AuthorTopic: Castles and clouds  (Read 1895 times)

Offline eliddell

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #10 on: March 13, 2021, 10:23:42 pm
Oh, wow, yes, that's a lot better.  bengo's advice was spot-on, and in addition to drawing attention to all the right things, the palette changes make the small wagons in the middle distance read much more clearly.
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Offline cels

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #11 on: March 16, 2021, 02:31:43 pm
Thanks, guys! Still working on this. Baby steps.  ;D

Any feedback is welcome, as always.

Not sure if the spearmen actually contribute in their current form, or if they just add clutter.

Offline eliddell

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #12 on: March 16, 2021, 10:04:28 pm
Keep the spearmen, I think—the way the spears are pointed at the castle draws your attention back into the picture if it starts to wander off towards the lower left.  At the same time, they're not so vivid that they draw attention to themselves.  I'd say they work.  Maybe kind of swap their positions so that the guy with his spear pointing straight up is more directly below the castle?
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Offline cels

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 09:46:33 am


Cheers, eliddell! Hard for me to say which position is better. Perhaps breaking a little bit with the pattern is useful?

If anyone has any feedback in regards to the more central issues or potential for improvement, I'd be very grateful. I'm at the point where I don't know how to improve except by randomly trying different things.

Offline bengo

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 12:19:31 pm
While it's good to experiment I don't think it has to necessarily be "random". What I mean is, you can narrow down what you want to do by figuring out what the goal of the piece is or the goal of that part of the piece. I prefer the second one since it helps point to the focal better.

I feel a bigger issue is the size of the spearmen themselves. I initially thought they were statues and not people and, to be quite honest, they still look like statues. Proportionally they're huge and on top of that they have very static poses. I say keep them as statues and throw more of them around the scene but that's up to you.

Also, you typically want bigger pixel clusters/shapes in areas that are closer to the viewer. I think the clouds have a lot of small shapes that are quite distracting same with the mountains a bit.

Offline cels

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #15 on: March 19, 2021, 03:57:09 pm
The art is intended as an illustration for a novel that I will probably never finish. So the wagons, the castle, the spearmen, the snow and the desert are all intended to show a fictional location. I wanted to make a scene to show the journey of caravans to a somewhat desolate citadel in an arid location at high altitude. But initially this was more about making references to a fictional location than telling a specific story in the piece itself.

I guess one challenge is that the small canvas makes it hard for me to show depth. The wagon and animal is in the foreground. The spearmen are intended to be somewhere between nearest wagon and the three next wagons. So if the spearmen look too big, I guess I am failing at conveying their location. Maybe that comes down to the shape of the cliffs / plateau surrounding them?

I'm not sure how to improve the clouds. With larger clusters, I wonder if they'd look more wispy and less like altocumulus clouds. Do you think there's a right way to have complex cloud shapes with small clusters without making them distracting? Maybe this particular type of clouds is a bad choice for this composition and canvas size.



I appreciate the feedback.

Offline fskn

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #16 on: March 20, 2021, 06:09:05 pm
Please bear in mind that I don't have much experience in this kind of thing, BUT, that said, I think the problem with the spearmen is that the colors you're using in them are too close both in terms of contrast and saturation as the castle behind them. Thus (i suspect...) they seem recessed and therefore huge. Also it's easy to read them as statues because gray = rock, usually.

So maybe if you separated the parts of the armor more, created areas (clusters, if you will) of a higher range of value and maybe also some areas of color (capes? scarves? standards? a colorful shield?), then I think they would come forward and stand out a bit more.

As for the clouds... They look very busy at the moment.
But especially for this last piece, you're going for a very detailed style, so I don't really know exactly what to tell you... Fewer clouds, maybe? More detail at the top of the clouds, less detail at the bottom? Lower contrast for those at the back?
Those are just guesses, though.

Offline cels

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #17 on: March 20, 2021, 07:14:53 pm
Ah, yes! That totally makes sense! The spearmen were supposed to be closer than the three wagons, but the three wagons had more contrast and saturation, which made it hard to understand the distances involved.



Now I'll just have to figure out how to pick colors for the spearmen without adding a bunch of new ones, if I can. And play around with the clusters, as you say. But at least now I know where to start. I will try to improve on those spearmen. Not loving the yellow shields, but I will figure something out. Thanks!

As for the clouds, I'm still confused. I agree that they're busy, but I don't know how to pixel those types of clouds without making them busy. Maybe they're just a bad choice for this particular piece, but part of my goal every time I pixel "castles and clouds" is to experiment with different types of clouds and try to learn something new. I think it's possible to have clouds that are detailed and eyecatching with small clusters, so I guess I'm still figuring out what exactly is wrong. Maybe I'm just being obtuse.  ;D

Offline fskn

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #18 on: March 20, 2021, 08:13:53 pm
Maybe something stronger, like...


(that's a bit of a half assed attempt, though.)

-----

If you're worried about the color count... You could probably remove some of those colors. Some blues, especially, are very close to one another. Some browns too. You might be able to tighten up that palette, then add a few more.



-----

Eh, let's go for longer... flag things:

« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 10:51:19 am by fskn »

Offline cels

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Re: Castles and clouds

Reply #19 on: March 21, 2021, 09:48:03 am
Great edit, thanks! The flag things look great. Also, fair point about the color count! I'll have a look at it.

Also like what you did with the clusters. Makes it look like chainmail or something to that effect. I'll try to make this my own though, instead of simply copying it. And bring back the green from the early version. Hopefully the green will provide some kind of link between the points of interest. :)



« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 10:39:28 am by cels »