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RadoJavor's avatar

Roman warship

Concept art painting for the game Total War:Rome II. The ship is a roman commanding ship from the late period, joining the battle of Actium.

The design is based on various historical books, reliefs and a bit of my imagination, because we really don't know how the roman ships looked exactly. There aren't many visualizations or paintings of this big ships, which were about 60 meters long with a crew of 600 men. I was really glad to paint such rare thing.

all done in photoshop with wacom intuos. About 2 weeks of work.

P.S:this version is slightly tweaked from the one used on game articles, only recently I got some time to play with the finishing touches and it looks better I think.

© creative assembly
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© 2012 - 2021 RadoJavor
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KvMartin's avatar
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Coming from someone who has studied ancient ships, I think you've done an excellent job making their design unique and just plain epic. The sky looks incredible, though it could be a little darker near the sun, maybe with some of the tones near the mast of the ship on the right. It might also be good to show more of the bow of the ship in front by extending the canvas up and cropping a bit off the bottom, to give the bow a clear ending point. But overall this is an amazing and epic piece; the textures, rigging, and style are perfect in my opinion.
Gobba42's avatar
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"RAMMING SPEED!" I think this is a great addition to your work. I like the contrast between the blue sky, glaring sun, and dark clouds of smoke (nice job with the literal "fog of war"). Combine that with the burning ships, jutting wreckage in the foreground, and slightly tipped angle of perspective, and it wonderfully captures the confusion of naval battle, especially the brother-against-brother battle of civil war. Perhaps the waves and flames could be a little more realistic, but they still look great. Also, I'm not sure ramming vessels would keep thier sails up during combat, but I could be wrong. Very nicely done, Ben Hur would be proud.
Gaijinaho's avatar
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Excellently done. Ballistae were indeed shipped on these vessels, along with (dependent upon the time) a device called a "corvus" (crow) which was a large gangway with a spike on its end, used to attach the enemy vessel to yours for boarding. I see nothing amiss in the details. While during a battle sails were (AFAIK) lowered and the ship moved via oars, there is no reason this couldn't be an exception, immediately after a battle or as it is ending. As to the small amount of foam at the bow, you only get a significant amount when you have built up enough speed.
SizarieldoR's avatar
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It's a Roman vessel when you look closer, but it's hard to tell at a glance. The sails are blown by the wind but the ramming nose of the ship should leave a bigger trail of foam in the water.

On a technical note, I'm not sure how many ornaments and oars they had in these ships. It seems too big, since they were made for Mediterranean duty, not the bigger and harder to navigate Atlantic ocean.

These are the only bad things I can identify about the painting. Maybe the ship shouldn't be as massive or the angle of viewing should be from higher up, but that's up to you. It WILL look good on a naval battle's loading screen.
Gipgm2's avatar
"It seems too big, since they were made for Mediterranean duty"
If you were ever in a storm in the med you would want a much bigger ship--this would have been a small ship--like a modern DE or a Corvette---they had much larger ships
RadoJavor's avatar
there were even much bigger ship in those times, octeris(8), deceris(10) up to 100m hull size.
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
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I am not an artist myself, so this is written purely from the point of view of a fan of good stuff. I think this is really well done. The attention to detail is amazing, from the soldiers to the fire to the waves of water as the boat sails. It all looks very realistic thanks to those details. Distance is well done with the ships in the background, the sky and water are very realistic, and it is all very well done. I could honestly believe that you saw this scene in person and just recreated it. Amazing work.
Cyklopi's avatar
wonderful artwork; it reminds me of Battle of Actium...
Hi Rado, looking for a cover for a short story to be released as eBook. This story "HIC SUNT DRACONES" is an alternate history piece and was printed some years ago in a german sf-anthology.
Is it possible to use "Roman Warship" for this?

best regards, Steffen
RichardEly's avatar
Dramatic, intense, a powerful image. Very nice work.
twisted8's avatar
Terrific representation of a Roman Trireme.  Great perspective in the piece.  Showing many of the Roman artillery of the day as well.  All that seems to be missing is the 'Clovis'; the movable plank with a spike at the end to embed it in a enemy ships deck then provide a bridge for naval infantry to advance on the enemy.  Great stuff and thanks for the look. 
RadoJavor's avatar
thank you. such ships are mu hobby.
mhoonruk's avatar
Utterly wonderful :)
leopoldtwo's avatar
great work love it!
do u care if I use this for a youtube thumbnail??
wow love you art
I also love roman history…

would love to recreate ur art in 3d
JPAshman's avatar
Stunning work!
samsite-X's avatar
That looks like a copy of Phoenician warship. But fantastic drawing! 
BillyNikoll's avatar
It's very scary!
christophersnook's avatar
I love your sense of perspective and water :)
Dgarauz's avatar
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