View Full Version : new WIP - need crit, stuck!

04 April 2006, 07:44 PM
I'm just sort of wondering how you viewers would read this if you knew it was representative of my belief system.

I wanted it to be highly conceptual but I'm also frustrated at not being able to add everything... but then I worry about muddying it up.

How does this read? What can I improve? Does the composition work? What sense do you get from it? Anything negative and/or positive is welcome - anything to make it better :)

04 April 2006, 01:18 PM
Please anyone?

04 April 2006, 02:20 PM
Honestly, I'm not really good at symbolism, and I really can't tell what is supposed to be represented here, it's a bit confusing. But maybe someone else can figure it out, like I said, I'm not real good at this sort of thing. I'm better at interpreting people.

04 April 2006, 06:47 PM
Well, at least you replied!

How is it confusing? Honestly, anything at this point would help, believe me. :)

04 April 2006, 07:15 PM
the hourglass should be moved a bit closer to the earth. You could also crop some of the top empty space. the details need refining and the concept needs to be explained better in the picture. There needs to be some bigger clue as to what is going on or what is going to happen.

You shouldn't worry about muddying it up, There needs to be a little more there to better explain the painting. Just mess around and try new stuff, who knows you might like it.

04 April 2006, 08:32 PM
You didn't answer what I asked though - what do YOU see? What do YOU think about what is being said.

What do you think is the message about my beliefs there.

04 April 2006, 07:19 AM
what do I see, hmm. Well the hourglass is obviously something to do with time, like time is running out maybe. The overall impression I get is that you believe is that time is counting down to something to do with the planet earth. The codes going to the hourglass remind me of something I saw in a movie. They were also a countdown, so that kinda reinforces the time thing, like maybe time is running out. That little thingy in the hourglass is probly the clue to tie it altogether, but I cant figure out what it is. Its like the hourglass has been going for a long while and that little thing finally popped through.

I dunno, Its kinda like a riddle. Im no good at riddles:D.

04 April 2006, 01:01 PM
Is it like, the universe was created, set in motion, then left alone? :shrug:

Nice work with the planet. The top part of the hourglass needs to be rounder.

04 April 2006, 01:15 PM
Thank you so much werd for giving it a shot, I SO much appreciate that!!

I can tell this much - my message is not clear at all!! Pieces of it are, little hints - but I'm making a mess of it.

I am finding it difficult (and by difficult, I mean, ALL MY SPARE THOUGHT is taken up by this) to symbolize my belief system.

The kernel of 'sand' that looks different is actually a nucleus of a molecule -- I suppose I ought to try and make that read better, but I was trying to accurately portray size in relation to the nucleus, and the electrons wouldn't be viewable if the nucleus was that size.

In actuality, the electrons wouldn't be viewable at all until we decided we wanted to take a look at them - since it's all just stable patterns anyway...

but there I go with my quantum view of the universe o.O

That thought you had of a countdown was amazing. I had it the other way around, like they were coming OUT from the middle -- but wow, to see it as turned around like that, I kinda dig it.

I hope to work on it some today - it is due Tuesday, and I have a busy weekend (family coming in) so I might be posting lots of updates on Monday.

Is there a way I can make the hourglass more detailed dtrousdale? I am not too clear with technique for that yet. I was thinking of making the wood darker and kinda starting over... I drew that from a reference pic.

And dtrousdale - I like your idea in what you 'saw' too. Maybe I am putting stuff out there I didn't even realize.

I had this clear idea of what to show -- maybe my subconscious is trying to speak?

04 April 2006, 06:32 PM
I kinda thought that that was a nucleus, or some sort of atomic related thing. But it is a bit unclear, I think perhaps you should make it bigger. This is representing your belief system, it doesn't have to be realistic. Also, I thought that the numbers coming out of the hourglass so of represent the computer age, you know, because the computer is completely run in that code. But I really don't know what to think of it. Hehe, I suck, sorry.

04 April 2006, 11:49 PM
Nah you dont suck, none of you do - its clearly my own representational dilemna.

I'm almost about ready to ditch the whole project.

What if I started over with just the hourglass floating, the nucleus as the grain of 'sand' and swirls of code/mtheory equations around the hourglass?

I would have to beat cheeks to do this tomorrow... but I might be able to bang it out.

04 April 2006, 03:32 PM
Ok I started over completely -- I am much happier with this composition and hopefully the meaning, while nebulous, will be a little bit clearer. Or maybe not. At this point I just need to get it done.

This is SO just beginning. Just sketched out the outline of the hourglass and did the text swirls - the background is that color only so I can see what I am doing with the hourglass - the background will be a starfield like before.

Will post regular updates today as I go.

04 April 2006, 04:23 PM
a little more colored in...

04 April 2006, 05:37 PM
Ya know, I think that I liked the equations and stuff better in the first version, when they were sort of flying out of the center of the hourglass. Also, perhaps if you tilt the hourglass a little and pose it off-center in the picture, it create more interest. I do like it up closer now, because the nucleus is much clearer.

04 April 2006, 05:57 PM
Hmm, I might be off or something but it might be easier to relate things in a composition by not placing them down center. You could leave center to relate things as having a centric construction towards eachother, for instance.

