100 Treasure Chest Challenge

7:03 PM, Monday February 15th 2021

Drawabox 100 Chest Challenge - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/gallery/H7cR94i

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Hi Uncomfortable,

I decided to do this challenge before starting the vehicle assignment. I hope that's okay.

Thank you for your time ^^

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3:49 AM, Tuesday February 16th 2021

You always have this habit of getting your work in just after my "cut-off" for the day (I put quotation marks because so far I haven't really had the strength of will to just leave those late submissions for my next critique day), but because your work is always quite well done, it's still nice to see. This time I went around sharing your album with people on our Discord, and they all enjoyed going through it as much as I did.

So, overall your work throughout this challenge is really well done, and I'm kind of shocked that you seem to have knocked it out in just two weeks. You've got so many wonderfully varied designs, and your constructions are quite solid. Instead of making any attempt at a sort of cohesive critique, I'm going to step through the different designs, and comment on any that stand out.

  • Looking at number 8, one minor point that did catch my eye was the somewhat half-hearted approach to implying wood texture. I draw a lot of lazy wood in my day-to-day (I draw a fantasy web comic, and fantasy worlds have... too much wood), but I find that when it comes to conveying any texture, even if you work with minimal actual linework and keep the detail to the absolute minimum, that doesn't mean the actual attention you pay to it should be downplayed. Make sure that the marks you draw are meaningful, and that they are somewhat specific. Don't let the pen do the work that your brain should be doing. Instinct will eventually be able to churn that stuff out pretty well, but that comes with a good deal of practice of drawing that kind of texture more intentionally.

  • 15 and 16 are actually a good example of my previous point. The rivets are obviously loose and quick, but you still had to think about where they went in order for them to make sense. They're an especially nice touch, despite being so slight, because they help provide a touch of extra realism to the design. Designs really thrive on the idea of asking questions - for example, how do the iron reinforcements secure to the wooden box? Every question answered, is a little more substance to your design.

  • For 19, you're kind of inconsistent with where you've dropped that hatching in. Sometimes it's covering surfaces facing to the left, sometimes it's surfaces facing upwards, etc. Hatching will almost always suggest lighting to the viewer, so try to keep it consistent where you can.

  • The dimensionality on the slats for 23 is really nice. The fact that they jut out definitely yields a more meaningful impact, compared to 24's cutting into the silhouette. That said, don't forget that the vertical bars on the sides of the chest's front appears to have no thickness to it - don't forget to add a little thickness to every form you introduce.

  • I quite like that you're introducing some little touches, like the rings on the side of 28, and the chains on 32. I remember someone on discord quite liking the addition of chains there as well.

  • In 35, there definitely is a lot more roughness here, suggesting that you were kind of thinking through and solving the design as you went, compared to 36 where you were really just refining your existing design. It's not a criticism, just an observation - nothing wrong with solving problems, and then using those solutions elsewhere.

  • 47 is really lovely. The pinch through the midsection was handled very well, achieving this structural oddity with a good deal of solidity to it. I also like the proportions, with the emphasis on its vertical dimension, something that was a bit lost in 48.

  • 51's squid ornamentation is awesome. Can't go wrong with all of this piratey goodness. I bet Rare (the developer behind Sea of Thieves) would be drooling over some of these designs.

  • Since I can't comment on everything, jumping ahead to 81 - I figured I wouldn't comment much on the basic constructions, but the overall shape language of this one is really nice. You handle those bulging forms quite nicely, and I actually feel like the more significant width of this one comes out more attractively than 83. Just goes to show how important experimenting with proportions is.

  • 91 and 92 were called out on Discord too ,and for good reason. The ornamentation is lovely, and the clever interpretation of the chest is certainly refreshing.

  • And of course, you can't finish up without a mimic! I particularly love the fact that you went with the simplest ,most unassuming (but still visually pleasing) chest for 99 - an excellent juxtaposition for what it was hiding.

All in all, wonderfully done! You've got a lot of excellent designs here, and I can see your design sense developing quickly. Even though I'd recommend any aspiring concept artist to take courses on design and form language (from places like CG Master Academy online, or even Brainstorm Academy if you're in the LA area), and I'd certainly encourage you to do the same, you're definitely in a position to make excellent use of them. The beauty of a good class is that it has a lot to offer people at a variety of levels, and you'd certainly take good advantage of that sort of thing.

I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete. Keep up the fantastic work.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
7:28 PM, Tuesday February 16th 2021

Wow. I feel overwhelmed by your feedback. In a good way. Thank you very much for your encouragement, criticisms and advice. It helps me a great deal, both practically and mentally, that you have suggested ways forward on my journey as an aspiring concept artist.

Just so you know, it took me 3 weeks to finish this challenge. I have a strange schedule because I am following the "Radiorunners Curriculum" which has your entire course split through it. Here's a link if you didn't already know about it: https://i.redd.it/7ns7su264gp31.png

In terms of design, I can't accept too much credit because for most of the chests I borrowed very heavily off reference images. Of course I didn't copy exactly and I changed things here and there but nevertheless I believe credit doesn't truly belong to me on this for the majority of the designs. This challenge however showed me how I can find inspiration and grow my own ability to invent good shapes and designs.

Anyway, I just wanted to really thank you for the care you put into your responses and into your course. It has made a very significant difference not only to my abilities as an artist but to my mindset about what it takes to be a serious artist, what it really means to succeed or fail and the importance of keeping the passion alive. :)

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The Art of Blizzard Entertainment

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