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The Yawning Mouth of Shayla

By hrwilliams
37 Favourites
A redo of The Ruins of Shayla

I dunno... I think I missed the mark on this illustration.

:iconicommentplz1::iconicommentplz2: :iconccwelcomedplz1::iconccwelcomedplz2:

From Never Taste Death:

A loud hum issued above them, and everyone momentarily panicked. A few arrows bounced off the floating stones. Then they realized the hum was a voice. The rocks were vibrating to form words, mimicking Arons’ voice: “I DID NOT CALL YOU.”

Inter-D reacted as one being, roiling nervously under the shadow of the palace.

“If you want us to leave,” he shouted at the palace, “we will leave.”

Silence from above.

Then the stones on the bottom of Shayla began to rotate. They opened up into a hexagonal entry. It was around the same time that the earth began to shake. Like a giant, clawed hand, monoliths rose from the earth around the army, lifting the huge chunk of land on which they stood. Damp dirt spilled between the stones. An armored truck slid halfway off. No one was trying to be calm now. The entire army was screaming. They screamed, with no one to fire upon, as they were carried into the yawning mouth of Shayla.

Never Taste Death cover by hrwilliams  Urwyd by hrwilliams  Plaything by hrwilliams
Image size
4000x2000px 3.96 MB
© 2018 - 2020 hrwilliams
anonymous's avatar
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Eggnoog's avatar
EggnoogHobbyist General Artist
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

Hello there!

Critiques: The character on the left looks very stiff and odd. The forehead also seems to be a bit small, but that might just be the angle. The position of the other people are a bit weird as well, as if the 2 people in the front are on a hill (if that made sense to you)

Things I like:
I appreciate the amount of effort put into this! the art is great and it has a nice mix of realism and cartoon that blends together nicely. The girl's face on the right is also amazingly drawn!

Overall: This has been my shortest critique (as i've only done 3 others) yet! I appreciate the effort and design!
Cobrateen's avatar
CobrateenHobbyist Writer
:star::star::star::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star-empty::star-empty::star-empty: Impact

Merry Critmas from the Samurai Snowmen!

Vision: When the ground starts floating, people are going to stop and stare.

Originality: I've seen rings of Stonehenge-style columns before but never floating in the air or levitating other things. This certainly feels like a dramatic moment from a very original story, though the illustration itself doesn't feel very new.

Technique: An interesting variety of people, a very dramatic background and a solid green color theme – actually the image might be too green (if there could be such a thing) since the people somewhat look like the background. I also really like how the uncovered earth is such a vividly dark brown, highlighting the unexpectedness of the earth opening up. In the definitely negative section, that truck looks like a box on big wheels.

Impact: What confuses me about this image is I want to see what they are all staring at, yet what I can see seems pretty important too, as rocks float up and lift people and trucks away. The giant shadow covering them implies some wide segment of earth is floating above, which would certainly be something people would stare at, so I guess the smaller rocks aren't as important. But if everyone stares in one direction, I want to stare in that direction too, not at the thing going on behind them that none of them have noticed yet except for the few people it is happening to. Also I can feel their awe and fear, but it's kind of empty when the same emotion is spread across so many people. They all look scared in the same way. Where's the guy or girl completely starry-eyed at this? Where's the person running away? Where's the person trying to regain leadership?
ProtoTEnterprise's avatar
ProtoTEnterpriseHobbyist Traditional Artist
I´m from ;iconProjectComment: =D

A drawing with a very complete landscape and without doubts very interesting <D

The different points of view of each character and how they are scattered and with a very good anatomy, in addition to contrasting with the background thanks to that, while everything is green, the contrasts help.

The fact that as shadows and light are added to the clouds of the sky gives a reflection of aesthetic realism that is noticeable in the environment and more by the way the character is reflected in front.

The trucks, the stones that raise the area where the truck is and with other stones in the background showing it already raised that area helps to give multiple planes to the bottom.

