my first space scene

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  12 December 2012
my first space scene

Inspired by the works of John Wallins Liberto I decided to make a space scene. I wanted and extreme close up with a distant background. So I have a pilot, the saboteur of the space ship, escaping in the foreground the planet the ship orbits in the background. Well this is what I got. I feel I'm done with it as I can't think of anything more to do with it. So please feel free to pose your thoughts and constructive criticism.

Last edited by tAstyBITs : 12 December 2012 at 02:16 AM.
  12 December 2012
The lighting feels too diffused in the foreground, lacking a sense of solid volume. Compositionally, it also doesn't have enough sense of overall planning and design. One thing I tell all of my students to do, is to simplify their scenes down to the most basic shapes, as if you're composing the scene with just some simple geometric shapes, and if the composition looks bad, then you need to fix your composition so that even if all the objects in the scene are just simple shapes, the image will still read as a very interesting composition.

In terms of value arrangement, you have to do the same. If you were to simplify your image down to just patches of flat values, would the arrangement of those patches of values look like an interesting composition? If not, you need to fix your image at the foundation level.

This is one of the most common problems I see in students' work--they don't think nearly enough about the critical foundations before start putting in all kinds of detail, so they end up doing something similar to polishing turd--all meaningless detail without a strong foundation to hold up the image's structural integrity. You can also think of it as having piles of expensive special effects in a movie that has the worst screenplay--all eye-candy and no substance. Which also brings up another point--if you are going to tell a visual story--a narrative that is worthy of an audience, then you should take the time to think about why this particular visual narrative is worthy of an audience.

What is compelling about your scene? How does it differ from the countless other similar images out there? What are you injecting into the narrative that makes it uniquely you, with your own originality and creative vision? How can you make the audience feel emotions and care? How can you stimulate them intellectually? How can you entertain them so that they are thrilled by your visual narrative? In other words, don't just think like some guy making pretty pictures--think like a storyteller/writer/film director whenever you are portraying a visual narrative.
  12 December 2012
thanks again Lunatique. Yeah I've been working a lot more on fast composition painting, a whole lot of 1 minute paintings in the morning and longer studies at night. I'm improving but it will take some more time and practice. I think though I can play with your idea of simplifying the shapes into values and see if I can't do anything more to improve the compositions dymanics. Might be worth it.
  12 December 2012
Okay got an update. I don't know if this one is so bad off that it can be considered imposible to fix yet. I did what I could to separate the foreground from the background, mostly added a glaring reflection of white light off the canopy. It's an extreme juxtaposition the escaping ship in the foreground with the background. Hmm any comments?

  12 December 2012
In terms values, it's definitely improved, but composition involves the arrangement of shapes too, and if you consider your main basic shapes in this image, the composition just doesn't seem that well arranged.

Do this--simplify your image so that the spaceship is just a rectangle block, the planet a large circle, the cockpit just a dome, and the pilot just a blob. No details--they are just flat values. Now look at the composition--does it seem uninteresting? Now think about how you can resize and rearrange these shapes so that the entire image become interesting compositionally at the abstract level, even with just these flat, silhouette shapes that have zero detail.
  12 December 2012
Thanks again Lunatique, I'm working on some thumbnails, maybe there's something I can do. I'll post em if I feel I have a good one.
  12 December 2012
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