ErikShoemaker's avatar

Striders of Vvardenfell

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By ErikShoemaker   |   
Published:
© 2015 - 2020 ErikShoemaker
The title pretty much gives it away, at least for all the experts among you - yes! This is my first Morrowind tribute. I have been playing the Elder Scrolls Online recently, which has reminded me of what a great game Morrowind used to be. Maybe it is just a feeling of nostalgia, but I must say that I still find the level design wonderfully creative and original, even by today's standards. Perhaps it was only beaten by the Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles, but I'm starting to ramble...

What you see here is of course some fictional setting and not a specific town in the game -  it could be the area around Balmora perhaps. In any case, I had to recreate the impressive striders of course, and no Morrowind related art piece should come without the famously annoying Cliff Racers. As always I'm not 100% happy with the outcome, but at least I had a lot of fun during the process. Hope you like it!

Thanks to all the awesome stock providers: 
River Valley Panorama by EveLivesey | More Mushrooms 14More Mushrooms 9 & More Mushrooms 4 by Dracoart-StockBeetle Bug 06 by Stock7000 | Eastern Box Turtle 5 by Irie-Stock | HIAPL_1 & FA_Val_WildDTD_01 by jademacallaTurtle 3 by Peace-of-Arttreehouse by chasmdeepBird Silhouette1 by FrankAndCarySTOCKPng Bush 2Png Plant C & Png Bush 1 by MoonglowlillyOld Lamp 1 - Straight on by fuguestockMay Natural 139 by Falln-StockHanging Bat by TheStockWarehouse
Teutonic Castles purchased from photobash.org, some plants from textures.com

Thanks for stopping by! :)
Image size
1680x892px 1.62 MB
Comments1011
anonymous's avatar
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FieldyBob's avatar
FieldyBobHobbyist General Artist
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This is incredible! The "Striders" are spectacular! The fact that yo put dozens of them all about the breathtaking landscape is simply wonderful. The Mushrooms are perfect down to the last detail, and the ones growing in the kingdom give it a beautiful look. The expanse of the view is magnificent, and the Striders, along with a mushroom here and there off in the distance is marvelous. The lakes in the background are a perfect addition to this.

The Flora toward the bottom is less clear than the rest of this masterpiece but, but is made up for in details throughout the painting.

The large winged birds and the clusters of smaller ones truly gives a gorgeous look to the sky. and the clouds really help to pull it together.

The fact you where able to put that much detail into the person riding the Strider, and the man on the mushroom is spectacular as well.

In other words, this piece is nothing short of stupendously magnificent. I hope to see more like it.
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it! Have a great day! :ahoy:
FieldyBob's avatar
FieldyBobHobbyist General Artist
you too ;D
Nekderp's avatar
NekderpHobbyist General Artist
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

Hola. ¿Como estás?, tomaré algo de mi tiempo para hacerte una critica a tu hermosa obra de arte.

Primero lo primero, la visión es increíble, tienes un talento impresionante, se ve cada absoluto detalle de todo, TODO!!!

La originalidad ni que hablar, es perfecta, jamás había visto algo similar a esto, es increíble.

Tu técnica es una de las mejores, jamás había visto esto....Me encanta

Tan solo ver esté mundo lleno de criaturas extrañas, un paisaje hermoso y maravilloso que dan ganas de vivir ahí y compartir con ese tipo de naturaleza, hace que deslumbre a todo el que vea esta imagen.

Sin nada más que decir, me despido, TU TRABAJO ES INCREÍBLE AAAAHHH!!!!1
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
¡hola y muchas gracias! Te lo agradezco mucho por tomar algo de ti tiempo para escibir esta critica agradable. Me alegro de que te gusta la imagen.
¡Que tengas un buen día!
darkriddle1's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

Great work with fine detail and a seriously well manifested product of imagination! This reminds me somewhat of the great works by Wayne Douglas Barlow, and like him, if you are not making books of splendid expansive worlds - then you should be.

I hope that the games that inspired you keep producing muses to which you can create your own original visions from. You are able to produce such masterful landscapes and habitats, complete with their own biofauna. You present worlds where creatures of great being are on par with humankind, or the like.

Make sure to keep producing your artwork and do not be hindered or dissuaded by adversity or un-appreciation. Your work is verdant and rich and full of colorful aspects that fuel emotive and wandering imagination.

Your artwork takes us to other worlds by a simple click of the mouse...
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
thank you so much for the kind words. Glad you like it!
VladOcs's avatar
VladOcsHobbyist Digital Artist
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

Completly amazing.The giaganticness of it all is incredible.The mushrooms and grass really help send the height of the insects.
The insects tough huge seem peacefull and majestic.They remind me of elephants, just big entities, slowly moving in perfect sync with nature and everything around them.
The detailing on the background is really beautiful and sets the scene even better.
Superb lighting and specular hits, the mushrooms get sprinkled with golden rays of light showing they complex nerve system.

Actually the main insect looks almost 2D when compared with the mushroom's beautifull specular hits and shader work.

Looking at the sky you somehow have a "fake" feeling to it.The style of the drawing is cartoonish/wet paint and a little bit "spotty" but the sky is crispy clear and well contoured.It really gives a feel of "windows xp default background" .

