kitty's elvish portraits

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wayfarer
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Post by wayfarer » February 24th, 2008, 7:59 pm

I always wonder - why adhere strictly to human physical parameters when you're drawing something non-human? If you go away too far it'll look strange but if you diverge a little that's to me simply the difference in the races.
They would win a look a like contest with humans until someone very clever decided in the that elves have these cute little pointy ears and Voilà elf.

:P
Your own fault you picked the standard up aswell.
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Post by JW » February 25th, 2008, 12:15 am

irrevenant wrote:Groovy, Kitty has told her how she would prefer to receive her critiques. Presumably you want your critiques to be beneficial to her or you wouldn't put all that time into them. They're most beneficial to her if you give them to her in the format she finds useful.
Please read this carefully.

You say that you base your critiques off of your own experience: Kitty has not had the same experience.

Show some respect and do as she prefers. I'm sure you would prefer that she keep creating art for Wesnoth, right? Great! Then both of your preferencecs have been met.

Your previous posts have made you seem very stubborn. Kitty is listening to your critiques, so now please listen to her opinions of your critiques. This is not a one-way conversation from you to her. Communication requires two parties.

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Post by yobbo » February 25th, 2008, 12:40 am

Technically, all groovy's points are correct.

Compositionally however - I think the portrait just plain looks better with a) the lopsided wreath, b) the revised ear as it is now, c) the original sleeve with incorrect transparency.

It was not technically correct... but honestly in general it looked better, and the picture was on the whole well balanced.

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Post by Jetrel » February 25th, 2008, 5:35 am

wayfarer wrote:For the sorceress. Well Jetryl has posted a new version. I don't know how far he will change her further.

Image
I'm not changing this any further - kitty; this sprite is ready to inspire a portrait, if you'd like to start on one. This is the level-2 elven sorceress.

The level-3 elven enchantress and level-4 elven sylph are not ready, yet.

West wrote:On a related note, it's funny that Jetryl gets away with being very blunt sometimes, while Sgt. Groovy often gets bashed for it. Are people scared of the Jetman? :)
:eng: Usually, I reserve my bluntness for people who need to be delivered a message with ample force for it to register. When some middle-schooler is posting his chicken scratch on this board, and doesn't understand why we're not accepting it into the game, he needs to be told in no uncertain terms that he sucks. It's also important to make it clear that he can learn to not suck, but you have to accept the fact that you need to improve before you can improve.

I tend to use a much lighter tone with problems that are more minor; or with art that is essentially good, with minor flaws (as opposed to art that's rotten to the core).
kitty wrote:i gave her a new wreath and reworked her sleeve bearing your critique in mind. i still think it doesn't read as easy as a sleeve anymore. what do you think?
I think it reads just fine as a sleeve; and in fact I think it looks better this way. It looks more gossamer-like, and airy.
yobbo wrote:Compositionally however - I think the portrait just plain looks better with a) the lopsided wreath, b) the revised ear as it is now, c) the original sleeve with incorrect transparency. It was not technically correct... but honestly in general it looked better, and the picture was on the whole well balanced.
One improvement that could be made to the composition, would be to put a little tuft of the same foliage on the opposite side of the forehead - like a roman laurel crown.

That said; I think this version's good to go in-game, as-is; we're really beating a dead horse, here.

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Post by Yogibear » February 25th, 2008, 9:35 pm

Hi Kitty,

i am normally not stopping by at the art threads, but recently on FOSDEM i was making a quick HttT replay for testing purposes and i saw this druid portrait and i go like: "Wow! That looks really nice" :D .

I asked the others about who made this portrait and they pointed me to you.

Well, i am probably anything but an artist, so take this as a non-technically, first-look opinion from someone who doesn't understand much of drawing: This looks very, very beautiful.

Thanks for doing such great things to wesnoth :) .
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Post by Jetrel » February 25th, 2008, 9:48 pm

Zebulon wrote:Unfortunately, I can't really do anything this time; last time no one could upload so I was able to figure out what was wrong.

Perhaps you can ask her what kind of error message she's getting.
torangan wrote:I've set the upload an PM limits to high, that was the only user specific setting I could find.
:hmm: We'll see, I guess?

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Post by kitty » February 26th, 2008, 9:39 pm

i just wanted to start the sorceress' portait and looked at the new sprite. but unfortunately as cool as it looks as unclear the details are to me. :(
is that a flower skirt again? or tattered cloth? knotted ropes, perhaps? and her hair style: plants or ribbons? (or maybe...frogs?)

:hmm:


@ groovy: thank you for the comment. now i see why you rose the point. maybe i'll go back to this portrait one day and repaint the head.

