Fantasy Castle on Cliff

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  01 January 2013
Fantasy Castle on Cliff and great free brush set


I have finished the concept stage for this. You can see a bigger version on my site. Any advise before I continue to final appreciated. This is my first time experimenting with an amazing new brush set from Mike Nash check the bottom of his webpage for a free download.

Last edited by heyjudo : 01 January 2013 at 07:15 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Is this supposed to be surrealistic? I'm asking because the main structure in the middle has waterfalls, yet there's no way for water to be falling because there's no water source such as rivers. If the water is pumped up to the top, then why would anyone want to do that just to create waterfalls?

The buildings don't look credible, because structurally they don't seem to have been built for any purpose--a sort of haphazard design for the sake of creating an image, yet not enough thought given to the premise/narrative. If you did think carefully about the premise/narrative for this image, then please tell us--it'll help explain your concept.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Is this supposed to be surrealistic? I'm asking because the main structure in the middle has waterfalls, yet there's no way for water to be falling because there's no water source such as rivers. If the water is pumped up to the top, then why would anyone want to do that just to create waterfalls?

The buildings don't look credible, because structurally they don't seem to have been built for any purpose--a sort of haphazard design for the sake of creating an image, yet not enough thought given to the premise/narrative. If you did think carefully about the premise/narrative for this image, then please tell us--it'll help explain your concept.


Thanks for your thoughtful words.

I did start the picture by fooling around with shapes and had no particular purpose/narrative in mind. As it progressed I added the waterfalls to the cliffs on the side. Then I thought it would be cool if the middle island/building would also have a waterfall. That led me to the idea that perhaps it could be a massive water fountain of sorts. In theory the water would get up with pipes and perhaps turn a windmill up at top.

Your comment makes me think about a larger question: If a picture is visually pleasing, or even just pleasing to the artist, does it need logical justification - even as far as internal consistency?

The answer to me would depend on two things- The usage of the image, and if asking those questions furthers that usage.

I think you agree, as your comments begin by asking why I made this.

In many cases I agree that even images created for purely visual pleasure often benefit from internal logistics, only because, and to the extent, that it may help develop more layers of interest and depth in the picture- if that is what is desired.

I do not think you have to ascribe to any particular school of art such as surrealism to justify a literally illogical picture. If it looks good - it is good. Even if it doesn't look good, if it accomplished what you wanted to accomplish with it, in the "best" way possible, than you have finished your picture.

This applies to every facet of a piece of art - content, style, technique, technical correctness etc.

Of course inconsistency often elicits a feeling of discomfort on behalf of the viewer, but if you are ok with that it's fine. Want to make a realistic portrait with a cartoon nose, out of perspective background, primary colors, and three pencils coming out of his head - sounds great to me. Not because we can deal with our discomfort by labeling it "surrealism," but because; why not?

There is nothing wrong with leaving questions unanswered in an image, and even raising questions, on the contrary let each viewer use their imagination to come up with their own answers.

In this case I would agree that adding pipes and machinery to the exterior of the middle cliff would further the picture because part of the pleasure in this picture is seeing such an outsized fountain, and that is not clear enough at this point.

In terms of justifying why someone would make such a fountain - that question could lead me to creative possibilities, such as a clearer windmill on top, but I think leaving that question unanswered adds more mystery.

thanks again for your thoughtful comments.
 
  02 February 2013
Another way of asking this question would be if inconsictent art has to be consictently inconsictent.

In other words, a song that uses all 12 notes on a scale consictently might be chromatic, or atonal music, but a "traditional" scale with an out of scale note would be a mistake.

The argument is that once you have set the expectations of your viewer by adhering to certain internal consictencies you lose the right to expect them to understand an inconsictentcy as anything other than a mistake, or poor judgement.

Ironically the inverse would also be true, if you are consictently, inconcistent, than a single use of consistence would be a mistake.

That would also be the defining boundries of when you have crossed the line. At what point have you been consistent enough with a picture that you have forfeited the right to be inconsistent? At the point when your viewer has enough context to misunderstand it.

On the other hand who made the viewer the boss?
 
  02 February 2013
I think the context that is created by the artist is usually fairly obvious in most circumstances. Surrealists creates obviously surreal premises that you look at and immediately know that suspension of disbelief is required. Some images ride the line between logical and surreal, and in those circumstances, the viewer is more easily confused, because there aren't enough clear signs that he should engage his suspension of disbelief, yet there are illogical things in the image that makes him wonder there's something that doesn't make sense.

If you add pipes and windmill to explain how the water is drawn up, there's still the question of why someone would want to do that--to design and build a system that draws huge amount of water high up just to let it flow freely like a waterfall, when there are already other natural waterfalls nearby.

Internal logic in an image can be just as important as internal logic in a screenplay or novel. Eye-candy is great--no doubt about it--but as we have all seen, many movies have amazing eye-candy scenes that make no sense, and ultimately, they do detract from the perceived quality of the work.

