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Old 11-09-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
The Horror
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:02 AM   #2
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This was an extremely hard decision... I liked many of these artworks. Each of them had their unique personalities reflective of both skill, emotion, and perception. It's hard to create a feeling of torment within an art piece; every participant did a great job in their attempts to accomplish a feel of torment as well as try to do it in the not-so-conventional (for this forum) surrealistic style.

The decision between my first three favourites was very difficult, as they all show exceptional skill.

First Place: bakanekonei #1

This is a well-painted piece. The theme is torment, and the humanoid on the bottom certainly looks tormented physically due to his disfigurements, and mentally, due to his expression. Being drowned definitely isn't a good thing :(

I also have to mention the contrasting mood in this pic. The peaceful scenes at the top juxtapose the mans turmoil; and we know that seeing something good while experiencing something bad makes the torment unbearable. Good work with the comparative approach.

The details are also nice and clean, I'm liking the composition, though I have to scroll to see the whole picture. One thing that irks me, though: the choice of colours. I know that this is meant to be water, but I feel that a surrealistic touch of red could be added; red evokes some emotions on the subconscious level that trigger anger, maybe even some deep blue hues for sadness. Currently the colours in the picture are quite peaceful... too dull, perhaps.

All in all it's a great entry. Wonderful work bakanekonei.

Second Place: pigeonkill

Well, everything just seems bad for this poor guy. Coloured a sickly green, being a skeleton, and burning in flames, he should be long dead. But he isn't. He clearly has an expression of sadness and suffering. I'd think that this is what hell would be like, as some of you may know hell is eternal, and that definitely isn't a good thing.

I love the use of colours in this artwork. The vibrant reds and oranges work, and portray some well-rendered fire while the blue hues and the window show that there is hope yet it's... hopeless. He's not going to the outside world, because if he could he would have already gone there, right? And once you know that, the torment would be terrible.

Inspiring work, pigeonkill.

Third Place: Vajura

Nice work. Time itself can be seen as a torment; there is no escape from it, you can't stop it, pause it, or control it in any way. The torment of apprehension can be the worst thing in the world. You can't do anything about it, and it shows in this piece. The mans face is an expression of anguish. The clock is very large, almost as large as the man himself, and it's directly attached to him; symbolising that time is torment for this dude, and that he cannot escape it. Whether those hands are helpful or not, I do not know. Even so, he can't reach them and vice versa. He is all alone in the wilderness.

I feel that this should be coloured. Even a monotone red would do the trick and add more atmosphere. Remember that the other competitors had the opportunity to use colour, and they did; colour is an important part of art as colours are symbolic of emotions. Though the lack of colour can emphasize the feeling of turmoil as we wish to see it coloured; seeing it in grayscale makes the viewer feel more for the man in his bland world.

Great work, Vajura.

Congratulations to all those who entered - these took me quite a while to analyse - it was a great experience. It was hard to judge according to the specifications. Special mentions to Miss Wiggle and Avian, these were close contenders. Miss Wiggles, because regret torments you for the rest of your life(usually) , and the extreme contrast in Avians work with the surrealistic touch was brilliant. 5te and bigyellowlegoman did good work as well as providing some humour.

Excellent work everyone
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:37 PM   #3
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This was a difficult decision. I really thought the quality of submission was incredible and there were so many people that deserved recognition. Let's hope our future contests have the same kind of quality work as this one.

1st place: Krasterk

Relation to Theme: In my mind, this piece gives me the greatest sense of torment. I see a medical monstrosity here that just begs for an ending as quickly as possible. The torment is shown masterfully with the blank pallet with just a touch of surrealistic red to emphasize the blood. The ability to create torment without the use of a face is exceptional and the movement of the body is wonderful. The black mess being spit out from the mouth, off the page, and back on in a counterclockwise manner adds wonderfully to the composition and adds some sort of reverse thinking to the whole piece.

Skill: What can I say about the skill in this piece? Itís almost underground at its essence but at the same time it has a very polished look to it. Your style continues to improve and impress and I think this piece is a perfect example of that. The intricate details on the wires, flowers and black mush compliment the overall simple figure nicely. Also, the use of only black and white works wonders when accented with a touch of red. Beautiful.

Creativity: I really enjoyed the imaginativeness of this piece. The branches that connect to the figures head, the bloody bandages and the IV packs are a great touch. I also liked how you blended great physical torment with a sort of mental torment. This piece tells a story but it also leaves the viewer wondering what exactly is the deeper element of torture. Itís an excellent juxtaposition of two states of reality.

Great job!!!

