Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Aleksander (Olek) Novak-Zemplinski


here you can see how I came up with the 2 characters on the right. They are the suitors - the jerks that are just waiting for Odysseus to leave and then harass Penelope.
I am looking both on my poses pictures from the previous entry and reference photography of period clothing to come up with the design. Obviously these guys are all about their looks.


sick dude, the design is really raaaad! Really love it, it’s getting better and better!
Now finish it!


Here you can see I just sketched in to dudes that stand next to the platform. they are part of the ship’s crew. the fly it and they bomb cities full of innocent people. for real though, they are the good guys unlike the previous 2 dudes - so I make them steampunk cool and not Victorian vanity glamor. they are quite small so this is actually 100% size. They are so small so when I work on them I copy them into a new file - work at 200% size and then when done scale it back 50% and put them back in the image. did the same thing with the ship.


Go Olek!! :bounce:

Clever reference and great characters. Can’t wait to see how this all looks together.


wow this piece is epic, can’t wait to see the final result:)


Hey Olek, have you tried to put any strong color in your focal point? (centre of interest). Nice scene, adding people will make it even better :slight_smile: cheers.


That was actually the idea. To keep everything somewhat monochromatic and have the central figure - Penelope - in red contrasting dress - like a diamond in the rough kind of thing. But I guess it’s not coming out that obvious. - I have to think what to do about it.
Thanks for the hint, Przemek!


Amazing stuff.:buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:
keep it up and good luck in final.


here is a close up of the central area. i have rendered all the people here. eventually I got rid off one of the pilots because it was intersecting with the Penelope and I think it was weakening the composition. not go completely to waste i put him behind on top of the ship - doing something there. I am also experimenting with some small steam-powered objects flying around. all comments - bad and good are much appreciated!


i wonder what you guys and gals think. i’ve added these small steampunk mini blimps - they are some kind of optical instruments observing the scene. They have a little steam engine. little houses connect small steam jets that are located on the blimp part itself - for controlling direction of flight.
i think that they add to the depth of the image and richness of the presented world. my concern is visual clutter though.
i have resized the ship too - made it bigger because it didnt seem correct.
i still have to detail the guy in the foreground - his gun, boot, and the cart his pulling - something with amo probably. oh, man I forgot about the upper part of Odysseus ship! aah. gotta get some sleep first.


Wow man,

it is really cool.
I like those details and overall composition.


I really enjoy this piece of work, great composition and colours


thank you guys for encouragement. i’ve just noticed a “happy accident” that I also owe to Matthew Lahmann who reminded me about lack of railing on the bridge in the beginning. The railing is a chain and it looks like it’s holding Penelope down - and not letting her go with her husband. almost literal! cheesy?


I honestly hope this wins. I love the fact that is feels like a concept but still delivers as a finished artwork. The lighting and composition are spot on, and the progress shown is a tutorial in itself. Best of luck.


ditto the guy above me. Thank you for showing the process - most people don’t explain this much. I love the looseness of certain parts of your image, and the composition is great.

I’d hate to hear this at this point but when I first looked at your image it took me a while to spot Penelope - maybe pump up the saturation difference between her and the surroundings even more?!
I also vote no blimps, or at least put them over in the darker part of your composition - they’re really contrasting with the light sky at the moment which made me look at them before I looked at Penelope, and make the image a bit noisy.

keep it fresh, n.


nice work! really impressed. cant wait final illustration.


This is the gun design I am going to go with. I could spend another week changing it but I will go with what I have here.
I am working on a 200% copy again so I can detail freehand without having pixelated view when I zoom in. Here is also a simple trick that I just came up with. I rotated the gun vertical so most of the ellipses are horizontal - easier to draw - easier to make elliptical selections. =
I wish I new how to make an ellipse selection in photoshop and have it rotated in the same time - not after it is selected. that would streamline the process of drawing precise industrial designs. maybe somebody knows how to do that?


i have finished the gun that is visible in the foreground. i’ve been playing with Penelope’s visibility - i hope she stands out enough. - obviously she’s in the center and almost everything is pointing in her direction. the vanishing point is right at her knees. but to some people it is indeed not so obvious - especially in a small image like that.

i have moved one of the small flying objects on the shaded side - still not sure if to keep them at all.


I kind of like that she’s not in your face, kind of thing. The first thing I looked at was the back of that guy then I followed. It was like storytelling and some sort of camera panning effect in one single image. Then I looked at the details for a while. So you succeeded in making your image interesting in my opinion. It has all the right moods. Then after I saw her, it’s nearly impossible to ignore her again.

You did a terrific job with your composition. Good luck!


oh wow… excellent image

I hadn’t looked at your entry for a while, and when I saw your update, the first thing I noticed is that Penelope really stands out now. My eye went right to her :slight_smile:

any reason why you’ve rotated it in the last minute?

this has to be in the top 3 at least. go go go! and sleep when you die… err… when you’re finished :smiley:

good luck!

also, I like the flying things where you’ve place them now. I’d keep them