Friday, February 6, 2009

Manticore composition tests

For the past few weeks, I've had the idea of a Manticore in my head, as part of the same universe as my gunslinger magician a few posts down. I finally sketched out a satisfactory version of my Manticore this evening, and I'm now testing out how it should fit into its environment. I have a few basic thumbnails here. The landscape will be based on Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

First thumbnail, very basic. This creature is part of a short story that I'm writing, so elements from that story (an animal skull, and a torn up blanket) will be arranged somehow in the foreground.

This second thumbnail is the same, but the badlands in the background have been moved higher. I prefer the first version, since its flatter landscape is a better match for how I imagine this creature's environment. The human skull in the foreground will also be done away with; too trite, and inappropriate for the story that I'm telling.

A bit more of a drastic change here. The main Manticore has been moved to the right, and a second one, along with some rocky forms, have been added to a shadowy area on the left. I don't like this option. The image works better with a lone Manticore, I think, surveying its vast, bleak territory.
So, I like the first thumb best. I fear that it might not be interesting enough, though. It's a very basic composition, after all.
Input on this would be awesome, those few of you who look at this blog.


Mikolaj (Spliter) Kuta said...

also prefer the lone manticore one. Somehow it gives the Idea that it's a lone wanderer, and it doesn't get friendly with other manticores, therefore hinting that it's devoted of emotions like compassion or attachment.
In the two manticore scenario the first thing coming to my mind is a pair, and thus giving more emotions to it, but at the same time, being less scary. I'm not sure which of these imporessions you're looking for, but I hope I helped.

Moai said...

Thanks for sharing your impressions of these with me. That's very helpful.

My manticores actually are somewhat social creatures, gathering in small groups and caring for each other in their own way. However, for this piece, and for the story that I'm writing, I'm trying to bring out a sense of menace and malevolence, since they are the antagonists of my story. The single manticore, glaring at the viewer, seems to bring this out better.

Anonymous said...

Cool design, it looks weird but believable. As for composition, if you're going with the first version I'd lower the manticore slightly, so it forms a level distinct from the shrubbery behind it. I might also widen the frame a bit to the right, and extend the bleak vista. Really give him some room to roam. This looks great so far, can't wait to see how it progresses!

Moai said...

Good ideas, Anonymous. I'll try them out. Thanks for the comment!