Many times my sketches don't get past this stage, but I wanted to show that a good concept sketch doesn't really have to be tighter than this piece. If you can get a quick read and proper reaction from a sketch, call it done!!.....well, sometimes
Do you have any guidelines/advice for anyone who knows they will need to design something , and have to relay through it a great sense of scale as you've done here?
My problem is, the critters (or ruins, etc) look OK, but the scale and/or perspective of the critters vs the environment and/or adversary don't feel like they're all occupying the same space (if that makes sense). It really destroys the idea that there's a giant something or other in the shot.
It's all about perspective. You have to establish a horizon line, proper vanishing point(s), and then work your characters or elements within those constraints. A huge part of it is making sure that say, if someone's upper body is above your horizon line, you probably won't see the top of their head or shoulders. Simple mistakes like that really can throw off an entire composition.
If you're not already using proper perspective techniques, there's a ton of stuff you can find online to help you out
Hey thanks Rahll! I sincerely appreciate the help!
I do understand perspective (two, three point etc) but my problems are not necessarily incorrect perspective as much as strictly poor composition, I think. Drawing things in perspective is not a problem for me, but arranging the scale of all items in the piece makes all the difference.
I've spent a great ammount of time researching composition online (purchased many books as well), and since this is a "online" forum, asking questions are a much better method of learning for me. Web tutorials are cool, but some of the folks who developed them are not necessarily available in the event I might have further questions, or have a problem with techniques attempted. Even when available, they don't often respond, but that's OK too. No sweat. I've been a student of many arts for over 25 years, and I'm still learning, in any way I can from those who show superior ability to my own. And, there are many in that category.
Perhaps if I spent more time sketching, instead of being too impatient and jumping right in and expecting a good illustration. I am hoping for advice on stages from planning to execution, in the hopes that it could shed some light on holes in my own techniques.
I'm currently an illustration major and what I've come to learn is that you will, many times, spend half your time on a piece just getting the composition right and using tracing paper overlays to resketch and fix things. It can be a bitch sometimes, but in the end, your work comes out a hundred times better than it would have otherwise.
When it comes to the scale of things, put a mark when you want your say, tiny object to match up to the big one and then draw a line through it to the horizon line. In the foreground, match up your small figure to the height and you have a theoretically proportional composition. The key to doing something where the scale is drastically different is also keeping a low vantage point in most instances, usually near the smaller object/figure. Also, don't forget the idea of atmospheric perspective and the fact that things at a further distance are less detailed.
When it comes to composition, keep playing with things. Sometimes they just fall into place. When they don't though, alway try to make sure you have a strong focal point and that the image is balanced. If your focal point is strong enough and you can very often keep the rest of the image less detailed and either the viewer won't notice, or it doesn't matter. A strong part of the composition aspect also comes from color theory as well. You can have a strong composition sketched in pencil, but if you lay in the wrong colors when you paint it, you can blow the entire thing.
Now, I'm saying all of this and hoping you trust me at least a little bit that I have an idea what I'm talking about, and if you already know most of this, well, I'm sorry for going on and on. You could really look at my gallery and say, hey, this kid doesn't look like he knows and much as he's putting on, but in reality, most of the stuff there is before I got hardcore into all the design principles and elements. Once they're drilled into you, it's hard to forget the basics, and working from a strong foundation is really what matters.
I'm extremely impatient as well. I'm the type that always wants that finished product, ASAP, but sometimes you really need to sit down, slap yourself, and say, is that really what's best for this project? The answer is, no. For pieces I do, I very often go through 10 to 20 different layouts and designs before picking one that I like. Then, when I start work, I usually end up working stuff from the other concepts in as well. Most artist won't like to admit the fact that very much of their design and composition is trial and error, and even "happy accidents." It's how it goes, though. Throw as much stuff at the wall as you can and see what sticks. Goodluck with everything.... If you ever have piece-specific questions instead of generalizations, which makes it much easier to help, let me know and I'd be glad to
Thanks so much for the advice/technique descriptions. It is all very helpful, and insightful. I've seen work that has inspired me to continue what I do, and from all walks of life and from all ages. It's part of the beauty of this board and the theme here, that for the most part folks are at first nothing more than icons or avatars. I end up learning from anyone who will take the time to teach.