Tesla's Lab

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  06 June 2013
Smile Tesla's Lab


This is a more or less a finished illustration of Nicola Tesla's Lab. I started out with a full pencil sketch, then painted over in Photoshop. This is also my first full digital illustration, so critique is very welcome.

While I'm overall happy with this piece, but I feel that it lacks realism and emotion. I don't mean I want it to be photo-realistic, which is why I didn't make a full perspective grid, but I do feel it lacks something to separate it from the sketch it was at first. As for emotion, it was commissioned without any characters, and I thought that all the equipment strewn over will help establish personality of a lab in down time. But now that it's done - I feel it's kind of flat emotionally. What could I do? More personalized mess like notes, books, clothing items?

Also, anything else that stands out for you? Don't be gentle!

And thank you for your feedback and time.

  06 June 2013
When you depict scenes without people but want to create emotional resonance, it's important to humanize the scene. Show traces of the person who inhabited the location--the more personality you can show through objects left by the person in the scene, the more it'll help humanize the scene.

The focal length/camera angle also matters. To create resonance, it helps if you can make the viewer feel like he's standing right there in the scene looking at it, so choosing a more intimate point of view will make if more involving. For example, showing a room as if it's a museum display won't engage the viewer, but showing the same room through the eyes of someone standing in the room, looking at a particular area (like in a first-person point of view), would make it a lot more involving.
  06 June 2013
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