View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Dave Freeman

06 June 2007, 12:00 PM
Dave Freeman is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Line Art or Model: Composition / light development (

06 June 2007, 12:04 PM
He He he

Let the challenge begin!!!

Real shame I couldn't finish the last challenge, but now I'm working again full time, I don't have to spend every hour of the day worrying about the next job.

Good Luck everyone and can't wait to see all those entries!!

06 June 2007, 02:24 PM
Hi DAvid!!Nice to see you're in!Good luck buddy!And have fun:beer:

06 June 2007, 03:40 PM
good luck mr freeman,good to see u again :)

06 June 2007, 02:48 PM
Saying hi to all the guys i remember from a few challenges we are again.

Looking forward to it.....good luck.


06 June 2007, 12:49 PM
hey freeman nice to see ya back here!

stoppin by to give greets.

06 June 2007, 11:08 PM
have fun dude


06 June 2007, 08:47 AM
:thumbsup: Great to see so many of the old crowd back again for another challenge...

Feels like another reunion and I feel this will be a good one!!

Sorry I've not been online much recently, but I was working on a big production and have been soooooo busy. Well back in full time work and my employers are keen for me to keep pushing the concept artwork, so I should have time to get my teeth into this challenge (hey I might even finish it).

Ideas on the way :applause: :bounce: :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 02:04 PM (

This idea was to show a typical city scene with people shopping and going about their everyday business.

Suddenly, a giant robot bursts through the buildings into the street sending debris everywhere.

I like the idea of may be two robots entering the scene and fighting mid shot - the idea of scale and play between normality and something unexpected.

07 July 2007, 05:28 PM
Good start. Imressiv concept.

Good luck.

07 July 2007, 06:08 PM
Good sense of scale and pleasing concept work, looks interesting so far, keep it up!

07 July 2007, 06:41 PM
brilliant concept dude! :eek: :applause:

love the colours and scale! very well done!

good luck for the challenge mate! :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 07:01 PM
Very nice concept piece.

07 July 2007, 07:08 PM
Wow, like transformers only... MASSIVE!!

Should look really good, I'll be back to check on your progress :bounce:

07 July 2007, 07:25 PM
the image looks realy cool. I just am not sure the concept fits the strange behaviour idea. Yes, essentially it is stange but the idea of two mecha robot jobbies fighting in a city has been done to death so that now it seems unoriginal and not so strange.

07 July 2007, 08:25 PM
Kind a agree with W.I.L...though it's an amazing concept sketch!Great,great start!

07 July 2007, 08:47 PM
Hi David... nice first sketch... really like the mood of it... for the concept you should work it out a little more for transfering the "strange" behaviour ;) Let the robot chase something like a rubber ball or something likely

07 July 2007, 09:00 PM
this one is promising keep up the good work!

07 July 2007, 07:14 AM
:) Hey thanks for all the comments and feedback

:hmm: Fair enough with regards to the idea may be not being the most original, but you know when you get a sudden flash of inspiration and need to put it to paper, you just go with it. Whilst I was working on the sketch it looked like the robot at one point was kneeling down and crying and I was toying with the idea of adding a more emotional feel to it, so early days!

I just happened to be struggling to work yesterday with all the usual chaos of working in London and whilst looking up at some of the great architecture just thought, imagine now if a giant robot burst through one of the buildings. Would be great to see the surprise on the faces of some of those businessmen in suits. :eek:

Still I've had a few other ideas on the train this morning which are a bit more off the wall, so I'll post some more sketches soon. :bounce:

07 July 2007, 03:29 PM
Originality springs from many things that have already been created, keep up the good work. I love your concept style!

07 July 2007, 03:46 PM
OOooohh looking really sweet Dave!

07 July 2007, 11:50 PM
Hey Dave, Looking nice already. Welcome back to the challenge again. :thumbsup:

07 July 2007, 11:53 PM
It's looking really interesting Dave!

07 July 2007, 03:33 AM
The sketch is great...someone mentioned that the concept was overdone and that makes it less strange...i would have to agree but i think you can keep the same idea just add another twist in the if the mech was a pink bunny?? that would be strange :)

08 August 2007, 07:11 AM (

I've been working on a new concept based around a crazy old robot, sat upon a ledge high above a city, whom for some strange reason is fishing in the pouring rain.