And I wonder if you're trying to put out a question or an answer, beliefsystems usually are 'proof of the unseen'. I'm also having a hard time into reading what the nucleus stands for. Fun game though, to guess. Not that I'm daring any guesses :p.

Is there a philosophical trend that you're following? Like a core concept? Something like, there's as much time to us as there's space on earth? heheh, sounds silly I know, gotta say something to illustrate.

Good luck, it's a difficult thing to do. After all you wouldn't need to believe if you had proof.

04 April 2006, 06:34 PM
Well most people's belief systems center around something unprovable. But mine doesn't. But that's a whole other ball of wax entirely.

Updated with a teeny bit more detail.

I could tilt the hourglass since its basically all on one layer, but to do the right perspective I'd have to fix a bunch, and I don't have the time since it is due tomorrow. For someone with more experience, maybe they could do it faster, but I'm slow as molasses!

EDIT: Gah, I am saving it as such a small file and small file size that half the detail is missing and the text looks all blurred.. Suckage.

What can I do to improve the detail of the wood on the hourglass? Should I make any stars bigger? (I dont even think you can see the stars on the uploaded version)

04 April 2006, 06:59 PM
Well, looks like you could use some hints of specularity to sugget detail. :)

And I don't think I saw many stars. Whe working with the specular first add some lower intensity blurred hints and a few more intense really small things. That should work. Good luck. :)

04 April 2006, 10:31 PM
I am not sure what specularity means but I'll try to add more detail :)

04 April 2006, 10:59 PM
Oh it's the shininess part of a material (visually), glossy, the highlights etc. I worked in 3d apps before I started painting.
If you want I could show you a quick few steps on how I'd approach it?

04 April 2006, 11:07 PM
Yes, I tried to do it, but I really don't know how -- all I know is the light is basically coming from the center, the nucleus.

Here is what I tried to do:

(I shrunk it over 50% so the attachment would work - if you would like, I can upload a full version to my own site and you can see it fully?)

04 April 2006, 11:12 PM
Looks very good allready! :) I think I get the idea well enough like this, for a bit more realism You could tone down the shiny parts that are more occluded. Light works additively, so if something gets less diffuse (soft and spread out) light, the shininess will look less bright as well.
Going great, I love how you added two colours to the highlights, nice touch.

04 April 2006, 11:16 PM
for a bit more realism You could tone down the shiny parts that are more occluded.

Ok, I'm not a moron, I know what occluded means - but in a painting sense, I'm kinda scratching my head :D

Thank you so much for helping me out, I am such a linear person when I learn something, so this is really helping me SO MUCH you have no idea - I totally appreciate this!

So, basically, tone down the super bright bits? Or did I misunderstand?

04 April 2006, 11:41 PM
So, basically, tone down the super bright bits? Or did I misunderstand?

Yes, I think that's what jm meant.

This is coming along very nicely.

04 April 2006, 11:58 PM
Ok I tried to tone down the bright spots...

I am still very ambivalent about how the wood looks, but I just don't know what to do.

Ok the attachments just aren't doing it for me anymore -- here is a link to the full version :)

Beliefs (

04 April 2006, 12:39 AM
I think he meant darken the rest of the wood so that the highlights show up better. That would also suit the dark space background better.

I still cant figure out what it means. Seriously, if I dont get it soon im gonna go crazy:scream:.

04 April 2006, 12:40 AM
Ok I am running out of time to finish this up anymore - so I think this is probably the best I can do under the circumstances.

Beliefs_Finished ( (for now anyway)

04 April 2006, 12:44 AM
Ok, I did all that without reading what you said, so I fiddled with some layer properties of the 'fixing' I did and came up with this.

Which one do you like better? The one from the ^^^ post....

Or this one (

I actually think I like this one better. (attachment added for faster DL but hyperlink is full size)

04 April 2006, 01:04 AM
Second one, sorry was frenzying on a hand. The thing's driving me nuts! :banghead:

Anyway, at the foot of both supporting rods or pillars there's a rim around the entire foot. I think glue would reflect that indeed but it seems of I would try to bring the brightness down in crevaces and corners. And leave the rest as it is in the picture. I hope I'm still in time :argh: .

Good luck :).

04 April 2006, 01:28 AM
Yah! My husband isn't quite home yet and I put my kids to bed - so I had a few minutes. Besides, you had a really good point. I kinda suck at figuring out where highlights should go... that made perfect sense and I hope it looks better now! :)

Beliefs (

04 April 2006, 04:37 PM
Well, my teacher basically just told me that digital art wasn't real drawing - and that I should have drawn my piece with pencil/charcoal -- she didn't even want to look at it.

Another student did a fractal render and she blew up. She is a self admitted computer illiterate, but she tore us up hardcore.

I totally understand that its a drawing class - and his render might not have specifically been a drawing, but it really made me upset that she dismissed it so easily.

04 April 2006, 04:48 PM
thats silly. digital art is drawing, just a different medium. it shouldn't have mattered what medium you used unless the class was specifically a pencil/charcoal drawing class.

04 April 2006, 06:35 PM
Well, its Drawing 101 - and people use pen/ink, pencil, charcoal, conte crayon and oil pastels.

So any /traditional/ medium is OK with her.

She totally dismissed mine as 'not drawing'.

I think she actually believes I just type in something and it appears... or something.... I really have no idea what she really thinks.

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