View Full Version : Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Lars Götze

06 June 2007, 12:19 PM
Lars Götze is entered in the "Strange Behavior Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Line Art or Model: Color - detailing (

08 August 2007, 12:27 AM (

Finally it's time to get me into this contest. :)

I came up with this idea of an traveling salesman, who presents his "automatic washer" to a village of less-clothed natives.
He's standing in the middle of the round presenting his maschine.
Some of them are maybe interested in this science-fiction-cube, but especially the older guys and leaders maybe not as pleased ... ...

And in the background(on second or third sight) you can see a skeleton and a vacuum cleaner hanging on a tree, hehe. :D

so this is my idea.
Im going to show the whole scene as epic as possible to avoid a too much "funny" character.
It should look more like this sort of strange which makes you wonder instead of just going for a laugh.
So a bit of "is this true?" and "whats going to happen next?"

So there is not only a stupid motive doesn't fit in the viewers expectation ... hey i mean to say, everyboady watching this contest expects this sort of strange;
... but also this man doesn't fit in, he's a stranger in this native-village but even the natives realize this, they don't know what to think about this fancy pants.

And here's the first sketch ... i quite happy with this first basic composition-thumb ...
Well, of course this is not just popping out as "first idea" and i blindly stick with it; before starting to draw i thought about the viewers perspective who should be "inside" this round; and i had a clear mind about the whole szene. Also i want this to be a bit more dramatic and epic cut, so i go down with the cam and go for a wider view with a more extreme vanishing.

08 August 2007, 01:02 AM
Hello, my initial thoughts were to think why would a washing machine salesman be in the middle of this wild enviroment where they wouldnt know what a washing machine is. But as I read on I liked the idea of the vacuum salesman dead in a tree, that sort of anchored in the need I had to have some (mind you not allot) logic to the scene.
I suppose my mind is too stuck in the conventional reasoning, what would the tribes men have that would interest the washing machine sales man?
These little details add to the story and give it depth. But in the end if its apparent that its like a comic strip, be it a more serious looking one, then I lose the need to want a back story.

I hope my ramblings made sense :-)

08 August 2007, 01:38 AM
Just some sort of white men stupidity/ignorance ... everybody needs a washer!
And especially he can help these natives to get out of their uncivilized living ... its maybe his understanding of foreign aid.

Of course he would need electricity and something ... yes it shouldn't be overall convincing ... those are some of the elements adding strangeness in this case. :)
I think of this washer, well just to make it clear: yes, it wouldn't work.

You should ask yourself "why is he in this place; something doesn't fit in" ... well this is one main part how i understand "strange" ... this sort of being unusual without poppig out as "totally wrong". This moment where you can't decide what's going to happen, how this can fit in(it have to), unless you get the idea. Maybe your idea is not the truth, but you're always looking for an answer to think "well, everythings going to be alright, i can go back to work" ... or you get this sort feeling after awhile "whee, this is really strange"/"can't believe it".

But this has to be in an overall convincing scene. It's not a a funny wonderland where everything is strange, nor are those single elements strange by itself. It's this combination makes this uncomfortable feeling to the viewer.

Well this is what im trying to achieve ... hopefully a get it and hopefully it'll look quite nice, eh. ;)

08 August 2007, 01:49 AM
Funny, I like the idea that its his understanding of foriegn aid! LOL

08 August 2007, 09:35 AM
Ah, du auch hier! Cool! :)
Die Idee ist schon mal nen Reißer! :D

08 August 2007, 05:23 PM
It's great to see you here - I'm anxious to see your progress.

The story reminds me a bit of the guy who is selling a fridge to eskimos.

So long,


10 October 2007, 09:19 AM (

I'm back again ... decided to finish this challenge! :)

Well, i'm right happy to thought about the idea again. After i've red the book "The Act of Creation" from Arthur Koestler i get more of the idea how to get some interesting humoristic story.
Im not that good in telling a story just intuitiv (maybe i am, but then the story wouldn't fit the contest), so i tried to understand the weekness of my first idea and how to push it.

Arthur Koestler says that a joke works well, if you combine two different systems doesn't fit together.
I took a look at my old version and thought ... hmm, it fits too good, to get it really strange/funny. So i thought of how to stress the difference even more and came up with this enhanced idea.

Instead of just selling a washer to natives don't need one(because they don't wear clothes), now he is trying to sell not only his machine, but with it some shirts with a smiley on front to natives wearing dead-men-heads as trophies.
And to get it dramatic, they menace to put his head into his washer instead of his shirts.

It's the first time i'm really happy with the whole story. I feel it doesn't lack that much anymore.
Now i can go for it!
I have to paint this in about a week, but this should be possible now i hold all the keys for it.

10 October 2007, 05:01 PM (

I struggled a bit to get a good workflow with drawing analog but scaling/composing it digitally ... printing out, scanning in etc.pp.

Especially with this larger work its not that easy without a DinA2 printer. :D
But against my normal way of digital painting without a lot of pencil-prework(just i tiny sketch as the last, or most of the time all digital), i decided to change my workflow a bit for this challenge, because its a bit easier for me to draw human figures traditional.
And before doing a lot of detailing work, you have to get into rhythm and be sure to stay there, so a system you don't have to think about anymore is very helpful.

So i tried different print/scan-scalings with those semi-worked-out figures and found some good working as you see in the middle.
It was a bit difficult to find a good balance between A4-scanner/printer and the wish to have about an A4size for each person, without loosing the composition while drawing.
So now i can be sure not to struggle with the system, just drawing!

So i plan to draw everything as the middle figures today ... and tomorrow i'll push the detail a bit further; clean it up etc..

