Rhasdra's mess
Hello world!

I've been lurking these halls for a while now, but today I decided to open a sketchbook! I am originally from conceptart.org, and I've discovered the Crimson Daggers via Dave Rapoza's youtube channel c:

My goal is towards concept art for videogames, and I'm actually studying graphic design in college. I won't post my old work here... I think it's not the purpose of a sketchbook, so... You can check it here:


Facebook Page

Conceptart Sketchbook


Anyway, let's get it going!

John Atkinson study

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And today I decided that I wanted to redesign Thor. I wanted it to be the Thor that the old norseman had in mind with a little bit of flashyness and coolsy stuff for today's people xD

Silhouettes studies
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And the first WIP - I've never done a lighting scenario as complex as this one (I'd like some critiques on it, if possible)

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More studies!

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William Waterhouse
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Some gesture sketches, 3 minutes each
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And some imaginative sketch... playing with random shapes and values. It's a great fun on those artblock days
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Man, this is great stuff. Digging the Thor redesign
hey Rhasdra, dude your stuffs are really good. i looked at your fb page.
love to see more of your design. i like your design process

Thanks guys!

@insbox I'll be working on my portfolio on these next days, expect more of them! c:

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Streetview study... I suck so much at architecture
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Trying to improve my line drawing > Hands study and a triceratops (had a hard time on it)
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And a WIP and it's sketch
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Hey, I saw that you wanted a crit on your Thor redesign. I feel too often that crits come across as nagging even though they are meant to be constructive, so I did a re-design of your re-design to illustrate what I mean. Sort of like an overpaint. (I hope you weren't just asking for a crit on the lighting because then all of this is useless xD)

First, let's start with your brief: " I wanted it to be the Thor that the old norseman had in mind with a little bit of flashyness and coolsy stuff for today's people." What's confusing about this is that what the old norsemen had in mind looks pretty damn weird, nothing like anything that could be a character in a video game or movie. look at this ancient norse thor for instance:
To 21st century people this looks more like a garden gnome than Thor :D So I interpreted your brief as "A thor that is very believable and fits into a "realistic" medieval viking world, with a bit of extra spice added to it."

Things I like about your design: (and kept/enhanced in my re-design)
- the asymmetry of the armor fits the design really welll. It enhances the whole idea of a ragtaggy world where people make their own clothes and the line between nature and man-made things is blurrier than today. I kept true to it and added a balancing counterpart to everything on the other side, even his boots are different now.
- I don't know if it's intentional or a happy accident but his belt reminds me of these american wrestling belts from wwe or boxing, which is great! It enhances the idea that this thor is a fighter in a subtle way that draws from popular knowledge. I enhanced it by enlarging the belt buckle and adding a ram head to it. (Thor's chariot is pulled by a bunch of rams in some versions)
- Repeating shapes in the boots, belt buckle and shoulder tattoo. They tie everything together but there is room for even more of this. I used this pretty much everywhere I could without over-stylizing it.
- The diagonals created by the shoulder strap and his kilt work really well with the asymmetry of everything else and they improve the dynamic composition of his armor. Also, in a very subtle way they form an edgy "S" across the whole body which looks like a lightning. Again, I'm not sure if this was a happy accident or not but in any case it goes really really well with the whole god-of-thunder thing. Very nice! I kept it and added some more, smaller, diagonals here and there as well.

General tips/nagging
-draw the anatomy before everything else! make a structural drawing of the entire body and don't even think of designing anything else before this is working perfectly or it will haunt you later. Afterwards you can just design on top. (I left the initial anatomy drawing in there at 10% opacity)
-show the face! If he's a lead character, a leader, or anyone who needs to do some talking, he needs to have a face. Faceless people are hard to relate to and kind of anonymous. You don't want that for someone like Thor. It can be a great tool for making villains, though.
-Think about the pose. he looks like someone just put this hammer in his hand and he's so confused he doesn't know what to do with it. If you are pitching a character, (not just an armor) the pose is so important! It can tell you in a second what a character is all about. I twisted his shoulders and his feet in opposite directions (very slightly) so his pose is a little dynamic even though he's just standing there.
-Think about everything. EVERYTHING! you can't just use a glowy triangle as his hammer and call it a day. (also, it's not clear which form the hammer is supposed to have, imagine being a 3d artist and being told to build it. If you make it so contrasty that it overpowers everything else, you better have a very very good reason)
-Use more reference.
-Take your time. I know it's just a WIP but you need to put more effort into thinking everything out, maybe even before you start drawing.
-Do more structural drawings (draw-through) Lighting is just the icing on the cake, to sell it to non-art people. A design stands and falls with the draft. You can always paint it nicely later, when all the problems are solved. Maybe Jaime Jones and Craig Mullins skip this step, but that's only because they are so fucking good at it and have done it so many times already that they don't even have to waste conscious thought on it. Us mere mortals though, need to do it by the book.
-Less flashyness and exaggeration, more problemsolving and believability. I interpreted your brief as going in a similar design direction as Skyrim for instance so I cut back on as much flashyness etc. as possible. The biggest freedoms I took were the ram skull on the belt and the wolf head on his shoulder, everything else is pretty functional. I would have left those out and covered up his arms with armor/cloth as well if I wanted to push it even more in a functional/believable direction. You can always make the hammer or his eyes glow later if necessary.
-Little things: If he's a norse god, maybe cover up his torso. It's pretty cold up there. Also, I'm not sure why his hammer is in his left hand. I know there are left-handed people but with all of the symbolism of power that's made up around the right hand, would you really want Thor to be a lefty?

