle. I'll get some dried blood on the wood as well... I think it's going to look more like a Viking shield in the end.

I say 'I think', a lot, because things change a lot. I don't even know what I am going to do half the time!

Any feedback/suggestions are of course welcome.


11 November 2005, 11:14 PM
sypherr: Thanks for the feedback, detailing is the fun part for me. It's what I enjoy most of all. The canvas size is BIG! It's about 8000 pixels wide, by just over 6000 high. I am in 1280x1024 and when the image is full screened its about 13 % of the actual size. I'm using a PC with 2 gig of ram by the way.

Sorry for the delayed response, been kinda busy. And sure I'll let you know when my new site is up.


medunecer: Glad you like the fur. If I get time before the deadline I want to work on that fur a little more. And the burnt trees happened because I felt like I needed a midground filler between the Cyclops and the background, and full sized trees seemed to clutter the image too much, plus it just made sense to have some burnt trees in there somewhere. If I get time I want to add some more smoke around them and maybe a few small flames licking up the bark here and there.

Steve H

11 November 2005, 01:58 AM
I have enjoyed watching this develop into a great piece!

Some quick crits...

1) The Cyclops' proportions look unbalanced. His upper body is considerably smaller than his lower body.

2) The lava in the foreground is looking a little muddy. Did it change?

Cant wait to see the final results!

Its looking fantastic!!

11 November 2005, 08:16 AM
i see Steve; I'm having the same need about a midground in my entry, but I don't find something working well. You solved this problem in a very good way! I really like the trees and the general feeling of your work!

11 November 2005, 10:50 AM (

Just a little update on the Minotaur:

I've changed his face for the 10th time! And hopefully he looks more bull like now, although there is humanoid mixed in there as well, so heís not totally animal.

Iíve also been painting wood textures for his shield. Itís all rough still and needs cleaning up, but I wanted to send an update anywayÖ

I need to get my finger out with this fella and finish him I reckon; I have two human characters left to paint yet, and a fair bit of foreground detailing left to do!

11 November 2005, 06:22 PM
I really like your scene! Your mythological caracters are very nice. You are very talented. :)

Keep up with your good work! :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 06:31 PM
A nice progress is going on here. the location where the two are fighting is very powerful
and enforces the over all feeling. keep it up

11 November 2005, 08:01 PM
JM_JM: You're right about the Cyclops. I wanted him to be kinda tall, but I think he is a little bit too tall, so I've enlarged his upper body a tad, thanks.

As for the lava, I was looking at some reference and it seems that it cools in the middle and on the top a little as it flows in the open air, so I am trying to recreate that, hopefully it will look right once its finished. I changed it because my first effort look more like custard!

Thanks for the feed back, it all helps.

cyberarts: Thanks! You know there is so much talent here... so many talented artists taking part it's really been amazing to be a part of this, and watch as so many great digital artworks are being born! This is the first time I have ever done anything like this, and it's been a real buzz to mix with others who have so much creativity and imagination.

botho81:Thanks for the encouragement, just two humans left to paint and 2 weeks left to paint um!


11 November 2005, 09:59 PM (

Started working on the fella last night. And Iíve already decided to change the pose of his right hand, but wanted to share this anyway.

I think Iím going to change it so that he is holding onto the rocks and holding onto a couple of spears at the same time. Perhaps with feathers or animal tails, fur, beads or some other kind of adornments hanging from just below the blades. So they are like natives, fairly primitive culture, but spiritually aware, kind and intelligent peoples. Somewhat like native Indians I guess.

11 November 2005, 09:59 PM
You have done some amazing work in your painting! Very impressive. You are particularly good at painting metal and highlights. Beautiful! It is certainly a spectacular image and I am looking forward to seeing it 14 days ;)

11 November 2005, 09:27 AM
Hi Lync,

yep 14 days....Gulp, not long!

Thanks for the visit, and the encouragement!


