View Full Version : “Battle At The Pass” Assistance, Please (Again)

04 April 2006, 02:47 AM
I posted the beginnings of the color work on this here in the in the middle of last year, fully intending to work it through to a decent completion. Then came the power outage that toasted my comp’s memory and my monitor. By the time I could get back to working on it, the thread had expired.

Current Working Image: The line art is a spot channel in the colored work. While not colored in the traditional, pre-computer style, or in the modern computerized airbrush style, this is still a bit of an homage to Hal Foster and Stan Lynde. The background and immediate foreground lines, as well as the figures’ shadows, have been removed from the line art channel. I have also applied texture layers, from photos specifically taken for this purpose, to the image as appropriate.
The length of the interruption of work on this seems to have increased the problems that I am having with this. The scene: facing north; altitude (foreground) - near the tree-line, shortly before noon.

Problems with foreground stuff: the dust and grit that has been kicked up still bothers me.
What are some of the ways I can correct this?

The blood, both on the ground and on the gryphon still doesn’t seem right. Suggestions?

I still have to make the cast shadows from the grasses and the figures the same color; and the bit of harness strap needs work.

What else have I missed? Crits? Comments?

Current Working Background Image: as I have already done the sketch of what was going on just before the fight started, I intend to use this background for it as well.

Problems with landscape itself: the far end of the lake should seem about 2miles away, the near end about 1 mile away.

How are some of the ways I can increase the perception of depth in this scene? Crits? Comments?

04 April 2006, 12:40 PM
you can make depth by changing the perspective of someone looking alittle lower, by moving the background lower then the floor where those two characters are on; or redrawing to make the background flatter not so much bowled over.
Also by adding some little trees to show height, some fog/clouds in front of the mountains and valley; but you prob want to keep the background clean. the persons pose looks alittle odd.

04 April 2006, 07:51 PM
Thanks, kiwi8, good suggestion there. I've definitely looked at that background way too long to realize what was wrong there.

I'm not too sure what you meant by "the persons pose looks alittle odd." Could you please try to explain what you meant a bit more clearly?

04 April 2006, 11:31 PM
Thanks to kiwi8 I finally got my brain in gear, and realized I was still thinking “traditional media” (Yeesh!!), I trashed most of the background and used a couple of real references. Heavily referenced, yes. Paint over, no. This has also been widened to allow me to use the same background for the painting of what happened Just Before the Battle.

There is more work to be done on the background, and there are still things that could be handled much better....

I've gotten a couple of comments saying the combatants poses look odd. In what ways?
Is there a better way to render kicked up dust and gravel?

As I mentioned earlier, the line art for the fighter and the gryphon is currently a spot channel. This probably sounds pretty silly, but is there any way to take the line art data and make it a layer?

and just the background...

Thanks for any and all assistance, crits, and comments.

04 April 2006, 07:05 PM
I got rid of a mess in the right foreground.

I would still very much appreciate answers to my earlier questions, if at all possible.

Now, back to work.

04 April 2006, 08:35 PM
Thank you all who've checked out this thread, I appreciate it.

Today's smidgen of work follows the questions I'd still like to find answers for. If they sound sort of "well, duh!" its probably because I'm still a noob when it comes to digital painting.

The dust and grit that has been kicked up still bothers me.
Is there a better way to render kicked up dust and gravel?
The blood, both on the ground and on the gryphon still doesn’t seem right. Suggestions?
I've gotten a couple of comments saying the combatants poses look odd. In what ways?

Thanks for looking.

04 April 2006, 09:23 PM
I think this is coming along nicely, indeedio :-)

A couple of personal opinions and suggestions:

- Perhaps make the blood a bit darker. Blood is usual darker (unless it's not human of course), especially when spilled on the ground and such (don't ask, hehe).

- Another thing that I noticed that took my attention is that helmet on the ground. It looks a bit "pasted in" because we see it directly form the front, perhaps draw this from a slightly different angle, and give it some more contrast to look more like metal?

- I really like the ground and the shadows, well done!

- The background looks good, those flat trees is a bit too flat for my taste, but this is all about matter of personal taste, and I know that it is not easy to paint trees like that as it's going to take ages, hehe. To create more depth in the background, how about brushing in some smooth fog at the bottom in-between the montains, like it's laying at the bottom of the valleys?

- The character and the gryphon looks very, very good! Splendid work!