The spot of white flowers in the front unbalance the drawing, they attrack so much attention for nu current reason and mainly ruin the contrast of the brightly lit sky and the dark ground.Somehow being insignifiant they almost ruin your experience by attracting your attention to a "dead" spot.Somewhere where nothing interesting is happening.
Aside from that, amazing drawing, superb theme and good realisation.
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
thank you very much for your critique and the kind words! :)
RogueMudblood's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

First, I'm going to tell you that I'm completely unfamiliar with the game this is apparently associated with from your artist's comments. That said, this is an absolutely stunning fantasy piece! It's clear that you took a great deal of time composing this. The care you took with the beetles is obvious, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't mention how well the extended legs are blended. The only thing that makes them appear to be slightly unnatural (with respect to the image, because bugs that big are definitely unnatural) is the fact that the color is faded a bit from the darker tones of the front legs.

The detail that you put into the background in this piece is simply stunning. You made certain to include the tall mushrooms in the distant terrain at varying depths, and the giant beetles as well. The birds and the dragons are a very nice touch as well, adding a definite sense of atmosphere to this piece that really works to bring the viewer in. The rolling clouds in the sky also serve to do this. If there were one single thing I'd change about this image, though, it's the dragon closest to the foreground. Perhaps it's his proximity to the beetle, but he appears to be a little "out of place".

I love the mushrooms and the way you used the pieces with the details exposed works beautifully. It's especially useful to highlight those ropes with the lamps hanging on them - though I am curious as to where the rope that drops off the third mushroom toward the (viewer's) right of frame goes - does it just fall into the dust? Has it been cut, and is that why the dust clouds has formed? It's another wonderful way to draw the viewer in to the image, to make us question what we're seeing.

The humans (well, I presume they're supposed to be human) on the cap of the mushroom and on the beetle's back are wonderful touches for scale as is the castle in the mid-ground. It's all beautifully constructed, and if you weren't the CV for photomanips, I'd be sending it in with the notation that each and every element used in this image's creation serves a purpose and is masterfully constructed. The dust clouds are some of the best pieces of realism, and I have to point that out because it's absolutely something that might be overlooked when creating something of this magnitude.

Truly wonderful work - thank you so much for sharing this!
Septimus-Oraka's avatar
Eeeerrr... RogueMudblood, what you call "dragons" are in truth creatures called Cliff Racers - reptavian vermin that infested the skies above the island of Vvardenfell (the setting of the game The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind).
RogueMudblood's avatar
As I said, I know nothing of the source material for this work of fan art, so I commented on the artwork rather than its relation to the world in which it's set.
First, I'm going to tell you that I'm completely unfamiliar with the game this is apparently associated with from your artist's comments.
I could, therefore, only use terminology with which I was familiar. Thankfully, such terms did not confuse the artist, ErikShoemaker. :)
derariii's avatar
Morrowind is widely regarded as being the most atmospheric Elder Scrolls game and I can never tell whether I love a piece of Morrowind art because it is actually good or only for the nostalgia it triggers. So to me, the fact that you never played Morrowind means a lot in this context.

However, I had to chuckle when you wrote that the "dragon" in the foreground was too close to the beetle. Everyone who has played Morrowind for at least 5 minutes knows that stepping outside means having every cliff racer in a 5 mile radius circling around your head instantly. ;)

Also, I think the reason why it looks off to you might be that you imagine those "dragons" to be rather big, so for you the perspective looks skewed. The wing span of a cliff racer is actually around 10 feet and I see it as hovering above the large mushroom, facing the man standing next to the strider so that it's closer to the viewer than the man is, and it looks good to me.

Anyway, thanks for putting into words what I feel when I look at this image, and of course thanks to ErikShoemaker for making it in the first place!
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, thank you so much for this awesome  (and nicely written) critique, that was a very nice christmas present for me! :D :aww: 
Thanks also for pointing out these small bits that stand out. It's those details I tend to miss when I stare at a picture for a long time, like the faded color of the legs. 
Happy holidays to you (if you celebrate them)! :santa:
RogueMudblood's avatar
You're so very welcome - and happy holidays to you as well! (I presume you do celebrate, since you said "Christmas present". ;))

It's the small bits that make photomanipulations so wonderful, at least to me. The little details are what make you pause and wonder about an image - and they're certainly what keeps you staring at it! :heart:
Danielat0's avatar
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ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
thank you!
Kai-Alive's avatar
‘O’ This is AMAZING!! I love it. I also play ESO and love it
I have no idea how you made this but it is AWESOME!
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
thanks so much! I use different photos and combine them in Photoshop with digital painting to make them look as one and create something new out of them. :) It is a method that is useful to create more realistic scenes in less time compared to full digital paintings.
Kai-Alive's avatar
That’s so amazing!! You did an amazing job :D
Brown-Fox-Warrior's avatar
Brown-Fox-WarriorHobbyist General Artist
Very, very impressive.


But bugs that size? No, please, no. XD
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
haha so true :D thanks a lot!
cymetic's avatar
Thats beyond awesome!
ErikShoemaker's avatar
ErikShoemakerHobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much! :D
anonymous's avatar
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