Frozen Ship Landscape Painting

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  04 April 2012
Frozen Ship Landscape Painting

This is my first attempt at landscape painting in Photoshop. It is for an assignment for school, and I am looking for input/critiques.
I really want to make the piece more engaging, and more interesting to look at, so I would like advise on how to do that.
Please feel free to do paintovers if you think that will help show how I can improve this.

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  04 April 2012
Hi there,
I think the main problem here is that there is no real focal area in this image. If you are telling a story of the stranded ship and the survivors on the ice, it would be better to get the camera right in to that camp and have the ship as a big looming shape in the background.
If you really want to keep this as a wide shot like you have now then your environment design and atmosphere will need to improve a lot. The perspective looks off around the shoreline which is hurting the scale of the scene, but you need to get some really good reference images to figure out the shapes of the ice around the shoreline (generally gets thicker as it turns from water to sheet ice with nice broken edges). Once you've got it worked out in your mind, really imagine yourself in that place - how would things look and feel, and where would you position yourself to get a good photo that will blow people away.
Lighting is also a major consideration. Ice is highly reflective so will pick up a lot of your sky tones as will water. In general your ice won't be brighter than the sky, which is why the back mountain looks odd. If you want a real dark heavy atmosphere then your shapes need to disappear into the cloud / mist before the start looing so much brighter than the sky. In general just try and get more colour variation in there too. You have the warms of the fire and the cools of the ice so you should be able to get some nice range into this but at the moment it is not working well.

Hope it helps!


Nick Marshall
Head of Environments / Generalists
Double Negative :: Vancouver

Last edited by nickmarshallvfx : 04 April 2012 at 08:05 AM.
  04 April 2012
If visual narratives are part of your goal, I think you should push yourself and depict more complex narratives--ones that deal with cause & effect, moments of dramatic climax, right before the climax, the aftermath, and other narrative situations. For example, pick scenes from a book and illustrate them. Pick moments from your own life experience and illustrate them. Use metaphors and symbols to convey ideas and make statements.
  04 April 2012
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