I know this sorta comes out of nowhere, but I had a lot of fun doing it and learned a lot as well :D If you/other ppl find it useful, it's been totally worth it!

PS: for the lighting I would have done a standard 3-point lighting (fill, key, backlight) with the hammer as another (weaker) lightsource.

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First of all, thank you SO MUCH! Seriously, I've never gotten a critique this good and on a topic that I clearly lack some knowledge: design.

I was getting pretty frustrated with the results, but I thought I could still pull it out with some more hours of work. It's clearly lacking a solid base under it, everything is falling apart and there's only some "pretty" colors supporting it... I can see it now!

I gotta say I'm not a fan of drawing, I usually start my paintings with some loose colored strokes and build up from that. But I'm working against it, and now more than ever! I find kind of difficult to think of volumes in lines... Well, you guys will see, I'll post a ton of them really soon!

You got some pretty valuable thoughts too! I've never really thought of showing the face or the left hand.. I must say I read somewhere that Thor had a "belt of strength" or something like that, so I thought it would be really cool to make him with one huge and heavy belt... It never crossed my mind relating it to the wrestling belts, that was a pretty awesome insight you had there.

I actually made a moodboard of references for it, but again, I didn't make a base drawing nor planning, I've just started pasting ideas and details on top of my blob of thor... It didn't turned out well HAHA

So, as I'm not a good friend of line drawings or painting on top of them I'll try to do it differently. I'll redo my redesign, but I will thought everything out first on the best line drawing I can make. Then I'll try to paint it separately... Let's see how it'll turn out!

And well, I kiiiinda went over the top with it haha. I really like what you said about believeability there, but in my mind I had this idea that my thor would be more of a thunder god. I thought of some cool iterations of his gear with his lightning, on some sort of "battle mode"... But in the end I kind of went way too nuts on it, to the point the he lost all his "authority"... Next to yours he looks like a silly cartoon HAHA

Again, I cannot thank you enough for that comment and "redraw", you've made me set the bar higher on myself, and that could not be greater! I will work hard on this next one, and I'll try to take the best out of your tips.

If we meet, I'm paying you a beer.

Ok, my stuff is piling hard... gotta do a massive update!

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I failed so hard in this one >
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I suck so much at hard surface
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Update! I slowed down a bit because of college, and I'm also looking for work! But I still do 1~2 hours of studying a day

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Dang, awesome studies. Grin Those bugs are prolly my fave.

Keep going! Thumbs_up


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Whoa, great color studies and the cartoon faces are the bomb! Also that rhino is pretty sweet.

Come tell me how to fix stuff in my sketchbook: Broadway's Sketchbook
wow, really awesome paintings. i love everything hahah man this is so awesome.
btw do you know Nathan Fowkes and Dice Tsutsumi, they got really awesome colour painting.

Thank you so much!

@Broadway I don't see anyone posting cartoons around here... So I'll start posting some of my own, maybe others will show up! Gotta love cartoons man :'D

@Insbox I freaking love both of them! I've learned so much from Nathan's work, that man is a genius! I never stopped to study Tsutsumi's work though, but he holds a special place in my heart :'D

yeah so true, omg they are genius. their lighting and colour are just so amazing haha.

Great stuff you've got here. And dang, Jan's critique on your Thor piece was suuuch a good read.

You've got some great studies, good variety of stuff you're focusing on. Keep trucking away!

Hey man! Are you from Brazil? o/

Thanks for the comment.

I like what I see here. There is a good variety of work, studies, characters, paintings, animals etc.
Loved the girl with wolf head on the shoulder. Try to push the shadows a little more. I think that will pop up.

Wow, your stuff is amazing!

Damn Great stuff so far! I love those brushstrokes in your self portrait.

Those insects are sooooo cool, keep it up man! Thumbs_up


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