I liked the idea of this old machine cackling to himself as he reels in an old boot or piece of junk he has caught floating in the murk below.

I want this to be really atmospheric and would like to have the scene set at dusk with rain streaming down the ledge he is sat upon. Lights within the ledge would pick out the rain in their beams as well as an ethereal glow from the city below (warm colours) as well as blues from the sky above.

I'm working on another painting which will show composition and atmosphere.

More soon

08 August 2007, 07:15 AM (

Just another sketch of the same character. I like the idea of the contrast between metals of the robot and great reflections as well as rain pouring over his body - and his old straw hat (though probably made of wire mesh) and bedraggled appearance.

08 August 2007, 07:16 AM (

Just another sketch of the same character. I like the idea of the contrast between metals of the robot and great reflections as well as rain pouring over his body - and his old straw hat (though probably made of wire mesh) and bedraggled appearance.

08 August 2007, 07:21 AM
:p ooops... seemed to have uploaded this last image twice...sorry...

hey great to hear from those who have replied to my thread...been a crazy few weeks at work, but definitely going to finish this for once.

Crazy deadline at work to meet, but then back in full force, but I will try and post the colour visual I've been working on at some point today :thumbsup:

08 August 2007, 02:25 PM (

Here is a very rough working of the robot that was depicted in the previous sketches.

I'm still working on composition and lighting / colour, but the robot is starting to work.

The rain will make a great difference to the image with regards to atmosphere and reflections, so I hope to start working on this.

More updates soon hopefully

08 August 2007, 02:53 PM
Hey, David! Good to see you working on this more. You might want to think about opening up the composition on the top a bit - it's awfully crowded around his head. and speaking of his head, his hat is one of the things that really helps define him... But now it's getting lost against the background. What about clearing out some of those buildings areound it so that the silhouette reads more clearly? Just a thought... good luck!

08 August 2007, 06:54 PM (

Had this idea the other night and have been playing around with compositions and it's starting to work at last.

The idea is that whilst we sleep these nasty little creatures come along and steal your dreams and bottle them for profit whilst replacing them with less savoury dreams.

I imagine some sort of apparatus with liquid being poured into the woman's ear.

Bit of a cross between a kid's fairy tale (not maybe the most popular) but along the lines of Rumplestiltskin meets red riding hood.

I'm really enjoying having the chance to work in this way having spent the last week creating highly polished models in 3D. I love Painter!

More soon hopefully

08 August 2007, 07:37 PM
I like it! Do it! Colors are always nice david. Give this comp a little more top. I think it will better the composition a bit more.

08 August 2007, 08:45 PM
Wicked sketch and lovely messy brush strokes. Hope the Otex helps ;)


08 August 2007, 09:34 PM
Yep, indeed amazing colors!Nice idea also.
It's just that right now, she looks more dead then sleeping I think personaly.Maybe a part of her pillow or somebody sleeping just behind her.Just a suggestion ofcourse..
Great work!Keep m coming :beer:

08 August 2007, 09:54 PM
He he he

Never thought about the dead look, but now you mention it, good point. Maybe I need to add in a bit more warmth???

Nice idea about a pillow or cushion - I did start with a wider shot, but want to keep the attention on the small figure. It would be nice to add these details in at a later stage... thanks for the advice and comments OKMER...

Thanks Quills... much appreciated

Thanks Beelow... I've been trying to stick to the old golden rule, but got a bit carried away with this and must go back and refine

Thanks everyone else - hope to be back on board full time now, so hope to reply more than once every three years

08 August 2007, 10:22 PM
really expressive sketches! I personally thing that the dreamcatcher/stealer concept has more room to move - as a note, seeing the last sketch, I couldn't help but think of Hamlet. Good start!


08 August 2007, 02:02 PM (

I've just been working on getting the composition and layout working and have extended to show a little more of the woman asleep.

I like the idea of more than one creature hiding within the shadows - maybe created from smoke by the main character.

