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Author Topic: Gondolwenmith: portrait (by Faugar)  (Read 5993 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 26 April 2010, 02:52:23 »

GONDOLWENMITH: PORTRAIT

I'll keep updating this post with the most recent version of the picture.

NB:
1. Link to original thread
2. Link to sister thread (Gondolwenmith: Full Body (Sketch 3))
3. In the interest of saving space, I omitted the reference pictures I sent to Faugar.

« Last Edit: 02 May 2010, 19:15:11 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 26 April 2010, 03:04:29 »

SKETCH (V1)

Please find attached the three sketches Faugar originally sent me, together with my comments:



COREN'S COMMENTS

Heya Faugar!

Thanks again for the sketches! As promised, the more detailed commentary:


General Queries / Issues:

1.   These are all great – so much character in the faces! The only one that doesn’t fit the Gondolwain (or rather: my mental picture of them) is the guy on the right hand side of the B&W drawing. I think all the others, with some tweaking, can be turned into full-blown pictures. :D

2.   To confirm: Do you wish to tackle a bust/portrait first or a full-body picture to show the clothing/stature as well?

The only trouble with a male portrait is that it’s really difficult to differentiate the tribe. With women, I guess one can go for all sorts of elaborate hairstyles and accessories/headgear (Star Wars was really good at this). I guess that isn’t really an option for men. So the question we need to answer would be: What makes this portrait that of a Gondolwain rather than that of eg a Helcran? Maybe we could put our heads together and brainstorm a bit?

If you would rather do a full-body painting (we can still keep the background very simple), could we focus first on the lady (left-side) in the black & white sketch? I have some really cool ideas for her outfit and hairstyle! I also googled quite a few reference pictures.

Please let me know which one you wish to proceed with first :)

3.   Faugar, every critique/request for change from here onwards is meant as a suggestion, which you should feel free to take or discard. I write in a ‘staccato’ style to save time. It gets a bit cumbersome to couch every single sentence with “Do you think it would be possible / How about ... / I wonder if...” I hope this is okay with you?


Portrait/Profile of brown-haired guy (“Sketch-1”)

For some random reason, when I saw the picture my first thought was: “OMG – Han Solo makes an appearance in Santharia!” ;)

I love the hair – very rich and richly textured! Its bronze-ish hue, the angle of the light illuminating it, the slightly curly, “fizzy” texture – they all add so much personality to the face...

A few requests / cavils:

1.   Could you make the brows slightly thinner please? We can still keep the full/bold look – just a bit less prominent/bushy.

2.   The eyes look really cold (and a bit scary) – maybe a more convivial shade of blue? or hazel/bronze?

3.   The eyes don’t converge - but that’s probably because this was a quick sketch and not the final version

4.   Skin tone: slightly more tanned?

5.   Posture – he seems to be slumping a bit. (shoulders back and tummy in? :P) Maybe a more confident and assertive posture?

6.   Background: could you cast the abstract figures in blue instead of brown-grey? I’m just curious if that would change the feel of the picture. I’m not sure which shade of blue would fit best – maybe you could quickly try a few different shades? eg: one version in navy, one in azure, one in bright turquoise etc. Would that take a lot of time?


Black & White (“Sketch-2”)

The man on the right is a great sketch in its own right, but somehow doesn’t feel ‘right’ for the Gondolwain. Maybe a rain-check on it for a future tribe? ;)

The woman on the left (“WOL”) is my favourite! The expression, the facial features are just stunning! It is almost difficult to believe that this is not a real person but a figment of someone’s imagination! Wow!

1.   If you wish to do a full-body painting rather than a bust first, can you depict her first? (I love the other two sketches too – we could use them for later illustrations) If you wish to do a bust/portrait first, I think Sketch-1 would be best.

2.   Eyes: could they curve ever so slightly upwards? Just a very very light slant –without making the eyes smaller/thinner. More like a hint of a slant – so that one cannot really be sure if it is there or not – a bit like a very faint scent of perfume trailing after someone who has just walked past you.

3.   Clothing:

A general note on Gondolith clothing: I always envisaged Gondolith women as wearing trousers – long, medieval style dresses just don’t seem to fit. I was thinking: Sharp, modern lines; assertive cuts; a self-assured stance – maybe even a slightly ‘corporate’ look.  I’m spent quite some time researching over the weekend – and I now have a ton of reference pictures. I’m emailing over the whole bunch just to give you a feel for what I had in mind.

For a full-body painting of WOL: The sketch really inspired me – I think I’ll make her an Amor (head of state) and write a person entry for her. Let’s go with the grey corporate outfit among the reference pictures. Can we keep the outfit and the hairstyle as close to the reference picture as possible? Only change the colour – maybe a bold, assertive shade of blue? We might have to experiment a bit.

