Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources => Topic started by: Seeker on 06 March 2009, 12:54:24

Title: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Seeker on 06 March 2009, 12:54:24
OK here it goes.  My first attempt to contribute.  My understanding is now I wait to get some feedback and pointers for improvement.  Please give me your honest feedback.   This was really fun to create, I hope you enjoy it.   

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on 06 March 2009, 13:10:35
Wow.  Great pic.  I really need to read that entry now in order to see if that is what its sposed to look like.

So, attracting someone to the entry is part of what a pic is sposed to do.  So.. my approval.  Thimbs up!  :thumbup:

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Alysse the Likely on 06 March 2009, 14:19:50
Eeeuw!  Ghastly!  What a cool picture!

I think you did a great job, Seeker.  Not being one of our artists, I can't really provide much artistic feedback, but it looks good to me.  My only critique would be that the background seems to fade away too quickly, giving the impression that a giant , tightly focused spotlight is on the tree.  Perhaps you could add a few more background details?



Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 06 March 2009, 16:17:54
Applause, applause, Seeker! :clap :clap:
Wow, that's really cool! No doubt about that! :thumbup: The details on the tree are really well done and absolutely express the... er... thing at hand fantastically, an eerie picture that hits the point! The bones, the arms, the skulls, all look right the way they are done and the overall shape looks naturally composed to a splendid effect.

It's also great that you chose such a topic to draw which really has this fantasty character we need to show here more often - something that is pretty unique to this world and makes a difference. And you definitely succeeded with this one, Seeker!

The only thing I'd like to mention is also what Alysse already said: While the tree itself is drawn in great detail the background/foggy part still looks a bit blurred and contrasts somewhat with the sharpness of the main picture. So a few additions in this direction would be nice to have. Like some hints at landscape in the back (mustn't be anything major, though) or some adjustments at the fog e.g. (Personal note: Fog for example can even be done nicely with a Photoshop filter, which you could make half transparent and get some nice effect out of that. But that's just a idea, don't know what program you're using, and there surely are other means to do such smaller adjustments as well.)

All in all: Wonderful start already, Seeker! :D

Aura +1

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 06 March 2009, 20:53:35
Hello Seeker!

First a welcome from me as well :)

Your pic: That is really a good attempt to depict that bonetree!

Some proposals for improvement, as you wished :)

The entry says, that the bones are held together by a kind of yellowish, sickly looking bark. You have it already as the core of your trunk. Maybe you try to cover some of the bones, especially the joints of the branches a bit, with a nearly transparent barky structure, for this bark keeps the bones together. Same with the trunk, the bark could have a little bit more this .. ah well, it is easier to quote the entry:

The trunk appears as a pile of bones held together by a kind of a rather tough bark with a sickly yellowish complexion and a porous structure. The same bark, but a little bit thinner, holds together the bones forming the "branches" and instead of leaves finger-bones are dangling and clanking on those branches.

This porous structure could be a bit emphasised.

A chilling effect might be if you add a axe somewhere cutting in the trunk, and blood dripping out - as if somebody tried to cut it and ran of. If the axe is too difficult, just add a kind of "wound" with the blood dripping out. Not too much though!

I think the background is quite nice (these are paintings after all, not photos), but it would surely enhance the pic, if you add some ghostly trees, the hint of a mountain (if there are there mountains in the enclave, don't know) in the lower background.
But if you do the background in more detail, the foreground needs some as well. Maybe there is a smaller plant or a hunted creature in the enclave which you can add, then Art crops this out for an extra entry.

Well done! :)

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang on 06 March 2009, 22:19:43
Hi again, Seeker!

Spooky! I'm distinctly impressed! I think it's a fantastic picture, and I like the little details such as the cracked skulls on the trunk, and the spiderlike feet on the left.

It's great, also, how quickly you've found a non-illustrated entry and produced an atmospheric illustration of it. I'm pretty new myself, and like Altario didn't know about this apparition (though now I do, thanks to you).

I couldn't draw if it was to save my life, so I don't feel qualified to add to the suggestions Alysse, Art and Talia have made. Just wanted to add my voice to the applause and shouts of approval.



PS Just to add a little response to one thing Talia said: looking closely, I do see something yellowish-greenish and barklike holding the fingery branches together. As the scene is dark and foggy, I personally think it's okay if the onlooker at first has the impression that the bones are hanging as if in thin air. It adds to the eeriness, I feel. Just my opinion, though.  :)

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 07 March 2009, 00:15:08
Oh what a wonderful picture! Very eerie and spooky. And, the illustration style fits well with the other pictures on the site. Colorful, fantasy-ish with a bit of cartoony aspects.

I agree with the other commenters. Although I personally don't feel a detailed background is required or necessary. In fact, it looks good to me as it is. But, I am no art critic.

PLEASE stick around and make more pictures for us! We need more regular illustrators here.