I need to refine the colours a bit, but it's beginning to work.

More soon

08 August 2007, 10:46 PM
Hehe,cool,although there' a lot of space now up your image?it's cool you opended up your canvas!So much mor epossibilities now.Now me again being a bit fussy:D,but the fact it looks like she's wearin some kind a evening dress,feels a bit strange for somebody sleeping...except ofcourse after a long night of :bounce::buttrock::buttrock: lolll:D..

I like the face and her position,she really looks like having some nice sleep!
Keep coming the great work!Cheers!

08 August 2007, 02:17 PM
Hi, i really like your colors :) so nice, happy you followed Beelows suggestion, expanding the scene really added to it. As always theres a but ;) i honestly dont understand whats strange behavior about evil caracters replacing the dreams of a girl? Needs a twist ;)

Will be interesting to see the developement of the piece :)


08 August 2007, 08:16 AM
:) Thanks for the comments and advice....

With regards to the dress - well I wanted it to be rich in colour and vivid against the greens of the background, so more a creative choice rather than anything else.

With regards to strange behaviour, well again it's that personal interpretation. I would think it quite strange if someone started trying to extract dreams from my head whilst asleep, but i completely understand your thoughts.

I'm taking a step back so I can resolve all these problems then will decide whether to go with this idea or another. That's partly why I liked the robot fishing idea as it was completely strange behaviour for a robot... we'll see thanks again and I hope to have something more very soon

D :D

08 August 2007, 03:04 PM (

I'm still debating which idea to go with, but thought it worth pushing them all a little further before going with my favourite.

Here we see the crazy old robot sitting high above a city fishing in the poring rain. He cackles as he realises he has caught something rather unusual.

I'm still working on the final composition, but the colours are beginning to work.

All thoughts and comments would be really appreciated.

08 August 2007, 07:03 PM (

I still like this first concept and as I'm revisiting all the ideas plus more before choosing which to go with, this is a revision of the first idea.

The robot is kneeling amongst the debris having broken through a block of buildings - only to stop and pick up one of the few existing trees.

I wanted to try and contrast what is expected with more human emotions.

People stop and look up in shock and amazement, adding depth and scale to the image.

08 August 2007, 11:40 PM
OK, nice< like your last one best

can be a good one, but doesn't the robot, by picking up that last tree, actually kill that tree by doing so ? Make sure he picks up enough ground, stone and roots, so he doesn't destroy it.
but , besides that, no comments from me. I like your style, nice colours and moods, keep it up

08 August 2007, 08:59 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks Krrk... frrl the same.

I agree about the tree - I thought I could have some of the grass and dirt spilling from the robots palm. Really appreciate the advice :)

Feel the robot is not quite right with regards to scale and proportion so hope to sort this out today...more soon :bounce:

08 August 2007, 01:41 PM (

This is another sketch based on the idea of the robot smashing through into a street, holding a tree within it's palm.

The robot is completely oblivious to the chaos and destruction surrounding it's arrival, it's attention devoted to the piece of greenery discovered.

I wasn't happy with the proportions of the previous image, so reworked it. Still needs more work, but all comments welcome.

08 August 2007, 04:55 PM (

Here is a further drawing which is slightly more dynamic in terms of perspective and composition.

We see the robot clinging to a building that is crumbling under the weight.

I still need to add more weight to make the pose work, but it's getting there...

As always, comments (good and bad) welcome

08 August 2007, 05:14 PM
Hey David,

I love the idea with the robot and tree but i think the one where he is lying on the street is the best of them so far (more dynamic and i really love the color sheme in that one)... the last one distances me too much from the subject because of the angle... from the oher ideas, I love the dreamcathers but dont find the fisherman so interesting as an image...

Just my thoughts,
have fun,

08 August 2007, 10:59 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks for the comments and advice icedeyes ......

I see what you mean and will have another look today between jobs.

I do like the idea of the tree closer up so I can add blossom and maybe details such as birds and butterflies.

I need to try and work on the perspective so I can get the hand to be nearer to us whilst keeping the same pose. I do like the original composition, but felt that the proprtions of the robot looked wrong.