4.   Posture / Body type: Quite tall – again, similar in height to the reference picture. Maybe 1.79-1.83 ish? The body type should also be similar to that in the picture – aside from the anorexia :P I’m thinking: slightly more muscled – so the arms should look less like sticks and more fit, with lean, long muscle. The kind that is not obstrusive/bulky, but becomes apparent in movement.

The only problem I had with the reference picture was that she looked resigned, somewhat beaten down – which goes against the image I tried to paint for the Gondolwain.

5.   Expression: The expression in the sketch is fantastic! That subtle balance between quiet sorrow and resolve. She looked like a woman who had lived through tragedy in her past, but refused to let it consume her. It left its mark on her, a softness, a yearning/regret in her eyes – but that did not sever her tie with the present; she would do what needs to be done. So that delicate balance between firmness on the one hand and a quiet grief on the other. The kind of resolve that doesn’t shout and make a lot of clamour, but radiates through.

I think I might be asking the impossible – but would it be possible to keep that wistful look, that sorrow but make her slightly less beaten down. So slightly more forceful without losing that undercurrent of sorrow?

Re reference pictures: The last one, the blue dress is just for colour purposes. They show the sort of blues and brightness I had in mind for the palette. (Though I like Sketch-1 as-is, so the colour scheme in that one can stay).

Oh Faugar! I get the feeling that you’re going to hate me by the time we’re done! :P I don’t want to upset you or step on your toes – so please do tell me if I become too much of a tyrant!  

Let me know if you wish to proceed with this one – and then I could write a description/teaser to function as a springboard J


Small Guy in Blue Room (“Sketch-3”)

The posture, the hair, the face – PERFECT! The ambience (?) of the clothing is very fitting too – that is: the “feel” is just right, the specifics may have to be changed a bit.

Height: the only problem is that he is way too short for a Krean. Gondolwain descended from the Ancient Krean (who were quite tall) – so for men: 1.80-1.90 I’d say. I always envisaged Gondolwain men as having a rather imposing figure. They are a lot more physically active than the Ancient Krean – and most of them are soldiers or sailors. Tall, commanding statures; very athletic, with a tightly defined musculature. The muscles shouldn’t be burly/bulky – but long and lean. Their ship designs require them to be extremely agile and flexible (as in, their limbs should be suitable for activities that require a lot of stretching).

Window/Doors: I like the floor to ceiling window-doors – they should be even larger: All the way to the ceiling, and a lot larger. The room is too dimly lit/murky now. Gondolwain interior spaces should be VERY airy and filled with light.


Hope that was helpful! :) Thanks again for taking on this project Faugar!

Let me know what you think –

Regards
Coren.

[end of Comments on Sketch V1]




« Last Edit: 26 April 2010, 05:24:58 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 26 April 2010, 03:07:26 »

SKETCH 1 (V2)

Please find attached Sketch 1 v2:



« Last Edit: 26 April 2010, 05:25:11 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #3 on: 26 April 2010, 03:08:31 »

COREN'S COMMENTS on SKETCH 1 v2

Hi Faugar!

Thanks again – aura +1!

1.   Hair: Wow – I think by the time you are done with this picture, he will be featured in the Annual Hair Awards 2010 or something! It just keeps getting better and better! :p

2.   Skin tone: Even more tanned, please?

3.   Posture: Hmmm... I know I somewhat jokingly said shoulders back and tummy in – but... Hmm he now looks too stiff.. I should have trusted your gut feeling – the more I look at the first posture, the more fond I grow of it. Not only was it a more natural and dynamic pose  (as if he were walking and then suddenly something caught his attention or called to him; torso not in a formal portrait pose but half turned, still facing the direction he was originally headed), but confident too. The naturalness that comes from an innate self-assurance, I guess. By understating it, I think you had somehow made him even more assertive. I see that now. Sorry for my earlier, misguided comment, Faugar!

Would it still be possible to revert back to the original posture? I know very little about digital painting, so forgive me if this sounds very silly – but can you just cut and paste the new head onto the old body?

4.   Clothing: Again, I like the more natural, free-flowing look of V1. I especially liked the folds – how you can make even a simple fabric look so natural and life-like with so few brushstrokes is just a mystery to me! I also liked the blues reflected on the white (hmm – “reflected” (which, suggests well.. something reflecting from something else) is not the word I was looking for, but I can’t find the right word now)

(btw, the seams should not show and the fabric should look soft - so again V1 rather than V2)

5.   Facial expression: He looks too disdainful. Ok, I guess I am responsible for that given that I wrote them up as quite an arrogant bunch – so you can hardly be blamed for staying true to the spirit of the tribe entry! (I think I might have to go back to the entry and downplay that aspect a bit).

