Saturday, 12 March 2011

Workshop Weekend Challenge #1

Okay, so here's the deal...

I was thinking of a way to improve my various techniques, including speedpainting. Nobody ever seems to want a game of 'photoshop tennis' with me, so instead I hit upon the idea of giving Psynexus a challenge to expand and exercise his writing skills.

I asked him for 300 words depicting a medieval scene (with a few perimeters to ensure I didn't end up having to stray too much from what I wanted to do) and to use descriptive language without dialogue. To open up things for him, I also maintained that 'medieval' could even be some post-apocalytpic world or other planet - as long as the tech was real low-end.

Heres what he gave me:

The Shifting Sea. 

The main character, a Persian-looking man in white cloth and a turban stands at the edge of a cliff over-looking a shining city surrounded by a sea of sand as the sun sets before him. A scimitar hangs at his hip and his pockets and garb are lined with trinkets from his adventures. A few rogue strands of black hair escape beneath the bottom of his turban, the exposed area on his neck glisten with sweat from the long journey he has just endured.

The city sits in a valley with mountains behind it and endless dunes around it. In the distance, and closer to the foreground, rocky hills hint at ancient ruins carved out of sandstone, waiting to be explored by any who would dare risk their undoubtedly treacherous halls. Conical yellow towers reflect the light of the setting sun, the most prominent belonging to the large palace at the center of the city – which is encircled by a sandstone wall which protects the exposed thee sides of the city and connects to the mountain behind.

The atmosphere is warm and calm, though the shadow cast by the setting sun warns of the onset of a cold, restless night ahead, filled with the cries of hungry beasts who call the desert home. Subtle traces of pink and other exotic colors line the sky like a maiden waving her knight’s colors as he nears his goal. Though there is still much treacherous land to cross before the sun sets, the shining city stands as a beacon of hope for our hero as his adventure for the day comes to a fruitful end.

My part of the challenge from here was to illustrate it as completely as I could in 90 minutes - including preparatory work. I'm used to working quickly, but this would be different.

I can't say I'm massively happy with my end results, there are many flaws, but this is the first of what may be many challenges to come. Next time itshis trun to choose the theme... and I guess I'll be doing a freeform illustration, that he will then have to write about.

You can see more on this from his point of view on his blog! LINK

The Shifting Sea by ~cyrus-crashtest on deviantART
I actually preffered stage 3 of my progress saves, so here it is for you to check!


Psynexus said...

Stunning. It's uncanny how much like the image in my head this turned out to be. The scene is right on, and even has a little hint of sci-fi with the colors in the sky.

There is one minor detail that would have really improved it for me however. The city blends too much with the background and thus, doesn't really stand as the gem in the desert that it should be. I didn't see a palace or any conical towers either, but I could forget about those if the city "wow"'d me enough.

But again, overall - fucking fantastic. ;)

P.S. Muh blog link is brokeded. :(

Cyrus Crashtest said...

yeah - but my 90 minutes was up!
that was the tragedy ya see - so much more needded to be done!