Aspiring MTG Artist - 'Rampant Oceanids' Illustration

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hello everyone,

My name is Joel Hustak and I'm an aspiring MTG artist. Below is an illustration I created for The Art Order Nymph Challenge. 

Flavor text: "When sailing the high seas, sailors know best to stay out of the water for fear of the rampant oceanids below."

If you would like to check out more of my artwork, visit my website or my blog.

Comments and criticism are both welcome. 

Why do they have breasts? If they don't have nipples, they seem kinda redundant (Cue "egg-sacks or swim bladders" hand wave. ).

The colors are very good. The pink stands out from the green. The blur seems a bit excessive on the fishes in the lower left. The face is expressive. 

It looks really good, and I could easily see something like this on an actual Magic card.
Nice work! I think this is a strong piece. I think that if the intention is to put this on a card you might have a bit too much negative space, and there's something kind of odd about the fact that you have such a large amount of space off to the right when she's gazing in the opposite direction, if that makes sense. Since the eye is liable to drift off toward the side she's turned to, all that empty space on the right seems unnecessary. 

Otherwise I think it's really nice work, and I like what you've got up on your site.

If you feel like you need something to practice on that's magic-related, might I suggest checking out the Expanded Multiverse project, as linked to in my signature? We're always looking for artists to join up, and we've got a few people who are fairly good at giving art critiques.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
5 things are bothering me in this piece:

1. Right now, we have the impression that she is in mid-air above an infinite blue space. If you want to make her look as if she was underwater you should atleast suggest some sort of water texture accross the piece.
2. There is not enough hue variations between the shadowed and the non-shadowed parts of her body. Remember that the local color of an object changes not only in value but as well as in hue when in the shadow (mostly due to reflected lights). Same goes for the background - not enough hue variation.
3. Like Fireball said, she should have nipples. If nudity is a no-no for this piece, that would be a good excuse to cover part of her body with scales or give her some sort of armor.
4. I think she should have gills somewhere on her body considering her aquatic nature.
5. The fishes closest to us should be less blurred.

Other then that I actually like the composition, the gesture and the overall movement in the piece. Keep painting.

Edit: just saw your portfolio. I love your octopus/insect and giant centipede, they're both very good pieces. Here is my stuff if you want to take a look.
Tea of Doom: putting my reviews to shame since just now actually.

At least I can still give people advice on literature. [waits dejectedly for Tea to branch out into that territory too]
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
I have centipedes in my basement that look just like the one in your portfolio, but little.
You have successfully ruined me.

 
Thank you all for the awesome comments and critiques. I've made some quick adjustments to the piece but I plan on making more substantial adjustments to show sometime next week.
Here is an update on this painting.  






Here is an update on this painting.  






Wow, very nice. The first version was good but this one actually made me say wow. And for whatever reason I'm loving that extra color on the tail.

This version also gives it much more depth and feels more under water. The first version I actually thought maybe she was jumping out of the water and was still above it.

I'm not even sure what to recommend. The first version looked like a nice work in progress, this one hits me as a finished piece. Good Job.
Wow! that's a big difference! How did you do the shells so detailed? Amazing
Thank you both for the comments and im very glad the difference is so positive.

digitalsurrealist: I borrowed some of my Mom's sea shells and placed them on my desk and tried to light them as best as i could. :P  They are not direct copies of the shells but they helped dictact how they could look on her.
 
Oh i mean of course you digitally rendered them! I guess i just meant good job on the details! What tools do you use? i noticed a possible use of a cloneing tool on the barnacles;) I really love the blending capacity and texture building of digital media.
Having the shells on hand gave me a better sense of true forms and extra details which you dont really get from a single reference photograph, so that was nice.

Also, I just created the barnacles with a basic round photoshop brush but I had a drop shadow layer style on to quickly mimic the light effect. In the past I've used a barnacle brush created from a photo of barnacles. I used it in my concept art here joelhustak.com/images/sealion.jpg
Much more lively! Adding the extra colors and movement really helped. I almost want to say that the shells are a little too vibrant and warm for the piece and are drawing too much focus, but I may be singling them out due to my familiarity with the first take. Take that comment with a grain of salt, in other words.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
KeeperofManyNames: Thanks! I was actually thinking the same thing with the shells, but at the same time wanted shy away from the piece being too monochromatic.  Maybe I could make  them a tad less bright and less warm.
Sign In to post comments