View Full Version : The Last Stand -fantasy painting-

04 April 2006, 03:20 AM
Hello everybody. I am starting another project. I am a huge LOTR fan, so I thought up a painting I could do that is similar to the Helm's Deep battle. In this case, there is a small race of dragon people that is being attacked by humans who think that they are nothing but mutated animals. Every male, from young boy to old man is called to fight the seemingly impossible battle.
Now for the painting- A young boy with his sword drawn and a peaceful look on his face. The reflection in his eyes will be a man running toward him yelling. I hope that will show how the humans are actually the animals, rather than the dragon people.
Bla bla bla, thanks to anyone who took the time to read this...

At the moment, I have had some comments that the child looks more female than male.... ??

Will update soon.
Comments or crits most welcome.
Thanks, Jackie.

04 April 2006, 06:20 AM
The problem is that all you have is the face of the boy, there is no context to place the face in a situation like you describe. Make the canvas larger and paint in the scene you describe. Don't bother going into such detail on the boys face until you have the scene blocked out.

Secondly, the face doesn't look like a dragon-man, but rather a child afflicted with some horrible mutagenic disease.

You should make it more clear that those are dragon scales on his face, get rid of those vein-like lines and only paint in scales. Alter the face more so it seems more reptillian, if he looks too human people won't understand that those scales are natural.

04 April 2006, 03:54 AM
Thank you for your response. I took all of the pointers.
In the first upload, I cut out the face, because that is all i really worked on, but it does make more sense to show you the whole thing right away.
I did get rid of some of the 'veins'. I was trying to make the scales blend in more with the skin of the face, otherwise they stuck out. Im not sure how to alter the face without making the poor child disfigured, they are half human too. I will make the arms and hands have scales and claws, i think that should take care of any doubt as to what the creatures are...
anyways, here is the update, i worked on the helmet as well.

Thanks for any crits or comments, they are very appreciated!

04 April 2006, 01:50 PM
Hey that's progressing nicely. Are you adding more specualrity later on? Because I expect sweat and shine on the armour considering there's alot of effort in fights. etc.

:thumbsup: Neat face.

04 April 2006, 02:35 PM
Now, that makes much more visual sense. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this one.

04 April 2006, 06:02 AM
I'm a little wary of that pose you have him in. If he's holding his sword up like that and no one is actively attacking him, it makes it seem like the child really knows how to handle the sword.

As good as the face is rendered, you could alter his expression a bit more to show fear, anxiety, and some pain mixed with cluelessness. If you did this, the pose you have now would be okay since the face would clearly show that the child has no experience with the sword.

Also, try to embed your images into the post instead of just providing a link. It's just a bit faster and people will be more willing to comment.

04 April 2006, 03:01 AM
Thanks very much for the replies.
jmBoekenstein: Yes, I was planning on making the armor shinny, I have added shines in the new update.
keight:Thanks for the comment:)
Vertrucio:Wow, thanks for these great critiques, I find them very helpful. I have changed the child's eye expression. I think his pose is alright. Although I didn't say in this thread, I am going to paint his attacker reflected on the sword blade, not his eyes. So raising his arm and sword is a act of self-defence, actually a pretty natural movement
(btw, thanks for the little comment about inserting images, I'll do that)
But I do have a problem now. I have a good start on the character, but I totally don't know what to do with the background. (didn't plan ahead too well...) I have rotated the canvas slightly, and I think I may have made things even harder for myself. Please, if there are any ideas for a background floating around out there, share them, I'd love to here it!
Thanks for all the help,

04 April 2006, 03:03 AM
Whoa thats huge, sorry... :blush:

04 April 2006, 03:42 AM
After many many different attemps on a background, I settled for one that dosn't really make sence, but looks attractive, (to me anyways...) If he were fighting a battle, you would think he wouldn't be standing on a hill or clift, and there would be more people around him.
I got rid of the spikes on his armor and made a cloak blowing in the breeze. The particles in the air I added to give it a magical feel.
Crits welcome as always.
Thanks, Jackie.

04 April 2006, 07:55 AM
Jackie this is really great! I love the idea, costume and the character. The nose and the upper lip are a little crooked you might want to tweek them just a tad. I really like what you did with the background it brings your attention to the subject and the sword. The expression on the boy's face shouts determination. Terrific Job!

04 April 2006, 07:28 PM
This is some great work, I especially like your choice of colors.

04 April 2006, 06:16 AM
One last thing before you finish this, and this is purely a style comment so it's not that important.

However, with digital painting, it's often a little too easy to blend. In the quest to get those perfect blends, you've lost a bit of life from the image by trying to blend everything together instead of just allowing those painterly shapes to show. By overblending, you lose some hard edges that could help direct the eye, and your colors can become muddy in the process. Also, metals, especially shiny metals, often have very hard edged highlights and reflections.

Also at issue is the massing of lights and darks in the image. Compare the image you posted above to the image one higher that has no background. I think the image with the dark background flows more in terms of composition than the current image with a muddy grey background and overdone sunflare. There's so much light in the latest version that the viewer is unsure where to look. In fact, my eyes are drawn not to the boy but towards the very bright mass of light in the top left quadrant of the image.

In the version without a background, those spikey bits you removed actually work (although they did need some tweaking) in that they help pull the eye back from the shiny sword down from the top left and back around to the boy's face.

If you still want to have that style of background, with bright sun coming through cracks in a dark cloud layer, make sure that the cloud layer is really dark and that you use those sunstreaks to move the viewer's eyes where you want them to go.

04 April 2006, 02:50 AM
Wow. Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments. I tryed to fix the painting up a bit with the advice given.
If there are no other comments here, I think I will upload it in the finished section. Thanks so much for all the help!

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