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Underwater Magic by nelesia Underwater Magic by nelesia
Painting test I did for a game studio job. The assignment was to draw an underwater scene with a path for characters to walk across horizontally, and add a monster that goes with the scene.

Concept: The conch is a magical item in the map that can give you powerful magic (special skill/item/stat). Then, I wanted to design an enemy monster that is protecting this treasure. My first thought is a dragon protecting a treasure like in fantasy novels, and a horse gaurd/knight (in chess represented by a horse). But this is an underwater scene, so I combined a seahorse with a dragon.

Any comments/critique appreciated :)
I think this looks pretty sweet but since you asked for a critique, here goes…

1. I think there can be more shadow on the conch. You're heading that way but I still feel the shell looks a little flat being the center of attention that it is and with the amount of light shining on it, there needs to be some strong shadows. Don't use any variation of black/gray for the shadows. Instead, try going with a gray that has a cool color tint. That will help the shadow not suck out the color in this colorful piece.

2. I'm not a fan of that horizontal plane under the conch that goes across the piece. I think it kills the composition by dividing the plane in two for no reason. If that could be removed, I think the scene would look more organic and natural.

3. This image is a little off balance colorwise. While we do want the attention of the audience to be on the conch, it makes the audience's eyes focus solely on the right. I would perhaps add some of the same details and colors to the left side of the image (in the mid-ground or far background), only with a less saturated tint to balance the image and give the impression that there is more life growing on this environment than where the conch sits. That way, the audience's eyes will be made to roam around the entire piece.

Hope helps and I hope I didn't sound harsh as I think there is potential to this piece and things that can make it better :) Any questions let me know.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

Technique is amazing, but I find myself disoriented due to lack of spacial awareness. At first, I thought we were seeing it from the horizontal plane, but then I noticed the surface ripples on the top, so we must be viewing it from a worm's eye angle. But that would make the shadows inconsistent.

Speaking of light sources, is the conch emitting light or reflecting it, its cool to be ambiguous, but it affects everything else in the piece. Or it should.

The little barrier that goes completely across the bottom of the piece contributes to the confusion. I would completely erase it. Once you do that, and figure out the lighting and fore-middle-background (the background is fine, leave it alone) you have a solid portfolio piece. Good luck.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
4 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

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lemur97 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
yulii Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
wow this is beautiful. I love this one. Haven't seen you paint like this I think. great job :P
nelesia Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much yulii!! Yea I haven't painted backgrounds very often :D
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Submitted on
March 26, 2012
Image Size
384 KB


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