If i had no work to do as planned it would fit easily the deadline ... now its a bit short because i have to work some days next week, hehe ... hard week. ;)

But the motivation changed ... i have really fun to do this now. :)

10 October 2007, 05:01 PM
double posting

10 October 2007, 05:01 PM
double posting

10 October 2007, 05:09 PM (

a close up of the main figures

10 October 2007, 08:14 PM
Hey Dura,

The idea of two completely different systems that clash together and provoke laughter by the audience might sound well if you read it in a book, but it is as like as artisan hawks already wrote: There will be a lot of shaking heads if it is not clarified why this salesman thinks he can be succesful with selling a washing machine to a bunch of cannibalistic negros.
I mean, how did he get this thing their? How stupid must a man be?
Its not about "being strange", there's enough strange behaviour about the natives eating their own species. It appears just a little over-constructed; what kills the sense of humor you'd like to evoke.
I thought a while about how to fix this basic problem of storytelling. Several ideas came to my mind. One is that he could trade his washing machine in for a boat to leave the isle (or a woman to rescue). - That wouldn't change the topic: "strange behaviour", because the audience knows, that this main character behaves strange in the eyes of those cannibals. In the same time we understand this behaviour and you have your protagonist.
So where does the machine come from? He obviously needs something to transport it. A barrow, a car, a group of slaves, his wife, a plane (crashed)?
All I say that it only needs a good reason for all of that, otherwise its just a flat illustration without any remarkable depth.

Anyways, it will look great because of your talent as a painter. And that's an important part of the price for sure.

Good luck, creativity and muse,


10 October 2007, 09:10 PM (

Artdek, i wrote in my third posting the "intention" of the salesman.
In My eyes this fits. I don't want any "brave men" story.

He still have a chance to sale his washer ... the kids like the idea. Maybe he's ahead of his time(sure he is) ... maybe he don't realize that there is no need to answer questions this tribe never asked him.
Maybe he dies but leaves some thoughts behind. :)

And i don't want to answer how the washer comes there. I don't know, too.
Maybe he travels with a beamer.

And yea, maybe the picture would be stronger with an easy read, but i like it this way. :)

Anyway, here comes the next step ... have to hurry to outstrip the others on the homestretch, hehe. ;)

10 October 2007, 12:04 AM (

Go on and on ... its fun to do! :)

10 October 2007, 03:13 PM (

Damn, time goes by, did a lot of work the last days ... now i have enough personal time, but not that much left for this contest, right? :D

Well in 2 days straight you can paint a lot of funky stuff. ;)

Hopefully i don't get a penalty cause of this. Well, anyway ... this last about 40 hours i will show a lot of step by step work.
And maybe the more interesting ... the more colorful part! ;D

I finished the pencils ... well, could spend a lot of time into this, but i have to go for the painting to get it all in time. Can't risk to miss the deadline while optimizing some poses in this prework stage.

So before getting into paint i'll tell you some of my thoughts i made before.
I go for a clear sunlight-situation, so the first step will be to define the main masses of light and shadow.
As you can see in the center i planned the light to come from the left. I want to have some clear show thrown on the ground, so it wouldn't be 12 o'clock ... more of a middle afternoon setting.

I go for an overexposure in the light, a highkey picture. The main focus i thought should be the dark coat of the man in center. The Main figures should get really strong saturated as the bouncelight of the ground really push their bodycolor.

Im not sure yet about the lightness/blueness of the sky ... think maybe some blueish sky would look nice in color and reduce the contrast of the trees to the sky ... but in an overexposed scene the sky should be a light tone.

Well, these i the main thoughts i have made about the lighting ... here you can see the pencils i have done ... lets see, how i get the primary tones and colors done.

See you in maybe one hour to show you the step

10 October 2007, 04:29 PM (

Here is the first color sketch ... well, this is somehow the look i had in mind ... im quite happy with this first attempt ... but its not the best yet.

I have still a big problem. The darks and lights equal each other too much .. it near a 50:50 ...
I have to make some changes to get a clear dominating part.

10 October 2007, 04:42 PM
Hey you're here too ;)
Colors are working beautifully! I'm looking forward to see what you'll come up with until the deadline. Good luck and be fast! ;)

10 October 2007, 08:09 PM
Like this idea! But you must be working around the clock, only 24h to go :-)
But you can make it! :thumbsup:

10 October 2007, 11:19 PM (

Im now into detailing the picture ... i have to render the overall scene in a way that every figure has its light and shadow side before going back and adjusting the overall image-tonality.

Its not that easy with all those figures in there, where you have not that much room left for just playing with the visual composition.

10 October 2007, 08:45 AM
Well ... the Deadline moved ...

... i don't understand this decision as far as illustration is concerned ... guess its primarily for those who made a shortfilm.

Nontheless this is lucky for me ... fortune favors fools. :D

Well im going forward, but i don't have to rush things anymore.
And i won't get into conflict with the next Deadline again!

Stay tuned. ;)

10 October 2007, 12:11 PM
Na also!
Jetzt mach das aber echt mal fertig! :)
Schöne Komposition und Tiefe! Und der offene Himmel hat auch was!
Außerdem gefällt mir die Körpersprache!

10 October 2007, 07:03 PM
Lucky bastard ;-) Well this is fine that means that we will see this illustration in the final!
Looks promising, keep up the good work!

11 November 2007, 09:34 AM
Hey, your entry was so promising, where is your final? I wanna see a final this time! ^^
3 days left!

Looks very cool and it's also a nice idea, so come on *push,push*

11 November 2007, 11:26 AM
I wil have an eye on this one. Very funny and well done and now... run run run! :D Good Luck!

11 November 2007, 04:42 PM
Hi Lars! That's a nice, apparent concept and style. Hope to see your final!
Good luck! Cheers!

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