WIP card challenge- King of Clubs

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  04 April 2013
WIP card challenge- King of Clubs

I'd like to do something for the King of Clubs.
Since wikipedia says that the King of Clubs represents Alexander the great, I'll start out in that direction.
  04 April 2013
Here's what I have so far.


I should probably elaborate a little more. At this stage, I am trying to work out the composition and values. I realize that the drawing is pretty crude and will see to that once I have a basic image that works well.

The story behind this is about Alexander solving the Gordian knot puzzle.
As I understand it, Alexander encountered a tribe of people who would tell invaders of a prophecy their people had. It stated that a new king would come to them, and they would know him by his ability to untie a complex knot. Most invaders would have a go at the puzzle in hopes of a bloodless victory. The knot puzzle was actually a ruse to buy time for the defenders to muster their forces to slaughter the invaders. Being a great general, Alexander knew a stalling tactic when he saw one. He stepped off his horse, looked at the knot puzzle, drew his sword and chopped the Gordian knot in two.

I would welcome any comments about the composition, and how it can work better. Also, I wonder if the narrative might be too obscure.

Last edited by Tr0w : 04 April 2013 at 06:39 PM.
  04 April 2013
The horse is pushed up against the right border, which isn't a good thing for composition. Either leave a bit of breathing room, or only show it partially, but don't "rest" an object's contour edge right against a border. The top of the helmet's plume is kind of doing that too, as well as his cape. I think if you simply zoomed out the image (resize it to be a bit smaller), it'll be fine.

The height of the table seems a bit high. Stand up next to a typical table and imagine holding out a sword to cut a rope placed on the table--see how your hand is placed lower than shown in your image?

Alexander is kind of missing a neck. Unless this is how he's described in historical records, give him a longer neck.

His left arm is too short. With the fingers fully extended, the fingertips should rest at the halfway point between the groin and the knee. His left arm won't even reach his groin right now.

The horse's proportions need to be clarified more, so its torso and legs will look accurate when compared to its head.

If you didn't do it while layout on the scene, then you need to make sure your perspective is correct, including for the figure and the horse. Establish your vanishing points and scale your scene properly.
  05 May 2013
Thanks for the help Robert.

I definitely will do as you suggest, and plot out the perspective. I'm not too sure how I'm going to deal with the horse being right on the border, but maybe I can shift his position or angle his body. Maybe if I turn Alexander so that his left shoulder is more behind him, it will give me some room to work with.

His sword was supposed to be up off the table, pointing towards the viewer, but it doesn't read that way.
Maybe it would look better if I straightened his arm behind it... that's what I'll try, anyway.

Thanks again, it sure helps to have these things pointed out to me.
  05 May 2013
Keep in mind that you don't HAVE to fill your composition all the way to the edges--that's not a requirement for good composition. Leave some breathing room by zooming out the camera.
  05 May 2013
How's it coming along? Any updates?

Can't offer anything other than what Lunatique already mentioned. Looking forward to seeing how it's changed.
  05 May 2013
I'm still working on it. I have redone the line sketch using perspective lines, and will be able to post a wip in a couple days.
I'm away from home this week, and I forgot to pack my power supply with my computer... when the battery dies, I'm going to be offline for a while, otherwise I'd post what I have as of now.

I have a friend who does SCA reenactments. He has armor and a sword and I was able to talk him into suiting up and posing for pictures, so he's going to be my main reference.

I'm mostly gathering references and doing studies right now. I really want to make this one good
  06 June 2013
Ok, so here's what I have now. I still have a lot of work to do with the values and lighting, and I may still need to change the composition around. Once I have all of that sorted out, I have a lot of detail to figure out.

This picture has been sending me off on a lot of tangents. I wind up doing studies of armor, horses, knots, scenery. etc.
I've been having a blast.

  06 June 2013
Looks much better than the previous version.

Value management of the whole image can be a bit better. If you squint and look, the readability of some areas becomes very weak. While squinting, note the areas that just disappear or blend together, and then work on making them read more clearly.
  06 June 2013
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