2nd Place: Bakanekonei #1

Relation to Theme: Torment certainly can be thought of as experiencing pain and agony while being subject to peace and beauty on the outside. The overall beauty and color of this piece creates a complex mood. The feeling of agony in the man at the bottom compared to the peaceful, dreary middle and top creates a contrast that is surreal at its core. I think that this piece conveys torment wonderfully and I do believe that this was the strongest aspect of the piece.

Skill: I donít think anyone whoís seen your work would doubt your skill. I do believe this piece ranks right up there with some of the best work Iíve seen from you. The painting is definitely the strongest feature here. From the subtle splashes of water by the fish to the bubbles underwater, this piece is definitely the result of careful consideration and hours of work. The water is painted beautifully and the light is carefully done. The one thing I donít particularly like is the composition. I do see how this develops like a story from top to bottom, but I donít know, it just seems a tad busy. I also think the transitions from one scene to another could have been a little better. However, considering the nature of the picture, a different approach would be extremely hard. Nonetheless, the skill in this piece is certainly at an extremely high level.

Creativity: This piece gets my nod as most creative. The physical and mental abuse taking place is certainly from the fringe of ones mind. I liked the skeleton fish a lot and the window like shapes at the top were a nice touch. I really like the window in the middle of the composition. The lone tree inside it stands out nicely and is something that exhibits a strange power and beauty. The whole piece certainly stretches ones imagination to new places.

Wonderful work!!!

3rd Place: CaptainSNAFU

Relation to Theme: The first thing I thought when I saw this piece was pain. The agony that he is going through, implied heavily by the pose, relates greatly to the theme. The picture seems to only suggest literal physical pain, however, many motifs seem to run throughout this picture. The idea of conformity, and giving all of ones self to others come to mind for me. The peeling of the body to something of a greater power conveys such a great feeling of fear that the viewer gets a sense not only of agony but also of sympathy for this lone figure. You did a great job of pulling at the viewers emotions and creating a composition that plays on the human condition.

Skill: This was personally my favorite picture in relation to only skill. I love this composition and the palette is excellent. I think the position of the light at the figures back is well thought out and the fading to black of the shadows conveys a gloomy feeling. The skin is nicely rendered and the contrast of the light of the wires with the dark figure works well. Two places I think could use some work would be the perspective of the legs and the head. I think his feet should be a bit smaller and the foreshortening a little more exaggerated. I also think that hair on the figure could have been rendered a bit better. I really enjoyed the textures you used on the other parts of the figure and I was a bit surprised the hair was kept as flat as it is. Other than that, I think this piece was the best rendered of the contest.

Creativity: Although the pose isnít too imaginative (it does convey great emotion though) I do think that this piece really does push ones imagination to the limits. The peeling of the figure by the wires is what makes this piece so agonizing and also so imaginative. I think the idea to use that as a symbol for a greater motif was brilliant and even though the overall message of the piece isnít known, I can get a sense that there is something you are saying. I really thought that the use of all red tone was a good way to symbolize torment and add some devilish wickedness to the piece.

Good stuff!!!

Other entries:

fpg- I like the colors and symbols, but it seems rushed. I think itís also a bit too dark; hard to make out whatís happening.

Blond- Definitely surreal and executed in great fashion. One of my favorites. I think the background could use more work. Honorable Mention

munk3yboy- Surreal; yes. I do that the eyeballs and the colors make this a little to comical to really convey torment though. However, the piece itself is nicely rendered.

Frecus- I think the figure needs work and the overall composition is lacking. Keep practicing your technique and studying the basic color theories and anatomy.

bigyellowlegoman- Ah, the old split personality? The skill and creativity is there but I donít get a sense of torment from this.

SemaJay- The torment is there, for sure. Now I think your need to break away from generic colors and begin to shade to add depth to your work.

5te- Another one of my favorites. The composition and color work well and the torment is excruciating. I really like the faces in the background. Honorable Mention

openthegrave- Sorry to say, but this looks like a photograph with horns photoshoped in. Just donít see the relation to the topic in this one.

Vajura- Another great one. I like the incorporation of time and the disintegrating body is a nice touch. Grayscale; gotta love it! Honorable Mention

te shok- More humorous than tormenting. Seems like the background was thrown together. The overall concept is great though.

Meatloaf #1- Another background that seems thrown together. I like the colors and idea, but the execution doesnít seem very surreal.

999- The colors seem to friendly. Very busy; seems more like a comic book version of hell
then the real idea of a horrid place.

Traum4- I really liked the idea and certainly felt torment when looking at it. A really strong entry once again.

Mp3 freak- Great composition and execution. Although I donít feel great torment with this piece, it was one of my favorites.

Evil Iori- Good composition and colors. Looks quite painful. Another one of my favorites.