11 November 2005, 02:27 AM
11 days now... ;)

11 November 2005, 03:02 AM
Nice painting. good color and contrast keep up the good work

11 November 2005, 04:40 AM
Great picture. Looking forward to seeing the final image.
I wish my computer would let me work at your insane resolution. Maybe I will ask santa for more RAM ;-)

11 November 2005, 05:16 AM
Yeah and ask him if he has a decent graphics card for me in that big red bag of his while you're there.


11 November 2005, 08:16 PM (

Another update:

10 days left and I'm still working on these human characters! He is pretty much done though, and I've started blocking her in now and getting the skin tones down. Most of the hard work that is left is in the bottom right hand corner; she still needs a lot of work and so does the rock she is leaning against. The rest is just small tweaks and FX like smoke, falling ash, light volumes ect over the whole image.

Iíve also been doing a lot of work on the Minotaur and I'm starting to like him much more now, even though he still needs a fair bit of cleaning up.

Lots left to do then, but I'm fairly confident that I can finish on time. Itís all straight forward painting now, I donít need to think about anything at this stage, all of the brain work is done, thereís nothing left to change or rework, it's really just a case of getting the paint down and finishing it!

My goal is to have her and the foreground rocks done by Wednesday next week. That will most likely be my next update.

11 November 2005, 12:53 AM
I've just linked to this competition, and your first 2D entry looks awesome.
I'm more of a 3D guy but, I hope I can start half as well as your minotaurs.

11 November 2005, 03:25 AM
Doh! I just wrote you a long convoluted post and it disappeared for some reason... :cry:

Oh well, the short of it was that I love your image. The girl's foot is slightly too small, but I understand you are still working on her so not a big issue. Also, the cyclops' upper body seems out of proportion to his lower body. It seems too small to me.

Glad to hear you are confident of finishing in time. But good luck anyway :beer:

11 November 2005, 06:07 AM (

Well I said I wasnít going to update till next Wednesday but a couple of people now have mentioned that the Cyclopsí upper body looks a little too small compared to his legs, and I've known about this problem for a while now and Iíve also known exactly what was wrong with it. I was just avoiding dealing with it because of time constraints haha! But I just had to fix it...

The problem was that originally he was meant to be leaning forward towards the Minotaur as he roars, but somewhere in the painting process the perspective got lost making his abdomen look kind of too short or somehow stunted, so Iíve spent a couple of hours this evening repainting it to get the correct perspective. Hopefully he now looks like heís leaning forward which should make him look more correctly proportioned.

11 November 2005, 06:10 AM
Hi Lync,

Thanks for posting about the cyclops' upper body proportions, it made me deal with it this evening. I think it looks much better now.

The top one is the old one by the way, and the bottom one is the new one.

11 November 2005, 06:12 AM
HEAPS better. Yay! :bounce:

11 November 2005, 01:47 AM (

I've done a quick re-sketch of the woman, using any reference I could lay my hands on. I didn't like the other one very much it just wasn't working for me.

Sheís important in this image. In many ways she will be carrying the emotion of the entire image, and even though he is gesturing towards her with a concerned look, telling her to move back, it is her bodily expressions and hand gestures which will hopefully convey the gravity of their situation. That being: Oh my God we're going to be eaten alive or burnt to death, Imminently!!

So anyway I've got a week to paint her and the rocks and do any tidy up work that might need it, and it needs it!

11 November 2005, 01:50 AM
Yep, she is heaps better too. I like her expression and pose. Good luck for finishing her and everything else in time! ;)

11 November 2005, 09:05 PM (

Here is my work in progress on the woman.

I think she's much better than the last one. And even though sheís only small in the overall painting, I feel like it's worth spending a little extra time on her to make her look nice. As you can see sheís not finished, still got her boots to paint and a fair bit of tidying up left to do. But I'm on target to finish her this evening. Then Iíll be painting rocks for the rest of the week!

