CC 06 Bat and Spider
#1
Totally new to the Crimson Daggers community and pumped to participate in my first crucible! I knew I wanted a pair with a vast size disparity, and spider seemed perfect for the smaller of the two. I eventually settled on bat for the other. Hoping to have some time with a model today so I can jump into the oil painting. Planning to make a color study as well!


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#2
Hey Matthew, first and foremost, welcome to the Crimson Daggers. There's nothing like starting it by going into a challenge head on.
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Not quite sure with how true this comment is. Your illustration piece looks like two humanoid designs interacting, as opposed to the brief, one creature and one humanoid.. The bat still looks humanoid to me, given a different set for hands and feet. The proportions and the main structure are so close to human. Same goes with the one that suppose to have the spider motif.

We can all debate humanoids are creatures too! But I think it's best to consult the mods here: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7...07311.html (Just to be safe.) I hope things can be clear before you do something major!

If you are reading this, I most likely just gave you a crappy crit! What I'm basically trying to say is, don't give up!  
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#3
Welcome to Crimson Daggers Matthew :).

Looks like you got the creative juices flowing - just be careful with the brief like John said.

Keep it going and good luck :).

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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#4
Continuing on from Piotr's input - whether you choose to design the bat-humanoid or spider-humanoid, try to push for anatomy and creature design instead of costume. Breasts on a bat are kind of pointless and the spider-girl looks like a woman with a spider-cape. Try to think outside the box, use interesting shapes and maybe incorporate anatomy from other animals, so that you spider/bat creature is less typical on design.

Don't stop now dude, keep it going!



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#5
Hey, welcome to the Crucible :)

As others said, it looks like you plan to use two humanoids, one is just way bigger than the other. It's not like you'll be disqualified on a spot but I'd advise to explore some more creature-like ideas. The whole purpose of this contest is to help people in developing their skillset. The best way is (probably) to spend some time on google researching ideas and then study necessary thing you like (and maybe don't - creature anatomy).

Good luck! :)

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#6
Think everybody else have nailed the issues with your designs so just going to say welcome to the challenge and the Crimson Daggers!

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#7
Thanks for the warm welcome and feedback everyone! I returned to the drawing board to try and hit the brief better while maintaining what I could of the initial composition. Rather than going for spider-inspired costuming for the smaller figure, I've switched him out entirely with a rat. I've also come up with a small backstory to support the piece:

Humanity had been on the winning side of the war with the Kingdom of Rats for nearly a century. But the year 1297 had seen cities and castles fall as the rats swarmed not just with numbers but with all manner of monstrosities under their command. Today, yet another citadel is lost to their advance as the tide continues to turn.

I did a new, more detailed lighting study, the rat prince and his bat creature perched on a crushed wall alongside the corpse of a human commander, with color studies to follow.


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#8
Some quick, low res color studies.


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#9
nice, I like the lower one best, it has that greenish tint which is a bit more unique.
Watch your dark value range. The rat is getting very lost atm. It might be the result of your screen calibration.
Some nice trad stuff in your folio man. Keen to see what you end up with

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#10
Thanks Amit. I got a lot of positive feedback from others in favor for the green cast as well.

Over the last several days I had another photo session and also made a maquette for the rat. I made sure to light it as closely as possible to the lighting conditions found in my session with my female model (namely, diffuse light to simulate the moon).




I also began painting on the final canvas two days ago. Size is 18x24 inches. First step was to put down the imprimatura.




Following that, I drew out the composition with paint.




And here's where we're at right now. These are cell phone shots, and unless you set up the studio specifically for photographing a painting, it never looks as vibrant and deep as it does in reality. Nevertheless, you can get an idea for how things are shaping up!



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#11
Oh man you get extra points for doing an actual maquette! Fantastic. Love seeing the process too. Get it done son :)

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#12
So obviously I blew the deadline pretty hard, but I'm still chipping away at this painting. Here's some more WIP shots.

Here's the first go at the defeated human figure.




I painted the pants and sword the next day after the upper body had dried. As oil paint dries, it becomes kind of dried out and "dead" looking, as can be clearly seen here in the difference between freshly painted pants and the dry skin. Once the whole painting is done, a coat of varnish will restore the entirety of the surface to its original, freshly painted look.




With the smaller, less important figure done and the background covered, I felt I had enough value information to start painting the bat creature. I've been working on her since the day of the deadline, and here's where things are at currently. Areas like her crotch and armpit, where the surface looks rough or not properly finessed, are again due to the drying of the paint. They'll be restored when it comes time to varnish.







The plan of attack is to finish her fur/hair and feet, then paint in the rat. At that point, with the entire surface having at least a first pass, I can start correcting values, adding details to the architecture/ruins, and generally tightening up the picture.

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#13
Oh man, that's the one drawback of oils, the time and technique, which also happen to be the best thing about it. No matter the deadline I hope you finish and submit to the next CC so you still get some feedback.



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#14
Oh I wish you started this earlier. Good job.

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#15
Finally nearing the finish line here haha! In addition to covering untouched areas like her hair or the rat creature, I also repainted the sky and significantly desaturated it. It really made the painting click in feeling cohesive, not to mention dreary and menacing. Now to adjust the arch, the rubble they're all standing on, and make other adjustments.



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#16
That's lovely! I don't even want to think of any crits :)

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#17
wow this came out fantastic

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#18
Hope you post the final dude. I'm sure we're all looking forward to it. :) I would say one thing, which I know isn't something you can implement now, but the palette seems a little bit too monochromatic. I think a teensy bit of colour vibrance within the focal points especially would help add some oomph to this.

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#19
Here we go, finally finished this thing. Technically it was finished last week, but I had to wait for it to dry fully before applying varnish and photographing it. Only a month late! (In all seriousness, probably among the fastest I've ever worked. Go figure.)

"The Rat Prophet and His Familiar Upon Taking the Katholikon," oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, available.



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