Son of the Black Eye portraits: COMPLETE

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by thespaceinvader »

Been thinking conceptually (and trying, and failing, to sketch down some ideas - i find it difficult to sketch digitally, and all my pencils and pads are packed for my big move coming soon...) about Howgarth and Al'Brock.

Howgarth: Big, fairly pot-bellied, but powerful. Bearded, something of a wild man. Posed something like this guy. Think Geoff Capes in his younger, hairier days, or Prince Vultan. Wielding a big greatsword or claymore. Possibly leather armour, or leather-with-plates - fairly simple. He's Northern Alliance, which (depending on which version of the history you're working from) means he's from a relatively poor group descended from slaves, and fairly far from civilisation.

Al'Brock: Flar'Tar came out tall and relatively skinny. I'd like Al'Brock to be short and dumpy, just for contrasting purposes =D

Up to Girgistan of course.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by Jetrel »

thespaceinvader wrote:See, I think that this is a classic distinction between the left and right-brain thinker.

Both approaches are valid. One says 'use instinct and practice to get it right', the other says 'use science and practice to get it right'. The difference between them is in the way you approach the subject.
See, I don't see a separation between the two methods. You have to do both what I said, and what kitty said. You definitely do need to hone a "second-nature" so that as you're drawing, you can just judge from a gut-feeling if something does/doesn't look right.

But the problem is that this is very hard to get. You're born with a very skewed, very wrong intuition on stuff like this, and it's very difficult to build up. In fact you can practice for years and years, and not really get much better - the web is filled with comics where people churn out drawings every day, and don't improve. But on the other hand, just like kitty said, you can learn all the "art science" in the world and still not be able to draw, either. So what's the deal, then?

:eng: You do both.

You practice your butt off, but all the time, you look for scientific, psychological, etc reasons for WHY your different bits of practice did/didn't work. You never just say "oh I'm having a bad day", or "oh I just got lucky." You demand some sort of "reason" that "makes sense" - you won't get one all the time, but you'll manage to get one most of the time. And this way, not only will you shepherd the growth of your intuition into being strong, and well-tuned to other humans, but you'll also have the best backup it could ever wish for. It is the pairing of intuition with reason, the pairing of both right AND left brain thinking that starts kicking real ass.


The classic example is when you're busily working on drawing a figure, and no matter what you do, there's something wrong about it, and it's kinda hard to put your finger on it. Maybe it's in the head, maybe it's lower on the body. Intuition alone tells you it's wrong - but the danger is not being able to pin down exactly what's making it feel wrong, and just "running in circles" for an entire evening (or several), trying to fix it by randomly altering stuff, according to what 'feels' like it might be the cause. I've been in that situation and I hate it. The way out is to follow up that intuition with knowledge of art theory - to realize, in the above example, that "oh, hey, my head doesn't jive with the body because the bust is being drawn from an 'eye level' perspective, whilst the horizon line for the rest of the body is at the hips".

I had this exact problem, several times. The intuition told me it was a problem in the first place. The science told me what the problem actually was, and how I might fix it. Then the science and intuition confirmed it was fixed. And then, the intuition -grew-, because of the science; in the future, I had a knee-jerk "Ah, this might be a perspective problem" reaction every time I encountered a drawing that had the same kind of wrong "feeling" that I'd seen in the above.

:D It's like captain planet. You know...
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by Sgt. Groovy »

You practice your butt off, but all the time, you look for scientific, psychological, etc reasons for WHY your different bits of practice did/didn't work. You never just say "oh I'm having a bad day", or "oh I just got lucky."
I'd like to add that thinking about why you "got lucky" is every bit as important as thinking about the failures. Failure maybe gives us more incentive, because it makes us feel bad and we want to do something to feel good again, and we don't want to repeat our failures. But when you succeed, you do want to repeat it, and understanding why you succeeded is necessary for that.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by Girgistian »

Back to the subject then! here comes Al, with a fat ass and a grumpy expression.

And before the complaints start coming, the axe should be a plausible weapon since it's still a 'blade' weapon and he's still got the greatsword with him.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by zookeeper »

Well, have to say I like that a lot, the face and his general appearance is really nice.

...except for the axe. I bet you saw that coming. ;) I don't have a problem with him having an axe, it's just that it's now almost the main focus of the whole picture. He's holding it there as if saying "hey, I'm an axeman!", whereas the sprites very prominently feature the big sword(s). It's like...well, a bit like any other sword-wielding unit holding an axe in their portrait. No problem if there's an axe hanging on their belt or something, but in this case I'd say it'll just be a bit confusing...unless we create a whole custom unit for the guy, anyway (which might or might not be a good idea, I can't really say right away).
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by Girgistian »

And I might or might not bother to draw an axe-wielding helmless orc for present and future purposes. Inspiration varies. I think I can figure something instead of the axe.

And yeah, true, I does stand out. made me laugh now that I checked it afterwards.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by thespaceinvader »

Looks almost exactly like i pictured.

If the axe is not preferred, I can turn it into a standard, or simply a dagger or somesuch. Or maybe just a closed fist.

He looks like the 'GET OFF MOI LAAAAND' type =D

EDIT: lines/flats is all I'll get done tonight. Replaced the axe at zookeeper's request. I like the contrast here with Flar'Tar.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by Longbow »

Great portrait but there's just one thing, the fluffy white cape edge make him look a bit like Santa Claus, and I don't know about you but I wouldn't want that coming down my chimney :wink:
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by thespaceinvader »

They do a bit =)

I might tone them down to grey actually - they're a bit bright for the overall tone of the picture as it is.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by Girgistian »

Looking good.

The fingernails could be a bit cleaner (like, more symmetric, not 'undirty'), and I agree about the cloak's colour, it's a bit bright. Combined to the fact that he's wearing a blue armour, it gives a very royal image. Personally I imagined more of a woodsman sort (dark green/gray cloak, rugged brown leather armor) but have it your way, this doesn't look bad either.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by thespaceinvader »

The blue armour is supposed to be dyed leather - as I mentioned when I did Flar'Tar, because those are their team colours - and the cloak colour is to match with kapou'e's overall control of the player-friendly forces.

I'll actually brighten most of the colours a touch anyway - looking at it this morning, I can barely see the majority of the body against the black, and the bright bits (the metal and the fur) look really glaring.

EDIT: preliminarily finished.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by Girgistian »

I don't think the outline that's going between the sharpened and nonsharpened part of the blade is necessary. might look better without it. Also, the tip of the index finger seems way too thick.
And I still think the hilt's of the swords are formed kind of... strangely, but since all of the others share similar handgrips, there's probably no use changing it with this one. Other than that, it looks ready to go.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by Sapient »

that sword looks very un-swordish.
it looks round like a tube or a sack.
and the strange hilt angle is making the droopy sword effect worse.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits - in progress: Al'Brock

Post by thespaceinvader »

Etc. It needed some sort of delineation in the blade, but it looks better this way. i call this done.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye portraits

Post by Divine Crusader »

I say not bad at all.It is really great and i love it.It should be added.
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