*Tackles Seeker and clamps some shackles on his ankles and ties him to the illustrator room located deep under the library. It is guarded by a huge earth elemental, magical wards and a host of Fire Daughters and Mira's nastiest man eating plants*

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 07 March 2009, 00:37:49
You forgot Dala's Demon Ducks, Azhira, .. but they were not seen lately, so you might not know them. I was threatend to stay here by them.

But, Seeker, the food is good down there, you won't starve!

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Decipher Ziron on 07 March 2009, 08:46:22

I like this alot Seeker! Fits in nicely with the ominous tone of the Venlaken Enclave!

Nice work,


Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth on 07 March 2009, 09:46:01
Oooohh, very creepy, sir! A nice style, and well-drawn indeed. Perhaps the top-most skull is a little off though, other then that, its great :)

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition --part 2
Post by: Seeker on 07 March 2009, 13:12:01
OK here is another version with the changes that were suggested.  Let me know if you think the pic is improved or not.  I can easily reverse anything that was done. 

You may notice that I decided not to leave the axe in the tree as I have a hard time imagining the bone tree tolerating an axe in its trunk.  More likely it would pull out the axe and throw it to the ground... which it did.

I also did not mess around too much with the bark.  By the way I am using GIMP as my drawing program.  Its free and it works well.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition
Post by: Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth on 07 March 2009, 13:14:02
Well done, again! Just make sure the wound doesnt go over the bone, I think - and perhaps lay the ax a bit flatter? Should be ready very soon :)

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- updated
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 07 March 2009, 16:25:05
Great embedding, Seeker! The updated background works very well!  :grin:

One suggestion: How about some more transparent fog in front of the tree here and there, creeping up on it? Like you have it at the bottom a bit - this adds to the atmosphere a good deal and strengthens the eerie character. If you have the tree standing more in the fog instead of just in front of it you'd get the a cool 3d effect out of it, I'd say.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- updated
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 07 March 2009, 17:54:25
The idea putting the axe on the ground was great, Seeker!

Some more fog as Art suggested and all is very fine. The bark is not so important, I just imagined some of it hanging lose as if it where shriveled old skin, would add to the eerie, frightening character (reminding even more at death and decay)

You have a PC and use windows with the GIMP? I tried it out once, but back then there was no bundle for the Mac, and so I stayed with my relatively cheap pl32 (

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- updated
Post by: Alysse the Likely on 08 March 2009, 05:41:57
This is really great!  The added background fills in the picture well and gives it more depth.  I can imagine something creepy sticking its head around the side of one of those trees, perhaps some jackal or hyena-like scavenger attracted by the blood scent...brrrr! (shivers)  Two thumbs up, Seeker!


Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Seeker on 08 March 2009, 05:44:37
Those were good suggestions.  I like this version much better.  Let me know if anyone sees something else that needs improvement, these changes don't take long.  

By the way, I am thinking about trying the Black Unicorn next.    

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Alysse the Likely on 08 March 2009, 09:20:03
I'd love to see more of your work, Seeker.  Go for it! 

Though I'm inclined to try and tempt you back to the Sarvonian continent by suggesting another gruesome, un-illustrated monster--the truly revolting Swamp Stalker, under "Monsters, Land" in the Bestiary.  Developed, coincidentally of course, by yours truly.

Alysse the Likely.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Seeker on 08 March 2009, 11:25:32
The Swamp Stalker is intriguing.  I will definitely keep that one in mind.  I'll get to it in a couple of weeks I am sure.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 08 March 2009, 15:59:28
Yay added mist makes it really creepy now, Seeker!  :thumbup: I'll see to prepare the picture already for this week's update then, as it's pretty much done I'd say! Great work!  :cool:

Technical note: In general it's better for me to have unsigned versions of the picture, for the simple reason that I can just resize it and use it for the smaller version on the site or that I can crop parts of it if needed without having the signature in the way. Also, it is site standard that I add the real life name of the artist at the bottom right corner of the picture in the enlarged version, so this is taken care of that way.

Oh, and I'm already curious how your next work will turn out - a black unicorn sounds interesting as well! :D - Concerning Alysse's suggestion: Beasts like "monsters", especially smaller ones, are definitely very helpful choices, because they cannot only be used at entries, but also as opponents in the interactive role playing environment of Santhworld. And here we're definitely heading into swamps and caves sooner or later in the Nepris module, so anything useable in this context is very much appreciated as well :)

P.S. I assume your e-mail address has your real name in it, right - cause that's what I'd need to add the signature.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Seeker on 08 March 2009, 19:34:33
"Real"  name -  Bradly Van Camp.  Thanks for all the help over the past few days getting started.

Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Smith in Exile on 09 March 2009, 18:39:03

Really nice drawing, and a pleasant surprise for me to see how writing becomes image :) Now I can't wait for you to come up with a black unicorn drawing... :D


Title: Re: The Bone Tree Apparition- 3rd update
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 09 March 2009, 20:34:34
Wow! Great job, Seeker! Looking forward to your next piece. The Black Unicorn sounds like a great idea.  :D