Friday, April 30, 2010

Illustration final 1 of 3

Yeah, the quality sucks (for now)

For this one I'm working with graphite, HB, B, 2B, 3B
and the board 20x30 (16tallx26wide)

My final is another series of concept art for a fantasy world I cooked up. These guys are called the Kadris, lost souls of flora and fauna that is twisted and deformed by the powers of a god (the dark addict) gone completely mad. The Kadris is not only a weapon but the very nature of the addict in general, his power consumes what cannot fight it and makes him stronger. This Kadris swarm is invading countries in opposition to their master, killing and infecting whatever they encounter. The foreground is filled with stragglers off the side of the army to show texture and the silhouettes make up the horde.
The texture on the monsters is the same for the large growths on the soil because its one in the same, the Kadris infects everything it touches the same way.

The twisting beam of energy is the sun of the world, shared by the powers of two gods. When these gods wrestle for dominance, there's an unbalance of power as the sun lashes violently back and forth between the gods. This bending of sun causes storms, and occasionally burns large segments of the world, disintegrating whatever may dwell to close to the core.


  1. well as always, your piece is as intense as balls. no explanation needed about what exactly is going on. its a nice simple sort of picture just to set the stage for a story.

    the back story is quite up your alley so im pleased to have that to go on.

    my main crit is that the contrast is only really decent in the front couple of characters and while i get that this is a dark scene and things might be obliterated in the low light, there is still the flash of lightning coming from the sky and i feel as tho the darks and lights would be at their extremes. i say if you have it, go for the 5,6,7B.

  2. dammit i know, the clouds used to be darker around the sun when i added B. But the soft graphite sat on top of a lot of areas that were HB and B too so i kicked it back.
    I could remodel alot of things, its just I've been told so many times its better to stick with HB to 4B, but I could always think outside the box.

  3. This is AWESOME! I really like the way you've developed these characters and I love their disgustingly long tongues. I think the composition is really nice (I see that you're staying true to the right to left; damn the man :)) but i feel like in the spot between the main character and the character to the left you could probably bring a few more Kadris forward to fill it in a little more. Everything else in the drawing seems solid except my eye keeps being drawn back to that area. And I agree with kevin that some more contrast could go into the sky--maybe around the edges of the border and corners so that the characters in the foreground aren't disturbed. Are you using graphite for all of these or will we be seeing some of your painting skills? Can't wait to see all of these!!

  4. Oh and on the main Kadri up front (The crypt keepers doghead one) I think his back boot looks a little too much like an Ugg. You know those hideous boots that cute girls wear? I think just letting some of his scales/tendrils fall over it would help. Or maybe it's just me seeing it.

  5. wow Ben! that's pretty intense - I don't want to mess with those tree people!

    I concur with Kevin, in that I think we need some bigger areas of value changes. If you look at the illustration and squint your eyes, the ground has the same value from foreground to background. I would think it might be more of a gradient from dark to light. You have a nice cast shadow for the Kadri (is that the singular format?) in the front, I would like to see about half his body in shadow, too. Make us work a little more to see the fabulous detail in his armor and clothing.

    As for the creatures themselves, I think they are really cool and very unique. Their intensity and ferocity comes through very well. My only question is, are they all the same species? The guy in front seems to have more a wolf like face, while the others seem a bit more human. Are they all suppose to be the same?

    The sky and sun bolt are superb!I feel the chaos and energy coming down from the heavens. It really balances your composition nicely, too. One last thought on the composition, however, you may want to consider cropping the bottom portion of the image to just past the sword bottom. It feels a little bit like the big bad guy fits a little too snuggly in the frame. it's not a huge deal, but it seems to diminish his malice a bit to have him enclosed by the edge of the page. Just a thought - and easy enough to try/do digitally...which by the way is a good way to tackle the value issue, too. Use the dodge/burn tool a bit, or add some dark layers to the image in photoshop and see what you can get for results.

  6. yeah, i was having a bitch of a time with that boot. orginally I had the tendrils punching through the boot and making its own mutated foot through it but it looked to weird and its sprayed now. its sucks

    The next two are gonna be done in acrylic, though I think i'm better with pencils but you never get better at anything with comfort zones.

  7. I love all the textures in this, and how distorted your characters have become in their design. You must have killed over getting this level of detail. That sunbolt/lightning bolt in the background is pretty awesome too, with it's whip-like shape, and you really get a feel for the malevolence in the landscape because of it.

    I'd try fixing your values and cropping in photoshop or something, though. The lightning should provide some super sharp contrast that I'm not seeing in the shadows. The kadri in the foreground's legs are weird - not just the boot, but the way he's stepping below the knee makes him look a bit pigeon-toed. If you do bring it into photoshop, it'd be really cool to try laying some soft, muted earthy colors over this image with a brush set to 'overlay', to maybe bring an antiquated portrait/photo look to it.

  8. Ben, I love your elaborate stories just as much now as I did back when you were carving dog soldiers in Pre-College Sculpture (forgive me for forgetting the race name!!). The concept is INTENSE and it's clear that your attention to every last bit of detail is also INTENSE. I agree that you need to re-evaluate your placement of value changes...the piece is mostly a gray blur. I also think that you could have a more effective composition. The Kadris in the foreground seems cramped. I want him to appear downright monolithic. He is representing his dreadful swarm. And speaking of the swarm, I'm concerned that he looks a little too different from the rest of the army...I can see that there is some variety, but he looks like an entirely different class of creature.

    Most of these changes have to be made at the sketch stage. Maybe have us look at a few more sketches for the next piece?

    I was utterly disappointed to find that the image isn't much larger than this thumbnail...I want to really get in there and look at all of that luscious detail! The only thing I would love more is if it were painted...I think your acrylic technique would lend the perfect eerie atmosphere to this.

    Great job!!