@ general elven proportions / appearance discussion:
of course elves could look much more different from humans. the pointy ears are not what elvishness is about. to me, fantasy is not about funky races but about the different aspects of humanity. elves impersonate what humans would be at their best: perfect, longliving, beautifull, tall, stern, harmonized with nature. and thus i have no problem with their outward appearance being close to humans - like perfect humans (with pointy ears to simplify identification). as far as i remember tolkien Image didn't even mention the ears. (i know that the wesnothian elves are not tolkien's Image high elves, but still...)

@ jw: i really appreciate your efforts to protect me. but this is really not necessary: please stop shouting!!! i can talk for myself and plan to continue doing so in future.

@ jetryl: i will leave the shyde as she is now.
regarding my occasional attachment problems, it's just that i am always able to post text, but if i try to attach something it expires and states that it is unable to load the site in about one of three cases, i think. this happens regardless which browser i use. :(

@ yogi bear: thank you! :D

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Post by wayfarer » February 27th, 2008, 4:44 pm

kitty wrote: @ general elven proportions / appearance discussion:
of course elves could look much more different from humans. the pointy ears are not what elvishness is about. to me, fantasy is not about funky races but about the different aspects of humanity. elves impersonate what humans would be at their best: perfect, longliving, beautifull, tall, stern, harmonized with nature. and thus i have no problem with their outward appearance being close to humans - like perfect humans (with pointy ears to simplify identification). as far as i remember tolkien Image didn't even mention the ears. (i know that the wesnothian elves are not tolkien's Image high elves, but still...)
And that makes them the most boring ones character wise. No identification potential.
Personal I can't imagine that this would be the perfect human. Who knows.
They could be more interesting if they would be just different compared to humans or show an certain aspect of humanity and not an ideal that can never be true.

For the sorceress. I'm looking forward.
I think Jetryl wanted to hint some complex wrapped layers of clothing which are slightly tattered. Perhaps something like this.

Image


I might be wrong here so if it is the case I stand corrected.
This girl, this boy, They were part of the land. What happens to the places we used to tend?
She's a hard one to trust, And he's a roving ghost. Will you come back, will you come back, Or leave me alone?

-Ghost Fields

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Post by Jetrel » February 27th, 2008, 8:19 pm

kitty wrote:i just wanted to start the sorceress' portait and looked at the new sprite. but unfortunately as cool as it looks as unclear the details are to me. :(
is that a flower skirt again? or tattered cloth? knotted ropes, perhaps? and her hair style: plants or ribbons? (or maybe...frogs?)
I'm not 100% sure myself. The blessing/curse with sprites is that they're so small that things can be left indeterminate, so long as they look good. In this case there are several valid interpretations of the same visual.


Some notes, though: there's been a change with the whole sorceress line, and they're all wearing pants, now. They're probably lighter in texture/weight (silk-like?), but they're totally opaque, and are tucked into the shoes/boots. It's kindof ironic; this wasn't actually influenced by your arrival, here - I'd just independently been moving away from 'cheesecake' in general during the past year or two. The novelty wears off after a while. :lol:

This sorceress has leaves/laurels/whatnot woven into her hair; like the druid. She's wearing one, perhaps multiple tattered skirts over her pants, into which some leaves and miscellany are caught.


kitty wrote:@ general elven proportions / appearance discussion:
of course elves could look much more different from humans. the pointy ears are not what elvishness is about. to me, fantasy is not about funky races but about the different aspects of humanity. elves impersonate what humans would be at their best: perfect, longliving, beautifull, tall, stern, harmonized with nature. and thus i have no problem with their outward appearance being close to humans - like perfect humans (with pointy ears to simplify identification). as far as i remember tolkien didn't even mention the ears. (i know that the wesnothian elves are not tolkien's high elves, but still...)
I'd suspected this based on, well, the way you'd drawn all of these, but it seems we're on the same page (which is probably inclusive of all the other tolkien fans on the team, such as turin, esr, dave to a certain degree, etc). Wesnoth != LotR, but it's heavily inspired by it.

As far as my own opinions go; I'm not opposed to long ears (especially on the more fairy-like ones, like the shyde or other magic users, where they might actually work well). We don't have many male magic users in the current wood-elf faction, but if we did I'd lump them under the same heading (we do have several in non-mainline factions). It's true, though, that long ears can easily be done very wrong; the line between them being graceful, and (literally) asinine, is easy to step on the wrong side of.

wayfarer wrote:And that makes them the most boring ones character wise. No identification potential. Personal I can't imagine that this would be the perfect human. Who knows. They could be more interesting if they would be just different compared to humans or show an certain aspect of humanity and not an ideal that can never be true.
Kitty was mostly talking about physical appearance; about which all three of us basically agree; like you, I'd lean towards a bit more "raggedness" in clothing, but they're fine as is (besides the point, most of that would be in the leggings).

wayfarer wrote:I think Jetryl wanted to hint some complex wrapped layers of clothing which are slightly tattered. Perhaps something like this.

