MAY WIP Akins constructive criticism always welcome

  • Totally not finished so keep that in mind....

    So the scenario is that a little elfling has obtained a magical blade and they are going to surprise attack the army of goblins marching down the road.

    I am feeling an N.C. Wyeth vibe here or old Hobbit/LOTR paintings. NOT going for cute. (It’s a risk, I know)

    I am having a little trouble with lighting and silhouette. Thoughts?

    • How’s the story telling?

    • How’s the composition?

    • Do you like the stylistic approach?


  • I added a color filter and I think that fixes a lot of issues so far.

  • I like color you’re working with but, I’m wondering about the tree cutting your image right down the center it feels too symmetrical right now. And the branch union at the top I think could be staggered instead of coming out from the same point. Hope that helps a bit, ps I like the colonial esque garb.

  • @Asyas_illos Thanks for the comments.

    The tree is based on a white pine that I just took a picture of. Their branching habit is like the pic. Trying to add a bit of realism. I kinda like it where it is. Is that a composition no no? Maybe I need to move it over a smidge.... You have given me something to think about.

  • @chrisaakins hey if you like it and want to keep it more realistic that’s totally your decision! My husband is an arborist and while it may be accurate it’s just a little bit distracting visually probably because it’s a high contrast area.

  • @chrisaakins regarding the composition maybe this will help


    Right now you are doing the first one. I don’t agree with saying anything is a “no no” but you should be aware of the effect which it is having on your image. Cutting it in half makes it feel still, static. Maybe that’s what you want. But if you don’t then change it.

    Personally I would save that kind of composition for something that I wanted to feel frozen or boring, and would otherwise do something more dynamic

  • @chrisaakins The colours are really nice and I think it captures the right feeling, but it may be worth moving the tree and the character a bit further to the right. If you look up the rule of thirds principle, it might give you an idea of a good location to position the focal point, which I'm assuming is either the character's head or the knife.

    I've got this great book called Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre which I would recommend to anyone who's looking to improve their composition.

    I hope it goes well for you, excited to see it when it's finished !

  • @Asyas_illos haha! I am a tree nerd and I am used to be being one of two people on the planet who knows what kinds of trees there are. When I ask my family, “What kind of tree is that?” They’re like,” um...a tree?”

    @carlianne @brettb_draws You guys have persuaded me to move the tree over to the right. I don’t want it to look static but tense. A moment before they strike.

  • @chrisaakins lol that’s awesome nice to know there’s other tree nerds out there!

  • I think I am mostly done? Not sure if I should flesh out the orc-goblins more. I kinda like it seeming like an indistinguishable mass of nasty brutishness.

    Does the washed out color for the orc-goblin army work? I kinda think it looks Frank Frazetta ish and I am liking it.


  • @chrisaakins Hi Chris. I really like this especially now the tree trunk has been moved over. Your face and figure drawing is amazing.

    One thing I have noticed is that on your progress it looks as if he would be peering around the tree, looking in the direction of the goblins while hiding, waiting for his moment to ambush them. On the finished version it looks as if he is looking at the top of the tree trunk in front of him and not in the direction of the goblins. This isn't an issue, it's just an observation so please ignore if necessary.

  • Very interesting @chrisaakins, and definitely agree moving the tree over helps with composition.

    I like how you muted the Goblins to differentiate focus from the main character; however, I feel like they could easily spot him given their proximity since he’s sticking his head out with an extended hat. Also, it’s likely his dagger of light would draw attention in a dark scene, yet the Goblins continue marching onwards obliviously.

    Perhaps a bush could offer a surprise ambush? Maybe lower the brightness of the dagger’s light?

    Feel free to ignore; really digging the story.

  • @Jeremy-Ross I would agree except I want to keep the sense of moving army of orc brutes and a bush would hide them.

    In my version, these Goblins ain’t the most observant brutes. And they are tired from marching...The sun is also beating down on them in the eyes.... and who likes the pay anyway!?

    So maybe it’s just plausible?

  • Well said @chrisaakins, and it fits the story nicely!

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