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Albino Llama: Llamas are awesome! (57)
My Bio
Normal not fun by Scorpion451 DA Stamp - Emotion And Logic by tppgraphics Shadows by Scorpion451 Friendly Deviant by Luna-Akari Mad Scientist - stamp by martinacecilia
I'm a straight-edge punk with a southern drawl. My inspiration comes from the weirdness of reality.
My style lies in the strange intersection of Traditional Fine Art, Dynamic Drawing, Pulp Comics, Manga, Impressionism, Digital Rapid Concept Painting Techniques and a little too much caffeine. I don't particularly favor any one style or school of art, but I'm a fan of pulp, punk, and ashcan art especially- gritty, scratchy, and messy has its own sort of beauty to me.

What I lack in formal art training I make up for by sheer stubbornness and a total ignorance (and indifference) to what supposedly can't be done. Call it the art equivalent of duck tape engineering.

Everything I know about art I have learned by trying things that I have no idea how to do, and grinding at them until either the piece is completely destroyed or perfect, whichever comes last.
(Think on that one for a while and it starts to make sense. When it does, you're thinking like I do. You get used to it.;))

I like to get feedback and constructive critiques, but try to be nice please. "Its my nature" and all of that.
C/|||<< <-scorpion :XD:

Favourite Visual Artist
Four way tie: R.K. Post, Salvador Dali, MC Escher, and Edward Hopper
Favourite Movies
Back to the Future (esp. part 3), Pandorum, Short Circuit, Fifth Element
Favourite TV Shows
Mythbusters, Warehouse 13, Dr. Who, Falling Skies
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
R.E.M. is tops. Also: Clash, TomPetty, Muse, Beethoven, PeterGabriel, LittleBoots, LinkinPark, TSO
Favourite Books
Farenheit 451, King's Dark Tower series, LOTR, The Difference Engines, Snow Crash
Favourite Writers
Ray Badbury, Stephen King, Alistair Reynolds
Favourite Games
Half-life 2, The World Ends With You, Civilizations, Bioshock 1&2, Myst series, Fallout series, Advance Wars series
Favourite Gaming Platform
PC, Nintendo DS
Tools of the Trade
Anything that makes marks- Ink, Acrylic Paint, Spirit marker, colored pencil...but my first love will always be graphite. For digital, I'm a Gimp die-hard, but reciently shelled out for photoshop since I'm going pro and need to match industy standards..
Other Interests
Steam/Dieselpunk, xenobiology, comic books as art, creating linking books (Myst joke)


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Llama: Llamas are awesome! (1)
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Llama: Llamas are awesome!
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I'm a little embarrassed to say that I sort of have been on both sides of the issue, when I was younger I had a real problem taking critique myself. Lets just say I'm happy most of those rants happened offline and muttered under my breath. ^^; Its part of what made me volunteer to be the official critique-meister for CW, though- I know more than most that quite often its the result of insecurity, a lack of maturity, and a fighting spirit used to defending themselves from bullies or other forms of abuse. What they need a lot of times is a diplomatic helping hand that doesn't mind being stung a few times in the process of making them see that critique and criticism are not the same thing, so I pay forward what others did for me. :)
Taurus Axe
No problem, I'm just paying it forward. :)
And yep, so long as you make noticable improvements or changes each time, you're free to resubmit work. A lot of others in this group love seeing people push themselves and giving critique to people who have proven they won't reward the effort with angry replies in all caps deprecating one's parentage (which happens), so revised resubmissions are a good way to get feedback from the less thick-skinned or busier admins and members, too, so long as you ask.
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
Taurus Axe
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Impact