Hope to have more to show soon so I can perfect the composition and get on with the piece

Mr Freeman :cool:

08 August 2007, 04:54 PM (

Well I've been playing around with the composition and this is probably my final attempt.

I've concentrated on making the tree the point of interest, though colouring will help make this really stand out.

Let me know your thoughts before I decide which to go with.

08 August 2007, 11:52 PM (

Well, I think I've decided to go with this version as I prefer the angle than the others. I really like the idea of birds and wildlife flocking around the tree whilst the robot climbs high above the city.

Getting a bit late so I had better get some sleep before getting up at the crack of dawn for work - more soon.

08 August 2007, 08:47 AM
I love your last two posts (i think the previous one is better but thats just me) but if you still want to experiment, i have an idea that might or might not work... In a similar setting as the ground level shot, you could have the robot holding the tree close to the camera while he has fallen on the ground trying to protect it from something (i know i am pretty vague) or have an ant's view looking up and seeing the robot holding the tree over the skyscrappers so that it can get the light it needs to survive (you could also use the birds here)...

Just some ideas that kind of flocked in my head when i saw your last posts... continuing the concepts you already have would also be very nice... you decide

have fun,

08 August 2007, 10:26 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks george... really nice ideas - definitely more scope for pushing the idea further...

I'll see how it all goes. Luckily I have time to maybe work on the existing composition and possibly come up with an alternative. I really like the first composition, but felt the proportions were not working when I added the hand. I also felt the perspective a little too obvious, so I'm trying to go work on an angle which is more unusual (which might be possible with your second suggestion.

Thanks again and hope to post something later

Dave :)

08 August 2007, 01:37 PM (

This is my final composition for my robot idea.

We see a gigantic robot climbing crumbling towers high above an industrial city, trying to reach fresh air and blue sky high above.

Carrying it's precious tree, it pushes towards the heavens in the hope of saving this one piece of life amongst the chaos below.

I wanted to use a colour scheme that fits more with the subject and the idea of the green tree bathed in golden light against a sea of molten metal and smelting works

08 August 2007, 09:51 PM
Hey Dave, great sketches!!:thumbsup: , i really liked. I think your last composition is great and conceptual, great work!!. ( and i liked the previous comp. too :D ) .The birds are great touch!. Again great work Dave!! :) and looking forward for more updates!

08 August 2007, 03:12 PM (

I've now sorted out the composition and worked out most of the elements, so now I need to get on with colouring and detail.

I've added a couple having a picnic under the tree to add more humour to the image.

I still need to work on the city below, but the robot is coming on thanks to a great selection of texture brushes in Photoshop (which I've never really used much before) and the great brushes in Painter.

It may be a few days before I post an update now as I want to really get some detail in there.

All comments really welcome

08 August 2007, 04:18 PM
I really love how the update looks.. no crtis so far... keep us posted

08 August 2007, 11:30 PM
love all your sketches, the one you chose is really nice great perspective! good pose on robot. the tiny picnic people arnt scared?? lol :P great stuff.

HFix_StrangeBehavoirChallenge (
HFix Sketchbook (

08 August 2007, 08:31 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks icedeyes - appreciate the support

Thanks HFix - I thought it would be quite good to have people having a picnic or maybe camping (tent, etc.), but being completely unaware of what is happening as if a regular occurance...mmmm...Maybe they should be scared... I'll have a good night tonight on this and see how things develop.

So much to do...still lots of time thank goodness! :eek:

08 August 2007, 02:32 PM
that last concept painting is soooo powerful! It demands attention, and then delivers big time. Great composition/drawing/colour. The contrast between the robot/urban landscape on the one hand, and the tree on the other is perfect. great work!:thumbsup:


08 August 2007, 10:18 PM
Hey David, great texture for the robot!! :thumbsup: and liked the picnic touch! really nice. Im thinking if the robot need a mouth for more expression... dont know :D , only a comment :)
Again awesome work!! and love it your painting!! :beer:

08 August 2007, 05:27 AM
Its getting great! the colors and the textures are realy powerful.

09 September 2007, 12:09 PM
:thumbsup: Thanks for all the comments and support

I've been away on holiday for the last week and so haven't had my daily fix of Painter, so hope to get cracking and will post an update veryyyyyyy sooooon

Great to be back

Dave :D

09 September 2007, 12:50 PM
Hey this concept looks nice :thumbsup: I like the idea of preserving the last green tree. Verry ideological. However I`m not seeing really a strange behaviour here because we humans devastating all the green we see from ever :sad: But if you focus on the people having this strange habitude to go to picnic in this last part of green that will works well :D

Anyway great start and good luck in the next steps :bounce:

09 September 2007, 02:47 PM
awesome perspective... very dynamic composition!

09 September 2007, 12:54 PM (

This is part of the image showing how I have started working on adding more detail, both around the tree and buildings.

It's been a couple of manic weeks at work, but hope to progress a lot further over the next week.

I liked the idea of people camping under the tree, the fact that this robot has gone awol and stopped working in the factories below to save this last bit of eden.

All comments really welcome and I promise to reply quicker now I have a little spare time.

09 September 2007, 01:08 PM
Hi Freeman, I like the idea but it seems to me like the tree in the middle of the city seems to come from nowhere, maybe change the background of the city to a forest which is being burned down to a single tree by people and the only one that is left is being rescued by the robot. Your idea is strange enough because it would be logical to preserve your habitat, the robot gets it then why are people so retarded not to get it.

The composition also needs some tweaking, it seems like on the first glance my eye didn't catch the center of attention. Maybe it needs some greater difference in contrast between robot and the tree.

Awesome and good luck.

09 September 2007, 08:36 AM
Hey Dave, cool update mate!! I like a lot the camping touch, great!! (and birds??? where are the birds?? :D ) Perhaps a light (blue) beam over the tree in order to emphasize that is escaping of the asphalt and pollution invasion :D , only a comment :) . Again awesome work !! cheers :beer:

09 September 2007, 06:44 PM
Yes it needs some atmo and better lighting.

09 September 2007, 02:32 PM
:D Thanks for the advice and comments....

The idea of the tree in an industrial landscape was supposed to highlight the difference between the tree and rest of the scene. The robot is acting strange because it has stopped working in the city below to save this tree.

The campers added a touch of strangeness and also fun to the idea.

Hey Ferx - the birds are still there - the last image was a close up of the main part of the composition.

Good points Guero - I've already started changing the image and some of the points mentioned were worrying me to. I've changed the composition to focus on the tree more as well as adding more cinematic lighting to make the tree and robot stand out much more. I'm also changing the cityscape as I felt it a little too busy

Honestly, it will soon all wake sense (hopefully).

Cheers again

Dave :thumbsup:

09 September 2007, 06:27 PM
Great textures, also like the perspective!

09 September 2007, 08:58 AM (

I've spent quite some time refining and altering the composition and content to focus the viewers attention on the tree and robot. The background was distracting and so has been removed and toned right down.

The colour and light is working far better - I've kept warm colours in the tree area to bring it forward and colder colours towards the robot and background.

Flipping the image has also allowed me to refine the perspective and sort out any major problems.

More soon

09 September 2007, 04:03 PM
Hi Freeman nice improvement but you are not done :)

Imagine that there are clouds above the city with that in mind the sunlight will break through in lots of places with different strengths. That will soften the strong shadow that the robot is casting, right now it seems like he's lucked in the box with a flood light thrown at him.

Proportions, look at robots arm it's in disproportion the elbow should be twice the distance also the tree should be pointed more towards the camera as if being offered to the viewer. With that in mind since you changed you composition I like that we see more of the city and the whole robot but the tree should be brought closer to the camera so watch your fore shorting. If you bring the hand closer it should be bigger than the head, also I don't know if you want to put bigger emphasis on the robot or on the tree and the person that's your call but when you make it make sure is clear to the viewer.

So in your situation the tree should be the foreground robot the middle ground and city the background. Don't ignore your background since it plays big part in your drawing it will emphasize the strangeness of a such a big robot in such a bit city, so showoff the city but do it in a subtle way. I would even put a horizon line right at the far left top corner just to emphasize the size of the environment.