Image
:eng: Yeah, that's kindof exactly what I was thinking.

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Post by turin » February 27th, 2008, 9:34 pm

Jetryl wrote:I'd suspected this based on, well, the way you'd drawn all of these, but it seems we're on the same page (which is probably inclusive of all the other tolkien fans on the team, such as turin, esr, dave to a certain degree, etc). Wesnoth != LotR, but it's heavily inspired by it.
Most definitely. ;)
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Post by kitty » March 1st, 2008, 11:17 pm

thank you for the clarfications!

here's a preliminary version of the sorceress...
(the glowing magic effect on her left hand is still missing.) i found it quite difficult to develop a picture of her without having seen her acting in game.

like always: c&c is very welcome!
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Post by JW » March 2nd, 2008, 1:07 am

kitty wrote:@ jw: i really appreciate your efforts to protect me. but this is really not necessary: please stop shouting!!! i can talk for myself and plan to continue doing so in future.
I've seen too many artists run out of here to not say something: by some of the people in this thread even. I was just trying to make sure it didn't happen again, and I can definitely dial it back.

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Post by wayfarer » March 2nd, 2008, 7:45 am

I think it is save to say that kitty is able to handle criticism. I think we can drop it.

For the picture personal I don't see anything wrong anatomical wise.
Conceptional. I don't like the upper body separation from the lower part of the body. It looks a bit like a bib.
May I suggest a belt?
Another idea perhaps a cloak that goes around the whole body, is draped over the shoulder put leaves the front open. (A shirt underneath of course.)
My 2 cents.
This girl, this boy, They were part of the land. What happens to the places we used to tend?
She's a hard one to trust, And he's a roving ghost. Will you come back, will you come back, Or leave me alone?

-Ghost Fields

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Post by Sgt. Groovy » March 2nd, 2008, 9:52 am

I really like the clothing of this one, nothing "Medieval Costume (TM)" about them (though I find it odd that the cuff of the right sleeve is split while the left one is not).

What I don't like is the staff, mostly because of the snaggy branches. The first thing one would do when picking up a staff would be to cut off the branches. It would retain its "natural" look well without them.

For some reason, her right upper arm looks longer than the left one, even factoring in any foreshortenings. It might be an optical illusion, though, caused by the arm being cut in two by the staff.

I also wonder what she's looking at, because if it's supposed to be her palm (or some magic sparkles above it) she misses her mark. The hand is clearly in front of her, while she's looking at almost directly to the side. (Anyway, one would think that some deviations from the looking-at-the-magic-dancing-on-her-hand theme would be welcome already.)
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Post by Jetrel » March 2nd, 2008, 10:49 am

Sgt. Groovy wrote:I really like the clothing of this one, nothing "Medieval Costume (TM)" about them (though I find it odd that the cuff of the right sleeve is split while the left one is not).
Yeah, this is really nice work on the costume. :D In fact this is great, overall.
Sgt. Groovy wrote:What I don't like is the staff, mostly because of the snaggy branches. The first thing one would do when picking up a staff would be to cut off the branches. It would retain its "natural" look well without them.
Elves aren't humans, and especially in the case of an outright magic user, this is something other than a "walking stick"; it's more of a periapt or talisman of sorts. It's primary purpose is "doing magic", rather than "supporting a hiker", and thus it would be tailored for the first purpose, even if it came slightly at the expense of the second. Aesthetically, it's better IMO to have this look like a living uncut tree in her hand, and for it to have to be in that condition to be useable; alternately, using it might cause it to grow and sprout.

:eng: I would suggest putting some leaves on those "snaggy branches"; it's closer to the concept I had with the sprite, and would incidentally make them less "snaggy".
Sgt. Groovy wrote:For some reason, her right upper arm looks longer than the left one, even factoring in any foreshortenings. It might be an optical illusion, though, caused by the arm being cut in two by the staff.
I think you're right about this.
Sgt. Groovy wrote:I also wonder what she's looking at, because if it's supposed to be her palm (or some magic sparkles above it) she misses her mark. The hand is clearly in front of her, while she's looking at almost directly to the side. (Anyway, one would think that some deviations from the looking-at-the-magic-dancing-on-her-hand theme would be welcome already.)
Actually, I kinda like this - it's as though she's looking past it; looking off into the distance.

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