11 November 2005, 01:54 AM
my~,couldnt believe that i have missed this thread,i've gone through every page and great job u did so far~i have like 10 more human unpainted~lol.would definitely love to see this finished,mate i wish u the best of luck.:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 02:52 AM
Your render is quite impressive steve. I'd like to make a crit concerning your latest wip. The female character has some anatomical issues. Her upper arm seems short in comparrison with her forearm, her upper legs seem a little long, her right hand fingers a little too short and her torso a little on the thin side. I hope I'm not being too forward. I love the expression on the human male's face. He certainly looks like hes in the middle of something BIG.

I like the concept a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Good luck.


11 November 2005, 03:12 AM
absolutely awesome. the only crit i have are her arms and hands. the left arm (from viewer) could use a slight bit bigger illuminated area that should solve the volume, the right forearm is a bit long. and her hands a bit short, wich makes them look unelegant. usual lenght ref for hands are the height of the face.hope that helped.
love your piece, awesomely rendered and filled with an insane amount of details. keep it up mate, cant wait to see ya finnish this! keep on rocking!:buttrock:

11 November 2005, 03:48 AM
good coloring :drool:

12 December 2005, 02:43 AM (

Just wanted to post this quick update, she's in the scene now, all that is left is to paint the rocks...tidy up some and I'm done.

12 December 2005, 02:59 AM
sh@ke: Hiya, thanks for the feedback, i've been following your thread even tho I have not posted on it, best of luck to you too mate. :)

Rares_Halmagean: Hey good eye, I have changed all of the things you've suggested, thanks a lot for the constructive feedback. And no you're not being too forward at all, in fact I've been hoping to get this kind of feed back from the outset, as it's the only kind that really helps me improve on my work. Thanks again and good luck with Orbital Dive. :thumbsup:

the1st_angel: Thanks for the pointers regarding the hands and arms, I've changed them in line with your suggestions, and it looks better now I think. I've also been watching your thread, excellent work on those characters dude. Hope you finish in time!

Kazım Doku: Hey thanks, glad you like the colour.

12 December 2005, 06:11 AM (

Nearly there now...

I've done lots of work on the rocks, and some work on the background, behind the Cyclops, and lots of other little tidy up bits here and there.

All I need to do is add some small plumes of foreground smoke, where little things like leaves and twigs have fallen into the lava, and maybe where pockets of gas vent.

Still some work left on the rocks (bottom right)not much though. Maybe only one or two more final colourings, then I'll upload the finished image!

12 December 2005, 06:55 AM
Before you submit your final image, you should add atmosphere in front of the character that is furthest back to the left of the image and maybe brighten up the volcano eruption because it seems to be competing with the foreground, congrats on your image and good luck with your final!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 08:39 AM
Thanks Beelow. a fresh pair of eyes is always helpfull... I'm trying what you've suggested and it is looking better.


12 December 2005, 06:37 PM (

I think this is my final colouring, unless there are any more suggestions for tweaks or improvements?

I've pushed the main volcano back, added some foreground smoke and a few more sun rays ect, ect...

I think this is pretty much it.

12 December 2005, 09:41 PM
Maybe a little more to see how it will look, I try squinting or just go greyscale to check the values! I usually just print out mines in greyscale to check the values to see how it comes out. Good luck with the final, holla!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 10:04 PM
I am loving this image. You are so close to finishing, but I do agree with Beelow re eruption.

I love the extra smoke on the lava, it brings it alive and adds to the scary situation. The woman is great also.

Not long now... go go go! :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 10:34 PM
Hey, Steve, this is looking great. I love the atmosphere and the scale of everything. Wonderful details, too. One thing that strikes me a little - if it's not too late to change, presuming you even want to, and if you don't or it's too late, no worries - but the design of the Minotaur's cleaver handle feels very modern to me. The black handle halves sandwiching the metal part feels modern to me. it looks just like the cleaver in my kitchen knife block. Would someone so large have a cleaver so well made? Or would it be more wood and iron?