04 April 2006, 10:37 PM
Thank you, Henning, I needed that!

I really hadn't forgotten the trees, you betcha they still need work. I just wanted to get the horse's harness mess out of the way first. Probably should drop in a few strands of horsehair, too.

I don't know whether equine blood is as bright on the ground as that of canines (January was not a fun month), so I'll go ahead and darken it a bit.

I agree on the helm. What you see is just a test start on it.

Then there's the fur, feathers, and possibly egg shards off to the left.

Thanks again.

04 April 2006, 10:37 AM
Really nice work keight, but i noticed that the shadows of the characters are quite sharp on the ground but on the characters themselves they are quite diffused. If you are still working on them that's cool but if not i would suggest to either have sharper shadows on the characters or blur the shadows on the ground.
Excellent work so far! Let's see more.

04 April 2006, 01:56 PM
Thanks, John. Yes I'm still working on it. Thank you for reminding me about the figure shadows. I've added that to the list of things I need to tweak.

I'm hoping to put some time into it today, but posting an update may take a bit.

04 April 2006, 08:30 PM
Today's update: worked on the shadows on the figures. I think I may have lost it a bit on the human's face. Yes? No? Maybeso?

Reminder: the helmet you see is in no way finished. Consider it a placeholder.

Company is coming on Sunday, and I have to find the house under the studio clutter here. More on Monday. Have a great weekend folks.

04 April 2006, 02:29 PM
Okay, I got carried away and twiddled with the trees and the figure shadows.
Reminder: the helmet you see is a placeholder.
Now I really do have to stop for the weekend. Have a good one folks.

04 April 2006, 05:23 AM
Hi, Keight; the image is comming along nicely. The trees in the background looks soo much better given definition.
The background is better narrower now then before, maybe you can give it more definition as you did with the trees little by little. esp where the water meets the ground, and the mountains.

The shadows do need some work, to me it looks like the sun is in different places, decide where if the sun is above then or behind them or infront and adjust the shadow accordingly. Also the ground below them needs some slight shadow from the rocks.

The kicking dust is a great start makes the image more dynamic; which I think the image lacks. Because the image is a snapshop of a very sudden action it needs to capture it. The pose for the person looks very static like its a painted still life, where the image suggest that the person is jumping off the rock to take a stab at the beast.
The cape should reflect this sudden fast movement, and the hair should also; to me the hair looks very thick and not so flowing with movement. You have to imagine if the person is jumping forward or jumping down or doing both with that movement what the cape and hair would do. If the cape if very thick and heavy it wouldnt move so much unless falling straight down would the cape go up so high, if it thin then the cap would be more flimsy and have more dramatic waves.
Also the left leg is bending abnormally, his feet is facing the viewer and the at the knees it the leg is viewing the lion. This leg is probably the kicking feet to leap forward, maybe it needs more grip with the rock.
Im also wondering about the swing, does the animals mouth touch the sword? if the person is swing like a backhand slice in tennis (from neck to down to the feet) then I think the grip of the hand would be around 90 degrees to the sword and after the swing it will loosen up.
Also the right foot, depending how you imagine the person started to go foward for the swing will the right foot suggest how he started. Now it looks as if the right foot isnt bracing for landing at all, which would mean the person is about time a secound leap with the right foot once it hits something, or the person would have to very quicking bring the left foot to the ground, or fall down on the ground.
I think the helmet will look better if it was leaning against the rock at some angle rather then straight on.

04 April 2006, 11:29 PM
Thanks, kiwi8. You’ve mentioned some good points that I need to deal with, some of which I am already working on solving (shadows and the helmet and sword perspective corrections). I’ve made notes on the others.

Unfortunately I’ve had to stop work on this for awhile. Sunday, our daughter, who is a college art student, was bitten on her dominant hand by a stray dog. It hasn’t gotten quite as bad as Linda’s did, but it is still in need of daily care. Thank goodness the dog was not a terrier, and is implanted with a microchip.

I am aware that the foreground shadows are mostly wrong. They are two, at least, different colours, and need to be the same color. They also do not match the lighting angle of the background. I got lost a bit there.

Anyway, this is what I was going to post, before I read your latest posting, a couple of days ago.

06 June 2006, 06:59 AM
I just thought I better dredge this up. Now that the drawing hand has healed, I should be able to get back to work on this.

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