SaMattacott- I didnít like the green very much. Also, not much relation to the topic from what I see. Interesting idea though.

Chimp- Looking good man! The faces in the cliff are a nice touch and the one red rose is very surreal of you. Nice job!

Meatloaf #2- Sexual torment, Iím guessing? Seems a little rushed. The girl floating in mid air does not help the composition.

Avian- Thatís a good use of contrast there. The one person who didnít make itÖsad. I think the happy part of this could be a little more crisp.

Kweckduck- I really like this! Tomatoes on the loose. The cartoony atmosphere is nice but not really appropriate for the topic. Nice job though.

Faliat- I donít know about you, but that scars me! However, compared to the other entries, this seems a little less creative.

SamuraiDoo- Excellent composition here and a great use of color and surrealistic qualities. I really liked this one.

Bakanekonei #2- Seems rushed compared to your first one. The grass stands out too much to me.

darkreaver- Crazy! I enjoyed this piece. Again, nice use of red here and a great composition.

Ninken- Just a great overall piece. Itís tormenting, great composition, imaginative and executed wonderfully. Honorable Mention

the shining- Certainly surrealistic and powerful. I think itís a tad busy and I donít think the anime face fits well with the topic.

Pigeonkill- I really liked this one as well. Great color and composition. The main figure is definitely a throwback to classic surrealism.

Lancer.Evok.2k- Seems a bit Evangelion inspired to me. Great details and a good idea.

Miss Wiggle- I think regret is the greatest kind of torment and you really nailed that in this piece. The colors and composition are great. Honorable Mention

falmith- Being controlled by others; thatís a good one. I like the little beam of light that contrasts the agony.

Great work everybody!!! By far the best contest to date!
I am going to crush you, and throw you into the wind.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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Okay, first off, I hate you all...

JK! But seriously though, I wasn't expecting this many entries when I recieved the PM from Kwixx, so when I saw how much I have to go through, I was like...

This probably is the best contest here so far. The amount of entries and the amazing content really can't be topped (at least until the next contest!). Since all of you put so much work into it, I definately feel like I should give each and every one of you a critique that's more than just 'cool' or 'awesome'. That being said, if you don't read it, I'm going to be VERY angry =P.

EDIT: ARRRRGGGHZZZZZ! I was almost done with all the Crits, but my internet crashed and I lost EVERYTHING!!! Okay, sorry but I'm going to redo the crits later this weekend. I'm just going to post my rankings now.

Anyways, it was extremely hard to choose, since most of the pieces were spectacular. If I could, I'd choose the top 10, but you know the rules.

1. Ninken
There were a lot of really great pieces, but to me, Ninken's seemed the most polished. Both the idea and the execution were extremely well done here. I think it does a good job of being surreal but not too crazy. The expression on the face is really what sealed the deal though.

2. CaptainSnafu
I think the idea here is fairly unique, at least in Snafu's spin of it. Again, technical execution is superb here, and the color choices really work well. The way how the skin unravels is also really amazing to focus on.

3. Bakanekonei
I think the top and the bottom still feel a bit displaced, and also the roughness of the top part also contrasts too much with the detailed rendering in the bottom, which kind of makes the piece not as cohesive overall.


Bakanekonei #1: Both of your pieces have superb technique, but this one just works better. The colors you use for the lights don't really made the mood any less tormenting, and the surreal aspects of the fish and light squares really makes me wonder, and the more I wonder, the more I see the figures beneath the water, the more I feel the torment. The water is really really beautifully done here. The border is nice, but I feel that the bottom could transition a bit better into the muddy ground. #2 Once again, the piece is excellent, but the colors and texturing really do not bring forth the "torment" feel at all. The idea is a interesting one, but I feel the execution just didn't work well. It also looks like you were only able to spend so much time on this one compared to the first.

fpg Awesome piece, the colors and variations in darkness work really well to bring about the mood that you set. The rendering on the demon is superb, but in some other places (especially the wings) they feel fairly rushed and don't fit so well. I think you can really work the lighting a bit more, like, make the lights a bit stronger, and give off more glow and reflections. Really play off the strong contrast between the darkness and the glowing red light sources. I also dont' quite see where purple light source on the angel is coming from, is it her glow? It looks more like there's a light being cast on her back, but I don't see the light source.

blond I absolutely love the idea here, although the humor kind of takes away from the idea of torment. I think even though your concept was great, the execution didn't really bring out the theme very well, especially since the colors and style really make this more comical than tormenting. The rendering itself is excellent, although I think a few texture brusshes in areas like the fabric on the spacesuit and the desert would really push the piece more. The sun also feels a bit, bland. Maybe since its so hot, the sky/sun could be distorted a bit?

munk3yboy The more I look at this, the more I think there's some kind of correlation between the blind folded guy, the eyes floating in the cauldron, and the girl whispering into his ear. To me, this almost seems like a piece about some kind of really bad relationship, where one can't really speak one's mind or see the relationship clearly, and is completely dominated by the other. The rendering is really well done in this piece, except I find it odd that everything is rendered without outlines except the two demons, which look very cartoony. The spear blades and eyes are really well done. However, like Blond's, the demons sort of add this really whimsical feel to the piece, which takes away from the core theme.

