Friday, January 2, 2015

Keep it simple and smooth

I didn't like the rather ugly utilitarian sword I had, and the wristband looked too fiddly and complicated, didn't make a quick powerful statement. Details like that trip up the eye and stop it from flowing freely around the picture. So I simplified them both and made them rounded and smooth, which creates a nice aesthetic statement - you can almost feel what it would be like to hold that sword. I also made the belt buckle bigger, which covered up the top few grommets. Now those don't draw too much attention anymore and the belt makes a simpler stronger statement. Oh, and it's very subtle - I might go over it again, but I slightly lightened the clouds just to the right of his neck to help draw the eye that way slightly. To sort of complete the circuit started by the sword hilt and the bracelet. I had put a moon there but it looked bad. I think I need to make the eyes slightly visible, at least one of them, so he doesn't look blank and empty. If heroic fantasy is about personalities, then you need to see the eyes of the main characters.

Didn't do the eye(s) yet, but I did set up a circular compositional flow around the focal area (his chest), and put in a new moon that's much better than the planetoid I tried at first.

Just a little spark of life and some very slight detailing around the eyes. Not sure about it yet.

Lol wow - such tiny differences between images, but I'm happy with this one. Think I'm calling it done and moving on. Though I still may re-design the sword and the wristband and make them less Frazetta rip-offish. Hmm - can I come up with something as nice as his smooth rounded forms that looks original? At least I can get rid of the giant ruby! Without that it won't scream Early Frazetta so much.


  1. Mike, I dont know if you like these kind of comments but let me try commenting on the latest painting. (Please do let me know if you dont want me to go into details.)

    I think the last one here is almost completed. Eyes are great, sword, moon.. The only thing bothered me is the wristband on his left arm. If you want it to draw attention, it really does. But, if it is not want you wanted, then you might consider making it more subtle. The whole left arm is kind of blurry and lost in the background; giving a dept of field. With the wristband, it kind of make the arm come in front.

  2. Feel free to comment on anything on my blog!! I want to understand just what you mean here though - at one time I did have a wristband on his left arm, but when I repainted the arm I didn't put on there this time. But there are a couple of things that might give an impression of a wristband, and I'm not sure which one you're referring to. He is wearing a thin gold band around his left elbow that might look like the edge of a wristband - or you might be bothered by the fact that near the wrist the left arm is less blurry and becomes more sharp and distinct? Maybe the combination of both brings too much attention there? Now that you have me looking and thinking about it, it does seem weird that the arm comes back into sharp focus like that - Ill try blurring it out and see if it works better. Maybe I also need to blur the gold band more. Anyway thanks for bringing it to my attention!!

  3. Mike, sorry... I was not clear, maybe using wrong word.. I meant the thin gold band around his left elbow. It seems too sharp to me compare to the position and the blur amount of the arm. Just my opinion...

  4. Ok, thanks for clarifying. I think you're right. I'm going to mess around with it today and see what I can do.