Android Blues - character


wow, very… very potent pic.

Personally I prefer it without the floorlines, as they push the viewer to create more of a context, anchoring the image as a snapshot of an event and drawing focus from it’s abstract & symbolic meaning. For example, someone mentioned early on that the walls may symbolize the barriers of technology and a cause for depression. Adding the floorlines to me makes one less likely to notice the walls & floor as an element in their own right, but instead dismiss them as background. This is how realistic-ness can occasionally be an obstruction…

To me the suicide aspect was melded with her lack of arm and the screwdriver to say that she took off her arm in a desperate self-destructive action, the screwdriver seeming more of an already used instrument like the needle next to a junkie…

As opposed to being her intended means of suicide, with the arm being ripped off in abuse by someone else. Either way though, the combination of elements is very powerful…

I like it with the blood. For one, it stresses that her arm is NOT just being repaired or is some factory / maintenance deal, but it was something violent. More subtly and significantly (if you ask me), it humanizes her. We sympathize more with something that bleeds and are less inclined to see the standard dejected robot with nothing beneath the surface. Furthermore by melding the human & mechanical, it opens the door for us to notice the flipside; this could be a a HUMAN depicted, with all the mechanical parts

If it’s a poster for a screenplay though, i think the floorlines work better (because they are realistic, and a screenplay poster has different needs as far as catchiness vs deeper meaning) I really like the most recent look for a poster, there is a subconscious intake of this as: the words are written in chalk by the droid, with the instrument which lies in front of her (your subconscious doesnt care that its a screwdriver). This is a classic look, a bit west side story reminiscent, and seems effective for a poster. It might give a feeling of a lesson to be learned, as chalkboard lessons at school.

This is a a great piece though… getting more and more refined. The cold light in the newer versions <i>really</i> reminds me of something from Expose, maybe the cover of Expose 1 but i think it was something even more similar… if i didn’t know better from the post dates i would almost believe that it was this very pic i was reminded of…

anyway. keep it up. It’s so easy to make something thats not meaningful… i really appreciate these kinds of work :slight_smile:

EDIT: In response to some other comments…

The erotic aspect of this image I think is far overshadowed by the other issues it deals with. But I think one of the great things about this pic the way it is now is it lets people read in so many different stories/context, it has so many different things to say depending on who is looking. For this reason, I disagree with the suggestion of creating more connection between the hand and the screwdriver. Personally, i saw that she had removed the arm herself and clearly connected the hand with the screwdriver. However, other people said that the arm had been forcibly removed, and the screwdriver had yet to serve it’s purpose whatever that may be. The beauty of this image is that all the elements are so perfectly balanced between interpretations, that everyone can see something relevant reflected in this piece of art. I would discourage you from making tweaks in order to represent a specific story. I mean, it’s your choice as the artist but ultimately you will be reflecting the way the image speaks to you. It may become stronger on one front…

Well. Whatever you want. But for example, if you chose to make it stronger in the erotic/romantic isolation aspect, it would become less of a powerful image to me because it’s representation in the self destruction/hopelessness aspect speaks to me more. Whereas if you favored a different story, it would lose appeal from another group. Just thoughts.


I guess my rationale with putting the screwdriver in hand is that it points to having tried and failed, rather than not having tried at all. I think two things contribute to this view, the relaxed hand, and the overall pose that almost looks like a relaxed pose. Perhaps this combined with the exposing of the face creates a feeling of her being focused externally as opposed to the character being more internally focused. Honestly here I’m playing a bit of devils advocate that is not my initial impression, but it is an impression I get nonetheless.


Now that you point it out, i do like the extrovertiveness that comes with showing some face. It makes it interact with you…

For the hand, though, I still say let it be neutral and people will see it in the way that suits them best


Hello Stahlburg.

Good image as always.

However the right foot bothers me. It seems to have no heel, and look a bit flat as the upper part of the foot lacks any arch.
Also if it is pointed at the viewer the toes would be bigger.

Also if a person is slouched over, even a thin person, there would be a visisble crease(s) in the stomach area. You’ve started on them but I beleive the folds would be more evident. Its hard to tell the exact place them because the breast area seems to be a little low. However this could just be an optical illusion because the bra is sagging and on the verge of falling off.