Howdy! You were asking for critique after your submission to %ConceptWorld:
First off, cool design <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":thumbsup:" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="262" title="Thumbs Up"/> I personally really like the idea you're playing with here (I'm a sucker for fantasy-punk), and its well rendered. The general consensus of the nay votes for your gallery submission seems to in agreement with my own take on the piece- what it needs is some more tinkering to make it all click.
First thing thing is the color, as some people mentioned in the comments already. I'm a monochrome fan myself, but it does limit your visual impact- right now the first thing I noticed on this piece is that its green. The parts where you've pulled the cooler blue tones are a good start for injecting some variety, but I'd suggest also injecting some mild warmer tones, and varying the saturation more. Doesn't have to be full on yellow and pastels, mind you, even just a little more variety in your shades and tones of green would kick up the visual interest a few notches.
The decorations need more unification- the individual parts look really cool, but they look like just that, individual parts. Bind it all into a fluid whole: for example, those striped etchings could flow unbroken into the skulls and the flat of the blade, up into the spirals of the horns and down into the handle. Instead of having the part of your ax with etching, you'll have etching on your ax. See what you can come up with in making all the different elements intertwine like that- the goo element is cool, see what you can do to fuse that into the rest of the weapon. Maybe something with the etchings? If you find that you can't make an element fit with the rest of the object, ditch it. You can always save the idea for the next thing you do. Force fitting an idea into an image almost never works out well, and usually just becomes a distraction.
And that leads us into the next part: calling attention to the fact that this is an ax from the first glance. To me it looked like a scepter or mace until I looked closely, and it looks a little too implausible and hard to wield. Stylized high fantasy weapons like this are super tricky because its so easy to lose the parts that make it look like a weapon of its type in all of the filigree and cutouts, and also to end up with something so far out of the norm that it breaks the suspension of disbelief for the viewer.
Theres several parts you'll want to address here to make it look both more ax-ey and more like a weapon of war. For starters, again, unifying the aesthetic elements will turn them from noise into a tool for emphasising the overall form. More than that, though, overhauling the proportions of the weapon overall would do wonders for the plausiblility- a larger handle will give her more leverage and room to work with when swinging the ax and will make the head and counterweight look much less oversized (exaggeration is half the fun in fantasy art, but one of the nay votes said he thought it looked like it would break the first time you swung it). On the other hand, there is no such thing as overkill in a fantasy weapon. Over-emphasise the edge- if a real ax has a cutting edge an inch wide, make yours two or three inches, that sort of thing- and if its pointing in the direction of the enemy during a fight, its usually stabby, deals blunt damage, or protects the user in some devious fashion. The vacant space between the horns could be filled by any number of secondary weapons from the mother of all swordbreakers to a spiked mancatcher- there's an epic combination weapon lurking in this design somewhere if you look for it hard enough.
So, in short, the pieces are all here for a strong design its pulling it all together that you have left to do. Interested to see where you go from here with this one!
Taurus Axe
commented on Cave by
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

Awesome image!
The wonderful mix of carefully laid out experiments and objects scattered on worktables and shelves makes me think of my minecraft bases, in a good way. I play with a lot of machinery mods, and I always end up frankensteining my nice little house into something like the above image and its predecessor. So thumbsup on making this feel like a mad scientist's den, from a wanna-be mad scientist. XD

Because I know that when people nitpick my best ones it can be a little disheartening/irritating but also extremely helpful, to be clear at the start, the piece is overall extremely well done, definitely DD worthy and one to be proud of! This is just me picking out the couple of minor flaws that keep it from perfection.

Here goes the nitpicking:
I'm bad about letting the perspective drift over the course of a piece myself, so I over-scrutinize the perspective on everything- the barrel in the foreground and the stairs really mess with me, because they don't sync up, but they should be viewed at about the same angle. Its the barrel thats off, judging by the rest of the room's perspective; it should be seen more from above.

The texturing, shading, and brushwork are exquisite. not much to dissect; the metal and stone are particularly well done! The only two things I can suggest here:

Do some material studies of wood and cloth, to get a better handle on partially reflective surfaces. this will up the realism to match your metal and stone...

and play more with atmospheric fog and local value adjustments, similar to what you did with the perfect green corona around the tank canceling out the color and value of the objects behind it, making it stand out. As an example of a place this can be useful, that perspective issue actually had me thinking at first that the stairs were a table for a while because without the right perspective cues, they look like they are all on the same level. Tweaking the highlights and shading to make it clearer that the slats of the staircase were on different levels would help with that.

