Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Aaron Gerber


Aaron Gerber is entered in the “Uplift Universe Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: What does she see in him?


This is my first mock up of my image.

I explored a variety of images on google and flickr before I attempted this drawing. Very frustrating. Many restarts trying to get the right composition. I’m not quite satisfied on the outside… especially the flying saucer. Mostly there to remind me to put something in that reminds the viewer this isn’t our time.

In the end, I had to start over quite a few times before I arrived at this. Thank God for Wacom, and the Undo button in Photoshop.

Let me know what you guys think of the composition, content, and layout. Last time I started a painting a little too hastily. :slight_smile: Oh and if you have any questions feel free to ask.


Fun concept! Nice clean simple composition, it works just fine! I can’t say for sure, as I’ve never met an alien of that exact species before and I’m no certified Xenobiologist, but it feels to me like the alien’s arms and hands are much too small and human-like for his head. Something a bit larger and more clawlike might suit the character better.

As for the woman, it’s hard to read what her reaction to the proposal is… maybe you’ll get mroe into that in the painting stage, but it would also be nice to get a better sense of what she’s feeling.

Lastly, have you tried flipping the image. As her actions will be a reaction to his proposal, if may read more clearly (at least to western cultures who read left to right) to see him before her. Anyhow, just an idea… Good luck with the painting part!


Walrus - I love your artwork, especially Farewell Kiss, thanks for the suggestions… I’ve tried to incorporate them. I was noticing his hands and they’re still not exactly as I would prefer, but this is still concept stages.

Thanks for the suggestion on flipping the image, it felt weird for a second but now it is settling in. I may yet switch it… As I see it, I like the concept of having the girl’s reaction lead us to see what she is responding to… then again, everyone would want to know the reaction to the purposal of an alien.


I often wonder what my strong points are in art- I don’t suspect they’re perspective, proportion or color… so maybe texture? We’ll see.

For now, here is a first attempt at color on the foreground. Thoughts, suggestions, critiques, would be nice.


Slowly pushing detail into the head.


Hey Aaron,

Great concept! You might want to put a look of suprise on her face, maybe her hands on her face like the home alone kid. Great job! Brad


Hey Aaron, thanks for the comment, I love your concept aswell, looks like your going to have a lot of detail in your work, i’ll make sure to keep on checking back, want to see the final, cheers


I reworked the hair 4 times and I’m still not sure about it. The face is on it’s own layer as are the hands.


I like the way these two are so casual, even though he has the head of a lizard. Nice to see such an open minded couple.


Having brought the girl out more, I returned to her suitor and fleshed out more details, primarily the hands and ring box.


Two Days?! Well, nothing motivates you quite like the last minute.


I am much closer to my goal. This is how it is suppose to feel. The background is close to done, as is the foreground. A few things left to do.

Thoughts, suggestions, would be helpful and appreciated.


Here are the reference images I worked from. All are from morguefile.com, or are me. :slight_smile:


Marco, the chimp butler, pondered how he being of the 3rd generation (his great grandfather having been one of the first uplifted,) could be so easily confused by humans. He watched in curiosity as his mistress Jale opened her mouth in surprise at an engagement ring. He scratched his head.

Not because of flees, but because he never could understand these humans, especially their females: What does she see in him?


Aaron - Looks like you finished. Congratulations on getting it all done. But even though you’re done, here are some crits and suggestions. (Lest anyone think I’m being “mean,” Aaron specifically asked me for some! :slight_smile: ) These are all things that you could change on this piece, or just keep in mind for the future and other paintings.

For such an intimate and personal piece like this, the expressions on the characters’ faces are of utmost important. You’ve made life hard for yourself by using a lizard - generally expressionless - as the main character, but anthropomorphizing him a bit - for example, adding the hint of a smile, or a slightly arched eyelid indicating hopefulness - might not be out of place. She, on the other hand, is human and I still can’t read her expression.

Try taking the shadows further to give a stronger sense of directional light. You have obviously spent a lot of time on the hands and clothing, but less on some other areas like her hair, under her neck, and the table.

Be careful about your building palcement in the background. The giant round tower in particular is placed right behind her head so that it reads a little like a hat.

Anyhow, just some small thoguhts. Eitehr way, nice work picking a scene with strong emotional content and a simple, effective layout. And of course, congrats for finishing on time too! :thumbsup:


In regards to the girl, I hesitated on, and debated on doing what I did. I intentionally just left her face rather hard to read. You can tell she is suprised, but for the better or worse… can’t be sure. Which goes back to what does she see in him? Something good the lizard guy hopes. Also I felt I had made it look like he was smiling, lol but then again you are right… hard to read a lizards face. Also… I went with a lizardish type guy because I figure, we uplifted monkeys and dolphins, why wouldn’t some race uplift a lizard on their home world.

(But thanks again Walrus, I appreciated your insightful comments!)


Hey Aaron, nice image and congrats on your finale :slight_smile: You have a cool concept and think you are on the right way mate! You managed a nice background with a nice color and puts a cool deep on your image, a great point on your image. Nice to see that you take pohoto references for your work. I believe that CG challenges is a great learning experience, and I´m glad that you enjoyed this experience, and sure thing is that you’ve grown as an artist. Congratulations and hope to see you in the next challenge :slight_smile: Time for a really well deserved cold beer and a big big tequila bottle!! Cheers mate !! :beer:


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