I like the size of the hands and head. In face overall proportions are doing well.



To me this image seems like she’s JUST givin up.

If she had been there in that position for a while, I’d think she turned herself off because there would have to be some sort of programming for discomfort. If anyone tried to stay in that position for a while I think they’d more likely fall over limp, so they wouldn’t have to feel anymore discomfort, or anything else for that matter.

I see this type of hopelessness/giving up with the person/android in a corner, with the legs a little bent (maybe even just leaning against a big trash bin-possibly what she thinks of her life?)


Hmm. I liked her hair down actually, gives her more of that robot look. The arm is a bit thick or comes too up front, I dont know, but theres just something that feels off there… Could just be me, but I thought Id mention it.
Also, the shadows from the thigh and leg (left side of pic) look too big, like it’s just too much shadow there.
And personally, I wouldn,t use the chalk lines, the neon blur thing works really well, just less of it, if you made the entire canvas a bit taller and placed it in top, I think that would come out pretty well. Reminds me a bit of ghost in the shell :slight_smile:
Other than that, no comments - love the pic and feel :slight_smile:


i think the hair is better pulled back. upon seeing the face i felt more inclined to empathize with the subject than i would if the hair covered the face (and therefore the piece is more emotive in my mind), and makes the subject appear more human, delving on the subject of whether she is human or not.

however, with the hair covering the face, it conveys emotions of shame and escape (if i cant see you, you cant see me), all of which are very human in their origins.

however obvious the sexual connotations might be in this image, i believe they contribute to the emotion of the piece overall, but dont determine the subject matter.

theres quite a few signifiers i this piece but im sure theyve all been stated before. so thats my input for now. keep the discussion going, its a great piece.


[right]Sorry, I may be a bit out of the topic, but the deep despair , "“suicidal tendence” and freezing blue color help me remeber a picture from Gunnm (battle angel alita) [/right]
[left]just a little brand of hair on her face would be the middle between the doll aspect she gives me now and the “messed-up toys” she was in the first post.[/left]
[left]maybe a glimps on a piece of furniture like a bed in the down left corner would had a “jail” feeling to the picture (but might unfortunately emphasize the “prostitute” feeling a few thought of)[/left]
[left]mechanical pieces like in the first picture posted would also look fine for me , even a bit of her lost arm coming from the shadow.[/left]
[left]aniway the picture look awesome andreally inspire me a strong feeling of despair, and her skin more than the mechanical arm make her look like the waste of a forgotten/ran away doll. (i read too much science-fiction i guess)[/left]


very good development as always. i think it talks about giving up trying to improve the actual situation.


i like the slouched posture of the andriod’s body. I think it contrasts well with people’s usual conception of a robot.


steven, any chance of a wallpaper size version?


No, sorry… so nice of you to ask, I feel like a jerk for not being able to send you one. But there’s only this one low-res version for now. Maybe later I might up-res it if I have time… :slight_smile:


Awesome concept Steven. However the right foot looks “odd” to me in both versions… in the original version it looks like she has thick ankles, while in the second her foot looks flat… like it is missing some volume or the perspective is wrong. I think the latter is the case.

Love the peek at her face in the second version though. That being said, this is overall a terrific piece, I get a feeling of hopelessness when I look at it… like she has just given up.



Psychologically speeking, emotions are stored in the body. We all recognize this unconsciously far better than we do consciously. That said, a viewer understands what a slouched posture means emotionaly.

I don’t think you need to show the face to convey the emotions you want. (in fact I think they communicate pretty well as is) I think the main problem you’re having is that you don’t have a shoulder to accentuate the slouch (give it that final little tweek of meaning). But the further you’ve been ‘pushing the posture’ on the rest of the body, the clearer it becomes what she’s feeling.

personally, I think it’s pretty clear. I feel bad for her. it’s like she’s getting rained on too!


