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A Scout's Path by Birgitte-Gustavsen A Scout's Path by Birgitte-Gustavsen
A scout for the Fantasy Earth Zero Contest

The character reflects what I would most want in a roleplaying game, which is genuine character progress and change. I hope it's obvious that the it's all the same guy, only aged up a bit, otherwise this point get's lost at sea ;) In most of the online games I've played the only visual recognition of progress is that armor and weapons gets fancier and bigger as you level up. In some games the final stuff can cause mild snow blindness through sheer sparkle and glow. Subtlety is not thy name :O_o:

And the most noticeable clash of common sense goes for the classes that profess secrecy, camouflage, stealth and general caution. With experience you'd think the bright ones would need less stuff and show. And so I created a character that has done just that. Instead of simply adding stuff as a sign of progress, this character has grown up instead :)

In his younger days as a scout, he preferred the longbow and the fancy stuff. At least that which he could afford on a limited budget. I suspect him of being a mercenary too. He was a bit of a peacock and a poser. 20 years later of hard-won experience has turned him into quite a different sort of person. He's fighting style has changed to middle distance, with small thrown daggers and concealed crossbows. His clothes has turned more and more modest, until he's pretty much a regular villager in looks on the surface. Age is creeping up on him, and so he chips away at his fighting style until it's as efficient and to the point as it can get. He'd also probably use poisons if he could get away with it :paranoid:

This has turned into a rather odd looking piece. I suppose that can happen when you try to combine a very old fashioned look with something a bit more modern, and don't really know what you're doing either ;) I've been seeing programs about European art history, and while I've formed the solid opinion that art would be better off without all those chubby brats with wings, the bloody putti that seems to be everywhere, I also feel like someone's lit a fire underneath me. I want to paint and draw, I want to make my own artworks and also do more studies. I don't think I could bear not progressing. I am, in a sense, very hungry.

Anyway, this piece was inspired by some magnificent images of murals and painted ceilings, as well as triptych, where the artists used technical trickery to make paint and architecture merge. Unfortunately I don't have a domed ceiling to start with, so I went with a much more modest concept, which is a metal frame. In the last hours I also got an idea of having some branches spill over as well, but without time to really work on that I had to let it go :(

As for the image in general, I originally intended to go with a more faded/grubby pastel colour scheme, to match classical references as well as the pallet chosen by the game producers, but it went a bit darker.

:icongimmefeedback:

I had intended to show it in a WIP state so that I could put any critique and advice to good use, but it took time to get it even half done and then it was too late. But still I would like any advice about how I could have done this better, and maybe something to keep in mind if I ever try mixing frame/architecture with paint again.
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:iconsidneyroberts:
SidneyRoberts Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2010
I love the feeling in this piece. It sucks me in, and makes me wonder about this guy and what kind of hardships he may have faced. Good job!
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Very kind of you to say, thank you :)
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:iconjshei:
Jshei Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:icongimmefeedback:
I noticed others suggesting you add a light source, and I'd agree. I'd say that the whole thing seems a little dark.
But I absolutely love the frames, and the clouds/mist that floats between and over them. I think that is completely lovely.
Honestly upon first look I didn't gather it was all the same man, but upon second inspection it feels quite obvious. (the dead giveaway of this fact is in his beard) I like that the older version of him has much sad emotion in his face.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the compliments and the feedback, and I agree that the whole thing itself is a bit on the dark side too. I'm getting tempted to refine it :la:
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:iconmyrrhlake:
Myrrhlake Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
If they make a game like this, I want to be the first to know! What really makes the image for me is the border with the clouds. Amazing.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I'm still waiting myself, and thank you for the comment and the fave :D
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:icontamarar:
tamaraR Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010   Digital Artist
I love the textures and medieval saturated colors. The head of the green man (in the background) looks to small compared to the rest of his body. The green mans shoulder (the foreground picture) looks too small... I think it might look better if the sleeve is bigger, now it looks like he has a very small arm. I love the composition and texturing. Beautiful piece. :D
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thanks you both the compliments and the critique :D I'm not sure I'll return to it, at least for a while, but if I do I'll be sure to implement your suggestions.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010   Writer
From ...:icongimmefeedback:...

This is a terrific piece of art. I wish you all the best in the contest it's for.
I particularly like the way the wisps of cloud trail across the excellent frame.
It's a fine thought and well done.
I also like the aging of the character.
I don't play games so had to read your comments to see what exactly was going on.
This character looks like himself in each representation. Good job.

I'm a little concerned about that bright white shoulder at the left...
...it drew my eye more than I think it should.
I read the comments left for you here already, and agree concerning a light source.
Next time, eh? Centered for a piece like this.
It's sort-of there in the front, but not in the back.