Like I said, this is just me nitpicking on an excellent piece!
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

Really love the design here- the orange plasma tube rings of the accelerator make for a strong visual anchor to the gun, and you've got a great areodynamic-but-heavy-duty art deco thing going with the style that I really dig. I ended voting for a different piece, but your design was my runner-up. <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":thumbsup:" title="Thumbs Up"/>

A big deciding factor, was the usability of the gun- I kept coming back to two things on your design that would make me a little wary of using the thing in real-life:
Seemed to me like the trigger placment was a little bit tight to fit a hand into. It might make it easy for accidental misfires to happen, because the weight of the gun would squeeze your finger between the plasma chamber and the trigger, and push the trigger in. And then you have to hire new minions. <img src="…" width="26" height="18" alt=":ohmygod:" title="OMG!"/> <img src="…" width="46" height="34" alt=":onfire:" title="I'm on fire!"/>

Second was how to hold the secondary handle in certain shooting positions without placing your arm against the coils...heat venting and stylish glows are important, but perhaps some sort of guard bar or mesh grille along the bottom third or so would help keep minion health care plans cost effective. Second and third degree burns are expensive worker's comp claims, and they already manage to do that with the espresso maker, let alone a directed thermal energy weapon. Good idiot proofing is never a bad idea. <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":XD:" title="XD"/> It can actually make something like this look even cooler, by helping to sell the idea of it being hot enough that the user needs the protection, and breaking up the rings into interesting patterns where the guard overlaps them.

On the technique side of things:
I'm primarily a 2-d artist, but my father has been doing 3d art since before gen-1 poser, so I've picked up a thing or two over the years. There are several suggestions I'd make for things to try that apply to both types of art and design.

One is that a little bit of texture and bump mapping can go a long way toward upping the realism. I resisted this idea for a long time myself, having started with traditional art, until I tried it for a while and realized how much realism even the most basic texturing can add to a piece that already looks fairly realistic without it.

Overlaying something like a sample from a picture of the bottom of a soda can or a smoothed-out piece of tin foil, can add less-than-a-pixel-wide metal glints, scratches, and random surface variations that are difficult if not impossible to otherwise create digitally at reasonable resolutions. Strange, out of context textures can make for interesting effects as well- textures that are completely off the wall are some of my favorites. For example, Low-res gravel or pavement with the effect level tuned way down can add an industrial powder-paint look to a surface, and with some settings tweaks can add a completely different bumpy rubberized look to grip handles. I even used a color-tweaked photo of a leaf of all things to put super-polished reflections onto chrome in one memorable picture.

Another bit of advice that is that the tiny details often matter as much as the big picture, especially in places that have unique differences, like the checkered area on the magazine. The impact of the pattern could be strongly enhanced by giving it some sort of "frame" that contrasts with the materials, values, and colors around it - a raised edge of chrome perhaps, or the same green material the body of the gun is made of. The area is already attention grabbing, so making it more attention grabbing while adding detail to that area for people to look at while they are there is never a bad thing. Same thing goes for anywhere that you have texture changes or unique details- find some thing else slightly less interesting to put in between an interesting area and the area around it, and then do the same for those details...and pretty soon you have something that's extremely detailed, just by playing around with patterns, shapes, and colors. (The hard part to master is learning not to loose the overall form, or get stuck on a tiny area and ignore the rest of the object as you do this.)

Like I said, love the design overall, and remember that on my choice of whether to vote for this design or your competition it basically came down to me considering the viability of the two as actual functioning weapons of war, which means you've already conquered half the battle- the rest is just advice for taking it to the next level!
HT-PB-66 Inferno