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Hippocantes - Progression by Vyrilien Hippocantes - Progression by Vyrilien
Progression of 'Hippocantes' [link]

Decided to upload this for those curious/interested.

1. Just doodled this creature I had in my head. I wanted a scaled horse-like creature with a raptor-like tail with a hairy tip, manes over its tail end and with weird ultra-long legs pointy tipped hooves just because.

Yes, it would never be able to move and if it tried it'd collapse, but sometimes you just want to paint something simply because you think it would be awesome. Although it doesn't always turn out to be the case, never let that discourage you.

2. Tried to colour it. I liked how the head turned out but was disappointed with the horribly clashing colours. Couldn't really fix it.

3. Slapped on a red overlay to make the colours seem more cohesive. Also gave it a long fishy tail like a Hippocamp's to even out the balance between front and back. Aesthetically anyway, because I'm aware it's now very heavy at its tail.

4. Gave it some real eyes. I too often go for the glowy eyes. Not that I can't paint normal eyes; I just like glowy eyes. Thought it was time to break that habit. Detailed the rest of it and in the process got a lot better at painting scales. Added a belly fin for more balance and to accentuate the creature's overall curve.

5. Redid the colour scheme. Was only mildly happy with it, but out of all the colours I tried this one seemed the least offensive. Redid most of the scales because since I improved so much, the old scales started to look ugly. I repeated this step three times. My patience eventually wore off and out of frustration over the colours I gave up on it.


6 Months pass....


6. Looked at it again, thought it was such a shame to leave it unfinished. I desaturated it, because the colours bugged me the most.

7. I inverted it just to see how it looked like. Surprisingly not as awkward as I thought it would be. Got rid of the eye, because that one did look awkward. So much for that.

8. Tried random Photoshop filters just for kicks and the Fresco one was an unexpected hit.

9. Gave it a deep blue photo filter for some colour. Repainted the manes a bit because they didn't turn out as well after the fresco filter. Used liquify to fix the awkward hind legs and used dodge/paint brush with white (screen/overlay) to brighten up certain areas (neck and head) and painted in some scales on the legs and darkened them to match the body, because I hadn't gotten around to painting them before.

8. Used a beige overlay for a more old paper colour (since I decided it looked like an ink painting and that was the look I was going to go for) and used the same beige to paint a glow around the eye (brush set to screen). Finally, I added my Chinese name in characters at the bottom.

Finished. Finally! :lol:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconfury4justice:
Fury4Justice Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
OK, the "hippo" in the name obviously comes from the Greek word for "horse", but what does the "cantes" part of the name mean?
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:iconbeauhappyday:
beauhappyday Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's interesting to see what kind of process one goes through when creating, and how many iterations a piece goes through!
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's crazy the way I paint; it's seldom straightforward. It's pretty time-consuming, but at least I learn a lot during the process :)
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:iconkuroblanc:
KuroBlanc Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Mmm, I find it difficult to see along where you had the issues described within the piece-- probably given that I (and many others who appreciate this) are amateurs by comparison. This really shows your advanced technical skill as well as the intense focus and dedication you had put into the work. All the different parts of this set of images are aesthetically pleasing. I would be more than happy to hang any one of these on my wall, if they were available in the form of a print.

I don't mean to disagree with you, I find your final product absolutely beautiful, but I also seem the charm of the earlier stages. Keep aiming for that perfection you seek-- never settle for less-- it makes your work truly stand out.
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:iconelle-h:
Elle-H Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011   Digital Artist
The scaaaaales. I love it when I can look at an image and know exactly what something would feel like. I want to touch them. Or maybe not... they'd be all wierd and snakey.

I'm glad you went without color. It looks much more dreamlike and mysterious. And... creepy. The colored version seems more... solid and academic. As in : "observe fig. 1a", rather than "beware this creature in your dreeeeaams."

I hope that made sense. :D
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:iconyunie-b:
Yunie-B Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011  Student Filmographer
I, too, find the colors quite appealing. I don't think they clash at all. They're quite complementary to this asian inspired critter. =3
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! Maybe I should give it another go. I do find it a shame I had to strip it of its colours :)
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:iconkyuubinoyouko15:
Kyuubinoyouko15 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011
I actually think this is a beautiful piece of work, i dissagree with you on the colors, they definetly work with the fact that its scales and not fur, i also love the eyes and how the mist or aura comming off its head gives it a sinister unicorn look. who cares if it would collapse on land? it is a water based creature anyway, the legs could easily be a deensive adaptation or somthing. all in all, it really is a fantastic piece of art.
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! It's so interesting to hear other people's opinion on this! You are right though, sometimes you shouldn't worry too much about logic :D
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:iconkyuubinoyouko15:
Kyuubinoyouko15 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011
Yea, logics for schmucks!
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:iconkyuubinoyouko15:
Kyuubinoyouko15 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011
also, i meant "Defensive" not "deensive" haha.
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:iconkoto-wari:
Koto-wari Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011
That was really interesting read and a delight to see. Though I do love the ending result, I do like some of the in-between pictures as well. I really am impressed how half-way it looks like some 3D image, while it's not even rendered into a 3D program.
I actually do like the blue-ishgreen/red colour scheme though. Though it clashes a bit, at the same time it gives the beast some mythical, even regal aura.
The final result demands respect of the beast, and of the artist. It's something that I can see that it took you a great amount of time, patience and workload.
Well done~
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:iconkoto-wari:
Koto-wari Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
You're welcome. :3

Indeed. It's very amusing to see how a certain picture might drastically change over the time spent on it.