I think for this image, it's better to go full out surreal/fantasy, so that the first glance will immediately tell us to activate our suspension of disbelief, and we can sit back and just enjoy the eye-candy without having to be bothered by whether the image makes sense or not.
 
  02 February 2013
Back when I was in art school some classes were days on end just drawing still lives of basic shapes, cones squares etc.. Everyone hated doing them. But! Now I'm glad I did. This is something you need to start doing.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Lunatique: If you add pipes and windmill to explain how the water is drawn up, there's still the question of why someone would want to do that--to design and build a system that draws huge amount of water high up just to let it flow freely like a waterfall, when there are already other natural waterfalls nearby.


Just adding my two cents here, but if I had the money to live on a precipice of an island and everyone had waterfalls but me, I'd construct an internal fountain with pipes hidden just to be the envy of everyone who had waterfalls with obvious purposes from an obvious source. It's all about image and esthetic appreciation. I purpose that a prince or other powerful person lives there. Heck, maybe even a wizard and there are no pipes at all! If done correctly, this could also explain the construction of the buildings.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by rownd: Back when I was in art school some classes were days on end just drawing still lives of basic shapes, cones squares etc.. Everyone hated doing them. But! Now I'm glad I did. This is something you need to start doing.


I don't understand your point.

Are you saying that the 3d shapes in the picture are incorrect? There is some purposeful skewing of the top surfaces to enable you to see the water which might be technically incorrect. And certainly the shapes are still rough being in the concept stage. In general back ligthing/ silhuette's flatten forms to a certain extent. I would like to imagine that I am far past the stage of drawing cones. I do this for a living www.yjstudios.com and agree that constant practice is always helpful. If you are more specific I would love to understand your remark.
 
  02 February 2013
3d? Your image has no shape to it. if you can't see that I don't know what to tell you.

Last edited by rownd : 02 February 2013 at 12:23 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
I think the problem is not with shape, but with perspective. Looking at your website, most of your buildings have perspective issues. Sometimes that's not important and maybe its not here, either, since you've purposefully skewed the top surfaces. With the backlighting causing "flat" forms and a lack of perspective, the upper half of the island in particular does appear to be paper thin. If this bothers you, I would recommend adopting a bird's eye view in which the castle is at eye level and you're looking down on everything else. This would cause the lower edges to be rounded, giving the illusion of depth even without shadows/highlights. In particular, the rings around the base of the island need to be smoothed out so that they continue to curve around the back.

~D~
 
  02 February 2013
I'm going to jump in here with a few thoughts:

As far as the waterfalls go, it's a fantasy image, so you can construct your own rules and internal logic to the scene, so I don't think it's fair to harp on that - if you look at the work of Roger Dean (www.rogerdean.com), he made an entire career of painting fantasy landscapes that have their own internal logic and rules - elements like waterfalls without a "source" is a number one way of establishing to the viewer that the scene is fantasy.

The biggest issue with the piece is the perspective is all over the place - the background is different from the focus, and the focus itself is using two perspectives, as Lunatique correctly pointed out, and that's jarring to the eye. While it is fantasy, you still have to use and understand the rules of perspective and composition, even if you're distorting it. It makes no sense to have different perspectives, and the viewer will pick up on that, wether they're a trained artist or not.
 
  02 February 2013
"I think the problem is not with shape, but with perspective." you need one to have the other.


Last edited by rownd : 02 February 2013 at 01:07 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by rownd: "I think the problem is not with shape, but with perspective." you need one to have the other.



Thanks for taking the time to explain. Much appreciated.

As I mentioned before I skewed the pools downward to show the water source, with the tradeoff in odd perspective. Maybe I did not come out ahead in this case.

I often do this when there is a positive tradeoff as long as it's not too severe, rather than change the whole perspective and lose other benefits

Here I did the same thing for a popular online Hanukkah search game. The choir/stage/people are off perspective, as well as the gift, but it allows me to show more of the kids in a better way than proper perspective would.



I am not trying to defend my picture you are absolutely right in your points and I will rethink if I would come out ahead by being more technically correct

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 04:57 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
It is interesting that Van Gogh often traded technical perspective accuracy for phenomenological benefits, as in one of my favorites the Bedroom in Arles painting.

You might say he did that because he didn't know better at that point. However, If you look at the sketch you can see that the chair was more accurate and he skewed it even more in the painting.

I wonder what reaction he would have gotten had he posted his paintings on CG Talk. I don't think his second ear would have survived the experience.

I don't think there is a license to ignore perspective, but I am starting to get a feeling that self taught artists are less concerned about technical accuracy and rigid rules than the overall feel and message of a piece - in contrast to schooled artists.

I suspect your average viewer would agree that content/mood/message trumps technical accuracy. Again, within a certain range/context of inaccuracy.

I am not yet convinced that there is a benefit in being too technical, but I agree that one should have all the tools available in one's kit.

Last edited by heyjudo : 02 February 2013 at 05:07 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
Here is another one I just did tonight also unfinished, flat, out of perspective, but stylistic. I don't know, to me the perspective issues don't bother me so much as long as I feel I am conveying what is inside of me :
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.