If this would be too difficult to change, maybe we could still keep the disdainful look around the eyes but implement the following changes:

a)   His lips (the side closer to the viewer?) turned up slightly in a mischievous half-smile – as if he were amused. So combined with the original posture that would mean: He was walking down and something caught his eye, and the spectacle brought a somewhat mischievous half-smile to his face – like an adult watching children or kittens doing something with the utmost seriousness which ends up looking rather cute/entertaining from the outside, like trying to rearrange the furniture or to untangle a ball of yarn that has gotten a bit out of control.

b)   Maybe we could even have him raise an eyebrow in amusement, supporting that half-smile? (which eyebrow would look better? left one?)

c)   I guess what I’m trying to say is that V1 looked more open/eager, ready to take the world hands on. Is there any way to get some of that back? (Could this have anything to do with the fact that the eyebrows are now a lot closer to the eyes?)

6.   Eyes: Since that’s the direction we will be going with Sketch 2 (the lady), should we make the eyes curve ever so slightly upwards this one as well? It should not be a full-blown Asian look – but a very very faint curve, almost unnoticeable – a bit like a dream in that respect I guess, half there half not. (In Terran terms, think mixed parentage – and then not the first generation but the second or third, with the Asian-eye aspects very diluted, but still somehow there). Do you think that would be a good idea?

7.   Background: Imho, the greyish green in the background really dampened the mood of the painting – I think the freshness and openness brought by the pure white suits the Gondolwain better. We may have misunderstood each other. What I meant in my earlier comments was to have the flower figures in blue instead of brown (maybe picking up and reflecting the blues elsewhere in the picture, like in the folds of his clothes and in his hair?) whilst keeping the background white. As if he were standing in front of wallpaper – well Santharia wouldn’t have wallpaper, but they could have always painted these onto a white wall? I don’t know if other developers would find that kind of background too abstract for a Compendium picture though


I hope that was helpful  number1



[end of Comments]



[Thread now open to comments]
« Last Edit: 26 April 2010, 05:24:21 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #4 on: 26 April 2010, 05:25:26 »

The thread is now open to comments again! :)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #5 on: 27 April 2010, 04:11:59 »

I see this is turning a bit into a science, eh? lol
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #6 on: 27 April 2010, 05:09:00 »

Yeah, I might have gotten a tiny bit carried away  noidea
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #7 on: 30 April 2010, 10:17:33 »

Coren, ya know I luv ya and all but holy cow.  At some point you are going to have let Faugar use some of his artistic license.  Otherwise you may end up painting this yourself  grin.  

Now Faugar has always been a nice guy, so he may be OK with this level of critique, but lets not chase him away, nor take advantage of his kindness.

+1 for Faugar

« Last Edit: 30 April 2010, 13:07:41 by Seeker » Logged

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #8 on: 30 April 2010, 14:37:25 »

Did any of you actually read what I wrote?
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #9 on: 30 April 2010, 23:39:40 »

Coren

if you are referring to the following statements:

Quote
Oh Faugar! I get the feeling that you’re going to hate me by the time we’re done!  I don’t want to upset you or step on your toes – so please do tell me if I become too much of a tyrant!
and

Quote
Yeah, I might have gotten a tiny bit carried away
 

Yes, I read them and I guess your point is that you already recognized you were asking alot.  So point taken on that front and perhaps I should have just let things be.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #10 on: 01 May 2010, 01:22:40 »

Quote
Faugar, every critique/request for change from here onwards is meant as a suggestion, which you should feel free to take or discard. I write in a ‘staccato’ style to save time. It gets a bit cumbersome to couch every single sentence with “Do you think it would be possible / How about ... / I wonder if...” I hope this is okay with you?
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #11 on: 01 May 2010, 02:08:58 »

Coren I can see that i jumped the gun on criticizing you here.   i suppose Faugar would have let you know in some way if he was upset anyhow.  My apologies.
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« Reply #12 on: 01 May 2010, 05:48:39 »

 azn
Ok, let's try this. I have considered all your comments, and have 2 new variations (only the eyes differ). I thought the fabric of V2 looked more loose and soft then the V1, so I tried a half way between the two. The background is back to white washed wall, and the skin is darker, the pose is much more like in V1 as well.
Let us see what you think of this first and which you prefer (a or b)?
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« Reply #13 on: 01 May 2010, 07:00:14 »

Coren I can see that i jumped the gun on criticizing you here.   i suppose Faugar would have let you know in some way if he was upset anyhow.  My apologies.

Seeker, aren't you glad your pics don't get that level of critique? lol
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« Reply #14 on: 01 May 2010, 18:58:35 »

v3(b)

Thanks, Faugar! This is great!

As far as the eyes are concerned - exactly the way I imagined. I can't believe how accurately you've captured what I had in mind!

I am very happy with the portrait now. No more requests/changes from my end. Please feel free to do whatever you think is necessary to finish the painting (though to my untrained eyes, the whole thing looks pretty complete?)

In short: Paint away to your heart's desire  grin

Does anyone else have any comments?
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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