Sci Fi CityScape WIP

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  07 July 2014
Sci Fi CityScape WIP


I was hoping to get some feedback on this. I'm relatively new to digital painting and I am working towards becoming a concept artist. My goal with this piece is to make a city scene that you may see in a sci fi movie or game. The main emphasis I want to be on the ship. Anyways this is my first post and I really want to take this to a more finished, portfolio ready piece. Any thoughts, advice, criticisms or general musing are welcome!

  07 July 2014
The values are pretty good, and the overall layout is fairly solid. The main problem I see right now, is the placement of the ship itself.

I just gave a critique to another aspiring concept artist who had the exact same problem in his composition. You can read it here:

With yours, it's the back and the front of the ship, both touching parts of the architecture just at the edges of the contour.

Try moving the ship back a bit, and maybe also resize the ship to be smaller, so its visual weight/size isn't so similar to the base of the building in front of it. You can also move the ship back a bit further and extend the canvas on the right a bit. Another approach is to enlarge the ship so it's much bigger and closer to the foreground, which will make the scale difference between it and the foreground figures more dramatic, increasing the visual drama of the scene.
  07 July 2014
WIP City update

Thanks for the feedback. I am very much thinking of the narrative and composition first, and maybe not enough about values and design. I tried to moving the ship around and have added more detail in general. Now I am trying to find a solution to the bottom center of the piece. What are the figures looking at?

Maybe a landing pad? Or a factory or market place? I could use more repeating design elements so maybe another ship being constructed or repaired? Or perhaps a parade or some sort of march taking place on the ground below? I like the idea of this part of the city being under a canopy, almost like your hiding under the tallest tree in the forest, its branches shadowing the world below it...
  07 July 2014
I'd say that the biggest issue at the moment seems to be overall scale, try to work a little bit more on that, to make it more clear that it is not a room ( as I presumed for a second ) but large city.
  07 July 2014
I agree with Aleksandar. Whatever you choose to do, make sure the sense of scale is clearly readable. Using familiar objects/shapes to establish scale is one of the best solutions. So if you have figures in the opening below, make sure they are clearly readable as tiny people, so we can tell how far they are away from the figures in he foreground. Having vehicles can achieve a similar effect, if the vehicles have clearly identifiable parts that are to scale (such as normal sized tires on a normal sized car).

What exactly you put in that middle space, should depend on the premise of the story and the visual narrative you want to communicate. All fictional settings should have a premise, so think about yours and flesh out the narrative a bit, and that will inform you in your choices.

The ship having cleared both ends is an improvement, but now you have the problem of it looking like it's "trapped" in that space, due to the spacing in the front and back being almost equal. You could maybe move those silhouette beams in the foreground back a bit more and changing the spacing in the back.
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