FrecusI actually have a hard time trying to figure exactly what you are going for there. I think the part I'm missing is what exactly those things going into her mouth and hands are. The piece itself presents a very painful and wierd situation, but there's this part that just feels like it needs to be clearer. That doesn't mean mysteriousness is bad, is just that here I feel like the piece would be stronger if the viewers knew, or had a good idea what those things might be. Her reaction also seems like it could be worked on more. Facial expressions go a long way in expressing mood, so really giving her the expression you want to present would really help. Technique wise, the lines are good, but you can use more line variation. The anatomy is a bit off, so it might be good to use a reference next time. The clothing texture feels very wierd. Finally, I feel the color pencils don't really do much to the piece, it might have worked better in just black and white.

bigyellowlegoman I don't really see this as much as torment, as just plain scary. I guess if you're going for the tormenting the viewer approach, rather than have the viewer sympathize with what's going on in the piece? I don't think the cel shading works too well here, but the dynamic contrast is really great. I think this would look really great if you painted it in Painter or Photoshop, but still retained the current look and colors.

SemaJay I think the idea works, but the execution just doesn't really pull it through. The comical style and flat colors really make this seem more like one of those cartoons that make jokes out of pain and suffering, so it really doesn't make the audience feel torment. In a piece that's supposed to call forth emotion from the subconscious, sometimes its not enough to just have a idea that makes a person think 'torment', but rather, they have to be able to feel it too. I think adding some shading would be a good first step.

5te Did you actually paint this or did you use a lot of actualy pictures? Either way, the overall presentation is great, although it'd be even more amazing if you actually rendered the whole thing though. Forgive me if you actually drew the entire thing. The colors work really well here, but the clouds feel a bit cheap. They work for the distant ones, but I think for some of the closer ones, you need to go in and really adjust it with a brush. One thing that really sticks out to me is the large nail that the guy is stuck to (hah, pun...) The sharpness on that just doens't fit in with the rest of the peice, and makes it look blurry. The spider webs are really well inserted, and makes the piece fit together really well.

CaptainSnafu Awesome idea, it'd be cliche, except for the fact that he is being unravelled in such an interesting way, and the fact that the hooks that are unravelling him are so angelic because of their light. The hooks have a very holy feel to them, and it almost gives a sense of how Religion can be both salvation and torment. The texture on the pants are excellent, but around the hands, it falls kind of flat and they look sort of mud-like. The lighting is good and the color selection is excellent. I think any more colors would dilute the piece too much, so its great that you kept it almost monotone.

OpenTheGrave This is a photo manip right? I like how well done the blood on the shirt is, but around the face and the horns, it just doesn't feel like they fit into the piece anymore. They just look very photoshopped. Overall, I don't really feel the torment, its kind of like bigyellowlegoman's, where its more scary/wierd, than really torment. For some reason, I almost feel like this piece could be more interesting if you didn't use red. You already have so much 'hell' like references, that it'd be cool to see how everything would look in a color that's not traditionally associated with evil and suffering. That's purely experimental though, and overall, I'd just suggest on work on your skills a bit more.

Vajura Personally, I feel that time as a source of torment is a bit of a cliche. Other than that, the rendering is great, especially the cracked ground, which really feels scorched and harsh. I think it'd be more interesting to really render the clock to be all shiny and metallic, more symmetrical, and in general, be kind of symoblic of how perfect and clean time is, then contrast with the roughly textured, destroyed man hanging from it. I also feel the rendering on the skin is a bit rough, and you can definately use a bigger brush at some parts and clean it up a bit.
I think the B/W tone works, but it'd be interesting to see it in another monotone color.

te shok What really struck me about this piece is how well rendered the little eye sucking mechanism is, while the rest is rendered almost like melting clay. Anyways, I'm not really sure what the idea is, but I think I sort of get some sense of it. Once again, I feel like the funny face and the overall colors and style make this look too humorous. The rendering on the hands, shirt, etc, are really rough. I think you can have some parts look like melting paint, but its good to try to fix some places down to be more realistically rendered.
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Last edited by RobotCat : 11-16-2006 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:06 AM   #5
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TheKosmonaut was the last judge. His top three:

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