Sadness from the hanging head. Confusion from the absence of the arm yet presence of a screwdriver.


this reply should be in the focused crit… but…
never better.



its a great composition,
in my opinion, the nudity distracts from intented emotion of the piece… her clothes etc indicate her intelligence (and her capacity for experiencing melancholy)… theres a certain schoolgirl look about her which doesn’t make me really empathise with her (hey maybe there are alot of schoolgirls who might disagree) but to me it suggests shes more “sad” than melancholic… it puts a visible limit on the depth and maturity of her emotion and makes me feel uncomfortable with empathising with her… I’d personally go for either more clothes, or stylising it a bit (a leg band perhaps… a symbolic tattoo…) to indicate to the viewer that they shouldn’t be placing any preconceptions as to her scenario (prostitute?) because she obviously is from another time/place…

you’re right about showing the face, however using the hairband is imho a bad device for achieving this… i doubt she would have the drive to pin her hair back like that if she is melancholic… Assuming she has recently lost her arm, there would probably have been some kind of struggle which would have loosened her hair from its tie, and I doubt she would have pinned it up after losing her arm (generally speaking, tying my hair up is the last thing i’m thinking about when i lose my arm… especially when its on a side of my head which is awkward to pin back using my one good arm…) I’ve put on half/half so you can see the face subtly enough to just get an idea of what she looks like, but no so much that it seems forced…

this is totally subjective here, but i’d like to see her focus her blues on something visible (so I can see what she is thinking about). As it stands, her blues are hidden in her mind… her staring at something in her hand gives me the feeling that there is another action about to take place… its not empty despair, but despair which will lead to some further action… (personally i think she’s thinking about wedging that screwdriver into her CPU and ending it all… but thats just me. :slight_smile: ) This might ruin your beautifully painted hand, so i didn’t really want to suggest it… but there… i said it! :)… I’d think a little about the scenario too… has she been banished? where is she? an alley? a basement? what is she holding in her hand and why? who did this… what is she thinking? what is she feeling? (eg. ‘I hate myself for the decisions that led to me being in this situation’ or ‘I resign myself to having no arm and must now consider if it is worth living or dying?’ or ‘Boy i think i really like vanilla?’)

The stump of the arm looks a little strange in my opinion also, as I don’t believe a clean break of an arm (robotic or otherwise) would occur that close to the neck… i’ve stretched it out a little in my modified version here to try and fix this, while at the same time getting rid of the ‘roundness’ of the hole

the rolls in the stomach aren’t as convincing as the could be (but you probably knew that) the right breast looked a little flat… ie there wasn’t any shading or shadow as there should be (as indicated by the other breast and the shadow on the wall) the bra sits flat against the breast, which it wouldn’t if it was loose like that

i’ve included an image here with some (really messy and rushed) modifications

those are my thoughts… very picky, and very subjective (but thats what you came here for right?) its a really brilliant piece, but could be made even better by further clarifying the context in which it sits…



hm… very emotional picture there mr stahlberg, the darks surroundings give a dark impression and emotion of the the android…

     her torn clothing, broken mechanical arm with abit of blood stains and stretched legs expressess her sadness there as well as the screw driver..... but  abit of suggestion though, I quite agree with jebwst... the refference image he provided of a child crying wrapping her arms around her kness invoked plenty of sadness, depression and the distress feeling, well having tears plopping on the surface in front of the android would show just how sad she is being unable to repair her other arm with her left...... just a suggestion... 

     anyway.. really good image you worked on there...........


tehehe “show just how sad she is being unable to repair her other arm with her left…”

maybe instead of a screwdriver she could be holding a pair of nail clippers… now THATS cause for blues! :wink:

ok… i’ll be quiet now :smiley:



The first thing I did when I looked at the image, was reach for my shoulder. ;).

I think you’d be able to evoke a little more emotion, if you have her trying to take her crying/depressed/upset face off like a mask. Or have it lying on the ground next to her.

Another thing that I would suggest is to completely remove her clothes, and not giving her any human features (nipples and gentialia). This would communicate a more sincere depression, since she is beyond the point of trying to conceal herself. That ‘cold, naked and lonely feeling’.

The last thing I’d suggest is to use much colder colours for the skin, they feel a bit to warm.

The tear drops on the floor are a nice touch, and it works really well compositionally!