Anyhow, just a dinky little thought in what is still a beautiful piece. Weel done!


12 December 2005, 11:28 PM
Beelow: Yeah I think a little more too...

Lync: Thanks for the encouragement!

Walrus: Well now you mentioned it, it's bugging me! Think i'll give it some thought...

Thank you all for your help and encourangement.


12 December 2005, 03:30 AM (

So here's a greyscale version just to check the tonal values before I go final on this...

12 December 2005, 03:39 AM
Yeah, definitely brighten up those eruptions, they are really dark right now. Do it just enough to give the illusion that it is still very dark ash, maybe some atmospheric perspective. make it lighter at the volcano and darker as it gets closer to us the viewer, maybe that should help. Cool entry so far dude!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 06:16 AM (

I promised myself that if I got the time I'd do some better fur for the Cyclops. So here it is, old and new. Much better I think.

12 December 2005, 08:07 AM
hi there,
for some reason I haven't seen this one yet, this is very cool,
nice job
:bounce: :bounce:
and the new fur looks awsome :thumbsup:
cheers, and good luck :twisted:

12 December 2005, 12:21 AM (

Closer view of the man hiding behind his rock...

12 December 2005, 12:26 AM (

A better view of the Cyclops chain mace. I wanted to make it look like the bottom few spikes had got hot and where smoking.

12 December 2005, 12:27 AM (

The face only a mother could love...

12 December 2005, 12:29 AM (

I added some smoke to the burnt out trees and some little sparks or hot ash flying around the Cyclops' feet.

12 December 2005, 12:34 AM (

A closer view of the Minotaur with his weapon, a repainted handle and a better look at his shield. I've painted a few soaring birds in the distance as well.

12 December 2005, 12:39 AM (

Here you can see more little hot ash sparks around the Minotaurs feet as well as some rock details, and slightly closer view on the woman, but I've got an even closer one of her coming next.

12 December 2005, 12:43 AM (

My last detail is a close up of the woman and the surrounding rocks. All I have to do now is upload my final image later on and I'm done.

12 December 2005, 02:53 AM
Congratulations... that's awesome work!
And all that detail! WOW!
Don't leave your final upload until too late though. You don't want to come across any problems!

12 December 2005, 10:43 AM (

In the ancient times, long ago, when the world was newer and younger than it is today, it is said that there were giants who roamed the earth; fierce battling creatures of monolithic proportions. The sole concern of these giants was to carry out the will of the long since forgotten dark lords of the underworlds, who had magically breathed them into being with their own foul breath.

As legend had it, there were portals between the worlds; between the world of men, and the three underworlds of darkness, fire and magic. The legends said that these portals were concealed somewhere in the maze of ancient lava tubes beneath a place called Fire Mountain - a huge mountain whose top lay scattered with sleeping volcanic calderas.

Only the oldest among the tribe still believed in the legends of Fire Mountain. To the younger members, the legends were little more than fanciful stories of dueling beasts and mighty heroes, fit only as sleep-time stories for their children.

Times change and the young take chances that the old dare not. As slowly, over generations, the tribal encampment moved ever closer to the top of Fire Mountain, drawn there by fresh sources of spring water, which was said to have magical healing properties, as well as by more abundant foraging and the best hunting for many miles around.

Yet just when life seemed to be at its sweetest and most peaceful, the volcanoes of Fire Mountain awoke once more, spewing streams of burning lava down their steep slopes. In a flash, the tribal village was gone, utterly obliterated and swept away in a blazing torrent of fire and smoke. Many didnít even have the chance to run from the coming disaster, for it struck like a thief in the night, killing all - all that is - but two. For by chance, before the earth began to quake and tear itself asunder, these two, a couple of young lovers, had wandered off into a secluded valley to seek the joy of each otherís company, away from their people.

