C&C - Unlikely Battle



How can I go about making this image better?

Would something like this an acceptable portfolio piece?


For additional work, please chk out: http://eye-work.blogspot.ca


Whether it should be in your portfolio depends on what your career aspirations are. What kind of art job do you want? Illustration? Concept art? Visual development?

The painting’s pretty good. It has a coherent sense of place and lighting, and the technique is fairly solid.

The rocky background on the right is a bit superfluous and needs to be less distracting. Flatten it a bit with less contrast. Try using more atmospheric perspective.

The bright spots in the sky don’t work too well with the composition. You want to try and leverage its brights to contrast against your major silhouette shapes in the foreground, so that it creates both more effective readability as well as visual drama.

The overall composition is quite utilitarian instead of creative. There’s a lack of drama, kinetic energy, emotional resonance, as well as strong visual design. Try moving the “virtual camera” so that one of the characters is much closer to the camera and dominate the composition as the anchoring shape, while the other figure counterbalances it. It also creates more visual variety in the sizes of your main shapes. Don’t only think like a guy who makes pretty pictures. Take influences from cinematography, photography, and graphic novels and learn how to use the virtual camera of your mind’s eye more creatively. Imagine you have a virtual camera that you can use to fly around in your scene and choose any angle, focal length, height, etc, and then pick the most interesting and effective shot possible and use that as your composition.


Right now it is rather flat, and side-view plain, like an old 2D side scrolling game. The people are so small, it seems you want it to be a landscape piece, then if so, really make the landscape stand out by giving it perspective. Let us view it at an angle.

Give less detail to the people if so.

If you want the people to be the focus, then bring them much closer to the camera and make them do something interesting. Give us a neat point of view of them. Not side views.


That is a very cool and inspiring tip, managed to sum up the essence of a visionary in one sense.

Thank you for such an expanded write out – I’ve got a lot out of it. :bowdown:

Very perceptive – that is exactly what I was going for, the actual landscape and not really the story of the characters.

Both of your posts have inspiring me to think differently about the drawing process next time.


Yeah guys, I see it now – I made a mistake in terms of explaining visually the purpose of this painting. It was supposed to be just a landscape primarily, then I thought it was too boring, so I added the two characters.

But ya – as soon as you add characters, the piece more or less becomes a story about them and then the “landscape” serves as an enhancer.

As I do want to include couple of paintings in my portfolio /w a landscape I’ll go ahead /w this.

I did couple of thumbnails – check em’ out please, and let me know w/ what I should go and what I should change.



The thumbnails are so much more exciting and dynamic than your original version.

#3 is perhaps the least interesting one, since both figures are more static and we only see the arm of one of them.

#2 would be better if the foreground character is much bigger (whenever you can have a large dominant shape in your composition to anchor the whole image, use it).

#1 is a little confusing–I can’t tell where the other figure is at. Compositionally it looks good though.


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