It's not necessairily OCD, I think it's something that's part of the artist. You create something, and you want it to be perfect. Not many artists are happy with half-delivered work. They're not satisfied until they think their work is finished. And even then, when is something truely finished? There's always something you can do. So, it's important for the artist to be happy with their work... moreso than pleasing the audience. Well, that's what I think... Though I do like it when the audience is pleased with something I'm happy with. xD
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww, that's so flattering. Thank you! <3

Yeah, I got really carried away with the details at certain stages and I suppose that's why it may look 3D. It's funnt how with a few steps you can change all of that yet keep your picture :)

I'm glad you don't find the colour scheme horrendous, but it's one of those terrible things when, even though you know other people might not think the same way, you just find it looks so horrible that you'd rather just start over. When I feel that way over a painting there's little anyone can do to convince me it looks okay XD I might be a little OCD
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:iconkoto-wari:
Koto-wari Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
You're welcome. :3

Indeed. It's very amusing to see how a certain picture might drastically change over the time spent on it.

It's not necessairily OCD, I think it's something that's part of the artist. You create something, and you want it to be perfect. Not many artists are happy with half-delivered work. They're not satisfied until they think their work is finished. And even then, when is something truely finished? There's always something you can do. So, it's important for the artist to be happy with their work... moreso than pleasing the audience. Well, that's what I think... Though I do like it when the audience is pleased with something I'm happy with. xD
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I suppose that makes sense. A part of being an artist is being a perfectionist.

I always hesitate to use that term 'artist'. I'm okay with other people on this site referring to themselves as artists, since it's deviantART after all, but it feels so pretentious to say I'm an artist. It's just my hobby after all.

Lately there is a lot of discussion going around on deviantART about what is art and what isn't. You'd think it'd be so easy to argue that any of those Motivationals that you see popping up everywhere aren't art and don't belong here. But the more I read into those long discussions (trying very hard not to get too involved and insult anyone) the more I find it difficult to do so.

It's all so vague and blurred.

It's because you cannot define that line between art and not art that everything is basically up for discussion, even those horrid myspace type of ID pictures.
They just throw in the 'art is anything as long as it invokes emotion' and there isn't anything you can argue against that. Then again I look at some of the modern art displayed in museums these days and I then I just really get confused.

Is it all purely capitalistic? Supply and demand?

Is art 'art' as long as there are people who enjoy it?

Is then something someone put there whole life into making, yet nobody is affected by, not art?

...Sorry, I just went into a giant off-topic tangent.
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:iconkoto-wari:
Koto-wari Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
I think that's what makes making art so much fun... Because you're always pushing yourself to be better... and thus you evolve. Art is never a steady thing, but it's constantly moving instead. I like that.

I know how you feel... the deffinition of art is very vague. Someone might eat an apple, save what's left, give it a fancy title and call it art. It doesn't take any effort beside coming up with a title, wheras some people spend hours trying to find the right composition, the right materials and what not...
Perhaps art is just one of those things that can't be defined... Perhaps it's just a way of people communicating certain things... I don't know.
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah I completely agree! It's also wonderful/inspiring/envious to see this evolution in the work of others. Which is one of the things why deviantART is so great. You get to see people grow.

It's annoying however that as you improve your standard increases along with it. People who can't draw always say 'I'd kill to be able to draw like so-and-so' and I guess for people who can't draw other people's skills may seem impressive. For them, though, it's a work in the line of many others, one small step closer to their undefined goal. The level of skill they really want to achieve. I wonder if anyone is ever truly satisfied with their work.

Yeah exactly. Perhaps it is undefinable. Which basically means that the discussions surrounding this will never end. Maybe I should stop thinking about it; it just confuses me.
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:iconkoto-wari:
Koto-wari Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011
Ah, so true. I love seeing where some artists started and where they are now. People can evolve quite a lot in 5 years. : >

Yeah, true. When someone says to me "I'd like to be able to draw like that", or, I'll just say "when I read that on someone else's page", I can very often think of an artist who's "better", or let's just say "who's style pleases me more". People often tell me though "I wish I could draw like you, but I can't draw, so..." I always reply "everyone can draw". You just have to put a lot of time in it... Specially since "art" and "quality" are undefined. =/ If you have an idea, and manage to draw that in some way or an other... you still drew it.
I wonder that as well. I wonder if an artist every said "Now I'm happy with my style and how my work turns out. Here's where I want to stay for the rest of my life." and didn't evolve at all anymore. =V

Yeah, maybe.
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You make a good point. Do you sometimes feel a little miffed when people say 'If only I was as talented as you are, I'd be able to draw well too' or something along those lines. It's not just talent, you gotta put time and effort in it too. Like a musician has to practice many many hours before he becomes a virtuoso, a good ear for music or not. I don't believe talent to be so important as so many people claim.

It'd be strange if anyone was. Any artist anyway. If you just want to 'sell', you could get away with it. If something works and people like it, I guess you could stay the same and continue. Why change a good recipe? But anyone worth his salt will probably never be truly satisfied. Or I should hope so.
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(1 Reply)
:iconoxkronosxo:
oxkronosxo Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011
Fucking epic :) really beautiful.
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:iconvyrilien:
Vyrilien Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! :D
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:iconoxkronosxo:
oxkronosxo Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011
:)
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