Realizing to their horror that the earthquakes and eruptions of boiling lava had once again opened up the portals to the underworlds, unleashing the enormous and fearsome creatures of their legends into their world once again, they found themselves in the midst of a terrifying nightmare.

With their encampment destroyed and their people killed by a deluge of molten lava and fiery rain, the two young lovers now found themselves not only separated from each other by plumes of acrid smoke and currents of red hot lava, but also faced with the perilous wrath of the unimaginably massive, fabled beasts of their tribal legends, who, through the dark, magical forces of the underworlds, had come terrifyingly to life.

With everything they had come to know and love now gone, as if wiped from the face of the earth, fate it seems was writing them a new future, a future that was uncertain, one which would only be possible with their Escape from Fire Mountain...

12 December 2005, 11:18 AM
My Congratiulations Steve for finishing! Great artwork with lots of details
and things to explore. :thumbsup: The story is very cool too. :)

good luck


12 December 2005, 01:10 PM
Go Minotaur! go Minotaur! :D

Great work Steve :applause:

12 December 2005, 03:49 PM
Awesome work Steve, very action packed. It has this Ray Harryhausen quality to it that's also very cool.

12 December 2005, 08:25 PM
Thanks guys much appreciated, its been a lot of fun taking part.

12 December 2005, 09:03 PM
Great work, steve. The figure work is impressive. The colors are great and the sense of scale is excellent. Oh, and the girl is hot! Congrats on finishing and good luck

12 December 2005, 08:12 PM
IT CAME FROM ... well to be honest i dont know where this one came from but if you kindly show me how i can get there... that would be great. hehe great work man. :scream:

12 December 2005, 09:40 PM
It's great that you've been able to say you have enjoyed yourself.

Now I can at last wish you a hearty congrats for finishing this awesome piece.

:bounce: :thumbsup: CONGRATULATIONS! :thumbsup: :bounce:

12 December 2005, 12:42 AM
Nice and shiny... Beautiful piece you got here man. Goodluck to yah!

12 December 2005, 01:20 AM
Hi Steve!
Really awesome concept :eek:
Congratulations for finishing this spectacular creatures:bounce:
Great artwork!
Good luck

12 December 2005, 05:41 AM
Thank you all very kindly for the words of encouragement, and for all the great feedback. Itís been invaluable in terms of keeping me motivated toward improving upon my work, and getting the painting done, and in on time!

Iíve had a lot of fun taking part in this challenge, which was my first by the way. The best thing was being around so many other talented artists, all striving to get a good picture finished on time. The whole deadline thing made for quite the intensely creative atmosphere!

At first my painting was going to be set inside an arena of some kind, but that presented me with all kinds of nightmares and headaches. The thought of painting thousands of people was not something I felt like getting into at that point, as this is only the 5th digital painting Iíve ever done, so Iím still pretty new to this whole thing. Plus I wanted to get a good sense of scale in the image, which is hard when there is nothing else immediately near the two creatures. For me, getting that sense of scale meant having people much closer to the two creatures, and also having a low camera angle would prove helpful. In the end the arena just had to go. And as soon as I made that decision the whole composition changed and Escape from Fire Mountain was born. Iím glad I trashed the arena idea because a few other entrants had set their paintings inside an arena (to great effect I might add) but none the less, that theme seemed pretty well taken.

Anyway, I feel as if I've achieved what I wanted to achieve with this painting and with this challenge, that being of course something ĎSpectacularí, but also something with emotion and strong narrative elements, which is after all whatís called for in the challenge guidelines.

Well thatís all I really wanted to say, that and thanks and good luck with the judging everyone!


12 December 2005, 07:31 AM
wow that's awesome, I love the tension before the main battle!

good luck for the judging

12 December 2005, 07:32 AM
Great stuff steve-h, best of luck to ya in the finals, holla!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 03:23 AM
Well done steve for finishing, ive enjoyed watching the build up.

I think the cyclops is going to lose tho ;) he has a disadvantage with only one eye.

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