What more can I say? I loved this work so much and yes. It is already in favorites <3
systemcat's avatar
systemcatProfessional General Artist
Because of the love of sci fi, I have to fave this. :)
knighttemplar1's avatar
knighttemplar1Hobbyist General Artist
Really cool rendering ..... :D
gordonphilbin's avatar
Awesome drawing :)

I would love to read your novel based on how well you have drawn for your story.
hrwilliams's avatar
hrwilliamsProfessional Writer
That means so much to me. If you do read it, let me know and post a review. Whatever you think of it, I'd appreciate the buzz!
gordonphilbin's avatar
Is it on amazon?
hrwilliams's avatar
hrwilliamsProfessional Writer
It's free on Amazon Kindle, $2.99 to buy the eBook, and <a wytiwyg="1" href="…>$11 for the paperback. Thank you for asking. :D
Catluckey's avatar
CatluckeyProfessional Traditional Artist
Beautiful scene!
ninebark's avatar
ninebarkHobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man, I totally see how this was a leap forward from version one, but also what's probably bothering you about it. On the awesome side, the first version was a single scene, this one tells a story! I can see the people investigating, the truck, the floating stones, everyone looking up with different expressions of surprise. It's great! 

I think where this piece starts to lose some of its punch is 1) with the way everything is the same shade and value and 2) the overall composition. 

For the point about values, take a look at this picture and then squint your eyes - it all seems the same shade of dark. Bringing some stuff out to be brighter can make it pop, not just as a thumb, but also as it's own beautiful picture self. The overall composition issue is a little bit more complicated - it's mostly that you have so much going on here in this picture, and all the different elements are so cool and detailed, that they all compete with each other. if you cluster them so that they all create a curve or diagonal line when you connect them, that can help lead the eye around the frame.

The other issue is that folks are looking in different directions. It's realistic, probably, to their situation, but it makes them all feel disconnected. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well, so I did a quick couple tweaks to demonstrate the values and composition thing:

Color Tweak by ninebark  

The new version isn't a "fix" or the "right" way to do things - that's not a real thing. But I hope it's a quick demonstration of that I'm trying to say that you can then take and use to punch up this picture (or your next version).

Again, love the picture. Keep doing what you're doing!!
hrwilliams's avatar
hrwilliamsProfessional Writer
you saved me

This is the best comment of all time. Thank you so much for really sitting down and showing me where I can do better -- I really needed that!!
BuhoMercedes's avatar
BuhoMercedesHobbyist Digital Artist

Hi, I'm a fellow ProjectComment member!

This looks great!. Gives a very alien feel, something about the stonehenge like hovering stones formation and the ground being uprooted along with the clear modern setting just screams alien abduction and if that was your goal you conveyed it masterfully. What really caught my eyes was the background. It looks great. It has enough detail that you can clearly make out the individual parts but is stripped back just enough that it does not overwhelm the viewer and does not detract away from the focus happening in the foreground.

badly or even just worse than the background but I feel that the green suits cause the to sort of disappear into the grass as the shade of green are too similar even if they are darker. Possibly adding some blue to the green to bring it to a more teal color but still keeping it majorly in the green range of colors would help the characters pop and stand out more from the background. I may also color shift the shadows a bit more to the blue hue. This is purely personal on my part, as I like kinda matching shadows to the lightning, so feel free to ignore that last part haha.

Overall this is a great piece! Great work and I hope to see more.

theJfluffy's avatar
Readeroffate's avatar
Nice, this looks like something out of the Twilight Zone or Nightvale. This is really nice to look at. 
Brandoch-Daha's avatar
Brandoch-DahaHobbyist General Artist
It depends on the effect you are trying to go for, but the only criticism, is that the greens seem quite saturated. As an illustration, I think one can see clearly what is happening, however.
Arthur-Ramsey's avatar
Arthur-Ramsey General Artist
Zesty Zebra - Crystal Barn by ArthurRamsey  impressive work
anonymous's avatar
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