Another thing, since the robot feels some kind of compassion for the treasure that he is holding in his hand show it on his face be little bit cartoonish but don't over do it. Distort his mouth piece lines to emphasize sadness do the same thing with the eyes, your excuse could the that that angle from which the viewer is looking at the robot creates this illusion, or some B.S.

Also I would put the robot tinny bit higher so he's knee wouldn't be cut off at the frame.

Oh yea don't make a King Kong out of him by having biplanes shoot at him. Just kidding.

But indicate some life in your city, maybe traffics of flying planes you know blade runner type of style. Maybe the robot is disrupting the traffic and police is blocking off and redirecting the flow. Use your imagination.

Man I hope I didn't crew your flow of thinking by throwing some many things at you, sort things through and apply those that will improve your idea.

Good luck buddy.

09 September 2007, 04:42 PM
Hi Guero

Thanks for the feedback - and so much advice.

I'll definitely take the comments on board when I'm working on this after work tonight.

With regards to the strong shadows, I actually like the strong shadows as it makes the image more atmospheric and as the robot is so large, it is struggling between structures so if it looks enclosed, then great.

I won't change the perspective as I spent a long time getting this to work and after so many compositions have one I'm happy with. We are looking down in to the heart of the city so you won't see a horizon (though i love drawing clouds and it would have been great to include). The city is industrial and partly in ruins so there won't be lots of flying objects, but I was thinking of adding more robots below going about deligated tasks (and this would emphasise the fact that this robot is operating out nof the ordinary (strange behaviour). I like the idea of adding some expression, though I wanted to make the robot more imposing, so as you said, this needs to be subtle.

With regards to proportions, the foreshortening caused by the extreme perspective means that the forearm does look short. I originally did sketch people for this pose and believe it to be fairly accurate - though adding body plating and such may mean I have to revisit this.

This is all great advice and will definitely keep me working at this.

Cheers again - hey liked your entry, but will post something later as the boss has just returned :)

09 September 2007, 06:25 PM
Hi Freeman sorry for not explaining myself clearly enough since few thing got lost in translation.

When it comes to atmospheric perspective it's not the shadow that make the perspective but the different intensity more correctly the haze in the air, things closer are more defined with bright colors the further you go the more saturated colors become due to particles in the air.

In your situation the tree which is way up in the sky would be clearly visible since the air is clean vs. the street which would be more de-saturated with heavy dust hanging in the air. The newer the city the cleaner the air and since your city is in ruins heavy dust particles are expected. But you know how it goes you are the artist nobody can tell you how your city should look like.

Shadows - now remember if the robot is casting such a strong shadow the rest of the city should do the same. But that will minimize the amount of detail you will be able to present. Finding right balance is always a tricky thing.

Perspective - I didn't suggested for you to redraw anything or changing your perspective, what I merely implied was to put a horizon in the corner where the brightest spot is maybe half an inch away from the corner it was just an impression I was getting from looking at the image. This tiny horizon would give your city a bust with expressing the scale of your city, just a suggestion.

Clouds - When I suggested for you to imagine clouds above the city was to help you visualize the distribution of the light and the effect it would have on the city not to actually paint them. Right now it seems like you have a dark and heavy clouds above the city with one huge hole letting the light shine through which is fine if that is what you strive for but by creating those small patches in the sky and having light shine through in the distance that would create depth to your image. I hope this clarify things up.

Anyway i think this is it for now.
Have fun.

09 September 2007, 09:00 PM
:) Hey Guero

Thanks for that - Honestly I really appreciate the feedback and will take it all on board.

Better get on with the image - they've bought a wii at work and I've got home later than expected... oops

Hope to show an update very soon


10 October 2007, 01:50 PM
Looking great! I think though small crit, the bottom left of the image looks a little bare. But it may be distracting otherwise?

Best of luck with the competition!

10 October 2007, 08:23 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks kenneth

To be honest, I've been soooo busy at work that yet again I've been struggling to find time to complete this. Luckily, with the competition extension, Ther's hope yet so I hope to post something very soon.

Thanks for your support

Dave :bounce:

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