The details with bushes and sky and most of the clothing (not to mention his face) are terrific. You do good work. All the best to you, and hope to see more of your work.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thanks you very much for the thorough feedback and some of the very flattering compliments. I didn't make it amongst the semi-finalist though, among thousands of others :dohtwo: The bright shoulder piece is a bit on the light side, and with too much shine. Metal effects and me are tend to lead to very varying results :blushes: I hope my next pieces also live up to your praise :D
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010   Writer
Me too. I liked your links as well.
I really like murals and dome paintings. Triptychs too.
Sorry about the contest, but to tell you the truth, I looked at all the semi-finalists and didn't 'relate' to any of them as much as I liked this one. It might have been that bright shoulder but also apparently this contest is based a lot on more anime and definitely different styles than you used.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Missing the target "audience" tends to repay itself. But it's nice to hear that some really liked it :)
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2010   Writer
:icongivemesmilesplz:
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010   Writer
I think this is a great idea! Good luck in the contest.

I think the frame is pretty effective--and it does match its subject matter quite well. I think it might have been even more effective if we'd seen how the outside part related to the inside part. I'm not sure how the technique is normally used, so ignore me if I'm just being uneducated, :) but I'm not sure why the sky continues across the frame, but the characters and scenery don't. My gut feel is that if you're going to link the two scenes, you'd have more effect by making a more complicated scene in the outer frame than what you currently have. So you'd almost have two panels to the artwork. :twocents: Again, I don't know very much about the style, but that's my tuppenywor' on it. Hope you can use it somehow!

Overall, I think this is an attractive image with an out-of-the-ordinary concept. Very nice work!
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the feedback :D Actually the heads does overlay the frame line slightly, but I do agree that it would have looked more interesting, dimensional and a bit more modern if I had had time to use my idea about branches and trees coming out. I probably can't update it as the contest is currently in judging, but if I do return to it or try something similar again, I know I'm not alone in my instincts and can plan it better from the start maybe ;)

And for a little education, it's usually the architecture that creeps into the painting, with a few rare exceptions where the artists have bothered to make platform figures to paint on and have them overlapping the lines between the central painting and the actual ceiling. I keep losing the images so I've just snatched up a few examples:
[link] and details when you click on it switches
[link]
[link]

It may work more for them because pillars and statues can go far into a painting, but there's only so much a frame alone can do.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010   Writer
You're most welcome. Sorry I couldn't be more useful. :) And thank you for the art lesson--it's very interesting.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Every comment that aspires to more than just 'nice!' is always very much appreciated :D And I'm glad you liked hearing about a little art history. Ranting on about it and finding out the recipient isn't at all interested can be a bit embarrassing :D
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:icondandyd:
dandyd Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010
i like the frame with clouds very much and the idea that not a lot of clouds are crossing the frame, so it is not "crowded" there... same with portraits...
the trees are nicely done :)
lot of details everywhere. must have taken a lot of work...
the only thing that might disturb me is that the man in the middle with green shirt has small head :D
and at first sight i thought these two are brothers, just after reading the description i learned it's the same man... the older one has darker hair and different nose... but i can see now it is the same man.
in general i like it. even the dark feeling. good work
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the feedback, and of a nice length too :D It did take a good while, yeah ;)

I wanted the older full figure version of the character to tilt his head over a bit so we're seeing it foreshortened, which makes it occupy less space, but it might also be a bit on the small side when accounting for that too. Too late to fix it though :dohtwo:

Consistence is a bit hard for me, so trying to age up a person isn't very easy. If there's still some semblance left, I'm happy :)
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:icondoodlee-a:
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Student Digital Artist
:icongimmefeedback:
I like the composition and arrangement of characters, as they go very well together! I think it would be nice to see a light source coming from somewhere, but other than that, it's very cool and realistic!
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you :D Yeah, the lighting has been bothering me too. I had intended the direction to seem to come from the middle, because if all four shared the same light direction it would be more likely to be assumed to be two people rather than the same in two different life stages. But it got a bit confused on the left portrait and it's kept being confused since :dohtwo:
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:icondoodlee-a:
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I was thinking light from the middle too. I think it's just incorporating it after.
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:iconsatan66:
Satan66 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010
wow, this is some awesome.
so you painted this in RL?
i can see alot of effot went into this, awesome work.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you, though it is digital. Painting it would be harder, though visual illusions might be easier to make if you've got something real to start with, like a dome or pillars and arches. And as I don't get that with digital, I went with something more flat and easier to fake ;)
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:icondifferentego:
differentego Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
wow! again, very nice details. and the idea to paint two versions of the same character is quite cool. i totally agree with you: sometimes itīs really strange to see rp characters with an armour that looks like it weighs a ton. but i guess this is what most people like to see. good luck for the contest.
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thank you :D I'm hoping for more luck too, as it did bugger all for Alice :dohtwo:
Yeah, nothing like half a ton of polished tin to say you've reached the top eh :)
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:icondifferentego:
differentego Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
:wave:
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:iconbirgitte-gustavsen:
Birgitte-Gustavsen Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Student Digital Artist
:meow:
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