Monday, June 8, 2009

Mother Nature sketch and Master Class Thumbnails

Here's my sketch for the upcoming Mother Nature assignment. I did a few more thumbnails, but I really like this one so unless you all absolutely hate it...i want to do this one! Anyhow, it's a bit more conceptual J.J. Palencar-esque.
She is in a kind of trance-like pose floating over a field of dead sunflowers. In the background are tornados twisting across the landscape. It is sort of an allegorical image representing how mother nature often destroys life just as quickly as she gives it, thus continuing the necessary cycle. Let me know what you think.
And below are my thumbnails for my Illustration Master Class assignment: It is an epic fantasy cover sample for the book Berserker Lord. It is basically a battle scene between the main character and his companion against a hungry polar bear on an iceberg. I think i'm leaning towards the first and fifth ones, but I'll take any suggestions i can get! Sorry they're a bit loose. 


  1. I like the second and fifth one. I think the second one would be a great cover piece. I'm not exactly sure what is happening in the fifth one, but it looks cool, good pose.

  2. Cool, Thanks. In the fifth one he is quickly turning around looking over his shoulder at the angry polar bear that has just made itself known on the small ridge above and behind him.

  3. I like your concept for the Mother Nature piece a lot, and the composition looks great. What's going on with her right arm? Looks a bit broken...I wonder if there could be some clue as to why Mother Nature is destroying might not be clear that she is Mother Nature if she is just this ominous character. Is she angry about something? She has plenty of reason to be (sort of like a couple of my ideas, perhaps she is angry at Man for polluting her earth?). Just a thought. Either that, or some hint at re-growth somewhere? I feel like if you are depicting a cycle, then the other side of the cycle needs to be expressed as well, although that might be too much for one'd be cool as a diptych; a life and death sort of thing. I really do like the composition you've got going...these are just thoughts :)

    For the IMC assignment, I definitely like the fifth one best. To me it seems like the strongest, most interesting composition, with the most tension between the main character and the bear. Be sure to get some strong angles and perspective in there - I just realized this is soooort of a mirror image of the composition for your IMC assignment from last year...ish (the whole attack from above thing) ...but don't let that stop you, because this one will be really cool, and plenty differentl!

  4. Thanks! Well, her right arm is kinda on her's hard to tell in this quick sketch, but yes, it does look weird. I see what you're saying about her needing a reason to destroy life, but in nature these things kind of happen on their own. It is inevitable that the flowers will die once the first frost hits, or because of a drought, or because of too much rain. who knows? So I see it more as her taking away what she has given. Not because she's pissed at humans for sucking, but rather just because she can. Just as she has no reasons for giving trees their leaves back, or making it a sunny day...their like moods...this just happens to be a bad one. Haha, now i'm rambling. Anyhow, I will think about the cycle more and how I want it come across. Thanks for making me think deeper about it. Also, i'm not so sure I'm concerned with it being a blatant and instant recognition of "mother nature." more of an interpretation...if that makes sense?
    Perhaps a diptych is in order!

    I think you are right about #5 so I will stick with that one. I also curse you for seeing a similarity between this and last years Robin Hood painting! haha! I didn't notice it, but I think this will have less of an extreme angle in that way, and the bear won't be flying through the air....or maybe it should be! but no...
    In my head it looks different so we'll see what happens! Thanks again for the comments and help!

  5. I like your in-depth description of your idea, and it makes me feel better about where you're taking it. I do still worry about the "clarity of intent" that Dennis mentions in the assignment, but perhaps all that's needed is a cleverly worded title to clarify what's going on...I have no doubt that you could pull off a totally kick-ass diptych, if you end up having time. I'd love to see you do two related pieces like that, and it would be a really interesting addition to your portfolio as well.

    And just ignore what I said about the Robin Hood's not important :oP I'm excited to see how you paint a polar bear!!!

  6. I think some sunflower heads or petals flying through the foreground would be cool, real close to the viewer. And if her hair is blowing forward, I think you may need to change the dress to be moving in the same direction. Maybe if you do that, have her arms stretched back. Also the tornado looks a bit extreme in it's diagonal. You could tilt the horizon line a bit, then make the tornado a bit less extreme.